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Strong field emerges for Labour

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, August 12th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: by-election, rumour - Tags: , , , , ,

Idle speculation about possible contenders to be the Labour candidate in a by-election seems to be the most important issue of the day. The Herald lists four possibilities:

  • Taima Fagaloa, Porirua City Councillor, Pacific Health Director and Capital & Coast District Health Board member.
  • Porirua Deputy Mayor Litea Ah Hoi.
  • Former Progressive candidate and Labour supporter Josie Pagani.
  • and journo-turned Labour spin doctor Kris Faafoi.

I also heard the LEC chair is in the running. Not sure if that’s Fagaloa.

A good field to choose from.

I was impressed by Pagani’s appearance on Backbenches in 2008, although she was never going to get far as the Progressive’s candidate for Otaki.

Fagaloa and Ah Hoi are both well respected in the local community. They have fought unpopular right-wing mayor Jenny Brash on many issues – Ah Hoi has even won praise from David Farrar for doing so.

I’m not sure if Faafoi would be a more valuable asset where he is but no doubt he would be a finer campaigner too.

Seems like National is stuck with Hekia Parata. She’s said she wants the candidancy and not giving it to her after giving it to her in the general election would be a public slap in the face akin to the one they gave poor Ravi Musuku in Mt Albert, effectively it would be the end of her political career.

Parachuting in one of the PI ex-All Blacks the Herald and National have been grooming to run next year would just look too cynical but sticking with Parata isn’t exactly going to be plain sailing either. Vernon Small alludes to her potential for self-combustion today, calling it the “Melissa Lee syndrome”.

It’s all idle speculation for the moment. And, as we watch the international markets plunge, again, on fears of a second recession, there are surely bigger things to discuss. But make no mistake – when this campaign does get underway it will be a test of National’s delivery on its promises against the vision Labour offers. Which side emerges victorious will be telling.

15 comments on “Strong field emerges for Labour”

  1. Shazzadude 1

    Litea Ah Hoi would be an interesting choice. She\’s very popular in Eastern Porirua and would ensure victory in Mana, but would she be too loose a cannon for Goff?

    I think not selecting a Pacific Island candidate runs the risk of a low voter turnout from the Pacific Island community, thereby opening the door for the National candidate.

  2. Claudia 2

    There are other issues involved as well, see ..


  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    I disgaree witht he first part of Small’s article (warning: threadjack ahead).

    He claims Laban’s having forced a byelection means Labour will have to soft-peddle on Carter for fear of being seen to have caused two expensive polls.

    I think the electorate is sophisticated enough to see that Laban opted to put her own career first (and I accept she’s in a “damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t” position with regards to resigning her seat) and thus some blame attaches to Labour; but that if Carter is disciplined and behaves childishly by throwing his toys out of the cot then the blame falls entirely on his shoulders.

    I guess to redeem myself I had best comment on the Mana (potential) candidate line up 😛

    While all look to be strong contenders, on the face of it Fagaloa (whom I hadn’t heard of till now) and Ah Hoi (about whom I know a bit) look to be the most deserving. They’re clearly – from the posirions they currently hold – a match in ability and intelligence for the other two, but have worked for and amongst the people of the electorate they hope to represent.

    All other things being equal, local roots should prevail, IMHO. And I’m not speaking from a tactical perspective (though of course there are those advantages) but because I think people should, where possible, be represented by someone who has lived and worked amongst them for some time. That way the newly minted MP is less lilkely to forget who are their real masters.

  4. I’m not sure if Faafoi would be a more valuable asset where he is but no doubt he would be a finer campaigner too.

    oh please dont tell me he’s responsible for writing Goff’s atrocious soundbites cos they sound like english isn’t his first language but rather cyberman speak is…

    I think the electorate is sophisticated enough to see that Laban opted to put her own career first

    career ???..she had a career in politics by remaining as a silent and invisible Pasifikan….jeez 140 k a year to smile and be brown, where do i sign up ?

    i guess the shine wore off once she lost her Minister of PI affairs title, the mana that went with it, not to mention the baubles, and she was tasked with the job of holding the gov’t to account.

    She shoulda nailed Te Heu Heu on the PEDA LTD affair seeing as how it was her gig.

    I think the electorate is sophisticated enough to know that when the going gets tough, the not so tough take a cushy job in academia…

    oh well at least it Looks like Taima Fagaloa has principles worth admiring


    • bbfloyd 4.1

      hi pollywog.. i’m assuming that you did go and get that information you talked of yesterday. ’cause if you didn’t then this is just more small talk.
      if i was of a mind to indulge in that kind of character assassination, then the same assessment could be applied to Taima Fagaloa as you have made of Laban.
      i know your smarter than that. don’t let the side down cuz!

      • pollywog 4.1.1

        i’m assuming that you did go and get that information you talked of yesterday.

        eagerly awaiting an early response…bbf

        so what ? did Tagaloa also take the soft option of…’those that can’t, teach’ ?

        captcha : boats ( fresh off or based on a true story ?)

  5. Oscar 5

    The LEC chair is currently Labans husband – Peter Swain, so no, I don’t think he would be running.

    Ah Hoi is not well liked in Porirua at all. If she was selected, you can bet your sweet bippy that Parata would probably end up winning as apart from Cannons Creek, there’s no one in their right mind who would vote that Ah Hoi woman – especially after her diabolical performance as Deputy Mayor. Her comments blaming St John Ambulances for Cherish’s death, that all Porirua residents are “lacking in financial intelligence hence why loan sharks are predominant in Porirua”, and that “pakeha have a lot to learn from pacific peoples” show her for what she is – a loudmouth without a brain.

    Fagaloa has upset many in the area for her decision to move to Wellington, and run for council there. So she wouldn’t be a good choice.

    Kris Fa’afoi? He’s got the “celebutard” element to his name.

    Brash as mayor is not unpopular. She’s done many good things for Porirua City, and the city is far better for her leadership and direction, which can only be continued by upcoming young visionaries.

    In any regards, Mana barely breaks the 20% mark for maori/islanders, so why is there such a need to make sure that it’s a brown face in the electorate?
    You could peddle a banana with a red hat on as candidate, it’d still win.

    • Rex Widerstrom 5.1

      Wasn’t aware Fagaloa had decided to carpetbag in Wellington, In that case that negates my “local roots” positions as regards her. Though I guess no one could have predicted Laban’s decision… not even Andrew Little, evidently.

      I agree Ah Hoi’s comments on St John Ambulance were incredibly stupid. I’m guessing she felt angry and was looking for someone to blame, but while that might be understandable from a grieving family member when you’re a politician it’s unacceptable.

      But you mean you don’t think Porirua residents (and the poor generally) are “lacking in financial intelligence”, allowing loan sharks to flourish? Not because poor = dumb but because it’s easy to simply become overwhelmed by demands for your money when you don’t have any, and just avoid it all till the situation gets worse. And because consumer credit law is often not well understood. That’s why so many community organisations run budget advice services: to provide “financial intelligence” to people in trouble.

      And as for the assertion that Pakeha could learn a lot from Pasifika peoples; they could. I did, living alongside and being friends with many in Wainuiomata. Equally I think they could learn from us, just as any race can learn from another. It’s just that it tends to be mainly some Pakeha who need reminding of that fact.

      • Oscar 5.1.1

        When you’re a politician, acting as the family spokesperson getting quoted as the deputy mayor, it’s beyond unacceptable.

        Loan sharks appear wherever there is financial trouble in the area. While I thought it was great Ah Hoi canvassed for Beaumonts bill, her comments around it left a sour taste in mine, and others mouths. She basically intimated that all people who lived in Porirua were poor, dumb and brown.
        Of course, she does live in a silo in Cannons Creek, and forgets about those other places in Porirua that begin with P.

  6. Irascible 6

    Perhaps Labour could consider Koro Tawa as a candidate in Mana. He performed very well in the last election campaigning in Botany. He has loads of credibility within the Party as well.

  7. Fisiani 7

    What a crock.”Which side emerges victorious will be telling”. Laban has a 6,000 plus majority. No matter what trade union/civil servant/rainbow/gayrights token Pasifika drongo Labour select they should still increase the majority to 7,000 plus in mid term during the worst recession in living memory. National will of course still handsomely win in 2011 because Phil is a nice guy but as everyone knows he cannot win. That is exactly WHY we have to have a by-election. Sinking ship?

    • lprent 7.1

      Personally I’m just waiting to see DPF proclaim that Mana is as winnable as he thought Mt Albert was…

      But it is a by-election – damn near anything can happen.

      I was thinking that I might have a wee break from my current project closer to the election myself and go and lend a hand (assuming I make the rest of the software for the project move as fast as I think it will, and have to wait for the hardware engineers to catch up).

    • loota 7.2

      No matter what trade union/civil servant/rainbow/gayrights token Pasifika drongo Labour select they should still increase the majority to 7,000 plus in mid term during the worst recession in living memory.

      The recession has barely got going. 6 months from now it will really be hitting.

      Wait for john Key to call a late election in the hope that we will be clear of it.

      National will of course still handsomely win in 2011 because Phil is a nice guy but as everyone knows he cannot win. That is exactly WHY we have to have a by-election. Sinking ship?

      Election next year will not be about Phil it will be about the recession and the economy.

    • Armchair Critic 7.3

      Sinking ship?
      Economy heading south, National doing nothing to stop it, yeah, sounds like a sinking ship to me. May your best hallucinogens help you believe that a poor economy works in favour of the incumbent government.

    • Mac1 7.4

      Ya forgot the teachers/academics/university lecturers in your selection, Fizzy. Half of NZ included there, overall. You really have a problem with stereotypes, old son.

      What will be telling will be the size of the victory. How much of a message the people of Mana want to send. And if all the teachers/trade unionists, civil servants, rainbow, gayrights and Pasifika peoples vote the way that will send a message to this drongo government. The drongoes can vote for their own.

      Phil is a nice guy. I’ve met him. It really is a telltale when people say that people are too nice for politics or to be a leader. Niceness has nothing to do with courage, intelligence or determination. It has nothing to do with decisiveness or will. It has to do with empathy and the virtues, with charm and sensitivity. These are characteristics of Phil Goff.

      This damning with faint praise and scorn is the same tactic used against Bill Rowling, Fizzy. Some of us have living memories that can remember such tactics. I wonder when the cossacks will dance again, in another form.

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