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Greg O’Connor selected for Ōhāriu

Written By: - Date published: 5:52 pm, February 12th, 2017 - 150 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour, peter dunne, Unions - Tags: ,


Greg O’Connor has been confirmed as a Labour’s candidate for Wellington’s Ōhāriu electorate.

The former Police Association president has previously stated he has a close connection to the Ōhāriu community, having lived, worked and played for sports teams in the area.

“Standing in that electorate is a natural fit,” he says.

He’ll be standing against United Future’s Peter Dunne.

The contest for the seat has been an unusual one, with the Greens mulling over a decision not to stand a candidate in a bid to oust Mr Dunne from the competition.

Mr Dunne got 13,569 votes at the last election, just ahead of Labour’s candidate, who got 12,859 – a majority of just 710 votes.

Greg O’Connor received a waiver from Labour’s New Zealand Council as he had not been a member for 12 months prior to his nomination.

150 comments on “Greg O’Connor selected for Ōhāriu ”

  1. Xanthe 1

    Well in that case i hope they lose! Sorry i cannot support another far right government

    • Vaughn 1.1

      While I too have reservations about some of what Greg O’Connor represents, I think your label of a ‘right wing’ government because of his inclusion, is way too harsh, Xanthe. While his views around permanently arming the police do not impress me, I always respected his tireless advocacy for the Police Association membership. In my view, that kind of connection to ‘his people’ augers well for a future Labour politician advocating for worker right’s more generally. Let’s see.

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        He was always a high-profile and successful union boss though he did represent some unpopular positions in that role.

        • Ed

          He represented the views of the Police Association. Most people understand that many people must represent their employer – that is their job. Yes it can get ridiculous – defending a cigarette company must seem that way to many, but there are many other reasons to not vote for Todd Barclay. Lawyers may put positions to a judge that they not strongly agree with, but are instructed by their clients. Politicians may have to support policies that they do not personally agree with – some National MPs must have been horrified at the shenanigans over medical marijuana for example, but they knew they needs to toe the line until election year.

          Greg O’Connor appears to have effectively represented the Police Association; and I am sure he can well represent the voters of Ohariu – and at the same time support a Labour government.

          To those that cannot support Greg O’Connor personally, remember to vote Labour for the Party Vote – unless you would rather have English, Bennett, etc running the government.

          • PMC

            So you’re saying that it’ll be another case of Labour MPs “supporting policies they may not agree with”? So that means we should then vote for these MPs? Is that how it all works? Wow. No wonder Labour’s so fucked. They expect people to vote for policies they don’t agree with.

            • Ed

              In a party that covers a broad spectrum of NZ Society, of course there will be some differences of opinion – about problems, priorities and solutions. Labour is very good at allowing discussions where a common approach can be agreed, which may be a compromise for some, but where they also know that they agree on broad objectives, and can support something being put before their priorities in the knowledge that they will be supported on other issues. Would you rather all decisions were made by “the leader” as in another party?

          • lprent

            Actually O’Conner doesn’t worry me. The local electorate will determine if he will represent them well.

            However I am slowly resigning myself to voting Greens for a second time in a row after the Labour list is announced.

            I am afraid that having a known foolish misogynist mouthpiece “high” on their list indicates a list that I cannot vote for. I owe to my young female relatives to not vote for one.

            A party that violates it’s own procedures to put one in there just becomes irrelevant to me. It is a moral line that I won’t trade off.

            I will of course vote for Arden for my electorate

            • Enough is Enough

              I agree with you Lprent.

              I really want to see Labour polling somewhere close to where National is. Not because that is necessarily what is needed to win the election, but because the buffoons in the media will only begin to report this as a government in waiting once that happens.

              However the actions of the past week have left me dumbfounded.

              I will be sticking with the Greens for this election.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I am afraid that having a known foolish misogynist mouthpiece “high” on their list indicates a list that I cannot vote for. I owe to my young female relatives to not vote for one.

              Even having him on the bottom of the list would make it a list that I couldn’t vote for.

              Of, course, I was pretty much going vote Green any way.

      • adam 1.1.2

        Find your comment about him representing police well odd Vaughn, I really do. Do you know about the very poor wage increases they got over his tenure? Or the fact that the contract police sign – have ridiculous clauses around ‘targets’, and truly odd clauses on efficiency.

        So not sure you could argue he has been that good. I’d even go as far as saying he been a bit crap really. Mind you, as kiwis have such low expectations these days, I suppose you could say he did a good job, compared to those who have no union.

    • Richard Christie 1.2


      As a strategic voter I invariably vote to thwart and do as much damage as I can to the right wing, usually meaning National. Labour were always one of the important options to earn my vote in that regard – not anymore.

      • weka 1.2.1

        who will you vote for instead?

        • Richard Christie

          Leaves me the option of the Greens, Mana and minor socialist parties.
          I will be closely monitoring the Opportunity Party, Morgan’s advocacy of UBI leaves them an opportunity to avoid being categorised as irredeemably right.

          • weka

            What’s the strategy in party voting Mana?

            • Richard Christie

              What’s the strategy in party voting Mana?

              Context, it always depends on context.

              Voting Mana would have worked in Te Tai Tokerau recently and a win would likely have resulted in a left govt.- but Labour preferred to be the biggest fish on the opposition bench rather than part of a left wing government.

              • weka

                Are you able to vote in TTT electorate?

                • Richard Christie


                  • weka

                    Then I don’t understand how you giving your party vote to Mana would help defeat National.

                    • Richard Christie

                      ffs, it’s an option to be considered, you requested options, it doesn’t mean all are of equal weight.

                      Continuing down your presumed line of reasoning one should only vote for the candidates that are sure to win, all other votes being wasted.

                    • weka

                      You said,

                      “As a strategic voter I invariably vote to thwart and do as much damage as I can to the right wing, usually meaning National. Labour were always one of the important options to earn my vote in that regard – not anymore.”

                      To which I asked who would you vote for if not Labour. You’ve said Mana. I’m asking how a Mana party vote would in anyway be strategic in undermining National. I can think of a few ways, but they’re all long term. I can’t think of any that relate to this election.

                      It’s a reasonable question for someone saying they vote strategically. I’m asking what the strategy is.

                      “Continuing down your presumed line of reasoning one should only vote for the candidates that are sure to win, all other votes being wasted.”

                      I haven’t said that, please don’t make up shit about my views. I’m asking you to explain how you see things.

                    • xanthe

                      so you would argue that we are better off as a country because National was defeated in 1984?
                      “defeat national” is not of itself sufficient basis to vote at all. if what is offered as replacement is greg oconnor then many will have serious doubts

                    • Richard Christie


                      “defeat national” is not of itself sufficient basis to vote at all.

                      Not what I wrote.

                      To clarify, when National (or any other party) represents neoliberal and/or socially reactionary policies it is indeed good enough reason, for me, to vote to prevent them gaining office, instead choosing the best left wing parties on offer.

                      so you would argue that we are better off as a country because National was defeated in 1984?

                      I have no idea how you arrive at that conclusion, given what I point out immediately above. The words you apparently missed in my initial point were “..usually meaning…”

                    • Richard Christie

                      no offence meant.

                    • xanthe

                      ahhh richard i was responding to Weka not you!

                      the reply ordering falls down after six levels of nesting
                      sorry bout that 🙁

                    • weka

                      so you would argue that we are better off as a country because National was defeated in 1984?
                      “defeat national” is not of itself sufficient basis to vote at all. if what is offered as replacement is greg oconnor then many will have serious doubts

                      If you think that Labour = Greg O’Connor then I’m really not going to pay any attention to your politics at all. But well done on making invisible all the good people within Labour.

                      Seeing as how Richard won’t answer the question about what he would do instead of voting Labour, how about you have a go. If changing things for the better is your desire and you won’t vote Labour what will you do?

                    • xanthe

                      hi weka
                      I dont think labour==greg but i see his placement as a clear indication that they do not intend to fix (or even understand that there is) the very serious problem of systemic misconduct in the NZ police.

                      actually I feel that movement towards a police state is worse than movement to the “right” , as has been pointed out elswhere on TS some of the very worst police states have been socialist regimes

                      as for who will i vote for , Internet Party because they are the only party that recognises that government power must be moderated and transparent. as for the 5% .. well I dont agree with it and I expect in time for the IP to overcome that barrier.

                      my problem is with the idea that somehow defeating national should overrule all other considerations , I dont buy it and 1984 demonstrated that labour is quite capable of being worse than national. now some would argue that labour is different now but then why greg?

              • PMC

                Labour will never learn how to use MMP effectively. Personally, I think it’s because of union dinosaur complex.

          • DS

            Voting Green is fine. Voting for a party that will not get 5% is not strategic in the least.

          • marie

            Be careful Richard. I know someone who was an Opportunity Party member. He left when he realised that the Party’s strong inclination is to return National to power.

      • AB 1.2.2

        Has Greg O’Connor said anything publicly on economic policy, housing, unemployment, the environment etc? I haven’t heard his opinions on these things so don’t feel able to characterise him as right wing. All I’ve heard is a dogged and persistent union boss who is extremely good at avoiding ‘gotchas’ from intervivewers like Guyon Espiner. And who also has some opinions about arming the police that I think are wrong because more innocent people will die if the police are armed than if they are not. For me that’s not enough to write him off without hearing his opinions on lots of other things

        • Richard Christie

          O’Connor supported every police shooting before any investigations took place.

          Those reations cannot be excused by his position as Police Ass. spokesperson. It was gross and bigoted behaviour. It displays both arrogance and flawed reasoning ability. As Greywarshark [2.0] observes, perhaps a good fit, but not one that I’ll support.

          • Andrew Geddis

            Has O’Connor actually been wrong in regards any of that support (i.e. has he supported a police officer who has later been shown to have acted illegally/wrongly in a shooting)?

            Because I’m not sure how much of a criticism it is to say he’s vocally defended the members of his association for doing something that then is shown to have been justified.

            • Xanthe

              Oh no greg has never been wrong, the independant police authority has backed his prescient verdicts in every case. Every corrupt practise has been comprehensively whitewashed , a tireless supporter of poor practise and dangerous conditions, a relentless destroyer of public confidence, undermining the respect and co-operation on which every police person depends for their safety and job satisfaction. An excellent choice for labour

              • Richard Christie

                Spot on, the system protects itself first, unless to do so is utterly untenable.

                Every time I heard that vile arsehole O’Connor almost celebrating the shooting of someone else’s son, sibling or other family member before investigation into the circumstances, it made me sick.

                • AB

                  Well if he becomes an MP then we will see what he’s like once he’s freed of the obligation to back his members to the hilt. If you are right I will stand corrected. He did come across to me as an obfuscator who defended dubious police action, but I assumed that was just him doing his job. Not a good move maybe to pick a contentious figure in a must-win seat like Ohariu.

              • North

                Well that’s one way of looking at it X. Not the only way. Unless of course your way is the only way……

            • Richard Christie

              Has O’Connor actually been wrong in regards any of that support (i.e. has he supported a police officer who has later been shown to have acted illegally/wrongly in a shooting)?

              Are you suggesting any sort of answer to this question justifies his practise of prejudging this sort of matter?

              If yes, it’s a funny sort of attitude to the processes of natural justice that you’ve been taught or are teaching.


            • PMC

              I’m surprised by that wholly illogical remark coming from you, Andrew.

            • Psycho Milt

              Because I’m not sure how much of a criticism it is to say he’s vocally defended the members of his association for doing something that then is shown to have been justified.

              It’s a lame and pointless criticism, but that’s of little importance to people whose argument amounts to giving vent to a burning sense of injustice.

            • Keith

              He’s a cop, that is all that matters to some and cops are bad.

              Of course when they get off their arses and do the thankless job a police officer has to do maybe then they can judge with such extreme prejudice!

            • lprent

              Yeah Andrew, that is the point. Like a lawyer, unionists are also advocates for their members. Like it or not, police members tend to be interested in protecting theiron job and their safety in the job. As far as O’Conner is concerned that means he represents their interests.

              For all that I have disagreed with some of that, I haven’t seen either him or the police association knowingly doing anything that I would consider is over the bounds.

              The points that others have made about individual police lying, the toothless IPCA, and the Strange governance of the police hierarchy with it’s perverse incentives – I agree with. And I have discussed them a lot over the years.

              But to conflate them with the PA or O’Conner is rather daft.

              • Richard Christie

                Yeah Andrew, that is the point.

                It’s not the point at all.

                In the immediate aftermath of a police shooting the ethical response on behalf of the Police Ass should be to

                1. State any loss of life is regrettable, and extend condolences to the families involved, both the police and victim’s families.
                2. Urge restraint from jumping to any conclusions until proper investigations have taken place.
                3. Say the officer/s involved have the full support of the Police Association until inquiries are concluded.

                That’s all that is required, if adding that police have a thankless job blah blah etc, then fine, add that also.

                It’s not acceptable before inquiries are concluded to tell the victim’s family and the world that the victim asked for it.

                It undermines the integrity of any investigation (in these cases made with considerable police input) if one of the parties representatives blatantly prejudges the issue.

              • xanthe

                “The points that others have made about individual police lying, the toothless IPCA, and the Strange governance of the police hierarchy with it’s perverse incentives – I agree with. And I have discussed them a lot over the years.

                But to conflate them with the PA or O’Conner is rather daft.”

                But surely the whole point is that O’Connor was in a position to and obligated to speak out against all that for his PA members and he did not, rather he worked with and chear-led the IPCA. I have observed Greg for a number of years now and my view is that he has not worked for the PA at all rather he has been an organ of “the Strange governance of the police hierarchy with it’s perverse incentives”
                What do you call a union rep who is actually working for the bosses?

                • lprent

                  O’Connor was in a position to and obligated to speak out against all that for his PA members…

                  Why? His job was to represent the union and its members. It wasn’t to talk on matters that were public policy except those related to the benefit of the union and the union members. This is no different to any other job – what you talk about in public on your job is what your employer’s views are.

                  What you appear to be talking about is to be some kind of whistleblower. However demanding that people should be whistleblowers by you showing both a high level of naivety, and a comntempt for the judgement of someone who was a damn sight closer to his job than you probably are.

                  What do you call a union rep who is actually working for the bosses?

                  😈 If it was a employer union, which is what you are alleging, then I have never heard ANY evidence of it from police personnel. The ones I have discussed it with over the decades tend to view it as being more like a kind of a insurance system and a way of kicking back stupid ideas into the hierarchy. Sure they don’t need it most of the time. But I haven’t heard any of the police I have run across off-duty significantly complain about it.

                  I suspect that you have some daft idea that a union should be at loggerheads with management all of the time. That usually isn’t the case, at least not for any union that wants to last a long time. The only time that really happens a lot is when the employers want to be that way so that they can grab profits without spreading benefits (for instance the management morons at Talleys), or when an industry is dying. That isn’t the case with police.

          • marie

            I totally agree Richard. O’Connor as Police Minister would want every police officer to be carrying a gun. There would be protest against this policy which, of course, would be mostly from the left although I believe the policy would be unpopular across much of NZ. Is this what the Labour caucus will want…..massive protest against their policy by their own members?

            • Ethica

              Marie, I’m not so sure he so keen on arming the police. Certainly not as a private citizen or even an MP. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/89338825/greg-oconnor-not-in-favour-of-general-arming-of-police-officers

              • marie

                Unfortunately, I think the apparent softening of his position re arming the police was just to enhance his prospects of obtaining the Labour nomination for Ohariu. I’m not fooled by this. His true position will be as quoted in the article. At the police association’s conference in October, 2014, O’Connor said “I believe the time has come to arm every frontline officer” and according to the article in the same month he was quoted in the NBR as saying “It is time to overcome our squeamishness and arm police.”

        • Xanthe

          The important fact to remember is that greg started his career as an undercover police informant. He lies for a living. When he speaks his only consideration is what effect his words will have. Questioning him about his opinions will yield nothing truthful or valuable

          • mac1

            Xanthe, how distorted is that view? When you or I can say that we have never lied, then we can avow such a view. Somebody, a few years ago, spoke in similar vein to a group of men about to stone a woman to death for adultery…..

    • DoublePlusGood 1.3

      He’s not far right, he’s authoritarian left.

    • Keith 1.4

      “Sorry i cannot support another far right government” Utter bollocks of course but in any case you will be hugely by pseudo voting National.

    • weka 1.5

      Xanthe, “Well in that case i hope they lose! Sorry i cannot support another far right government”

      Let me get this right. You hope that Labour lose the election because you cannot support another far right govt. If Labour lose the election we will have a fourth term far right govt, so please explain how your statement makes sense?

      • Keith 1.5.1

        Yes the logic is quite mystifying!

        • Michael

          The rationale is that a vote for Labour that includes O’Connor equals a vote for “far right government”. While I don’t think I’d describe such a government as “far right”, it certainly wouldn’t be progressive, or at all likely to pursue social justice, and would probably be impossible to distinguish from the current government. If that’s what Xanthe means, I concur.

          • weka

            So do you think that Labour will rewrite its policy this year to be unprogressive now that they have O’Connor on board? Sorry, that’s not making much sense either.

            • Michael

              That’s not what I said. Labour abandoned social progress and social justice as goals during its 1984-1990 terms and never bothered to reinstate them afterwards, apart from paying lip service. That’s why people don’t see any difference between Labour and National these days. I think it also goes a long way towards explaining why Labour lost the last three elections (arguably, it lost in 2005, but I won’t argue that) and looks highly likely to lose the next one.

              • weka

                You said that a Labour govt that included O’Connor wouldn’t be a progressive govt. I’m just trying to see how that might work. If it’s not by them rewriting all their progressive policy, how would it happen?

                *do you want me to name some?

                Or are you saying Labour already isn’t progressive at all, in which case what does that have to do with the inclusion of O’Connor?

                Honestly, I’m just trying to point out the inconsistencies in people’s arguments here. There are good reasons to object to O’Connor, but making out that including him will mean that Labour is no longer progressive just doesn’t make any sense.

                (Xanthe’s original comment was a nonsense).

                • Michael

                  Not including O’Connor in their line-up would not, by itself, render Labour progressive but including him, as it has done, is a clear indication that it is not progressive. You are being obtuse here, in attempting to characterise my argument as presenting a binary conclusion (progressive v non-progressive) when, of course, something as complex as a political platform cannot be reduced so simplistically. However, it is possible to reach a deductive conclusion on Labour’s political complexion by examining the evidence, in this case, Andrew Little’s exultative statements about O’Connor’s candidacy.

              • That’s not what I said. Labour abandoned social progress and social justice as goals during its 1984-1990 terms and never bothered to reinstate them afterwards…

                So, if Labour hasn’t been a progressive party since 1984, how will Greg O’Connor make it no longer a progressive party? If your description of Labour and implied description of him are accurate, he seems an appropriate choice for their candidate.

                • Michael

                  Labour likes to represent itself as progressive when its actions, such as picking O’Connor, clearly indicate otherwise. Labour campaigns on the idea that it is different fron National when, again, its actions demonstrate otherwise. I want to see a real Labour Party campaign for office again, not a National-lite one.

          • Keith

            So the alternative is we put a person in government who knows nothing of the police and somehow think that this will produce a positive outcome?

            The police spokesman I have seen for all parties don’t know what the hell they are doing. Jacinda was at one point and its not criticism of her but she was completely out of her depth. And I think Nash is better but again it is not a subject he appears familiar with. And don’t get me going about Crusher or whoever the idiot minister is at the moment!

            This is not far right, or even right wing, its common sense to police our communities properly.

            • Michael

              Assuming O’Connor becomes Labour’s next Minister of Police requires (a) suspension of reality and (b) accepting that only a former Police Officer can ever hold the portfolio. By that logic, Jonathan Coleman must be doing a fine job as Health Minister, while Labour, having no medical practitioners within its ranks, can never hope to supplant him? Lawnorder is a catch cry for lazy populist politicians who aren’t willing to do the hard yards in what is a complex and multi-faceted area of public policy. FWICS, O’Connor hasn’t got the smarts for the job, while his public statements are frequently abhorrent.

              • Chris

                If Labour’s put O’Connor where he is because they think he’ll nab them the populist vote on law ‘n’ order, then that’s a pretty good indication that Labour under Little has learned nothing from the past, and that we can expect more of the same across the board. No attempt to mark out a left-wing caring position on anything, more competition with the nats for the “middle ground” (whatever the fuck that means) and at times even voting with the nats on policies they see as popular, regardless of what Norman Kirk would think. Just giving the people more of what they think the people want. Sad, very sad indeed.

                If Labour flukes entry into government it’ll be because of Key’s exit, the arrival of Mr 2002 English and his clown deputy, and absolutely nothing to do with what Little and Labour have done.

                • Chris

                  For example, until we’re proved wrong, which we haven’t been over the last eight elections, Labour’s been absolutely silent of social welfare and benefits. I’ve often said here there’s absolutely no evidence that that will change in 2017. Well, putting O’Connor in to grab the popular vote on law ‘n’ order is wholly consistent with that.

            • Chris

              I don’t think you can take too much from that. Nash is in the wrong party for a start. He thinks the sun shines out of Collins’ arse.

              • Michael

                Nash is reported as a client of Dirty Politics operative Stephen Lusk. I think that tells us where his priorities lie and they certainly are not with the values his grandfather (or great-great-great-grandfather, or whatever) stood for.

  2. greywarshark 2

    A good fit I should think.

  3. Anne 3

    Good luck to you Greg O’Conner. May you beat the hell out of the hairy one.

  4. opium 4

    What on earth were they thinking?Labour are very much national light.What a truly awful man he is.

    • Anne 4.1

      What a truly awful man he is.


      • Xanthe 4.1.1

        Anne what planet have you been on for the last two decades

        • Anne

          Oh you’re so smart Xanthe. That snide snippet has been around since God made little apples. :mrgreen:

      • opium 4.1.2

        He was a one man,one eyed, police cheerleading squad.It was his job but he did make my skin crawl everytime I saw him on tv.

        • mac1

          Opium, terrible stuff follows from the one-eyed, police-cheering squad-leader, Greg O’Connor in 2016.

          “{“The Association believes that it is a very bad precedent to use police officers as strike-breakers,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

          Mr O’Connor was commenting on a proposal by the government to use police officers to perform the roles of striking aviation security staff at airports.”

          Sensible, principled, correct is what I’d say.

          • PMC

            “Sensible, principled, correct is what I’d say.”

            More like pure chance that the view of the police union happened to align with the views of the other unions, I’d say.

            • mac1

              Despite your cynicism, PMC, the arguments put forward by this union leader on this issue were sensible, correct and principled. Why is it, when people are against something or someone, that the blackest picture must be painted, and no shade of grey allowed? A reasonable person, without this visceral hatred of police (see how it’s so easily done to paint that kind of picture?), would dismiss such extreme views readily.

              • PMC

                I agree that the police union’s stance in the example you gave was “sensible, principled and correct”. All I’m saying is that was an exception to the general rule, and probably would’ve had anything to do with most unions’ opinions on scab labour, for example. Just look at O’Çonnor’s views on arming police.

              • gsays

                hi mac1,
                “Why is it, when people are against something or someone, that the blackest picture must be painted, and no shade of grey allowed? ”

                that’s the internet summed up right there.

                • mac1

                  Hi gsays. probably summed up humanity in general, except that when someone comes at me in person with some shit, I can challenge them there and then, and not let them get away before they get a good discussion.

                  On the internet, though, it seems if you are tested with a challenge, you cut and run, don’t respond and don’t have the same responsibility to front up.

                  Shame as a modifier of human behaviour is easily avoided, thereby.

    • Leftie 4.2

      Labour are thinking strategically. What better candidate is there, that can have a crack at prying away that conservative seat off Dunne, than O’Connor?

  5. millsy 5

    I would imagine Greg O Connor relating the experiences of the cops on the beat having to deal with the consequences of the 25 year managed decline of living standards of the bottom 40% of the population would be a good weapon in dealing with poverty and homelesseness in this country.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Hopefully NZF will stand a strong candidate in Ohariu?

  7. Ethica 7

    He said recently he does not support arming the police. That might have been the position of the Police Association but not his own and he doesn’t work for them anymore. It would be useful if The Standard could have a bit of a Q and A with Greg O’Connor so people could ask where he really stands on some of the issues like legalised marijuana, arming police, the environment, social justice etc.

    • lprent 7.1

      Actually that sounds like a good idea…

    • keepcalmcarryon 7.2

      I would be very interested in hearing where he is at as a labour candidate, as well.
      I have to say although he was representing his Police Association members, to me he came across as very myopic and not willing to compromise – whether discussing various police incidents, arming police or banging the drum on more firearms control. Not always a healthy approach to take.
      But yes, a strategic choice in a seat that might be winnable for laour, lets hope.

  8. Poission 8

    Law and order do not seem to be on the public radar as an important issue.


    Why is it becoming an issue ?

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      Law and order is always an election issue.
      National has been asleep at the wheel.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 8.1.1

        National are onto law and order now it is an Election year.

        • mac1

          Grey Power has strong policy on law and order. It will, in an election year, ensure that this issue is examined as members are concerned with crime statistics, response rates and availability of local police.

          For example, yesterday an older man told me he had had two “hooded men” visit his earthquake-damaged property, presumably to loot and vandalise. Local police responded quickly and caught an offender. The other had a warrant out for his arrest.

          The victim was given an option by police- to have the offenders trespassed for two years, or to have them prosecuted. The second option he rejected because he said they’d be convicted and slapped with the proverbial wet bus ticket.

          That issue is one of law and order- even though policing in this case was swift and effective, the issue of deterrence, and equitable sanctions, still remained for him.

  9. aom 9

    Another bad week coming up for Andrew Little? Sadly, O’Connor isn’t in the same league or the electorate fit of Virginnia Anderson or previously, Charles Chauval. Both took it to Dunne despite the National/UF deals, assisted by the syphoning effect of the Green vote. Even if the the Greens are a no-show this year, Labour are dog tucker, unless National decide to ditch Dunne and try running themselves. Realistically, that won’t happen.

    • North 9.1

      Yes yes dog tucker ! Only a dog could know that at this point.

    • Ethica 9.2

      Unfortunately, neither Charles nor Ginny won. Greg O’Connor will appeal to enough National and Peter Dunne voters to win the seat this time. He already has a high public profile. It is a wealthy but diverse electorate and parts of it are very conservative.

  10. Nick 10

    I don’t blame O’Connor for being selected. I just hope Labour knows what it is doing by choosing him….. That’s the real issue.

  11. adam 11

    Seems a good fit for the liberal party, that N.Z labour party now is.

  12. DS 12

    He’d probably do better in provincial New Zealand than Ohariu, but I’ve got no problems with the guy. Remember that if he was just after power and promotion of authoritarianism, the Nats would guarantee him that, no questions asked. Not only has he chosen Labour, but he’s tasked with a marginal seat.

    For those of you complaining, the alternative is Peter Dunne. Who, as you may recall, is a Tory lapdog. O’Connor will not be a Tory lapdog.

    • weka 12.1

      those are good points.

      I am curious about why they chose to put him up against Dunne though. Is it because he is likely to appeal to the Ōhāriu swing voters? The thing about Ōhāriu is that if the Greens don’t stand, Labour has a chance of taking the seat, unless National don’t stand or tell their voters to vote Dunne, or National voters choose to anyway. O’Connor might break that stalemate and pick up votes across the board.

      Where’s Rosie?!?

      • Psycho Milt 12.1.1

        I am curious about why they chose to put him up against Dunne though.

        Seems like he considers himself a local to that electorate. Also, Ohariu’s not exactly a hotbed of left-wing radicalism, as evidenced by it repeatedly electing Peter Dunne for the last few centuries (it feels like), so the fact that OÇonnor doesn’t appeal to the left-wing activists on this thread won’t be keeping them awake at night.

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    Is the Green vote likely to turn out for O’Connor if they don’t stand a candidate?
    Given how strong the Greens were at the last election across a good part of Wellington will they be able to vote for this guy?

      • mac1 13.1.1

        That article referred to by you, Xanthe, was written in 2010, and unattributed except to say it was a a Green Party view.

        1. I wonder what Greens say now?
        2. What weight should we give unattributed views, (including this one of mine)?
        3. Reading the article, argument is not given to support the view to O’Connor that police thuggery was justified. Nor did he make apologies for it. The original press article cited in the Green Party article also does not support that view.

        What he did do was make a plea for some understanding of the situations, the decisions we ask our police to make, the time frames and pressures they make them under etc.

        He acted as a union man, supporting his members as best he could. But, he did not condone their behaviour.

        I believe he acted more like a lawyer in court, putting forward factors in mitigation after the verdict has been correctly found. Someone has to act in that capacity.

        It is after all the role of advocates and union officials.

    • weka 13.2

      As a Green voter and strategic voter, I would if it looked like there was a chance of him winning. But if National for instance didn’t stand a candidate I probably wouldn’t.

  14. Cinny 14

    This is a smart move by Labour to put O’Connor up against Dunne.

    All the best Greg,

    • Leftie 14.1

      Agree with you Cinny. It’s a strategic move. Can’t think of a better candidate to have a go at removing that conservative seat from Dunne.

  15. tc 15

    If it changes the govt then great however with the identity politics approach now that labour seem to be going for it cuts both ways.

    O’Connor, Jackson and others have been chosen over folks with arguably more old school labour values that have been plugging away under ineffective leadership since Clark.

    If an actual left party was available to vote for this year I reckon Labour would be doing no such thing as this is a gamble IMO, good luck with that dinosaurs.

  16. saveNZ 16

    Hope Greens don’t stand. Do we want another 3 years of Natz?

    Not a fan of O’Conner – but someone needs to appeal to the voters that see some merit in Dunne. (How?).

    Dangerous move by Labour to be stretching the broad church in the Nat Lite direction.

    Last election Labour was too Nat Lite with more taxes. Kinda lost the middle voter there. I think people like representatives in the middle, not a party made up of candidates with different ideologies especially as traditionally this mades a big mish mash of inconsistant policy.

    Hope Labour don’t do too much of this high risk strategy (although ok in this instance to get out Dunne) because I doubt voters like the idea the party is just made up of a smorgasbord of careerist political faces who have completely different ideologies and views just to (hopefully) appeal to identity politics voters.

  17. xanthe 17

    “I doubt voters like the idea the party is just made up of a smorgasbord of careerist political faces who have completely different ideologies and views just to (hopefully) appeal to identity politics voters.”

    at last someone who speaks for the 22% that dont vote!

    • saveNZ 17.1

      exactly – Bomber’s going on about Labour getting 3.5% of the votes by adding Willy Jackson (representing urban Maori apparently??? although why not go Hone Hawawira who actually got the most party votes and is a real leftie not a corporate media hound) and Greg O’Connor (representing Nat Lite probably) – but also think about the 22% who didn’t vote.

      Last election there was no middle position apart from the fake Natz middle position that fooled a lot of people.

      I hope Labour will still form the next government but they need to be super careful because they got rid of Goff and Shearer to (probably) add Jackson and O’Conner.

      Are they changing, or allowing political strategists to add notoriety to neoliberal candidates that are more Natz than Labour and then tack on a few taxes to the middle to pay for it all?

      The end point being a sort of Nat Lite with taxes as a compromise with the different view points that was so popular last election (sarc).

      • lprent 17.1.1

        Bomber is a political idiot.

        The problem is that adding Willie Jackson is likely to lose them a pile of votes as well. Mine for a starter.

        I really don’t like mindless misogynist jokers. I class them as just defining what a mindless dickhead is.

        I can’t see anything that makes me think that Willie Jackson is not one. Being mates with John Tamihere reduces my confidence even further as he definitely is one.

        A political party that puts one “high” on the list loses my vote on the grounds that they clearly lack a sense of morals.

        I suspect that many (if not most) women will think the same. That makes him a political risk because many people who listen to the tape or transcript of that roastbusters interview repeatably will find that their skin will crawl as Willie and John grill a woman on the basis that ‘they were asking for it’.

        • weka

          It will be interesting to see to what extent that comes up during the election campaign. And who brings it up.

        • Brutus Iscariot

          Actually, losing votes on the Progressive Left shouldn’t bother Labour. They’re only going to the Greens who are essentially permanent coalition partners, something that has been recently formalised. It’s the soft Nat/NZF centre they need to poach to get the bloc over 50%. I admit it can be that approach, or the “missing million” approach – the issue is, neither of those groups are going to get excited over *the politics whose name must not be mentioned*. The former group due to an innate social conservatism (at the very least incrementalism), and the latter group due to the existence of more pressing concerns than what’s going on at the BGO, or the length of gender reassignment waiting lists.

          Bomber isn’t the political idiot – it may be you if you don’t realise that lost votes on Labour’s left don’t matter in a strategic sense.

          • weka

            They matter if they go to Mana or TOP or NZF. Too many lefties won’t Green so if they don’t vote Labour their vote is wasted.

            • Brutus Iscariot

              There’s always a small number “wasted” on either side. I’d be worried (if i was Labour) if i saw Mana polling at 2.5-3% with no electorate seats – that would be evidence of them turning off a decent number of people (ceterus paribus) with no commensurate benefit to the bloc. No idea what to make of TOP – it’s an unusual beast. I tend to think they’ll amount to nothing as they lack a natural constituency, and amongst their policy prescription there seems to always be one that will turn any individual off, regardless what they think of some of their innovative/good policies.

              Edit: also doubtful anyone worried about WJ or O’Connor being *within* Labour is going to jump ship to NZF.

              • saveNZ

                Personally think an important part of the missing million who used to vote Labour, were traditional NZ homeowners who would traditionally vote but didn’t like what Labour was offering – work longer and harder for their pension and put on more property taxes so we can keep going with social services and neoliberalism and the general direction we are going.

                I was at a talk and someone was saying they grew up in a 2 bedroom house with no electricity and running water with 13 siblings. For many people it can be hard to reconcile how far we have come in 70 years with the expectations of what constitutes poverty nowadays and the expectations that some people have. Remember we have a population top heavy.

                Like housing, poverty is an overused political word that has almost become meaningless because every single group from ACT to Mana talk about it as a deep issue they want to solve. It’s like climate change deniers slowing down the process of change or corporations litigating to keep the status quo by appearing to have a solution to the problem too.

                Just got a glossy leaflet from the Natz saying all the stuff they are doing to solve housing. At a glance it looked like quite a lot. I don’t believe them but many might.

                There’s also the changing demographics which help National.

                Labour need to regain some moral high ground to get their supporters back, I’m not sure having Willy Jackson is going to do that.

                You can tamper with works and messaging, but I think Kiwis are sensing that values, fairness, corruption and the NZ identity as well as a decent fiscal position and social and environmental values are slipping away and that is certainly something Labour could capitalise on.

          • lprent

            I am aware of that votes to the Greens aren’t that much of a problem for Labour in the short term. Unfortunately they are for Labour in the medium to long term. It is the fastest way for them to drive their party to irrelevance.

            If you look at what active members that the Labour party has, you’d realize that they are mainly competent progressives of some nature or another. So are most of the potential candidates. That is why the kickback is so damn strong when stupid things like this, Shearer and his bloody sickness beneficiary on the roof, or the attempted demonization of Cunliffe happen.

            If the Labour party wants to be degenerate into machine politics oblivion, then doing stupid things like announcing Willie Jackson will be getting a high position on the list, thereby effectively bypassing all of the party procedures, is a damn good way to do it. Offhand, I can’t think of anything stupider that would discourage younger active members to get engaged or to drive older members away.

            Bomber is politically stupid because he appears to think that a disintegrating Labour party will give rise to a more left leaning, more revolutionary party (where presumably he’d have bigger part to play – yes I think that his ego is that deluded).

            The problem is that rather than deal with incompetents like Bomber, Mana, Internet party, and the like; I suspect that most of the people exiting from Labour are more likely to just get on with their lives and not provide a nucleus of any other left party. The legacy ethical and structural framework of the Labour party is a valuable resource for the left as a whole. I suspect that once it is gone then there will be nothing to replace it.

            • Brutus Iscariot

              “If you look at what active members that the Labour party has, you’d realize that they are mainly competent progressives of some nature or another. ”

              Therein may lie the problem – those who’ve done the “hard yards” through Young Labour etc can afford the time and energy to play politics, but aren’t the same people who are economically struggling and need Labour in government. Hence the divergence in perspective and clash of “IP” and “class warfare”.

              As for the demonisation of Cunliffe, i’m not sure whether that was based on his policy platform. Coming from a non-left voter, i always saw him as the best (as in, potentially inspirational and competent) leader that Labour has had over the current cycle.

            • Brutus Iscariot

              If you had a clean sheet of paper you might have the following structure for the new era of politics we seem to be entering into:

              NZF or Labour* – economic justice focused, nationalist, dirigiste
              Progressives – effectively the “social justice” components of the Greens and Labour.
              Green – pure environmentally focused to provide a handbrake on the uppermost party.

              The right would look pretty similar to what it does now:

              National – neoliberal, internationalist
              Act – juiced up version of above
              Conservatives – (in a social sense) no real market for them as an organised party – the poorer will be represented by the leftist party above, the richer will reside as a rump within National.

              *Either with Labour ceasing to exist and being splintered amongst the other three, or with NZF ceasing to exist, Labour taking its policy ground and shedding its SJ wing to the Progressives.

              In today’s world and with the right policy mix, that’s an arrangement with more success of capturing the benches.

              • saveNZ

                Brutus Iscariot, You sound like a Labour political adviser that lost them the last election.

                This is what I feel the mood is….

                National – been in power too long – out of touch Neoliberals – but is there anyone better?
                Labour – Lost their way but coming back – hopefully not to tax everyone more with complicated policy that no one can understand .
                Green – Feeling less “Green” and talking social policy too much which is what all the other parties do, so who’s saving the forests?
                NZF – have some good ideas and but what about when Winston goes?
                TOP – can’t see them making 5%
                The Maori Party – dying unless they can cling to Mana. (Hence Jackson taking an opportunity to secure his future with Labour).
                ACT – dead but clinging to National for corporate hand outs.
                NZ Future – dead but clinging to National for corporate hand outs.
                Mana – bit of a wild card.

              • weka

                You can’t take social justice out of the Green movement for a very good reason. Social justice and the environment are utterly entwined. Go back and look at where those movements come from and you will see SJ was built in. Trying to separate them out now would be like amputating half your body.

                • Brutus Iscariot

                  I’m aware of the history – but political alignments can shift and break. None of this could/would/should happen by fiat tomorrow…but events can make a mockery of history and prediction.

                  Obviously futile to predict a course of events, but should the present de-globalisation trend continue, we could see the economic/nationalist centre gaining ground at the expense of both the liberal left (social) and right (economic). How that fits into the current party mix is even more obscure. NZF as a “Muldoonist” movement is held back by a lack of talent. How about this though:

                  1) NZF withers post-Winston, effectively being absorbed by Labour. Labour “pulls together” as a sense of national crisis is felt around the economy and the growing international drive towards protectionism and the rollback of globalisation, which have been a shock to NZ. Labour’s existing neoliberal wing shrinks internally, supplanted by the more dirigiste ideas popularised by NZ First. Labour regains its old “broad church” mantle.

                  2) NZ First continues to grow “market share” and through shrewd candidate recruitment, begins to gain additional credibility with both traditional Labour voters and disaffected Nats as economic conditions worsen. Labour faces an identity crisis as caucus splits over how to respond to the changing economic landscape. Large swathes of MP’s defect to NZ First, making it the largest party in the 2021 Parliament, with Stuart Nash becoming Prime Minister.

                  • weka

                    What does that have to do with the Greens dropping social justice in favour of environmental only policies?

                    • Brutus Iscariot

                      Nothing – except to say that things that people say could never happen (Trump winning, Labour shattering) can happen. TBH i think the Greens have a lot more stable position on the political spectrum than most other parties – it’s hard to fathom how that breach would ever occur in practice.

                    • weka

                      That’s how I see it too. The kaupapa and the values can’t be separated out from the party. If you tried to take out the values the party would implode. I think that there are inbuilt structures to prevent something like the Douglas/Prebble takeover of Labour too.

                      If Labour shattered and the Greens became the largest LW party, that would be an interesting process. Any party that gains that much power is by definition going to be more mainstream.

                • xanthe

                  “can’t take social justice out of the Green movement”

                  but can we take identity politics out of social justice?

                  • weka

                    Given the mindfuck you are doing around those terms, I seriously doubt it.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    Your tautology is showing.

                    You say “identity politics”

                    I say “social justice”

                    • xanthe

                      “You say “identity politics”
                      I say “social justice””

                      and therein lies the problem

                      so for both you weka and carolyn_nth here is what I mean when I use those terms
                      Social Justice == the elimination of discrimination
                      Identity politics == targeted discrimination for political purpose

                      quite a difference dont you think?

                    • weka

                      However you define them you cannot easily undo the monkey wrenching of the politics of people who are marginalised that you have been engaging in. Yes, we can try and define terms, but in the conversations I have had with you you have consistently argued against the rights of people in favour of your economic ideology. That will need redressing too if you want your differentiations to be taken seriously. ‘Identity politics’ is a weapon that some lefties are using against people. It’s mean, nasty, and marginalising in and of itself.

                    • xanthe

                      Have you nothing to actually contribute?
                      All I see is a personal attack based on a policy of wilfull misinterpretation and misrepresentation!
                      How about actually taking an honest look at how the left was derailed?
                      Or is that too scary?

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      What weka said @ 7.12 pm – and much better than I could put it.

                      On O’Connor, so far I am agnostic. Haven’t yet seen enough of him in the political arena.

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      xanthe, I havce been taking an honet look at how some on the left are trying to split off social justice issues from the mainstream of poltics.

                      Been reading and thinking about it for many years now, and watching the behaviour of some on the left.

                      From where I’m sitting

                      How about actually taking an honest look at how the left was derailed?
                      Or is that too scary?

                      back atcha.

                      Edit – and to break this deadlock, I’d actually like to see some egs of your alleged difference between social justice and identity politics.

                    • xanthe

                      As for my definition of
                      Identity politics == targeted discrimination for political purpose ,
                      Social Justice == the elimination of discrimination

                      I am not trying to prove that mine is the only true meaning, simply telling you what it means to me.

                      Now you know what I mean I ask again
                      Can we take “identity politics” out of “social justice”?

                      without games or personal attacks

                    • weka,
                      Have you nothing to actually contribute?

                      Did you mean “nothing to contribute beyond that clear and eloquent description of where I’m wrong that you made in your comment at 7:12?” Otherwise I’m not seeing it.

                    • Xanthe

                      Oh well if none of you can engage in meaningful dialogue i will say goodnight

                    • weka

                      “Now you know what I mean I ask again
                      Can we take “identity politics” out of “social justice”?”

                      As long as you use the term ‘identity politics’ as a weapon against people, then no.

                    • weka

                      “Edit – and to break this deadlock, I’d actually like to see some egs of your alleged difference between social justice and identity politics.”

                      That would certainly help. In fact it’s hard to see how to have a conversation without examples. An attempt to discuss conceptually seems fraught with potential for misunderstanding and I’m suspicious of the fact that Xanthe is unwilling to give detail despite pushing for the conversation. Are we supposed to just agree to the concept of social justice without IP without first knowing what those things mean?

                  • Carolyn_nth


                    Now you know what I mean I ask again
                    Can we take “identity politics” out of “social justice”?

                    without games or personal attacks

                    Well, I guess you think that makes sense to you. But it makes no sense to me. Without any egs to hang it on, I have no idea what you mean – your definition makes no sense to me.

                    And that’s not playing games. Just telling how I see it.

                • saveNZ

                  Weka – Greens get a lot more votes than the socialist party so I think that is where their stronger voter base is.

                  Social issues might be important – but with Sue Bradford gone who is the number one women I rate highly in politics on that issue because she is practical and understands poverty on a very deep level, not on some sort of policy paper level that is useless to those who are actually in poverty (reports, committee meetings, speeches and sympathy don’t feed and shelter people) and so many high profile Greenies leaving the party – Greens seem very light now on environmental leaders.

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