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Lotu-Iiga is going

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, December 14th, 2016 - 41 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, melissa lee, national - Tags: ,

MP for SERCO, Sam Lotu-Iiga, chats with John Key after graduating from the Simon Lusk School of Politics.

The clearing of the decks continues.  Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has announced that he will stand down at the next election and will no doubt lose his Ministerial warrants this weekend when Bill English announces his cabinet reshuffle.

To be honest I consider his retirement will hurt National.  He is one of the candidates who gave National the impression of being respectful of different ethnicities and he performed pretty well in this role.

It was not always like this.  Back in 2005 Don Brash probably blew the election when he gave this remarkable interview full of dog whistle basically claiming that people of different ethnic groups including Maori and also gays were not “mainstream” and the Government should not “pander” to them.

No doubt he had been caught up in his rhetoric from his earlier Orewa speech.  Thankfully a plurality of New Zealanders rejected his divisive world view although it was a close thing.

Idiot Savant records Brash’s mainstream comments in this post.

PRESENTER: Okay. Let’s have a look at some of the other things you said over the weekend. You talked about mainstream New Zealand. What does that mean precisely?

BRASH: It means the large number of New Zealanders whom this Government has neglected for the last six years. This Government has been trying to work hard for minority groups, small parts of the community…

PRESENTER: Which minority groups, which minority groups are we talking about?

BRASH: Well we know, for example, that the Government has been funding Maori programmes more generously than non-Maori programmes…

So if you’re Maori, you’re not a “mainstream” (meaning “real”) New Zealander in Dr Brash’s eyes. But it doesn’t stop there:

PRESENTER: Okay. So Maori is one of the minority groups. What other minority groups?

BRASH: Well we know also that Government has been focusing on prostitution legislation, civil union legislation, all that kind of stuff, which caters for a small minority of people, while neglecting…

In other words, this is about social liberalism, “political correctness”, Labour’s efforts to expand opportunity and erode privilege, and ensure that every New Zealander is treated fairly and equally, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. But its clear that Brash doesn’t agree with that struggle, because he doesn’t see gays as real New Zealanders:

PRESENTER: No, I just want to pick up on something else here. You talked about civil unions. Does that mean you do not regard gay people as mainstream New Zealanders?

BRASH: Well they’re clearly not, they’re a small minority of people, but let me be clear. I made it very clear in the debate on that issue that I thought this should be dealt with by referendum because it’s a big change in the civil institutions of society. I also said that in the referendum I would vote for it because I have no problem with same sex couples committing to live together faithfully as heterosexual couples do.

PRESENTER: You simply don’t regard gays as part of mainstream New Zealand?

BRASH: Well they are clearly, by definition, a small minority of New Zealanders…

Following the loss National reviewed the reasons and realised that its racist redneck dog whistling did not work and in an increasingly diverse New Zealand it recognised the risk that it would be in a permanent minority.

Then along came John Key with his pleasant demeanour and his trip to Waitangi with Aroha Hudson and his talk of an underclass and how the State had to help.  These were pleasant words and statements designed to create a completely different perception to that which Brash had created.

As said by Bryan Gould the intent was to present a socially liberal front so that the important work of achieving right wing economic reforms could be progressed as quickly as possible.  From the Herald:

John Key certainly had important political gifts, likeability and the ability to communicate and relate to people. Much of the Opposition’s effort was devoted to trying to negate those advantages, in the hope the feet of clay they were sure were there would be exposed to the public gaze.

They failed to understand that the battle was not one of personality politics, but real politics.

The personality was merely the means by which a deadly serious re-making of New Zealand – along ideological lines – was being undertaken.

If we review the Key years, the trends are unmistakable. Business interests have been given top priority, social and environmental issues have been increasingly relegated to the second or third rank. Public assets have been privatised and the public sector and public spending have been subject to constant cuts, the law has been changed when required to suit the interests of overseas corporations.

Lotu-Iiga was an important part of the makeover.  Along with Hekia Parata, Melissa Lee and Kanwal Singh Bakshi he was placed in a winning list position in 2008.  He did better than expected and won the Maungakiekie seat then retained it at the last two elections, each with a 3,000 majority or less.

He was a difficult candidate for Labour.  Being Samoan with a law degree gave him considerable cut through into areas of traditional Labour strength.

There were negative aspects about him.  His use of Simon Lusk as a campaign adviser cast doubt about his success and his judgment. And his handling of the Corrections portfolio was poor although anyone would have struggled with the Serco contract.

Now that he is gone the seat is up for grabs.  Labour’s candidate Priyanka Radhakrishnan is very capable and highly rated by the party.  These are early days but the seat may now be hers.

41 comments on “Lotu-Iiga is going”

  1. Guerilla Surgeon 1

    “claiming that people of different ethnic groups including Maori and also gays were not “mainstream” and the Government should not “pander” to them.”

    Probably gain him as many votes as it lost him TBH.

  2. tracey 2

    It is just a coincidence that Sam and Craig Foss were considering leaving at the exact moment National needed to look forward thinking and “refreshing”, meanwhile career politician English enters his 28th year on the taxpayer

    • Sacha 2.1

      Compare and contrast these two tweets from Gallery journos about the timing of Foss’s decision:

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        Yup and they fall on their swords for the “good of the parry” and in return they get some plumb positions…. the rort goes on sacha

        • Sacha 2.1.1.1

          Recall the rumours before 2014 election about big payouts from party/sponsors to dislodge some of their old wood at that stage.

  3. Goodbye Sam. You were incompetent, as is the organisation you belonged to. You at least show some integrity in leaving that organisation. But not after a person has died and a prison descended into something out of Mad Max and the Thunderdome.

  4. It was obvious for anyone with a political antennae what Key was flown in for. He was nothing more than the smiling salesman for further inroads by neo liberalism. If one couldn’t see that , they were blind or in denial.

    And obvious also was the National party’s use of tokenism.

    Which in itself, was inverse racism of a particularly insidious and cynical nature.

    As Mike King used to say at the end of every comedy show his line … it could just as easily been applied to Key.

    ”This is John Key and you’ve just been had by Pulp Politics”…

  5. alwyn 6

    I think that the people who are still fighting the battle against John Key are rather confused. Like Generals they continue to fight the last war.
    Having a go at attacking Don Brash is even more over the top. That is like arguing that the Air Force must buy lots of Sopwith Camels because the Germans have so many of those dreaded Fokker Eindeckers.
    Don has left the building you know and WW1 is long over. Why did you spend half your offering attacking him?

    • Because Brash , – like Key and like English – are vicious , dangerous neo liberal Hollow men whose only main goal is to exploit the people of this country to their and their Oligarch colleagues advantage.

      Focusing on one is as valid as focusing on the other.

      They all have the same ideology.

          • BM 6.1.1.1.1

            I preferred Kitler, he’s always amusing.

          • alwyn 6.1.1.1.2

            Oh dear. What is Godwin’s law again?
            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Godwin%27s+Law
            Your surrender is accepted.

            • WILD KATIPO 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Oh yes… a bit like the other stick you bored trolls like to lean on … what was it again ?

              Something along the lines of KHS or something as equally stupid and childish?

              Which shows you how much attention I and others give to what you have to say and the handful of other sorry poor bored bastards who like to troll here… which is zilch. You simply fulfill the role of the comedic quota for our mild amusement. And of course, … never to be taken seriously.

              Simply thrown a few bones occasionally like you would for the dogs under the table to keep them occupied.

            • Craig H 6.1.1.1.2.2

              “A term that originated on Usenet, Godwin’s Law states that as an online argument grows longer and more heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up Adolf Hitler or the Nazis.”

              This part is not terribly accurate, but at least bears vague resemblance to what Godwin said – Godwin’s Law states that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1 i.e. if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler.

              “When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Godwin’s Law has effectively forfieted the argument.”

              This part is not Godwin’s Law, and is poorly worded – if invoking Godwin’s Law means the argument is forfeited, that could be interpreted as meaning that the person mentioning Godwin’s Law loses the argument (rather than the person making Hitler/Nazi comparisons). If it’s referring to the concept that comparisons to Hitler/Nazis are a lost argument, that’s a debating maxim that predates Godwin’s Law – the point of Godwin’s Law was that if we accept this maxim, then all internet discussion threads will eventually end because someone will eventually mention Hitler, which ends the argument.

              • Which adds up to a load of yawn.

                The simplistic tactic of labeling anything that gets closer to the truth that there are , in fact , anti democratic and indeed totalitarian symptoms operating within such an ideology as neo liberalism remains for what it is : a simple tool in the kit of the troll and the deflector.

                Which is standard fare for the hapless small number of trolls who habitually get their fix from subverting and deflection of any issue of import here.

                And you will notice also that almost predictably that they will post up some form of irrelevant or minor point at THE TOP of any article – usually with inflammatory overtones – with the sole objective to divert attention from the issue at hand.

                They love to parade around their pseudo intellectualism in public as if they really believe that anyone here actually gives a damn about their obviously glaring need for constant self affirmation.

                Far easier to give some childish acronym or quote some supposed internet ‘law’ – ( devised by an attorney / writer- not a political scientist , … may I add…. I suppose he got his little slice of fame and time in the sunshine for that little pearl I would imagine …) – as if its truth and to try and close down an issue when it gets beyond their limited comprehension about what the true implications are.

                Anyway … the whole things a yawn and Ive got better things to do.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2

      I’m confused. If critiquing the actions of a ‘leader’ who resigned as PM a few days ago is pointless then where does that leave those who have a go at Clark or employ a ‘Labour did it too 8+ years ago’ defense?

      Former PM ‘Honest John’ Key remains (much) more interesting than English (expect Key, Winston and Little to top English in the next preferred PM poll) and is a valid target of continuing efforts to clarify what motivated his expeditious departure.

      • alwyn 6.2.1

        It is silly to critique Helen of course for any of the policies she promoted.
        However I wasn’t complaining about the attacks on Key.
        I was pointing out that an enormous part of the post was attacking someone who left Parliament long before Clark did. He is also not the Saint to the National Party that Clark seems to be to the Labour Party.
        In terms of preferred PM I think it will be Key, English, Peters and then Little.
        Personal opinion of course.

        • WILD KATIPO 6.2.1.1

          English ? … L0L !

          I think it would be safe to say that hes closely tied with an inanimate small , brown , but otherwise incredibly dull cardboard box .

          So long National.

          Back to your knitting you go.

          • alwyn 6.2.1.1.1

            You may be right.
            On the other hand who do you think will do well in the next “preferred PM” stakes?
            I’ve given the order I think they will be.
            What is your selection?

    • Enough is Enough 6.3

      I have to agree with you Alwyn

      Greg appears to be using an interview from a different generation with a leader that was rejected by his own party, as critique of the current National Party.

      I don’t totally disagree with Greg’s conclusion but using Brash like this, is similar to using an interview with Roger Douglas as a basis for critiquing the current Labour Party.

  6. Ad 7

    Prime Minister English now has the luxury of a very substantially renewed Cabinet lineup for election year. One can easily see Joyce to Finance, and Smith and Brownlee reallocated downwards.

    The fresh new Ministers will in turn have the luxury of proposing really interesting budget bids for their Departments to spend the governments’ tax largesse.

    This will in turn mean a huge new upwards intake of list MPs for National to front in 2017.

    All of this is vastly different to the manner in which Helen Clark exited stage left.

    The primary legacy of John Key is precisely a powerful and fresh National Party.

    • Led by the Double Dipper and his fellow Pike River deniers.

      Blips going to have a lot of fun this year with Billy boy Dipper… it’ll be Blips easiest compilation yet to have fun with..

      As for the fake leopard skin wearing blowhard hes selected for Deputy…. shes busy watching in fear those shadows on the wall ,… in fear of one in particular with Judith Collin’s name all over it…

      What a bloody complete circus act.

      • Muttonbird 7.1.1

        Perhaps it will be the SCF payout in the dead of the night which will come back to haunt him? He just paid up without even considering SCF was involved in fraud and mismanagement, let alone doing any homework on it.

      • infused 7.1.2

        im sure the two people that read blips google bomb can’t wait.

    • Hanswurst 7.2

      … under quarter-century parliamentary veteran Bill English. Don’t get me wrong, I think English is highly competent, and at this stage of Key’s gradually waning appeal, English’s removal of the foot-in-mouth doofus factor displayed by John Key could be just as much of a boon for National as the loss of Key’s affable clown qualities are a setback.

      However, the familiarity of English, and the known and divisive faces of Bennett and Joyce, simply make a mockery of your narrative of refreshment. These three will be the media face of the government. It’s almost as though you have decided that National are going to win the election, and are casting about at every turn for supporting evidence. The “bold, vote-winning” promise of tax cuts will win them the election. Key will win them the election. The Kaikoura earthquake will win them the election. Key’s resignation and the subsequent caucus renewal will win them the election. I look forward to the lengthening of this list over the coming months.

      • Ad 7.2.1

        All those things and more will currently win them the election.

        They will have fewer coalition options, but they just don’t need them.

        • Hanswurst 7.2.1.1

          I don’t think there is any compelling reason why National shouldn’t win the election. However, the conflicting nature of your reasons for claiming that they will, and the almost complete lack of evidence to back those reasons up, suggest that you are putting the cart before the horse. It’s like you have decided, “National will win the election, therefore the appointment of Bill English as PM and his subsequent cabinet reshuffle are to be interpreted as follows: …”, rather than, “English as PM and his cabiniet reshuffle will have the following consequences for the coming election: …”.

      • Muttonbird 7.2.2

        Ad is an enigma.

        About 10% of his or her posts are socially conscious and compassionate offerings. 60% are bland, carbohydrate-filled, soporific musings on the question of democracy. The remaining 30% are over-excited troll posts on the undying accuracy and efficacy of John Key’s every move.

        I’m not sure what drives this inconsistency in position and tone except to suggest that more than one person is using the username.

        • Anne 7.2.2.1

          Yes. I’ve been lately starting to wonder where Ad’s true allegience lies. In some ways he reminds me of CV – or at least what CV became in the last little while.

          • Hanswurst 7.2.2.1.1

            I think Ad and CV are basically as far from each other as you can possibly get.

            • Anne 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Oh yes Hanswurst – in terms of political ideology. But there is a similarity in style… a desire to shock/stir the pot for the purpose of…. I’m not sure. 🙁

              • Hanswurst

                Really? I don’t think I’ve ever been shocked by a contribution from Ad. They’re generally exactly what you’d expect from what’s on the tin.

    • Cinny 7.3

      I must say am rather interested in where Brownlee and Nickoff will end up on Sunday.

      • WILD KATIPO 7.3.1

        Standing wistfully outside the Logburn Road gates.

        Remembering happier times when they had a part to play at an opening ceremony that now is going to haunt their political careers until they stand down.

  7. Craig H 8

    I see Craig Foss is also standing down as a Minister, and not seeking re-election.

    • Cinny 8.1

      yup there’s a few Nat Mp’s quitting now, may as well have an early election instead of a by election.
      Seeing the ministers stepping down are wanting to stay on to avoid the cost of a by election, which is fine by Bills team; one would think they would be supportive of an early election to avoid the cost of a by election now Shearer is going to Sudan.

      But noooo the outgoing government are too busy pointing fingers to realise they are hypocrites. It’s rather amusing mainstream reporting they may as well cut and paste… resigning for family reasons, not stepping down yet to avoid a byelection spin spin sugar.

      After all 2017 is election year and how many days away is that now..

  8. Olwyn 9

    Reading this post, I keep returning to this extract from Gould’s article: They failed to understand that the battle was not one of personality politics, but real politics…The personality was merely the means by which a deadly serious re-making of New Zealand – along ideological lines – was being undertaken.

    The question it raises for me is “Since 2008 does the political left still count real politics as on option?” From 2011-2014, they fought tooth and nail against anyone who dared suggest they engage in such a thing, vilifying David Cunliffe, who seemed to think it necessary, and disdaining much of the membership as old Alliance members, rather as their UK counterparts dismissed the Corbynites as trots.

    The thing is, during the social democratic period, there was an underlying real political structure that was broadly inclusive, whoever was at the helm. But the unstated rule of neoliberalism is that the globalist right is allowed to take real ground, while the left must work within whatever ground they end up with. And as long as the left fails to face this challenge, its mana and effectiveness will continue to diminish. If you cannot engage in real politics you are no longer a real political party. I am still trying to determine whether Labour under Andrew Little is willing to pick up the gauntlet or not. I see some promising signs and others that are less so.

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