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Could National lose Whangarei?

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, March 14th, 2016 - 43 comments
Categories: by-election 2013, election 2014, election 2017, elections, Media, national, nz first, Politics, tv - Tags: , , , ,

A fascinating piece on Newshub asking if the Government’s neglect of Northland might be putting the Whangarei electorate seat at risk in 2017.

When nationwide TV news starts asking whether the National Government is on track to lose a safe electorate seat like Whangarei (which the National MP Shane Reti won with a massive 13,000 majority over Labour in 2014) you just know that the electoral discontent which propelled Winston Peters to victory in Northland is rising even further.

Nearly one year on from National’s embarrassing loss in the Northland by-election, Prime Minister John Key is back in the area for some regional face time.

He spent the day touring around Whangarei — an electorate National’s accused of neglecting, and could risk losing.

It was a photo opportunity in Whangarei to mark the start of work on museum celebrating artist Frederick Hundertwasser, but behind the smiles and applause is an electorate with high unemployment, damaged roads and neglected rail.

A growing population maybe, but one with growing concern, some of whom said National isn’t doing enough.

One woman said “they [National] are neglecting towns all over the place”.

The media piece doesn’t refer to Labour providing any electorate challenge to National and to Shane Reti: instead NZ First is seen as the true political threat. Interviewing Winston Peters, Peters remarked that Whangarei has been neglected like no other region.
Shane Jones has been touted as a possible NZ First candidate in Whangarei. Which would be a shame since Jones was once a crappy self-serving Labour MP, and all he would accomplish for NZ First is to be a crappy self-serving NZ First MP.

43 comments on “Could National lose Whangarei?”

  1. Puckish Rogue 1

    Anythings possible

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    Frederick Hundertwasser is massively over-rated as an artist. He’s a very poor version of Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi always combined his colours and forms into a harmonious whole with a brilliant sense of aesthetics to create buildings and art of great beauty. Hundertwasser is a mammoth version of your amateur mosaic artist who doesn’t understand the basics of colour combinations, throwing a whole bunch of elements together where the sum is never greater than the parts, and often less than them.

    • Brigid 2.1

      I whole heartedly agree. I think his ‘art’ is just junk.

    • Kevin 2.2

      Does it really matter?

    • Float Voter 2.3

      Apparently the Hunderwasser museum trust has still to raise $6 million dollars. I don’t know why the Government didn’t go the whole hog instead of only putting in $4 million, especially when it was a close call by the local council 53% in favour.

      Political suicide for National if the project flounders next year fund raising wise. Last thing ratepayers want is a bottomless pit/pet project. National could cop the backlash of not fully funding from the get go.

  3. saveNZ 3

    “Could National lose Whangarei?”

    Lets hope so.

  4. mary_a 4

    Whangarei will be seeing a lot more of Winston Peters, as he makes appearances more often than not, promoting NZ First and then closer to the next election, supporting the NZ First candidate at every opportunity.

    Being so close to the Northland electorate, Peters will all but become a permanent feature in Whangarei. Particularly if he knows the NatzKEY gang of robber barons are losing popularity!

    Arrogant FJK was so damn sure NatzKEY would hold the Northland seat regardless. And we all know how that one worked out. Let’s hope the same result becomes a reality for Whangarei and NZ First.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      This sets up a good opportunity for succession in the party, too.

      It’s still not clear who can take over from Winston, but if whoever it is wins the Whangarei seat, it’ll give them a lot of mana and prominence in Parliament to make the transition that much easier.

  5. vto 5

    Is it not the same anti-establishment sentiment that is seeing Trump go nuts in the US?

    The same discontent at neglect
    The same straw breaking the camel’s back

    If so, I would suggest it is too late to arrest and reverse ….

    bad luck Key, you reap what you sow

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Shane Jones has been touted as a possible NZ First candidate in Whangarei.

    Obviously National’s made up job of Ambassador Incognito hasn’t worked out to well.

  7. Das 7

    Winston would be nuts if he wastes the political capital that NZF has carefully built up by parachuting Shane Jones in as a candidate for that electorate. Shane was loudly campaigning for TPP at the Natz Govt event last week. How will that sit with the NZF’s position against the TPP, particularly the bill being put forward by their own member, Fletcher Tabuteau?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      Personally, I wouldn’t think that Shane Jones was NZf material. He’s far closer to National.

      • Das 7.1.1

        Now, there is gold in that, DTB.

        It would make more sense for Natz to replace Reti with Shane Jones in defending that seat, fending off NZF and making Labour quite uncomfortable.

        • Das 7.1.1.1

          Well, ok, not all of Labour, e.g. Shane could be the deep dark secret for National to forge a grand coalition of Natz and right-wing or pro-TPP Labour MPs, such as Shearer and Goff (if he doesn’t go off and take a position at another trough), along with Dunne and ACT. Ho ho ho.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.2

        And besides, who could take his place as ambassador to the fishies?

  8. TC 8

    When national tv start asking you know its an approved distraction from DP central.

  9. weka 9

    Which would be a shame since Jones was once a crappy self-serving Labour MP, and all he would accomplish for NZ First is to be a crappy self-serving NZ First MP.

    He would also actively work against a left wing coalition with the Greens in it, which basically means no left wing coalition and instead a centrist one. Or a right wing one.

  10. mosa 10

    If winston wants to give himself a headache and get nothing in return he will let Shane Jones stand and win a seat for NZ First

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Exactly. I doubt Winston wants to deal with an ongoing pain in the ass like Jones will be.

    • Float Voter 10.2

      I thought Labour made a mistake not electing Jones as their leader. Could not have done any worse than what David Cunliffe achieved. I doubt very much he would stand for NZF in Whangarei, if he did he would get my vote ahead of Reti, can not see Labour fielding a credible candidate so they are out for me. Besides it would just be vote splitting.

      • Liberal Realist 10.2.1

        “I thought Labour made a mistake not electing Jones as their leader.”

        Labour elect their leaders via a democratic process (as opposed to Nationals behind closed doors).

        No one in Labour wanted Shane Jones as leader because Shane Jones represents Shane Jones and only Shane Jones. He was proven a turncoat when National offer him his patsy role and he took it with glee.

        Comparing Cunliffe with Jones is like comparing Sanders to Trump (obviously Jones being Trump). One is a dignified, intelligent social democrat of the left, the other is a puffed up, pathological lying baffoon of the right.

        • aidan 10.2.1.1

          sometimes listening to shane jones when he was a labour mp i would wonder if he wasn’t a national party plant. he actively sabotaged labours relationship with the greens and undermined cunliff in many ways

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2

        I thought Labour made a mistake not electing Jones as their leader.

        Ah, so that would make you a RWNJ Concern Troll and should thus be ignored.

      • repateet 10.2.3

        What do you mean a ‘credible candidate’?

        A candidate who was a cross between Ed Hillary, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and Richie McCaw standing for Labour in Whangarei would have no chance. They had a credible candidate last time.

  11. I can still remember someone saying at the demise of Murray Smith as the local MP for Whangarei in 1975, “That’s sad he missed out, he’s the best MP we ever had.”

    “Did you vote for him?”
    “No.” John Elliot got in and the super scheme which would have had a profound impact of our economy from then till now and right into the future was gone.
    The person wanted Muldoon and got him. The present inhabitants will want Key and they’ll get him.

    National could put up someone with half a brain and he/she would get in easily. They won’t have to waste the spot on a good candidate, a yes woman/yes man is all they need.

    Shane Jones “being touted’?” Is that like the Robbie Deans to coach the Highlanders story? “The man being spoken about as a possibility – and I’ve got nothing to back this up – is Robbie Deans. ” (Paul Allison Dunedin rugby commentator.)
    So if someone says Jones is a possibility and there is nothing to back it up it’s a serious story? Or a serious distraction?

    • AB 11.1

      Murray Smith – yes I remember the carnage of ’75.
      A young student – I was playing cricket on election day in November. It was the first election I could vote in. I was playing against a side of predominantly farmers. They hated Labour and several said that if Labour got in again they would steal their farms.
      John Elliot, then several terms of the carpetbagger and extremely strange man John Banks. And National ever since. My home town – looks like struggle street for many every time I go back.

      • repateet 11.1.1

        Fucking pricks worried about Labour stealing their farms because they so thick they believed the Muldoon scare tactics.

        Instead of their farms been stolen the opportunity was stolen from generations of their offspring and everyone else’s offspring, to enjoy the advantages of the Super Scheme.

        And now well down the track grizzling about the state of the economy. And they’re the sort of ones who now think John Key is God and why Labour will never do well in Whangarei.

        Some would support Winston and change to NZF but it is in the rural Whangarei DNA to not trust, like, or vote for Labour.

  12. NZJester 12

    National has been neglecting most of New Zealand in favor of those places they have managed to dump true democracy from. Even then they are getting the ideological treatment that has set them back years from where they should be by now. Christchurch should have been much further through the rebuilding by now but the governments incompetence has slowed all that down to a crawl. With the government also refusing to fund the much needed upgrade to the rail system in Auckland earlier till they could no longer ignore it that is years behind where it should have been by now.
    How far along are those bridge bribes they tried to use to keep Northland?

  13. Tarquin 13

    Why would Shane Jones want to be an M.P? All he has to do is let slip he’s thinking about it and his pay will go up and his so called job will get easier. I live in the Whangarei electorate – it’s nothing like Northland. There are plenty of very solid National voting areas around here and I can’t see many people changing, having said that Shane Reti has been a bit of a disappointment considering his qualifications. The other problem is Shane Jones has got character, I like the guy and think parliament is poorer for his departure. As we all know there is only room for one big fish at NZF and that spot is already taken.

    • DFool 13.1

      Whangarei is very much like greater Northland . A depressed centre (Whangarei city itself) suffering the effects of big box retailers on the periphery, pockets of wealth on the coast comprising cashed up farmers, tradies, and increasingly Aucklanders, and a rump of hippies and alternative types (the Heads, Pataua, Tutukaka Coast), a rural hinterland which must be starting to feel the strain, and a pretty large Maori population that is poorly represented in local and central government for various reasons.

      Pretty much sounds like the rest of Northland to me. While he may not be Todd Barclay, Shane Reti can’t seem to put a foot right since being elected and someone like the current Mayor Sheryl (centrist with a green tinge, seems to get things done and manage her councillors in the same vein as Penny Hulse) could take it…But for which party

  14. Sirenia 14

    Kelly Ellis was a great Labour candidate last time and she is getting some media time challenging Paul Henry.

    • Float Voter 14.1

      Kelly Ellis is unelectable in Whangarei as is Labour. I doubt Labour bosses would give a high enough list placing. A one term candidate one would think, the union mob won’t give another go I suspect.

  15. The Chairman 15

    “Jones was once a crappy self-serving Labour MP, and all he would accomplish for NZ First is to be a crappy self-serving NZ First MP.”

    Indeed. It would be a big mistake to allow him to stand for NZF. He’ll put a number of supporters off NZF nationwide IMO.

    They need the Party vote.

  16. At the time there may have been angst among Labour supporters when Shane Jones was “taken out ” but time has been the judge. I agree that Winston will be too smart to “rescue ” him. I was told that leading up to the last election there was just one public meeting for National i n Whangarei, and Reti was protected from answering any question. The democratic process will win!

  17. swordfish 17

    Whangarei has a remarkably similar Party Vote profile to Northland.
    Like two extremely similar green round things in a pod.

    2014 Party Vote
    ………………………………Lab……..Green……..NZF……..IMP…..Oppo Bloc…….Nat

    Northland……………..17%………..11%……….13%……….2%…………42%…………..49%

    Whangarei…………….18%…………10%……….13%……….1%…………42%………….50%

    Whangarei was the third strongest seat for NZF at the last Election = 13.4% Party Vote

    Northland was fourth – 12.8%

    Only Peters’ old stomping ground – Tauranga and Bay of Plenty – gave NZF more support.

    Get the overwhelming majority of Opposition Bloc supporters casting their vote for the NZF candidate (as happened in the Northland By-Election) and attract about 15-20% of the most disgruntled Nats and Cons (as also happened in Northland) and Bob is, effectively, your Uncle.

    More difficult if the candidate isn’t Winnie himself, mind.

  18. Nick 18

    Shane Jones was a creep…often talk rubbish and make out like it was gospel truth.

  19. Tautuhi 19

    Northland and Whangarei go hand in hand, NZF is pro export and regional development, also Winston has strong links to Whangarei through his family, its a done deal NZF.

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