David Farrar: (20 March 2010)
Sepuloni is probably the candidate with the best chance to take the fight to Paula Bennett. I don’t think she’ll beat Paula, but she’ll do better than a white middle aged guy would, to be blunt.
Twyford was proclaimed as one of the new high flyers. However if he loses tonight, it will shoot his credibility to shreds, considering it will be his third effective rejection in a row, having been scared off Mt Albert and Auckland Central. Some in Labour will not want to embarrass Twyford like that, even if they think Sepuloni has a better chance.
Chris Trotter: (20 March 2010)
UNBELIEVABLE! The Labour Party has just offered the NZ electorate further proof (if any more was needed) of its accelerating political infirmity.It has just selected Carmel Sepuloni as it Waitakere candidate.In making this decision it has not only chosen wrongly, but it has also dealt what may prove to be a fatal blow to the career of one of its more talented MPs, Phil Twyford.
[Trotter then expounds on his dubious “Waitakere Man” theory]
Carmel Sepuloni’s going to win back those voters?Yeah, right.The truly sad aspect of today’s selection is what it tells us about the paucity of talent in Labour’s ranks.
And (in the comments to that post):
[Phil Twyford’s] enemies in the EPMU, combined with his possession of a penis (and, increasingly rarely for a Labour MP – a pair of balls) have reduced his chances of securing a solid political base to something approaching zero.
Those same handicaps also put his position on the 2011 Labour List in doubt.
Clearly, being an intelligent and compassionate human-being, with an impeccable background in the voluntary/humanitarian sector, counts for far less in Labour circles than having a few union mates and a vagina.
Tim Watkin: (March 24 2010)
I suspect quite a few working class New Zealanders look like Sepuloni. I don’t know her; neither her scrappiness nor her campaigning ability. So I’m in no position to write her off before the next election.
But Labour hardly looks focused in Auckland, or refreshed with new talent. Phil Twyford – the man who everyone likes but no-one wants – has been allowed to stand (or almost stand) and lose in three electoral seats now. Is that how you treat a man of his talent? It’s appalling mismanagement. And to however many Aucklanders are paying attention, it looks shonky and undermines his efforts in the Super City debate, sending the message to Aucklanders that the man chosen to lead the party’s attack on the Super City isn’t worthy of a seat in it. Clumsy is the kind word for it.
Cameron Slater (20 March 2010):
The interesting thing about Repulsion Camel is no-one really knows who she is. In a meeting with some of the senior Pasefika community leaders in Auckland they were saying “we don’t know her. It isn’t a surprise that she isn’t known in the Pasefika community, which is largely Auckland based, because she was born and raised in Taranaki and from went into the union movment. She is about as Pasefika as I am because I was born in Fiji.
Someone (repeaters) should ask where she is from, what her Pasefika credentials really are, or is she just playing on the funny name and the brown skin. If she is she picked the wrong electorate to play the race card.
Back to the Pasefika community, basically if you raise a name with these folk that person will be someone’s cousin/aunty/uncle pretty much every time. Repulsion Camel isnt, and the community leaders just don’t get why Labour are promoting her because she has no standing in the Pasefika community.
“Luimachuwumbama” Winnie Laban & Su’a William “So-so” Sio do have standing, they are known, they have credentials and while the Pasefika community leaders don’t really rate “So-so” he has a chiefly title and has some respect. there is a reason Repulsion Camel doesn’t have a title, the face doesn’t fit, she is a carpet-bagger from Taranaki for Waitakere and a carpet-bagger trading on her brown skin in the Pasefika community.
If the Greens selected Robyn Malcolm then they may come second pushing Repulsion Camel to third place.
Phil Twyford went on to win selection for the Te Atatu electorate, and he won the seat with a healthy majority. Carmel Sepuloni won Waitakere by 11 votes, although a judicial recount seems likely.
(Hat tip to Russell Brown (@publicaddress) for some of the links)