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National’s Filipino campaign

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, April 9th, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: election 2017, national, national/act government, Politics - Tags:

I hear that local National members in New Lynn are upset at the person selected as their candidate. He is Paulo Garcia, a member of the Philippine community and a local lawyer.

He is clearly part of National’s ethnic strategy. They have made an art form of getting away from the old perception that they are a bunch of bigoted anti diversity conservatives. The loss in 2005 when Don Brash talked about Mainstream New Zealanders and confirmed that this group did not include people who were not white or born overseas showed how important the strategy is.

Since then National has been very careful to cultivate ethnic candidates and have sent them out to spread the word.  Candidates such as Melissa Lee, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Jian Yang, and Alfred Ngaro have done the job for National.

If you look at National’s list from last election the strategy is clear.  Slots 31 to 34 were reserved for ethnic candidates.  Neo conservatives no longer care about race.  The only battle they are worried about is the battle between the top 1% and the rest of us.  Every other dividing line, gender, sexual preference or ethnic origin is irrelevant.

I can’t blame National for targeting the Philippine community.  I have had quite a bit to deal with them recently and they are very decent and very social people as well as being very well networked.  The Catholic religion dominates.  As a born and bred although lapsed Catholic I understand their commitment.  They are big on new testament virtues such as loving each other, looking after the poor and making sure that money dealers are excluded from the temple.  Call me biased but I think that progressive Catholic beliefs and Labour Party values have much in common.

I also hear that Garcia will be given a good list placement, presumably in the safe ethnic bracket, so his path to Parliament appears to be very likely.

There are a couple of aspects concerning his candidacy that are of note.

He is the honorary Consul for the Philippine Government. While this of itself is not a deal breaker it is important that he assures us that if he is elected as an MP he will act in New Zealand’s best interests.

But the role of the Ambassador of the Philippine embassy may need further scrutiny.

His name is Jesus Domingo and he was seen at a recent National campaign meeting involving Mr Garcia and from the look of the following photo appeared to be an enthusiastic supporter.  Call me old fashioned but I thought that Ambassadors should be politically neutral.

This same photo appears on the Philippine Embassy website although the National Party signs have been cropped out:

This photo from the same meeting shows a collection of National MPs with no representatives from any other party.  I am certain that Labour and Green MPs would have jumped at the chance to meet with the local Philippine community and the Ambassador.

I hear that the Ambassador has been at other National Party meetings as well.  This is a photo of him with Roger Bridges  at a Christchurch meeting.  I believe Roger is or was a senior ranking national party official as well as being the Christchurch based Philippine honorary Counsul.

The current Philippine Government is not without its problems.  Its President Rodrigo Duterte has a reputation for thuggery.  He  was elected President in May in a landslide victory after promising to kill 100,000 criminals within six months of taking power.  From that article he has said some strange things.

And Domingo seems to be an enthusiastic protector of Duterte’s reputation.  When Duterte appeared to have engaged in inappropriate banter with a female New Zealand Herald reporter Domingo suggested that the President was not well prepared and was apparently very groggy.

It is important that there is no perception that the Ambassador or Embassy staff of overseas countries are actively engaged in New Zealand politics.  A change in Government looks likely this year.  For the sake of both countries it is important that there has not been the slightest perception that the Philippine Government or its Ambassador has interfered in New Zealand’s political system.

29 comments on “National’s Filipino campaign ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    He is the honorary Consul for the Philippine Government. While this of itself is not a deal breaker it is important that he assures us that if he is elected as an MP he will act in New Zealand’s best interests.

    Actually, I’d say that is a deal breaker. People with many masters tend to have no loyalty to any.

    • Bruce 1.1

      It says he is the Honary Consul but he shares his office with the Philippine Consulate down the road from me in Kingsland, he also drives a car with diplomatic markings, so I assume he won’t be subject to New Zealand laws. If you go to the Embassy website you will see his picture next to Duterte himself, a man who is turning out to be one one Asia’s most brutal leaders. At best Paulo has very poor judgement, hardly what I would consider suitable to represent New Zealanders.

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Honorary Consuls are also entiltled to a visa to bring in domestic staff- probably from the Philippines.
        Its unlikely he/she would be paid NZ minimum rates

      • dukeofurl 1.1.2

        His law office is the very same as the consulate, thats why hes an honorary consul. Its run out of his business, which is the standard practice.
        There are dozens of them of different countries across Auckland.

  2. Doogs 2

    I’ve heard Domingo speak. He’s in the mould of JK. Tried to be a mate to everyone. Confirmed his Catholic affiliations, cracked jokes and peppered his talk with swear words. Reminded me of a dodgy real estate salesman.

  3. saveNZ 3

    Yep, about time our representation bothered to put New Zealand citizens first instead of using NZ to advance the financial and cultural interests of their country of origin or their own prospects.

    No wonder the Natz are so popular overseas, with their free water and cheap exploitation opportunities here!

    No doubt the Natz will be keen for Duterte like style law and order, and instead of promising to kill (maybe initially incarcerate) 100,000 criminals within six months of taking power.

    The sad thing, with our changing demographics that type of approach is starting to appeal to the new voter.

    Goodbye liberal NZ and hello police political state.

    Maybe they will start sending the families the bill for the bullet.

  4. Ad 4

    In 2014, Cunliffe had a 4,500 electorate majority.
    National in New Lynn had a 1,000 majority.

    The trend has seen Labour’s vote sliding there for several elections, so there will be a contest to keep Labour honest there.

    Having said that, National choosing from such a narrow ethnic base is a signal that he’s more of a list contender.

    Maybe Deborah Russell will gain support from an even more unlikely base than the Phillippine Ambassador: tax lawyers.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Comparing votes between elections is pointless in most cases, as the boundaries can and do vary enormously.
      eg Napier used to extend to just past Lake Tutira, now it goes to the outer suburbs of Gisborne.
      West Auckland seats have been chopped and changed more than most.
      The reason why National ‘tops’ the party vote numbers is because Greens are a second choice for a lot of left leaning voters.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        The Electoral Boundaries Commission did all their changes between the 2011 and 2014 election. That includes New Lynn. There was some loss in both Party and Candidate vote attributable there.

        But the 2014 and 2017 boundaries are the same.

        Therefore the 2014 and 2017 elections are entirely comparable.

        Nation would still need a really strong candidate to unseat Labour in Labour, and this is unlikely to be the person to do it.

        The westie one to watch is Te Atatu 2017: Alfred Ngaro v Twyford; it’s a mere 2,800 vote margin there.

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          Yes any change in votes is purely speculative as we havent had two elections in a row with the same current boundaries.
          No one yet knows the 2017 results !

      • DoublePlusGood 4.1.2

        New Lynn averages around a 10% lead to the left, fluctuating across elections as boundaries change. It’s still a left leaning seat even if National gets the most party votes.

  5. Morrissey 5

    It’s kind of appropriate, is it not? With the further confirmation of our “elite SAS troops” gunning down civilians in Afghanistan, there’s a syzygy in having at least one of our politicians supported by one of the most violent and murderous regimes on the planet.

  6. Nick K 6

    A change in Government looks likely this year.

    Yes, from NACT to NatFIRST.

  7. This does look well dodgy – ambassadors shouldn’t be campaigning for NZ political candidates, and NZ MPs definitely should not be representatives of a foreign government. Still, I’m sure Bill English could have it “independently” investigated by the head of the National Party, who’d show him a video we’re not allowed to see, proving that there’s nothing to see here, folks.

    • Bruce 7.1

      This deserves further investigation- it appears to be an appointment to parliament via a deal with a foreign (corrupt) power. What next, we have major corporations like tobacco companies paying to have their people in parliament?

      • Barfly 7.1.1

        I thought we already did? Oh that’s right the bloke stopped working for the tobacco company. I think.

  8. millsy 8

    A lot of migrants, especially those from Asia and South Africa, are economically and morally conservative and oppose welfare and public ownership.

  9. tc 9

    Look there’s only a handful of conflicts and the usual dodgy connections we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Don’t they need at least one to be eligible ?

    I see nationals own chumposorus JLR in one pic….says it all really. Boot the bastards out of office as a major cleanup in aisle NZ is required after 3 terms of it.

  10. Fisiani 10

    National candidates for electorates have to win 31/60 votes by local party members. They are not annointed by head office unlike Labour. You guys don’t seem to have grasped that so many immigrants are keen to build a brighter future so naturally gravitate to National.

    • Neil 10.1

      Wondered how long it would be before you recieved your instructions from Crosby/Textor on what to say

    • dukeofurl 10.2

      National party electorates , like New Lynn do have varying numbers of delegates appointed by the regional HQ, so not that different to labour.
      This guy was a anointed by party big wigs like Goodfellow and Boag for sure. he doesnt have any presence in New Lynn, that just happened to be an available electorate

      • mickysavage 10.2.1

        My impression is that the locals are furious. You can have a successful candidate that has very little local support but manages to get through. Also I hear that it went to the fourth ballot before a decision was made.

    • invisiphilia 10.3

      Hi so not true. New Lynn Labour recently established it’s first Filipino branch with the aim of ensuring that new immigrants are fully informed about the realities of life in NZ for low paid workers. Looks like the Natsies have responded by putting up some competition in the area.

    • National candidates for electorates have to win 31/60 votes by local party members. They are not annointed by head office unlike Labour.

      Yeah, that would have been so much more persuasive if Nicky Hager hadn’t lifted the lid on Nat candidates paying Simon Lusk to help manipulate the candidate selection process. As it stands – ha ha you must be fucking joking matey.

      • dukeofurl 10.4.1

        As well local party members includes the regional panjandrums who get appointed for the purpose.
        The only real difference with labour and national is that national ‘top up’ delegates get appointed by regional HQ , not national. And national HQ has the blackball power of rejecting candidates before selection time.

  11. Moana 11

    HE CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS AT THE SAME TIME.

  12. Jesus Domingo 12

    Kia Ora ! The Philippine Embassy in New Zealand, as with all diplomatic missions, respects New Zealand’s sovereignty and domestic affairs. We seek to establish good relations with all stakeholders including elected officials and political parties, and want to see Kiwinoys (Filipino Kiwis) play a more active role in the political life of this great country. But please be rest assured the Embassy is not partisan, and seeks to have good relations with ALL political parties. I have urged Kiwinoys to register to vote, join a political party, and consider running for office – but leave it to the Kiwinoy to choose a NZ party according to his/her values and beliefs. May I also state that I have also encouraged Kiwinoys to consider joining the trade union / work organization of their field, volunteer with NGOs, et al.

    Now with regard to the article, it is my policy to accept invitations, when possible, to events hosted by ALL NZ Political Parties, MPs, Mayors, et al. Not only have I attended events of the National Party (NP) as indicated, but also of the Labour Party (LP), including the 2016 LP Convention in Auckland, and 100th LP Anniversary in Wellington last year. I was proud to attend the launch of the campaigns last year of Kiwinoys for local positions (DHB, City Council) in Auckland: Ms. Monina Hernandez (LP), and Mr. Francisco Hernandez (Green Party – GP). Ms. Monina recently won a seat in the NZ Nurses’ Organization Board. I was honoured to meet the first Kiwinoy elected to an NZ City Council, Ms. Thema Bell of Ashburton, during our recent consular mission to Christchurch.

    With reference to the picture showing me waving my arm at an NP event, kindly note that it was taken last year in Auckland shortly after after my arrival in April 2016. It is not a “recent picture.” I believe it was at the point of my speech when I sang the lyrics to the favorite Kiwi song of “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” by the Split Enz, and was calling on the audience to sing along.

    While I wish Mr. Paulo Garcia well with his plans – the Embassy does not endorse nor provide support to his or any other political campaigns. May I also state for the record that I also wish Mr. Romy Udanga well, a Kiwinoy running for MP in the North Shore under LP. I thank the NP, LP and GP for recognizing the Kiwinoy community and giving them the opportunity to run. The Embassy encourages Kiwinoys to play a leading role in NZ political life – but we do not engage in inappropriate activity. I would like to also reiterate to NZ’s political parties that I remain at their disposal for constructive engagement.

    Maraming Salamat Po !

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Thanks for your comment Jesus. I’m pleased to see you acknowledge the importance of staying politically neutral.

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