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Different approaches to campaigning in Mana

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, November 11th, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: by-election - Tags: , , ,

Kris Fa’aofi is working seven days a week campaigning throughout Mana. Reports say he is being backed up by very energetic local members who have beaten all their targets for deliveries and canvassing.

Hekia Parata seems to only turn up to act like a jerk in the debates and attend fundraisers. To raise her profile, the government has given her patsy questions to ask and she moves seats in Parliament to try to get on camera more. Really impressive stuff, Hekia.

Meanwhile, John Key’s out there a couple of days a week. National knows that this by-election is about National’s economic record, just as the general election next year will be. They’re trying to see if Key’s personal abilities (high-fiving schoolgirls, playing with spiders, mangling simple sentences, smiling, and waving) are enough to blind the public to the economic realities in front of them.

In contrast, the Labour leadership does not seem to be taking this by-election as an opportunity to push their issues on the national stage. We’re not seeing Phil Goff and Fa’afoi announcing anything significant in terms of policy or direction for the election next year

In other words, National is running this far more as a dry run for the national campaign next year, which is what many had expected Labour to do. Instead, Labour is running a campaign focused on the candidate and local issues (with a bit of over-emphasis on the local credentials, eh Kris?).

I’m not saying that Labour’s approach is wrong at all. It reflects a belief that the way to win votes next year won’t be Goff vs Key on the national stage but strong local candidates and strong campaigns speaking to the voters one-on-one.

Labour believes it has good candidates and the ability to do the work at ground level, while National knows its only asset is Key and he is going to have to drag in the votes for useless candidates like Parata if he’s to get a second term.

And let’s not forget Matt McCarten. His campaign is national-focused. It’s about putting left-wing issues back on the national stage using Mana as a microcosm for what s happening to working families across the country. It’s working – he’s generated more positive national coverage for his issues than the other candidates. And, despite the denial, the rumours are still running that this is the prelude to a new party in the space vacated by the Alliance/Progressives.

[Bunji: I’d certainly describe Matt’s campaign as “insurgent”.  He seems to be home in Auckland a lot, but those strikes he hits on his raids down south are impressive…]

27 comments on “Different approaches to campaigning in Mana”

  1. Oscar 1

    Fa’afoi lost all his credibility when he lied about remembering the McDonalds opening. How the hell can you say you misspoke? Saying “I ate my first burger there” and “I remember the opening”(repeated ad nauseum) are two VERY different things.

    The man is clearly an idiot. I’m voting McCarten. I don’t care if Hekia wins it, I just don’t want another arrogant clearly self entitled, prickhead, who hasn’t even done ANYTHING for the people of NZ.
    What’s he done? I mean, REALLY? Hes reported on the news. And that helps us how?

    I am praying and actively assisting to ensure that Fa’afoi doesn’t win.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      I say who gives a damn if he made up that he went to the opening of a McDonald’s?

      • QoT 1.1.1

        To play a little devil’s advocate, BR, who gives a damn if John Key did or didn’t want to be PM when he was a kid?

        Oh, because saying these things creates a certain image. Saying you wanted to be PM when you were little makes you into the Boy Who Achieved His Dreams Despite Poverty, and saying you remember whatever-it-is about the first Macca’s in Porirua makes you One Of You Guys, Honest, and also down to earth and normal.

        Of course it matters, then, if he really does remember something / anything about said McD’s and maybe just misspoke, or if someone said “Shit, Kris, you’re under fire for being a party wonk selected by head office, quick, say something to make the locals think you’re an honest Porirua boy!”

  2. Oscar you are a troll. You were never going to vote left. I think that we should cut the memory of a 2 year old a little bit of slack.

    • The Baron 2.1

      And you’re a vacuous fanboy, Greg – but noone is telling you to STFU.

      BTW how’s the Te Atatu nomination coming along – and what do you remember about when you first lived in that electorate?

    • oscar 2.2

      You know nothing Mickey. Did i not just say I would vote left? I would do what I’ve always done which is electorate Labour, party Green, but the gasping emptiness of the personality and issues void that is Fa’afoi has ensured Mana isn’t going to be Labour with my help.

      Ideally, he’ll lose and then Labour will choose a candidate that actually cares.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        Apologies Oscar if you are a leftie it is just that the trotting out of a Farrar attack line always raises my suspicions. And I think the McDonald attack is really feeble. So he has a very young memory of going to McDonalds and he thought it was the opening. Maybe it wasn’t. But it should not matter.

        If Labour loses then the left is going to have a really difficult 12 months.

        And the suggestion that Faafoi is somehow empty is another right wing meme. Lefties concentrate on the big picture and right now the big picture for the country is appalling.

        Excuse me for being suspicious.

        • oscar 2.2.1.1

          Some of us on the left are all right Mickey. We still believe in having success and working hard to be sucessful (and not everyone aspires to the same level of success) but the opportunity for everyone to get that success needs to be fostered.
          We still believe in equality of opportunity, so that everyone has the same opportunity to access education, health, and work.
          We still believe that the long term planning is where we need to focus, but to get to that plan, you need to make small changes along the way.

          There is no reason why our wages can’t be higher than Australia. Given that say a 30/70 ratio exists where 30% of the employers are Australian owned, and they employ 70% of our workforce. Let them know its a privilege for doing business in NZ and the cost of that business is $15 p/h rising to $25 by 2017.
          Smaller employers can afford this thru a graduated company tax rate based on the number of employees you have. Say up to 19 employees, you pay 10% tax. If you have over 250 employees under the company umbrella, you pay 30% over 500, you pay 50%.
          We’re turning into slaves for Australia, and we need to reassert our own independence.

          Excuse me for not following the part line on fa’afoi, but quite simply, he’s done absolutely nothing for NZers, much less Mananites.
          Making up the news isn’t such a great background.

          Matt McCarten on the other hand, essentially unionised the fast food industry. Labour should have welcomed Unite with open arms, as after all, was Labour not founded on the union movement?

          Compare and contrast.

          I can almost see the next headline ‘Long term McDs employee says Fa’afoi never been to McD’s’ whats Fa’afoi going to say? ‘oh, I remember eating a burger at a place I thought was McD’s’

  3. zimmer 3

    [sorry you’re currently banned. — r0b]

  4. Irascible 4

    I’d say that Key lost credibility, if he ever had any, when he sold NZ to Warner Bros in exchange for a Wing-nut.
    I’d also say that NACT lost more creibility when the PM allows a cabinet minister to misuse her title to give credibility to a shonkey Chinese contract.

    A series of far more serious issues than remembering MacDonalds.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      heh, or when he remembered how many shares he had in tranzrail,

      or when he remembered that, nah ackshully, he hadn’t read any emails from the brethen he just deleted them,
      or when he remembered that Worth promised him an affidavit if his accuser went public,

      or when he remembered what time it was when Goff phoned him,

      or when he remembered that he wanted our troops in afghanistan before he knew what Obama’s plan was and ain’t that workin out swell,

      or when he remembered that he wanted a do-fest and not a talk-fest,

      or when he remembered to pretend to care about an underclass.

  5. outofbed 5

    Still no polls in Mana?
    Can’t believe the Tories haven’t done one They are spending up big in Mana, the fuckers
    Billboards with the bitch on them everywhere

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Ah, for this, they sure know how to prioritise spending their money.

      • Jim Nald 5.1.1

        In case that might be a bit abstract or too general, it should be added that the point of having elected representatives in government goes further than having candidates using billboards to get themselves into power and then governing by way of photo ops, media releases, slogans, and standing up blanklessly during Question Time repeatedly mouthing like a broken record “the past 9 years of economic mismanagement”.

        We’re not all that stupid.

        p.s. watched Parliamentary broadcast yesterday and was appalled by the hopelessly poor answers.

    • smhead 5.2

      What astonishing misogyny. Didn’t somebody get banned for much more mild comments about helen kelly?

      • outofbed 5.2.1

        A bitch? The meaning to me is, a female who is malicious, spiteful, unbearable, intrusive, or obnoxious. which seems to sum her up perfectly
        Not a misogynist intention in sight ;~]
        If she were a man exhibiting those same qualities say like, Gerry Brownlee I would use a suitable term

    • Billboards with the bitch on them everywhere

      Nice to see that the moderators are having a weekend off. You’re all class, outofbed

  6. gobsmacked 6

    Unfortunately, Labour’s low-risk campaign means that nonsense like the McDonald’s story gets media traction. Trivia fills a vacuum.

    A feistier campaigner would have smiled sweetly and said “I might not remember that, but I certainly do remember Hekia Parata wanting to quit the National Party, because of the Orewa speech that John Key applauded. Who was right, the candidate or her leader?”

    I suppose playing it safe and dull will win in the end. But it’s an opportunity missed, I reckon. National’s emptiness should be exposed, not copied.

  7. nadis 7

    “Billboards with the bitch on them everywhere”

    What? You can be misogynistic if the woman is a tory but not a left winger. Classy. Go on, make a joke about McCarten stuttering or dying of cancer.

  8. Anne 8

    “the Labour leadership does not seem to be taking this by-election as an opportunity to push their issues on the national stage. We’re not seeing Phil Goff and Fa’afoi announcing anything significant in terms of policy or direction for the election next year.”

    I think your analysis is spot on Eddie with the exception of the above extract. The voters of Mana are not likely to be in a political frame of mind this far out from next year’s election, so it is politic for Labour to run a campaign on local issues which may be dull and boring from a national viewpoint, but should resonate with the Mana voters. That is how Labour ran the Mt Albert campaign (I was one of the activists on the ground) and it worked very well. If it hadn’t been for Melissa Lee’s blunders – eg. the crims from South Auckland stopping off in Mt Albert on their way out to the West – then it would have been an equally dull, boring campaign. But it worked!

    • Oscar 9.1

      Mananites recognise hard work within the community.

    • swordfish 9.2

      Deputy-Dawg, Liz Kelly, is a right-leaning Porirua city councillor and Maori businesswoman. So no surprises there.

      Although “journalist”, Andrea Vance (this is her second blatantly-biased article on the Mana by-election), tells us that “local leaders” suggested Fa’afoi’s lack of experience is seen as a drawback, the only other “local leader” she mentions (apart from city councillor, Wayne Poutoa, who favours Fa’afoi) is “Samoan community leader, Paula Masoe.” Suspect Masoe is a Tory, but can’t be sure. She certainly features in a photo on Parata’s National Party webpage.

      Masoe appears to manage the Taeomanino Trust- provided Family Start programme, funded by the Ministry of Social Development. There’s some interesting stuff on the internet about a long-running employment dispute, in which (ultimately unproven) allegations were made against her, by fellow staff.

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