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Labour’s Māori electorate MPs will not be on the list

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, March 21st, 2017 - 58 comments
Categories: labour, leadership, Maori Issues, Maori seats - Tags: ,

In breaking news:

https://twitter.com/andykirton/status/843972610283134976

Labour Party press release

21 March 2017

Labour’s Māori MPs show strength

All of Labour’s Māori electorate members of Parliament have opted out of being on the list, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“We approached the party and asked to stay off the list as a show of strength, unity and confidence in our ability to build on the success that we enjoyed at the last election.

“Labour winning six of the seven Māori electorate seats was Māori showing us we’re the preferred political party to address Māori issues. The numbers were in our favour and we’re looking to improve.

“Our election strategy is about showing how the Māori Party has failed Māori during nine years of being tethered to National’s waka.

“We back ourselves to help Māori make progress on the problems they face in housing, health and education.

“Labour has five Māori MPs in the Shadow Cabinet and we’re all up to prove why we should have the party vote.

“We’re determined to show we’re an integral part of the Labour movement. We’re committed to working together to show how Māori will be much better served with a strong Labour Māori voice in Cabinet,” says Kelvin Davis.

The Māori Electorates and MPs

Hauraki-Waikato(North Western North Island, includes Hamilton and Papakura). Held by Nanaia Mahuta (L), since 2008.

Ikaroa-Rāwhiti(East and South North Island, includes Gisborne and Masterton). Held by Meka Whaitiri (L), held by Labour since at least 1999.

Tāmaki Makaurau(Roughly equivalent to greater Auckland). Held by Peeni Henare (L), who won it after Pita Sharles (Mp) retirement 2014.

Te Tai Hauāuru(Western North Island, includes Taranaki and Manawatu-Wanganui regions). Held by Adrian Rurawhe (L), who won it after Tariana Turia (Mp) retirement 2014.

Te Tai Tokerau(Northernmost seat, includes Whangarei and North and West Auckland). Held by Kelvin Davis (L), who defeated Hone Harawira (Mana) in 2014.

Te Tai Tonga(All of South Island and nearby islands. Largest electorate by area). Held by Rino Tirikatene (L), who defeated Rahui Katene (Mp) in 2011.

Waiariki(Includes Tauranga, Whakatane, Rotorua, Taupo). Held by Te Ururoa Flavell (Mp), since 2005.

 

 

58 comments on “Labour’s Māori electorate MPs will not be on the list”

  1. weka 1

    All us Pākehā looking at this announcement, here’s an opportunity to learn some things about Māori politics. Let’s not waste it.

    • weka 1.1

      Some perspectives then.

      Morgan Godfrey,

      @MorganGodfery 26m26 minutes ago

      there goes hone harawira’s “two for one” argument

      (i.e. vote hone and get kelvin off the list too)

      this is very good for kelvin

      first point: exceedingly few māori voters know or care about the labour list

      so, second point, something that registers with a tiny number of voters probably won’t ‘backfire’ or become ‘a bad look’ etc

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.1

        That was my first impression. This is a clever political move if your intention is to wipe out Maori/Mana.

      • It’s a high-risk high-reward play for Kelvin that assumes TTT voters really like him. (I’m not necessarily sure that’s what 2014 indicated, but it might be true by now nonetheless) It could boost his electorate vote. It could cost him his seat. It could even do both.

        I always thought the “two for one” argument was fundamentally flawed anyway, because it fails to state the candidate’s vision of why they’re the best. It’s a “I’ll just throw this argument on top of my pile of actually good arguments” kind of buckshot approach, really. Hone is better off spending his time talking about why he’s a better choice than Davis.

        • Enough is Enough 1.1.2.1

          Where is the reward?

          Kelvin et al may win their electorate seats but how does that assist in the broader strategy of changing the government?

          Just when you think Labour has worked out how to use the MMP system to its advantage with Ohariu, they go and pull this clanger out.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.2.1.1

            The reward is that it could solidify his hold on TTT (or at least narrowly hold onto it when he might otherwise have lost to Hone) because there’s a certain breed of voter who (incorrectly) sees electorate contests as a more legitimate way to get into parliament, and thus has more respect for MPs that take away their Party List parachute and stake their claim on their seat to getting elected locally.

            It is fair to say that voters should get a say on who’s most likely to get elected, but that’s why we should reform MMP into an Open List Proportional system later on, so you can simply adjust the Party List to vote out the clunkers. (Which will also stop idiots in safe seats from getting endlessly re-elected even though the rest of the country doesn’t like them, eg. Peter Dunne and Trevor Mallard)

            Labour’s move is actually a reasonably solid tactical play if you start from two assumptions:
            1) Hone’s closer integration with the Māori Party makes him more likely to vote or abstain in favour of a National Government than he previously was.
            2) The Māori Party may vote or abstain in favour of a National Government even when they could potentially make Labour the Government.

            While (2) isn’t impossible, I think (1) is a mistaken assumption. Hone hasn’t met a National MP he likes AFAIK and isn’t shy about saying so. If Labour were really smart, they would have approached Hone and asked if he would support them for the next government if they convinced Davis to stand aside/become a List MP/etc, announced a deal with Hone, and THEN pulled this move in the other six electorates to try to bump the MP out of Parliament, which is clearly what they’re really aiming for here. It’s the failing to be publicly seen as courting Hone that makes them look a little daft. But I think it’s borne of their philosophy that Labour is a party of electorate contests and they don’t want to back down from them and don’t want to be seen as weak or wanting to avoid a contest.

            Hone hasn’t publicly said he’ll only support a left-wing government, but unlike Peters he’s a pretty known quantity. The worst he’s likely to do to Labour ever is elect to abstain on a confidence vote.

            • weka 1.1.2.1.1.1

              I think it’s also a perception that Labour has that if they do any kind of public relationship building with Harawira they will lose some of their centrist and swing voters. And given that increasing the party vote has to be a pretty high priority for them, that makes sense (I don’t agree with it of course, but they’re a centre left party not a left wing one).

              btw, do you have a sense of a % that L/G need to get to to have a reasonable chance of governing without NZF (all variables considered)?

              • Assuming two Māori Party MPs and 1 MP each for UF, ACT, and Mana, Labour + Greens need to be at about 47.5% between them (They’re at about 42-44% atm) in order to be able to viably pass legislation using the MP and Mana, which is their most likely alternative to NZ First. Under those assumptions, their goal would be 58 seats between them.

                If you assume that NZ First will back them anyway, they can also have an arrangement with the independent Māori Parties and UF to pass legislation, which would mean they only need 57 seats or about 46.5%.

                Those scenarios aren’t out of reach, they’re almost within the margin of error of current polling. Given polling has been reasonably accurate before, that means Labour and the Greens would have some ground to make up to have more options than just Winston, but it’s possible.

                I’m assuming figures roughly in line with current polling for the Conservatives, (0.4%) ACT, (0.5%) TOP, (0.8%) and UF. (0.1%) You would need National and/or NZF to lose some support to allow for a result that high.

      • Sapani 1.1.3

        I reckon this is a genius move for Labour and strengthens the Party’s position to win even more at the ballot box this Sep.

  2. Cinny 2

    Bold, brave and very switched on move, kudos to the Labour Party and their Maori Seat Candidates. RESPECT

  3. Roflcopter 3

    So, some reasonably clear choices then…

    With no 2-for-1 deals on the table, Māori now take a more considered approach. This is essentially a last-ditch effort to try and ensure that Māori give their vote to the Labour candidate and win the seat, but it also has the prospect of spectactularly backfiring in favour of the Māori Party.

    The choice is vote Labour, and only have a Labour vision of what is good for Māori… after all they’re they only “real kaupapa Māori” apparently, or…

    Vote Māori Party, and have a party that can work right across the spectrum of left and right politics, extracting as many gains as they can along the way for both left and right policies.

    If Labour lose the election, yet win all the Māori seats, then Māori get absolutely nothing out of it at all.

    My pick, on the basis of the announcement… Mana Party gets 1 seat, Māori Party get 4 seats, Labour 2.

    • weka 3.1

      Labour currently hold 6 of the 7 seats. Maybe Davis is at risk, but how would the others be?

      Personally, I’d rather have both Harawira and Davis in parliament, but if it had to be one I’d choose Harawira.

      • Roflcopter 3.1.1

        And boom, there goes 1 seat…

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Yes but you just said Labour would lose four, apparently on the basis of nothing.

          • Roflcopter 3.1.1.1.1

            What YOU are saying about TTT is what will probably happen in reality. And that choice is not based on any idea about whether Hone will in fact support National on anything… probably not, but he hasn’t ruled it out yet has he?

            My point is, what Labour have said they’re doing overall is playing a game of all or nothing… there is no best of both worlds any more according to them.

            So, if faced with a choice of something or nothing, in regards to gains for Māori moving forward, Māori are going to take a more considered approach to how they vote.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Sure, but that’s not what you said above.

              I see no reason to think that Mana/Harawira would support a Fact govt.

    • I will wear a costume tophat around for an entire week after the election results if Labour wins less than 3 Māori seats.

      • Roflcopter 3.2.1

        Sometimes I think it’d be funny if Winston ran high-profile candidates in the Māori seats…. just to rock the boat.

        • I think he’s unlikely to win them again after the fiasco that resulted from NZF’s sweep of the Māori seats. I’m sure if he could get high-profile candidates, he would.

          Honestly, his party is so pro-British now that it’s hard to see Māori getting on board.

  4. outofbed 5

    Christ.. They have no fucking idea.
    Labour needs to not stand against Hone ensuring Mana a electorate seat and then bring maybe one or two mps’s with him. I would vote for Mana with my party vote if that was the case
    Take a leaf out of Act and Nationals playbook, This is serious stuff .

    • bwaghorn 5.1

      Labour would lose a lot of votes if they pulled that, a lot of labour voters are of the closet racist variety that is standard fare in muddle nz

      • red-blooded 5.1.1

        Well, THERE’s an unbacked allegation masquerading as something more than bullshit. If we’re talking about “no idea” political tactics, let’s think back to Hone’s deal with Kim DotCom, shall we?

  5. Tricldrown 6

    This is naive it will cost Labour party votes the ones that count.
    Labour on 28% cannot afford to loose any party votes.

    • weka 6.1

      How will it cost them party votes?

      • I think the idea is that less Māori MPs on the list might cost them some of their Māori party votes? It’s possible, but I’m not sure I buy it. I think actually Māori will probably appreciate the gesture of Labour giving the voters control over who represents them, although I’m not sure that will necessarily shut out Mana or the MP.

        • marty mars 6.1.1.1

          I think the gesture will be seen for what it appears – a declaration of weakness not strength. The attackers are now the attacked – it will be interesting to see how they hold up – personally i wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of them cracks under the pressure.

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1.1

            I think the appropriate terms here are “arrogant,” “overconfident,” etc… rather than “weak.” (Or “bold,” “risky,” etc… if you want a positive spin) Labour, as usual, understand how to be strong when standing up to people who should be their own goddamn base, but often fall short in dealing with right-wingers.

      • Roflcopter 6.1.2

        Why would Māori give the party vote to Labour when the result could be (in the case where they could lose the seat), that the Māori representation in Labour is in fact held by Māori who have no affinity or relationship with the Māori electorate in question.

        Māori politics is not pan-Māori, and this announcement is made to say “well, we know what’s best so it doesn’t matter which Māori person we have in Labour”… in fact quite the opposite is true.

  6. Ovid 7

    This is a bold move. I don’t know whether it’s folly or genius but I’ll watch the results from the Maori seats closely on 23 September.

    • Roflcopter 8.1

      lol @ Greens on 14.5%

      • The Greens have been vacillating pretty consistently between 12-14.5% in RM since 2016 started. I’m not sure what’s so “lol” about it, it’s actually more plausible than usual with National down at 43% atm, but I think there’s a phenomenon where people either over-report how likely they are to vote Green in polling, or Green voters don’t show up as much as they’re polled to, because they usually over-poll by a few percent. Maybe not this election though, who knows!

        I tweeted this, but if the election got the same distribution of votes, New Zealand First would decide the government no matter which point within the margin of error you choose. (that is, there’s no possible government within the margin of error for either side that doesn’t include NZF)

        That’s actually because National is the big loser in this poll, as NZF have actually also polled very low here, their second-lowest since the start of 2016, they only went lower when they polled 7% in the July 2016 RM.

        Seat distribution if this poll were accurate: (I am assuming all minor parties win their electorates)

        Labour: 36
        Greens: 18
        Mana: 1
        Māori: 2
        New Zealand First: 9
        UF: 1
        ACT: 1
        National : 53
        (120 MPs total, no overhang seats)

        Left: 55 (if you count Mana)
        NZF: 9 (undeclared)
        UF/Māori: 3 (will work with either left or right, but might support one over the other)
        Right: 54

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          I’d put UF on the right (can you see them supporting the Greens?).

          Why no overhang?

          • Matthew Whitehead 8.1.1.1.1

            The RM poll had 0.5% party vote for each of the single-electorate parties, which neatly qualified all of them for a single List seat, especially with the conservative vote to spread around.

            I group Māori and UF together because UF will work with Labour governments and the Māori Party will work with National governments. I fully suspect they’ll each vote the other way around if they get the casting vote. So unless one of them has to be the casting vote, they’ve kinda made themselves irrelevant in deciding who governs.

            Reid Research (aka. Newshub’s contractors) also published a poll today! It’s been a busy day for political news for sure.
            http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/newshub-poll-jacinda-ardern-preferred-as-pm-over-andrew-little.html

            They’re more focused on their irrelevent preferred PM poll, which doesn’t really give anyone any useful information, and as expected, Jacinda is more popular than Andrew. Whoop-de-doo.

            It also gives us our first seperated out number for TOP, of 0.8%. As they don’t have an electorate seat, their vote is simply redistributed, and I would expect that they’ve actually polled higher than this in the RM where they scored “other” as 2%, but we can’t know for sure of course.

            In terms of MPs, Reid’s poll looks like this:

            Labour: 38
            Greens: 14
            Mana: 1*
            Māori: 1
            New Zealand First: 9
            UF: 1*
            ACT: 1*
            National: 58
            (MPs: 123, 62 required for majority)
            (* = overhang seat)

            Left: 53
            NZF: 9
            UF/Māori: 2
            Right: 59

            Same picture, but much thinner margin. It’s likely that NZF would decide the government if the Newshub poll were the election result, but at the rightmost possible scenario in the margin of error, it’s possible for National to squeak in with a razor thin 63-seat majority, counting ACT, UF, and the MP.

  7. The brave often rush out first and fall first.

    Seems to me to show how poorly these mps either see themselves or understand mmp. A low or nonexistant list placing means you aren’t with it or is Andrew little going to lead his Māori mps and do the same – nope – the spin on this will be tough for these labour mps imo.

    • weka 9.1

      It’s only the Māori seat MPs though.

      I’m still in 2 or 3 minds about what it means and what might happen. Looks like a curve ball thus far.

  8. Bill 10

    Waiting for the “a vote for mana is a wasted vote” spin in 3…2…1..

    Sorry, but I’m not seeing this in terms of ‘brave Labour’ or any such like. The reality is that someone can party vote mana (arguably the only non-liberal option available) on the assumption that Hone wins TTT. But the heavy spin I now expect from Labour, ably assisted by media, is that Davis has it ‘in the bag’.

    So not so much about Labour ‘fronting up’ then, as about keeping that range of options as narrow as possible and hoping to get a boost from the ‘nowhere else to go’ party vote.

    edit – would be more than a little curious on the process that resulted in this (at face value) unanimous decision.

    • weka 10.1

      “Waiting for the “a vote for mana is a wasted vote” spin in 3…2…1..”

      If Harawira doesn’t win TTT then a party vote for Mana IS a wasted vote if one wants to change the govt this Sept, esp in a close election.

      “So not so much about Labour as it is about keeping that range of options as narrow as possible and hoping to get a boost from the ‘nowhere else to go’ party vote.”

      That too, but that misses the Māori politics aspects.

      • adam 10.1.1

        Vote evil, because evil is about!!

      • Bill 10.1.2

        It’s the first bit of your reply that’s feeding my cynicism. I’m picking that every news report during the campaigning period will be bagging Hone’s chances and talking up Davis.

        And like I say, I’d really like to know the process that lay behind that decision for those mps to opt out of the list. I’m picking a bit of arm twisting ‘for the sake of unity’ was applied. But yes. I could be wrong and just way too cynical.

        If there’s an over-riding Maori perspective at play, then I’ll just have to wait to see it or have it explained. But for now, I’m seeing it in general election terms.

        • weka 10.1.2.1

          “I’m picking that every news report during the campaigning period will be bagging Hone’s chances and talking up Davis.”

          Sure, just like last time. But that doesn’t mean that the votes aren’t wasted.

          “If there’s an over-riding Maori perspective at play, then I’ll just have to wait to see it or have it explained. But for now, I’m seeing it in general election terms.”

          If you want to see it explained you’ll have to go to Māori commentators/spaces.

          And like I say, I’d really like to know the process that lay behind that decision for those mps to opt out of the list. I’m picking a bit of arm twisting ‘for the sake of unity’ was applied. But yes. I could be wrong and just way too cynical.

          Oh, I’m sure there were internal politics involved, but I also think its patronising to suggest that Labour Māori seat MPs don’t have much power or agency in the party. Not that you are suggesting that necessarily, but we need more nuance here not broad strokes. Otherwise it’s just yet another round of Pākehā missing what is going on and framing the events within their own colourblindness.

          • Bill 10.1.2.1.1

            No, I’m not suggesting that the wider Labour caucus leaned on Māori electorate members. I’m wondering what pressure was generated within that section of the caucus…ie. who thought this was a good idea and how they got the idea adopted by all those standing in Māori electorates.

            I mean, it could just be that everyone thought it was a fantastic move…

            edit – You write – Sure, just like last time.…. Which I see in terms of media always siding with liberalism against anything that challenges its primacy. So, perhaps I’m not quite so blase as you might appear to be (and note, what I’m saying here is distinct from when media take one side or the other in a choice between two liberal options – I don’t really care too much about that – eg – favouring Nats over Labour or visa versa)

            • weka 10.1.2.1.1.1

              In other words, the Māori seat MPs didn’t work through this themselves?

              And sure, your theory is probably one to consider. I just feel like it’s problematic for the left to do this outside of understanding Māori politics.

              Someone could go back and look at the various comments from Labour bods on the whole thing in the past month or so, it’s not like this comes out of the blue. From what I remember, last week RNZ were shitstirring around a comment Little made a month ago re Māori MP list placement.

              • Bill

                Where are you getting that from Weka?

                ffs – I specifically wrote by way of clarification to your previous comment that I reckon the whole idea was born and peddled within the section of caucus that’s seeking election in the Maori electorate!

                • weka

                  So out of the 6 MPs, do you mean that a subset of them came up with the idea and pressured the others to go along with it? Which MPs?

                  As I said, I’m sure some of these theories are interesting but outside of a context of understand Māori politics they’re problematic.

                  • Bill

                    Yes, I’m saying it would seem the idea originated with some (maybe even only one) of those mps and went through a process that ended with all of them singing from the same song sheet.

                    I’m curious as to the nuts and bolts of that process.

                    I also wrote that it could just be that no process was required because they all thought it a fine idea.

              • Jenny Kirk

                Not sure if this link will come thru, weka, but this is Kelvin Davis giving some idea of what this strategy is about.

                • weka

                  Not really, that’s just a promo. It doesn’t explain anything much. In fact, the whole two tick thing doesn’t make sense other than that Labour obviously want both votes.

            • weka 10.1.2.1.1.2

              edit – You write – Sure, just like last time.…. Which I see in terms of media always siding with liberalism against anything that challenges its primacy. So, perhaps I’m not quite so blase as you might appear to be (and note, what I’m saying here is distinct from when media take one side or the other in a choice between two liberal options – I don’t really care too much about that – eg – favouring Nats over Labour or visa versa)

              Only just seen that edit.

              You know how the other day a few people thought you were saying something because you didn’t say something? This here now. It’s not that I don’t think that liberal bias isn’t important, it’s that I’m not going to let the wasted vote thing get lost in the debate. It’s a pretty big issue and might cost us the election.

              Plus, I think the whole MSM are liberally biased thing is far less important in this conversation than the fact the MSM are still pretty bad at reporting Māori politics, and the left politicos and commenters even more so.

              If the left really wanted to address liberalism and bias, it would be learning how to work with Māori on their terms.

              • Bill

                I took the use of the word ‘sure’ as implying that the bias was of no import. My misinterpretation.

  9. Jenny Kirk 11

    This is a strategic move on the part of Labour’s Maori MPs …… just wait and see.

  10. adam 12

    Love how labour are trying to cement white privileged into the MMP system. Tory idiots across the country must be loving this – every alt-right’s wet dream fulfilled in one afternoon.

    I should expect nothing less from a bunch of Wets.

    • Jenny Kirk 12.1

      Love how Standard posters are misinterpreting a basic political strategy !

      • mickysavage 12.1.1

        Yep my impression is that the Maori MPs have decided to be staunch. I had understood that all electorate candidates had to also be on the list so if the Maori MPs have decided to do this all power to them.

        • Karen 12.1.1.1

          I’m late to this but debate but thought I should point out something everybody, including the media, seem to have missed and that is that Rino Tirikatene, Peeni Henare and Adrian Ruawhe all chose to be electorate only candidates at the last election. This isn’t new for Māori electorate MPs who want the direct mandate from the people they represent. I suspect they have done it as a united front in order to make it clear to those on the Māori roll as it would never get any coverage otherwise.

          It will benefit Kelvin Davis primarily as he is the only one in any danger as far as I can ascertain. Te Uroroa Flavell will win his seat and I think the MP will get enough party votes to ensure at least Marama Fox gets into parliament.

          As much as I like Hone as a person I would vote for Kelvin if I was on that roll because he is extremely effective in a way Hone can never be as a lone MP. Even in opposition Kelvin has achieved a lot.

  11. Noah 13

    Christ. I’m a TTT voter and frankly, I’m disillusioned by all the candidates Labour, Mana and the MP keep putting up. Biggest story out of the North last few days: Kaikohe kids out of control. Haven’t heard a murmur from Hone, Kelvin etc about it. Only Winston. Pi$$ poor.

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    ...
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