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Nudge Nudge in Northland

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, March 7th, 2015 - 97 comments
Categories: accountability, Andrew Little, by-election, campaigning, john key, Politics, winston peters - Tags: , , , ,

Two interesting changes in the Northland by-election overnight.

Firstly, John Key has realised that National are in trouble. He has now scheduled three visits to the electorate in the next two weeks, which strongly suggests their own polling has confirmed the TV3/Reid Research result that put Winston Peters in the lead. Bear in mind that only a few days ago Key was confidant that the NZ First leader had “zero chance” and he hadn’t intended being personally involved in the campaign at all.

Their candidate, Mark Osborne, has been given emergency media training. Presumably before he admitted on Radio Live (hat tip Skinny) that he knew about the Sabin rumours before endorsing him to be their MP in 2014. Weirdly, Osborne’s only apparent concern at the time was how Sabin felt. He doesn’t say whether he gave Mike a man hug, but we shouldn’t rule it out.

Secondly, Labour Leader Andrew Little has dropped a couple of hints that he is OK with Labour voters endorsing Winston. In an interview reported on Stuff (ht Pigman) he notes that Labour and NZ First have economic policies in common and he goes on to say:

“It is most likely that when we next lead government we will have a relationship with the Green Party, and I expect New Zealand First – let’s see how Winston does in Northland over the next few weeks.”

In the NZ Herald Little goes further, saying that Labour is reviewing it’s Northland strategy and pointing out the risk to the Government if they lose the seat:

“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.”

However the Labour leader notes that Labour entered the race in good faith and that Willow-Jean Prime will continue to campaign. He also notes that “Voters tend to be pretty cynical about electorate deals so that’s clearly a factor.”

Little’s mention of the Resource Management Act is telling. National do not have parliamentary support for their radical plan to gut the RMA beyond the one vote their sponsored charity, the ACT Party, provide. If they lose Northland, they will not be able to simply rubber stamp the changes. The same applies to any divisive legislation that the Maori Party  and Peter Dunne don’t like. According to one high placed source, that includes funding for the defence forces foray into Iraq, which is supposedly not covered in the current defence budget.

Losing Northland is not merely an embarrassment for National, it potentially leaves them as a lame duck government, unable to progress their legislative agenda. Ok, that relies on the Maori Party and Peter Dunne growing a spine, but these are nervous days for National.

Just as an aside, did you know the motto for the region is Putting Northland First? I bet Winston does!

UPDATE: TVNZ poll out. Peters and Osborne tied on 36%, Prime 20%. A second question was asked about what would happen if Prime withdraws: 51% would vote for Peters.

97 comments on “Nudge Nudge in Northland”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “it potentially leaves them as a lame duck government, unable to progress their legislative agenda. Ok, that relies on the Maori Party and Peter Dunne growing a spine”

    The Maori Party already oppose National on something like 80% of their legislation, so picking on them isn’t really warranted.

    Dunne is a patsy and will generally do what is asked of him.

    • Lanth, the MP have done C&S deals with the Nats in exchange for ministerial seats 3 elections in a row, despite the damage done to maori in that time. Spineless is exactly the right way of describing them.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Had the MP not done a C&S deal with National after the last 3 elections, National would still have passed all of the legislation that they did. Actually, we wouldn’t have Whanau Ora and the Foreshore and Seabed act would probably still be in place.

        But that’s pretty much it. MP have hardly been enabling National’s right-wing ambitions.

        Peter Dunne has.

        • te reo putake 1.1.1.1

          That kinda confirms the spineless nature of the arrangement, dontcha think? They didn’t need to do it, but they did it anyway.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.1

            And they had some policy wins out of it. Just like they said they would.

            They’re also in Parliament again, after everyone (including myself) was predicting doom. Mana aren’t. MP will likely survive at the 2017 election and could end up with a C&S agreement with Labour, and they may be able to eek out other gains for their constituents.

            • amirite 1.1.1.1.1.1

              However, the MP will be forever tainted by sticking with a Government that has passed the most draconian anti-worker laws ever, that has managed to keep a low wage economy, that has cut benefits, that has raised price for prescription medicine – all things that have the biggest effect on Maori and Pacific people. And in return, the MP got the lightly edited Foreshore and Seabed Legislation and Whanau Ora to pick up the pieces of lives broken by this Government.

              • Lanthanide

                Those things would have happened whether the MP had a C&S agreement or not.

              • Craig H

                I don’t agree with law changes, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – these are not the most draconian anti-worker laws ever, not even close.

                We could have at-will employment and so-called right to work…

                • alwyn

                  “We could have …. so-called right to work…”

                  I would have thought we already had, and have had for at least 25 years, “right-to-work” laws in New Zealand, at least for employees.
                  Are there any cases where an agreement exists that one must be, or become, a union member in order to get a job?
                  I would think that unless such agreements were possible “right-to-work” would be the situation.

                  • Michael

                    “Right-to-work” has a different meaning: it’s a phrase used by right-wing and “pro-business” lobby groups in the US for “no employee rights at all”. The “right-to-work” is strictly on whatever terms and conditions employers deign to iffer the serfs. The dogma is, of course, zealously applied against workers by the US Courts and bureaucracies.

                    • alwyn

                      You obviously mean it in a totally different context to its usual interpretation. I take it at its normal meaning which, taken from this source :
                      http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Right-to-Work+Laws
                      is given as

                      “Right-to-Work Laws

                      State laws permitted by section 14(b) of the tafthartley act that provide in general that employees are not required to join a union as a condition of getting or retaining a job.

                      Right-to-work laws forbid unions and employers to enter into agreements requiring employees to join a union and pay dues and fees to it in order to get or keep a job. Twenty-one states, mostly in the South and West, have right-to-work laws.”

                      I guess, like the Queen in Alice, a word can mean whatever you say it means. Makes it a bit hard for other people reading it to understand though.

        • Wayne 1.1.1.2

          Lanthanide,

          You are ignoring the fact that Peter Dunne was dependent on the deal he did with the Nats so he could win the seat. The voters in Ohariu knew that voting Peter Dunne meant they were getting a National led govt. So he is not going to turn feral on the govt. The voters will expect him to ensure that there is not a lame duck government.

          Now I appreciate that a Winston win in Northland will give Peter Dunne more negotiating power around RMA for instance, but it comes with a requirement to act reasonably. So he is not going to start to be Labour’s instrument. That is not what the voters in Ohariu (who voted Peter Dunne) would expect, and not what they voted for.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2.1

            I’m not the one arguing Peter Dunne should “grow a spine”, te reo is.

            I’m simply pointing out that his argument that the MP should “grow a spine” is misplaced – they already vote against the majority of National’s legislation and have gained a few policy wins for themselves. The C&S agreement has not been meaningfully tested in any way.

            Also I’d point out that your defence of Dunne here tacitly acknowledges that United Future isn’t actually a genuine political party, they depend solely on him and his electorate, and so for him to be getting a “party leader” salary (and associated perks) in Parliament is a rort.

            • Pasupial 1.1.1.2.1.1

              La

              Dunne is quite equivocal in his wording, but does seem to indicate that he will be harder on NACT if Peters takes Northland. Hard to see how the government could be worse than presently with his inclusion. Sure; Key can just make every vote a C&S issue, but that’s going to look profoundly undemocratic after a while:

              Mr Dunne pointed to Resource Management reforms as one area which he could have greater influence over if National lost a seat. He said the reforms, which he has expressed concerns about, would “take on quite a different hue” if National relied on his vote to pass.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11409251

          • NZSage 1.1.1.2.2

            Spot on Lanthanide.

            Dunne knows full well it’s the National voters of Ohariu that maintain his well stocked dickie-bow wardrobe.

            Self preservation is his primary goal and the concept of doing what’s right for New Zealand is beyond his comprehension or the size of his gonads.

          • Tracey 1.1.1.2.3

            so you are saying by virtue of the alleged arrangement, Dunne MUST behave as a National party vassal despite representing the United Future Party? Fascinating.

            • Wayne 1.1.1.2.3.1

              Tracey,

              I have not said that he is a vassal. What I have said he can’t go rogue. Thats not the deal he has with National or the voters in Ohariu.

              Of course he will use his greater negotiating power to get more concessions that he thinks are reasonable (he is after all Mr Reasonable).

              I do not think that Winston winning the by-election suddenly means the govt can no longer effectively govern.

              • Clemgeopin

                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.

  2. right, so poll driven under the table hints while pretending one thing and wanting the opposite – nice, your apprenticeship is ended littlefinger

    • I really need to get on with writing that blogpost about how most people’s Game of Thrones references are really inaccurate …

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        I got the name and headshape right, he could grow a wee mo and i’m sure he’s got a moondoor somewhere

        • *sighs*

          The Moon Door doesn’t belong to Littlefinger. Littlefinger isn’t even Littlefinger’s real name. And Littlefinger is not the public head of a large political force vying for the “throne”. See what I mean?

          • marty mars 2.1.1.1.1

            doesn’t belong to him? funny he used it for his wife who it did belong to

            “After chastising Sansa Stark for kissing Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, Lysa Tully grabs Sansa and drags her before the Moon Door. Lysa pushes Sansa closer and closer to the edge, until Littlefinger arrives and tells his new wife to release her. Petyr promises never to leave her side again, and as his wife falls into his arms, he tells her he has only ever loved one woman, Cat- and then shoves Lysa out the Moon Door.[2]”

            http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Moon_Door

            as for the “not vying for the throne bit” – sure the hint hint nudge nudge of the title of this post makes me agree with you so my bad.

          • Pasupial 2.1.1.1.2

            SR

            Since he married (and murdered) Lysa, you could argue that the Moon Door is indeed the property of Petyr Baelish (technically; of his step-son and ward, but control is very close to ownership in Westeros).

            Littlefinger as a pun on Little isn’t the worst I’ve heard; after all, the majority of his followers were whores, and others easily bought for coin. I’m not saying that is an exact description of the Labour Party in 2015, but I wouldn’t trust either of them not to do what was convenient for themselves despite the consequences to others.

  3. Skinny 3

    A public U turn (commonly known as a flip flop) now is not a good idea. So a wink wink nudge nudge by the local team is the way ahead. I suspect internal polling has told Labour they will be in a battle for 3rd with ‘anti leftie love feast’ Robin Grieves from ACT.

    Willow Jean held her own on The Nation, however failed to mention the Northland Rail line and the deep water Marsden Point port. Something Peters knows gains plenty of votes from rail foamers.

  4. Patsy Dunne, not a bad name for this snout.

    Go Winston..Do national like a dinner.

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    Labour should have bloody figured this out a week ago and acted accordingly. The goal of taking a seat off National in the House should always have been the No. 1 priority.

    From September’s poll results, LAB + GR added together are more than 5000 votes behind National in the electorate. A Labour win was never on the cards.

    • Skinny 5.1

      I have to agree they should have waited to see which party’s were declaring their hand. Not bulldozed ahead, now their fucked a certain 3rd and vote splitting regardless if Little drove Willow Jeans loyal supporters to the voting booth and told them to vote Peters himself.

      • marty mars 5.1.1

        labour have blown it – weak strategy (if there even was one), weak support for supporters, no ability to talk up policies, weak leadership (if it can even be called leadership) – they can’t cut and run but instead will lie and pretend and whatever the result they will be grilled and castigated – you have to wonder who is running the show because they could have fought with pride and gumption and talked up the policies and little could have banged tables with his righteous fists and they could have smirked with winnie at anything key says – but instead… well we’ll see won’t we.

        • Adrian 5.1.1.1

          Peters could’ve helped by not waiting until the last possible moment to declare and anyhow people will figure out for themselves how to vote tactically without Labour having to undermine its own candidate. I would also like Labour to be able to keep twisting the knife over Epsom and Ohario.

          • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1.1.1

            I would also like Labour to be able to keep twisting the knife over Epsom and Ohario.

            Labour have been “twisting that knife” for a decade or more with minimal result; it might actually be time to consider a new strategy instead of the same old thing.

            • amirite 5.1.1.1.1.1

              +1,000

            • Skinny 5.1.1.1.1.2

              +1 CV
              Currently at the Whangarei anti TPPA rally. Low & behold the Force of the North bus rocks up. You got to hand it to Peters despite this not his usual crowd he fronts up to at first a luke warm clap, within 30 seconds the large crowd are all clapping, nodding in agreement “who signs an agreement where you don’t know the details.”

              Most impressed a lot of this crowd got it, the ones from the Northland electorate from the Left party’s, hearing them say “your getting my vote Winnie we want National out.” The local Greens really get it, talking to one of the leadership team they say we have to knock back the RMA and show we can work with NZF, so we have to support him.

              Went for a walk with Peters pa who I have been staying in touch with during the campaign, made some suggestions. She reports the hall in Mangawhai was full with punters waiting ( well done Alan) a huge turnout. Checked if they had eaten, not really, so we grabbed some delious hangi packs for their trip North. Had a quick chat where Peters he quizzed Labour’s tactics, lucky I seen this post so said I think there coming around, good.

              A quick pose by the bus for a photo for me and he’s off.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                who signs an agreement where you don’t know the details.”

                The line we came up with down here in Dunedin was

                Only suckers sign without seeing

              • Rosie

                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:

                http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1503/S00052/nz-first-pulls-reins-on-tppa-trojan-horse-nightmare.htm

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

    • weka 5.2

      “Labour should have bloody figured this out a week ago and acted accordingly. The goal of taking a seat off National in the House should always have been the No. 1 priority.

      From September’s poll results, LAB + GR added together are more than 5000 votes behind National in the electorate. A Labour win was never on the cards.”

      Both Labour and the GP have a major problem in that they’ve been anti-deal for so long now they’ve backed themselves into a corner. NZF too I guess. The Northland by-election just makes this issue stick out like a sore thumb. Hopefully we will get some useful public discussion as a result.

    • Tracey 5.3

      Perhaps they genuinely thought the Northlanders might flock to them instead of NZF to get that result…the poll has made them realised how wrong they were to think that? Not having hundreds of thousands to spend on a personal polster

    • Anne 5.4

      Labour should have bloody figured this out a week ago and acted accordingly. The goal of taking a seat off National in the House should always have been the No. 1 priority.

      Question:
      If a ‘simple soul’ like me could work it out without any stats to work from, why the hell couldn’t they with all the stats etc. at their fingertips?

      Answer:
      Because byelections are FPP and so they adopted a FPP mindset without recognising the public are now used to thinking in MMP terms regardless of the electoral system.

      In other words, judgement clouded by their false preconceptions and not based on voter reality. A mistake they seem to make quite often.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.4.1

        It seems to me that Wellington Labour is still stuck in an FPP mindset pretty much most of the time, unable or unwilling to nurture relationships with other parties and to signal to the electorate that they are ready to lead a tight, credible coalition government with other party leaders.

        • Skinny 5.4.1.1

          It is really disappointing when Labour drag the chain of change. For me today it has been a refreshing eye opener. The Greens and Mana in solidarity for the common good of working with NZF to despatch National. Much kudos to the local Greens who rejected HQ’s original intention to field a candidate, and the Mana candidate for choosing to not be critical of their party being [deleted] done over by Peters in the mix.

          [Typo fixed and more appropriate phrase added. TRP]

  6. Clemgeopin 6

    “John Key has realised that National are in trouble. He has now scheduled three visits to the electorate in the next two weeks”

    That can’t be true IF you believe the honest John and the truthful Nats.

    Cool bananas and bull dust.

    /john-key-to-boost-nationals-northland-byelection-campaign

  7. mary_a 7

    Not a NZ First supporter, but I hope Winston wipes the floor with Natsy patsy Osborne in Northland, while at the same time giving Key a good bruising in the what-nots, which he will feel for some time to come!

    Hope the good folk of Northland put the hard word on Key during his visits, re his and the Natsies’ neglect of the region, along with his lies re Sabin and spying issues!

    Six months down the track from the last election, I’m sure Northlanders’ eyes have been opened as to the agenda of the bunch of quislings lording it over us, disguised as the people’s representatives in this Natsy government!

    Do the right thing Northland and vote for Winston.

  8. Key’s visits give the impression of a dog getting out peeing on his territory.

    He may as well, he and his mob have been peeing on us for decades.

    (When he comes north is he going to ride up the rough roads Simon Bridges wouldn’t ride along on his recent excursion to check our terrible roading?)

    • James Thrace 8.1

      Hah!

      Key won’t go beyond Kerikeri, Russell and Paihia.
      Those are the gold plated roads.

      He may just deign to travel from Coopers over to Kaitaia, but that will be the extent of his trip north.

      I’m sure Key feels there is no point heading further north than Kaitaia where there are not that many general roll voters in existence as the majority of people in the true far North are Maori Roll voters.

      He may stop at Kawakawa for a tinkle, thus marking his assumed territory.

      I hope he talks about Roads, Roads, Roads, and ignore the klaxon of Rail Rail Rail that nigh on everyone wants in the North. Especially rail from Marsden Point to everywhere. No one wants those bloody logging trucks everywhere.

      Rail is so much more efficient to transport from the logging areas, and isn’t as bad a scar on the landscape as another fucking road would be.

      • Clemgeopin 8.1.1

        “Key won’t go beyond Kerikeri, Russell and Paihia.
        Those are the gold plated roads”

        Key is probably also calculating that Winston’s chances of winning is ZERO because his government has kept the roads in Northland in such a poor state that Winston’s big bus may really struggle to make it on many of those dodgy roads anyway!

    • Tracey 8.2

      He needs to remind the farmers up there that they will have to be environmentally mature unless the RMA changes go through… and Key knows he can’t rely on Osborne to articulate that

  9. tc 9

    Roads, education and bennie bashing the nact so love should see Winnie in and about time karma ran over the Tory dogma.

    RONS are a massive rort at the expense of rural NZ roads in general, go Winston thy timing is superb.

    • James Thrace 10.1

      His wife, Jo.

      Some people call her Jodi.

      I call her vain.

    • TE 10.2

      this is Mark Osborne’s wife Jodie
      We call her lovely,happy,helpful and a great mother,
      an asset to our community.

      • rawshark-yeshe 10.2.1

        Salt of the earth, clearly. Well, perhaps you can be happy for the community that the chances of losing her to Wellington are shrinking by the day.

        • alwyn 10.2.1.1

          I imagine that she, like most electorate MP’s wives will continue to live in the electorate.
          Do you think that Winston, were he to win, would ever appear in the electorate again, apart perhaps visiting the “bach” he is supposed to own there?
          I certainly can’t see him finding the energy to do anything useful as an electorate MP. Can you?
          Luckily that situation isn’t likely to occur.

          • Pasupial 10.2.1.1.1

            alwyn

            “Do you think that Winston, were he to win, would ever appear in the electorate again”? Yes I do, he was an effective constituent MP for Tauranga and can’t have forgotten all those skills yet. Also, he will have to fight a campaign to retain the seat in 2017, so it would be shortsighted in the extreme to not make highly visible appearances when he can. NZF will get the funding to establish and maintain an electorate office, and as a sitting MP his travel costs will be covered. I can think of a few things wrong with Peters – lack of energy is not one.

            As for; “that situation isn’t likely to occur”, have you not seen the polls? Or even; read this post, or any of the other comments on this thread? This wingnut is clearly defective and should be recalled – you can see how it is cracked if you just shine some light on it.

          • Murray Rawshark 10.2.1.1.2

            Winston has family property 200m from where I was born. You are sounding scared and bitter.

      • Clemgeopin 10.2.2

        “We call her lovely,happy,helpful and a great mother,
        an asset to our community”

        Really? jeez! That sounds like Mother Theresa! Halleluiah!
        Yes, that is a very good reason to vote for her Osborne!

        [I’m a little uncomfortable with bringing family into the debate. The photo was taken the night Mark Osborne was selected as the National candidate and that’s about the end of its relevance. Can we just concentrate on the parties, candidates and issues, please people? TRP]

        • TE 10.2.2.1

          Really? jeez! I didnt say I would vote for her husband
          I abhor national the same way I abhor people who make up their own stories with the few words I wrote. And a Mother Theresa … well there was only one!!!!

  10. Chaz 11

    Presumably before he admitted on Radio Live (hat tip Skinny) that he knew about the Sabin rumours before endorsing him to be their MP in 2014.

    This is incorrect. Did you listen to the full interview? He was confused by Plunket’s line to start with but once he understood what he was being asked he made it clear that the first time he heard about the rumours was when we all did. And as for him ‘endorsing” Sabin he also made it clear that he was treasurer of the branch and had nothing to do with Sabin’s selection.

    The headline on the Radio Live article is incorrect.

    • rawshark-yeshe 11.1

      I listened. Yes, he might have said some of those things but he made nothing very clear, as far as I’m concerned. Nice that he called Sabin to see he was ok.

      So following your logic, if Osborne finally discovers whatever the rumours and charges may or not be against Sabin, will he then rebel against his own party for keeping such secrets from the electorate ? Yeah. Nah.

      I feel sorry for him having to be such a dumbwit to satisfy Key. Good luck with that.

    • Skinny 11.2

      Thats the ratings game Media Idiots are involved in.

      Chaz if you listen carefully to that interview Osbourne if careful to say ‘I Never’ heard, however that is a weasels way of covering himself because someone is on record saying by the time we knew of further allegations Sabin was it and pulling him that late in the game was not an option. One of the local media hacks has been silenced.

      • rawshark-yeshe 11.2.1

        @skinny —

        “One of the local media hacks has been silenced.” Any further detail ???

      • Chaz 11.2.2

        OK

        I went back and listened again and and made some notes.

        — There is a bit of discussion up front about political experience.
        — Osborne appears keen to positively present himself as in the swim politically although it ios pretty clear from the interview that follows that his time as a functionary has not preapred him at all for politics.
        — Plunket the asserts that Osborne was involved in the selection of Sabin
        — Osborne denies he was involved and when questioned re-asserts that.
        — Plunket seems to realize he has his dates mixed up and changes tack onto re-selection.
        — Osborne agrees he was involved in reselection but gets cut off before he can say any more
        — Plunket jumps on that and asserts that Osborne was involved in reselection and asks if he knew of shadows hanging over Sabin.
        — Osborne – Not at all. Nothing no rumours
        — Plunket – what – you had heard no rumours?
        — Osborne agrees he had heard rumours and gets cut off again before he can explain.
        — Plunket asserts – So – You had heard heard the rumours
        — Osborne doesn’t appear to understand Plunkets questions about why he didn’t challenge Sabin on rumours
        — Plunket goes harder. Did you ask Sabin.
        — Osborne says he asked Sabin if he was OK.
        — Plunket queries why Osborne did not ask Sabin if there was anything that might damage his candidacy or the party.
        — Osborne confirms that he did not.
        — Plunket asks – why on earth not – if you had heard the rumours.
        — Osborne then clarifies when her heard rumours, from newspaper end of last year.
        — Plunket displays surprise.
        — Osborne asserts that as treasurer he did not participate in selection and attended no meetings.
        — At this point Plunket appears to accept that and moves onto other matters to do with the election

        So it seems to me that the headline is still incorrect. it was a misunderstanding that was clarified by the candidate and accepted by the interviewer. Some editor then decided to jazz up the headline with afalse leader.

        It is obvious listening to Osborne why the nats think he needs media training as an experienced interviewer like Plunket made mincemeat out of him.

        As to whether the branch selection committee did in fact know of rumours I haven’t seen any evidence of that anywhere. Not saying it isn’t possible but at this point unless anyone has got some evidence its no more than an allegation.

        What I do know is that for a candidate to be selected they need to fill out a form stating there are no hidden skeletons that would bring the party into disrepute. I’m not sure however if sitting members are required to fill out that form. reselections without a challanger are usually just rubber stamps.

        That’s the form we need to see. if it states ‘no skeletons’ then Sabin withheld information. if it states ‘yes – skeletons exist’ then the matter rests with the selection committee and ultimately the party leadership.

        As to whether Osborne would go public if he were to find out that his party selection committee did know, well that’s a pretty hard call.

        You could argue its above his pay grade and not anyway directly related to the election. it’s a governance issue at the party leadership level. I realize there are arguments against at as well.

        It would be good to see that candidacy form, if one exists.

        • Tracey 11.2.2.1

          Could you scan a copy of the form (blank form obviously) which shows they have to reveal any skeletons and send it to lprent and he can upload it here? It is good to have evidence.

          • Chaz 11.2.2.1.1

            My apologies Tracey.

            It is generally understood that all parties have such procedures but I have been unable to lay my hands on an example for the form for the Nats and it is possible (albeit unlikely) that they do not have such a procedure.

        • Skinny 11.2.2.2

          Here is an examole of small town grape vine news.

          We have been out for dinner in town, jump in a taxi, heading past the marina there is a black tie gig going on, I ask the driver what’s going on. Oh its a hob nob event, I say oh right local business & council and Nat set. Straight away she says you hear about Sabin and goes into details, my partner was shocked and turns on me “you never told me everything.” So there ya go the Nat’s are being unmasked.

          • Colonial Rawshark 11.2.2.2.1

            LOL sounds like explaining to do

            • Skinny 11.2.2.2.1.1

              Yerp she has packed a sad, the toy dog has sensed master is in the dog box and snubbed me too, I’m on the couch left listening to the Tories partying up around the corner on the mariner. Think I will I fire some left over firework down the hill on their parade

              • McFlock

                at least you can keep all her secrets, too 🙂

                • Skinny

                  No seriously my partner (gen Y female) is on to it, and the more I think about it the more anger you feel. I mean when I think back to Sabin’s forum and seeing a group of teenage girls prancing around in National party blue Tee shirts, amongst mainly balding fat cat middle aged men. The power imbalance between the two groups. Thinking back it was creepy. So one can just imagine the back slapping ‘ you hound dog comments’ from the old boys network.

                  • McFlock

                    I’ve actually resisted the urge to find out what he did or has been accused of.

                    It seems to be one of the ones with a max sentence of well over a couple of years, and his fellow nats knew of the allegations before the election, and they still put him up as candidate. Which is pretty much all I need to know at this stage, regardless of whether the charges are treason, murder, sexual, fraud, or something else.

                    But then I have a security background (amongst other hats), so knowing more restricted information than one needs to know was often a shedload more paperwork than it’s worth, and it often all comes out in the wash anyway.

                    Basically, I like the old Yes Minister thing where Bernard Wolley asks Humhrey a question, and Appleby asks “can you keep a secret?”
                    Woolley eagerly says “yes”
                    Appleby responds “so can I”, and shuts up 🙂

                  • McFlock

                    although I suspect I’ll be gobsmacked when it finally does all come out in the wash – it’s a bit like the surface currents suggest that this river is seriously, seriously deep.

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      As the whole country would have been gobsmacked if it came out prior to the election .. hence the depth of cover-up. Obviously they thought they would get away with it, specially after giving Sabin oversight over those investigating him.

                      Actually, I take great heart from the fact they have failed and Winston winning will be perfect utu. Winston is disgusted by what has happened — has made it very clear in the House.

    • Clemgeopin 11.3

      But this morning, on his pretty weak interview on The Nation on Tv3, he didn’t seem convincing about this issue at all.

      Take a look:

      http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/thenation/debate-northland-by-election-2015030710#axzz3Tgx3v8rl

      http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/thenation/debate-northland-by-election–part-two-2015030711#axzz3Tgx3v8rl

      • rawshark-yeshe 11.3.1

        On Nation, the sputtering nearly burned-out candles behind Osborne had a marvelous subliminal message.

    • Murray Rawshark 11.4

      He must have been one of the very few in Northland who hadn’t heard rumours ages before the election. Who wants an electorate MP who doesn’t have a clue what’s going on?

  11. saveNZ 12

    Good on Little for coming around.

  12. Michael 13

    If Winston is the only person who can beat the Nats in Northland and put a spoke in Honest John’s wheels then Labour must do everything it can to support him, short of flinging its candidate through the Moon Door. It’s realpolitik in action.

    • tc 13.1

      +1 but are labour capable of doing such a thing, if so then Little shows himself to be up to the task of unseating this crony corrupt DP driven regime.

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        Are Labour philosophically and psychologically ready to do such a thing? I think many Labour supporters in Northland are. As for Thorndon Labour, they’ll finally, eventually, grudgingly come around to it.

    • McFlock 13.2

      besides the fact that, unlike epsom, the northland voters might not like being played for fools, if the nats lose against a full field (as they’re polling to do now), that would be a massive bloody nose for them.

      As opposed to claiming that the only reason they lost was dity politics from the left (and we all fucking know they’d spin it that way).

  13. Penny Bright 14

    Gave it a public plug on the ‘Open Mike’ at the end of the anti-TPPA Auckland rally – outside the USA Consulate:

    STRATEGICALLY VOTE WINSTON PETERS – TO TAKE NORTHLAND OF NATIONAL!

    We all on the same page on this one now folks?

    For the ‘greater good’, in order to leave National with 59 out of 121 MPs – PLEASE Northland Labour Party members / supporters ‘do an Epsom’ and vote for Winston Peters?

    In my view – the less votes obtained by Willow-Jean Prime, the more that will show Labour’s commitment to serving the interests of the majority of New Zealanders.

    This Northland by-election is WAY bigger than Northland!

    Help spread the word folks, and imagine the look on John Key’s face – when Winston Peters WINS Northland!

    Who do YOU know in Northland to help spread the message?

    Penny Bright

  14. Clemgeopin 15

    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.

    * YEAH, RIGHT!

    “Quite clearly you know, Winston Peters is the fly in the ointment if you like in so much that all of the opposition parties are going to (gather) around Winston Peters so that makes our job harder,” Key said on Saturday during a tour of the region.

    * RIGHT!

    Peters would create challenges for the party because by-elections historically have had low voter turnout and Greens, Labour and Mana voters would likely give protest votes to New Zealand First, he said.

    * Yes! And that is a positive!

    ————-

    But what Key has not realised yet is that the ‘protest vote’ is happening because the PEOPLE, including the traditional National and RW voters are beginning to discern that Key and National are not honest and trustworthy.

  15. I would LOVE Winston to win northland. It would be fantastic. However I’m too much of a realist to really think he will.

    Because of the tv3 poll national will throw everything at this bielection, and given the voter apathy as well, business/farmers will carry the day as usual. National will win.

    But please Winston, prove me wrong.

  16. Murray Rawshark 17

    I think Key going up north could backfire badly. People up there know he protected Sabin and his being there will rub it in their faces. Many previous National voters will be disgusted and go for Winnie.

  17. saveNZ 18

    Poor John Key has to go further than Omeha, three times!

    Where does the holiday highway go to again? And did it get built or is it just one of the many unfinished roading projects around that are clogging up traffic for years?

    I guess Key will fly there anyway, roads are for losers.

    Public transport even bigger losers. Under National policy.

    It is not about the road, but the money for the road going to their mates. How many completed roads in Northland and how many promises for Roads?

    Is there still a train?

  18. Melanie Scott 19

    Here’s my 2 cents worth – I live just outside Mangawhai and was at the local farmers market and able to see and hear Winston and his audience. He was well received and pressed all the right local buttons – lack of railway to Marsden Point for heavy transport, no money spent on roads or other infrastructure, general neglect of Northland by National govts and the regions in general since the days of Holyoake, Marshall and even Bolger. Stop sales of land and other NZ assets overseas and concern about growing national debt. Only detractors seemed to be the rich holiday home owners from Auckland who of course won’t be elligible to vote in this by election as they all vote in Epsom, Auckland Central etc. (Ha ha). Another good joke was all the twee little teenagers with expensive hair cuts and nice manners, wearing shorts and bright blue, brand new t-shirts with the National Party logo working their way through the crowd with cheery greetings and Nact fliers. Never seen any of them up here before, they looked very out of place. Then the National band wagon moved on to Mangawhai Heads where they had taken over the main coffee shop/restaurant so locals couldnt use it for their Sunday morning cappucinos. Not sure how that went down.
    One local woman did her nut at John Key who was lurking round the corner while Winston was holding court on the village hall steps. Couldn’t hear what it was all about but one of the well heeled townies ‘in town’ for the weekend told her to “get a job”. To which she replied “I’ve got two!” I would have liked to ask, why did she need two? Was it because of the miserable minimum wage and/or zero hours employment polices?
    I think Winston could just do it, if the voters hold their nerve.

    • veutoviper 19.1

      Very informative comment, Melanie – thanks.

      Some of us here from other parts of the country really appreciate hearing from people such as yourself who live and vote in Northland – and need to listen to you people rather than pontificating from afar.

      • Melanie Scott 19.1.1

        Thanks, I appreciate that.

        • rawshark-yeshe 19.1.1.1

          hi melanie .. not asking any details, but are there rumours in mangawhai about sabin and reasons for the by-election ? just curious to know from the grass roots how far it reaches … thx.

  19. Melanie Scott 20

    Yes I think there have been conversations, but I am not aware of many details. I did hear that someone who used to be closely associated with Sabin ( who doesn’t live in Mangawhai, but further north) referred to him in very negative terms (sorry I won’t say anything more specific, for their sake). And I gather also that some of his ex-colleagues from a previous occupation – if you follow me – do not have a high opinion either. I think that there are people in the Whangarei area who would know more about the reasons for the by-election. (I know it’s a different electorate, but it’s still part of the Northland community.

  20. SMILIN 21

    Going to love this Keys on the run I might just foot trip him as he tries to run like its Auckland with all its upper crust benefits or just give him a good northland time lag should bring him down to earth about how big an electorate it is up here

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