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Carmel wins, Nats down 1, MMP to stay

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, December 10th, 2011 - 196 comments
Categories: election 2011, MMP, referendum - Tags:

Official Election results are out. Carmel Sepuloni takes Waitakere back for Labour by 11 votes, and National loses one seat to the Greens. MMP wins by a mile. Well done Carmel – I’m really glad she stays in Parliament. I don’t think a recount will change anything – I scrutineered the official count last election and the Commission was very very careful. Bad luck for Brendon Burns and Raymond Huo.

196 comments on “Carmel wins, Nats down 1, MMP to stay ”

  1. dancerwaitakere 1

    Bloody brilliant. xD

    • aerobubble 1.1

      The prelimary results have not been updated. Why not? Have Maori party tipped over to a 122 seat parliament???

      • Marjorie Dawe 1.1.1

        I’m not sure about that but I have another question. If the Nats have 59 seats and John Banks and Peter Dunn each have one that makes 61 seats in parliament. I am assuming that the Nats will need to provide a non voting speaker to reduce them to 60. If that is correct would the Maori Party have the balance of power?
        My other assumption is that if that is the case they will not be able to pass legislation without someone else voting with them. Therefore if all the other parties on the outer do not vote with them, the Maori Party can actually stop the legislation which will allow our important assets to be sold.
        Can someone please tell me if I am right or wrong in this?
        If I am right can someone please tell the Maori Party that they can save us all.

        • Anne

          @ Marjorie Dawe
          As I understand it the Speaker has voting rights and it is automatically added to National’s count.

          • Marjorie Dawe

            Thanks Anne. I was an idea thought wasnt it.

            • Luxated

              I know non-voting speakers are part of the Australian system, does anyone know what the situation is in the UK? Also when did we move to ‘voting’ speaker (presumably we moved this way and not the Australians moving the other way around).

              • Rich

                The UK speaker has a casting vote which they exercise only when there is a tie and according to various rules.

                Also, the Speaker is elected by exhaustive secret ballot, reducing opportunity for partisanship (as the party whips cannot know how their MPs voted).

  2. crite40 2

    Great news! The Key “government” has tried on at least 2 monetarist things that they failed to mention during the campaign already. This will make life VERY hard for them!

  3. Great stuff Carmel.  Commiserations Raymond.  And National have to now deal with the Maori Party.  It is a good day …

    • J 3.1

      No they don’t. National has a 61 to 60 majority.

      • Pete 3.1.1

        If they want any insurance against a by-election if an electorate MP leaves parliament or if an MP crosses the floor they would want the Maori party to provide some breathing room. Additionally, carrying out radical changes on a thin majority tends to be punished in NZ.

        • Chris

          Unfortunately the Maori Party are just too naive to see that going with Key means more pain and hurt for Maori. I thought Sharples had a brain but know now he hasn’t. He’ll be happy to support asset sales in return for flying the Maori flag on Waitangi Day. The guy’s a poodle and has no ability to see beyond a 61-60 split. While I want to like Sharples I think it’s time he’s made aware of how people are feeling about his apparent stupidity.

          • Ianupnorth

            +1 – the Maori Party sold there soul for the baubles of office; they thought whanau ora would be a big winner, little did they know the funding was done by removing it from every other service available to Maori.

            • drongo

              That’s right. While I’d like to forgive the Maori Party for siding with National, for example because they were new, naive, thought Key’s ‘clever’ rhetoric around the “repealing” the Seabed and Foreshore Act really did mean “restoring” the CA’s decision, understandable disdain for Labour given the history etc etc, they should’ve learned by now. If they do any post-election deal with Key then we must give the Maori P:arty the full force of our anger, instead of pandering around their complete and utter incompetence as if it doesn’t exist. We’ve been doing that in hope they’d see the light for far too long. The stakes are higher now, and we just don’t need blithering fools in the mix to stuff everything up. Nationalising assets can be done, but it’s preferable we don’t have that unnecessary hassle.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        No they don’t. National has a 61 to 60 majority.

        Many NAT MPs have heard loud and clear from supporters in their local electorates that Asset Sales are well hated.

        In this game, two is one, one is none.

        Lets see the MSM continue National’s spin of “clear mandate for asset sales” lol

        • Bob Stanforth

          If you dont have a clear mandate, you cant form a government. They can, they have, and they have a very clear mandate.

          • felix

            If you’re right, they won’t have to get the maori party on side will they?

            We’ll see.

            • Bob Stanforth

              They wont, if you can add, you can see that.

              • felix

                I can add pretty good, Bob.

                That’s how I know there’s not much difference between 60 and 61.

                So we’ll see.

                • Bob Stanforth

                  So, you assume that Winston is ‘on your side’? Winston is on Winstons side. Watch him and his feral bunch implode over the next three years, with glee. I will.

                  Good to see you can add Felix – if you take 190,000 votes away from a party, what do you get?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So, you assume that Winston is ‘on your side’? Winston is on Winstons side.

                    I reckon felix is clear that Winston is not on Key’s side, hence the 61/60 analysis. 61 MPs For Key and 60 MPs Not For Key.

                    • Bob Stanforth

                      And still a majority. Slim, yes. Workable, absolutely. And under MMP as well. And a mandate. Ah yes.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I love the fact Key has fuck all to work with this term compared to just 3 years ago. Winston is already licking his lips.

                  • drongo

                    But one vote can’t be a clear mandate. If you think that then you’re assuming the remaining 60, under MMP, are idiots. It will take only one of a number of things to stop asset sales, either an MP crossing the floor, a by-election, or even a speaker being chosen. Bet you Key will be supporting a Labour speaker. Naive, Stanford, just bloody naive.

                    • Bob Stanforth

                      Actually its not, and shows your lack of understanding of how the house actually works. But feel free to continue to throw mindless insults because you don’t agree with what I say – its amusing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      drongo – I suspect events will lead to Bob eating his own confidence before the first half of Key’s new term is done.

          • Jackal

            To form a government maybe, but not to sell assets.

            • Bob Stanforth

              How do you draw that long bow then, do tell.

              The electorate had the chance to tell the national party to take a running jump. They didnt. By any measure. They campaigned on partial privatisation, and labour loudly against it. National won.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh Bob, don’t be obtuse, I’d have loved to have seen a separate referendum on Nov 26 around Asset Sales.

                What do you reckon, 75% to 85% against, from across the entire political spectrum?

                • Bob Stanforth

                  Le sigh, come on CV, stop with the strap lines. If partial privitisation is so evil – why did labour actively support it in its previous term. And seek to extend it with AirNZ until told they couldn’t?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Because they’re a centre-right party that believes in the delusional free-market, ie, they’re almost as stupid as NAct voters.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We’ve got to bring more referendums into government decision making. We simply cannot leave such major decisions up to a few.

                  • seeker

                    Absolutely DracoT. horrendous that the sale of electricity assets we need for our survival was just tacked on to whether you voted for one party or another as ‘policy’ as an excuse for selling them.

                    It is so unpricipled. Such an important decision requires a referendum. Now we have to listen to the inane cackles of the likes of Stanforth, telling us National won a mandate beacause they were able to cobble together enough seats -just (by one!) to form another hideous Nit government.

                    Not only do nat members not understand maths (47% of the vote is not half), which means “no mandate” even by the flimsy,unprincipled way just used to get a decision on whether to sell our electricity assets or not; they still do not understand MMP.(probably too many letters in the acronym,which is why the pm wanted SM -ie two letters and it suits his party more.)

              • felix

                Like I said, we’ll see if National agrees with you by whether they get the maori party on side.

                If I were in their position, I wouldn’t be gambling on a one-seat-lead.

          • Ari

            A mandate to form a government is not the same thing as a mandate for a given policy- EVEN IF that policy was a core part of your package. The only way you get a mandate on a particular policy is through majority public support.

          • Vicky32

            They can, they have, and they have a very clear mandate.

            Yeah, sure they do… I suggest a cup of tea and a lie down…

        • Fotran

          I did not know that we had elected the MSM to govern the country. I know they continue to lead us to believe that, as they have done for a long time, but I think you will find that National have all the mandate they want to partially sell some assets. Tough titty.

          • Colonial Viper

            Oh National currently have the ability to sell assets, you’re right. Until a Wong, Worth, or Marilyn Waring occurs hahahaha

  4. gingercrush 4

    Any electorates flip from National to Labour or vice-versa in terms of party vote?

    • Fisiani 4.1

      Labour humiliated in Wellington Central . They came third. The first time in history that Labour has come third in any electorate since MMP began. Blame it on Grant Robertson.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1

        Fizzing, fizzing, fizzing in this magic land…

        It is not FPP any more old chap.

        • Fisiani

          Exactly my point!!! Robertson ran his campaign like FPP. He won the battle but lost the war. He was the ONLY Labour or National candidate to have such a bad campaign that his Party came THIRD.

      • clandestino 4.1.2

        Except he won the electorate.

  5. DS 6

    Absolutely gutted Brendon Burns didn’t get in for Christchurch Central. Just so completely stunned.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      His utter loyalty and dedication to his constituents not rewarded by enough of them. Awful.

      • seeker 6.1.1

        Ditto DS and CV. I feel terrible for him. What happened ? So many witnessed his dedication and yet this was not enough. What did Wagner do to beat him?
        I can only put this down to population displacement or extreme disconnection due to the unprecedented high levels of cognitively disabling stress which has arisen as a direct result of the 8,000 or so earthquakes in that brave, but devastated region.

        • gingercrush

          Combination of party vote being higher than Labour and the inevitable split of Labour and Greens. The same happens with the other minor parties, when NZ First, Act etc have been stronger it tends to hurt the Labour or National electorate candidate. Basically Christchurch Central National voters voted Wagner. Burns actually got some of the National party vote, the Labour vote and a substantial amount of the Green vote. It just wasn’t enough to topple Wagner. From memory of the polling booths. Wagner and National did very well in Papanui and Saint Albans. Burns and Labour tended to do well elsewhere.

          • Ari

            This is why we should use range voting if we’re going to keep electorates. It’s independent of “cloning”, and thus wouldn’t result in vote splits.

  6. Pete 7

    National’s total party vote gain over 2008 was 4640 votes.
    Labour lost 181944
    Greens gained 89757
    NZ First gained 52188
    Jim Anderton’s Progressives didn’t stand this year, so they dropped 21241 votes

    So about 60,000 people supporting opposition parties stayed at home.

    Total vote supporting National/Act/United Future/Maori party (and assuming the Maori Party will support the government this term):
    2008 – 1215371
    2011 – 1127952

  7. chris73 8

    11 vote difference only so I wouldn’t go counting my chickens just yet

  8. red blooded 9


    Of course, this makes it even more obvious that Labour has to think hard about how to work constructively and collegially with the Greens. To be frank, I don’t think that’s ever been managed as well as it should have been, and it’s hardly surprising that Green loyalty to Labour seems to be weakening, with them seeing Labour more as competition for the left vote, rather than as partners. After all, that seems to be how Labour has always seen the Greens (at least it’s how they’ve been treated).

    • oftenpuzzled 9.1

      but Greens have to be willing to work with Labour and that is not something to be taken for granted from their perspective. Maybe the best way is the opposition parties to chose what they will collaborate in such as asset sales where all oppose that and sign some memorandum to say they will. It will more likely issue by issue. Greens will not want labour taking their glory away from them. It’s not all up to Labour.

      • mike 9.1.1

        Quite right o.p. Greens have to pull their weight too. Perhaps a little less ‘holier-than-thou’ might help? Something has to be done in the electorates – e.g. Burns looses Ch-Ch Central by 45 and the Green candidate took 2,000 odd votes in a seat they never had a chance to win. Not saying they’d all vote Labour, but at least 46 would, surely? National is way ahead in managing this aspect of MMP, we have to pull our socks up and start working together – and that means both, not just Labour

        • Colonial Viper

          Was with some young professionals last night who were fashionable Green supporters. Once they found out I was a Labour Party member they all put on their ‘holier than thou’ bullshit up to the nines.

          And they didn’t like what I had to say about the Greens having NFI about energy depletion, lol.

          • Ari

            Honestly, Green voters should have solidarity with Labour voters, even if we do have issues with Labour, given that Labour has helped implement the most and best Green policies so far.

            • Vicky32

              Honestly, Green voters should have solidarity with Labour voters,

              They should, yes, but to judge by the Greens I know, most don’t. They’re Blue-Green, and I don’t trust them one centimetre! 🙁

        • Andy_Roo

          I am a green voter, in CHCH Central, and I gave my electorate vote to Burns. More accurate to say “at least 46 more could have” – to which I could not agree more.

          Wagner – from what I can see is a useless waste of space. Arrogant and clueless.

        • oftenpuzzled

          cldn’t agree more Mike, it will be intererstying to see how the Greens leadership deals with 12 MP’s a lot more to maintain their ‘holier then thou’ stance. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like devious dirty politics but there is way to retain a wholesome humility without being holier than thou!

  9. dv 10

    As a matter of interest. what would happen if the election ended in a tie after all possibilities have been exhausted?
    Is it on a coin toss?

    • chris73 10.1

      Fight to the death, in loin clothes, with bare hands

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      On a dead tie, apparently once all other avenues are exhausted, it does result in a coin toss.

      I’m wondering just how that works thought: best 2 out of 3, how they decide the coin is fair, etc. Maybe they could use the Lotto coin toss that they have for Big Wednesday.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Following on, I reckon televise it and use it as a fund raising event for Christchurch residents.

  10. Akldnut 11

    Makes all the mocking, arrogance, abuse and all the hard work we did worth while.
    Celebratory drinks for sure tonite.

    • Akldnut 11.1

      I mean mocking, arrogance & abuse from National supporters, especially the one guy in West city who called me a racist and was venomous with his insults!

      • newsense 11.1.1

        congrats man- I was feeling guilty I didn’t get out and do help any in the west. I still am, but in the fashion of the guy who drops a catch, but sees the batsmen get out next ball…

  11. gingercrush 12

    Hmm more people voted for the Greens in Wellington Central than they did Labour.

    • Anthony 12.1

      Probably has a lot to do with them understanding how to get the most bang for buck out of MMP.

      • Ari 12.1.1

        The Greens are to the point now where their party vote accrues MPs about as quickly as Labour’s will, so I think that’s a little unfair. The vast majority of voters probably just liked Green policy, direction, and candidates better.

  12. Rustle19 13

    For the final count, the election night votes are all recounted so the 11 vote margin is likely very accurate, although there may be some cases where the voter intention could be disputed through “confused” marking of the ballot paper

  13. crite40 14

    Cor Blimey! Haven’t all our correspondents realised that the WHOLE libertarian/monetarist idea is about more than economics. It is becoming clearer that waht they would really like is a return to feudalism. Ignorant
    peasants making them a lot of money while fundamentalist religion keeps them in line.
    “The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate. God keeps them high and lowly and orders their estate”
    So funding religious schools for example is exactly in that direction, as is keeping higher education for the wealthy or those who don’t question the rulers.
    Please folk’s read some history. It can be quite instructive.

  14. Craig Glen Eden 15

    Getting Rid of Bennett is fantastic news, the West has been cleansed. I guess your TURN is over Paula! One term wonder oouch!

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    This table shows the unfairness in the present electoral system. The conservative party got 4.4 times more votes than UF and yet has no seats. UF didn’t actually get enough votes to warrant having a seat (0.6% rather than 0.833).

    Time to drop that threshold but what we’re more likely to see (because the politicians don’t want more parties) is the dropping of the tail (where on electorate seat brings in the rest) resulting in even worse disproportion than we get now. Hell, it was a promise from Phil Goff.

    • alwyn 16.1

      There are, of course, NO Mps who got in as a “tail” for a party that got an electorate seat but less than 5% of the vote.
      Dropping that part of MMP off would have had no effect at all on the result.
      On the other hand I hope you are not proposing that a party be required to have at least 5% of the vote or any electorate seats they win are to be disallowed?

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Dropping that part of MMP off would have had no effect at all on the result.

        Not this election but there was last election and others.

        On the other hand I hope you are not proposing that a party be required to have at least 5% of the vote or any electorate seats they win are to be disallowed?

        Nope, I want proportional voting for electorates which would bring winning an electorate closer to the 0.833% that would warrant a seat. Or just drop the electorate seats altogether and integrate local councils more into national government.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        There are, of course, NO Mps who got in as a “tail” for a party that got an electorate seat but less than 5% of the vote. Dropping that part of MMP off would have had no effect at all on the result.

        Wrong, IMO. It sure would have had an effect on the result.

        For starters the BullShit around Epsom would have been halved and the Tea Party probably wouldn’t have happened.

        Winston’s airtime would therefore have been affected and the make up of today’s Parliament would be vastly different.

        • Ed

          I believe around 3% of voters ticked NZ First purely to ensure that those anti-National votes would not be wasted. I know a few who were annoyed that their vote went so far past 5%. The threshold is too high, and should probably be deleted entirely.

          • Ari

            Deleting it entirely would REALLY result in micro parties. For instance, joke parties would be very likely to win single seats under a no-threshold system. A .89% threshold of winning the first list seat outright would probably be the fairest system.

  16. felix 17

    Don’t get too excited about the maori Party, they’ve already said they don’t mind selling our assets as long as their mates can buy some.

  17. gingercrush 18

    Oh god mandate this and mandate that. Means nothing. National due to confidence and supply arrangements with Act and United Future and presumably the Maori party, have the right to introduce legislation (bills) into parliament. Parliament in turn requires majority support to pass that legislation into Acts of Parliament. That requires a mandate. National was given a mandate to introduce legislation, parliament can give National a mandate to pass that legislation..

    • felix 18.1

      I don’t think anyone disputes any of that gc.

      But since the election we’ve been bombarded with messages about John Key’s “landslide win” and his “overwhelming majority” and his “historic victory”.

      Seems an odd way to describe a govt hinged on one seat.

      • gingercrush 18.1.1

        I know. John Key and those who share what he said are wrong. But so are those on the left that denounce that National has no mandate.

        • felix


        • Ari

          National certainly has a mandate on a lot of issues where there’s no indication of public opinion or where it’s outright on their side.

          What they don’t have a mandate for is regressive taxes and asset sales, which the public outright opposes. You don’t get a mandate for all your policies just by squeaking by into government.

  18. Pundit X 19

    The Greens campaign manager in Waitakere foresaw the risk of Carmel losing because of an increased Green vote and attempted a formal dialogue on the issue with Labour they never responded. Fantastic that she won in spite of everything but hope wiser counsel prevails in both parties before the next election..

      • Pundit X 19.1.1

        The Greens Campaign Manager emailed Goff Well before the election was actually called Probably didn’t see the need to copy you in Micky…

        • Colonial Viper

          Having a simple chat to Carmel would have sorted things out fast. These are the links and understandings Labour and Greens have to build up over the next 3 years

          • Pundit X

            There was a positive conversation. Just didn’t include Mickey..

          • Ari

            Yep. And we need to work out a way to redirect more Green electorate votes to the genuinely positive Labour candidates that probably could really earn them, like Carmel, or Charles Chauvel.

            • Carol

              I don’t understand why anyone gives an electorate vote to a Green candidate. The Greens make it very clear that they campaign for the party votes only, and they partly do this through through electorate candidates. Why waste an electorate vote on a Green candidate that’s only going to come 3rd or 4th?

  19. gingercrush 20

    And Labour by virtue of propotionality in parliament should lose a front bench member while the Greens gain a front bench member. Won’t happen of course. But as with National in 2002 who lost two front seats in parliament. The same should happen to Labour.

    Labour also loses a few questions to ministers etc due to that proportionality so they need to play smarter in parliament. I would suggest using member bills to achieve that.

    • alwyn 20.1

      They will have to be very much smarter than they were this year if they expect to get anywhere with member’s bills. Thanks to the idiocy of Grant Robertson there basically weren’t any discussed in 2011.
      Sure he prevented the voluntary student union membership being passed until the end of the year but in the meantime he prevented any other private member’s bills being discussed.
      I’ve no doubt that the Government thought it was hilarious. They don’t need private members bills. Anything they want simply becomes Government business. The bills are basically there for Opposition parties to, in rather simplistic terms, embarass the Government.
      When the Government simply cut off debate on the Royal Society bill Grant was left wandering around the chamber looking, I imagine, for a copy of the rules of the house. This from someone who is, apparently seriously, being considered as a deputy leader of the Labour party.

  20. Tiger Mountain 21

    as at 3:59, NZ Herald online, front page.

    “John Key calling for recount
    BREAKING National has enough seats to form a government despite losing a list MP, but will still be smarting after Cabinet minister Paula Bennett lost her Waitakere seat by 11 votes. John Key said he would be calling a recount of…”


    This does not continue on into linked article copy (yet). The “who said they said…” fluid revisionism crappola was well illustrated here during the ‘Teapot Tapes’.

    • alwyn 21.1

      As of 4.03pm there was nothing about John Key calling for a recount, and all the story is there.
      I think a reporter must have been having a little bit of a senior moment if he started to post what you say.
      That doesn’t mean he won’t, of course, and if they really want to make it tough on Sepuloni they could go for an Electoral petition if the judicial recount has no effect.

      • Tiger Mountain 21.1.1

        Well you are effin right, at 4:14, gone. I should have taken a screen shot and will do in future. The text in quote marks was copied and pasted direct from the Herald web page.

        When Andrew Geddis got bent out of shape about the possible effect of the ‘Teapot Tapes’ as espoused by several Standard commenters, he had to pull his head in when Mathew Hooten used the same headline “Explosive” that he had seen at the Herald before it was expunged.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Here tis alwyn… .png file. Maybe a tech head here could describe how this happens.


          • alwyn

            OK. I believe you that it was there. I think he was letting his story get ahead of the facts though. The Nats have a few days to think about it and they probably wouldn’t jump in immediately.
            I’m inclined to agree with the original post that they count has been done very carefully and I doubt that you could swing 11 votes just by a recount.
            I wonder if they think there is any chance of an electoral petition though? That’s how Winston Peters got into Parliament in 1979. He stood for National in the 1978 election, lost, and then had the result overturned and the Labour candidate tossed out for overspending on his campaign if my memory serves me correctly.

            • Tiger Mountain

              Well the nats may have a few days to think about it, but what about the person that tapped out the words in my capture?

              And no, unfortunately your memory does not serve you correctly. The then Hunua seat involved the notorious “ticks and crosses” scenario about voters clearly indicating their intentions on the ballot paper.

              The sitting member, Malcom Douglas (Roger’s brother) had a 301 vote election night majority. Winston first claimed “irregularities” and got a court ordered recount. 500 papers were classified informal, eventually one way and another by parliamentary records; giving Peters a 192 majority and he subsequently replaced Labour’s Douglas as the Hunua MP.

              • Anne

                That’s correct TM. From memory it transpired that the Douglas team had also been enrolling Pacific Island people who didn’t satisfy the residency criteria. That is, they had lived in NZ for less than 12 months.

              • alwyn

                Oh well. Put it down to a senior moment on my part. You seem to have a better memory than I do.
                They have now got a quote that John Key IS calling for a recount so the journalist is right, but guilty of premature reporting.
                I have now worked out what I was thinking of re the petition.
                It was in the Wairarapa electorate where Winston supported a petition by Wyatt Creech.
                The court found that people voted who were not entitled to and that the Labour candidate breached the spending rules. Boorman for Labour was displaced and the National candidate was declared elected. When Winston is involved you tend to remember only his name.

          • Colonial Viper

            Found it.


            John Key said he would be calling a recount of the Waitakere ballot papers.

            “It’s the party’s intention to seek a judicial review. We will file that with the court next week,” he said.

            The webmaster seems to have messed up the links on their front page.

            • Ari

              Fair enough, with the count that close, you want to be sure that it’s been accurate, and Labour would have been just as justified in doing so if it was their candidate that was short. I just hope that the review does not result in the junking of any votes that were clearly expressed.

  21. Burns loses his seat after working so well – and Wagner gets to primp and preen, going on about how much the voters just loved what National is doing in Christchurch, despite her getting fewer electorate votes than last time

    Reading the figures it looks like thousands of previous Labour voters left the electorate. Makes sense given that it was the eastern part of Christchurch Central that was the worst hit.

    The Greens also got fewer votes. 

    • NickS 22.1

      Aye, and she’s been very much the invisible politician in those parts for the last 3 years and after the February quake…

      • Puddleglum 22.1.1

        She’s done next to nothing except write the occasional “golly gosh, isn’t Christchurch a beautiful place to live” letter to the editor. Occasionally she’d also write one in praise of some concert featuring youth, etc. – never commented on substantive issues.

        I saw her once during the 2005 campaign fronting for National at a ‘meet the candidates’ meeting in Christchurch Central (where I used to live).

        I’d never seen her before and, because of her inept effort (mumbling to the floor, looking like she didn’t want to be there, vacuous answers to questions), I just assumed that National were putting up a ‘patsy’ candidate in a safe Labour seat. I was stunned to discover that she got into parliament on the list. I thought then, is she the best National could do for that place on the list? 

        Completely sidelined by her own party after the earthquake, so far as I could tell.

        The polling booths that Burns topped were all in the East of the electorate. Wagner’s were all North-West (Merivale, St Albans and the like). The worst hit parts of the electorate were East, of course. It’s where I went shovelling silt – almost a ghost town back then. 

        As I mentioned, the Greens’ candidate (David Moorhouse) also got fewer votes than last time – so obviously it wasn’t a case of Labour voters deserting to the Greens. My guess is that they just weren’t in the electorate – and who knows whether they could be bothered enrolling and voting in the electorates they ended up in. 

        • NickS

          She’s actually been gunning for central for as long as I can remember, which being 26 would make it around 1998 at the earliest I think.

          And yeah, the only reason it seems why she got votes is simply because she in the National Party, rather than anything else she says publicly. Though I suspect word of mouth in, and socialising with, the usual old-boys-n-girls networks amongst the upper and wannabe upper class is how she primarily campaigns. Instead of in the public eye where her opponents can question her claims.

  22. Blue 23

    Time to crunch some numbers.

    With the Nats now down to 59 seats, they’re hanging on by their fingernails. If Act had lost Epsom or Dunne Ohariu, they wouldn’t be able to form a government. The Maori Party may be sell-outs, but even they probably wouldn’t have voted for everything National wants to do in its second term.

    I calculate National’s final support at 32% of all eligible voters. Only 69% of those eligible to vote actually voted.

    Something to think about when our country gets wrecked over the next three years and when you encounter people who didn’t vote.

    On another note, Mana on 1.08% is now more popular than Act on 1.07%, and the Conservative Party on 2.65% is now more popular than the Maori Party on 1.43%.

    The most marginal electorate seats in the country are as follows:

    1. Waitakere – Carmel Sepuloni (Labour) beat Paula Bennett (National) by 11 votes.
    2. Christchurch Central – Nicky Wagner (National) beat Brendon Burns (Labour) by 45 votes.
    3. Waimakariri – Kate Wilkinson (National) beat Clayton Cosgrove (Labour) by 642 votes.
    3. Auckland Central – Nikki Kaye (National) beat Jacinda Ardern (Labour) by 717 votes.
    4. Tamaki Makaurau – Pita Sharples (Maori Party) beat Shane Jones (Labour) by 936 votes.
    5. Ohariu – Peter Dunne (United Future) beat Charles Chauvel (Labour) by 1,392 votes.

    We’ve still got our work cut out for us though – 51% of votes cast were for right-wing parties (National, Act and the Conservative Party) 42% for left-wing parties, and then there’s NZ First and United Future with 7% between them (centrist parties?).

    • fmacskasy 23.1

      “If Act had lost Epsom or Dunne Ohariu, they wouldn’t be able to form a government. ”

      Indeed, Blue. If Green voters in Ohariu hadn’t given their electorate vote to Gareth Hughes, but to Charles Chauvel, and had Labour and Green voters voted more tactically in Epsom, the outcome might have been somewhat different.

      Ok, now I understand that we’re free to vote as we please. But there’s sometimes a price to be paid for “indulging” ourselves. That ‘price’ is 49% of four state assets; semi-privatisation of our schools; bashing beneficiaries for a global recession they had no part in making; and god knows what else this National Government has lined up for us…

      On the plus-side, MMP is embedded into our political/electoral system and the threat from the Right Wing to f**k with our democracy is gone (hopefully).

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.1

        The Left have to learn to tactical vote and cut deals. This election could and should have been won by Labour and the Greens.

        • Blue

          Yep. National’s deal with Act not to stand a candidate in Waimakariri appears to be the only thing that got Wilkinson over the line.

          Oh to have more lefties voting tactically in Ohariu and Epsom.

        • mik e

          Low turn out is the main problem the left have to work together to get maximum turnout as well as sort out tactical vote.

          • ScottGN

            I agree mik e. As usual low turnout has hit the left harder. Young and poorer NZers stayed home again – partly because the media declared the result a foregone conclusion from the outset but also because Labour failed to motivate them to get out and vote. Until we can do this we won’t (and don’t deserve) to win. Bickering about the left’s failure to grasp the tactical situation (which I don’t accept anyway, given that most Green voters did split in marginals) is only going to park us in the same electoral cul-de-sac that Key, Banks and Dunne have found themselves in this election – i.e an ‘historic’ election landslide victory that strangely has only delivered the thinnest majority possible. Though I agree Blue that it looks like the NACT deal in Waimakariri is what got Wilkinson over the line there even allowing for the swing to National in Chch.

        • Pundit X

          The Green Campaign Manager in Waitakere attempted dialogue with Goff and was stonewalled. Hopefully the new Leadership will be more receptive to dialogue..

          • gingercrush

            That was Greg Presland wasn’t it?

            • Colonial Viper

              lol not

            • mickysavage

              What the …

              Steve Tollestrup the Green candidate did say at a meeting that he was endorsing Carmel but the greens for whatever reason declined to publicize this.

              • Pundit X

                Steve actually said in conversation with David Parker after the meeting that he was campaigning for the party vote and if people wanted to give their electorate vote to Carmel he was fine with that – hardly an endorsement. Carmel then told the Herald she had Steve’s endorsement which the Herald published. Although the Greens were campaigning Nationally on the basis that they were an independent party, their Waitakere team decided not to challenge the veracity of Carmel’s claim in the Herald. In fact throughout the campaign they did everything possible to assist her electorate vote including doorstep endorsements…

                • Funny, I was at that meeting and recall something different happening.

                  But there is no need to continuously relitigate the matter is there PX.

                  Steve’s strategy seemed to work.  The Greens had a very healthy 4.2 percentage point increase in their party vote share in Waitakere while his personal vote went up a much more modest 0.6%.  In terms of the interests of the Green Party Steve did well. 

                  • Pundit X

                    No your quite right Micky I just checked with Steve. He says that he was speaking with a group of about eight people in conversation he said “I’m campaigning for the party vote. There are only two people in my view who are worth giving your electorate vote to and I would urge you to give it Carmel.” Have forwarded email to Goff for your information.

  23. Rustle19 24

    Wellington Central is a shocker, while Grant Robertson won by 6,376, Labour came in third, yes THIRD, on the party vote: National leading on 15,128, Greens 10,903, Labour 10,459

    In Akl Central Labour is second on 8,590, with the Greens close on their heels at 7,797

    • Jeremy 24.1

      It’s a shame the Greens didn’t win Welly Central Labour voters should have voted for him.

    • Hilary 24.2

      Wellington Central is about the second most wealthy electorate after Ohariu (I think) so you would expect it to vote heavily National. There are also traditionally large Act (Richard Prebble was once the MP) and Green votes. The fact that Grant, and Marian Hobbs before him, had such large majorities reflect their personal appeal and hard work.

      • TighyRighty 24.2.1

        Wealthy thanks to the preponderance of highly paid public servants. Who do they normally vote for i wonder? It’s not national, or the greens, so labour must really be fucking hopeless.

        • Colonial Viper

          A preponderance of staff on over $100K employed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

        • Ari

          Yep, it’s wealthy because it has a large amount of decently-paid people, rather than a small amount of indecently paid people.

          I only know two public servants who voted labour this election, so I wasn’t really expecting them to decimate in wellington- most of the lefties I know voted Greens or Mana.

    • possum 24.3

      Not a shocker at all just a huge and committed campaign team.
      Don’t forget we got Celia Wade Brown over the Line for Mayor

  24. anne 25

    Didn’t key say that he would wait for the maori vote earlier on because he didn’t want to go with 1-2 seat majority to the govener general now he only has 1,he will be desperate to get the maori party to sign a confidence and supply agreement,to give him a comfortable buffer,the maori party have been hit hard in this election because they went into a confidence and supply agreement in the last term,the majority has changed with these results, with a majority of 1,it doesn’t make for a stable government at all over the next 3yrs,a bi-election could cost the govt dearly,so all eyes will now be on the maori party,will they align themselves with the left or will they sell out to the right when their policies are going to strip the population of the core of their being,take their assets and give them to american corportates,continue to tell lies and pull the wool over the eyes of most of the population? if the chch recount gains 1 more seat for labour,that would be a hung parliament wouldn’t it?

    • gingercrush 25.1

      Are there two anne’s? This one seems even thicker than the other one. Even if Brendon Burns does win Christchurch Central after a judicial recount it doesn’t change the seat allocation. National still has 59 seats. Labour still has 34.

      [lprent: common name – look at the identicons. I will have a look at the IP’s etc when I get home. ]

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        Now that you mention it, it does seem like a different anne.

        • Blue

          There are two Annes. One with a small a and a pink gravatar, and one with a capital A and a blue gravatar.

          • Carol

            Unless she decided to sign in. I looked at signing in a week or so ago, but saw I would need to change the C at the beginning of my name to c. It seems no capitals are allowed for signing in.

  25. RedLogix 26

    Frankly with the electorate seats still essentially an FPP race, Labour and the Greens are constantly splitting their vote. They HAVE to learn to cut deals and not stand against each other in ALL the marginal electorates.

    • seeker 26.1

      Complete agreement. RedLogix.

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1


        Any seat with a less than 3000 majority to a NAT MP must be covered by a deal. Although it’ll be difficult for both Labour and the Greens to get their heads around this.

    • Draco T Bastard 26.2

      Well, no, now that we’ve got a review of MMP going they need to push for proportional voting in electorates.

      • RedLogix 26.2.1

        Well now you come to mention it… how about combining two systems. MMP for the overall House as at present, and STV for each electorate race?

        • NickS


          Hell yes, and it would make fro some very interesting voting statistics too.

        • dv

          Like that Idea.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yes a nice simple STV, one where you get 3 choices only ranked 1, 2 and 3.

        • fmacskasy

          Personally, am liking that idea that idea, RedLogix.

          But try explaining that to an electorate that just returned a “smile & wave” politician as prime minister because they thought he’s “such a nice man”…

          They voted for him whilst not supporting state asset sales.

          How does a person vote like that?


        • Ari

          STV is only a little better than FPP. I recommend we skip straight to range voting- very simple idea- rate every candidate you know about from 1 to 99. If enough people don’t rate a candidate, they’re disqualified.

    • possum 26.3

      Yes Labour should not stand a candidate in Welly Central 😉

  26. Jum 27

    This result is all about the public hatred of asset sales and contracting out of our water infrastructure – let the battle commence.

    Tis a pity that Phil Goff relinquished his role as Leader so soon – after all this election was about a party that had learned its lesson about selling the strategic assets (Labour) and a party that wanted to enslave NZers (NAct).

    If the Maori Party sign on with NActU now, it means that everything they said about being anti-asset sales is a LIE.

  27. Jum 28

    I’ll repeat that:

    “If the Maori Party sign on with NActU now, it means that everything they said about being

    anti-asset sales is a LIE.’

    • seeker 28.1

      A very, very good point Jum. They must be reminded of this.

    • Draco T Bastard 28.2

      If the Maori Party sign up with NAct then everything they said about being for Maori is a lie.

    • ScottGN 28.3

      Personally I think you should save your scorn for Peter Dunne who has done his usual trick. He says he will save Radio NZ and Kiwibank (which aren’t on the block so far so nice diversion Pete) all the while quietly allowing the sale of critical Energy Companies to proceed under his agreement with Key.

      • Jackal 28.3.1

        Being that selling our power companies reduces revenue streams and the ability to service debt, in a few more years Kiwibank and RadioNZ will be on the block. By agreeing to the MOM privatization of our power companies now, Dunne has broken his promise.

      • fmacskasy 28.3.2

        Indeed, Scott. I’ve noticed precisely the same thing. Has anyone in the msm picked up on this?

  28. Jenny 29

    Even before this news, commentators here, have noted that this slim majority puts the Key government in the same sort of danger zone as the Muldoon government.

    Muldoon’s government also had a similar slim majority making his conservative government uniquely vulnerable to mass action.

    Mass protests against nuclear ship visits shifted two National MPs, Marilyn Waring, and Mike Minogue to vote against the government and with the opposition in support of a Values Party sponsored vote to ban Nuclear Ship visits.

    To avoid this vote, Muldoon called a snap election.

    If such a popular mass movement arose again; Commentators have speculated on the question; who could be Key’s Minogue and Waring?

    • Jenny 29.1

      Post Script:
      Muldoon’s snap election returned a Labour Government. The Labour Government once installed in office, did everything it could, to distance itself from the support they previously gave this legislation while in opposition, achieving more than Muldoon could, in keeping the legislation out of parliament for another 3 years.
      Labour even made an attempt to bring in a nuclear armed US warship the USS Buchanon. It was not until facing impending electoral defeat due to their extremely unpopular Rogernomics economic policies, and also small but growing protests from antinuclear activists, that Labour finally passed the famous legislation making New Zealand declared Nuclear Free. Even in retreat before the peace movement, Labour leader David Lange in a last ditch effort to limit the anti-nuclear movement, was moved to declare “This policy is not for export.”

      Lange was quoted in The Listener at the time, as saying that the peace movement was the lobby he feared most.

      • McFlock 29.1.1

        I don’t know much about the conservative party, but theirbranding seems to suggest that theymight be in a position to poach one or two national electorate mps, maybe old-school conservatives who aren’t so free market.
        A long shot, but something to bear in mind.

        • Colonial Viper

          The Conservatives are strongly against asset sales. That’s a pressure point which can be brought against the NATs.

      • Draco T Bastard 29.1.2

        Labour even made an attempt to bring in a nuclear armed US warship the USS Buchanon.



        In 1984, the opposition New Zealand Labour Party proposed the nuclear-free zone legislation. Muldoon strongly opposed the proposal, fearing it may compromise New Zealand’s national security. However, as he failed to secure Marilyn Waring’s support on the issue, and as the National Party had a majority of only one, Muldoon decided to call a snap election, the New Zealand general election, 1984, stating that Waring’s “feminist anti-nuclear stance” threatened his ability to govern.

        Following the victory of the New Zealand Labour Party in elections in 1984, Prime Minister David Lange barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using New Zealand ports or entering New Zealand waters. In February 1985, a port-visit request by the United States for the USS Buchanan was refused by the New Zealand government on the basis that the Buchanan was capable of launching nuclear depth bombs.

        Get your history right.

        • Colonial Viper

          Can’t wait for the Herald heading. “John Key Stuffed on Pizzas, Calls for Snap Election”

      • oftenpuzzled 29.1.3

        A comment I read recently and I can’t locate it, suggested that the Nats will encourage protests to cause confusion amongst the opposition parties and bring discredit, all in opposition will need to work together in street protests so unity is visible

        • Colonial Viper

          This is what the NATs will do with strikes and lock outs this term. It will enable them to further discredit the unions, public sector and private sector.

    • Jenny 29.2

      If such a popular mass movement arose again; Commentators have speculated on the question; who could be Key’s Minogue and Waring?

      The other question is what issue might such a mass movement arise around?

      Could it be in response to National’s declared war on the poor?

      Could it be National’s declared intention to mine the Deniston plateau?
      (an issue mass protest has already given his administration a bloody nose over)

      Could such a movement arise over National’s unpopular privatisation plans?

      Or some other right wing cause that attacks the majority for the benefit of the minority?

      Maybe some yet to be announced attack on workers or union rights?

      • Colonial Viper 29.2.1

        Bear in mind that the next 3 years is not going to be an environment solely of the NAT’s making. Strong external factors and unexpected events will likely be in play as well.

        We must stand firm against any hint of ‘disaster capitalism’.

  29. venezia 30

    I too am gutted about Brendon Burns. He has worked tirelessly helping people who lost so much in the East, has been a terrific advocate and spokesperson vis a vis EQC and CERA, done a sterling job challenging the sacrifice of our rivers to the irrigators, and meanwhile his own property was munted. 4000 people are estimated to have left this electorate because of earthquakes and he is paying the price. Wagner has been campaigning for 3 years – mainly photo opps and gushy email newsletters to all and sundry. She billboard bombed the electorate and if course every time Key was down here with the earthquakes, her face was in the photos. National have put about the perception that Chch Central voters are grateful for what the Nats have done for the city. Not where I live. People are very stressed and critical of the govt.

  30. One Anonymous Bloke 31

    One seat majority. John Key, who is your weakest link? Apart from the Maori Party that is…

    Perhaps the possibility pends of pronouncements in Parliament purtaining to previously private pratfalls.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 31.1

      If Nikki Kay really believed in what she says she does (public transport, no mining in national parks), she now has the power to put her words into action.

      • Colonial Viper 31.1.1

        Oh dear. I feel like Jacinda is going to have to publicly and morally support Nikki Kaye.

        After all, its a big move for any young MP to cross the floor and oppose your own party, especially on an issue as big as mining on conservation land. 😎

      • One Anonymous Bloke 31.1.2

        Come on guys we can’t have a “Who is your weakest link” contest if there’s only one contender.

        I’m going to nominate Dunne and Banksy, but I’m sure there are a few more on the National bankbenches with slim majorities or dodgy connections 🙂

        • ianmac

          Don’t think Dunne and Banksie are the weakest links because I can’t imagine either of them standing up for a principle which would not benefit them selves. Marilyn Waring sorts? Never!

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            There are more ways to monkeywrench a one seat majority than appeals to principles, Dunne surely has his self-interest in being returned in 2014 to consider. Banks on the other hand may prove so unpalatable as time goes by that he brings out others’ principles like an allergic reaction.
            And what about the bottom of the listers? Some of them must be at least as mentally agile as Richard Prosser, and all that entails 🙂

            • Tiger Mountain

              Mike Sabin, ex copper, new Northland MP. Far Right US links via his old ‘drug’ consultancy company Methcon which he sold well before his candidacy was confirmed. Anecdotal ev. only of breaches of privacy when Taipa area school BOT chair. Sharing police knowledge of parents alleged activities with board.
              Messy personal life, but won’t go there apart from noting a political source claiming he was initially rejected from the NZ Police due to domestic violence history.

              Used to charge very poor communities, desperate to do something about the P scourge in the North, a $1000 per seminar. Big on blaming and shaming welfare ‘bludgers’, it is claimed he lived off ACC money for a tragically sports injured son. Not claiming he was not entitled to at all just pointing out the hypocrisy of the ‘deserving and undeserving’ tory beneficiary scenario.

              Nothing earth shattering here perhaps, but was not popular in sections of the Māori community, his regular column in the Northland Age is usually a standard Nat/CT lines handout. Deserves watching on issue such as Marsden Pt rail link and roading amongst others.

          • dv

            Dunne and Banks didn’t get where they are by standing on principle.
            (Maybe standing on principals)

  31. SHG 32

    Maori Party signs confidence and supply agreement with National.


    • fmacskasy 32.1

      “Maori Party signs confidence and supply agreement with National.”

      The idiots. They’ve signed their electoral “death warrants”. This will be a far-right wing National Government, and the Maori Party will be tarred with the same brush. They will end up like Mauri Pacific and Mana Motuhake; a footnight in history, and a puppet of this administration.

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