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Labour’s Mana Internet Party dilemma

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, May 30th, 2014 - 234 comments
Categories: election 2014, election funding, labour, Left, mana, national - Tags: ,

Kelvin David billboard

This has already caused intense debate amongst the left about how Labour should approach the confirmation that Laila Harre is the Internet Party leader with a war chest of $3 million to spend on a campaign.  This number made my eyes water.  The effect is already becoming evident.  If the Labour Party had this sort of money in the bank anything could be possible.

This morning on Morning Report Laila Harre urged Labour to think strategically and effectively gift the Te Tai Tokerau seat to Mana thereby ensuring that any Mana Internet party votes are not wasted.

John Key thinks it is unfair.  From the Herald:

He said he had not known the law allowed parties to stand as joint force and then split into separate parties after the election and “it seems a bit of a rort.”

Mr Key said there was a difference between that and the deals National struck over electorates with Act in Epsom and United Future’s Peter Dunne in Ohariu. “Those people win their seats outright, in their own right. Their motivations are the beliefs of those parties. That’s not the case here.”

Key really is an irony free zone.  Through the most unsubtle of transmitted hints National has gifted Epsom and Ohariu to National puppets and National is busily doing the same now as well as getting ready to ditch Murray McCully in East Coast Bays to give the Conservative Party a lifeline.  In its pursuit of power there are no sacred cows as far as National is concerned.

Labour’s candidate Kelvin Davies was also interviewed this morning on morning report.  He criticised the arrangement describing it as a ruse and a scam.

He made some very good points in his interview with Guyon Espiner.  He has said that he will stand up and fight hard for what he believes in and that he wants this to be a campaign of issues and what is best for Te Tai Tokerau.

Of course this problem would not exist if Judith Collins had accepted the recommendations of the MMP review.  Paddy Gower has described the arrangements as a dirty deal and at one level he is right.  But National set the rules and should this mean that the left should not use them to their maximum advantage?

The situation creates a dilemma for Labour.  Does it stick to the spirit as well as the letter of our electoral laws in the hope that it will be praised for its principled stand or does it do a deal which shows it is no different to National?

Kelvin Davis makes the important point that campaigns should be about policies and what is good for the country and not personal intrigue and who is the smartest operator.  Time will tell what the correct approach was.

Disclaimer:  These are my own personal thoughts.  And as you can see I can see advantages and disadvantages in either course of action.

234 comments on “Labour’s Mana Internet Party dilemma ”

  1. David H 1

    Listening to Kelvin Davis this morning Labour are still stuck in FPP mode. So it could be that the wasted vote is for Labour!

    • Enough is Enough 1.1

      Well done Chris Hipkins. He has called this sham for what it is.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1

        I laughed when I saw that. Chris Hipkins has no standing whatsoever to call Hone or Harre sellouts. And blathering about ‘the old days’ when there were ‘movements’.

        Would those be the old days of the student union for Chris? Or at parliamentary services? What movement has he been a player in, let alone lead? Hone was getting arrested when Hipkins was arguing with his mum about what tshirt to wear to school.

        The man’s an idiot.

      • Clemgeopin 1.1.2

        I missed that. What did he say exactly or do you have a link please?

    • geoff 1.2

      This is a no-brainer, Labour.

      Let mana win that seat.

      • Salsy 1.2.1

        1 – Puppeting National “its just a rort” is exactly what they want you to do.

        Let mana win that seat.

      • Why would anyone want that?

        Hone and his new buddies will only have any legitimacy if this is a real contest. Labour should do what it can to win the seat. (Given they’re a bunch a centrists by and large should make it relatively easy) Hone should offer his best and beat them if he can.

        Either way then, the public wins.Any government that actually needs to do stitch ups to win is second-rate at best.

        • Colonial Viper

          Hone and his new buddies will only have any legitimacy if this is a real contest.

          Excuse me, who exactly is it that you are trying to obtain this “legitimacy” from? And who exactly is it that you believe actually cares about their opinion?

          Either way then, the public wins.Any government that actually needs to do stitch ups to win is second-rate at best.

          Are you sure you know what politics is about? Its not some pretend realm of knights in shining armour you know.

          I want to back a Left which wants to win, knows how to win and how to win decisively.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            I’m not trying to obtain it, they are. And they obtain it from us, the voters, by treating us with respect and not presuming we want to be told who to vote for. That’s insulting and every time it’s happened it’s been clear that people don’t like seeing it, even if it has worked in the short term, so far.

            And no, it’s not. But if you spit on the public, especially your base, you end up with the problem that Labour has at the moment, where your voters stop showing up. I don’t expect them to be heroes, I expect them to eventually get a clue and realise when they’re putting themselves out of a job. If not, the next lot may figure it out at some point. And if the politicians keep doing it on all sides, we now have a precedent for changing the election system if necessary.

            So if the left want a win, they should all try to convince voters. It’s an electorate that already supports Hone to some degree, so even Labour putting up a good debate doesn’t necessarily mean they swipe the electorate back, anyway, so really, I think either way you win if you make it look like you’re not just doing a stitch-up. (That is, either it’s a win for Labour and you’ve made a distinction with National and its stitch-ups, or you have IMP in parliament to back Labour up, but Labour doesn’t look like they threw them a seat)

            • Colonial Viper

              And no, it’s not. But if you spit on the public, especially your base, you end up with the problem that Labour has at the moment, where your voters stop showing up.

              I think you just suggested in your comment that Labour not change its approach to MMP and instead continue with its business as usual approaches, because they are ones which have caused voters to stop showing up for Labour.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Advantages and disadvantages. Exactly.

    I hope IMP can be relied upon to leave no-one in TTT in any doubt that if you want to get rid of this shite government you can vote Hone and get Kelvin too.

  3. weka 3

    Did or did not Labour grant a kind of concession to the Green Party/Jeanette Fitzimmons in Coromandel in 1999, thus ensuring the place of the Green Party in parliament for that term and enabling them to become a force on the left?

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The way I have heard it described, is that there was a balls-up in the selection process and Labour ended up not having a candidate ready to stand in time.

      Whether that was a deliberate act on their part I think can only be speculated.

      In the end they got over 5% of the vote after the specials were counted anyway so in practical terms it is a bit moot.

      • weka 3.1.1

        It’s not moot. It’s pretty much the same as now. Ahead of the election you can’t tell which way the party vote will go, so you work on the electorate vote too. Anything else is a gamble.

        “The way I have heard it described, is that there was a balls-up in the selection process and Labour ended up not having a candidate ready to stand in time.”

        Where did you hear that?

        • Lanthanide

          “Where did you hear that?”

          It would have been on The Standard. Searching through now this is as close as I’ve found:

          Poll of polls looking good

          • weka

            ok, but that basically says that Labour on the ground supported the GP in that electorate. Which is pretty interesting.

    • felix 3.2

      Worth noting too that Coromandel has been held by National for the last few terms which does suggest that it wasn’t exactly Labour’s seat to “gift” to the Greens.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    “Kelvin Davis makes the important point that campaigns should be about policies and what is good for the country”

    What is good for the country is kicking National out of government. If letting Mana win TTT vs having Kelvin win it gives us a significantly higher chance of kicking National out of government, then that is the logical choice.

    • Mary 4.1

      Yes, and if Davis can’t see that then regardless of all the high praise people have for him I wouldn’t want him in Parliament anyway. The irony is that if Labour doesn’t give him a high enough list spot and expects him to go hard for the electorate he’s toast because voters in Te Tai Tokerau will see his selfish arrogance and deal to him on polling day. Not standing in Te Tai Tokerau will in fact increase Davis’ chances of entering Parliament, not increase it, but by the sound of him on RNZ this morning my guess is that he’s too stupid to see that so good riddance. I thought Davis had a few clues but I was wrong. Whenever things start looking a little better for the left Labour has to come along and fuck it all up.

      • weka 4.1.1

        Is it possible that Davis already knows he’s not getting a high enough list placement? Where was he last time?

        • Mary

          He only just missed out but nobody expected Labour to bomb so badly so it was a surprise. Davis and Nash were both highly regarded and both were shut out. You’d expect Labour to make sure they both got in by giving them higher enough places but again this Labour line-up isn’t known for being too bright on the strategic front. No matter how much good luck may come the left’s way you can guarantee that Labour will do everything in its power to make a mess things. Everything Labour says and does beggars belief. I should stop being surprised but whenever I think there isn’t anything else Labour can make worse it never fails to find that one more dumb thing it can do, and then it does it. It really is quite astounding.

        • Anne

          Is it possible that Davis already knows he’s not getting a high enough list placement?

          That is highly unlikely after the last election weka. Plenty of people (including me) let members of the hierarchy know what they thought about the Labour list and Kelvin Davis’ ranking in particular. Given his recent return to parliament and the publicity surrounding it, his high list placing is a certainty I would think.

          It would be a strategically bad move for Kelvin Davis to step down as the candidate. He is needed to maintain a high profile for the Party vote. Bear in mind that Hone and Kelvin (and others in their respective camps) respect one another. They don’t hate each other. They talk among themselves as friends. There is no reason why Kelvin and Hone can’t fight hard for the issues that matter in Northland, and at the end of the day one of them will win. It will almost certainly be Hone. I doubt Hone wants the seat handed to him on a platter. If he does then I’ve read him wrong.

          • Mary

            Hone is talking about the need for Labour to be “strategic” in Te Tai Tokerau. I’m sure Hone doesn’t want the seat “handed to him on a plate”, either, but he certainly isn’t saying that he and Davis should slug it out. Regardless of what you call it surely the result is the same?

      • Win 4.1.2

        Sound like the MSM prompting has gone to Davis’s head. The best thing for Te Tai Tokerau is to have two Maori MPs, policies that give the people jobs, homes and hope. While Davis goes on about Maori education and Maori educational achievement he works within the current system to make changes. Doesn’t work, isn’t working and won’t work. Need to do things differently and the policies of IMP are just that. I work in education and I know Davis’s approach won’t/doesn’t work. Great on rhetoric light on fact. Labour may look good going back into opposition with halos on the heads (I stole that quote sorry that person) but their saintly demeanour will do Jack squat for the people of this country that need them to be in power.

    • wtl 4.2

      If letting Mana win TTT vs having Kelvin win it gives us a significantly higher chance of kicking National out of government, then that is the logical choice.

      Except, counter-intuitively, making a deal with Mana for TTT may actual make it LESS likely that National will be kicked out of government, because it pretty much guarantees that National will make deals with Act and the Conservative party (“we don’t want to but the dirty left is doing it so we had no choice”), and it also legitimises any such deals and probably makes them more likely to succeed.

      The best thing for Labour to do would be to say they are trying to win TTT but not try very hard.

      • Brokenback 4.2.1

        Precisely , the only impediment to the strategy being the “Dry” rump that still persists in Labour and they will be doing their utmost to de-rail any centre left unity.

      • Lanthanide 4.2.2

        Letting Mana win TTT is not the same as doing a deal with them.

        It just means Labour shouldn’t hard-out campaign and come out with full-on fighting words like Kelvin did this morning.

      • Mary 4.2.3

        No, that’s not correct at all. National do those deals regardless of what Labour does. The problem is that they do it in a bullshit wink, wink, nudge nudge kind of way. Do you really think National’s behaviour this respect is influenced by how Labour plays it? Look at Epsom over the past however many elections under MMP. They’ve done it probably every time and the left, in the name of not wanting to look like they’re “rorting” MMP don’t and suffer more for doing it. The simple answer is to embrace it as part of MMP and be open about it. That was key’s mistake with that hideously played cup of tea last time. If I remember correctly Key I think even acknowledged not long after that they should’ve just been upfront about it. If I’m wrong I still say that what Labour does will not influence how National plays it because National will do it anyway like they always have, and Labour needs to be strategic in the MMP environment and be clear with the public what they’re doing. It ain’t a rort it’s MMP and people will respect them all the more if they’re upfront from the start.

        • Pascal's bookie


          National will do deals. the deals are already on. ACT’s backers aren’t spending that money for shits and giggles.

    • Prickly Jill 4.3

      Wouldn’t Mana stepping aside in Waiariki achieve the same goal? After all a Labour win in Waiariki would deprive national of one of its potential partners making it very difficult for them to form a Government. But I don’t hear Mana or Laila Harre asking Annette Sykes to step aside.

      • Shazzadude 4.3.1

        Sykes beat the Labour candidate in Waiariki by over 1000 votes, why should she be the one to step aside?

        • Clemgeopin

          @ Shazzadude

          I need to ask your valued opinion on this: I feel that due to the InternetMANA alliance the chances have actually improved for the progressives to form the next Labour led government. However, for some reason that I can not fathom what logic is driving the iPredict predictions that are going in the opposite direction as regards the next PM contract?What do you think is happening here?

        • anker

          Shazzadude at 4.3.1.It was 1883 votes. She could stand aside because Labour polled far more party seats in this electorate.

          It seems you want Labour to make all the concessions…………

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.2

        Because without Waiariki, Labour will still get all the MPs due to it as per the % party vote it receives.

        In contrast, getting Sykes in for Mana has the added benefit of potentially increasing the overall number of Left MPs, and with a second electorate seat it helps secure the long term future of IMP.

        Strategically, that is the advantageous move for the Left.

        • Clemgeopin

          Labour is languishing at 29% to 31% in the polls. So there is no guarantee that they will get all the 7 Maori electorate MPs through party vote UNLESS they put all of them high up on their list which will then be unfair to the rest of the Labour candidates!

          Perhaps it is better and fairer to fight the election based on party policies/personalities and let the VOTERS decide what they want.

          • Colonial Viper

            Well, that’s naive in the extreme, which you are not. This is about pushing the Tories out, not about what is fair for all Labour candidates.

            As for Labour “languishing” in the polls…well that’s a long conversation but suffice to say, a strong majority of voters last election didn’t like what Labour brought to the table.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            a) The voters do get to decide. They decide who’s in the electorate too, no just on the party vote. That’s the rules we have and they haven’t been changed.

            b) Languishing is really, really inaccurate. Labour only needs to be 35% or so with the Greens performing as they are to have a really good shot at changing the government, so I’m not sure you can really call 31% “languishing”.

            If we assume the Maori Party holds on to its current three electorates and Banks and Dunne hold theirs, and while the Maori Party aren’t exactly Labour fans, I expect they’d prefer to crossbench or coalition with Labour to more National if they get to choose. If Hone holds his and IMP polls above 1% they’re likely to take two seats, which is a gives us either a +3 split to Labour on the smaller parties, or a +3 to National, if the MP favours them, which is of course possible. And then there’s the likelihood of NZ first crossing the threshold, which could see anywhere from 6-8 MPs enter the cross benches, and they’re much less friendly to National than the Maori Party.

            So in our most optimistic split for National with no changes from our current status quo, they need to convince the Maori party, and either hope NZ First falls short of threshold, or get so much of the party vote that they get three more seats than Labour and the Greens combined, but polling is actually pretty close in that regard, so they can’t rely on it. If Winston is polling above 5%, they could also stand aside and Paul Goldsmith their way through an electorate for Colin Craig, which might land them 1-3 seats, so I’d assume that case cancels out IMP. That’s swinging everything National’s way except NZ First getting into Parliament. In reality it’s probably more likely that not only do NZ First get in, but that the voters also don’t put up with Colin Craig, even if National gets really friendly.

            But even in their best realistic case, National still needs at least 46% of the vote just to make a dead heat, and the polls usually put them a few percent higher than they actually come in. With the Greens running 11-14% and Labour running 30-34%, that’s actually a real dangerous point for National, hence why they’re keeping their options open even for Winston, and they’re actually downplaying the narrative that they’re crushing the polls now because they want all their voters out. They could squeak through like that, but there’s no real breathing room now IMP can bring through an extra MP, or maybe even 2. They’d probably end up with a government that has them with four coalition partners that do not play nice, where every vote is necessary to maintain the government, or at the very least, they need both Craig and the MP for every vote.

            Granted, the danger to National does rely on a four-pronged coalition from the Left, or NZ First being bygones with the Greens, Mana, and the IP while the MP abstains. If Labour gets to its real job in the meantime and claw in enough squishy nat voters, or enough non-voters, to get into the mid 30s, that’s a solid base to change the government. If it actually starts getting into the high 30s or low 40s, that’s not just “competitive” like you’re impling, that’s actually “we potentially can govern with just the Greens.”

            And there’s one more thing… as a little sweetener for having a strong coalition partner, we need to remember thatSaint-Lague is actually more friendly to parties who split together at the same percentage as their rivals, so if the Greens and Labour add up to National’s vote, they’ll actually have more seats to form a government with than National will. Under certain allocations with certain rounding, you can win an election with a minority of the party vote if your coalition has more members.

            Yes, the landline polls make National look strong, but they’re very deceiving when you look at their actual margin of error compared to National’s results in the election, and when you do the maths on the small parties, and pay attention to how Saint Lague distributes the party vote. The situation is complicated enough that there’s a few scenarios where Labour doesn’t exactly impress, but still ends up the next Government due to coalition maths, so to say they’re “languishing” is very much a MSM fiction. At worst they’re nipping the Government’s heels.

          • Mary

            “Perhaps it is better and fairer to fight the election based on party policies/personalities and let the VOTERS decide what they want.”

            Yes, it’s just a pity that Labour’s policy for Te Tau Tokerau is to be stupid instead of strategic and the personality they’re putting up is an idiot.


            • Clemgeopin

              Chris Trotter is thinking narrowly like you, simply missing the bigger picture of the left growing the vote overall by attracting the softer Nat votes, ex Labour votes and some NZ votes, instead of simply shuffling the left vote sideways among the left parties and lose the main election war against Key and his mates. Labour has the correct smart stance here. Don’t you worry. Home will get the electorate vote on his own steam whether he goes to Labour with a begging bowl or not. Most voters aren’t silly not to figure out the options themselves.

              • blue leopard

                Yeah I must say after initially being pretty grumpy about that stance re Labour not ‘pulling together’ with other left wing parties, I am warming to it alot. It also means that Labour doesn’t crowd out the Greens and Mana – allows them to attract more votes too. 😀

                I still believe it is extremely important that Labour are seen to be working well with the other left-wing parties, though – hope there is not too much aggression – it only serves to reminds me (and probably a whole lot of others) of how antagonistic Labour were being amongst themselves not so very long ago – it is great to see them looking much more harmonious, cooperative and stable these days (good leadership) – we don’t need anymore reminders of that disharmony from the Labour quarter – I hope they are aware of that.

                • Clemgeopin

                  Well said! I agree. Labour should be seen as being independent, confident and principled masters of their own destiny without alienating the other smaller left parties by unpleasant/aggressive/harsh hurtful statements.

      • anker 4.3.3

        @Prickly Jill 100+

        It does seem to me that everyone is expecting Labour to make all the concessions.

  5. TV3 has this article; No deals with Harawira – Labour

    To which my response:

    Congratulations Kelvin Davis

    If 3% – 4% of the party vote that IMP attracts is wasted by Hone Harawira not getting Te Tai Tokerau, then it’s likely that there will be a 3rd term for National.

    Will you change parties if that happens Kelvin? Because your the one that’ll have gifted them the election.

    • Bleh!
      Can’t edit, Permission denied.

      For the record: “your” should read “you’re”

    • Mary 5.2

      “It would be immensely damaging for Labour in Te Tai Tokerau – the people up there don’t want to see an MP who is prepared to roll over for anyone.”

      But of course it’s okay for an entire party to roll over, eh Kelvin? Mr One Dimensional Man.

      I’m sure you’re a lovely bloke, Kelvin, but politically savvy is something you and your mates in that ill-fated sad excuse for a political party are not.

      • North 5.2.1

        To be blunt Kelvin Davis is not a leader’s bum. He’s a good Pakeha/Maori boy who will work for the essentially eurocentric tastes of the Labour Party. As directed. There’s a whole fiction about the wonders of him being constructed flat out at the moment. To secure one Maori MP in the North rather than two. It’s bullshit.

        Why does Labour WANT one Maori MP in the North rather than two ?

        • Mary

          Dead right. I never really knew much about Davis so gave him the benefit of the doubt but he’s shown his colours, although Labour is equally to blame. It really is a dumb move by Labour because voters in Te Tai Tokerau will see what’s going on and not only put Hone back in but will punish Labour by withdrawing party support to boot. So, so dumb Labour, but why should we be surprised?

          • Colonial Viper

            Playing checkers when the actual game is chess

            • Clemgeopin

              They are playing chess alright. In fact they are playing for check mate timed for 20 Sept.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Why would voters change their party vote against Labour for having a good contest?

            The seat doesn’t have Hone written on it, last I looked. 🙂

            Now, matters might be different if they’re outright insulting, but they don’t by any means have to run a minnow campaign or stand aside if they don’t want to, and in fact, I kinda think they’re doing the right thing here.

            • weka

              Labour might lose the left the election. It’s pretty simple. This isn’t about Labour, it’s about what’s best for NZ. Gifting NACT another term is not included in that.

            • Mary

              It’s not about having a good contest. It’s about being strategic. The election isn’t a sport. I’d also say that the way Davis spoke on RNZ the other morning was insulting, but that’s not the point. The point is that if Labour really want to oust Hone then they’re lessening the chances of rolling Key. That’s the issue plain and simple.

              This is neither here nor there but just for completeness: do you think that if Davis or Labour were “outright insulting”, whatever that might mean, that this would then justify IMP suggesting Labour should run a minnow campaign or that it would be “the right thing” for Labour to do that? This does seem to be what you’re suggesting but I guess I just can’t see your logic here.

              • Colonial Viper

                There’s no logic. Just vast swathes of Labour are still internally in an FPP world and believe if there was justice there is no reason why they would not be polling 40%.

            • Mary

              “Why would voters change their party vote against Labour for having a good contest?”

              I was suggesting that some voters in Te Tai Tokerau would be annoyed that Labour were out to roll Hone, that is, for being dumb when the left needs to be strategic and to unite to roll Key, and that the response mightn’t be limited to simply putting Hone back via a landslide but spill over into withdrawing Labour party support, also. But of course, who knows?

              • Colonial Viper

                I understand Cunliffe having to talk up the fight Labour is going to put up in Te Tai Tokerau when Dann asks him on TV but I hope he and Davis both actually get it by now. Hopefully Matt McCarten has long figured it out.

                Labour should not spend more than $5K contesting for the Te Tai Tokerau electorate; any additional monies would be better put into party vote campaigning across the country.

            • Clemgeopin

              Yes, Labour is taking the correct stance.

              it would be an insult to Hone if his standing and mana is so low there that he needs Labour to prop him up.

              It is better for him to ask for mandate from the voters and win with pride and self respect in tact. In any case they have millions of dollars now to generate publicity to convince the voters.

              If the voters decide on their own to send two MPs from their constituency instead of just one, that is amore.

              Here, feel the love:

              • Mary

                “it would be an insult to Hone if his standing and mana is so low there that he needs Labour to prop him up.”

                That’s not what Hone’s saying. Are you trying to suggest what’s best for Hone, now? Wow. That’s a big call.

                • Colonial Viper

                  This is the kind of Thorndon Bubble intrigue which the rest of the country just can’t be bothered with. Pretending this is the more honourable route or that is the more honourable route.

                  Personally, I hope someone taps Davis on the shoulder and tells him to focus on campaigning for the party vote.

                  Having Hone lose by 200 votes and wasting all of IMP’s votes nationwide would be a disaster for the left.

    • Clemgeopin 5.3

      Kelvin Davis or Labour do not FORCE people to vote against their will. The vote is private, independent and confidential anyway. It is up to the voters to decide what is best, isn’t it?
      They will figure out what is best. They have the ultimate power!

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        That’s a non-analysis and a non-strategy which is not becoming of what you are capable of.

    • 3-4%? Has this been polled yet?

      I was assuming they’d be at about 1-2% if we added up the individual party results from earlier and assumed a modest improvement, so that would actually be a really good result for the Left if so.

  6. Macro 6

    I think you should also include the sentiments eloquently expressed by Hone on this matter as well. To summarise “The left is born of community – we on the left must act as community to rid ourselves of this Key Govt.”
    It is not the internet party that is standing in Te Tai Tokerau, it is Mana. Labour need to realise that they are not the sole representatives of left politics anymore – indeed their recent past has seen them abandon much of what was previously fought (and I mean fought) for by their predecessors in the Labour movement, which is why we now have a re-emergence of left parties. If Labour truly want to rid our nation of the corruption and cronyism of this current administration then they must act strategically and together with others on the left for the good of all. This in no way denies Kelvin Davis a seat in parliament – although I was less impressed with his interview than I was with Laila Harre’s, and Hone’s, both of whom spoke extremely well and clearly made their point.

    • plus 1 on that comment Macro. The stakes are too high and we are losing so much – we must get rid of the gnats. I hope, but don’t really believe, labour will front up – but really IMP and the Greens are the best chance to make that happen imo. It is time to win the election!!!

    • Tracey 6.2


    • Bob 6.3

      Would you agree the same principle applies to the ‘Right’? They are a community so National should not stand in Epsom? Or do you only agree to your principle when it works in your particular favour?

      • Macro 6.3.1

        And what, pray tell, has kept National from having a well documented “cup of tea” in the past?
        Oh! Nothing! I would be extremely surprised if the voters of Epsom were not told whom to vote for on Sept 20 – being such a compliant bunch. I wonder if they will swallow the rat this time though after two disasters in the past 2 elections.

      • It’s really more of a question of whether they throw a second tea party, as National may well need both John Banks and Colin Craig.

  7. this is a crossroads/watershed-time for labour..

    ..they can work sensibly in this mmp-environment..

    ..and deliver a strong/progressive govt…

    ..with a real mandate for change..

    ..or they can be f.p.p.-stupid..

    ..and (maybe!) maybe limp over the line..

    ..with no real mandate..and hence no real change..

    ..this is their choice..

    ..i just hope mcarten/manning are able to make those in labour insisting on f.p.p…

    ..to see some sense..

    ..and if they don’t..

    ..and if it is because of their recalcitrance that national gets a third term..

    ..the retribution from the left in general on labour could well sound their death-knell..

  8. weka 8

    I don’t buy the whole intention of MMP thing. I want a more representative government. What IMP are doing is ensuring that. The Greens are on board, saying that the more parties out there getting people to vote the better, and the more parties campaigning to get rid of National the better. Labour are dragging the FPP chain, and trying to hold onto power. Fuck ’em.

    Too many on the left people have been disenfranchised by Labour historically. The point of MMP was to increase reprensentation in reality, not just in theory. What Mana and the IP are doing is good for NZ and good for the people that will vote for them. It’s far more honest and transparent than what NACT have been doing, or NZF for that matter, in recent decades.

    As for Labour being stuck been a rock and a hard place, if Labour can’t manage the PR aspects of concessions then how are they going to manage the rest of the shit that Crosby Textor is about to throw at them over the next few months? They might also want to consider how the electorate will respond if Davis costs the left the election.

    • They might also want to consider how the electorate will respond if Davis costs the left the election.


      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        There will be plenty of blame to go around in that happenstance.

        • weka

          I think it will be more focussed if Davis wins TTT and Mana don’t get any other MPs.

    • “if Labour can’t manage the PR aspects of concessions”

      True it is a worry because if the votes come in then they will have to get a working agreement with the left parties. Government is formed by the group that can coalesce, so labour better get practicing for the big day.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Labour are dragging the FPP chain, and trying to hold onto power. Fuck ‘em.

      I quite often get the feeling that Labour is as much on the side of the oligarchs as National.

      • Tracey 8.3.1

        YES. They also are behaving like they are hurt at not being considered the only left, while spending the last tgirty years representing corporate politics. Its mind boggling actually.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    If even ’Sav can’t bring himself to say the words one shudders at how many Labourites other than Kelvin actually believe they can win back all Māori seats!

    Matt McCarten will have to put in even more overtime behind the scenes. Mana has adapted to this years election reality with a bold strategic move and Labour must do the same in the interests of the 99%. My view is Te Tai Tokerau people will ‘get it’ in the end, but turning Davis volume down a bit would be helpful.

    • weka 9.1

      Indeed. All Labour had to do was let Davis stand and run a quiet campaign in the background.

    • Murray Olsen 9.2

      How do we know McCarten’s not already putting in plenty of overtime, and this rubbish is the result of it?

  10. Tracey 10

    mickey, that labour cant raise $3m speaks volumes aboutlabourbut it is not why its at 32% and its not why they are failing to engage voters. If tgey hang around the middle sniffing for scraps while refusing to stand up for inequalities for the 50% of the workforce earning under 30k, for the vulnerable doomed to subsistence living and no more $3m would make no difference.

    There are people in nz who due to birth defects are doome to subsistence living. Living in residential care relying on charity to go to a movie. That describes the majority of folk in the facility my brother in law lives. Peolle with physical disabilities through birth or accident, can never hope to thrive.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Labour has to sell a lot of $2 raffle tickets to raise $3M.

      • Skinny 10.1.1

        Do you know how much serious coin the Princess Branch hold in property assets? Bloody plenty enough to cash up without making a dent on their property portfolio. That is one thing that guts me about Labour, they shake the rank and file down at every turn. Christ it is second nature to have your wallet in your hand at the entrance to any party gathering, meanwhile the Party sit on their nest egg for a rainy day. Surely that rainy day is now? So crack the piggy bank to match the big boy.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    This has already caused intense debate amongst the left about how Labour should approach the confirmation that Laila Harre is the Internet Party leader with a war chest of $3 million to spend on a campaign. This number made my eyes water. The effect is already becoming evident. If the Labour Party had this sort of money in the bank anything could be possible.

    As I pointed out the other day, there’s no reason why Labour shouldn’t have that sort of war chest. In fact, they should have. All they have to do is stop whinging about it and get out there and do it.

    • Tracey 11.1

      Youd think by nowxthey would have worked out the left is not theirs by right, perhap they need to drop to 20%

    • Colonial Viper 11.2


      Labour sold off millions of dollars worth of party property in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Property which would be an income producing gold mine today. All part of the neoliberal transition.

      • phillip ure 11.2.1

        @ c.v..

        ..i think they think we have the (reputed) memory-spans of goldfish..

        ..and them now pulling this shit..

        ..just brings up the memories of all the other crap they have done..

        ..and never apologised for…

        ..and it seems they still haven’t fucken learnt..!

  12. James Thrace 12

    I have no faith in Labour anymore after hearing them rabbit on about FPP methods. My prior brainfart earlier on this blog about different methods of getting more representation was just that – a brain fart.
    I understand MMP, but not FPP.

    I understand that if I party vote green but electorate vote national in Epsom, it’ll help get rid of ACT

    If I electorate vote Labour/National, but party vote Green in Ohariu, it’ll get rid of Dunne

    If I electorate vote Mana and PV Labour in TTT I get Kelvin and Hone

    If I party vote National but electorate vote Labour in Dipton, I’ll get rid of the tobacco lobbyist.

    Why oh why can’t Labour just suck it up and work to maximise MMP to the advatange of the people, and not the party?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      I remember that strategic voting was touted as a Good Thing back when we first voted MMP in.

      • weka 12.1.1

        Which begs the question of when taht changed and why.

        • Tracey

          When labour got voted out?

          • weka

            I thought it might have been something to do with Peters, or waka jumping.

            • Tracey

              Waka jumping is different isnt it? Kind of like national promising dunne something for his gcsb vote and the pm and Minister for Oravida saying, ” sorry, we are putting your promise on hold.”

              Surely that is the BIG story today? Will it even make the evening news?

              Dunne rogerred behind the national bike sheds

              • weka

                I thought it might have been the waka jumping, or Peters’ bullshit that changed perceptions about small parties and how they fit into MMP. There does seem to be this idea that they should be add ons to the agenda of Labour and National, whereas I think that we want as much diversity as possible.

      • McFlock 12.1.2

        The way I remember it, the electorate vote was the person you wanted to represent your electorate and the party vote was for the party you wanted in. The coat-tailing means that in some cases an electorate vote is also a party vote.

        As to the issue in the post, if IMP with $3mil can’t win an electorate seat or get 5%, they’re not much use to anyone anyway.

        • felix

          “if IMP with $3mil can’t win an electorate seat or get 5%, they’re not much use to anyone anyway.”

          True enough.

          But it’s no reason for Labour to actively work against them achieving that though eh?

          • McFlock

            yeah it is.

            Don’t get me wrong – no mud-slinging or dirty tricks. It should be positive, like many of the lab v green v Alliance or whatever electorate elections in the past.

            But run a decent campaign and let the people decidewho they want as their mp.

            • felix

              I disagree with that approach, tactically, but it’s a fair enough point of view that I can appreciate.

              So do you think Davis should be using framing like “a ruse and a scam” to describe the Mana/Internet alliance? Doesn’t seem like a positive characterisation to me.

              Once this healthy fair and open contest is over, Davis may well need to work with these people. It’d be good to see bridges being built rather than set alight.

              • McFlock

                No I don’t think he should. But we’ll see if he can get over the initial announcement of competition – I’d be saddened if it became tit for tat.

                And if it’s all tit from Davis and no tat response, then it’ll only hurt his electorate campaign. Serve him right.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  Davis’s macho posturing has played into the right’s rhetoric and will be used against the left. He’s an idiot. There are plenty of ways to say ‘I will contest the electorate vote’ without labelling your opponents a scam.

  13. tc 13

    Less hand wringing about where are we on the left, who you are, are you being moral etc etc and more focus on the actual issues will remove this gov’t. Education, housing, health, asset sales etc.

    Roll up the sleeves and do what it takes, and if that’s an epsom type arrangement who cares, or it’s another 3 years of plunder from the nats.

    Stop bringing knives to a gunfight and start shooting back.

    • Tracey 13.1

      Thats why you find the greens today telling the media about their policies

      • weka 13.1.1

        telling the media about their policies, and telling the media that diversity on the left is a good thing.

        • Tracey

          Yes, which is why peolle like tc saying stop the hand wringing on the left…

          Labour might be hang wringing but no one else on the left is.

          I am most interested to see the MP running the

          ” oooooooooh You sold out to the guys with money ” line. Irony much?

  14. ianmac 14

    John Key :“He said he had not known the law allowed parties to stand as joint force and then split into separate parties after the election and “it seems a bit of a rort.””

    How does he get away with this, and how come the Media keep on repeating it?
    What IMP have written into it is to review their relationship 6 weeks after the election. So what? Does Key not sit down with ACT after the election and review their relationship? Any and all coalition would surely do this. How could they not?
    IMP have just been organised enough to actually put it in a written plan.
    Good idea until you get a tricky Key on the job!

  15. fisiani 15

    Colin Craig is having a news conference at 5pm to announce that the Conservatives are uniting with ACT for the run up to the election and for four weeks afterwards. He expects that the Conservatives will get 4% and ACT will get 3% giving the ACT-Conservatives 7% and thus 8 seats.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Nah Fisi, National is the party they both need deals with.

    • yeshe 15.2

      well, announcing stuff like that in the dead of a friday-night-long-weekend news cycle would be a real indicator of how smart they’re not !!! it’s what you would do to make stuff disappear …. but you knew that, right fishy ?

      • greywarbler 15.2.1

        actually there is often a dearth of news over a holiday apart from crashes and so it may play on rotate. craig and jamie sounds like a new duo to take over from the wiggles.

    • Naturesong 15.3

      How cool would that be.

      Wish i was true.

    • Skinny 15.4

      Yeah I heard inorder for the deal to go ahead that the ACT leader was non negotiable on Collin Craig providing Catholic priests as candidates. I guess it goes hand in hand with Jamie White’s ‘keep it in the family’ philosophy.

    • Murray Olsen 15.5

      Conservatives and ACT together sounds like the wet dream of an incestuous BDSM devotee – smack your kids and whatever else it was that Jamie Whyte thought was OK. Can’t really see it making 7%.

  16. Tracey 16

    i think labour has to learn to let those genuine on the left to be that. Its an advantage to their desire to be national lite, they just have to learn how to manage it. By getting offside with the left, being unpalatable to right seems like suicide to me.

    • Ergo Robertina 16.1

      +1 For Labour this is all a bit frightening, the actual left now has some resources, albeit not an organised machine, to fight an election.
      That Davis blockhead interview this morning was a disgrace, strategically very unwise.

  17. Kat 17

    The voters in Te Tai Tokerau will get it in the end. But good to keep giving the Nacts lots to squeal about. Smart move that IMP.

  18. Well I’m not sure how to take this news

    “New Internet Party leader Laila Harre has recruited her former Alliance colleague, Pam Corkery, as her press secretary.”


    The ‘alliance’ are popping up all over the show. Would be a good time for a decisive speech from cunliffe showing bridges (or at least stepping stones) are there.

    • Tracey 18.1

      He is more scared of declaring something in common with the left than he is of the right… THATs HINT PEOPLE

  19. Sanctuary 19

    Labours problem is its ways (in terms of its political ambitions and expectations) currently exceed its means (talent, leadership and polling support) by a considerable margin.

    Labour’s strategic dilemma is that to accept the Greens as their equals could be to permanently reduce the Labour vote and unwittingly help cement the Greens into a higher level of support. Long term, it could be argued that it is better to wait for the Greens to slide back to 6-7% as National becomes more and more unpopular then govern with a 44% vote share than to forever accept that you have to be a government with just 34% of the vote and ‘crippled’ by a coalition partner you can’t ignore.

    The IMP doesn’t present the same dilemma. In the long term, it is unlikely it will be around in six months, let alone six years. Once Dotcom’s money is gone, so will be Mana in all but it’s heartland seat. In the meantime, it could be decisive in getting rid of the National aligned Maori Party (and, with the demise of KDC’s cash, leave the field open for the return to Labour of most/all of the Maori seats) and possibly bring down the National government, at which point Key will retire, civil war will break out and Labour will have six years easy in office. And if the IMP get, say, 3-4 MPs then Labour, which is now a party of the established order, can easily throw a few scraps around surveillance law reform whilst not altering the substance one iota.

    Labour therefore should have no dilemma over the IMP. They should do everything in their power to get 3-4 IMP MPs elected.

    • Tracey 19.1

      Dotcom is from a country that not only understands mmp, but has reached a kind of mmp maturity. The smaller parties in NZ have siezed the opportunities it brings. National has exploited mmp and labour largely bury their heads and hope for the miracle of 51% while knowing it wont happen. Clark didnt want mmp, but worked pretty well with what she was given.

      Labour strikes me as the little kid playing hide and seek who thinks if they close their eyes they cant be found.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1


      • David H 19.1.2

        But if Labour gets smart and acts strategic they could pretty much wipe out half/most of TricKeys partners, Act may well get back into Epsom if the sheeple there do as they are told, and that won’t be a great help. TricKey would be out of options, and out of office. But the rhetoric that I am hearing is more like the FPP rubbish from the 80’s. And we all know FPP was so fair.

    • weka 19.2

      What a cheery chap you are Sanctuary.

    • Macro 19.3

      “Long term, it could be argued that it is better to wait for the Greens to slide back to 6-7% as National becomes more and more unpopular then govern with a 44% vote share than to forever accept that you have to be a government with just 34% of the vote and ‘crippled’ by a coalition partner you can’t ignore.”

      That is NEVER going to happen. However – if Labour continue with their head in the sand behaviour and “we are superior to all others and natural born leaders” attitude – it might be Labour which slip to 6- 7% as the electorate sees them as more and more irrelevant.

  20. Ant 20

    Between a rock and a hard place, I kind of hope that this is a tactic.

    Labour would get far worse press than the Nats if they went along with opening the door for IMP, that’s a fact look at the double standard in the press they are up against. They would get hammered, everyone would conveniently forget about Epsom and Ohariu. Imagine independent political commentator and ‘man about town’ John Key giving his thoughts on this every week leading up to the election.

    Now Labour can “fight” in public, but kind of hope that TTT voters aren’t stupid and know how to MMP – which by all indications is the case, Maori voters demonstrate by their vote split each election that they know how to MMP.

    Take the moral high ground, avoid a hammering, try and hit the Nats if they attempt to open a door for Craig or for ACT cups of tea.

    Kelvin’s list placing will be the actual signal to TTT voters on Labour’s intentions.

    • yeshe 20.1

      Matt McCarten is a shrewd operator … I agree with you Ant. This is not the time, not yet.

    • Naturesong 20.2

      Or Labour could make National own the broken system.

      “We don’t agree with these rules, but we’re forced to operate within a broken system that National refused to fix” – And point to John Banks at every opportunity, and highlight Peter Dunne being screwed over on the GCSB vote.

      • Tracey 20.2.1

        I think key calling the imp set up a rort will make average voters wonder how its different from cups of tea. The people are NOT as stupid as Key keeps treating them.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      They would get hammered, everyone would conveniently forget about Epsom and Ohariu.

      Oh, I think you’re wrong there. Everyone would remember Epsom and Ohariu and would also remember that the public gave support to stop that rort and that National didn’t so that they could do it again. They would also remember that the MSM pretty much gave support to National doing it.

    • Colonial Viper 20.4


      There’s no need to formally withdraw Labour from the candidacies in Te Tai Tokerau or in Waiariki.

      All you do is campaign for the party vote, don’t put up any signs with the candidates faces or names on them, and make it known through Labour channels that voting for the Mana candidates while party voting Labour is the way to go, in those electorates.

    • Anne 20.5

      Labour would get far worse press than the Nats if they went along with opening the door for IMP, that’s a fact look at the double standard in the press… They would get hammered… Imagine independent political commentator and ‘man about town’ John Key giving his thoughts on this every week leading up to the election.

      Sensible words Ant.

    • weka 20.6

      “Labour would get far worse press than the Nats if they went along with opening the door for IMP, that’s a fact look at the double standard in the press they are up against. They would get hammered, everyone would conveniently forget about Epsom and Ohariu. Imagine independent political commentator and ‘man about town’ John Key giving his thoughts on this every week leading up to the election.”

      So ask yourself, why have the GP apparently given Mana two concessions and are not getting hammered for it in the MSM?

      • Ant 20.6.1

        Because the ‘game’ is between Labour and National. Greens are just a bit player.

        • weka

          Are you saying that if the GP made a big song and dance about giving concessions to Mana that the media wouldn’t have any negative coverage of that?

          • Ant

            I’m saying the media doesn’t care about the Greens that much and neither do most voters. They care about Lab vs Nat so the focus is on that, the stories are bigger and have a greater influence on the election outcome.

            The Green Party being judged in a certain way isn’t evidence that Labour would be judged in the same way, Labour are held to a higher standard because they will be running things.

    • geoff 20.7

      god I hope you are right, ant.
      I think Kelvin’s list placing would be a bit of an obscure signal for the poor voters of TTT, though.

  21. Clemgeopin 21

    Labour and indeed the other two parties in the Left block, Greens and the InternetMANA alliance should definitely consider strategic planning and arrangement to maximise the seat numbers of the Left block in parliament to ensure they are able to form a government by defeating Key and his own alliance parties, namely, ACT, UF, CONs and the Maori party.

    Seat adjustment for electoral advantage is a legitimate, smart and legal means to achieve a legitimate, smart and desired end.

    In any case, the PEOPLE, the voters, will STILL have the ULTIMATE power as to HOW they will vote on the ballot paper.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Left supporters would love to see smart, strategic, co-ordinated action from the parties that they support.

  22. Skinny 22

    Matt McCarten will be smiling with a spring in his step. As a strong bargainer I can see Labour are in the weaker position. Hone was too thick to realise it on RNZ this morning. The twist will come in July when Harre admits Jim A was an angel to deal with compared to the unruly Hone H. The Internet Party could well part company with Mana prior to the election and go on to get over 5%. All I need to hear confirmed is TIP has this option available in their contract? Would be par for the course for the elusive and very cunning DotCom, add his Indian suit too that and one would expect nothing less.
    Mana may just fail with Davis beating Hone, and it’s back to the dole for him. My advice to Hone is tuck away a slice of Warner Brothers money while the going is good.

    • Naturesong 22.1

      Further proof of New Zealands failing education system

    • marty mars 22.2

      get over your Honehate mate, life’s too short

    • greywarbler 22.3

      hey skinny hone is all right. give him a chance and you will see his good points. that is what i have done when thinking of winston and can see him in the round now so to speak.

      • Skinny 22.3.1

        He had his chances with me GW, I had a high ranking position early on and pulled in many Mana members. I saw first hand how he treats people like shit, personally no one bullies me suffice to say that was a cross road. So believe me I speak from a qualified position to do so. Labour will bring him aboard as the very last option to form a Government. Little doubting they would do a deal with the Maori Party before him, thats if they are still around? Basically he is not a team player and regrettably his demands to hold a Ministeral post would be the start of his tantrums. This sort of carry on is well documented by the Maori Party.

    • Lanthanide 22.4

      This is weirdo bizzaro stuff. What reality do you live in?

  23. Colonial Viper 23

    IMP officials – don’t blow your cash this campaign

    Spend a million now, but put aside most of it for building up capability and infrastructure for the 2017 and 2020.

    Further Kiwis want to see smart, targetted operating during the campaign, and flooding a campaign with cash can easily drown out the smarts and the targetting.

    Open mike 30/05/2014

  24. Papa Tuanuku 24

    NEWSFLASH: Right wingers have been rorting MMP since b4 it began.

    The right wing rort and manipulation of MMP is probably THE political story of the last 25 years, if the right wing media would give the story the light of day.

    Details here (careful, the skulduggery is confusing):

    pre MMP – National and Labour MPs leave their parties before the first MMP election and form the Future NZ party, which later becomes United NZ Party and then United Future NZ party. Think Peter Dunne.
    1996 – 1st MMP election, the 5 Maori Mps (with NZ First) hold balance of power and side with National. (remember Winston was a National MP three years before this). Ex nat backs nat.
    1997 – Alamein Kōpu leaves alliance to prop up national govt.
    1998 – Winston pulls away from National. His 5 national MPs leave him and form a new party, Mauri Pacific, that props up the national govt.
    2008 – 5 Maori Party Maori seat MPs side with national govt, including ex labour MP (Turia). After a couple of years Harawira leaves this arrangement.
    2011 – (now) 3 Maori Party Maori seat MPs side with National.
    Since 1995 Peter Dunne has supported most govts, most recently supporting national to sell assets and to pass the GCSB laws.

    MMP rort themes:

    A long history of Peter Dunne manipulating the MMP system, setting up new parties to suit his political career. (starts as labour MP and ends up as United Future MP backing National govts, it makes the head spin!)

    The Maori seats being captured by parties who then back up national govts that decrease living standards for their voters. (Remember Maori seats are the poorest seats in the govt).

    Probably the biggest rort of all – the ACT party. Set up and run by ex labour MPs (Prebble and Roger Douglas) and then led by ex national MPs like Brash and Banks. These people must operate on the hope that people have no memories. They really are shameless.

    • KJT 24.1

      Don’t forget, Bob Jones and the “New Zealand ” party. Talk about money buying an election.

      And National gerrymandering the urban seats, under FPP, to get in with around 40% of the vote.

  25. RJL 25

    Of course, National already runs precisely this sort of scam in the Maori seats.

    National doesn’t run electorate candidates in the Maori seats; the Maori party is effectively National’s stalking horse in these electorates.

  26. DS 26

    There’s no dilemma here. Simply get Davis to do what Green electorate candidates do – push party vote at every opportunity.

  27. anker 27

    I think people on the Left are panicking because they think we are going to lose.

    If Labour gift seats to IMP the media will crucify them. Look what’s happened already with IMP. Paddy for one has thrown his toys out of the cot and put Labour and Greens into this “dirty deal’ equation.

    If voters leave Labour because they don’t gift the seats, they will go to IMP in all likelihood.

    The move by Mana is an audacious, calculated strategy that takes advantage of dirty rules. It’s brilliant. They can afford to do that. There is nothing to say Hone won’t win his seat and IMP won’t get over 5%.

    I think Labour need to stay clean from this deal and trust that the Left will get there in the end.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1


      You keep your candidates in there, but you campaign for the party vote only. You let people know that they can get both Kelvin Davis and Hone in Parliament, by doing this.

      So , no signs up with electorate candidate names or photos. Just Cunliffe hoardings with Labour Party logos.

      • wtl 27.1.1

        Yeah, but you don’t announce on National Radio that you aren’t going to actually contest the seat. Nothing is stopping Labour from doing exactly what you are suggesting, and we have no idea what the actual plan is (I doubt they know the plan themselves, the IP-Mana deal was only announced this week), so all these comments about Labour doing the wrong thing are a bit strange, to say the least.

        • weka

          Sorry, but this has nothing to do with the Internet party. The issues exists completely separately from them. Consider if the IP didn’t exist, the situation would remain, because it’s about Mana and the Māori seats, esp TTT. Labour made it perfectly clear some time ago (via Cunliffe) that they would go hard out for all the Māori seats. This is despite the fact that this could cost the left the election.

          • wtl

            Sorry, but this has nothing to do with the Internet party. The issues exists completely separately from them.

            No, the deal makes the TTT seat more important than Mana alone, because the number of votes for the combined Mana-IP is likely to be higher than Mana alone (Hone won his seat last time but there wasn’t enough Mana party votes to bring any more MPs anyway). And it has brought the issue into focus in the eyes of the media and electorate, so it makes no sense to ignore this week’s events when discussing this issue.

            Labour made it perfectly clear some time ago (via Cunliffe) that they would go hard out for all the Māori seats…

            Great. Exactly the kind of rhetoric needed if they are going to criticise any deals that National makes in the future. Of course they don’t ACTUALLY have to do what they said they would do.

            • weka

              Right. So you are saying that Labour should pretend to be running a candidate in TTT, so they can get away with criticising National for rorting the system?

              “so it makes no sense to ignore this week’s events when discussing this issue.”

              I’m not suggesting ignoring what has happened this week (please reread my comment). I’m saying that the argument fails because irrespective of the IP, Labour had already taken the stance of going for all the Māori seats even if that cost the left the election.

              btw, they had the chance back then to do something quiet and sensible, but they blew it. Compare that to what the GP have done.

              Plus, what CV says below.

            • finbar

              If Labours polling, does not get the much need lift it requires within the next few months leading up to the election,they will in all probability do a deal with Inernet/Mana,for the Te Tia Tokerau seat.

        • Colonial Viper

          Ok so the IMP thing is new. But letting Mana through in Te Tai Tokerau and screwing Flavell and the Maori Party in Waiariki is not. Synopsis- Labour has had a long time to consider these issues not just last night.

        • Hamish

          I am confident this whole situation has caught Labour on the hop and DC has bungled it again, probably against better advice.

  28. ianmac 28

    Mr Davis had no choice this morning on Morning Report. He accented the need to support the people of TTT. He really couldn’t say within a week of being made the List MP that he didn’t want to contest the seat. So what else could he say?
    Remember that that Nat standing in Epson said he really really was the candidate officially, but worked hard at not being elected. And look what happened to that woman standing against Peter Dunne against the wishes of National. Gone from future List. Naughty girl!

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      Or you could just say that the IMP events of this week are a huge bonus for the people of TTT and you wish the new party all the best.

      • wtl 28.1.1

        Or they could do exactly what Davis did – criticise the deal. This gives them the moral high ground when National does any deals themselves, and they can thereby reduce the likelihood of these deals succeeding as they seem to be ‘dirty’ tricks. Of course, they can do all this and still not try very hard to win TTT.

        • weka

          It’s only the moral high ground if you are Labour. If you are one of the many disenfranchised voters then it’s just the same old same old shit from Labour.

          • wtl

            No one is stopping the disenfranchised from voting Mana or some other party, so I fail to see your point.

        • Colonial Viper

          Havent you noticed? The electorate likes winners not whiners. The National strategists know this. You may whine from the supposed “high ground” but youre still just a whiner.

          • wtl

            No one is whining. Positioning yourself so you can make the best use of rhetoric is legitimate strategy. Labour just has to trust TTT voters enough to do the right thing. You, on the other had, seem to have very little faith in TTT voters.

            • Colonial Viper

              I don’t assume people will make the right decision if they aren’t given good information. Labour should give them that information by focussing on a party vote campaign in TTT.

              • greywarbler

                Papa Tuanuku says why TTT and asks people to at least use the words Tai Tokerau rather than the acronym. I think he has a point. I think acronyms get overused .Maori want to advance their language not have te reo reduced to morse code. What do you think?

                • bad12

                  Greywarbler, Papatuanuku being in the Maori world view the Earth Mother would be more indicative of the person using the name being more likely a She than the He you ascribe…

      • weka 28.1.2

        although to be fair, if he said that, the interviewer would hound him with questions about concessions.

  29. outofbed 29

    Labour FFS it almost like they don’t want to win
    First Goff then Shearer and now lets try and not get an extra 3 or four seats on the left

  30. Tracey 30

    when john key tells the media in a tuxedo that he would feel dirty taking money from someone who has an agenda…. The next question is

    Do you feel dirty playing golf with oravidas owner for 50k and then send your minister of justice to specially visit his company
    Does he think judith is dirty for helping her husbands company and in return for donations
    Does he think williamson is dirty
    And dont let it go, he will storm off soon enough

  31. barry 31

    Labour and Davis should campaign hard and leave it up to the people of TTT to decide. If Labour tell them how to vote, will not lie down and beg like the people of Epsom, they will probably be bloody minded and not turn up or give their party vote to IMP as well. Both would be disasters for Labour

    Labour can stand on their principles and say it is all Key’s fault for doing dirty deals himself.

    If Harawira or Sykes win or IMP get 5% then there still might not be enough to unseat NACT. Labour needs to give people reason to vote for them, and that measn they have to cleaner than National.

    • bad12 31.1

      Yeah sure Baaaarry, the problem with you little scenario, thats all fine well and good if you are a member of the comfortable middle class with a good income and secure in your employment,

      Those further down the food chain, with the lower incomes, can neither eat or reside in a set of principles…

    • SPC 31.2

      It would be more useful to have Davis on a secure list ranking and then campaign in the Maori electorates and amongst urban Maori (on the general roll) for the party vote.

      The key is to maximise the Labour party vote total. That includes the Maori vote for Labour as the the total number of seats for Labour is most important.

      Leaving Internet Mana will get the northern seat and Harre and Sykes in on the basis of their internet media campaign presence before younger voters – needing only c2.5% from younger voters (who may not have voted but for the free tertiary education awareness off the internet medium campaign) to bring in 2 others.

      Reducing the Maori Party down to a low party vote – say 1% or less, and down to 2 electorate seats.

      Labour 4 of these seats, Maori Party 2 and Mana 1 (+ 2 off the list). Having 5 MP allies, while maximising the Labour party list vote amongst Maori is the best that can be done.

  32. Papa Tuanuku 32

    The habit by monoliguals of changing non-English names is annoying. Until the 90s no-one cared about the 4 Maori seats and they barely got a mention in results or political reporting. Suddenly they matter, the election hinges on a Maori seat or two, and we’re all a twitter.

    My bugbear is that it’s not TTT, it’s Te Tai Tokerau (Tai Tokerau for short?). Start getting your tongues around the word and start writing it for what it is too.

    • Tiger Mountain 32.1

      Would generally agree with you Papa Tuanuku, use macrons too at least for Māori and Pākehā, and other prominent words, the keystrokes are easy to find on a mac and easy enough on a PC.

      TTT for Te Tai Tokerau annoys the heck out of me too having lived there for 20 years, imagine everyone constantly typing Wgtn or Akld or ’tron. But… the thing is on regular political sites and twitter and texting acronyms and short cuts abound so where do you draw the line?

    • Colonial Viper 32.2

      The main problem is that Te Tai Tonga is also “TTT”

    • bad12 32.3

      Big UP’s Papa Tuanuku, totally agree with you, i get annoyed at initializing all sorts of words and see it as laziness…

  33. greywarbler 33

    I have just heard on the news that Labour says it will be going for all 7 seats. Pity they didn’t just say simply that they will be doing what is best for Maori and the country and so keep their options open. But they may not be smart and wise enough to approach the matter that way.

    They don’t need to worry about disappointing, surprising, letting the side down or not seeming to keep up to high standards of integrity or expectation, they already have done that a number of times and look on track to do it again with the super age rise to 67 and beyond. What they need to do now is to win and that is the thing that is most useful to us all, and they should concentrate their minds on that plus watching they’re not slipping on a banana skin, a foreskin or by the skin of their teeth. Just win you slack so and sos, and stop being so precious and careful as if you still have your virginity, that went long ago.

    • Colonial Viper 33.1

      Sigh. So unyieldingly predictable and FPP.

      • Sacha 33.1.1

        “Just win you slack so and sos, and stop being so precious”

        Arseholes may be the word you’re looking for.
        As if being beaten again is serving their constituents.

        • Kiwiri

          “As if being beaten again is serving their constituents.”

          What about the Labour membership?
          You know, those who flocked to sign up and cast their votes during the Labour leadership contest? Those who took the membership count to a new high?
          What do they think? That Labour should go all out and spray at National and also dump even harder on the Greens, Mana and Internet Party?
          Does the membership no longer care or are no longer relevant?

    • bad12 33.2

      Yep, i just watched Cunliffe’s little soundbite on 3News, ”Davis isn’t contesting the seat to come second”, bloke has at least got a smart.glib mouth on Him,

      i won’t invite a spanking and say what i am really thinking toward David Cunliffe at this point in time, but,

      His ”attitude” simply leads me to believe that he either doesn’t want to form the next Government, or, the plan has already been agreed within Parliamentary Labour that they will be having a coalition with NZFirst which shuts out the Green Party but gives them ”no choice” but to support such a ”business as usual” grouping or be painted as the party poopers,

      The next lot of polls will tell us and hopefully Cunliffe what the voters think of the ”attitude”…

    • @ warbler..

      “.. Just win you slack so and sos – and stop being so precious and careful –

      as if you still have your virginity – that went long ago..”

      ..+ 1..

  34. SPC 34

    Give Davis a high list ranking – the Jones spot is now free.

    Use him to campaign for the party vote around the country, including in the Maori electorates, rather than just in Northland.

    If he can still win the electorate with that sort of campaign, imagine what he could do in parliament.

  35. the pigman 35

    Meanwhile, the batshit crazy corporate media is now having a hernia about the IMP tie-up, evidenced in Stuff’s anonymous editorial. Now THAT is gobsmacking hypocrisy:


    • Clemgeopin 35.1

      That stupid editorial, (from Press it said), while criticizing the deal as rort, did not mention the Nat-ACT Epsom deal at all! Besides, the idiot who wrote that editorial had no idea of even the name of the alliance, calling it Mana-Internet in the final paragraph!

  36. Steve Bradley 36

    Forget ‘strategic’ and think about ‘principled’. I can recall Kelvin Davis addressing a rally of prison officer unionists in Kaikohe who were protesting about the privatisation of prisons. He spoke well: clearly Labour and principled. Went down well with a gathering of ‘ordinary’ working class people. He needs all the chances he can get to promote Labour by showing his great ability and heart.
    He’ll be a great advocate for maori in Te Tai Tokerau and throughout Aotearoa; a solid companion for Labour’s other Maori MPs.
    The citizens will vote as they will. The commentariat and other parties’ spokespersons should be told to bugger off and not be allowed to possibly skew the ballot by presuming the outcome before the real actions of real citizens on September 20.

    • bad12 36.1

      Clap, clap,ker–lap, yes Kelvin and David will look really principled representing all them ”screws” from the opposition benches which is the likely outcome of Davis winning the Te Tai Tokerau electorate…

    • Sacha 36.2

      “not be allowed to possibly skew the ballot”

      Like their opponents have been doing for ages.
      Hope that virtuous glow keeps you real warm.

    • North 36.3

      Chur, work really hard, show your brilliance Kelvin, bang on about scams, reject as smelly a sure fire way of ensuring two Maori MPs in the North rather than just one. The one’ll be you and that’s all that matters. High principle there Kelvin. All about you. High principle as it should be. Chur !

  37. Tautoko Viper 37

    I think that Kelvin will contest the seat and the people will work it out and give him the party vote and Hone the candidate vote. Labour should make sure that Kelvin is high on the list and this will give the obvious signal to the voters that they can have two strong leaders in Parliament. The people of the North have had a rough time under this government and will be eager to vote. The descendants of intelligent and wily warriors like Kawiti and Hongi Hika will have no trouble sorting out how to vote strategically.

  38. ~xtian 38

    Mana have sold the left out.

    It’s an illusion that Maori and the left are synonymous. Listening to Sue Bradford talking on RNZ National made me want to cry too.

    And Laila – you’ve sold us out for a few blingy baubles.

    I detest that Dotcom prick. I think the U.S. wanting to extradite his arse is a bad precedent so I’m all in favour of fighting that. But that doesn’t mean I like him.

  39. blue leopard 39

    Perhaps all this debate is moot.

    It might be a good idea to analyse the results of TeTai Tokerau prior to being concerned over Labour’s stance.


    Davis collected 6,956 local candidate votes
    Whereas the Labour vote was 6, 855

    Davis, therefore got 101 more votes than Labour did.

    Harawira collected 8,151 votes
    Whereas Mana collected 4,844

    Therefore Hone Harawira got 3, 307 more votes than Mana did.

    I’m uncertain where the extra votes came from for Hone, however a quick guess might be the 1, 704 who Party voted Green? (who didn’t have a local candidate) and perhaps some NZ First party voters? And it looks like Labour party voters by and large supported Davis.

    However we don’t know another scenario: noting that the numbers show similar support for Labour and the Labour candidate it is easy to assume that the two results were made up from the same voters (one voter voting Labour for both the local candidate and the Party vote) however, this is not necessarily so; the two [similar] Labour results could have resulted from different voters. For example plenty of the 1, 814 National party voters might have supported Davis (to oust Hone) and if this was the case it is likely that some of the Labour voters supported Hone.

    Either way, Hone is gaining a lot more support than Mana is, so there are many people in that electorate splitting their vote – which to me indicates they are already pretty savvy left-wing voters in that district.

    [n.b.1. There were about 101 more valid votes for the Party vote in that electorate than the local candidate votes

    n.b.2. Please excuse any mathematical errors, I have tried to be accurate, however, may pay to double-check. I have been known to make errors…]

    • Sacha 39.1

      “plenty of the 1, 814 National party voters might have supported Davis (to oust Hone) ”

      They are perfectly capable of doing the same this time – and Epsom proves they are willing.
      If the right plays the game and the left refuses, guess who loses?

      • blue leopard 39.1.1

        Remember Labour are no longer ‘the only left party in town’.

        I would expect, considering this district is now pretty pivotal to the Internet Party and remembering that the Internet Party have no shortage of funds, that IP/Mana won’t have any obstacles to ensuring that the people of this district are made aware of how their candidate vote might affect the chances of having a left-wing government. It looks to me that there is only a maximum of 4210 people out of approx 20,000 voters in that district who are of right wing persuasion – and that number is lot less if you don’t count Maori as a right wing party!

        West-Coast Tasman managed to buck the trend of the last election and gain a local Labour candidate by raising awareness re Green Party voters splitting votes to support O’Connor – and the ratio of right-wing voters to total voters there seems to be around 50% rightwing.


    • Colonial Viper 39.2

      And it looks like Labour party voters by and large supported Davis.

      However we don’t know …

      Mana, Labour etc. will know – pretty sure you can extract this information from a polling booth by polling booth breakdown.

      • blue leopard 39.2.1

        That is interesting, however it doesn’t help those of us who are discussing the matter who aren’t privvy to such info – and I am simply attempting to extract the voting trends of that district by what we have to go by.

  40. Ad 40

    What John Key is facing right now is what Labour would likely face if a government was formed through DotCom’s backdoor listing: DotCom is convicted, extradited, his party becomes a dead albatross around the neck of the coalition, and the media joyously humiliates them for the whole time they are in power.

    John Key’s trial shows that you can get a government into power, but you damage democracy in the process.

    Some principles are not worth selling, even if it means staying out another term. Surely the left have a few more principles than National?

    • Colonial Viper 40.1

      A lot of people are suffering out there in NZ, including children for whom another 3 years in poverty will be permanently damaging to them. The climate change/energy depletion clock is also counting inexorably downwards, we have almost no time left to get the nation ready for the next 20 years of resources scarcity/unaffordability upheaval.

      In this context, perhaps the political elite on the Left can afford to spend another 3 years enjoying their “principles” on the Opposition benches (while collecting the pay packets of the 2%), but I’m not so sure the rest of the country can.

  41. anker 41

    Ad @ 39 100+

    I think people are panicking a bit. We don’t know what sort of response IMP will get.

  42. Clean_power 42

    Why calling a sell-out a sell-out is a crime? Hipkins is 100% right!

  43. blue leopard 43

    While I tend toward the opinion that I would prefer to see Labour working with the other left-wing parties – I am starting to form the opinion that it is not actually a bad thing that Labour don’t with respect to this Te Tai Tokerau dynamic.

    This is similar to what others have said above, however, does it hurt Mana or the Internet Parties image if Labour compete with them?

    Well no, not if these two parties are marketing themselves as ‘anti-establishment’, judging by plenty of comments on this site – plenty of left-wingers appear to hold the view that Labour are altogether too supportive of the status quo – and that this is off-putting – surely, therefore, having Labour pose as competing with these IMP parties actually strengthens any ‘anti-establishment’ image that Mana or the Internet Party wish to put across. Perhaps people who are most likely to vote IMP, yet still have doubts and suspicions of IMP being ‘just two more parties of fakers’ will be less likely to hold such views with Labour not being cooperative toward IMP.

    Does it hurt Labour? Perhaps not, it simply gives the signal to those who want something a bit more challenging to the status quo that Labour are not the party to vote for – better to go with the other left-wing parties. This then allows Labour to appear ‘moderate’ and undermines any right-wing ‘they are hard left’ attacks on them. Perhaps this allows those of ‘moderate’ views to find Labour more appealing.

    If people want something more challenging of the status quo – a Labour government will be influenced by such ‘challenging’ aspects if more people vote for the more ‘challenging’ parties.

    Ultimately, therefore, it is up to us. We have a real choice here – let us use it wisely.

    What is heartening to know is that voters are far more likely to be made aware of the options this election contains, of the effects of voting strategically- due to the amount of funding backing the Internet Party. I am guessing it is very much because of this point that is why the right-wing/status quo commentators in the media are spitting tacks over the recent political events surrounding IMP.

    • Clemgeopin 43.1

      Excellent points there blue leopard.

      I gave it some thought yesterday and realised what the Labour strategy here is in not giving blanket explicit support to Greens and Internet Mana. It is as you surmise. By not openly cozying too closely with the other left block parties, the Greens and Mana, Labour stands a chance of preserving their core support, appearing at the same time to be moderate and pragmatic centrists and thus being attractive as a viable alternative for a good chunk of the soft votes from the disillusioned National, confused NZF and the anti KDC side of Internet party. At the same time this stance ensures that the Greens and Mana get a good number of votes from the environmentalists, the left and the far left. A win-Win for all the left block parties of Labour, Greens and the Internet Mana.

      In reality at the polls, the left voters in each constituency or most of them will work out on their own the best strategy to maximise the power of their two votes. Don’t underestimate their common sense. Besides, there will be plenty of publicity and polls about these issues during the campaign.

      • Colonial Viper 43.1.1

        BL and Clemgeopin

        Your points are well made but IMO you are both looking at the nation-wide perspective.

        And that is all for nought if at the electorate level Hone loses Te Tai Tokerau by 200 votes. Also the Maori Party needs to be banished from Waiariki, in order to deprive National of a support party and the way to do that is to give Annette Sykes the best chance possible.

        I gave it some thought yesterday and realised what the Labour strategy here is in not giving blanket explicit support to Greens and Internet Mana.

        Well, most of the talk has been around the option of Labour simply campaigning for the party vote, not pulling candidates out of electorates or giving blanket support to other political parties (which would not happen anyway).

        • Clemgeopin

          CV, in effect, and in MY opinion, that is what will end up happening in actual reality:

          Te Tai Tokerau : Hone Electorate win+Davis party vote List win.

          Waiariki : Annette Sykes: Electorate close win.

          2011 Te Tai Tokerau By-Election Official Results

          ALP, Kelvyn OURNZ Party 72
          DAVIS, Kelvin Labour Party 4,948
          HARAWIRA, Hone Mana 6,065 Majority: 1,117
          HERBERT, Maki Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 135
          TIPENE, Solomon Māori Party 1,087

          2011 Result: Wairariki:

          Māori————Te Ururoa James Flavell——-6878—–MAJORITY—1820
          Mana————Annette Te Imaima Sykes—–5058
          Labour———-Louis Te Kani——————–3896

          This time around, Labour voters will or will be made aware of this fact and hence will give their electorate votes to Sykes. Flavell will lose.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          @ CV

          The comment I made @ 43, is focussed on a ‘nation-wide’ level, because that is what I happen to be talking about in that comment (funny that).

          Let me put it this way: what if Labour takes the stance you suggest in those electorates and what if this both weakens one of IMPs’ major attractions of ‘anti-establishment’ or ‘we are going to conduct politics in a very different way’ (Mana 2011) and puts potential ‘moderate’ voters off Labour – becoming perceived by such types as ‘too close to the hard left’. That would be a jolly poor show, now wouldn’t it?

          What good will Hone or Sykes be able to effect then, when the left haven’t managed to increase their support enough to get into parliament?

          I am suggesting that perhaps perhaps Labour’s response is actually the best one for increasing the left-wing vote, rather than simply shuffling it around.

          As for an ‘electorate level’ perspective – I have commented in 39 & 39.1.1. from that perspective. I truly hope, that I am correct in those comments and that the people in the electorates that require high awareness of strategic voting in order to get Mana and the IP in, are made aware, if they are not already. (I suggested in those comments that they are already aware plus the bold below is pertinent)

          It is very sad to have to rely on the people of one or two electorates to get a party in that receives even 1% of the vote. I did submit to that MMP review supporting the lowering of the threshold for parties. I am not sure what else I can do about that sad undemocratic fact in our system (that Stephanie Rogers very astutely pointed out), however putting in a good word for Labour, as well as Mana and IP, I really don’t think hurts nor is it silly putting forward the view of trusting that there is a good chance that the people in the electorates in question are capable of doing the right (er left?) thing –especially considering they have been doing so for years….

          I am sorry if my views offend your recent predilection for pulling down Labour at any opportunity you get.

          …well actually…I didn’t actually mean what I said in that last sentence….not at all….it was a lie…. (I was impersonating John Key)….I am not sorry at all. I think Labour are doing very well and deserve some credit not just always picky picky picky.

  44. Dean Reynolds 44

    There is no ‘dilemma.’ Labour’s strategy is simple – to maximise the number of left MP’s after the election, it must go for the party vote & not the electorate vote in Te Tai Tokerau, Waiariki, Epsom & Ohariu. This has the added benefit of eliminating ACT, Dunne & the Maori Party & leaves an almost clear field for the Left to stay in power long enough to eliminate the damage done by shitty Neo Liberalism.

  45. Whatever next? 46

    I vote Labour because it represents “strength in unity” for those who have little power individually, against capitalism.it also represents cohesion v competition, cooperation v corruption
    Listening to recent rumblings against Greens and now Mana/Internet etc, I despair at People falling for the OBVIOUS divide and rule tactic that National are so ver good at.
    As has been said by several posters above, if we resort to FPP thinking, by competing with other left leaning parties, we lose more party votes, and divide the left vote…….clear run for National….too easy

    • Harry Holland 46.1

      As a swinging progressive voter (welcome back ‘progressive’ – a great word to describe the left in election year) I, like others, will be weighing up every move the parties make in the policy/candidate/leader/competition/co-operation game before deciding where to place my party vote to both maximise the chance of removing JK, and also feel a degree of personal comfort with whatever I choose.

      Seeing Labour attacking Harre yesterday made it somewhat less likely that my vote will got to Labour. I think silence/wait-and-see would have been the best approach.

      • mickysavage 46.1.1

        Where did this happen HH?

          • Harry Holland

            Hipkins (9), Shearer (11), Goff (13), and Davis have created the default Labour position. Cunliffe appears to be treading carefully, but if these four are running against the views of the top 8 then it might be time for a quick pre-election shadow-cabinet re-shuffle.

            Davis aside, after going back and reading the detail of each I realise it does fall short of being a full-on attack, but that was not the impression it left on me (and hundreds others) when I read it quickly yesterday. These folks surely understand that their critical comments would be woven together to form a picture of Labour at war with IMP.

            • Clemgeopin

              What is wrong in Davis referring to KDC as Sergeant Shultz?
              and Goff feeling strongly about Dotcom’s ‘‘pure political opportunism’, citing his previous donations to ACT MP John Banks, now the subject of a court case. ‘‘He wants to be able to influence and control politicians.’’

              Goff says he was previously ‘‘very critical’’ of National for exploiting MMP and failing to implement recommendations from the Electoral Commission to abolish the provision.

              ‘‘I’m scarcely likely to endorse another rort …I’m being entirely consistent,’’ he said.

              Goff says he made his feelings clear to the Labour caucus. ‘‘It will be the decision of the party leadership…but I see problems in creating a coalition where the philosophies and principle of people that you are trying to enter into a coalition with is unclear because they seem to be coming from diametrically opposed positions.’’

              Labour is at war not against IMP or other progressive parties, but against Key and his motely right wing regressive rogue parties.

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