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National has to win Northland (plus Armstrong’s amazing U-turn)

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, March 8th, 2015 - 153 comments
Categories: by-election, john key, spin - Tags: ,

National are in a full panic about Northland:

The National Party is scrambling all jets to bolster Northland byelection candidate Mark Osborne as polling shows NZ First leader Winston Peters has a chance of taking the traditionally safe National seat.

Prime Minister John Key will go on the campaign trail tomorrow and said he would visit another two times before the March 28 vote – more than he would usually dedicate to a byelection.

A TV3 poll this week showed Mr Peters on 35 per cent support to Mr Osborne’s 30 per cent. Labour’s Willow-Jean Prime was on 16 per cent. Mr Key has rated Mr Peters’ chances at “absolutely zero” but yesterday conceded National had a bit of work ahead.


Prime Minister John Key denies his presence in Northland has anything to do with an apparent surge in support for Winston Peters in the region’s by-election.

Is lying now so completely habitual for Key that he has to deny the bleeding obvious?

Mind you, Key hasn’t been the only one caught out by Winston Peters. Take The Herald’s chief political commentator John Armstrong for example. What he lacks in political instincts he more than makes up for with his gymnastic ability. Wednesday 4th March:

Peters faces uphill battle in byelection

It would require everything to go spectacularly right for Peters and everything to go drastically wrong for John Key in the three or so weeks until polling day on March 28 for Peters to pull off a very unlikely victory. Peters cannot win unless huge numbers of National voters stay at home. Northland, however, is a record-setter when it comes to signed-up National Party members. There will be no shortage of volunteers to get out the National vote. Winning a safe government seat in a byelection requires there to be huge antipathy towards that government.

Friday 6th March:

Shock lead adds weight to NZ First campaign

Whatever spin National tries to put on last night’s 3News-Reid Research byelection poll in the seat of Northland, the result will have sent shockwaves through the ranks of the governing party. Taking such an early lead over his National rival in the campaign will give Winston Peters’ bandwagon even more momentum.

The judges scored that U-turn a 9.8, 9.8, 9.6, 8.7 and a 9.9 – the crowd goes wild!

Seriously though, National will obviously be in panic mode right about now. They will throw everything they have at this by election, and more. They can’t afford to lose a safe seat and their guaranteed majority. They can’t afford the label “lame duck” for the next two and a half years.

153 comments on “National has to win Northland (plus Armstrong’s amazing U-turn) ”

  1. vto 1

    John Key in the media a few days ago said “I will be visiting Northland three times, which is more than normal, but ….”

    John Key yesterday said on te tele “I will be visiting Northland three times and this is the norm”

    Look. John Key just lied again.


    john key is a bare-faced liar

    • Anne 1.1

      Yes, I spotted that too. It’a got to the point when, every time he lies, I don’t flicker an eyelid anymore.

      • tc 1.1.1

        That’s exactly as designed, lowering the bar with the complaint MSM not picking out the blatant lie.

        Last election showed how well this strategy is working and what folks are willing to let pass for government.

        • Anne

          Yes tc but what can one do? My blood pressure is good. I want to keep it that way.

          • CnrJoe

            I have an effigy, a little FJK voodoo doll. I can make you one?

          • Murray Rawshark

            Get angry, Anne. Blood pressure medication is quite effective 🙂

            • Anne

              I’m not Taurus the bull for nothing. Provoke me by brandishing the large red kerchief and I’m pawing the ground with fire and brimstone coming from my nostrils. Ask my rellies… they will tell you.

        • b waghorn

          “Last election showed how well this strategy is working and what folks are willing to let pass for government.”
          You are bang on there the amount of people when I point out one of keys lies that say “they all do it” proves the damage the scum bag has done to politic s .

    • Tracey 1.2

      and armstrong first pitched it as Peters vs Key but when the poll turned he pitched it as Peters vs National rival

  2. Penny Bright 2

    So who on The Standard do NOT now support Northland voters ‘doing an Epsom’ ( without the Leaders ‘cup of tea’ thing)?

    Who is NOT now calling for Labour Party supporters to STRATEGICALLY vote Winston Peters in order to take Northland off National?


    New Zealanders ALL over the country will be watching …

    Penny Bright

    • Penny, demanding that the Standard’s authors and commenters answer to you personally about whether they’re towing *your* preferred strategic line is just rude.

      I myself assume that leftwing voters can see the writing on the wall and will vote accordingly. Many will vote for Winston because it benefits the Opposition to gain a seat/deliver a blow to National, and many will not because they don’t trust him, they don’t like him, or they don’t think he’s the best representative

      I will not condemn any of those people for making their own choice in the matter, in line with my long-held belief that railing against “the voters” en masse for not doing what I think they should is seriously arrogant.

      • Karen 2.1.1

        +100 Stephanie.

      • miravox 2.1.2

        Well said Stephanie.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.3


      • Bearded Git 2.1.4

        While Penny’s style may grate with you, she is right.

        • Right about what? That Labour supporters should urge strategic voting in Northland? I think you’ll find that’s a matter of opinion. You’re entitled to agree with her, of course, but that doesn’t make a strategy into an objective fact.

          • Bearded Git

            Do I really have to spell it out?
            Right about voting strategically to give Key/National a bloody nose and save the RMA while weakening Nat/Act’s power for the next two and half years.

            You could at least acknowledge that this is a reasonable aim.

            Meanwhile Penny’s comments below OTT IMO.

            • Sacha

              Please read Stephanie’s comment at 2.1 where she does exactly that, while refusing to condemn people who believe otherwise unlike a certain hectoring commenter seems to prefer.

              • Bearded Git

                Sorry I disagree Sacha.

                Stephanie, somewhat grudgingly accepts that people may vote strategically while (my impression) appearing not to be that impressed.

                Penny’s opinion is that it is blindingly obvious that Labour people should, in this situation, vote for Peters. That is my opinion too.

                These are different stances and IMO are symptomatic of the lack of clear thinking on how to vote tactically often exhibited by the Left due to blind tribal allegiance to Labour/Green candidates.

                • I’m an Ohariu voter, BG. I understand the point of tactical voting. All I’m saying is it’s really obnoxious to go around telling people they’re idiots just because their strategic priorities are different to yours.

                  If Peters wins – which could happen – and in 2017 gifts National an historic fourth term in return for the Revenue and Racing baubles of office and some extensions of the SuperGold card – which could also happen – I admit I’m looking forward to the chagrin from those who are insisting the left is obligated to help him into a seat.

                  • weka

                    + a zillion. It’s a bit scarey how desperate we are to take whatever short term wins we can and bugger the potential consequences.

                    • Sacha

                      Protecting the RMA seems like a big enough current win for all future generations to me.

                    • weka

                      Do you mean you would take blocking the RMA reforms in exhange for having a 4th NACT term?

                    • Tracey


                      Are you 100% certain of how Winston will use any additional power he might gain? I’m not, and I have some respect for him for certain of his actions over the years… and less fr other actions.

                  • Bearded Git

                    Agree we shouldn’t be calling people idiots because they disagree with our opinion. But is does drive me crazy where many on the the Left (not you) don’t seem to grasp tactical voting, Ohariu being a case in point.

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      isn’t it a moot point ? We know the consequences if Nats win up north; they’re excruciatingly clear. Anything we can win via Winston is a win — please don’t wish it not to happen out of fear for what might arise in the next election !!

                      It could be a whole second GFC or third world war away …. let’s get what we can while we can especially if it saves the RMA from its own environmental destruction.

                    • weka

                      like I said yeshe, desperation.

                      I would be more comfortable with a NZF win if I saw more lefties taking the risks seriously.

                      (I didn’t see Stephanie wishing it away. I don’t know what she wants to have happen. Has she said?).

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    If Winnie can gift NAct a fourth term, the Labour party doesn’t deserve to exist. They should have a good look at themselves and think hard about why so many people see the untrustworthy Winston First as a better opposition than Labour.

                    • Macro

                      Hear hear!
                      Labourites need to take a long hard look at themselves and their party. There are many positive things that NZF have done for NZ (free medical care for under 6’s for one) over recent years (and there are some positives for Labour as well). Yes NZF are socially conservative (and I think that is where the likes of Stephanie et al are coming from) but in the long run you have to put the future of NZ ahead of ones own personal agenda – and in this case it is obvious. The trashing of the RMA as proposed by Nact is a very serious threat to our country and the environment. The TPPA is a huge threat to our sovereignty – handing over the running of our country to international corporates goes hand in glove with the trashing of the RMA. NZF sees these threats as well as any sensible NZer. I’m not a NZF voter – never have been. But in this instance I certainly would be. Key needs to be told he does not have the “mandate” he thinks he has.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    If Peters wins – which could happen – and in 2017 gifts National an historic fourth term in return for the Revenue and Racing baubles of office and some extensions of the SuperGold card – which could also happen

                    Which is a reason to start building bridges with NZ First now.

                    Because I don’t see how Labour/Greens distancing themselves from NZ First now reduces the risk of Peters going with National in 2017. Quite the reverse I would have thought.

                    • I don’t believe that anything *anyone* does reduces, or increases, the risk of Peters doing *anything* in particular in 2017. He’s true Chaotic Neutral.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      That’s interesting, I see Winston as Lawful Neutral, someone who understands and draws on Kiwi tradition and culture very ably.

                    • weka

                      “Because I don’t see how Labour/Greens distancing themselves from NZ First now reduces the risk of Peters going with National in 2017. Quite the reverse I would have thought.”

                      Huh? Where have you seen either party doing that? I haven’t been following super close, but both parties appear to me to be up front about wanting to work with NZF.

                  • jackp

                    Winston made that mistake in the 90s but won’t make that mistake again. Your just fear mongering. Winston will never sell out to National . Obviously you don’t like him nor will you vote for him. Just say so and stop trying to put a spin on tactical voting. It’s mmp.

        • Clemgeopin

          “she is right”
          and left.

      • Tracey 2.1.5


      • Irascible 2.1.6

        Well said Stephanie. For anyone to think that voters can be instructed to vote a particular way is naive in deed.

    • Tracey 2.2

      I am sure you don’t consider people who vote for you are using their vote poorly despite your not having a chance of winning, so why condemn others who want to use their vote to reflect the NZ they ant to live in

    • Ad 2.3

      By that logic Penny Bright should have pulled out of every mayoral race she’s ever entered, to make sure a decent candidate got in. Fair enough.

  3. jenny kirk 3

    Not only is John Key a bare-faced liar, he’s also infecting his candidate with the same malaise.

    Osborne said on The Nation 7500 new jobs had occurred in Northland over the last year or so – yeah right ! pull the other leg …… and then he went on to talk about $750million worth of new roading being put into the north.

    I guess he was talking about the maintenance being done on SH1 between Warkworth and Hikurangi – because (apart from a little bit of maintenance through Moerewa recently) there sure is nothing like NEW roading being done that northlanders living beyond Mangawhai can see.

    • Sacha 3.1

      He’ll be claiming the $750m holiday highway to Warkworth is somehow the answer to Northland’s economic challenges. Getting those trucks to Auckland 3 minutes faster will be transformational. I tells you! Not as if you could use that money to instead build sustainable infrastructure, skills and enterprise in Northland itself. Maybe fix some of the actual local roads.

  4. saveNZ 4

    There are so many propaganda pro National paid Trolls, maybe even Granddaddy Herald did not realise how much anti government sentiment there is with National.

    My view on the election was that is was more about Labour being punished by their supporters for their dire schizophrenic narcissistic in fighting campaign and attacks on all parties than National, than any great adoration for National. Who knows how much of Labours crazy antics, was manipulated by Dirty Politics?

    I personally expected Labour to get in in 2014, but did not vote for them for party vote as was disgusted by their behaviour. The MSM have spun it, that National has a clear mandate, but I don’t think that voters intent. It was a message to Labour from voters, don’t behave like that, and hopefully the Northland byElection will be a message to National from the people of Northland, we are not happy with National policy to sell off our country and have potentially criminal MP’s.

    Expect BIG money and dirty antics from the Nats, around NorthLand. Dear leader might even have to go further than Omeha three times!

    That is why even more important Labour collaborate and support Winston for the greater good.

    • Sans Cle 4.1

      Yes, I do not underestimate the effect of Dirty Politicking on the average Josephine and Joe Punter. Enough is enough though, and the Planet Key mask is slipping. We have the brave Nicky Hager to thank for this. The Northland electorate is fortunate enough to have the power to make their political misgivings against National heard, in this landmark bye-election. More power to them (the rest of us can voice our exasperation at the political regime……but need to wait to cast our votes).

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    And just imagine if the Opposition parties hadn’t ganged up on Hone Harawira, who ended up losing Te Tai Tokerau by 800 votes. We’d have both Hone and Laila in Parliament now (a twofer instead of Davis) and National would be truly fucked if Peters got in.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Just what I thought when a by election looked likely, Internet/Mana raised good issues that continue to reverberate for dear leader and the country.

      A combination of own goals (changing the simple tick electoral graphic, taking on Pam and Georgina, Hone’s car crash, extending the road trips, not keeping KDC underwraps more etc) and a united right/right social democrat public attack was their electoral undoing.

      That’s shoulda, woulda, coulda for you.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1

        Quite right. In fact standing KDC down for the 2 months before the actual election and keeping Hone campaigning in his own electorate in that same time frame instead of tripping around the country, would have done it, even with the ‘ganging up’ IMO.

        • nadis

          Who was in position to tell Dotcom to stand down? Conversation would have gone something like:

          “Thanks for your advice Hone and Laila, but as I have bought and sold the IMP to implement my personal agenda, I think I’ll take my own advice”. Plus there’s the whole thing that hindsight is easy, at the time of the election I don’t recall anyone on this blog or in other forums suggesting Dotcom was a potential problem. In fact quite the opposite, he was personally mobilising the missing million voters, and was about to unleash evidence that would see John Key arrested for treason.

          And since when has Winston been a friend of the left? If he wins Northland, I would give a better than evens chance he does a deal with National. He’ll get some things like more bribes for OAPs, some restrictions on Chinese property buyers (but not the “proper” kind from Europe, the US or UK, some gold plated, economically ineffective job programmes for Northland and end up being Treasurer, or Deputiy Finance Minister or co-Foreign Affairs minister.

          Peters is no friend of the left – he is a friend of his own political interests, and they are purely defined as positioning himself to hold the balance of power, where his negotiating power is magnified. The exact opposite in fact, of the relationship between Labour and the Greens.

          • Tracey

            If you are saying no one at TS saw DotCom as a potential problem you must have skipped alternate posts on some days. Some here were VERY vocal that the left hooking up with DotCom was a disaster.

            • nadis

              Ok, I’ll take your word for it.

              But I also recall a lot of vocal support for the notion IMP would get +5% based on turning out the missing yoof vote.

        • nadis

          Who was in position to tell Dotcom to stand down? Conversation would have gone something like:

          “Thanks for your advice Hone and Laila, but as I have bought and sold the IMP to implement my personal agenda, I think I’ll take my own advice”. Plus there’s the whole thing that hindsight is easy, at the time of the election I don’t recall anyone on this blog or in other forums suggesting Dotcom was a potential problem. In fact quite the opposite, he was personally mobilising the missing million voters, and was about to unleash evidence that would see John Key arrested for treason.

          And since when has Winston been a friend of the left? If he wins Northland, I would give a better than evens chance he does a deal with National. He’ll get some things like more bribes for OAPs, some restrictions on Chinese property buyers (but not the “proper” kind from Europe, the US or UK, some gold plated, economically ineffective job programmes for Northland and end up being Treasurer, or Deputiy Finance Minister or co-Foreign Affairs minister.

          Peters is no friend of the left – he is a friend of his own political interests, and they are purely defined as positioning himself to hold the balance of power, where his negotiating power is magnified. The exact opposite in fact, of the relationship between Labour and the Greens.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            You may remember that Dotcom did pay for political advisors…who gave not very good advice as it turned out.

    • Wayne 5.2

      Thank goodness we don’t. Kelvin Davis did the country a favour in winning.

      • Clemgeopin 5.2.1

        No, he didn’t. He did for Key and Nats who are primarily working hard for the wealthy, though.

        Hone, Laila and Sykes have between them more integrity, more head and heart, more courage, more honour and more mana than the entire current bull shitting dodgy National cabinet.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          with you 100% clem.

        • tricledrown

          That integrity was destroyed by Dotcon.
          The FJK chants Nazi style salutes effigy burning,failure of Dotcon to produce evidence in his big reveal.
          Hones car accident .
          Pam Talkeries puffed up little shit comment.
          National super slick ads of the Rowers vs the dotery dinghy dwellers .
          The Left need a unified ad strategy especially as they have far less resources it should be much easier with less left wing parties now.
          Mana is unlikely to revive its support now without a parliamentry fund.

        • Murray Rawshark

          And you can add in the cabinet that Wayne was part of as well.

        • Wayne

          I note you did not include Kim Dotcom as someone with all these virtues, but with whom your three heroes did their deal. Rather damaged their standing, did it not?

          • Clemgeopin

            “I note you did not include Kim Dotcom as someone with all these virtues”

            Neither did I include you nor Jesus Christ for that matter. A non sequitur. I wasn’t talking about the flamboyant and remarkable Mr Kim Dotcom as he wouldn’t have been the MP anyway, the three good people I mentioned were going to be. The alliance between the Internet Party and Mana was done in a very open transparent way, including the amount of money Kim Dotcom was going to contribute for the campaign, unlike the unaccounted secret millions that the crooked corporates, cabinet clubs and the rogue rich pricks are said to secretly give the right wing parties.

            Besides, USA has instigated those charges, not NZ. The case is still going on in our courts. Why are you crucifying him already?

            Wyane, In another thread, [http://thestandard.org.nz/nudge-nudge-in-northland/#comment-981270] I had asked you the following* which you haven’t responded to. Would you Care to?

            * Wayne, what do you think are Winston’s chances of winning and would you be happy if Winston wins? Another question I am interested to hear your opinion is about the ethics/fairness of the recent zero-hour contract system that employers have begun to implement. Do you have a view on this system? Thanks in advance.

          • Clemgeopin

            I forgot to include Minto too with Laila, Hone and Sykes. Exemplary caring people with lots of courage and integrity.

          • Murray Rawshark

            OK Wayne, include Sabin in whatever you say about Key from now on.

        • Macro

          Totally agree Clem, I was very very disappointed in the Te Tai Tokerau out come. An absolute disaster for the country.

      • marty mars 5.2.2

        and that tells the story labour – if you bother understanding

        • Macro

          + 100 Marty – but you won’t get Labour to agree with you. Idiots! Too wedded to the old economics and doffing the cap to the Capitalists.

          • marty mars

            I know – it is so infuriating but anger is the enemy so…

            • Tautoko Mangō Mata

              Personally I have much more respect for Dotcom than John Key. A very successful hatchet job has been done on Dotcom and Hone was collateral damage. Exactly what crimes has KDC personally committed? Are we not now fighting against the same forces that he is fighting against?

              I urge every Labour voter in the coming by-election to vote in such a way that makes it as difficult as possible for this National Party to push through its rightwing policies that are so damaging to this country. A vote for Winston is a vote for a more effective Opposition. Willow Jean’s time will come later.

      • Tracey 5.2.3

        God forbid we have diversity and representatives of the poor of Northland and workers in Parliament. Not like you to dabble in a non, non free trade or defence thread… although many of your posts could be considered defence 😉

    • Clemgeopin 5.3

      I am blame free. I did give my party vote to IMP. Sadly, turned out wasted of course. So near, yet so far! That is politics.

  6. Rodel 6

    As a result of a dodgy TV3 poll of a mere 500 people, Nats in Northland have been given a fright so they’ll probably come out in force now and make a big effort.
    The CT Key corporation couldn’t have scripted it better themselves, could they?… Hmmm…
    Still -hope springs eternal.

    • Molly 6.1

      I had the same concern. An concerted effort by the media to ensure the National voters came out in force.

      • Wayne 6.1.1


        If only the Nats did really have such control of the Media.

        It is not all a conspiracy you know. Two polls by two different pollsters, not likely a conspiracy, unless you think all pollsters have no integrity at all and just make things up. Well, thats not my experience. Properly done polls reflect what is actually happening.

        In any event doesn’t this rather disrupt your narrative. That New Zealanders are just shepple, who don’t take any interest in politics and have no idea of what they think.

    • tc 6.2

      Lynton is very busy crafting Cameron’s dog whistles as they gear up for a UK general election in may.

      However with the sheeple that pass for an electorate in NZ shouldn’t be too hard for the underlings at CT.

    • Clemgeopin 6.3

      “Nats in Northland have been given a fright so they’ll probably come out in force now and make a big effort”

      Yes, that is a very good point and quite possible, though I think that a good chunk of Nat supporters are too pissed off with the selection and the dodgy stuff that has been happening from Key and National for some time and therefore may stay at home or vote for Winston, ACT or Willow Jean Prime.

      The ACT dude was quite good on ‘The Nation’, though Willow-jean was better and stronger. The Nat chap was nervous, inarticulate and quite hopeless in speaking from his heart or even regurgitating his obviously coached lines and stupid spin. Came across as bull shitting. A very poor candidate selection. If he was the best they could do, their selection committee should be ashamed and sacked for their stupidity. I think he is a gone burger. But hey, who would know for sure!

      Good luck to all four but may the best and the wisest politician win!

    • Paupial 6.4


      That is two polls now:


      Out of interest, could you elaborate on why you think the TV3/ Reid Research poll in particular was dodgy? Yes; it’s a landline poll, and only 500 people were surveyed – but this is not uncommon in a snap poll (the more thorough 1000 person polls generally take more time and are planned for regular intervals).

      If we take each poll in isolation, the confidence interval is 4.5%. But if we combine the two (with some caution as the questions are likely to be phrased differently – also selection bias is a factor with phone polls), that falls to 3.2%. With:

      36% Peters (rounded from 35.5%)
      33% Osbourne
      18% Prime

    • Macro 6.5

      Even though the media are constrained by what they can publish – word of mouth is out and about. You can be well assured that the message regarding the happenings and shady doings is being well spread even as we discuss here. The electorate can be shat on only so much. Key is about to learn a very important lesson.

  7. r0b 7

    See new post on Little’s comments.

  8. les 8

    gee Osborne is not impressive at all.Reminds me of former SFO chief Chas Sturt and is about as charismatic and decisive.

  9. Clemgeopin 9

    Winston Peters is the ONLY game in town for THIS by-election, no matter how much spin Key puts on it.

    Winston is the most Witty, Wily and Wise Warrior that our politics has ever produced.

    Key has proclaimed that Winston has ZERO chance of Winning!

    I am picking that Most of the voters in Northland will this time show that Key is full of it and Woefully Wrong by making Winny Win!! This time he will get support from left, right and centre.

    For them it will be the grand return of their favourite son and his magnificent final hurrah to the crucial immediate and long term advantage of Northland and indeed the whole nation!

    • rawshark-yeshe 9.1

      Yes please !! Can’t wait to see Key on the night the results are announced with Osborne and Nat’s failure.

      “Ekshully, at the beginning of the day, I am not very comfortable with this !”

      And about time …. but for some reason, I suspect Key will likely be out of the country and not available for comment.

      • Clemgeopin 9.1.1

        “Ekshully, at the beginning of the day, I am not very comfortable with this !”

        ‘But look, at the end of the day, I am off to Hawaii-5-o’Eyes, USA, anyway! My work is done! Bye, suckers!’

        • saveNZ


          ‘But look, at the end of the day, I am off to Hawaii-5-o’Eyes, USA, anyway! My work is done! Bye, suckers!’

          with a bag full of money…

          • Anne

            Have you noticed at the end of the day is now a trademark of National politicians – and would be politicians? Osborne is using it.

            • Clemgeopin

              Those are the stock words of their very expensive international tutors, The Crosby-Textor spin and dirty politics machine.

            • Liberal Realist

              Had the urge to look up this silly idiom!

              From the Urban Dictionary:

              “At the end of the day”

              ‘An irritating verbal crutch, indicating closure or synopsis, for morons who are incapable of finishing a sentence without incorporating at least one tired cliche.’

              Their description is particularly apt given John Key roll’s it out with almost every sentence!

          • Wynston

            ‘Chaos and destruction … my work here is done’ would be more like it!

  10. Penny Bright 10

    Whatever Stephanie….

    Given the previous stated views of lprent on this matter – I think it was a fair question?

    It’s just that Stephanie, over the years I have learned that ‘common sense’ is not that common.

    Quite frankly, I have been shocked at the lack of political ‘nous’ that a number of the so-called ‘left’ have shown on this issue of ‘strategic voting’ in Northland, in order to ‘clip the wings’ of this pro-corporate / anti-worker John Key led National Government.

    Mind you, lots of folk didn’t seem to get the same basic maths when a tiny handful of us – yourself excluded Stephanie – kept the pressure on, and managed to help get rid of John Banks from Parliament.

    Which meant that, temporarily, National did not have the numbers before the 2014 election to pass their anti-worker legislation.

    Don’t you work for the Engineers Union Stephanie?

    Forgotten, or didn’t know that?

    Do keep up.

    Meant of course in a caring way, as someone with an extensive background in the Engineers Union (from the workshop floor – where we wore the boots and overalls and actually got down and dirty doing physical work ).

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    • marty mars 10.1

      I can see why you are mates with pat – same me, me ,me aggressive style – didn’t you singlehandedly save a panda once?

    • Tracey 10.2

      Grace Haden stood in Epsom… how did that help prevent ACT winning a seat Penny?

  11. Penny Bright 11

    Actually Stephanie – the one whom in my considered opinion – is showing ‘arrogance’ is yourself.

    Any time you want to compare proven ‘track records’ fill your boots – as it were.

    Before you started posting on The Standard, I for one had never heard of you.

    So – in my view – listing your political achievements ‘proven track record’ as it were, probably won’t take you very long?

    Meant of course in a caring, albeit ‘take no shit’ sort of way?

    Same applies to you Karen – whoever you are?

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright


    • marty mars 11.1

      everyones heard of you penny as you keep reminding us again and again – ego bullshit as it were lol

    • Penny, please refrain from the personal attacks. I’m sure you can frame your question in a way that doesn’t pointlessly challenge the site, its authors or its commenters. Telling an author to ‘keep up’ while referring to the Engineers Union, an organisation that hasn’t existed for 15 years, isn’t your best work.

      Northland is a fluid situation and the opinions on what strategy is best has changed regularly in the last fortnight. There have been many posts on TS on the by-election, putting different points of view, including one at the very start that said Labour should stand aside to let Winston have a free run. It’s a blog site, not an echo chamber. There will be differing opinions and you don’t get to demand anything.

    • David 11.3

      No wonder you wanted to be mayor, you seem to have a capricious ego, and a pretty overinflated opinion of your own abilities. Perfect for the job, I think I’ll call your Delores Umbridge from now on.

    • Tracey 11.4

      could you use the reply button, or is that beneath you?

  12. Observer (Tokoroa) 12

    The Nationals may not be very embarrassed with the election of Winston.

    TV 3 News last evening Saturday 7 March, showed a young Green hustling to replace Dr Norman.

    He said he wished to lead the Greens into a partnership with National. Didn’t have much else to say. He had a cheery smile.

    Loose Cannons ?

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      National losing a safe seat is just what the doctor ordered.

    • Paupial 12.2

      O (T)

      I thought you were talking about Shaw, but apparently it’s someone else entirely:

      Vernon Tava, a Green Party co-convenor in Auckland, is reported to be throwing his hat in the ring to be the party’s new male co-leader… He is a Waitemata Local Board member and is deputy chair of the board’s finance committee as well as being involved in work on parks and open spaces, and heritage, urban design and planning.


      I’d personally prefer Hughes, but assume it’ll be Hague. Graham would be good but doesn’t seem too keen, Shaw’s humility is surprising and hopefully lasts till after the AGM in May. In the unlikely event of Tava taking the coleadership, it’ll make it very unlikely that I’ll reup with the Greens next year.

      [8:08] “I think people would be amzed at how far National would be prepared to move if it made the difference to them being in government or not.”

      I think Tava would be amazed at how easily he’d be played by National in negotiating a coalition deal with NZF.

    • Tracey 12.3

      You need to change your name, unless the observing you purport to do is of your navel?

  13. tricledrown 13

    Time to be pragmatic Labour is cutting of its nose to spite its face.
    Trying to make its self look strong.
    Leaving National with unbridled power worrying about its image.
    Its 2&12 years away from the next election.
    16‰ of the Northland vote who is labours strategist .
    Chicken little the sky is going to fall in.
    Labour would be better focusing on organising their grass roots membership and giving National a bloody nose and taking the Smirk of Keys face.
    Labour are still stuck in the FPP mentality.
    No wonder the Labour party struggle to get over 30% support.

  14. DH 14

    One to keep an eye out for is the Herald making more noise about Ports of Auckland. Promising to move port activities to Whangarei, and upgrading the rail link to carry the freight, would be a bit of a vote spinner that could tip the balance for National. The Nats can’t really make that promise out of the blue because it would be seen by all as an election bribe.

    They may get their pet poodles at the Herald to prep the scene by stirring up the port reclamation controversy. That would then give Key the opportunity to talk about moving the port without overtly appearing to play pork barrel politics.

    It’s just a thought…. much depends on how desperate the Nats get to keep the seat.

  15. Penny Bright 15

    Actually – I’m a proven ‘anti-privatisation / anti-corruption whistle-blower’ who knows how to ‘make a fuss’ on the issues, and knows how to ‘stick up for myself’ – whether I’m being attacked by Council, politicians, Police, or political ‘newbies’ who obviously have a LOT to learn …

    Penny Bright

    • weka 15.1

      That’s all good Penny, and you get support from here for many of your actions. Unfortunately you also appear to be part of the authoritarian left, and seem incapable of understanding the needs and boundaries of natural allies.

    • rawshark-yeshe 15.2

      Yes you are, Penny. Then why so off-topic on this thread ? It’s just not about you — enjoy yourself !!

    • Visubversaviper 15.3

      I am not sure that there is anything “proven” at all about the anti-corruption claims. After 7 years full time work on this Penny Bright, how much proven corruption have you actually found?

      • Tracey 15.3.1

        I know of someone who Ms Bright and one of her cohorts wrongly accused of so many things and dragged others in by false association, including emailing every member of staff the (false) allegations where this person worked.

        All in the name of corruption fighting. They didnt care whose innocent reputation got destroyed or the stress and hardship their actions caused.

        and when they lose in court, don’t pay the award or costs

        • Visubversaviper

          Yes. 7 years bludging off the ratepayers and not a single corruption case uncovered. Then she turns up round here and tries to tell Labour people how to run a campaign. “Do as I say” she cries. We will remember this next time she stands for the Mayoralty.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    They can’t afford the label “lame duck” for the next two and a half years.

    I don’t think “lame duck” is the correct word. More like Dead Man Walking.

    • Sacha 16.1

      Key would just shift to his next job a bit earlier. No skin off his nose.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        True but NZ may start undoing the damage that National has done over the last few years.

        • Sacha

          Yes. Avoiding them gutting the RMA is a big enough prize in itself.

          • Bearded Git

            +1 Sacha

          • Tracey

            can you post tot he links showing that Winston will do this, that MP and Dunne will follow if national lose Northland…

            • Sacha

              Never any guarantees with a shifty critter like him, but NZ First and Labour and Dunne are all on record in media stories saying while they support some streamlining of consents they oppose the fundamental principles changes that the Nats and Act are gagging for. Where the Maori Party stand I do not know. You seen anything?

    • I also used ‘lame duck’ in one of my Northland posts, Draco. I momentarily considered ‘Dead Wig Walking’ but thought better of it 😉

  17. Penny Bright 17

    If I’m attacked on The Standard (or anywhere) – I will defend myself.

    End of story.

    There are critical issues being subject to ROBUST debate.

    (Actually – I get a lot of practice with robust debate on Kiwiblog – and am used to dealing with ad hominem comments – but, I do DO deal with them 🙂

    In my view – Stephanie started this?

    Not arguably particularly ‘sisterly’ on International Women’s Day?

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    [Stephanie: Your constant snide attacks on my job, my reputation, my experience, my feminism and my intelligence are unnecessary and just this side of breaking the “don’t attack Standard authors” rule, Penny.

    I have made literally ONE comment on this post, in response to a question YOU asked. In return you have made FOUR comments attacking me, personally.

    Please desist from future personal attacks or you’ll be receiving a holiday from The Standard.]

  18. Penny Bright 18

    Ok folks – I’ve got other things to do now – but I fail to see how asking a (hard) question constitutes making a demand?

    Just saying ….

    Looking forward to Winston Peters taking Northland off National in a massive landslide – significantly assisted by Labour supporters voting ‘strategically’.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    • David 18.1

      That’s a much better comment, well done. I don’t like how it is framed that these are deals, or that something is dodgy about it. I haven’t given my party vote to Labour in years, that goes to the Greens. They don’t really campaign for the local vote, that they want the party vote. So they get it. It’s not that difficult to work out MMP is it? In a by election, not that I’ve been involved in one, it could be a bit more difficult, but still not exactly rocket science.

  19. hoom 19

    They can’t afford to lose a safe seat and their guaranteed majority. They can’t afford the label “lame duck” for the next two and a half years.

    Much as I love seeing National squirm but I don’t understand where people get this idea that Nats lose a seat if Winston wins?

    I plugged the Party Votes http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/partystatus.html
    into the Electoral Commission Virtual Election calculator but with an Electorate win to NZF & one less to Nats.

    You see Nats just get an extra List MP, NZF has one less List, +1 Electorate which is still Winston -> no change to the balance of parties.

    • There is no party vote in a by-election and the proportionality established in the 2014 election remains unchanged. If Winston wins, National retain the same number of list seats, but they lose one electorate seat. NZ First gain an electorate seat. Winston can then give up his list seat and NZF are then entitled to bring in a replacement list MP.

      So, National one less MP, NZF one more. National can no longer command a majority of just themselves and ACT, they need support from the MP and Peter Dunne to get things like the RMA reforms through the house.

      • hoom 19.1.1

        Hmm, http://www.elections.org.nz/voting-system/elections does say

        A by-election result can change the proportionality of Parliament that was determined at the preceding general election (for example, if a by-election is won by a candidate representing a different party from that of the member who vacated his or her seat).

        I thought that only applied for Banks & a few other recent examples because they were below the Threshold -> without the Electorate the party got no seats & proportionality was affected by the result.

        It seems odd that if a List MP quits they get automatically replaced by next on the List without affecting proportionality but they don’t maintain proportionality in a By-Election for a party above the Threshold.

        • hoom

          Anyway, they’d still be a 63 seat Coalition Govt.

          Its not like its going to be a minority Govt dependent on Abstention to rule & even then Clark managed to rule effectively in that situation.

          • te reo putake

            Yes, they have 63 votes for many things, but not for big ticket items like the RMA. Both the MP and Dunne oppose the changes National are putting up.

            The Maori Party have also indicated that they will vote against some other legislation (they’re allowed to do so in the C&S agreement) and Dunne will do whatever is best for himself, which isn’t always going to coincide with the Nat’s aims.

            The point is that they have to negotiate, not dictate. And who knows if there isn’t another Sabin or two ready to explode in their faces and make the situation even worse?

            • Tracey

              pretty sure only Dunne has to change his mind? Now that’s never happened before, you know, Dunne backing down on principle for something nice and shiny

            • nadis

              Dunne is just a matter of price. His position is now is jhust a warning that his vote will cost some baubles. He’ll tuck in behind National when it matters. Dunne is a clear case of what is wrong with our parliamentary democracy system.

              • Sacha

                Dunne has already said he is up for a renegotiation of terms. Wonder what he wants?

              • hoom

                Nothing wrong with that per-se, negotiated quid pro quo is supposed to be what happens in MMP Coalition Govts.

                The problem is that Ohariu voters & the Opposition parties can’t get their act together to punt him into touch for being such an obvious sell out on stuff that matters.

          • tricledrown

            The Maori party is living on borrowed time and will have to deliver to their supporters crossing the floor now Hone has gone will be much easier for the Maori Party to cross the floor.
            National will be worried their will be no more scandals.
            So who are the other 4 MP’s with name suppression.
            ACC levies will drop faster than Nationals support in Northland.

  20. mary_a 20

    The only way I can see Natsy patsy Osborne winning the seat in Northland, is through some dirty politicking against Winston, by Key, or some by-election rigging in the Natsies’ favour, a la 2014 election!

    I’m looking forward to the debates between the candidates, particularly Osborne with Winston, who will wipe the floor with the Natsy patsy! From what I’ve seen of Osborne, he’s definitely no force to debate the issues with anyone, let alone Winston Peters!

    • nadis 20.1

      “by(e)-election rigging …. a la 2014 election” Please do expand on this interesting claim……..

  21. Wayne 21


    What “by-election rigging…a la 2014 election”? New Zealand elections are corruption free; they can’t be rigged.

    If you mean a la Epsom, every voter in Epsom knew what their choices were. They had a Nat candidate on the ballot. If they had wanted to they could have voted for him, and many did.

    The reality is the voters in Northland know their options, and will vote how they please, after being subject to three weeks of intense politicking.

    • Lanthanide 21.1

      The Epsom electorate rigging was by the letter of the law, but clearly not the spirit.

      When MMP was introduced, the electorate MP coat-tailing rule was supposed to be temporary, as a transition from FPP to MMP.

      National chose not to follow the electoral commission’s recommendations to remove the coat-tailing rule, which was the view of the majority of the submissions the commission received.

      Effectively National did rig the election in their favour by deliberately thwarting the will of the people for their own ends. Even though Act is such a toxic corpse of a party that they didn’t managed to coat-tail anyone in, had Goldsmith won Epsom, National would have had 60 MPs and had to rely on Dunne / MP to pass legislation, not their sock-puppet Act.

  22. Reddelusion 22

    Wishful thinking winston is going to win I know a couple of polls have got you lot into a lather however fortunately most of the country and northland have a lot more sense than you

    Settle down to placate you’re disappointment in 3 weeks you have got at least 6 more years of national, the fundamentals of why the left lost the last election have not and are unlikely to change, a dour Nasty ex unionist won’t change that

    • Colonial Rawshark 22.1

      Key seems to be in a sudden hurry to schedule in visits

    • tricledrown 22.2

      Blulooney talking baloney again.
      Key and National are in a desperate situation.
      If Name suppression is lifted Winston won’t need any help.
      Osborne didn’t know about why Sabin resigned a safe seat.
      Key knew nuthink.
      Key is now looking more like Berlusconekey.
      More Lies.
      More coverups.

  23. Pascals bookie 23

    Couple of points.

    1)Look at Winston’s campaign.

    i) “Send them a message”, that’s aimed at Nat voters who feel the North is being ignored. Those voters are Nat voters remember, they do not want the North to go with Labour.

    ii) A big Nat blue bus.

    2) If Winston wins, what will his prime aim be if he wants to hold the seat?

    Prove to the people who voted for him that he can deliver on that ‘message’. Which means delivering pork for Northland. Whcich means working with National, not Labour.

    So sure, give the Nats a black eye, but there is little to be gained long term here for the left, it remains a tory seat.

    • ricknat 23.1

      dont get hung up on electrate seats alot mps wone there electrate seat last year and lost party vote

  24. Reddelusion 24

    Good points pascal

    Trickle down unfortunately for you no one barring yourself and a lunitic fringe care or are buying your silly narrative, to the point the constant beat up simply turns voters off the left’, similar to the motley crew who turn up at silly TPP protest on tv one last night, ie if I support that am I one of that lot , no thanks

  25. gsays 25

    i never thought i would say it, but, go winston!

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