Labour the Greens and NZ First

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, February 19th, 2015 - 69 comments
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A couple of messy days for Labour.

I don’t know any of the background apart from what has been reported but I agree that better consultation with the Greens should have occurred concerning the second position on the Security and Intelligence Committee.  There is a rationale for Russel Norman not being put back on the committee but a proper discussion should have been had.

And there have been rumours that Winston Peters may stand in Northland and Labour may be thinking of withdrawing its candidate in favour of him.  TRP has posted an analysis suggesting that Labour should consider supporting Peters and to show that debate is alive and well amongst the authors I thought I should post a contrary view.

I hope Labour do not support Peters and stick to the current position of running Willow Jean Prime as a candidate for both local and strategic reasons.

Willow Jean is an outstanding individual and has huge potential.  She performed exceedingly well in the Labour list selection process last year and was highly placed.  She is an elected member of the Far North District Council and last election reduced Mike Sabin’s majority by 2,000.  She a Moerewa lawyer of Te Kapotai, Ngati Hine and Ngapuhi descent.  She is one of a group of outstanding potential future politicians that the Labour Party has.

The by election will give her and the party the ability to campaign on Labour ideas and to present her to the electorate.

The alternative, ceding in favour of a Winston Peters candidacy is in my humble opinion wrong at so many levels.  This would make Labour appear weak and remove the opportunity to talk about the issues that are important for Labour.  It would also give Winston the ability to hog the limelight for a month.  And if by some chance he won it would give New Zealand First momentum that Labour may regret.

I do not support reliance on NZ First for the possibility of a future Labour Government for a few reasons.  Much as Winston is entertaining and charismatic he is a long time tory whose reactions to issues are generally conservative.  He cannot be relied on to support Labour.  Memories of 1996 when Peters campaigned through the country promising a change of Government but then sided with National are still strong.  And he is the worst sort of politician who can campaign against the cynicism of politics as usual but then engage in the most cynical of politics.

The way I see it Labour should do its best to ensure that the relationship with the Greens is nurtured and enhanced.  If there is a competitor with Labour it is New Zealand First.

So Labour should take the opportunity to campaign hard in this by election and improve relations with the Greens.

69 comments on “Labour the Greens and NZ First”

  1. weka 1

    Hear hear. Well put. The value for Labour of supporting its future bright leaders shouldn’t be underestimated. Plus, is there any evidence that Peters can be trusted?

    Love the title btw. Labour the Greens indeed 😛

    • in no way would lab/grns strategically voting is no way a slur on willow jean..

      ..and she wd stand again in ’17..

      ..(and anyway..a candidate of her strengths should be high enough on labours’ list to ensure election to parliament..)

  2. Sable 2

    Given the way Labour have been behaving I can not imagine Winston Peters would care two hoots what Labour do or say about anything. Fact is Winston is popular and I suspect that popularity will grow as alienated left supporters move towards him and away from ersatz Labour and its National 2.0 policies.

  3. Skinny 3

    Good on Willow Jean Prime and her solid team, however its a lost opportunity in my opinion that the 3 party’s can not master MMP and work together showing the public they can. There lack of a cohesive approach makes people like me want to start a new party, actually such is my disgust.

    I may show up at Primes By Election launch on Sunday, I hear Little is fronting.

  4. freedom 4

    my 2c. (posted on trp’s post also)

    Sometimes the core of the issue is hidden by the tendrils of who what why where when?
    Any multi-opponent campaign involving two or more political parties contesting the National candidate in Northland will [most likely] end in failure.

    The core of the issue is as simple as simple gets. Does the opposition want to take the seat from National? That is the only question that is relevant. Which opposition Party wins that seat is not as important as National not winning that seat.

    The only way to realistically remove National from the seat is to have one single opponent to the National candidate, supported, campaigned for and endorsed by Greens Labour and NZ First, moving forward with the single and clearly stated goal of removing National from the Northland seat.

    The Greens Labour and NZ First need to sit in a room, put those three names into a hat, make the draw and get to work over the next six weeks. Supporting each other, sharing resources and showing NZ how the opposition, as a body of elected representatives, believe the people of New Zealand, not the objectives of individual political Parties, are the priority.

    I am fully aware it is a ridiculously simplistic way to approach the complex scenario, but the people of New Zealand need that seat taken from National. Does the opposition want to take the seat from National or not?

    • Disabled Liberation Aotearoa BZ DLANZ 4.1

      Totally agree with you ‘Freedom’….prior to Andrew Little’s breach of protocol with these appointments to the Security and Intelligence Committee, Willow-Jean Prime would have been the perfect candidate to have fronted whatever National came up with for their representative. A Hung Parliament over issues like Resource Management Amendments is still up for grabs if this election result can be achieved. I think it could lead yo an early general election, something many would hope for

      Mickey Savage is being a bit soft on Labor, when he says they should do better with consulting other parties…in fact Labor has not done itself any favors with th minor parties by this arrogant attitude of thinking they are the only ‘party’ in town.

      I feel it is Labor who needs to apologize to the Greens and NZ First about their recent decision and then settle down to a cohesive campaign for Northland, which considering the 9000 majority, won’t be easy.

      Regards
      Doug Hay
      Cordinator

    • saveNZ 4.2

      Yes it is that simple.

      Is the goal to win the seat from National?

      Pick the best person and everyone support them.

      Don’t worry about what Winston has done in the past. Labour seems to be the least trustworthy at present and would throw anyone under the bus. The gain for the other two sides would be to show they can work together collectively to win the seat and put aside previous differences and disputes to do that. Then they start looking viable to the people of NZ and can then look to show their ‘difference’ to the mix later on.

      This is not an general election – it is a chance to get a strategy and adapt to the new conditions. Start to gain votes as a whole by taking them off National not each other.

  5. lprent 5

    I always remember the aftermath of the election in 2005 when Winston Peters and Peter Dunne deliberately excluded the Greens.

    As far as I am concerned I’d be interested in seeing if the leopard had changed his spots before doing anything more generous than putting TRP’s post at the top of this site.

  6. swordfish 6

    Instead of replicating my comment on TRP’s post here, I’ll just link to it……http://thestandard.org.nz/stand-by-your-man/#comment-971423

  7. b waghorn 7

    Winston running means labour should push even harder for a win .
    Winston will split the national vote .
    Labour can push the he can’t be trusted not to take what ever baubles key would offer him if Winston did sneak a win.
    NZF and the greens need to remember they have no show of being in a left side government without labour.

    • weka 7.1

      “NZF and the greens need to remember they have no show of being in a left side government without labour.”

      Pretty sure both are well aware of that. NZF could probably care less. The GP have to weigh up whether Labour are ever going to take a L/GP coalition seriously against the value of increasing their party vote in the medium and long term by standing a candidate.

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        @ weka..

        ..the flawed thinking within the greens that has given us a history of vote-splitting and defeat..

        ..more of the same..?

        ..y’reckon..?

      • b waghorn 7.1.2

        “value of increasing their party vote in the medium and long term by standing a candidate.”
        Hate to totally agree with Mr Ure on something but that’s why we still have dunne loafing around Parliament.

    • saveNZ 7.2

      He will split it, but probably not enough to win the seat. Back to square 1.

  8. Ad 8

    This is the first and best opportunity for the Labour caucus to swallow their pride and figure out what working in a coalition might look like. They have been pathologically unable to do so.

    They might even have to get used to Winston Peters being – Borgen-style – the Prime Minister in 2017. If that’s what it takes to topple the almighty Key with the alternative government that was missing last time.

    Also, it’s still early enough in the term to lose and recover, even if it meant the whole of the Opposition put together couldn’t do it.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    In terms of parliamentary electoral political tactics only, (my views on social democracy or reformism are not positive). Winston could stand as a potential vote splitter not that he will see it that way. Some people that are down on the Nats in the North could never bring themselves to vote Labour.

    As for Labour they have for decades had ‘parachute’ or one run candidates in the North including Winston Peters sister Lynette Stewart one time. Willow Jean is a potential break with that and could set her self up for a serious go next election with this campaign.

    But it would need to be on specific issues; restore Air NZ (not Cessna) flights to Kaitaia, after Warkworth spend the holiday hiway dosh on Northland road upgrades, extend rail to at least Whangarei and Marsden Pt and in the future to Kaitaia, and all sorts of other infrastructure such as just one main power line.

    The East Coast retired, Kerikeri SMEs and farmers are not the majority in the North and their time is nigh.

  10. Skinny 10

    If Winston & Willow Jean both stand there will be vote splitting alright, Willow Jean’s vote will drop from last years election and the local farmer put up by the Nat’s will have a majority higher than Sabin’s who wasn’t well liked by some Tories who knew of his checkered history.

    You speak of the rail line in the North and a Marsden Point rail link to the deep water port. Sorry to say your way behind on what’s happening. The rail line is on schedule to close, National has no intention of keeping it going let alone upgrading it, they have already closed one line to Dargaville just before Xmas. The trucking lobbying group donate plenty of money to National and trains are too hard to compete with, its easier to close lines if you run them down by minimal maintaining, eventually a washout like what happened to the Gisborne line and they close it. Oh and I see the other day they have started the highway to the national party MP’s and donators beach homes.

  11. The Real Matthew 11

    If the picture on the front page is an accurate representation of the Labour candidate then I fully endorse her candidacy for Northland.

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    The more I consider the proposal the more it looks like a mistake: a slim chance of winning which will not affect National’s ability to rubberstamp its owners instructions, and an absolute certainty of negative headlines for the Left.

    Then there are the obvious advantages to The Greens and Labour of standing strong candidates who will have a national platform.

    • “.. an absolute certainty of negative headlines for the Left…”

      care to give us a couple of examples of this ‘scary’-spectre..

      ..and cd i add..

      ..why not try growing a pair..?..eh..?

      ..’sticks and stones’ and all that..

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1

        I ask myself, can I be bothered trawling through several paragraphs of barely legible macho posturing? Phil’s amygdala has made his mind up for him, so no.

        • phillip ure 12.1.1.1

          ok..so just more bullshit from you..eh..?

          ,,yet another time when called on it..

          ..you just snivel/as hom yr way off..eh..?

          ,,that’s kinda sad..eh..?

          ..can’t even think of one of those dragon-slaying headlines..eh..?

          ..that is beyond sad..and lurching into pathetic..

          • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1.1

            Thought of several, in fact. I even typed them into a comment. Then I remembered who I was talking to and couldn’t be bothered.

            “Labour running scared in Northland.”

            “Labour throws in the towel”.

            “Labour abandons principles”.

            That sort of thing. Now run along.

            • phillip ure 12.1.1.1.1.1

              headline:..

              .’.anonymous commenter loses testicles – search party is sent out..

              ..(commenter complains that he is particularly vulnerable to being hurt by words..)..’

              um..!..shouldn’t you ‘run along’..and join in the search for yr testicles..?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                🙄

                Thanks for being so utterly predictable.

                • ditto…

                  ..still no ‘answers’..eh..?

                  ..just another dump ‘n run seagull-comment..was it..?..eh..?

                  ..and if so scared of possible ‘headlines’..(!)..

                  ..that it freezes you into immobility/panic-mode..

                  ..how can you not be one who has suffered testicle-loss..?

                  ..good luck in finding them again..

                  ..i mean..are you even able to get a grasp on the paucity of yr arguments..?

                  ..’we can’t do that…the rightwing media might say something nasty about us..’..(!)

                  ..(are you even listening to yrslf..?..)

  13. “The by election will give her and the party the ability to campaign on Labour ideas and to present her to the electorate.”

    I agree with that and think labour should take the opportunity – get little up there banging away – go full frontal – in terms of the electorate and the media – pretend it’s the big election (within budget of course) and go for it.

  14. Maui 14

    I’m struggling with how she could campaign on “Labour ideas”, because I’m not really sure what they are anymore. Capital gains tax, mass surveillance, poverty issues have been put on the back burner by Labour. Does she just campaign on jobs then and not rocking the boat too much? I can’t see how you win a bielection or give the government a big fright with weak policy.

    • lprent 14.1

      This isn’t a general election. In byelections and electorate races it is about voter inertia, personality, personal direction, personal publicity, local issues, and then your party policies. There was a doco about a electorate campaign in Wellington Central years ago. See if that is online to get a better idea how they work.

    • @ maui..

      “..Does she just campaign on jobs then and not rocking the boat too much? I can’t see how you win a bielection or give the government a big fright with weak policy..”

      + 1..

    • saveNZ 14.3

      You have got it in one, Labour policies are so schizophrenic that less and less voters want to vote for them. It is not just Northland it is the whole country.

      Some policies are super right wing, (surveillance), some against middle NZ (capital gains) and some against the poor (lack of action on poverty issues). You might agree with some of their policies but then another totally different one makes you sure you can’t vote for them.

      It’s like Labour put their hand in a jar of polices from every different party and then just chose them at random.

      All I can put it down to, is they don’t understand who is likely to vote for them and don’t care if they piss them off with a completely different ideology in another area of policy.

      • phillip ure 14.3.1

        @ savenz..

        “..Some policies are super right wing, (surveillance), some against middle NZ (capital gains) and some against the poor (lack of action on poverty issues). You might agree with some of their policies but then another totally different one makes you sure you can’t vote for them…”

        + 1..

  15. weka 15


    GREENS DECIDE NOT TO STAND IN NORTHLAND BY-ELECTION

    The Green Party’s National Executive has decided not to stand a candidate
    in the Northland by-election.

    “It is our strategic assessment that we should not run in the by-election
    and focus on our nationwide climate change and inequality campaigns,” said
    Green Party Co-convenor John Ranta.

    “The world’s attention will be focused on fixing climate change this year
    and we will be at the forefront of that issue here in New Zealand.

    “We have a real opportunity to address both climate change and inequality
    and we want our party focused on those issues.”

    via email but I gather this is the press release.

    • Maui 15.1

      Thank god they’ve pulled out, the last thing the left needs is people voting for the green candidate on principle giving the Labour candidate absolutely no chance of a win.

      • saveNZ 15.1.1

        Labour should step down too. Get the best chance to take one off the Nats.

      • Naturesong 15.1.2

        They were never going to run a candidate.
        Anyone who thought they were does not understand the Greens electoral strategy.

        • lprent 15.1.2.1

          Precisely. They have other things to do.

          NZ First may run one, but I doubt it will be Winston, and I don’t think it is that likely that they will. There is simply nothing for them there apart from the publicity as Winston dips his toe in and out. Same issue as for the Greens

          I suspect this will be a National – Labour race, with the usual independents and minnow parties.

          • Naturesong 15.1.2.1.1

            That’s my feeling as well.

            I can’t see Winston running either.
            He’ll make some noises to get press coverage, but won’t risk the political black eye of running and losing.

            I wonder though, if NZF do run a candidate, that it’ll be specifically to split some of National’s vote (and gain some coverage)?

        • phillip ure 15.1.2.2

          @ naturesong..

          ..i remember media coverage of david clendon talking about running..

          ..and/but it is great that they have decided not to..

          ..there is also the possible scenario of peters taking a sizeable chunk of the national vote..

          ..which could possibly allow labour to slip thru the middle..

          ..(much like that sensible sentencing trust clown did for stuart nash in napier..)

          • Naturesong 15.1.2.2.1

            Northern Advocate – Feb 3, 2015: Parliamentary hopeful campaigning

            The Greens’ David Clendon, the third highest polling candidate in 2014, said it would be up to the party executive whether to contest the byelection.

            I cant see Winston taking the risk of losing. If NZF run a candidate, it won’t be him

            • phillip ure 15.1.2.2.1.1

              i think peters is smart enough to see the value of the game..

              ..he will soon have a lot of information/material..

              ..that will likely eviscerate national party support in northland..

              ..and he has all of the populist campaigning-skills..

              ..that will pull many of those disaffected/shocked national party voters to him..

              ..and will likely winkle out quite a few who would not normally bother to vote..

              ..i wd say that a wide swathe of people in northland from different political and apolitical factions wd be comfortable with the idea of peters representing them in parliament..

              ..especially when/how he can hammer national on their record of neglect of the region..

              ..(unfortunately the labour candidate does not have that string to her bow..given the clark/labour govt exhibiting the same neglect as the tories..)

              ..and of course..peters wd split the vote..

              ..which cd well let the labour candidate win..

              ..what’s not to love about all that..?

              ..as we clearly have forgone the option of only one candidate standing..

              ..this is second-best..

              ..and also has its’ appeal..

              ..and good on the greens..!..for not running/muddying the pool..

              • Your argument is sound. I just think that Winston will see failure as too great a risk.

                We’ll have to agree to disagree on this.

                But pretty sure we can all agree that folks who haven’t already need to stock up on popcorn.

    • saveNZ 15.2

      Good on them!!! They are taking one for the team National Out!

  16. Sookie 16

    I have moved from cosy left wing North Dunedin to Northland recently. Labour doesn’t have a chance up here. For once I feel like voting for someone who has a chance of winning so if Winston runs, I’ll vote for the wicked old bugger. At least it will piss off the government.

  17. saveNZ 17

    It is just like the last election – Will Labour not stand to increase the chance of National getting out with Winston, or is Labour too arrogant to stand down and split the vote?

    This is the most important test of Little yet.

    Arrogance or Strategy? Which will he go with?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      It’s unclear which is the arrogance and which is the strategy.

      Is it arrogant, for example, to expect the people of Northland to simply go along with the Epsom strategy?

      Is it arrogance to give Willow Jean Prime a national platform to fight the Sabinists?

      Is it strategy to abandon Labour’s much vaunted policy of standing candidates everywhere and letting the voters decide?

      • saveNZ 17.1.1

        Considering Labour are always asking the Greens to not stand a candidate to give them a better chance of not splitting the vote. Maybe they should lead by example?

        I think Labour need to decide what they want more, take National off the seat with the best chance they can and work with another ‘minor’ party to do that or like in previous elections, campaign against the ‘minor’ parties and have National win by a majority by all the vote splitting.

        The reason National win, is they have a end game strategy to privatise NZ and they work together to achieve that goal. The left party do not work together and actually work against each other with Labour leading the charge (i.e. Hone, Security Bill comments on Metiria etc) and that is why they are failing.

        • Naturesong 17.1.1.1

          I suspect you are laboring under the misapprehension that Labour are a leftwing party.

          I don’t see that in their policies, or behaviour.

          • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1.1.1

            Neoliberal centrist, keen on global free trade and free movement of financial capital, with some remaining historical awareness of social responsibility.

        • weka 17.1.1.2

          “Considering Labour are always asking the Greens to not stand a candidate to give them a better chance of not splitting the vote. Maybe they should lead by example?”

          When has Labour done that?

  18. Stuart Munro 18

    I agree that Labour would be unwise not to contest Northland – but I’m still miffed at the treatment of Norman – at the very least it was very bad manners, but during the election Labour’s insistence on not making common cause with the Greens and IMP cost us dearly, without measurably advancing Labour’s position or support.

    My perception is that Labour is obstinately sticking to a ‘chase-the-middle’ narrative that inevitably leads them further and further to the right. Notice that the Gnats manage to make much more efficient use of ACT to progress very far indeed from popular centrism, but instead of punishing them for it, Labour attacks the Greens. This is playing into Key’s and his vile media buddies’ hands. We don’t have time for this shit.

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