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Greg O’Connor responds

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 pm, February 18th, 2017 - 86 comments
Categories: drugs, election 2017, labour, law and "order", police, Politics - Tags: , , , ,

Labour’s Ōhāriu candidate Greg O’Connor responds to some of the topics of comments in the post “Greg O’Connor selected for Ōhāriu” and elsewhere on the blogs. This post is fully moderated, so please read the note at the bottom of the post before commenting.

Kia ora all,

Some of the comments on the blogs about me and my candidacy for Labour in Ōhāriu have made for interesting reading. The theme running through much of the discussion seems to be that I’m a right-wing fascist who makes Kim Jong-un look like some sort of pinko liberal pacifist. I’m not upset by the comments; I’m well used to having flaws in my character pointed out, and that’s usually before I leave home in the morning. (I can’t remember who appointed my family and friends as prime ego dampeners, but they go about their task with an enthusiasm which matches that of Donald Trump’s press apologists.)

Having been highly visible in the media for a few years discussing a pretty narrow topic, namely frontline policing, it’s understandable people have judged me on that segment of my life and views. I’m taking up this invitation to show you there is another side to me – which will come as no surprise to those who know me well, and regard me as a bit of a lefty.

Labour was the natural choice for me as a political party. As a long-term cop, and father of a special needs son, I have spent my life around people who, by accident of birth or circumstances, struggle to get by. I say let people with the wherewithal, motivation and ability reap the reward of their hard work and risk. The world needs them. But don’t condemn those who chose other pursuits, or who don’t have the ability, education or opportunity to follow that path, to a life of deprivation. And that deprivation means not being able to afford housing, health, or decent education, the provision of which are near and dear to Labour’s and my own philosophy. And also security, because it is the poor who need the protection of the state most, as they are overwhelmingly the victims of crime.

I have previously advocated for police to be armed, the result of a remit being passed to that effect in 2010 at the Police Association conference. That happened because police and government took no action, no review or enquiry even, following the shooting of 9 officers in 2008/09. The resulting build-up of frustration was inevitable, hence the motion. It likely could have been avoided if the Police had done then what they did subsequently, which was to make firearms available in the Norwegian style: locked in the car instead of back at the station. The Norwegians are the only unarmed police in that part of the world and are having the same debates as NZ on the issue. All the other Scandinavians, like their European colleagues, are permanently armed. (I went to Norway to research it; helluva job but someone had to do it!)

My position is that arming is inevitable unless we, New Zealand, get on top of the illegal gun situation. The decision will be a consequence of a serious and preventable public loss of life in a shooting situation. My personal priority is to use any influence I have to make sure that we stop the flow of firearms to those who should never have them, while at the same time protecting the rights of legitimate users . That would negate the need for arming. I know this is a very long winded explanation, but it’s one those who are judging me deserve to have.

For me, pharmaceutical medical marijuana is a no-brainer. I go with the theory that if doctors can prescribe morphine-based products, they can be trusted with cannabis-based ones. On weed itself, I’m a believer in knowing what you want before you start messing with any policy and law. What I believe we want is teenagers using as little cannabis and alcohol as possible while their brains develop, and the gangs and criminals out of the supply chain. Start the conversation there. I recommend a book ‘Chasing the Scream’ by Johan Hari, on the history of the war on drugs.

These aren’t new positions for me by any means. Bryce Edwards who has taken the time to download my editorials from the in-house publication of the Association, was surprised at the social themed nature of them. Even Stuff quoted from an article I wrote in 2015 outlining that the Association was not pursuing arming but was focusing instead on stopping the flow of firearms to criminals.

I’ve already received a good grilling at selection on these and similar topics from the Ōhāriu faithful who chose me as their candidate. I believe I was able to reassure them I am a little more balanced than some observers believe. For those who have stayed the journey thus far, I hope I have given you, too, some assurance I’m not a Kiwi Putin intent on world (or even Ōhāriu) domination.

I believe in a fair go for all. I reckon a Labour-led government is overdue to make sure that in our so-called “rock star economy”, everyone is welcome at and can afford a ticket to the concert. I’m excited to help make that happen.

Ngā Mihi
Greg O’Connor


 

lprent: As is usual for candidates and MPs, this post will be fully moderated. Comments have to be manually released by a moderator. So keep to the topics raised (or missed), the selection and the Ōhāriu election. Please concentrate on avoiding making speeches or other unsubstantiated bullshit.

Unless of course, you really want your comment to be shunted to Open Mike and other moderator options to be exercised at the moderator’s pleasure and amusement. Greg may or may not respond to comments so do not attempt to demand responses unless you wish me to give a response.

 

86 comments on “Greg O’Connor responds ”

  1. DeadSmurf 1

    Nice post Greg. I couldn’t make the Ōhāriu selection due to illness, but heard you gave a good account and won over people, including myself. I would like to know with your background what you think sensible drug policy would be given what we are doing is working. Pharmaceutical medical marijuana needs to be affordable, people should not have to live in pain when there are alternatives.

  2. Simonm 2

    Good on ya, Greg. I’m prepared to take you at your word that you share Labour’s values of a level playing field, fairness and equality for everybody (so they say). It’ll be up to you to match your rhetoric with action and deeds; as it is with politicians of all stripes.

    And hey, at the end of the day (to paraphrase our Dear “Recently Departed” Leader), to be a net positive for New Zealand, you really only have to be better than Peter Dunne. That’s a pretty low bar by anyone’s standards.

  3. weka 3

    I also thought this was a good post, and surprising. You make a good case for people looking at your actual politics and how that fits with Labour, rather than what’s been reported while you were a rep for the police. But we’re a cynical bunch here, so my question would be why should we believe what you say at face value rather than being well-crafted PR?

    And following on from what Simonm said, “It’ll be up to you to match your rhetoric with action and deeds”, how do you intend to do this in the election campaign given that what you are presenting is very different than what many will believe about you, especially on the left?

    • DoublePlusGood 3.1

      I reckon that the best way for Labour to achieve that is for O’Connor to front a bold police, justice, and corrections policy with whoever else is going to have ministeral responsibilities in those areas (I’m assuming that O’Connor would be Police Minister otherwise why recruit him). Something that says ‘this isn’t just PR; we mean business’

      • weka 3.1.1

        The problem there is that so many lefties are pissed off about his history with the police. I would guess that each time he did someone around police, justice or corrections during the election campaign that it would spark a series of blogs and discussions about his past. I don’t know much about Labour’s policies in this area though, and whether that would dispel some of the issues.

        Making a new MP the minister, is that normal?

        • DoublePlusGood 3.1.1.1

          Well, if they have the skills and experience, why not? You’d assume Deborah Russell would be the revenue minister, right?

          • lprent 3.1.1.1.1

            You’d assume Deborah Russell would be the revenue minister, right?

            Nope. They’d use anyone with any ministerial experience (rather than those with mere experience) in a many crucial portfolios. There are few that are quite as crucial as Treasury, Revenue and Foreign Affairs + Trade. Mostly they will use those who were ministers (senior or junior) in the last Labour government. Then they would use people who are familiar with the routines of parliament.

            I suspect that the best that most new MPs would get would be to become juniors.

        • lprent 3.1.1.2

          It would be unusual.

          It takes time to get a handle on basic parliamentary procedures, time to get used to ministerial procedures, and time to learn to deal with press and ministerial staff. Each of these is an opportunity for screwing up, and therefore an opportunity for the opposition both from the press and opposition, not to mention the knives inside the government party 🙂

          You only have to look at Trump’s White House to see why some basic training is a requirement so you don’t trip over your ignorance.

          However being an understudy to a minister is a good start, and in the case of the police ministry the operational control is not in the hands of the Police Minister. In a lot of ways it is damn near the easiest to run if you know how the police operate.

  4. Tane Phillips 4

    I enjoyed this informative article and Gregs right we need a change in government !

  5. Antoine 5

    Props for fronting up here

  6. Ethica 6

    Thank you, Greg. This sincere, upfront style will help you win.

  7. Anita 7

    Kia ora Greg,

    This is a great post and good to see you addressing some of the criticisms of you.

    You have not, however, addressed the criticisms of your attitude towards victims of sexual violence; either perpetrated direct by police or as handled poorly by the police. If your views are, now, different from the ones you expressed at the time it would be good to hear them.

    Fwiw I am an Ōhāriu voter who has traditionally given my electorate vote to the Labour candidate as the best chance to remove Dunne. Since your candidacy was announced I have been intending to hold my nose and vote for Dunne as the lesser of two evils.

    Anita

    • Karen 7.1

      I am not in the Ōhāriu electorate but I am also concerned about your attitude to rape culture. I seemed to me that your defence of police handling of some cases of sexual assault went further than your role as head of the Police Association required.

      I was also upset by your spirited defence of police actions during the Tūhoe raids.

      Well done for putting up this post on The Standard and responding to questions about drugs and arming the police, but there are some other areas of concern for some of us.

      • Jenny Kirk 7.1.1

        The police made a formal apology to Tuhoe – and they accepted it, Karen

        And I’d like to suggest to Anita that there’ll be plenty of opportunity for her to put those questions re attitude to rape/sexual assault at the public meetings around Ohariu – worth going to, before making up her mind about who should get her electorate vote.

        • Karen 7.1.1.1

          The Police Commissioner (Bush) made a formal apology to Tūhoe but I have yet to here anything from Greg O’Connor. He was previously adamant that the police did not owe Tūhoe an apology:
          http://mauistreet.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/native-affairs-on-urewera-terrorists.html

          As I said I appreciated the fact that Greg put up this post and explained his views on drugs and arming the police. Anita raised the question about his attitude to victims of sexual violence. I would like to know what his personal views are both on that matter and on police behaviour over the Tūhoe raids.

          He doesn’t have to answer, of course, but these are valid questions I believe.

  8. red-blooded 8

    Good on you for fronting up and speaking for yourself rather than letting other people define your beliefs and values based on one aspect of your life, Greg. I’ve spoken up for you from the time your candidacy for selection became known, and I think it’s great you are publicly committing to Labour and its values. It’s great to have a variety of people with diverse backgrounds in the party, so long as there are clear shared values that a strength.

    Good luck with your candidacy. It would be great to wave goodbye to Dunne and his hollow sham of a party.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    I say let people with the wherewithal, motivation and ability reap the reward of their hard work and risk.

    I don’t have a problem with that. I do have a problem with people getting massive rewards for doing nothing but having ‘ownership’.

    We have a system that doesn’t reward hard work and risk taking – it rewards bludging.

    But don’t condemn those who chose other pursuits, or who don’t have the ability, education or opportunity to follow that path, to a life of deprivation. And that deprivation means not being able to afford housing, health, or decent education, the provision of which are near and dear to Labour’s and my own philosophy.

    That deprivation also means not being able to afford to do the hard work and take risks.

    This is deprivation is produced as the control control of the nations resources accumulates ever more into the hands of the rich.

    My personal priority is to use any influence I have to make sure that we stop the flow of firearms to those who should never have them, while at the same time protecting the rights of legitimate users . That would negate the need for arming.

    That would be my preference as well. Arming police doesn’t do that but gun registration would go a way towards it.

    That would be a licence and gun registration.

    It would take awhile to clean up the illegal guns out there but it would eventually happen.

    On weed itself, I’m a believer in knowing what you want before you start messing with any policy and law. What I believe we want is teenagers using as little cannabis and alcohol as possible while their brains develop, and the gangs and criminals out of the supply chain.

    But how many politicians are willing to put the age of buying drugs back up to 21?

    Because that is what you’re suggesting there. Legalisation to keep it out of the hands of the gangs with controls on who can buy it.

    • Sir David Henry 9.1

      The spectre of arms registration looms again……. Tell me liberals, I guess I’m out of touch, call me old Labour, I’m all the bits of Savage and Sample that you want to forget about. How has say, putting all the motor vehicles on a list prevented drink driving deaths or dogs on a list prevented dog attacks?

      What will putting all the firearms on a list do to stop criminals getting guns? If you failed to notice the borders a quite porous and if they can land half a tonne of drugs in the dunes of Northland, how many unregistered and undocumented guns have they landed?

      Look at Australia’s tough gun laws, yet criminals still get guns! But then let’s not worry about the Canadian experience with gun registration I’m guessing that you have at least 1 billion Canadian dollars to waste and then abandon when it fails to deliver.

      Let’s just remember this, it’s on a t-shirt so it must be true “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. If that holds true then the current form of arms control must be working, since the vetting of firearms licence holders there hasn’t been another Aramoana massacre. Look at the stats, more people are killed with knives, going to put those on a list too?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        What will putting all the firearms on a list do to stop criminals getting guns?

        It doesn’t stop them getting guns. It means that if such guns are found they can immediately be taken and destroyed – no questions asked.

        But then let’s not worry about the Canadian experience with gun registration

        [citation needed]

        If that holds true then the current form of arms control must be working, since the vetting of firearms licence holders there hasn’t been another Aramoana massacre.

        Strange, I could have sworn there was a similar incident just not long ago.

        Oh, that’s right, there was.

        Laws don’t stop people from doing bad things. They’re there to let people know what happens when they do bad things and to ensure consistency in sentencing (not that that seems to be happening).

  10. Ad 10

    A very human and charming post – not at all defensive.

    It’ll be great to have a proper law and order specialist in the Labour caucus again.

    • Anne 10.1

      It’ll be great to have a proper law and order specialist in the Labour caucus again.

      Indeed, and one who has a penchant for justice and equality for all NZers.

  11. Jenny Kirk 11

    Good post, Greg O’C. Thanks for putting it up.

  12. chris73 12

    As a right winger I’ve gotta say that after reading that Labour have picked a good candidate

    Probably won’t win but still a good candidate (and better then the incumbent)

  13. AB 13

    NIce post – I suspected Greg O’Connor had a broader and more nuanced set if opinions that we have seen publicly over the years.

    I do however think that this is conceding a bit too much: “I say let people with the wherewithal, motivation and ability reap the reward of their hard work and risk”
    I wouldn’t have a problem with this either – if it was true and actually described the status quo we live in. But from what I sit, I don’t see a particularly strong correlation between effort, the social value of one’s outputs, and wealth.

    I think that (fixing how wealth is generated, accumulated and distributed) is a far more fundamental issue that tidying up the mess with some social justice-style remedies round the margins of a flawed system. Draco is saying something similar at 9 above.

    However – that said – wishing you the best in September.

  14. Sacha 14

    Thanks. I’d be interested in hearing more about what your experience with your son has taught you needs to be improved in disability policy, Greg, and whether you’ve had any discussions about that yet with the Labour party/caucus?

  15. Sanctuary 15

    The gun control comment interested me. New Zealanders own a lot of guns – around a quarter of a million gun licence holders own something north of 1.1 million weapons.

    Because the vast majority of gun owners are A licence only and carry weapons that are clearly tools for pest control and hunting (a shotgun for dealing with birds, a .22 semi-auto for possums and rabbits and other pests, and a full power rifle for recreational shooting and dropping the unsuspecting Xmas roast as it grazes peacefully in a paddock are a “typical” rural fit out) and weapons whose sole purpose in life is to kill other people (pistols, military rifles, fully automatic weapons, crew served weapons) are very tightly controlled we are a bit complacent IMHO about the threat posed by the existing gun stocks o police and the general public.

    Personally, I would be loath to introduce registration of individual weapons, and the use of central arsenals for firearms simply give a one stop shop for gun thieves and are impractical if you are a farmer confronted with dogs worrying your sheep.

    However, I think this sort of idea – https://www.zore.life/product/zorex – should be looked at and made compulsory for at least full-power and semi-auto weapons held in homes.

    • Mr Nobody 15.1

      Hi Sanctuary,

      What characteristics of a firearm do you consider make it “full power” or a “military rifle”?

  16. swordfish 16

    Well, you certainly have your work cut out, Greg.

    Although you stand to inherit a good chunk of the 1400 Greens who cast their candidate-vote for the Greens’ Woodley in 2014 … the erudite Bow-tied aesthete you’re competing against is similarly poised to win a potentially hefty slice of the more than 5500 Nats who stuck with their own candidate (Hudson) last Election … (assuming National pulls out this time in favour of the said Dunne, as seems inevitable).

    Labour needed a big-name candidate with the credentials and cross-party appeal to cut deep in-roads into Tory support and you’re probably just the bloke to do it. The trick of course will be to win over a swathe of Nats (particularly the roughly 2000-3000 who once voted Labour) while holding on to some of the more sceptical liberals and critics amongst the Red and Green support base.

    And who knows, just maybe all those Tories who stuck with the Nats’ Hudson last time did so because they had a bit of a problem voting for the Bow-tied gent.

  17. adam 17

    Well said Greg.

    Very glad you brought up brain development in relation to alcohol and cannabis for teenagers. Need somthing done here, I personally hate that pushers and that gangs are making loads of money off prohibition.

    Still think you did not stand up to these Tory [r0b: deleted] very well over wages and conditions for the police.

    That said, everyone has been shafted over the last 9 years on wages and condition.

  18. Once was and others etc 18

    “My position is that arming is inevitable unless we, New Zealand, get on top of the illegal gun situation.” I’m pleased you’ve been given the opportunity to state what it is your actual position is.

    That’s exactly right. There’ve been a few banging on about that for years (a former TV journalist whose name eludes me a prime example).

    I can’t remember the last time there was actually an amnesty for the hand in of what are effectively ‘illegal’ weapons, but sure as shit there needs to be one now along with establishing a proper EASILY ACCESSIBLE register of not only gun owners, but of the weapons they possess.
    That amnesty period btw, should involve registered gun owners having to declare ALL weapons in their possession and where they are located.

    And once that amnesty period is over………..whatever is necessary

    I make the comment having encountered some supposedly respectable sociopath who became famous and later went on to murder (in a building on the Terrace), wanking on and showing his weaponry in the boot of his car; and having had another drugged up sociopath with a little dick, pointing a loaded pistol at my head.
    It amazes me that people think the problem is hasn’t deteriorated or that the economy hasn’t deteriorated for many such that they’re often desperate with SFA to lose. Time to stop clutching our pearls, stating “Oh dear me how dreadful”, then next next next next next nextnext nextnextnext

  19. Observer (Tokoroa) 19

    .
    Thanks Greg for your work with the Police.

    You have been by any measure an outstanding member of the New Zealand Community !

    It is a pity that the National party has allowed the Gangs to control highly addictive drugs within our nation. The Government has meekly run away in a cowardly fashion from their these evil men and their women.

    Peter Dunne has done his habitual two foot shuffle over cannabis and synthetic product – not to mention amphetamine or alcohol or cocaine. His uncertainty has betrayed the whole nation while he but combs his precious hair and tinkers endlessly with his pretty bow tie and thin policy.

    It displeases me that women (thankfully only a few strident women) ignore the fact that girls who wish to be free from the high levels of violence and rape in our godless society – must be continually chaperoned by those who brought them into this world. There is no other solution. Girls MUST be chaperoned from infancy to full adult hood.

    Blaming you Greg is a gross cop out. Blaming men randomly is also a grievous mistake. No matter what race you come from, if it is your child it is your duty to look after it with total dedication.

    By changing the present incumbent in Ōhāriu, we have a chance to dismember the controllers of our addictive drugs (including limits on alcohol consumption and its ADVERTISING ) and the sickening personal ownership of fire arms.

    Good minded people will applaud you for decades to come Greg O’connor.

    .

    • greywarshark 19.1

      Observer Tokoroa
      You appear to be out in the boondocks where ideas take a long time to filter to.
      The aim is to improve human rights and conditions, not to revert to or wallow in past disgraceful rampant violence, particularly affecting females.

    • red-blooded 19.2

      Observer (Tokoroa) – I just want to respond to your comment about girls needing to be constantly chaperoned. A few thoughts:
      1) How long do you think we females should be chaperoned? 18? 25?…When do we stop being “girls” and become women? I’m in my 50s and unmarried – should I still be chaperoned? And, if so, by whom? After all, sexual violence affects women of all ages, not just girls.
      2) You seem to be ignoring the fact that the majority of sexual attacks on girls and women occur within family relationships. Who chaperones the chaperone?
      3) How would you like to be followed around and constrained, treated as something to be protected rather than someone with her own mind and need for freedom? And what happens to a girl or woman whose male relatives have their own lives and don’t want to chaperone them constantly? That’s right – confinement and restriction. Doesn’t sound too tempting to me.
      4) I’ve got a counter-proposal: how about all men being chaperoned? After all, it’s not the girls and women who are causing the problem… Of course it’d be hard to organise, and perfectly innocent men would have their freedoms constrained, but hey – it’s no more intrusive or ridiculous as your approach.

      BTW, I’m not disagreeing that all kids and teens need an appropriate level of supervision, but they also need an increasing amount of freedom, and that goes for girls as well as boys.

      • Observer Tokoroa 19.2.1

        . Hello greywarshark

        I am glad to hear from you that sexual violence has disappeared from New Zealand. A thing of the past – you say.

        But some how I cannot believe you.

      • Observer Tokoroa 19.2.2

        . Hi red-blooded

        I wrote in my piece that “girls need to be chaperoned from infancy to full adult hood “.

        You are obviously quite free to disagree.

        Most good parents are very aware of where their child is and whose company the child is keeping. It has been so down through the ages.

        Boys generally speaking are not as able to manage their rush of testosterone on their way to adult hood as girls are able to manage their highly complex Bio Hormones.

        So there is a responsibility for Parents to seriously warn their sons not to harm girls in any way. No matter how hard the Girl flirts or how short her little skirt is. The last thing a boy needs is frequent trips to an STD clinic.

        Further to this, there is now a real concern that Gonorrhea is rapidly becoming resistant to treatment. Females have a 60–80% risk of getting the infection from a single act of vaginal intercourse with an infected man. The risk is lower for the male but real nevertheless. See Wikipedia 19/02/2017.

  20. saveNZ 20

    Good post and Good luck to take Ōhāriu and change the government this year!

    Long overdue.

  21. saveNZ 21

    Good luck to change the government!

    And I hope we never arm our police!

    One of the best anecdotes I saw about NZ was when an armed robber tried to rob a kebab store in Chch and the attendant just ignored him. The armed robber left empty handed.

    I hope we keep having unarmed police and polite robbers!

    It made international news.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/12/takeaway-shop-owner-ignores-armed-robber-new-zealand-video

  22. Mr Tank 23

    Nice one Greg,

    Good luck.

  23. Cinny 24

    Greg, that was interesting and very much appreciated. Your words would have cleared up a few misconceptions, awesome, Thanks 😀 All the best for Ōhāriu.

  24. I’d be very curious to hear more about how you plan to woo voters away from Peter Dunne in your electorate, as to be quite honest all the Labour supporters I know have been very opposed to your selection and now view this as a lesser-of-two-evils race. I’ve been vocal in the past that your selection seems like a strategic blunder, but I do want you to know that I am very much hoping to be wrong, and I will be quite happy to eat those words given the opportunity.

    God knows we all want to kick Dunne out of Ōhāriu, but I’m still rather worried that your selection puts Labour at risk of losing many of the votes it already has in a desperate attempt to play to social conservatives, (to whom your associations with police and strong voice on law and order will resonate well) who honestly aren’t the largest of demographics in that electorate.

    Coming out in favour of medicinal cannabis when Dunne has been slow and unsympathetic on this issue is exactly the sort of thing you need to do for Ōhāriu, and it’s a common sense move anyway. I also hope that if you’re with Labour for the long haul, you’ll be thinking about other moves on Cannabis that can put us in a more rational position on the drug without letting it into the hands of young people, who you quite correctly point out, still have developing brains. I personally think legalisation with a fair age limit that eliminates the developmental risk such as 20 or 21 would make sense. Between Labour and the Greens I’m sure we can get a rational policy sorted on that issue.

    I also appreciate that your stance on firearms is a bit more nuanced than it has seemed through the media filter. I hope you have aggressive proposals to stop illegal firearms from being a problem in the first place, so that Labour and Green supporters won’t have to worry about calls for arming police in the future, as I think most reasonable people can agree we don’t want to get in a situation like Australia was before their firearms law reform, or the US is in now, where police are paranoid about people with guns, and ordinary people are worried about being shot by panicked police officers. That situation serves nobody and prevention is the best solution, and it would put to rest people’s chief worries about your candidacy if you could say that you can think of other measures that would prevent the debate about arming police from ever being necessary.

    I hope you’ll have other similar announcements to re-assure the more liberal voters in Ōhāriu that they won’t be eating dead rat to vote for you, and that you can actually get everyone who is tired of Dunne enthusiastically behind your candidacy, especially now that the Greens have given Labour a leg-up in the electorate. Cheers for your time.

    • Leftie 25.1

      The staunch Green and Labour voters I know say they are comfortable voting for Greg O’Connor. They understand what is at stake here, in order to change the government.

  25. Upnorth 26

    Dunne is a former labour person right? So like maori ACT United decided better in the tent than out.

    But if labour holds power and needs united to givern then they will take dunne in..right?

    So why fight tbis election seat. O’CONNER wont take this seat becauae greens are going to vote dunne and party vote green…which means labour has thin majority and greens have more say.

    Someone has been duped

    • lprent 26.1

      I believe that like Act, Peter Dunne has rather explicitly stated that he’d be supporting National and not Labour in forming a government after an election. I’d guess that Labour has taken him at his word.

      Whereas the Maori party has left it open.

      What individual voters decide to do will be their choice. However I suspect that, like many National supporting voters currently voting for Dunne, a lot of Green voters are likely to cast their vote strategically for O’Connor or for the National candidate (whose name I always forget). But it is also entirely possible that number of moderate National leaning voters would also vote for O’Connor.

      I suspect that the latter is part of the reason that many in Labour there supported O’Connor as a candidate. That is an odd electorate and quite liberal whilst being pretty conservative. I also suspect that some of Labour voters (like Anita further up) will hold their nose and vote for Dunne because they know what he is likely to do, Whereas they don’t know with O’Connor. Which is of course why he provided a guest post for here.

      I suspect that you have the rather strange idea that political parties ‘own’ votes. Which is rather foolish of you. Voters always vote how they want to. After all Dunne keeps getting in does he?

      • weka 26.1.1

        “I also suspect that some of Labour voters (like Anita further up) will hold their nose and vote for Dunne because they know what he is likely to do, Whereas they don’t know with O’Connor. Which is of course why he provided a guest post for here.”

        That’s an interesting one. Dunne is a one man band with a huge influence over government. O’Connor will be a new MP in a caucus full of people with a leader who no longer tolerates rogue MPs, so isn’t it more likely that he will toe Labour’s line rather than determining what the line should be?

        • Psycho Milt 26.1.1.1

          Dunne is a one man band with a huge influence over government.

          Not only that, Dunne represents an extra MP for National who won’t count towards its share of the party vote. Anyone on the left in Ohariu who votes for him is voting for a National Party government and should spare themselves any delusion that they’re actually doing something else.

        • Anita 26.1.1.2

          I’m not sure how much it is about know what Dunne or O’Connor will do, and more about my view that my electorate MP is my personal representative, elected directly by me, in Parliament. I’m not worried about what he will say on behalf of the Labour Party (or the broader left), I’m worried about what he will say on my behalf. The idea of someone representing me expressing those view on sexual violence is my problem.

          I do fret though, that my personal ethics/discomfort may be part of preventing a change of government. I don’t really know what to do about that though; he said what he said (and hasn’t explained or retracted it) and Labour chose him and put me and other left leaning feminists in Ōhāriu in this position.

          • Nordy 26.1.1.2.1

            Anita – what did he say that concerns you or puts you off voting for him, and do you think Labour and or the Greens haven’t considered his work as head of the Police Association carefully enough?

          • Jenny Kirk 26.1.1.2.2

            Like I said above, Anita – ask Greg O’C those curly questions at the public meetings during the election campaign and consider how he answers them, before making up your mind who to vote for.

            • weka 26.1.1.2.2.1

              I like this idea, but I’m also going to put out that some of the women concerned about this issue will be survivors and getting up in a public meeting and asking about rape culture is a pretty big ask for some. The onus really should be on O’Connor and Labour, and WJ. I doubt this is going to go away, and Labour will be lucky to get through the election campaign without it coming up again so as someone voting for their potential coalition partner I really hope they sort their shit out on this.

            • Karen 26.1.1.2.2.2

              I live in Auckland so am unable to ask Greg at a public meeting, but this is a public forum so he could answer here.

              Also, as Weka says, asking about attitudes to rape culture and sexual assault in a public meeting would be very difficult for many.

              Obviously Greg’s views on various issues is of more importance to those who live in the Ōhāriu electorate but, depending on where Greg ends up on the list, it is also of interest to the rest of the population when deciding their party vote.

          • weka 26.1.1.2.3

            I’m a GP voter and have never lived in an electorate where the representative was likely to represent my politics. I don’t see electorate MPs as being personal representatives in that way.

            I’d also choose O’Connor over Dunne because Dunne does far more damage and is much farther from my own politics than O’Connor despite the rape culture issues. I doubt that Dunne holds better views on rape culture, he’s just better at hiding them, and I also think that O’Connor’s views are likely to be typical of quite a few Labour MPs. Which is to say I don’t hold Labour to a higher standard much above the general culture. Sad but true.

            I haven’t seen either Labour or National do anything particularly good around rape culture (am trying to think which govt was in charge when ACC starting making life difficult for rape and sexual abuse survivors). If rape culture is the issue, there’s probably very few places in NZ you could vote with good conscience.

            As with WJ, I’m less about those dudes having to be better than the general culture and more about how Labour will handle it when either of them say or do something that undermines women again. But I do like that you and Karen have been asking these questions and I reckon Jenny’s idea of someone asking in public meetings is a good idea too.

            You can always not vote for a candidate, a better bet than voting Dunne I think.

            • Robert Guyton 26.1.1.2.3.1

              Vote Dunne out, ’cause he deserves nothing else.

            • Anita 26.1.1.2.3.2

              I’ve always voted in central Wellington electorates, which have generally been contestable and have often given me real choices about who I want to be represented by (e.g. Grant Robertson vs Stephen Franks, Virginia Andersen vs Peter Dunne). i know I’m luckier in that regard than most of the country.

              Yeah, both Labour and National have pretty rubbish records on support to sexual assault and abuse survivors, and histories of rape apologist behaviour. Ugh! Surely the only way to fix that, from outside the parties anyhow, is individual MP by individual MP. And as an electorate voter I can do that by using it as a criteria for deciding which individual to elect to represent me.

              I’ve considered not voting, but it seems like avoiding responsibility.

          • Andre 26.1.1.2.4

            Looking at the 2014 results, I’ll guess that if O’Connor wins the seat this year, the only way he’ll hold it in 2020 is by being an absolutely outstanding MP. So you’ll have a good chance of really holding his feet to the fire on the issues that matter to you, if you choose to make the effort.

            http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-36.html

  26. Ethica 27

    I talked to a couple of local voters this afternoon who are usually Green voters and more left than Labour. They will both vote for Greg O’Connor as the strategic option to stop Dunne propping up another National Government.

  27. Jenny Kirk 28

    I cannot post a comment …… what’s going on ? ?

    [all comments in this thread are pre-moderated – weka]

    [lprent: Got to read the post – even the fine print 🙂 It is a general policy of ours. We auto-moderate all comments for guest posts by sitting MPs and candidates of various times. Otherwise we get some concerted attempts of having a post filled with irrelevant speeches, and variants of what Irish used to call “pigfucker” questions. ie The equivalent of “When was the last time you had carnal relations with a pig?” which if followed by an answer, would elicit replies expressing disbelief, if not would result in strident demands to answer the question. Whaleoil used to organise swarms of people to do them on the basis that answering or not answering the question was a win. I see that the misogynist wonder at TDB has taken up that mantle these days. ]

  28. Sabine 29

    [lprent: Decided that this was on topic, but more of a speech than anything else. Pushed to the end by increasing its date. ]

    no real comment but

    you say: On weed itself, I’m a believer in knowing what you want before you start messing with any policy and law. What I believe we want is teenagers using as little cannabis and alcohol as possible while their brains develop, and the gangs and criminals out of the supply chain.

    well at the moment, medicinal or recreational it is in the hands of criminals and gangs, and has been for the longest of times.
    These criminals and gangs may well be buying weapons with the money made by the growing and selling of weed, but frankly more so by the manufacturing of P with is way more lucrative, and which the police seem to police less.
    As for the teenagers using as little cannabis and alcohol possible, well you have laws that regulate alcohol access to teenagers (not under 18) , alas you have nothing in regards to teenagers and weed as that is still unregulated and unlawful.

    Many people in this country know what they want and they would like our politicians to start messing around with policy and laws in regards to weed.
    a. make it legal or tolerate it as is done in the Netherlands.
    b. make it legal for use 18 years or over. Either people are considered full adults at 18 or not, but at that stage you might want to move the age of full emancipation to 21.
    c. regulate how much anyone can possess for private use (again it matters not if it is recreational or medicinal), where they can buy it (we have liquor shops after all) and tax it.

    It is long past time for the ‘won’t no one think of the kids’ tripe. We are thinking about the kids, for the most part they don’t use drugs and for the most part they are not irresponsible about alcohol. For the most part kids will try a joint or several, will have alcohol if they can lay their hands on it, and go to school or work the next day.
    And it has been so since at least the early when marijuana was made illegal in 1927.

    then there is the cost of actually enforcing these antiquated laws. We are wasting money and police time chasing someone for growing weed and munchies brownies while we don’t have enough cops on the beat, or going after burglars. Well what do i know.

    https://norml.org.nz/library/key-facts/

    So yeah, unless someone actually just grows a spine and admits that our drug policies are designed to punish people and lock them up nothing will change. Cause for what its worth, NZ grows pot, and NZ smokes pot. And the police has been pretty much useless and stopping in. And the country still stands, still works, kids still go to school, parents still go to work.

    • lprent 29.1

      You missed out that the cannabis industry will be be taxed once it is made legal. Sure most people have no particular problems with cannabis any more than most have no real problem with alcohol. But there will be costs.

      We should deal with any immediate or long-term harm with a users preemptively prepaid system, just as we do with tobacco or alcohol. The taxes should be high because it is a largely untested (at a scientific level) and I have seen a number of pretty odd old dope smokers having interesting mental and physical effects after prolonged usage. I’d prefer that we have a lot of excess money available to deal with problems rather than to have too little.

      I’d point out that I have used cannabis just once, but didn’t like what it did to my ability to write code for the next couple of days. I’m an ex-smoker stopping after I had a myocardial infarction and a moderate drinker. I don’t mind paying the costly collective social costs for my addictions and I can’t see any reason why weed heads can’t do the same.

      Lats hope that this post doesn’t wind up to be all about cannabis. My Open Mike finger doesn’t need that much exercise.

      • Sabine 29.1.1

        nah, i pointed out tax 🙂

        c. regulate how much anyone can possess for private use (again it matters not if it is recreational or medicinal), where they can buy it (we have liquor shops after all) and tax it.
        see i grew up with drug users in my family, and if i were to rate them it would go like this

        worst – alcohol – available to anyone everywhere and violence follows it like the plague

        deadly – heroin – my family lost many to that in the 70/80’s (and i would add P etc into that category from what i have observed in NZ)

        meh – cannabis, now i have lived and worked in Holland and i have known and still know many potheads. Most of them work, live, pay their dues and smoke at the end of the day but don’t drink. Some are having mental issues and can’t get the help they need and they self medicate. Some are having other age related issues, bones/nerves etc and self medicate. But non of them have ever chopped the hands of someone or beat the crap outta missus or the kids.

        so in my books, once we make it legal, and tax it we can treat addiction (which is a completely different issue) as a medical issue rather then a criminal issue.

        And that is what i would like to see. I sometimes have a drink and i don’t smoke (stopped that years ago). I have done my fair share of drugs in my life, curiosity kills the cat, but the worst effects i have seen were people either drunk, or on legal highs (thanks Peter fucking Dunne), or on P. The ones that smoke want chocolate, a pie, or snickers bar.

        • DoublePlusGood 29.1.1.1

          Yes, I agree. I think that setting up a legal, regulated market for marijuana would take a bunch of income away from the gangs, free up a massive amount of police, courts and corrections resources, and get some tax income. Win all round.

  29. Observer Tokoroa 30

    .
    To Weka

    I take you to be a sincere and knowledgeable person.

    That makes it hard for me to accept that you are going to berate Labour throughout the election over some trumped up charge of rape endorsement – and ignore National. Ignore also, any any other party including the Maori Party and New Zealand First.

    Is your approach endorsed and demanded by the Green Party of which you are a member?

    Also Weka. Why do you blame the Labour Party for all Rape when parents are the persons responsible for raising morally sound children.

    Why do you never remind parents of their sacred responsibilities Weka. ?

    I think you should apologise to members of the Labour Party for your insults. Don’t you

    [please use the reply button, or specify which comment you are responding to, in order to make it clearer what you are referring to – weka]

    [lprent: I’d suggest that you read weka’s reply below very carefully. Because if I see one more example of you berating her for imagined biases, then you will be banned for long enough that I can stop feeling aggrieved and irritated by such repeated stupidity.

    The about is damn clear about where the authors write from. That is something that I control, and not something that you have any real say in. If you don’t accept that, then just fuck off. Otherwise I’d have to think that you are telling me that I am lying or not doing my job. I tend to have a quite severe and harsh reaction to that.

    If you recall the sentence I handed out to the last dickhead doing the same kind of passive aggressive accusatory behaviour on an author, you’ll get an idea about how annoyed I get with this kind of dumb and quite stupid author harassing.

    The only reason you even get this warning is because I didn’t work back far enough in the comment moderation before weka answered you first. Quite why she protected you is something that I may have to have a talk to her about. ]

    • Sabine 30.1

      Labour member here, and I have had my run ins with Weka fwiw.

      I don’t want this rape apologist anywhere near the labour party. Full stop here.

      As for holding parents accountable, thats a funny too, cause when the Roast busters saga broke, many many were asking a. what the girls did (should they not know that they should not be seduced by the pretty boys with a father [deleted]), b. where the mothers of the girls were and why they did not teach the daughters good moral behavior.

      You know what i did not see, anyone holding teh fathers to account for not teaching their sons to rape, i did not see the police charge the perpetrators with ‘serving alcohol to minors’, i did not see the police charge the perpetrators with ‘statuatory rape or what ever ‘intercourse’ with minors who legally are not of consenting age is called’. But i did see the Police – including higher ups, lie their asses of as to why they did fucking nothing.

      I have been asked what my point would be to break with the Labour Party, we have reached it.

      A rape apologist on the list – cause obviously there are not good enough activists in Labours books to be elevated on the list.

      A womens quota – cause obviously there are not good enough activists on Labours books to be mentored and promoted early on. No we need a ‘quota’.

      An ex cop = who is trying to distinguish himself from Peter fucking Dunne by giving Helen Kelly her medication of choice, while at the same time locking up any family member of hers that under Peter Fucking Dunne would be breaking the law to get her medication that works.

      So if Willie Nelson – a rape apologist – a boys will be boys man, is the best the Laobur party can find, same with Greg O’Connor – who still tries to paddle War on Drugs bullshit to cover up the very real War on People, and quota women to cover up their lack of young women in the Party and Parliament, then maybe the Labour Party instead of getting better is getting worse.

      [lprent: I let this one through after I dropped some identifying information on the “roastbusters”. It is an opinion. ]

    • weka 30.2

      “That makes it hard for me to accept that you are going to berate Labour throughout the election over some trumped up charge of rape endorsement – and ignore National. Ignore also, any any other party including the Maori Party and New Zealand First.”

      Actually, I’ve been holding back about Labour and rape culture, because it’s election year. So I will say some things, but compared to many feminists I’m taking a pretty pragmatic approach to changing the govt. And I’m on record (look it up) for criticising National and Key in particular on rape culture. I’m not intending to berate Labour throughout the election, I just think that given they have chosen 2 candidates with problematic histories around rape culture that the issues will keep coming up, and I hope Labour are prepared to deal with that well.

      If you’ve been paying attention you will have noticed that I don’t write posts about rape culture on TS. Occasionally I might put up a Notices and Features post. In this thread I’ve commented 9 times and only 2 of those comments have been about rape culture, and one of them was me basically saying that people should vote GO despite the rape culture issues, so I’m hard pressed to see why you are singly me out here.

      “Is your approach endorsed and demanded by the Green Party of which you are a member?”

      No. I’m not an active member and the only contact I have with them is occasionally to get information, photos etc needed for posts or to give feedback about process. I’m not involved in the running of the party at any level. I don’t discuss my politics with them (other than occasionally on twitter, which is public), nor do they get a say in what I write on TS. Which is as it should be. Being a member of a political party doesn’t mean that one has to be of the hive mind. Read the Policy/About, it’s pretty clear about the connections between authors and political parties. I’m actually thinking of letting my GP membership lapse this year because I am sick of this stupidity of trying to connect me with them. Pretty much everything I write re the GP is sourced from the public domain (ie. research) or talking with people, usually online, who know more about the Greens than I do.

      “Also Weka. Why do you blame the Labour Party for all Rape when parents are the persons responsible for raising morally sound children.”

      I don’t blame Labour for all rape. I don’t hold parents responsible for the behaviour of their adult children (hence I’m not criticising the parents of JK, GO, WJ, AL etc).

      “Why do you never remind parents of their sacred responsibilities Weka. ?”

      Why don’t you write posts for The Standard?

      “I think you should apologise to members of the Labour Party for your insults.”

      What insults? I mean, I am sure there are some, but you’d have to be more specific.

      • lprent 30.2.1

        My apologies for not looking far enough back into the moderation stack early enough. I was leaning towards a Paul solution.

  30. HDCAFriendlyTroll 31

    Ok, this may be a little late but anyway …

    Greg, would you be in favour of taking the Belgian approach to drug reform where instead of facing a jail term users are given at most a fine for possessing small amounts?

    Would you be in favour of allowing the consumption of drugs such as marijuana but limited to certain places – e.g. specially licensed coffee houses?

    Would you be in favour of reclassifying MDMA from a class B drug to a class C drug to discourage dealers from substituting MDMA in ecstasy tablets with more dangerous drugs like bath salts etc?

    With regards to medical marijuna products would you be in favour of loosening the requirements so that products with a small amount of THC are legal?

  31. McFlock 32

    Well, before I was outright cynical. Now I am merely cautiously sceptical.

    For me, much of the caution comes from the degree to which you defended police officers in the media, regardless of the circumstances or allegations. Especially when it came to shootings or allegations of sexual misconduct.

    Others have more specifically framed similar concerns.

    I guess in the next while we’ll see how much of that was your true opinion and how much of it was a particularly zealous interpretation of your role as union advocate.

    So, cautiously, I wish you luck.

  32. Observer (Tokoroa) 33

    . Hi Weka

    I do sincerely hope that parents – as they have done for thousands of years – will continue to raise their children with Moral foundations.

    I cannot see a society functioning very well without Morality.

    Neither will I put candidates for elections through a kangaroo court. I will not question you again Weka.

    All the best.

    • weka 33.1

      Challenging rape culture is a moral act. That’s why there are so many lefties willing to risk the election over the WJ and GO issues.

      • Anita 33.1.1

        Thank you, your first sentence is the one I have not been finding for myself for the last few weeks.

  33. Observer (Tokoroa) 34

    A serious question ?

    Is it your Policy that persons who have not been indicted for inciting Rape nor convicted of committing Rape have been selected for personal attack by persons writing for The Standard.

    Further to this, is it your Policy that the people under attack have been selected from among Labour Candidates alone ?

    I have felt that over the years, whereas The Standard Blog in no way supports Labour, it does aim for some some degree of Justice and Fairness when it comes to serious personal accusation of misdemeanour.

    I realise I run the risk of being banned for even asking these questions.

    [you’ve been given multiple warnings about where the boundaries are and have basically just said you don’t care. I can’t tell who you are addressing your questions to, or who they are referring to, and so I’m adding wasting moderator time to the list of offences. Banned until 1 month after the election – weka]

    [lprent: If you’d read the about, then you wouldn’t have any idiotic presumptions about us like “The Standard Blog in no way supports Labour”. We collectively don’t. Individual authors might.

    We come from a variety of backgrounds and our political views don’t always match up but it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement and we hope that perspective will come through strongly as you read the blog.

    1. The “labour movement” is not the NZ Labour Party. About the only thing you can be sure of is that National has never really been part of the labour movement. For the extremes, Act drew a lot of its early membership from the labour movement. So did the Greens. And of course most of the socialist parties like Labour did as well.

    2. The authors here reflect that . There are anarchists through to Labour party activists, along with green supporters and at least one outright geek (me).

    3. The only political party that actually has a active blog directly supporting a political party are the Greens. There are a few largely inactive party blogs. National has one that appears to be a place for MPs to put up what they did on their holidays (and doesn’t allow comments last time I looked). Labour has Red Alert – which was inactive last time I looked. There is a reason for that. Party blogs could be described as being just outright boring.

    It is a pity that weka has granted you wish to be banned. I could have had fun tormenting you for denigrating the authors here into as being simple party authomata. ]

    • Anita 34.1

      I believe I started the conversation about Greg O’Connor’s past comments about sexual assault, so I might as well answer.

      Yes, the Labour Party is moving toward selecting as candidates two people who have said some pretty appalling rape apologist things in the past. Yes, people from the left, both inside and outside the Labour Party, are calling the party on that. I imagine we would be calling other parties on it if they did the same, I know I would.

      Greg O’Connor posted here clarifying his position on two things which have caused disquiet for some people. I asked him if he could also clarify his position on sexual assault. Karen also asked that he clarify his position on the Tūhoe raids.

      There are two ways to see this; one is he extended an invitation and we took it. The other is that voters get to ask public questions of people running for public office, that is how our democracy works.

      • lprent 34.1.1

        I did point out the comments as links to G O’C via email. However I am not sure that he has quite grasped that blogs are a two way communication technique.

        I didn’t pester him on it as becoming a candidate is a bit of a learning curve and I suspect that he is distracted, and I thought it was enough that he’d come back with some discussion. But I’m sure that they will get raised between now and the election.

      • weka 34.1.2

        “Yes, the Labour Party is moving toward selecting as candidates two people who have said some pretty appalling rape apologist things in the past. Yes, people from the left, both inside and outside the Labour Party, are calling the party on that. I imagine we would be calling other parties on it if they did the same, I know I would.”

        Yep, me too. Given that WJ and GO are now both in Labour, the issue for me is how they conduct themselves in relationship to the issues they’ve been called on. Labour in general too. There is an opportunity here for them to do the right things. Fingers crossed (although my standards for Labour aren’t that high).

    • weka 34.2

      Lynn, it probably doesn’t help that every time the MSM refer to The Standard they say ‘Labour-aligned blog’.

  34. GForce 35

    Greg seems like a decent chap, but as a long time Ohariu voter, I am sad to say that we feel we have been shat on once too often by Labour, and Greg will really struggle to overcome that feeling from me and thousands of others.
    It has been clear for about 12 years that Ohariu REALLY IS the most important “Winnable” seat for Labour BY FAR, simply because Dunne winning it effectively means 2 votes for National (if you don’t understand that, please take MMP 101 – I don’t have the time to elaborate…).
    And don’t underestimate Brett Hudson – National should give him a medal for what he achieved for them in Ohariu – his was the biggest National success in the country, and all the more successful for almost nobody realising it!!

    If you want an appreciation of just how “blue” Ohariu has become, look at the voting booth numbers for Ohariu: Last time all but two of the booths were won by the Nats (and the other two were tiny booths lost by a tinier margin): Party vote was a colossal landslide to National in Ohariu! And look at Dunnes party vote – virtually nothing! That proves that Ohariu voters know how to vote strategically: they have been doing that for over 20 years! .
    Now here is Another carpetbagger – sorry Greg, but if you’re not a local – and you are NOT a local – , that’s what you look like to most of us – another puppet with (this time) Andrew Littles hand up him. This electorate has had 20 years of labour either standing candidates the electorate will HATE (Like ‘Champagne Charlie’ – I thought he was alright but I may have been the only one) or otherwise good people who CHANGE too frequently for the electorate to get to trust them!
    I was suspicious of Ginny Anderson 4 years ago, – who the hell was she? She doesn’t even live anywhere near our electorate! – but, in the end, she was a fabulous candidate for Ohariu who deserved to have romped in – Its just that the senior labour strategists must have had their head well up their fundamental orifi, as they did NOTHING to help her win AT ALL! At 700 votes, a few walk-arounds with respected labour front-benchers world have done the job easily, but the useless effers could not figure that out…. literally, a serious shot at government blown by Labour ignoring – and disrespecting – Ohariu AGAIN!!!
    Now, all the good work in establishing Ginny as a “known and trusted” candidate is destroyed – she happily flits off to a safe seat closer to home in the hutt valley. So 12,000 voters in Ohariu see Labour failing to retain the best quality candidate they have stood here in decades..,.. Politics is ALL about trust, and if the candidate changes every 3 years and you only have 9 months to even recognise their name, what hope do most have?
    Justin Lester could have beat Dunne last election easily – same for this year – but in 3 years his flash in the pan will be over as his arrogant developer-loving colours start to show: opportunity lost for labour.
    So why -o – why have they taken 4 or 5 elections to stand a “winnable” candidate AND back them fully? That failure tells me (and thousands like me) that Labour fundamentally disrespect the people of Ohariu. And Dunnes ongoing success shows how critical that is….. because he has respected them done it right for well over 30 years.
    All that Greens “not standing” does is give Nats a HUGE lead-in to ensure that the “rest-home set” have 9 months to “read the memo”
    nats have three ways to win – ramp up their “vote for Dunne” message to 1400 of Brett Hudsons 6000 or so voters (to counter the greens-to-Labour vote), Have Brett not stand, or give Dunne the ambassadors job in Tahiti (or wherever).
    Bottom line is, lots of leftie voters just don’t trust cops, and (unionist or not), they will always see Greg as a cop. That, compounded wth the fact that any “belief” in labour from the average bloke or blokes here in Ohariu is far more eroded than anywhere eled in NZ by now…..means Greg might have to use his perf money to go back to wherever he came from.
    Candidate Selectin is Key – Labour should go back, cap-in-hand to Paul Fitzgerald, apologise for selecting Dunne over him by one vote in 1984, and give him another shot. For someone who achieved such a landmark constitutional law win over piggy Muldoon, beating the “Double Dipper from Dipton” should be a cakewalk!

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