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Northland Polls; Horrorshow for National

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, March 6th, 2015 - 204 comments
Categories: by-election, labour, national, nz first, Politics, vote smart, winston peters - Tags: , ,

The first published poll on the Northland by-election is grim reading for National Party strategists. 3 News have Winston Peters on 35%, National’s Mark Osborne on 30% and Labour’s Willow-Jean Prime on 16%. I understand these numbers are broadly similar to polling conducted by UMR for Labour just prior to the announcement of National’s surprise selection of Far North District Council’s Asset Manager Mark Osborne ahead of the more fancied dairy farmer Grant McCallum.

However, the difference between Labour’s polling and the TV3 result is fascinating. Before Osborne was picked Labour’s polling suggested National were just ahead of NZ First. The TV3 result a few days later suggests that by putting Osborne up, the Tories have lost ground. National are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

TVNZ have been polling during the week and presumably we will have the result on the weekend. If that poll confirms that Winston is in the lead, then the momentum will continue to swing his way. Undecided voters will see the poll lead as a confirmation that it’s worth voting for the upset. Labour voters may also decide that Willow-Jean Prime cannot win and switch to Winston Peters. If that happens to any great extent, then those calling for Labour to pull out of the race even after the close of nominations can happily move on. It’s not going to make a difference.

National have it all to do and they have to do it without their talismanic leader. Key will be overseas for much of the campaign so it’s up to their team up North to do the heavy lifting. Mind you, with Key making laughable statements such as saying that Mike Sabin had been ‘doing a good job’ before his resignation, they may be better off without him.

Osborne, too, will also have questions asked of him about what he knew about Sabin. As a senior Nat in the Far North voters might feel he could or should have been aware of the rumours swirling around the MP. The feeling that National knew something was awry but chose to turn a blind eye is widespread in the electorate. Nobody likes being conned and Key’s evasive answers about what he knew and when he knew it just adds to the disquiet in the Far North.

At least the Prime Minister is clear about one thing; the risk to the Government if Northland falls:

“It’s not really about Winston Peters, it’s about National being able to carry out its mandate.”


204 comments on “Northland Polls; Horrorshow for National ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “It’s not really about Winston Peters, it’s about National being able to carry out its mandate.”

    Nah, it’s all about fetching a pot of tea and some biscuits before you settle in to enjoy watching Farrar and the sewer go tilt.

    • Well, Peters is a conservative in the Muldoon mode. He’s a snake, but like Muldoon there are limits to what he will do, so at least he’s human. Key and the other reptilians would sell their own mothers.

      • Clemgeopin 1.1.1

        “Key and the other reptilians would sell their own mothers”

        Grand mothers first I think, because in their right wing thinking minds, the grandmas are more ‘expendable’. There is calculated method in all their evil ideas and dastardly deeds.

    • aerobubble 1.2

      No. This is about electing Sabin despite Key knowing better, then forcing National votes out again to replace him, or more than likely just letting the chads fall as they may… …aka Winston, and its not like Key loses govt, it just means Key cant ram stuff into law with just Dunnes vote.

      • Clemgeopin 1.2.1

        Key and the National party should foot the bill of over a million dollars for this ‘by-election’ caused by their dodgy bull shit and hidden dirty dealings.

        • aerobubble

          yeah, nats act are all pants tied about excess expenditure but media silent now about the sabin bielection what gives. oh yeah ten eighty.

  2. saveNZ 2

    I’m crossing my fingers for a Winston upset for National.

    Labour should be positive about it.

    Curbing the ‘National Mandate of Corruption and Cronyism and asset sales’ is all we can hope for before next election.

  3. mickysavage 3

    This Osborne appears to be an odd fellow and his close links with Sabin will not help.

    I stumbled on this document that he authored for the FNDC. A la Melissa Lee he has some strange views on transport infrastructure and its use by beneficiaries aka criminals. He proposed the closure of a walkway because criminals used it to evade the police, I kid you not.

    From the report:

    “The area had become dangerous as it was used as a shortcut by undesirable people. Although the minutes do not reflect discussion on the Taaffe Street Bridge, it was considered at that time to be an exit from central Kaitaia which was used by persons to escape from the police. ”


    • Anne 3.1

      Osborne looked and sounded like a complete drongo on TV last night. Where do they
      (the Nats) get em from??

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1

        His wife runs “Doubtless Health & Beauty” the local eyelash and Brazilian parlour in harbourside Mangonui. Osborne is a bit of a sidekick for FNDC Mayor and long time Northland MP John ‘Hone’ Carter. It would be interesting to see Osborne pressed on what he knew about Sabin too.

        The Nats are somewhat divided up North between the farmer/retired/good ’ol boy and petty bourgeois SME/saffa/Euro sectors. Hence Joe Carr’s Focus NZ party which is supported by ex Nat and ROC MP Ross Meurant.

        A good portion of the non Nat vote is of course siphoned off by Te Tai Tokerau Māori seat. So the North remains ‘the land that time forgot’ mostly bi cultural but somewhat less segregated than when I moved up in the 90s.

      • Tom Jackson 3.1.2

        Wrong question. Virtually all National Party members are complete drongos. The puzzle is how they manage to find so many semi-normal candidates from among their ranks.

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.3

        “looked and sounded like a complete drongo”

        A bit like Steven Joyce?

        • Anne

          Good god no. Joyce might be incompetent but I wouldn’t describe him as a drongo. This fellow Osborne definitely is…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Apparently the use of said bridge by the police to pursue the fleeing criminals was not entertained.

      You do realise that he is a CA, that explains a lot.

      • Bastables 3.2.1

        Well played. I can now imagine a monthy python skit where Her Majesties Constables are confounded by the nature of bridges and object permanence.

      • tricledrown 3.2.2

        Osbornes Logic should be to shut down the National Party as it is a bridge for Criminals Conmen Charletons to enter parliament.

  4. Time to stop this government in its tracks indeed.

    At the risk of thread hacking I heard yesterday at Peace Vigil that John Key will be in Nelson around 3 pm today, Fri 6th.

    It is rumoured that he will be meeting with the St Vincent de Paul people right beside New World car park. Fairly safe bet he is not there to drop off some quality merino jerseys…

    Could the Vinnies be up for some State houses cheap? Seem to be quite a few in Nelson.

    No idea if any of this accurate but if you are in the area seize the moment eh?

    • Tracey 4.1

      will be interesting to see if the media comment on his visit…

      • Unicus 4.1.1

        Local media up in Northland have maintained a strict hands off on Sabin – one reported last week that his withdrawal from politics was made on “personal” grounds – otherwise he’s invisible – just as the National Party wants it .

        Given the gravity of the rumored allegations against this man one might have thought local newspapers may feel obliged make some attempt to inform their readers and electors about the truth behind his departure from public life – perhaps even that criminal charges have been or are about to be laid against him – yeah right .

  5. Anne 5

    A comparison can be made with the East Coast Bays byelection in 1980.

    Social Credit Gary Knapp – 8,061 – 43.31%
    National Don Brash – 7,110 – 38.20%
    Labour Wyn Hoadley – 3,296 – 17.71%
    Values J S Moore – 144 – 0.7%
    Majority – 951

    A deeply conservative seat – still is.
    An unpopular MP, Frank Gill (lecherous old bastard he was too) resigns. Muldoon’s star is waning although he was to use the 1981 tour to squeak back into parliament.

    An upset win to Social Credit. Knapp was to retain the seat until 1987.

    It could happen again.

    • alwyn 5.1

      There were some special circumstances about the 1980 by-election. Muldoon deliberately sabotaged his own parties chances. Muldoon considered himself an economist, and even claimed he was going to reform the world’s monetary system at one point.

      The last thing he wanted was to have a genuine economist in his caucus. He deliberately sacrificed the seat in order to keep Brash out of his caucus where he would be capable of showing Muldoon up as a blow-hard buffoon.
      As this comment in the Herald says.

      “Public hostility to a move by former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon to increase a 20c toll on the bridge to 25c five days before a byelection in 1980 in East Coast Bays was blamed for dashing National Party candidate Don Brash’s chances.”

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Yep, I agree there were some special circumstances about that byelection, but there are some special circumstances about this election too.

        Since you have an historical interest in political events, you might be interested in this little story:

        On the night of the ECB byelection Brash phoned Muldoon who was in India on a state visit. He tore strips off Muldoon for ‘sabotaging’ the election. Muldoon was furious, and the next day made a damming statement about Brash.

        However, Muldoon was to quickly discover that Brash didn’t ring him – it had been a hoax call. The police were informed… an investigation took place… and the culprits were identified. They were never charged and everything was hushed up. To my knowledge Brash never received an apology from Muldoon.

        I became aware of the truth because one of the two culprits told me the whole story soon after the incident. I later discovered (too late unfortunately) that the same individuals had been guilty of numerous ‘hoaxes’ over the years, and some of it had resulted in considerable political upheavals. In one instance at least, the fallout from the original hoax is still mentioned from time to time. The police must have known what was going on, yet the persons responsible were allowed to get clean away with it.

        • mickysavage

          Ha Anne a story worthy of a guest post. We should record the country’s political history …

          • Anne

            @ mickysavage
            The story is broader and more complex than what I outlined above. It should be told one day as an example of the lengths certain individuals were willing to go for sinister gain. One of the hoaxes, which occurred at an earlier time, ended up forcing the victim to have to resign from parliament against a backdrop of massive political turmoil. I think you will be able to work out to whom I am referring.

            I cannot prove it because any evidence has long since been eradicated, but I have very good reason to believe the underlying reason for the conduct had its genesis in my last sentence at 5.1.1

            In political terms I think the 1970s was probably the ‘dirtiest decade’ in our history – up until now anyway. And the fallout spilled over into the 1980s. The effects of it are still with us today.

      • thatguynz 5.1.2

        Don Brash a “genuine economist”?

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.3

        There is good reason to not want economists in Parliament. Muldoon may also have had enough racists in his caucus already.

      • Brian Biggins 5.1.4

        Imagine NZ now if Muldoon had not sabotaged that by-election!! Very likely a Brash led National Government through the ’90’s-unbelievably scary, and where would we be now? The stuff of nightmares.

  6. felix 6

    Anyone still insisting that Labour should be campaigning against Winston?

    • weka 6.1

      What should they do instead, given all the issues at play?

      • felix 6.1.1

        “Instead” of campaigning against the only candidate who can possibly beat national, which is the same as campaigning FOR national?

        FFS, why is that even on the table?

        • weka

          Yes, nice theory. I meant in real life. Are you suggesting that they could withdraw Prime? Or tell people to vote for Peters? Or what exactly?

          We can just say Labour are stupid for standing someone in the first place, and that might end the discussion, but I can see the arguments for why they did that.

          • felix

            Sorry weka, what theory are you talking about?

            • weka

              That’s fine if you don’t want to answer felix.

              • felix

                I’m serious. What theory? It isn’t clear to me from your comment

                Do you mean my theory that voting for Prime is helping the Nats beat Winston in a two-horse race?

                If not, then what? Because that’s the theory I’ve been promoting.

                But back to your real world…

                • weka

                  I’m curious what you think Labour should be doing at this point.

                  • felix

                    It’s not rocket surgery weks. The message should be along the lines of:

                    “We still really, really want your party vote at the next election so we can change the government, because they’re doing so much damage to our country and we need your vote to turn that around. But right now the best shot we have at slowing the govt down is to take an MP off them, and the best way to help us do that is to give your vote to Winston this time. Of course if you would prefer to vote for me, my name is on the ballot and if I get into parliament I’ll work really hard for Northland, but please have a think about how you can use your vote.”

                    Bit wordy, rough draft obviously, but you get the idea.

                    • weka

                      Press release, advertising, radio/tv interviews etc, that kind of thing? By Prime, or by Little too? I’d guess Little wouldn’t be able to avoid it.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      No, I think that is a VERY bad idea.

                      Right now Winston is the ONLY real name in town. It is his by-election to win on his own steam.

                      As the media polls keep coming in, the voters themselves will figure out what is their best strategy for this election, which is to vote for Winny to win.

                      If Labour withdraws or openly endorses Winston, National voters, cons voters and others are likely to react negatively and flood back to Osborne. Also, Labour will get punished in the future.

                    • felix

                      Whatever you think, weka. I presume there is a massive doorknocking campaign.

                      As I mentioned the other day, the advantage National has in these situations is that when they put the message out their natural constituency is already listening, because their natural constituency finds National relevant.

                      They don’t need to be convinced, they already know that National is working in their interests. So the word goes out and everyone hears it.

                      Labour doesn’t have that luxury because Labour are no longer particularly relevant to what should be their natural consistency.

                    • weka

                      It’s not what I think, it’s me trying to find out what you think beyond Labour are morans for not stepping aside (or whatever it is you think they should do). Easy enough to have the ideas about it, not so easy to see how it would work in practice.

                    • felix

                      If you’re actually asking me to design a campaign then you first need to come up with a properly thought out brief, and I’ll need to know who I’m invoicing. You can get my details from Lynn and we’ll go from there.

                      However if you were really just wanting to know what I think, you could have determined that by reading my fucking comments, in which I have made no secret of the approach Labour should and shouldn’t take with messaging.

                      I could be wrong of course. Maybe Labour should just carry on as usual. It seems to have been working so very, very well for them.

                      And no, I have never said that they should step aside.

                    • weka

                      Like I said earlier in the day, if you don’t want to answer that’s fine. Better than the passive aggressive sarcastic shit.

                      What I’ve seen in this subthread is you think Labour are morans, and they should let Peters win Northland. Fine. I asked a pretty clear question right at the start because I was genuinely interested in what you might think about how Labour might act now. My bad. If you didn’t want to go down that track and/or had no answer, you can just say. Or not answer.

                      btw, I’m not following you all over the thread or the site to see if you perhaps might have already answered. Just link and stop being such a dick.

                    • felix

                      And like I said, I’ve made no secret of what I think in this thread and others.

                      You’re just being obtuse and you’re full of shit saying I haven’t answered you.

                      How about you stop pretending you know what I think and read what I’ve actually written.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      It seems to me that Felix’s strategy is what Green electorate candidates have been doing for years: We want your party vote, we don’t need your electorate vote. If you want to, support this other candidate instead.

                    • felix

                      Like I said CV, it ain’t rocket surgery. Does require people prepared to listen to you though, and that’s Labour’s biggest hurdle at the moment.

                    • weka

                      “How about you stop pretending you know what I think and read what I’ve actually written.”

                      That’s just bizarre, seeing as how I’ve been saying I don’t know what you think and asking you to tell me. I have read this subthread, and I still don’t know what you think vis a vis my question other than you think Labour are morans and you’ve consistently avoided answering my question. Like I said, it’s fine to not answer, but the other shit gets tedious.

                      CV, It seems to me that Felix’s strategy is what Green electorate candidates have been doing for years: We want your party vote, we don’t need your electorate vote. If you want to, support this other candidate instead.

                      Except the GP don’t communicate that clearly and it’s highly likely that many GP voters aren’t getting the message (eg Ōhāriu). I’m not sure that the GP strategy is that effective beyond what the GP need i.e. I’m not sure how well it works for the greater good of the left (although there is the decision to not stand anyone in TTT).

                      This is why I’m curious what people think Labour could do at this point. Felix thinks it can be done at the door knocking level, but the media will get wind and then it will be on Little’s plate to deal with nationally, which puts Labour in the direct firing line of a number of complex things (and let’s face it, they’re still getting their responses to that kind of thing sorted despite being much improved). I’m looking at it from Labour’s perspective and what actual choices they have here.

                      btw, nice to see you guessing what felix thinks and apparently getting it right, instead of asking directly. Perhaps I’ll try your way next time.

                    • felix

                      weka it’s not my problem if you can’t/won’t follow what’s being said. Apparently the Labour leadership is thinking along the same lines as I am, but I imagine you’ll probably pretend you don’t understand what they’re saying either.

                    • weka

                      Nope. Little was very clear in what he said and I understood it, probably because he wasn’t playing silly buggers when asked questions. But this isn’t about my comprehension. You think Labour are stupid for what they’ve done, I’ve asked you for your opinion on what they could do now, you’ve not answered. If you don’t want to answer questions that’s fine.

                    • felix

                      No, I don’t think Labour are stupid for what they’ve done. I think you’re stupid if you think I’ve said that, I think you’re arrogant to presume a position I have never taken, and I think you’re dishonest to claim I have.

                      Andrew Little’s tacit endorsement of Winston is exactly the right thing for him to have done. He has given the team on the ground a clear direction.

                      I can only hope that team doesn’t include anyone as obtuse as you.

        • marty mars

          is campaigning for willow the same as campaigning against winnie?

          • felix

            ‘Labour vs everyone’ seems to be the widely endorsed philosophy on the other thread

            • marty mars

              I don’t disagree with you but I think it is too late now – labour have to push the barb through now, it won’t go backwards – but they have to go full force which I don’t think they will. Winnie will do what he will do. Labour have to think of themselves and try and build their littlelabour momentum – if they don’t or can’t then they are toast.

              • Chooky

                hope they get toasted by Winnie…more and more I am convinced a real Left coalition can not be led by LittleLabour …and this myth should be dispelled ….Labour needs to be put in its place ….a genuine Left coalition can only be led by the Greens and Mana

              • felix

                marty you’re probably right about the barb, but that just demonstrates the issue with Labour’s lack of flexibility and apparent inability to deal with nuance in these situations.

                Can you imagine a bunch of Nats even having this sort of conversation? Of course not, they just see that the obvious needs to happen and all pull together in the direction of their collective best interest.

                • Chooky

                  +100…they must think the Left are stupid…and Labour is particularly stupid

                • Murray Rawshark

                  “Can you imagine a bunch of Nats even having this sort of conversation? Of course not, they just see that the obvious needs to happen and all pull together in the direction of their collective best interest.”

                  I’m not sure that’s correct. They certainly wouldn’t have the conversation on a blog, but then neither has Labour. I’m certainly not Labour. I don’t think NAct is as monolithic as Lusk is trying to make it. A lot of it’s support depends on bromance with FJK and I think that’s disappeared to a large extent in Northland.

              • saveNZ

                nope they will look better if they transparently say, vote Winston. They can believe in Willow-Prime but also be against what is going on in NZ and Happy for their Labour supporters to support Winston in this instance to rein in National.

                They should also have a private chat with Winston about going forward and code of conduct. Winston & Willow focuses on what is wrong with National policy and keep our of petty turf wars between Labour and NZ First. Rein in advertising for Willow.

                Imagine if Labour go hard with Willow, and the results show that Winston would have won if they had not done that. The fall out would be huge against them. If they strategise now, at least they appear to be in control..

                • felix

                  What, you mean adapt to a changing environment as best suits our interests?

                  But we’ve already started THE MACHINE!!

              • Tracey

                In some ways labour could have built something by saying

                “The most important thing right now is Northlanders and NZ. We trust them to know what is best for themselves, their future and the future of NZers. That may not be to choose labour’s candidate in the short term, but we want them to know that Labour stands behind them for a greater NZ, which starts with the loss of this seat for national. Never have Northlanders had so much power. The power to make this a 50/50 government.

                • felix

                  That’s good, much better than mine.

                • Ron

                  And if Labour followed your plan and Winston wins and then works with National where to then?

                  In some ways labour could have built something by saying

            • Tracey

              Once Labour stood Willow, no backing down from that… now Winston and others have to work hard to educate Labour folks on who to vote for…

              The Greens stood no one…

              The Greens who stand in electorate seats to get profile for their policies stood no one…

              The ONLY thing anyone can do for Northlanders now (until the next election) is get a voice and take one from the government. Willow cannot do that.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      You can campaign FOR yourself, and you can campaign AGAINST someone else. Typically they go hand-in-hand, but they don’t have to.

      Kelvin Davis campaigned both FOR himself, and AGAINST hone.

      It would be quite possible for Willow to campaign FOR herself only.

      • felix 6.2.1

        Ok then let’s not say “campaigning against”. Let’s say “competing for votes”.

        Whatever you call it, a vote for Prime is a vote for National and against Winston.

        • Chooky

          +100 felix

        • mickysavage

          First time ever felix I have not necessarily agreed with you.

          Willow is a wonderful candidate. As soon as she put her hand up I and many others were happy to support her. We will back her to the hilt.

          The vote is quite balanced. It will break one of two ways, either she will solidify support and have a chance or Winston will drag her support and win the seat.

          Osborne may come through the middle.

          Will it affect the next election result? Probably not. East Coast Bays was lost by National in 1980 but they still won in 1981 although under FPP.

          Peters winning the seat will provide some temporary relief on some issues such as the proposed RMA reforms. It will also give NZF a bit of momentum which I personally think is a bad thing for the country.

          • felix

            First time??? 😀

            I have no doubt Willow is all that. Not sure what you mean by “balanced”, have you seen some more polling?

      • Murray Rawshark 6.2.2

        Even better than campaigning for herself, she could campaign for Northland, and for New Zealand.

    • lprent 6.3

      Who (apart from you) said that they should be campaigning against Winston. You do have a rather strange binary way of looking at these things that doesn’t reflect how it operates on the ground.

      What they should be doing is campaigning for themselves and against National or other parties of the right. They shouldn’t be campaigning for Winston or any other party. Members of those parties should do that.

      NZF should campaign for NZ First, Mana should campaign for Mana, Greens should campaign for Greens, and Labour should campaign for Labour. Sometimes that means not campaigning, as the Greens decided to do because they really don’t have that much interest in electorate races – they win on party vote.

      What parties and their followers shouldn’t be doing is trying to preempt the votes with stupid fantasy political machine deals that deprive voters of choices.

      • ankerawshark 6.3.1

        1000+ Iprent

      • felix 6.3.2

        Utter bollocks Lynn, those with a binary view are those who think Labour’s only options are either a) garnering as many votes for Labour as possible, or b) pulling their candidate.

        I haven’t advocated either of those btw.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Labour appears to have a rather binary view of what “victory” looks like.

      • Tracey 6.3.3

        Greens aren’t standing, which is a statement/s of its own.

        • the pigman

          Yes but as they are not the major opposition party, they would not cop the same flak as Labour would if it gave public hints directing its supporters to vote for Winston.

          “Dirty Filthy Stitch-Up to Bring Down Government”

          And Gower would write a number of damning articles in single sentence paragraphs about the Left gaming the system.

          And we’d all fall a little further down.

          • Skinny

            Don’t worry the Helensville Hurricane (Remuera Tumble) is dropping down on Zombie Towns up North this weekend.

            I wonder if Key has the guts to front up in Mangawhai given the law changes they made to deal to the rate payers.

            He sure will remember last years greeting he got up here on the election trail. I still remember the stunned mullet look on his face seeing a group of former rural Tories protestors


      • Rodel 6.3.4

        Absolutely agree with lPrent-

        “NZF should campaign for NZ First, Mana should campaign for Mana, Greens should campaign for Greens, and Labour should campaign for Labour. ”

        I think its called giving citizens a democratic choice.
        There’s something wrong with democracy when candidates and parties urge us to not vote for them.

      • Clemgeopin 6.3.5

        The voters of Northland, for THIS particular by-election will realise ON THEIR OWN that Winston is the ONLY game in town right now, for SEVERAL reasons.

        I think the voters will show their collective wisdom by voting tactically and smartly at this by-election by giving Winston their enthusiastic tick.

        There are higher chances of Winny winning than losing if Labour does not directly endorse him. I don’t think even Winston would want that because that would diminish and take away from his own almost certain triumph, his memorable victory and his historical glory.

        Key has declared that your chance of winning is ZERO! NAUGHT, NADA, ZILCH.

        Go Winny!

  7. weka 7

    “However, the difference between Labour’s polling and the TV3 result is fascinating. Before Osborne was picked Labour’s polling suggested National were just ahead of NZ First. The TV3 result a few days later suggests that by putting Osborne up, the Tories have lost ground. National are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

    Or, if the earlier poll was on parties, and the later poll was on candidates, it could be that people will vote for Peters more than they will vote NZF. Ditto the other way re National/Osborne (esp seeing micky’s comment above about Osborne).

    • I’ve had a quick look on both TV3 and Reid Research’s sites, weka, but I can’t find any detail of the question used. However, I do know that most polling is based around the party not the candidate and allows for interchangeable answers. That is, if the question was ‘what party are you voting for?’ and the answer was ‘Winston’, that’d be a tick for NZF.

      If the question was specifically ‘which person?’ that would significantly skew the result. Winston’s name recognition would mean that he would probably be the first candidate to pop into people’s heads and if they couldn’t immediately recall the name of the person standing for their preferred party, he could get support which wouldn’t be reflected when the ballot paper was actually in their hands. The same would probably happen for Willow-Jean Prime, who is far more well known than Mark Osborne.

      (Whew! That was a bit long winded, but I hope you get what I mean).

  8. Old Mickey 8

    If labour doesnt not win the seat and Winnie does, then Peter Dunne will become essential to the Govt. What a clusterfu*k that would be. If willow prime comes third by a long, lone way this beocmes an embarrasment for Andy Little. Her yobs harrassing Winston on the street was not a good look. Somebody help her….please.

    • Bearded Git 8.1

      @Old Mickey

      Agree entirely on the Labour yobs verbally attacking Winston not a good look at all (TV3 news footage last night). The one saving grace is that this may shift more votes from Labour to Winston.

      Time for Little to make some subtle hint that Labour supporters may see Winston as the likely winner and so should vote tactically. This will firstly, help Winston to win the seat and secondly, when the Labour vote comes in low, enable Little to say he had hinted for Labour voters to vote for Winston, so the low Labour vote can’t be painted as a disaster by the MSM.

      • Olwyn 8.1.1

        I absolutely agree about the attacks on Winston. The National candidate is the one they are trying to unseat, not Winston, and they should not allow themselves to be diverted into an opposition versus opposition battle. I actually think that not making a deal with Labour increases rather than decreases Peters’ chances, since the people he wants to appeal to are angry with National but do not see themselves as left wing voters.

        Given that, Labour should use the by-election as an opportunity for promoting its message, with a view to continuing to build on it. The seat has been a National one for a long time, and they will only be humiliated by a defeat if they decide that Winston, rather than National, is their real opponent.

        • Anne

          I actually think that not making a deal with Labour increases rather than decreases Peters’ chances…

          I think you’re right Olwyn and it would be nice to think that is why Labour is standing a candidate – apart from the opportunity to ram a few Labour policy points home of course. Unfortunately I don’t give Labour credence for such astute strategic thinking.

      • Skinny 8.1.2

        There was no leadership from Prime’s team which showed their immaturity. Stand over tactics (all be it by a handful) trying to move Peters along, it looked what it was, terrible. He played them and their inexperience showed. They got the heads up he was coming to Prime’s home patch to campaign and should have been told not to engage in a public spat, especially with Gower and his camera’s there.

        A trap for young players which Peters exploited to full effect. He was there solely to mop up soft votes and would be pinching himself he has probably helped himself to more votes. Unfortunately a moments madness reflected poorly on the Labour teams campaign. My phone was running hot from Labour people voicing their concern.

        • te reo putake

          “My phone was running hot from Labour people voicing their concern.”

          Yeah, right.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            No need to listen to intel reports from the front lines, the Generals in the rear echelons have it well in hand.

          • Skinny

            Such was one senior members concerns I did agree to put in a rare appearance at next weeks LEC meeting. Bit of a inconvenience as I have a meeting during the day in Auckland. Oh dread as if we haven’t already had our share of group face palm moments. I think it’s best I prepare and take a bottle of gin. Might move I chair in case there is any attempted wrist slitting at the table.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Do you two know each other in union circles?

              • No. Skinny apparently operates at a much higher level than me 😉

                • Skinny

                  Oh don’t worry as TRP jests, we differ alright. I’m one of the few who operate from the very bottom. Once you get the official tag next to your name it’s just a 9 to 5 job like everyone else.

                  • Yeah, right (redux!). I’m sure your local org would be thrilled to read how much you undervalue the work they do or the hours they put in, Skinny. I always remember the words of a now retired union sec who said to an organisers meeting ‘some delegates think you do bugger all all day and they also think that they could do that bugger all better than you’ 😉

                    • Skinny

                      Well it was a generalisation of the different era we live in of bargaining agents opposed to the old school power of the rank & file. Combating the mindset of I pay my fee’s let the lazy organiser sort it is a terrible curse on Unionism as a result.

                      You have used a poor example, I think our regional organiser would be the first to appreciate not being loaded up with issues that a functioning branch executive/s can handle. Operating on the basics of I’ll holler if we need ya. And if it’s a national issue the same applies.

              • Skinny

                Well i do front with my real name in my email addy when i dial in here. Though i can not recall sitting together around the UN table ‘ever’ up here.
                To be fair I have missed 2 meetings in the last 2 years I’ve been up here. Doesn’t concern me the broadsides, guess we are on the same team tho at times ya wouldn’t think so lol.

                [lprent: Irrelevant. Read the section on privacy in the policy

                We do not disclose any information to third parties. This includes what you add to your profile that is not public on the blog. In particular your real name and e-mail. Similarly if you are not logged in and enter a comment, we do not disclose the e-mail you enter on your message.

                E-mail addresses are only used by the sysop or moderators if they need to contact you. This will usually be because of your behavior or other peoples behavior to you on the blog. Sometimes it will be used if we’re really interested in something you wrote.

                TRP is an author. He can’t see IPs and emails because he has no particular reason to moderate across the site. We let authors do baby steps moderating inside their own posts because it tends to be a bit dangerous otherwise.

                We allow reference to the real names of people who have already outed themselves. MickySavage and r0b are examples here of people who have done exactly that themselves. However in every other case where we haven’t seen them out themselves, we will ban permanently anyone who outs someone else UNLESS they link to a comment where their target outed themselves clearly and directly.

                Basically people like Cameron Slater who just invented real names to attach to pseudonyms are simply the complete arseholes of the net. I don’t think any author here would like to have that kind of reputation attached to their names. ]

                • Tiger Mountain

                  This is getting close to identity ‘outing’ behaviour regards Skinny and TRP, not necessary.

                  While some might think Skinny is lost down Tryhard Lane; give him say 5 years commenting here and we will see.

                • Skinny

                  Jolly good IPrent I should not have assumed that and caused you time wasting, especially after last nights marathon repair. Bit gulity of blowing off topic too :).

          • Clemgeopin

            I am a ‘Labour people’ and felt bad to hear those guys (on Tv) telling Winston to ‘move on’.

    • Anne 8.2

      Her yobs harrassing Winston on the street was not a good look. Somebody help her….please.

      In the circumstances it was a terrible look.

      Playing into the hands of the enemy the same way those student idiots did yesterday… their pointless chanting was used to Key’s advantage by hustling him away early – as if his safety was in danger. There were six of them, and they were a sufficient distance away to be no risk to his safety whatsoever.

      • Murray Rawshark 8.2.1

        I don’t think the students were idiots at all. It gives the opposition a chance to ask FJK if he left his guts back in Hawaii on the golf course with Obama. Running away from six students? What a (pick perjorative term of preference that implies lack of guts).

    • weka 8.3

      Does anyone have a link to the video or a time/network?

      • weka 8.3.1

        If it’s the link in TRP’s post, I thought the heckling bit was funny. The young Māori dude and Peters both looked like they were enjoying themselves. Giving Peters shit in situations like that is par for the course isn’t it? It’s one of his things, a bit of argy bargy on the street.

        I agree Labour officially doing ageist shit is not ok, and Prime and Little probably need to have some words with volunteers, but that thing on TV3 looked more engineered by Gower than anything.

  9. redfred 9

    Then stuff the private members bill ballot with GCSB and Mass Survalliance inquiry bill proposals

    • alwyn 9.1

      They might be quite difficult to write. The standing orders don’t allow multiple members bills that are similar to be in the ballot at the same time.

      As SO 277 says
      “(2) Only one notice of proposal is to be entered in respect of any bills that are the same or substantially the same in substance. When the Clerk holds notices of proposal for two or more bills that are the same or substantially the same in substance, the notice that is to be entered in the ballot is (in the absence of agreement among the members concerned) determined by a preliminary ballot conducted by the Clerk.”

      You also get the problem that each member is only allowed to have one bill in the ballot at a time.

      Thus if you had, say, 30 different members bills from National and 40 similar bills from Labour and the Green party there would only be 31 going into the ballot.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    The pumping up of Osborne, a career council bureaucrat as some sort of North land entrepreneur has been something to behold.

    His wife runs a hair salon in Mangonui, much is made of Marks involvement of this charming little business. He is of course a Chartered accountant but this is hidden from mere mortals.

    Then there is the Kaitaia civic centre, run by the the Te Ahu Community Trust, this is of course a council controlled organisation mostly paid for by rates. Osborne was seconded as a manager while the recent additions were under construction.

    • Tiger Mountain 10.1

      Te Ahu was riddled with mis-management, extensive wasted planning and consultancy costs and controversy including the basic dis establishment of the Kaitaia museum.

      Long term community volunteers were cast aside and missing funds never explained adequately by then Mayor Wayne Brown. It serves fine as a civic building and Library but has further alienated a number of people in the North from participating in local government affairs.

  11. BLiP 11

    “It’s not really about Winston Peters, it’s about National being able to carry out its mandate.”

    What fucking mandate? Its starting to become a bit of a meme for John Key, this tricksy use of language lying about having the moral authority to leverage unwarranted credibility for his actions. Frank Macskasy caught him out trying it on when defending Barrack Obama’s instructions about Iraq . . .

    Look, I’ve made it quite clear, for instance, to the Australian Prime Minister that we’re out in two years. That’s our mandate that we’ve got. That’s what we intend to follow through.

  12. Understandably, Labour leadership won’t be able to TELL Labour Party voters to strategically vote for Winston Peters.

    But others who are NOT in Labour leadership positions can, and in my considered opinion, SHOULD.

    If YOU are genuinely opposed to this John Key led National Government – that is?

    Penny Bright

    • lprent 12.1

      I have no issues with people expressing their opinion. Hell I’ll just express my opinion back

      Where I draw the line and start tearing into the politically naive is when they try to tell political parties what they should do when they appear to have thought it through the downstream consequences. They also haven’t thought through how that destroys the basis of choice that is at the heart of a democratic society by reducing the number of choices for voters.

      Anyone who is an active member of a political party for a decade or more is acutely aware at how hard it is to keep pushing the long grind over many elections with many other people. Having the naive blithfully saying that work should be tossed in the toilet for short-term expediency and advantage of the lazier of the political community is just outright offensive.

      • tricledrown 12.1.1

        Labour has only 16% of the vote in the recent election and the latest poll.
        It would serve Labour better to have National on the back foot for the next 21/2 years.
        Also the funding National are getting to run an electorate seat would be gone as well.
        Peters is a potential Labour Coalion partner a nod and a wink to labour voters would help cement alegences.
        National would only need another byelection or Peter Dunne and the Maori Party to put an end to Keys arrogance.
        The left have no strategy under MMP.
        National does.
        National are only in power because of this strategy.
        Labour do need to revitalise its grass roots party machine and it still could do that at the same time as giving the rest of NZ a better chance of curtailing Nationals agenda.
        Time for burying old school thinking.

        • Bearded Git

          @tricledrown +1

        • rawshark-yeshe

          “The left have no strategy under MMP” +100 tricledown.

          This is the awful wince-making truth. The strategy does seem to be:

          1. Observe foot at end of leg (select either left or right).

          2. Raise gun and take aim at chosen foot.

          3. Fire.

          nb. Please note, especially dangerous when done with foot in mouth and is not recommended.

          • Skinny

            Oh your cruel but I did laugh at ourselves.

            Still damned if you do damned if you don’t. Gower is playing the ratings game by over egging the hot air in the North. He pulled the same stunt with sell out ‘all about Jonesy’ who ended up finishing a lonely last against DC & Robo.

            He has given Peters a leg up and as history shows give him a sniff and he is in like a robbers dog. It also shows Gowers hatred of Labour.

    • Pasupial 12.2

      Although the; “Labour leadership won’t be able to TELL Labour Party voters to strategically vote for Winston Peters”, Labour voters are themselves able to tell the Labour leadership what they think of their shortsightedness. Anyone in Northland who is planning on voting for Peters should pick up the phone to call (or email) the LP election headquarters and explain why they are doing so. You can bet they’ll be taking the calls at the moment in the hope of gaining support.

      Perhaps after the first couple of hundred times having this point explained to them, the Northland LP election team might finally get the message.

  13. Right now lprent, in my view, the interests of the majority of New Zealanders trump those of the NZ Labour Party.

    We don’t have to wait until 2017 to electorally deal to National.

    With 59 MPs – National will be politically wounded, when Winston Peters takes Northland off National.

    So – let’s all do our best to help make sure that happens?

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    • Visubversaviper 13.1

      So, Penny Bright, in the next Auckland mayoralty election, when it is a close call between the forces of the “left” and the forces of the “right” you won’t be standing? You would not want to take votes away from the person best placed to defeat Cam Brewer or whoever else the right put up becasue Auckland is so important?

    • Tiger Mountain 13.2

      An oldie and a goodie–splitting the Auckland Mayoralty “left” vote.

      The Topp “Twins” managed it a few years back and others have had a go. Minto for Mayor had the policies last time, free public transport and slashing over $100k council salaries, pity he and Penny did not get together for a better result.

      Penny’s position on Northland is not necessarily transferable to the woefully undersubscribed jaffa city postal vote.

    • BLiP 14.1

      Check Sheet

      1. Does the release of the information assist John Key and/or his cult – ✓

      2. Did the information originate from an individual and/or group identified by Nicky Hager as being a component of John Key’s Dirty Politics Machine – ✓

      3. Is the information quickly repeated in the MSM – ✓

      4. Is the information likely to be known only by people with contacts in or around Parliament (i.e., whether or not a staff member was on leave) – ✓

      5. Does the release of the information imply and/or state a negative suggestion as to the character of any people named – ✓

      6. Does the information provide an opportunity to distract attention away from more important issues, the consideration of which is likely to impact negatively on John Key or his cult – ✓

      It’s certainly the work of John Key’s Dirty Politics Machine but, c’mon, “the first act”? The machine has been pumping out filth since 28 November 2006. Perhaps you were referring to the first action to be taken in the Northland By-Election. Its probably the first public action, but you may rest assured there’s been a ton of ground work gone on already. Carrying out preliminary investigations into the background of all the candidates, along with anyone and everyone involved in the campaign who is likely to pose a risk to the John Key brand would be standard. I imagine people like Jordan actually already have a lot of data on file.

    • Tracey 14.2

      Did I miss the concern of the Taxpayers Union about the re selection of a man under police investigation for election 2014 and then the taxpayer paying him to sit on law and order committees and generally pay his wage?

      Didn’t think so.

  14. Pasupial 15

    NRT is good on this topic:

    Last night’s 3 News-Reid Research poll of Northland showed that the by-election everyone expected to be a coronation for National’s dead white male wasn’t, and that there was a real chance of them losing the seat to Winston Peters. Which would mean (thanks to MMP) an extra NZ First list MP in Parliament. Which in turn would mean that the government no longer had an easy majority with ACT on everything, and instead had to win the support of both ACT and Peter Dunne, or the Maori Party to pass legislation, just as it did last term…

    National and ACT are pushing ahead with RMA “reform”, which means gutting the RMA and removing local input and democracy, against the wishes of every other party in the House. If Winston wins Northland, those plans are dead in the water. As is pretty much their entire policy platform beyond “cling grimly to power and collect our fat Ministerial salaries while doing as little as possible”. And National’s plans for a stitch-up on the next spy bill? Probably doomed.


    The choice the Labour Party has gone for is to back the local candidate; Prime, and her electorate team. Of course, if Peters wins; this’ll be time and money down the drain as she will have no chance come 2017 (barring a catastrophic health failure in the 70 year old NZF leader).

    If the Northland LP election team is anything like those I’ve been involved with in past elections, this means that: Labour regards the espirit de corps of; maybe a dozen election committee members, plus a hundred or so election activists, as being more important than the 35,000 odd Northland voters (in 2014, being a byelection; I doubt half of them will turn up to the vote this time around). Let alone the 4 million people in the country who will be spared the more extreme ravages of an unbridled NACT agenda.

    • weka 15.1

      Will the Mp and Dunne vote against the RMA reforms? If so, that alone is worth voting Peters. But I didn’t think it was that cut and dried, and that Dunne esp is likely to support NACT after a few superficial changes to the reform plan.

    • Murray Rawshark 15.2

      +1 Pasupial. As long as I’ve watched politics, it’s seemed to me that Labour has put its party interests above most things. This started with them getting in behind Rogernomics with a pretend passion. I haven’t trusted them since.

      Now we’re told that we should be worried about the effect of not campaigning hard in Northland on the Whangarei party machine. As far as I’m concerned, no way does that trump the effect on Aotearoa of unbridled NAct until 2017.

      I even think it will help Labour if Winnie wins. It’ll show up FJK’s weaknesses when he has to do a bit of negotiation rather than act in his usual dictatorial style. That could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  15. rawshark-yeshe 16

    so key forced to show support .. the way the polls are, could he actually worsen nats position ? i think so … chipped teflon in northland discloses some secrets maybe ??


    go, winnie!!

    • Tracey 16.1

      did he go up there during 1014 campaign?

      • rawshark-yeshe 16.1.1

        all I know is that Skinny reported him being up there for a meeting and trying to keep his distance from Sabin .. maybe Skinny can tell us more ??

  16. kiwigunner 17

    labour were out and about in Kerikeri today. Willow- Jean, Nash a couple of others (Christchurch East?). But at the meeting I attended that they were present at almost exclusively folk were voting Winston to attack National. I’m with them and I like Willow and Labour. National not winning is very important.

  17. Penny Bright 18

    Do folks know that National’s Mark Osbourne was Mike Sabin’s Electorate Treasurer?

    Keep the pressure on the lack of transparency over the Mike Sabin sudden and unexplained resignation, is my recommendation.

    John Key is obviously worried if he’s coming up North to help with the Mark Osbourne campaign, apparently this weekend?


    Penny Bright

    • rawshark-yeshe 18.1

      “Pressure on lack of transparency” — I have great confidence in Winston doing exactly that. He did as much in the House as was possible under such a partisan Speaker .. there is so much to come I think. Winston will not be cowed.

    • Tiger Mountain 18.2

      Osborne apparently is not going to appear at a meet the candidates meeting at “Swamp Palace” aka Oruru Community Hall, Taipa, on the weekend.

      HE (Osborne) needs to be questioned what and when he knew about Sabin too. It is relevant, none of us would be here if not for Northland National Party affairs backed up by Nat HQ.

      • rawshark-yeshe 18.2.1

        How many kinds of mince meat are there ? Osbourne is likely to create a new one if his TV interview yesterday was anything to measure by.

        Does he know too much and has been bought off with the nomination ?? Seriously, nothing would surprise me here.

        Go Winnie! Save the RMA ! Keep our troops home ! Sod TPPA!

      • Anne 18.2.2

        HE (Osborne) needs to be questioned what and when he knew about Sabin…

        He already has by media reporters. He mumbled something about… not knowing anything about that..

        • rawshark-yeshe

          that’s what I mean by mince meat !! mumblefuck mumblefuck idiot. he will be had on toast by Winnie.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            with lashings of tom sauce

            • rawshark-yeshe

              Can’t wait, but sadly the poor bugger is in for some real pain.

              And why would any decent human want to cover for Sabin ? They honestly deserve what’s coming to them.

        • Tracey

          wasnt he being a kind of sounding board for Sabin at one stage?

        • rawshark-yeshe

          OMG !!! That interview is unbelievable in its awfulness and the absolute disdain from Plunket is most welcome.

          I think National are done for.

          I hope this unravelling is truly the beginning of the end for Key and his lying pack and that Winnie can help us out while some of Aotearoa still belongs to us !

          Go Winnie !

          • marty mars

            bet he wishes he hadn’t made that call – winnie’s gonna cut this dude up pretty bad I think

          • rawshark-yeshe

            do we think this is Stephen Joyce’s choice ?? Maybe it’s enough to make Crosby Textor resign ?? Ha ha bloody ha ha !

          • Skinny

            I was the only leftie in the room at block head Sabin’s forum. There was a notable distance kept between the lead snake oil team and him.

            There was the Collins issue that Sabin inc sorted for Joyce & Key and I’m picking
            they dealt to the most urgent first which was Collins who was letting team Key down. The other issue they knew a sword fall under a cloud of strict secrecy could be managed. The hatchet job on rock n roller Collins had a temporary catch of an appointment, and added creds to I knew nothing. There a devious lot and I wouldn’t put anything past them.

            • rawshark-yeshe

              so you saw the video on Campbell Live ?? 😀

              self-hatchet job or humanising ?

  18. Penny Bright 19

    It’s not quite on topic, but as someone who has opposed the corporate takeover of the Auckland region, literally from DAY ONE (5 September 2006 – the day of the ‘failed Mayoral coup’) – I WILL be standing as an Auckland Mayoral candidate in 2016, campaigning for DE-AMALGAMATION of the Auckland ‘Supercity’ and abolition of ALL CCOs.

    Just so you know.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    • Tiger Mountain 19.1

      Good for you, ditching CCOs might get wide support, could be too late for de-amalgamation in a number of ways. Turnout and ongoing participation is the problem.
      • free and expanded public transport
      • living wage for council staff and encouragement for SMEs to do the same
      • slash salaries over $100,000, promote ordinary workers if no shiny arses want the positions
      • delegate management with resourcing to neighbourhoods and suburbs

  19. Sable 20

    Good job Winston. It comes as no surprise you are on top. As to f**king Labour. Why did you not back Peters? It would have been better for the left but then when did scabby Labour care about anyone but themselves.

    Peters or the Greens for PM. Little out the back washing dishes.

    • BLiP 20.1

      If you have no preference between the Greens or NZFirst sitting on the treasury benches provided Andrew Little isn’t indicates an unusual political mind-set I don’t see very often.

    • Chooky 20.2

      +100..yes he could be Minister of Labour

  20. swordfish 21

    A mild word of caution:

    According to this Reid Research Poll
    – 11% Undecided
    – 4.3% Margin of Error
    – Just 8% said they wouldn’t vote….but, given turnout in previous By-Elections, we can expect a significant minority of the other 92% (those who chose a candidate + the Undecided) to actually stay at home on By-Election day.

    • Lanthanide 21.1

      Yeah, that was my thoughts too, sf.

      I wouldn’t be too surprised if Winston gets less than Willow does, and that both together they’d be lucky to scratch 70% of the National candidates vote.

      • swordfish 21.1.1

        Mind you, it looks like Winston’s presence is electrifying things up there…..so I’m guessing that might just boost turnout a little (relative to previous By-Elections). Still be way down on Northland’s turnout at General Election, of course.

        I’d be very surprised if Winnie came in third, though. I don’t think his poll support is quite that shaky.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          So it’s probable egg on the face for Labour.

          • swordfish

            Yeah, on this particular debate I tend towards the CV / Felix end of the spectrum.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              At some stage I’m going to tire of a political party which cannot seem to pull it together on the ABCs. As it were.

      • MrSmith 21.1.2

        “I wouldn’t be too surprised if Winston gets less than Willow does”

        And I wouldn’t be surprised if the moon is a great big block of cheese Lanthanide.

        Your nothing but a National party cheerleader Lanthanide, time for Labour to save a few dollars, as well as the RMA and tone down their advertising around Willow and start whispering vote Winston.

        • Lanthanide

          LOL, National party cheerleader. Good one.

        • felix

          I think it’s fair to say that our Lanthanide is nobody’s cheerleader, and certainly not National’s.

          • Lanthanide

            About the only thing you could say I’m a cheerleader for is an evidence and science-based approach to policy.

    • weka 21.2

      thanks Swordfish, another good reason to ban pre-election polls.

    • Tracey 21.3

      Important stats thanks sword given how many dont bother to go to the polls in these things…

  21. Penny Bright 22

    I predict there may be a sizeable ‘no show’ by disaffected (former) National voters who can’t bring themselves to vote for Winston Peters but feel seriously p*ssed with being taken for granted, treated with contempt and being taken for fools.

    When I stood on the Botany by-election in 2011, after Pansy Wong left under a stinky cloud (similar to Mike Sabin) – there was a 36% turnout.

    Pansy Wong’s 17,000 vote plummeted to 8000 under Jamie-Lee Ross – despite both John Key and Jamie-Lee Ross BEGGING National supporters to get out and vote – thousands DIDN’T!

    It is THAT historic precedent, in my opinion, of which more notice should be taken, because it is arguably more analogous.

    Penny Bright

    • alwyn 22.1

      That was the one where you got 128 votes wasn’t it Penny?
      Lost your deposit did you?
      I think that that will be an historic precedent if you run for Mayor again.

  22. BLiP 23

    It seems to me that those demanding Labour make a public statement endorsing Winston Peters to its supporters are being naive. First, they under estimate the effectiveness of Labour’s bush-telegraph and, second, Andrew Little has already said publicly that Labour will be proceeding with its campaign. Can you imagine the relish with which the MSM will emblazon its reports with the “flip flop” angle? No need to give the Press Gallery chooks a free hit, I reckon.

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.1

      Well I agree it would be naive, but the naivety is mainly on Labour’s part committing to this campaign all gung-ho, wanting to raise a tonne of money for it, and not recognising in time that most of the likely outcomes from the by-election were neutral or losing ones for the Labour Party until they had painted themselves into a corner.

      • BLiP 23.1.1

        Hmmm . . . I’m not so sure. Labour’s decision to show support for and to let Willow-Jean Prime get off to an early start demonstrates a confident Party getting on with business. For three (or so) weeks Willow-Jean had the ground to herself to get out there and, if nothing else, rally the local troops and draw whatever attention she could to the issues Labour believes are most important to address. Paying any attention to or waiting for Winston to finish his “will I, won’t I” theatrics would resulted in a lost opportunity had he decided not to stand. Also, the whole time Willow-Jean and her crew were doing their thing, it further highlighted the dithering of National Ltd™. Prior to the latest polls and Winston’s eventual decision to stand, it was generally assumed National Ltd™ would romp home no matter which of its collection of No-Neck-Bald-Heads was eventually press-ganged into standing.

        And then those polls – wow! Now, Winston, as only he can, is running the show. The press gallery chooks are pretty much at his beck and call. I imagine that Osbourne character is going to get a fair amount of coverage because he’s such a total cockwombl, thus ensuring that his media performances will provide light relief. There is no oxygen left for Labour, and its a matter now of fighting the good fight and taking what opportunities fate delivers.

        I suspect that, like a lot of others, your dismissal of Labour’s by-election efforts in Northland is largely driven by hindsight bias and a growing sense of excitement about maybe, possibly actually finding a means of impeding the National Ltd™ neo-liberal steam roller agenda for this term. I understand that, but would just point out its predicated on the assumption that Winston cares about such matters and hasn’t already stitched up a deal with National Ltd. The guarantee of a comfortable, stress free life for the next three years followed by a resplendent post-Beehive sinecure might just be all it takes. He does, after all, have a penchant for baubles, no real love for Labour, and maintains that irrational, sneering distaste for the Greens so common amongst The Establishment.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Our branch crunched the Sept election result numbers for Northland at a meeting over a week ago and saw that GR+LAB were still over 5,000 votes behind National. A National win was and is still the most likely outcome.

        • Tracey

          a party getting on with business which is in spite of what might be best for NZ

        • Chooky

          totally disagree with that BLip….and I know voters who switch between Greens and NZF regularly….in fact one NZF voter around here helped put up Green signs with his hammer and ladder and bolts ….so dont be so sneering of Winston…you are out of touch with the rural voters imo…many Greens voters would be more inclined to go NZF than Labour …your comments are of the sort that would put many people right off the Greens! ( dont forget that it was the perception that the Greens were going to forge closer ties with Nactional that put many Green voters off voting Green just before last election)

          (and dont forget Norman shat on Peters from a great height just before one Election over the Owen Glenn donation…very poor strategic judgment….probably causing Helen Clarks’ Labour/ NZF coalition to lose that Election and completely losing NZF the Election by a narrow margin)

          This from Rosie today:
          “Fresh back from the TPP rally in Wellington and I’ve gotta say the prize for the surprise rowdy round of applause and cheering for a speaker went to the NZ First MP, Fletcher Tabuteau. (He spoke well, on the level and with a fire in the belly)

          He said NZ First have lodged a a new bill, the “Fighting Foreign Corporate Control” bill. This will address the crux of the problem with the TPP, the investor state disputes settlement process. Bit more about it here:


          This is fantastic and could provide a further boost to their campaign in Northland.”

        • Murray Rawshark

          I think Winnie would rather go out as the guy who stopped Key after three Labour leaders had failed than the guy who helped Key run the sellout program. I accept he is a real wild card, but I’d put money on him this time.

  23. Michael 24

    Labour should provide every bit of help to Winston it can. I’m sure the candidate is a great person who would make a fine MP but it looks like she hasn’t got a dog’s show of defeating the Nats. If Winston wins, Key’s majority is gone and he must horse-trade with other parties to stay in office and enjoy all its perks. Winston may even be grateful to Labour for throwing him a line (although I wouldn’t count on it). The objective in this campaign is to beat the Nats – whatever and whoever it takes.

    • Lanthanide 24.1

      “Key’s majority is gone and he must horse-trade with other parties to stay in office and enjoy all its perks”

      1. National don’t have a majority, they already rely on other parties to vote for their legislation
      2. They have confidence and supply agreements with MP, Act and UF, so National will win any vote of no confidence with a few as 57 of their own seats. They would have to lose this by-election, and 3 more, before they would be out of office.

      Now, if they got down to 58 seats and so therefore had to rely on MP or another party in Parliament to pass legislation, things would be pretty uncomfortable. They’d be more likely to call an election for early 2017, than in 2016 though, since they’d look like spoilt children that refused to work in an MMP environment, which wouldn’t be a great look for them.

      • Tracey 24.1.1

        My partner suggested that having to rely on Dunne is hardly, well, something that he wont give in return for the right stuff… In her view national will not be worried if they have to court Dunne… he’s caved before and before and before

    • BLiP 24.2

      The objective in this campaign is to beat the Nats – whatever and whoever it takes.

      No, not really, that’s the Tory approach and its already done enough harm. I don’t know what or who’s “campaign” you are referring to but, the objective in this by-election is to provide Northland with a range of options from which to choose their elected representative. Its about servicing their needs, not yours. For better or worse, Labour has told Northland where it stands and is now honour bound to hold that position. To “flip-flop” now will undermine both Labour and the electoral process by signalling that politicians are little more than opportunists who’s word is good only for so long as it suits. While I appreciate your sentiment about beating National Ltd™, I see no need to embrace the same mendacious, mercantile and morally bankrupt methods it brings to the functioning of government. The “what ever it takes” approach to politics is poison to democracy and a hall mark feature of John Key’s tenure as Prime Minister.

      • Ron 24.2.1

        +100 BLiP

        No, not really, that’s the Tory approach and its already done enough harm.

      • Colonial Rawshark 24.2.2

        Labour supporters like me are increasingly tired of seeing Labour unable to cope with the nuances of MMP and unable to cope with the reality that for very good reasons, they are no longer the 40% natural leaders of the opposition.

        Now you may support Labour holding on to whatever Quixotic principles and honour they might think that they have while they vie for an “honourable” 2nd or 3rd place in this by-election, but I would far prefer to see a street smart Labour able to signal to the electorate that they understand what is at stake in this by-election beyond the local electorate, that they can work with other parties hand in glove to take National down a notch, and that they are a political force to be reckoned with in an MMP environment.

        So far: zero.

      • Murray Rawshark 24.2.3

        “For better or worse, Labour has told Northland where it stands and is now honour bound to hold that position.”

        Just like the Save the Rail campaign in 1984? Labour has taken the “whatever it takes” approach as much as NAct has. They just don’t know what it takes.

  24. Sookie 25

    I have reliably heard even National Party in Northland folk don’t like Osborne. Why did they pick such a lame duck when the farmer candidate was apparently quite popular? The poll is encouraging, so I will definitely vote for ole Winston. Why these old bugger politicians don’t retire I don’t know, but he’s always amused me so it’s not much of a hardship.

    • Tracey 25.1

      People who know where bodies are buried must be rewarded or they start taking the media to the bodies and everyone ends up in the grave

  25. kiwigunner 26

    I live in Kerikeri. If Willows team really have had a head start and are getting their policy out I’ve yet to see it.

  26. the pigman 27

    Buried in this story – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/67059985/andrew-little-hints-at-acc-announcement-by-labour – are substantial comments about the form of the next left government.

    I don’t think I’m inferring too much by saying his comments re coalition and Winston-boosting might be interpreted as encouraging Labour voters in Northland to do the logical thing.

  27. RedBaronCV 28

    Having read the media and twitter is there a single MP that isn’t actually in Northland? Everyone seem to be having a late summer holiday up thataway and going to every local meeting, kindy and playgroup imaginable. Wonder if the locals are giving them an earful on roads and amalgamating all the local bodies

  28. rawshark-yeshe 29

    Interesting .. Claire Trevett this morning …

    “Following the TV3 poll, Labour leader Andrew Little will not rule out changing party strategy to give a nod to Labour voters to support Mr Peters rather than Mrs Prime.

    No change was proposed at the moment, but Labour was constantly reviewing its approach.

    “That poll result last night would have been a massive wake-up call for National. If a candidate other than National wins then the Government is down a vote and can’t ram through things like the Resource Management Act reforms.

    “But we’ve entered the race in good faith with our candidate and she is continuing to campaign.”

    He conceded Labour had been critical of electorate deals.

    “Voters tend to be pretty cynical about electorate deals so that’s clearly a factor.”


    • Sacha 29.1

      “Voters tend to be pretty cynical about electorate deals”

      Bullshit. Someone get that man good advice.

      • Colonial Rawshark 29.1.1

        Yep. Wellington Labour is living in this out of touch la-la land of god knows where. I know where: the Thorndon bubble. Voters have been sooooo cynical of National’s electorate deals that they’ve voted John Key in 3 times in a row now. Whereas Labour’s playing it straight has given them decreasing party vote results each and every time.

      • Tracey 29.1.2

        I read it as him being subtle so as to keep the “electorate deals” meme in the background and plausibly deniable.

  29. Phil 30

    If I were the Nat’s I’d be feeling cautiously optimistic about their chances. See the CB polling results here: http://yournz.org/2015/03/08/q-a-colmar-brunton-party-poll-northland/

    Firstly, their preferred party vote is at 49%, exactly the same as what they got in Northland at the general election. There’s no evidence that voters in Northland are more or less dissatisfied with the Key government than on election night, in a general sense.

    Secondly, Winston has been in national politics for four decades. Osborne; four minutes. He’s inevitably going to have a ‘name recognition deficit’ compared to Winston that will hurt his initial polling results. The National Party machine should be well oiled enough to successfully raise his profile and bring that vote share closer to the party vote level between now and the day of the by-election.

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