- Date published:
12:24 pm, March 2nd, 2023 - 36 comments
Categories: labour, mt albert, Politics - Tags: camilla belich, helen clark, helen white, jacinda ardern
The candidates for the Mt Albert Labour selection to replace Jacinda Ardern are Helen White MP and Camilla Belich MP. The selection meeting is on Saturday 11th March at 10am in the Western Springs School Hall. All Labour Party members who are currently financial, including recently joined members, and all members of affiliated unions can attend the selection meeting.
As a Mt Albert member, I’m kind of surprised about that last statement. I would have thought it was restricted to members in Mt Albert. But I haven’t looked that up for a while.
If you want to vote, the advice that you should bring
No proxy votes are allowed. You have to be present at the meeting to vote. But the meetings are usually interesting.
The candidates are Helen White MP (flyer pdf) , and Camilla Belich MP (flyer pdf). Both are excellent candidates – and currently sharing an list MPs office just along Ponsonby Road from me. Both had lives prior to Parliament as employment lawyers amongst other things.
There will be opportunities to meet / listen to candidates beforehand. The LEC has
Mt Albert / Owairaka is a rather special electorate for Labour. Since I grew up there to Sandringham after my parents moved from Ponsonby in the early 1960s, it has produced two prime ministers – Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern, a leader of the opposition – David Shearer. Warren Freer held it between 1947 and 1981 and was a government minister (and acting prime minister) in several governments. Plus, of course, previously Michael Joseph Savage represented the Auckland West electorate that Mt Albert electorate was formed out of.
For me – I’m almost certain to vote for Helen White. Off and on, I’ve known her for decades since she volunteered in Mt Albert the first time in the early 90s, worked with her, and supported her political efforts in Auckland Central. She knows the Mt Albert electorate which is important in being a successful candidate and MP in this electorate, especially when it comes to running the kind of electorate campaigns required to keep the electorate voting Labour.
Camilla Belich for me is far more of an unknown in terms of Mt Albert electorate.
However, the LEC and some of the branches are organising to make both better known.
SAVE THE DATE!
The LEC and Branches of the LEC are busily trying to organise as many opportunities prior to this date for you to have all the information you would like.
We have had some requests to bring the candidates together for you. The LEC has decided that we will make this happen!
We will be hosting an LEC event on Saturday 4th March at 5pm. This will be at the Grey Lynn RSC. Details will come out later today.
I’ll try to remember to leave comments about these events.
I agree that Helen would make an excellent local MP.
I wonder though if a bit of a stitch up is on the cards as the alternative candidate has a little more clout in high places
Last time we had a high places push in Mt Albert we got David Shearer. No experience at running campaigns and absolutely no interfaces into the local electorate. It showed during the by-election and it showed even more in subsequent elections.
There was a pretty distinctive drop in both party and electorate vote in the electorate vote in the subsequent general election (I tend to ignore by-election results). Despite his being the Labour leader at the time.
Good candidate, but he really didn't fit the electorate. Would have been better in somewhere else with lower standards. He lost a lot of the local support.
We then got a different candidate in the subsequent selection with the support of locals. This was someone we knew because she'd been fighting hard campaigns in Auckland Central (a difficult electorate) and learning all of the time. Plus she knew to listen (I was out of time to campaign by 2017 – so this is hearsay).
In the next general election got real lift in electorate results, both for the party and the candidate. Again as Labour leader – so it was a comparable result.
I think that I pointed this out to you (possibly others) in 2009 and subsequent elections. Parachuted candidates don't do that well usually unless they have an affinity with the local members or have a crazy campaigning work ethic (think Helen Clark in 1981).
Local matters. High places simply don't have a lot of credence in Mt Albert after pushing David Shearer. I think he would have done well in a different electorate. He really didn't work well with an organisation and membership that kept delivering good party votes and insanely high electorate majorities – even when National was going to win the 2008 election.
Candidate personality is half the issue. The other half is a candidate that reflects the stereotypical centre and left demographic of the Mt Albert electorate.
When my daughter was at high school, she did a politics assignment that involved writing to David Shearer and whatever opposition MP represented the assignment and was disappointed to hear back only from the one she didn't expect and vice versa.
Later, as a politics student when JA was an MP but not PM, daughter woke up to find JA following daughter on her social media page. Still recall how proud her 15 mins of fame (albeit with student friends) made her.
Whenever I compare Shearer with Ardern as representative of the Mt Albert community, I'm reminded of JFKs quote "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country". No prizes for which represents which part of the quote IMO.
Helen or Camilla should get the job, whichever embodies that idea best. Good luck and God Bless whichever is chosen.
Disclaimer: I grew up in Mt Albert but no longer a resident.
David Shearer had a very good skill set and he also had Mt Albert connections, his wife's mother was a long time Mt Albert resident and Labour Party member and supporter.
However, his skill set was much better suited to negotiating access for aid convoys with militia leaders. You don't do that by 30 second sound bites.
My vote will be for Helen White. She is a long time resident of Mt Albert and has done a good job as list MP for Auckland Central. As the Green Party has decided to run elections in Auckland Central as it they were by-elections with Green members from all over the country flocking to assist, it is not an electorate that Labour should be putting the same level of energy in to.
Helen has always worked for working people and has the maturity and judgement to be a great MP for Mt Albert.
Camilla Belich has a solid political foundation and will do well in the Labour Caucus in either Government or Opposition. If the Party wants to show that they value the skills of List MPs – she would be one to promote.
Used to see David cruising around Pt Chev on sunny days in his old MG sports car, talked to him on the beach a few times when dog walking, nice guy but not a career politician.
I've bumped into David Cunliffe a few times around the Auckland CBD 🙂 . And old mate David Seymour around Newmarket & Parnell. 🙁
So many Daves
As immortalized by Dr Seuss
So again, no working class candidates for labour.
Working class candidates in central Auckland don't make me laugh
Helen White and Camilla Belich are former Employment lawyers. Without judging either (because I dont know Camilla well) I can tell you that you can't or shouldn't be a Labour candidate if your former life was supporting employers. Neither of them can be accused of this. Sometimes "working class" is judging who has done the most for working people. And working class is about roots, where you come from, what were your influencers etc,
Given that Camilla Bellich is married to Andrew Kirton (Hipkins press secretary) – the selection process had better be thoroughly transparent, or there will be suspicions of undue influence.
All over. Waiting for the announcement..
Helen White is the candidate.
Congratulations to Helen.
Wishing her all the best for her campaign in Mt Albert.
If (as seems likely in a staunch Labour seat) she's your new MP – I feel confident that she'll be an excellent representative in parliament.
She should be. Lives a lot closer to the core of the electorate than I do. She has lived there solidly for the last ~35 years.
I have been in and out of the electorate multiple times because I have lived up by the corner of K Rd and Ponsonby Rd for the last 24 years. Currently in and able to vote in Mt Albert. But I grew up in Sandringham.
How long until "suspicions of undue influence" before the fact are raised again?
Well, given that they seem to have been thoroughly dispelled – both by the reports of a local committee centred election process (vide the already quoted articles) and from TS members present at the deliberations – it doesn't seem likely.
However, fill your boots. Enjoy the speculation.
Yet it was you who indulged in speculation in the first place. I am glad you have apologised, in a way.
I'm more interested in who might be idly speculating about the possibility of such suspicions, and why. I have my suspicions – filled my boots long ago.
Hmm – do you suspect there’s more to this than meets the eye? Is it really "a bit late in the piece"? If so, then several 2020 Nat MPs were very late in the piece.
But maybe they had their reasons
It's important to put claims like Belladonna's in perspective. Well done on the hard work.
The 'claim' that Helen White has won the nomination – and I've congratulated her.
I shouldn't have thought even your demented opposition to a single thing I say would have had trouble with that.
I'm not quite grasping why you have provided a long list of retiring MPs in response to my congratulations to Helen White.
It seems clear that your conspiracy theorization is working overtime.
Not surprised you're not quite grasping why and that's OK – others have
OK. So it looks as though you're implying that Helen White is going to withdraw before the election.
Talk about fueling speculation!
If that's not your intention, then I think you need to clarify exactly what you do mean by your comment.
A liitle odd you're requesting clarification, given that my observations are, imho, not too disimilar to many others commenting here.
Suggest you read Anne's, joe90's, PsyclingLeft.Always' and Muttonbird's comments in this thread, and Mac1's, Anne's and Patricia Bremner's comments in the post about Helen White being selected.
Then, if you still need clarification, I will attempt oblige, although I may lack the skills to overcome a perception problem that seems to bedevil one “respectful centrist” in particular.
I have no idea what you are talking about and my strong suggestion is that start explaining your point if you have one, rather than dropping vague italicised links.
This shooting-at-the-messenger is getting beyond tedious and does no longer constitute good faith debate.
@weka. I was part of this conversation so if DMK doesn't mind I will make an attempt to clear things up.
Belladonna make a comment @5 on this thread ‘concerned’ that the Labour party selection process might be corrupt because Camilla Belich is married to Andrew Kirton. Apparently the marriage itself was evidence enough to risk "suspicions of undue influence".
DMK drew attention to another thread where Mac1 and Anne explained the generation and spreading of a rumour like this is political. For instance, earlier on the same day as Belladonna's comment @5, David Farrar posted on his blog that 'Belich will win because she has the support of head office and head office decides'. Coincidence? Perhaps so…
Belladonna @ 184.108.40.206 then accused DMK of speculating when just a week earlier it was Belladonna speculating!
DMK's comment @ 220.127.116.11.2 used to have the correct link (which now misdirects) to this comment where Belladonna criticises Tamati Coffey for the 'late' announcement he will not be standing in Waiariki. It's March, and DMK helpfully showed that no fewer than 7 National MPs left it till June and July before they announced their retirements at the 2020 election. This comment might have been better placed under Belladonna's Coffey comment but I read it as DMK further illuminating Belladonna's constant sniping at the Labour Party, its processes, and its MPs. It is possible this post is where the confusion came from, but it wasn't hard to connect the dots.
Moderators like to have commenters stick to the topic at hand and I understand that but we do not comment in a vacuum. People's comment history is not inadmissible, indeed moderators use comment history all the time in their judgements.
So, while pretending to be a respectful centrist, Belladonna is free to constantly snipe at the Labour Party, but that person should expect to be called on it from time to time.
Hi weka [@2:34 pm], might be over-thinking things and/or seeing a pattern (see joe90's JAK link) where none exists, but here goes.
A week before the selection of Labour's candidate for Mr Albert, a commenter floated the idea that if Belich was selected, then this would result in suspicions of undue influence in Labour's candidate selection process, so that process better be "thoroughly transparent".
Nothing wrong with any commenter floating such ideas on TS – that particular comment did draw my attention to the possibility of infighting, undue influence and a lack of transparency in Labour's selection process. Maybe that was not the intention of the commenter, but as Mac1, Anne and Patricia Bremner put it:
To repeat, imho there is nothing wrong with any commenter floating such ideas on TS.
Yesterday evening, the same commenter opined that Tamati Coffey's announcement (that he will not stand in 2023) struck them as "a bit late in the piece – though, I suppose, better now than later in the year." And it struck me as odd that one would consider such an announcement, made more than 7 months before a general election, to be "a bit late in the piece", given that 7 Nat MPs announced their departure from parliament less than 4 months before the 2020 general election.
Maybe I'm the odd one out – just floating ideas and wondering out load about and whys and wherefores of comments on TS.
P.S. Thanks Muttonbird @3:43 pm.
I thought this as well.
The comment @5 is the pure projection of corruption within the Labour Party and is designed by government opponents to create the impression Labour is untrustworthy and in turmoil. This is described well by Mac1 and Anne in your second link.
The rumour/speculation, invented by the opposition/TPU and run with by David Farrar on his blog and Belladonna here even made its way into Notices and Features' description in Helen White wins post.
Belladonna’s comments are windows – subtler than some earlier versions.
TV 1 6pm news had a lengthy item on the Mt Albert selection meeting:
Note one minute in there is a shot of Jacinda Arden and Camilla Belich walking into the hall together. It was rumoured that Camilla was Jacinda's preferred candidate and the gallant reporter infers she (Jacinda) was sending a message. (My paraphrase)
I have no idea whether they came to the meeting together but I suspect they just happened to arrive at the same time so they walked in together. It happens when you attend a gathering and someone you know turns up at the same moment so you walk in together.
Nah… that's too bland and boring for the MSM. Much better to weave a conspiracy theory into the incident and infer a bit of dirty politics when none was there.
Some see this. Good on you Muttonbird and DMK. There is some white-anting here. We sure dont need any more ….
Belladonna's more JAQ-off than white-ant.
Ah thanks. Yes indeed : ). I was kinda alluding to the already existing white-ants..who seem to revel in division. For what purpose? Who knows….
NZ under Nact ?…."if" ever…dystopia here we come.
Oh also, you seem to have a Alt music interest ? Ive been playing some Bad Religion lately. Wow they sure got some depth of history. And all still on Message. Sounds great too : )
I did know this..but for anyone else :
Taxdodger's Union founder, close friend of ACT, and Jong Khee's personal pollster, David Farrar is still pushing the idea the Mt Albert selection was an upset.
How could he possibly know Belich had the support of all those entities? The post on his blog goes on to suggest this is a huge problem for Labour. An idea one or two commenters here will lap up, no doubt.
Looks to me the political far right is punch drunk and desperate after the recent poor polling.
Long may that continue.