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Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election round-up

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, June 28th, 2013 - 14 comments
Categories: by-election 2013, campaigning, greens, labour, mana-party, Maori Issues, maori party, Maori seats, poverty, sustainability, unemployment, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

I’ve been looking around at what the media are saying about the by-election.  Some are making claims about the impact on the Labour Party of a loss and/or low vote: from the left and the right.  Supporters of each of the main contenders are talking up heir chances.  Some candidates have made some important statements of policy.  All the left-leaning candidates have something to recommend them.

RNZ points out that there are 7 candidates for tomorrow’s by-election (polls open at 9am):

…the race is really between those from political parties already represented in Parliament.

Those candidates are: Meka Whaitiri (Labour), Na Raihania (Maori Party), Te Hamua Nikora (Mana) and Marama Davidson (Green Party).

The other candidates are Michael Appleby (Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party) and two independents – Maurice Wairau and Adam Holland.

The NZ Herald provides a brief comment about each of the 4 main contenders:

Green Party, Marama Davidson:

[…] Sustainable jobs that protect our environment are my priority. We can create thousands of jobs in forestry, manufacturing and cleaning up our environment; I have a blueprint to deliver them. I’ll also defend our tamariki. We will deliver nurses in schools and insulated homes to keep them well and ready to learn. […]

Mana Party, Te Hamua Nikora:

[…]  despite Uncle Para’s efforts our people lag behind in education, housing and employment. Mana will always stick up for our people and they have great ideas about how to address the issues. […]

Maori Party, Na Rongowhakaata Raihania:

[…] Our vision is one where every child is cared for and clothed, every parent can provide for tamariki, whanau are employed, and every grandparent can feel warm and safe in their own homes. The Maori Party gives a voice for Maori to speak as equals in Parliament and to operate under tikanga Maori. […]

Labour Party, Meka Whaitiri:

[…] Since 2008, unemployment has risen 2 per cent; manufacturing has laid off 40,000 people; there are empty state homes throughout the rohe, including 106 in Maraenui. […] I’m standing for a major party that will form the Government next year. I’ll fight to get the Maori Affairs portfolio back at the Cabinet table where it once was, where Parekura fought for it to be.

Hamish Rutherford at NZ Herald is taking the queue from Matthew Hooton and claiming the by-election is a major test of Shearer’s leadership.  The Mana Party supporter’s are talking up Mana’s chances, and Matt McCarten claims it is a test of the Maori Party’s support.

TV3 news has reported on the GreenParty policies that candidate Marama Davidson has announced as part of her campaign.

Setting up a conservation corps employing 860 people is part of a Green Party plan to create jobs in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate.

By-election candidate Marama Davidson announced the party’s proposals today, saying they’re a “realistic and achievable” blueprint for sustainable employment.

The conservation corps would cost $39.6 million and would plant trees beside degraded rivers and trap pests.

Other proposals include reinstating the Gisborne rail line, prioritising road maintenance and building safer walkways and cycle tracks, making biofuel from wood waste and supporting reforestation on Maori land.

Metiria Turei is giving Davidson her full support, campaigning with her, and attaching her name to a press release on Davidson’s campaign policies.  It’s a strong policy announcement, focusing on creating jobs for the electorate as part of a sustainable economy.

Hone Harawira is talking up the chances of the Mana candidate, Te Hamua, in his press release, foregrounding their intensive, on-the-ground campaigning, and claiming Labour’s support is collapsing around the country.

I can’t find a more recent press release on the Labour Party website about the Labour candidate, but a June 11 Labour Party Press Release, debunks Mana’s poll claims, and talks up jobs for the electorate.

“The first focus for the Labour Māori Caucus in Government will be to serve our people by reversing the negative trends in unemployment and poverty which have increased under the National Party’s watch.

“Meka has the skills and resilience required to weather the political storms which will lie in the void left by the absence of the Māori Party and an unpredictable future for the Mana Party.

“We are looking forward to Meka joining our team because we share the same issues of concern such as jobs for our whānau, better opportunities for rangatahi and unlocking the potential of iwi post-settlement assets.

And Clare Curran enthusiastically endorsed Meka Whaitiri’s suitability for the job, in an intro to Meka’s post on Red Alert back on June 11th.  I’d like to see more detail on what the Labour Party plans to do with the empty state houses in the electorate, and how they plan to reduce poverty and increase employment opportunities.

A Maori Party press release, their candidate Na Raihania argues against caps on university education funding for older Maori, as often Maori get to higher education by a different path than other people.  As a “long time fighter for workers’ rights”, Na Raihania also supports the unions’ call for an improvement in workers’ rights, especially as regards health and safety in the forestry sector.  And he wants “surplus state houses ” to be sold to low income Maori.

Affordable housing is an issue that needs attending to for low income Maori.  However, these days I didn’t think any state houses were “surplus”.

The four main contenders have an excellent track record in their work for their communities, and they have highlighted many important issues that need tackling to improve the lives of Maori, especially for those on low incomes, those wanting jobs or education opportunities, and those in need of affordable housing.

[update] Candidates interviewed on RNZ Morning Report this morning [h/t Lanthanide]:



14 comments on “Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election round-up”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    MANA have certainly been very visible on the ground, provided a sausage sizzle for the residents in one of our poorer areas, with Te Hamua and Hone being very approachable.

    So, the cutlery drawer is being opened according to the sage / Patrick Gower; “Shearer on a two-month notice, a change in leadership cannot be ruled out”. How many swallows this spring?

    and how will the Green party leverage the reopening of the rail line; subsidization.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    RNZ interviewed the top 4 this morning:

    That’s where I first heard about an apparent poll in which Labour isn’t doing too well in the by-election, and what it could mean for Shearer’s leadership.

    • karol 2.1

      Thanks, Lanthanide. I’ve added the audio to the bottom of the post.

      So, there’s various possible repercussions of the bu-election outcome.

  3. Molly 3

    Sales of surplus state housing, with attendant insulation and maintenance problems, are a good way of ensuring that new owners find themselves with a money pit to drain the little money they have into retrofitting their new “assets”.

    Surely, Na Raihania can come up with a proposal better than that.?

    • just saying 3.1

      I think it depends where you are. The state houses in my street are in better repair than most of the privately owned houses. They were all painted inside and out last year, and the gardening crews are here every week. It takes money and other resources to maintain a property. It may be that these paricular houses are earmarked to be sold, I hope not. I understand that many of those that took up Thatcher’s offer to buy their council homes, in the UK, ended-up worse off than those who continued to rent.

      We need to build a buy a great deal of good quality state housing, and offer tenants lifetime leases. I think this would help those on low incomes more than the chance to buy.

      Btw the waiting list for a state house is a mile long. Where is the surplus?

  4. gobsmacked 4

    The campaign has been a ‘good news’ story largely ignored by non-Maori media, who see it all through the tired eyes of palace pundits (Will it be good or bad for Shearer? etc). In fact, it’s been Maori democracy and diversity in action, and I hope they get the decent turnout they deserve.

    Check out Native Affairs (Maori TV) or local media or even Twitter (#IkaroaRawhiti) for a more rounded view. My impressions from an outsider: Marama Davidson is the most polished, the Mana dude is a good stirrer (democracy needs them), Meka Whaitiri is doing OK for a novice, her heart’s in the right place and she’ll be nobody’s party hack.

    • Murray Olsen 4.1

      True, gob. The electorate seems to be seeing a real awakening of Maori consciousness about politics in general. People are really getting involved, and it’s got buggerall to do with Shearer, Mallard, or Gower. The only downside I can see is that only one of Marama or Te Hamua can be elected.

    • karol 4.2

      Agreed, gs. I hope they are planning to stand Davidson in the election next year. That is likely what the greens are thinking. They have outlined the most substantial/detailed policies of the candidates, I think, perhaps with next year’s election in mind.

      It would be extrewmely good to get another Mana MP in the House, although, i think that’s an outside chance.

      Meka also seems a very good candidate, but I am surprised at the lack of recent press releases on her by the Labour Party. Is this the result of some slack caucus leadership?

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Hone needs a mate or more on those green leather benches, Marama is destined for bigger things anyway, Te Hamua hopefully this time. if the LP gets there it is just sleepwalking.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Well not sure how the vote will go, but Marama Davidson was the only one with an actual plan. Everyone else seems all talk.

    Hope she makes history tomorrow.

  7. millsy 7

    Labour will romp home. Even though their candidate is woefully uninspiring. A paid up member of the Brown Table/bro-ocracy. Hardly sets the world on fire. Solid sometimes isn’t good enough.

    Hope the Mana bloke does well…

  8. r0b 8

    Given the embargo on promoting any candidate on election day, comments on this post will be turned off at midnight. To be safe, please do NOT make any comments relating to the by election anywhere on The Standard until after 7pm on Saturday. Thanks…

  9. r0b 9

    Comments on this post have been re-enabled.

  10. Murray Olsen 10

    Bugger. Good to see a close second from Mana, even though a comrade for Hone in the Beehive would have been better. I hope the Mana vote keeps up, or increases, for next year.

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