Carmel Sepuloni takes Waitakere selection

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 pm, March 20th, 2010 - 24 comments
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Two list MPs and a popular local favourit son. It was always going to be a hard one to pick and it took the selection panel most of the afternoon to decide who would go head to head with Paula Bennet next year.  Phil Twyford, Carmel, Hamish McCracken and Ann Pala were all up for it but in the end they chose another solo-mother-pulled-herself-up-by-her-bootstraps-battler in Carmel. But she’s a million miles from  Bennet in terms of values and ethics.

And even though she was born a ‘Naki girl, if you ever get to spend some time with Carmel you soon discover she’s a natural Westie.  I think she’ll do great.

24 comments on “Carmel Sepuloni takes Waitakere selection”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Its the right decision and Waitakere is very winnable for Labour. At this point I’d say National is in a good position to retain the seat. But of the several electorates that could change in 2011 Waitakere is right up there.

    Though Twyford still has no electorate. He’s in a real hard position because all the winnable electorates currently held by National are taken up by others within Labour. Auckland Central with Jacinda Ardern and Carol Beaumont likely to be the candidate again for Maungakiekie. Unless someone in South Auckland decides to retire. Twyford really has no where to go. The only real possibility is Northcote which while very unlikely to be a winner for Labour in 2011 has tended to be a swing seat in the past. (c/p from my post in open mike)

    • His “Waitakere Man” analysis was really simplistic. He has been watching too much TV methinks …

      Waitakere is a whole lot of tribes. There are at least 8 of them.

      There is a good number of traditional pacifica and the children for who the traditional island way is less and less attractive.

      There is the green tribe, Labour and Green activists who are deeply concerned about environmental issues and whose activity and contribution to Labour and the Greens is a disproportionate one. They are incensed at this Government, at its desire to mine conservation areas, and at the attack it has made on the protection of the Waitakere Ranges heritage area.

      There is the traditional tribe, working class homeowners who are getting on in age and who generally stick to Labour. Some of them were persuaded by National’s “Labour lite”campaign of 2008 to vote for Key but many of them are now scratching their heads about how they could have been persuaded to do so.

      There is the superior tribe. They always believe they are better than the rest and think that voting National shows their superiority. It takes a lot to change them.

      There is the beneficiary tribe. It is often hard to get them to vote because they are trying to cope with many problems but if threatened they will do so. They will not vote for a benefit basher.

      There is the geriatric tribe. They used to be predictable in the way they voted but tend to be persuaded by self interest. Stephen Joyce’s threat to the gold card will not have gone done well with them.

      There is the ethnic tribe, primarily Chinese and Indian who network well and who respond to concepts of equality and fairness. They were sucked in last time by Law and Order issues but things have got worse under this Government and I suspect they are regretting their last choice.

      And there is the self employed tribe, the “Waitakere tribe” that he talks about. They believe in fairness.

      Paula Bennett has tried to create herself as a “Waitakere Woman”. All that this means as far as she is concerned is that she occasionally dons leopard tights, she talks tough and she regularly eats McDonalds. I do not know why you would trust her with anything more than a local McDonalds franchise.

      Westies are much brighter than that. They will see through her.

      Carmel is working class, female, Samoan Tongan, bright and determined. She will do fine.

      Bennett has been an embarrassment to Westies. The sooner she is replaced the better.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.2

      I notice Trotter automatically assumes that no matter what their other qualities may be, the only candidate that could beat Paula Bennett needs to possess a vagina.

      Paula Bennett would be an appalling Minister of Employment and a hollow fraud as a “westie” regardless of whether or not she possessed a penis, so why must an opposing candidate possess a vagina in order to defeat her, unless we assume that a clearly superior male candidate would be handicapped in the eyes of the electorate simply by virtue of his gender.

      I hope he’s wrong, because if he’s right then NZ politics has descended into the sort of image-is-all moronic uninformed game we see played out in the US. I also hope this isn’t indicative of the thinking of decision makers on the left, otherwise it’s time to engrave John Key’s name on the keys to Premier House and find something they’re more suited to doing, like fretting over the objectification of the sexes in Calvin Klein ads.

  2. Olwyn 3

    I do hope that Phil Twyford will get a winnable seat, because he is both talented and hard-working.

  3. IrishBill 4

    I’m very happy to see Carmel take the candidacy. Now she has to take the seat. Bennett is National’s “every-woman” (or, more appropriately, their PR facsimile of the “every-woman”) there would be huge symbolic value in her losing her seat.

    Personally I think she’s vacillates between being a try-hard westie caricature and a clear figure of privilege. Neither are particularly attractive to middle New Zealand.

  4. Zaphod Beeblebrox 5

    Don’t know why everyone thinks Waitakere is brown and full of battlers. It’s got Titirangi, Laigholm, Piha, Swanston and the ranges in it. The media love being sucked in by the stereotype.

  5. Anne 6

    Congratulations to Carmel. She will be an excellent candidate. It must have been a very hard choice with four such talented people. In saying that however, the electorate that gets Phil Twyford will gain a brilliant organiser who does the hard yards and knows how to attract the most competent people around him.

  6. I do feel sorry for Phil Twyford as he’s perhaps Labour’s best performing new MP, but seems to be unlucky time and time again when it comes to standing for seats. Maybe he should stick to the list for now, he deserves a pretty high placing I would think.

    I think Sepuloni is a pretty good candidate to take on Bennett. Not just because she’s a woman, but also because she seems to have the same determined gritty nature. Phil seems like an ideal Auckland Central candidate to me, not sure why he got shafted there.

  7. millsy 8

    Carmel didnt get a 3% Housing Corp mortgage at 19, and then blab to all and sunder about her ‘pulling herself up’.

  8. Sam 9

    I don’t know much (anything) about Northcote, but what would Phil’s chances be like taking on Coleman out there?

    Nationally Coleman seems to be invisible and doing nothing, until of course he started putting the heavies on RNZ to be…. well, profitable it seems really… and that might count against him? Phil is probably the most vocal against the Super City – surely an easy target to win over Aucklanders because I don’t think people seem to be onboard with that shemozzle at all.

  9. jarbury 10

    Coleman has only ever really got a lot of press on two issues:

    1) Running Melissa Lee’s Mt Albert by-election campaign (gee that went well didn’t it?)
    2) The whole “save Radio NZ” issue.

    His majority is pretty big though isn’t it?

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    Under MMP winning an electorate doesn’t get you extra representation. If Phil were to stand in a National seat and run on Supercity issues I’m sure he will get lots of extra party votes. Shouldn’t they be concentrating their efforts in the seats with the highest marginal returns? In Auckland that is likely to be the National seats, especially in Papakura and Rodney.

    Winning electorates may be good for your ego, but it doesn’t win you the election.

  11. gingercrush 12

    The majority for Coleman in 2008 was 9, 380 while in 2005 the majority was 2, 383.When Labour won the seat in 1999 the majority was just under 300 votes. Its not an ideal seat for any Labour candidate. But it is a winnable seat on the North shore whereas the other seats are too difficult for Labour to win. South Auckland where Labour does very well is very political and its unlikely Twyford can win the nomination for one of those seats when the current Labour MPs vacate them. Maungakiekie, Auckland Central and Waitakere the three marginal seats currently with National are taken. Papakura and Botany just wouldn’t be any good for Twyford. Epsom is a waste of time. The other West Auckland electorates are taken by Labour MPs already. Northcote is his only option unless he wants to try outside Auckland.

    Maybe Twyford isn’t well liked within the Labour Party caucus. I have no idea but clearly to have had to try in so many electorates from electorates he could never win, i.e North Shore. Then putting his name in for Mt. Albert only to be told he can’t even run it. Thus not even go for nomination. He then shifts his office into Auckland Central and openly talks about wanting the nomination there only to be told that will go to Ardern. Then having to try elsewhere and not win the nomination for Waitakere. He clearly has a problem and must be seen within the Labour Party as either a light-weight (they’d be wrong) or maybe he just isn’t well liked.

  12. Anne 13

    @ gingercrush
    You’re wrong on both counts. He certainly is not seen as a light-weight, and he seems to be well liked by his colleagues. In fact he is regarded as one of the most talented of the 2008 intake of new MPs. In the end his gender probably counted against him in Auckland Central and Waitakere. As far as Mt. Albert was concerned: of course he harboured hopes of representing the electorate (he lives there for starters) but remember… who first contacted David Shearer and encouraged him to stand? Friend and former colleague Phil Twyford.

  13. Rich 14

    even though she was born a ‘Naki girl, if you ever get to spend some time with Carmel you soon discover she’s a natural Westie

    So she can drink cider, vomit and snog a bloke all at the same time?

  14. Doug 15

    Who wields the power in Labour Twyford is a mate of Phil Goff’s. It seems the party has been taken over by the unions or is Helen running the Labour party from America.

    [lprent: It is only wingnuts like you that see dictatorial structures everywhere, especially when it involves members of the other gender. We really can’t help you with your fear of women. ]

  15. Phil Lyth 16


    A 10,000 vote (or more) turnaround in a majority can be achieved. For instance in 1999 when National last lost power. Max Bradford in Rotorua went into the election with a 6,000 vote majority which he squandered. Came out of the election 5,000 votes behind Steve Chadwick, an 11,000 vote turnaround.

  16. Anne 17

    Like jarbury… I too, feel sorry for Phil Twyford. He has been a victim of circumstances. Regardless of any pressure that may have been applied at the time, he did the decent thing and stood aside from Mt Albert so that David Shearer could be elected to parliament. In other words he put the needs of the Party before himself. He has demonstrated his outstanding qualities as a policy guru as well as Labour’s spokesman on the Supercity, so his future as a Labour parliamentarian is assured.

  17. toll 18

    phil Twyford + letter + SFWU = lose

    capture : mistake

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