A NZ First First; Winston outvoted in Caucus

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, July 3rd, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: leadership, nz first, Politics, winston peters - Tags: , ,

In what may be an unheard of event within NZ First, Winston Peters’ choice of deputy leader has been dumped. Tracey Martin has been voted out in favour of Ron Mark.

Both Martin and Mark are good contributors in Parliament, though Mark has far more experience, having served as an MP on and off since 1996. Presumably, Ron Mark is jockeying for position as Winston Peters enters the final stage of his leadership. Where this leaves the presumed heir apparent, Labour Party member Shane Jones, is anyone’s guess. But it’s astonishing that Winston’s control of the  NZF caucus has been challenged in this way.

Previous leadership pretenders have been dealt with ruthlessly; Andrew Williams, for example, was given an unwinnable list position. Brendan Horan proved to be challenging to Winston and was unceremoniously flicked from the party, and, eventually, Parliament.

How this affects the future direction of NZ First is uncertain. While Winston is clearly more inclined to visit utu on National by helping Labour form the next Government, Mark may not be that worried about where the party ends up, as long as it’s in a position of power.

As one wit has said on twitter, ” The fighting for the NZ First deputy leadership is so fierce because the stakes are so low”.

But if there is to be a progressive Government in NZ this generation, NZ First has to be part of it. So for New Zealand, the stakes are actually pretty high. We know that Winston is sniffy about the Greens, but how does Ron Mark see them? And how closely does he want to work with Labour anyway?

One thing is certain. Any change in leadership within NZ First that doesn’t involve Shane Jones will be actually greeted with relief by the NZ Labour Party. They know full well that Jones will be only to happy to knife them in the back in a manner reminiscent of Winston’s reverse ferret in 1996. So the biggest loser may not be Tracey Martin, it may well be someone who’s not even an MP, or even a member of the party.

 

 

46 comments on “A NZ First First; Winston outvoted in Caucus”

  1. weka 1

    Damn shame about Martin.

    “But if there is to be a progressive Government in NZ this generation, NZ First has to be part of it.”

    Why? There are several scenarios I can think of where NZF wouldn’t be part of govt. Peters is no longer an MP and the vote collapses. Peters is no longer leader and NZF opt for a C and S arrangement with Labour rather than being inside. Labour get their shit together and get enough votes to form govt with the GP etc. Ok the last one is a bit imaginary, but still, my point is that NZF are a core part of the NZ political landscape but they are also a wild card, and it’s hard to know what will happen.

    edited.

    • I’m going on the election results and current polling. No Labour led Government without support, in some form, from NZ First.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Do you think that current polling is relevant to a NZF without Peters in it?

        • te reo putake 1.1.1.1

          Yes, because I think Winston will still be leader after the next election. I commented here the other day that I have a feeling he might step aside from day to day leadership if he was made Speaker or some similarly elevated position after the next election. That would allow him to still pull strings, retain status, and make sure his legacy continues. Not a million miles away from how Lee Kuan Yew stepped away from leadership in Singapore.

  2. John Shears 2

    Well said W

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    I’ve met Ron Mark. He has even given me a lift home in his car which involved a friendly conversation. Nothing to do with politics was discussed, but there is nothing like being in a car with another person to get a feel for their general outlook on life. I would say Ron wouldn’t have a bar of being in the same government as the Greens, even more so than Winston, so this is not a good omen for the future of a Labour, NZ First, Greens coalition. Also the basic constituency of NZ First is quite conservative, especially if they collect the Conservative Party voters. They would rather see themselves as being a brake on National, than part of a progressive government.

    • Phil 3.1

      My father and Ron Mark were in the army at the same time, I believe during the 70’s and 80’s. He (my father) held the view that there was no senior officer he had served with who cared more about the health, safety, and well-being of our armed services personnel and their families than Ron Mark. For that reason I think he would make an excellent minister of Defence, regardless of which parties were in government.

    • G C 3.2

      A diminished Green Party would certainly benefit Labour and NZ First. I’d imagine many people only vote for the Green Party as a protest vote or like Metiria Turei’s diatribes on ‘child poverty’.

      A political party focused of solar panels and tenancy/renter’s rights would do just as well. I’d suggest the overall conclusion is; the Green Party are a headache that split the vote.

  4. Skinny 4

    Peters has an acute sense of smell and the wind blows an unpalatable odour of a fourth term for National without the need of dealing with NZF under his leadership. So a tactical move by Winston to hand over the reins in the next 18 months is quite on the cards. If it is to be Shane Jones outside of Parliament this could be a master stroke. Just like Peters, Shane Jones will keep both major party’s guessing.

    The Greens will have to rethink their strategy by being publicly open to forming an arrangement with National, in part the Nats have strategically made room for this to happen already. Jones, and Labour know the voting public don’t want a Greens relationship, it’s more about two Left party’s joining forces than anything else I feel.

    • weka 4.1

      The GP are already open to an agreement with National, so long as National can find common ground on policy with the GP. Is that likely to happen? No.

      Far more people support the GP than vote for them so I think your idea bout the voting public not wanting a Greens relationship is off (even leaving aside generalisations about the voting public).

      • Skinny 4.1.1

        Actually Weka today’s announcement of the Sky Path contradicts your NO. Thanks to the Greens National are working together on policies in common. Today’s announcement comes hard on the back of National adopting other public transport policies, cycle and walk ways as well as busses.

        Personally I am more aligned with the Greens than Labour at this point in time., this will remain till they move on deadwood. Appointing Jimmy Shaw as Co-Leader is good for the business of working with NZF/Peters. I might even try arrange a little get together of the 2 on a friends super yacht for an evening of mung beans & whiskey. I will make sure I extend you an invite so you can do a live report, remember when I tried it wasn’t much chop and got a ticking off by Ms Rodgers for over indulging in the good stuff Peters put on at his buy election gig.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          lolz, good on you for trying to have it both ways (the GP need to change and openly work with National, and the GP are already openly working with National).

          Your original comment would be taken by many as the GP needing to work with National in govt (coalition or C and S). As I said the only way that will happen is if National align themselves with GP policy. Myself I don’t think that’s something to consider seriously at this point in time. That’s what my no was about. Other than that, the GP have for a long time been public about their willingness to work with any party on policy. Which makes them unique (although they did lose Brownie points for their attitude towards the IMP).

          I’m more rabbit stew and red wine than beansprouts and whisky, if you’re talking to the caterers 🙂

          • Skinny 4.1.1.1.1

            Well…I never figured you of all people to be a chardonnay socialist. I best see there is pheasant & quail on the table to accompany your exquisite tastes, don’t want your feathers ruffled and you more focused on reporting my drunkenness. Don’t worry i am a red wine drinker too, so there will be plenty of the good stuff Denny. Just remember the all seeing eyes of Ms Rodgers will be watching so don’t get too messy while reporting or she will be down on ya like a ton of bricks.

            [Skinny, the reference to the TS author is not needed. No more, thanks. TRP]

            [lprent: I suspect that there are other eyes you should worry about more. Stephanie is sort of civilised. There are other moderators who are a bit more (ummm) abrupt. ]

  5. G C 5

    wow The Standard really has it’s finger on the pulse regarding this ‘scoop’.

    • This is not a scoop, GC, merely the confirmation of something we had already covered on TS earlier in the week:

      Bust up in New Zealand First?

      But I guess you missed that post, eh?

      Still, if you really don’t like our services, we’ll happily refund your money. Oh, wait …

      • G C 5.1.1

        I don’t really know ‘te reo putake’ – I’ve only been reading and posting on The Standard for maybe 2weeks. I’m not a genius, as I write this I’ve only just clicked that ‘TS’ in your above post means ‘The Standard’.

        I read last-night on TS that this was rumoured to be happening – then this morning, BANG it has! If I hadn’t been reading The Standard, I wouldn’t have known it was coming.

        I’m not asking for a refund – quite the opposite. I enjoy TS’s informed readership and commenters like yourself.

        • te reo putake 5.1.1.1

          Whoops, sorry, GC. ‘scoop’ written like that led me to think you were taking the mickey. That’s probably the first time I’ve ever got the wrong end of the stick or over-reacted in any way here at TS. As I’m sure the other regular readers will confirm 😉

          Really pleased you’re enjoying TS. I look forward to reading more of your contributions.

          • Anne 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I can confirm GC is a genuine contributor.

            te reo is really a very benign author GC. He’s kind and rarely ruffles feathers. 😛

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.1.1

              He’s kind and rarely ruffles feathers. 😛

              Yeah right. But being nice is a purely optional activity in a political blog and especially here. r0b is probably the best advocate in action of that particular alternate style. But that is more of a erosive design and we all know what that does to mountains – right?

  6. Clean_power 6

    It does not represent any change. Mr Peters and New Zealand First are fiercely anti-Greens. Mr Mark is no different. Mr S. Jones admission to Winston’s party is only a matter of time, say over the next eighteen months.

    • Policy Parrot 6.1

      I guess the problem for traditional Labour voters that now vote for NZFirst – e.g. Dover Samuels etc. may have a problem voting for NZFirst that is simply going to prop up the Nats. NZ First has clearly at the very least masqueraded as a party in opposition this government, so it risks being squeezed if a momentum for change develops further over the next eighteen months.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    I expect the result will be an interplay of character and policy rather than polling. If Winston were poll-driven he’d recruit Colin Craig as successor. Rational on numbers but not on personalities.

    I’m worried about the fishes though – what will become of Jones’s St. Antony-like mission to the fishes? Will there be an ichthyological backlash? The invertebrates will be more comfortable with McCully of course, but the teleosts may have a bone to pick with the departing ambassador.

  8. fisiani 8

    Ron mark wants to be Minister of Defence and would be happy to give C and S to John Key

    • McFlock 8.1

      Source?

    • Tracey 8.2

      Mr Psychological tsunami over parity between AUD and NZD is back,

      Just a tad off in your prediction aye fisiani

      Dollar Parity

      • fisiani 8.2.1

        When did i ever state that the NZ dollar would reach parity. Reading not your strong point?

        • RedLogix 8.2.1.1

          The Psychological impact of dollar parity would be like a major tsunami on both sides of the Tasman. The Australian government would most likely lose the next election being seen as an obvious economic failure.

          The opposite effect would take place in my country which only has one name and that is New Zealand.

          The New Zealand government would most likely win the next election being seen as as obviously an economic success.

          Dollar Parity

          So while you can weasel out of claiming that the NZ dollar would reach actual parity – it’s pretty obvious that you regarded the fact it was pretty damn close (IIRC it got to a high of almost A99.8c) as a great sign of ‘economic success’.

  9. Jenny Kirk 9

    So – if Ron Mark is opposed to the Green Party – and NZ First becomes more conservatively minded – how does this pan out for the Northland seat at the next election – remembering that Labour people voted Winston into that seat. If NZ First is not onside with Labour in 2017, then that won’t happen again – will it ? ?

    And there is also the deal NZF did over the Taitokerau seat in the general election.

    Interesting times ahead, and fascinating speculation …….

  10. Peter 10

    I find it quite disturbing that the greens mite work with National, because they were the only left wing party left that I could vote for. Oh well I just wont vote, looks like the days of someone representing the workers is over.

    • Don’t take it too seriously, Peter. Fisiani is just trolling. The Greens have tried to work with all Governments to achieve policy gains from their position on the opposition benches. They’ve clearly got no intention of going in Government with National, but that won’t stop the likes of fisi trying to convince voters like yourself that they might.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Indeed.
        There’s a major difference between seeing if National have common ground with them on a random issue like [pulls possible common issues out of arse] improving the medical registration process for qualified immigrants or requiring public bars to have surveillance systems of a specific standard, and supporting the nats on confidence and supply with barely a whisper of criticism.

  11. fisiani 11

    I do not see the Greens working with National in 2017 but after yet another three years out of government I would not be surprised if they worked with National in 2020

  12. rob 12

    i voted NZ first back when Ron was in the party but since then, not, but he is back, but i am maybe abit wiser? and if he keeps going down the military role i have difficulty with him being the deputy.
    but the one thing is sure to me! we need to get rid of this current govt.and coalition partners, and rule out dealing with the Maori party first in any coalition in the future!

  13. Andrea 13

    “no senior officer he had served with who cared more about the health, safety, and well-being of our armed services personnel and their families than Ron Mark. ”

    Having listened to him doing just that when he was first in Parliament I’d second that.

    And, just wondering, could Ron Mark be green without favouring the Green Party? There seems to be quite a few policies in NZF’s bag that go that way. Protecting NZ, and all that. Sort of Old Green – not the delicate pastels we have at present. More ongaonga than artisinal lettuce.

  14. millsy 14

    Martin from NZ First’s left?, Mark from the right?

    Or is it not that simple?

    Angling for NZ First-National coalition after 2017?

    If Jones joins up (but he might not..??), then John Tamihere might think about following?

    Who knows what might happen. Still a long way to go till 2017.

  15. gnomic 15

    Shane ‘I am a great orator’ Jones – pass the sickbag. Surely a legend in his own lunchtime? Anyone got a list of his major accomplishments? Aside from blowing his own trumpet?

    And John ‘Frontbums’? How is the lawsuit against Radio Live going by the way?

    They deserve each other perhaps, but I don’t think the rest of the nation needs it.

    Anyway, won’t NZ First be gone by lunchtime once Luigi quits or drops off the branch?

    And good riddance in the main.

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