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Te Tai Tokerau by election 25th June

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, May 12th, 2011 - 68 comments
Categories: by-election, labour, mana-party, Maori Issues, maori party - Tags: ,

So now we have a date for what promises to be a fascinating by election:

Prime Minister John Key has announced the date for a by-election in Te Tai Tokerau will be Saturday June 25.

The by-election follows the resignation of Independent MP Hone Harawira.

“The by-election Writ day will be Wednesday 25 May. The last day for candidate nominations to be received will be Tuesday 31 May and the last day for the return of the Writ will be Thursday 14 July.”

Who will get the Maori Party nomination? Will National bother to stand? Voice of Reason notes in comments, Hone has till 31 May get his 500 members or he’ll have to run as an independent.

Update: The new Mana Party apparently has 700 members and is to be registered today.

68 comments on “Te Tai Tokerau by election 25th June ”

  1. NickC 1

    National hasn’t stood in a Maori electorate for as long as I can remember. Doubt this will be an exception.

  2. Rich 2

    I think Don Brash stopped them from standing from 2005, and John Key hasn’t changed that policy.

    Or indeed, reversed the policy of abolishing the Maori seats altogether – it’s just been deferred. It’s surprising that this doesn’t give the Maori Party cause for concern, but clearly BMWs are that much of a draw.

  3. Toby Keith 3

    Hone will win hands down, people love playing the vicitim game.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      people love playing the vicitim game.

      Actually the vast majority of people prefer not to be victimised to start with asshole

      Unless you think that being a victim ignored by the rest of society is just another “lifestyle choice”?

      • Toby Keith 3.1.1

        I think you missed my point, Hone is calling his base victims, and they beleive him, so they will lap up anythign he says and they will vote for him.

  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    As of 4pm today the Electoral Office has not received an application to register the Mana Party . They tell me that it takes 4-6 weeks to process the application, including checking the bona fides of the 500 members and a public consultation on the name, so it may not be done in time for the by-election. I gather, this doesn’t stop Hone standing under the name ‘Mana Party’ however. Even though, without the registration, he remains technically an independent MP should he win.
     
    The cut off date for voter registration is May 25. Anyone enrolled after that will have to cast a special vote. I think that presents a real problem for Hone, in that his younger supporters may not bother to enrol in such a short space of time.

    • r0b 4.1

      Interesting VoR, thanks for that.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Harawira’s party might miss by-election

      The electoral commission tonight announced it had received an application to register the Mana Party, which would take 6 to 8 weeks to process.

      But the Prime Minister today announced the by-election will take place on June 25th, just more than six weeks away, which could mean the party won’t be registered in time.

      It seems that the Electoral Commission has found another couple of weeks to tack on to the time.

      • The Voice of Reason 4.2.1

        To be fair, the time thing might be my error. I didn’t take notes, but 6 weeks was definitely mentioned. Either way, it’s not a good look and an indication of what a tough job it is setting up a party to a deadline. Getting 500 members is a significant milestone, so good on them for getting that done. As I said earlier, Hone can campaign under the Mana Party banner anyway, so game on.
         
         

        • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1

          Looks like they really need to have more than just 500 on the books, though, because the electoral commission has to actually check if they’re eligible.

          • The Voice of Reason 4.2.1.1.1

            The article in the post update claims 700, which I guess allows some slack for some rejected names. I’d also guess they’d be allowed time to get more if they fell just short, but that would almost certainly put the registration out past the by-election, which would make Hone an independent MP if he won. Just like now.
             
            That’s a lot of dosh blown just to preserve the status quo.

            • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Technically he would be an independent, yes, but everyone knows he’s standing for the Mana party and would vote that way.

              Really it’d just be an embarrassment that he let the whole damn thing take this long to be organised. But in this case I don’t think that it really matters – yes he’s a bit bumbling, but it wouldn’t have been the first thing he screwed up, and frankly you can view it as “the white man’s system” that he’s just jumping hoops through as required.

  5. Shazzadude 5

    Yep, 2002 was the last year National ran candidates in the Maori seats, and it’s now their policy not to.

    It will be interesting to see how close Kelvin runs Hone, and how much of the vote the Maori Party get. I’m picking a distant humiliating third, maybe 16%.

    Of course, don’t be surprised if their announcing to stand was just a trick to bait Hone into definitely calling a by-election, and then not standing a candidate after all. If Kelvin eliminates Hone, it makes it harder for Hone to split the vote in the seats the Maori Party currently hold as he won’t have the parliamentary funding etc. at the general election.

  6. Terry 6

    By Election
    1st Mana
    2nd Labour
    3rd Maori Party

    Kelvin has no chance … labour party policy don’t give him the room to capture enough votes, and why vote for Kelvin he is already in next term at 23 on the list.

    We want more Maori in Parliament not less, a vote for Mana is for more Maori in Parliament and a vote for the Labour or the Maori Party will lead to less.

    In the last Election Hone had a 32% mayority over Kelvin. If Kelvin wants a mandate he should also stand down from the Parliament, and remove himself from the list for the general election to test his mandate at this by election. I doubt he would.

    The Maori Party cant find any body that has a chance all the names mention so far are not electable. Why is the Maori Party waiting two weeks, I think they are finding it hard to find a credible candidate for the by election.

    Hone went from 51% of the vote in 2005 to 60.3% in 2008 an increase of nearly 10%. While the Maori Party vote went from 31.6% in 2005 to 30.3% in 2008 a decrease of 1.3%.

    The Maori Party was an “aspirational party” over the Foreshore and Seabed the issue is over in the Maori party eyes and so is the soul of the party.

    I heard a speech from Minister Sharples where he was concerned the TV commentators pronounced Maori words wrong, but took the time to correctly pronounce names in other overseas languages.

    The Maori Party shall learn that its great if they pronounce Maori correctly, but hey most Maori would not really care if they cant afford to live.

    Mana offers hope to a lot of Maori and other New Zealanders that the Maori Party does not in policy and their support for National and Act.

    The Maori Party is history within the next two election cycles.
     

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      In the case of an overhang party like the Maori Party, looking at the Party Vote really doesn’t tell you anything, especially when the change is a miniscule 1.3%.

      Now comparing Labour vs Maori vs Mana electorate vote this time, and again the party vote at the election, will be a lot more informative.

      • Terry 6.1.1

        Lanthanide

        The point is in the Electorate vote Hones personal vote increased by about 10% while at the same time the maori party vote dropped by 1.3% in his electorate.

        Therefore the trend would suggest that Hone has risen in popularity and the maori party was trending down in support.

        That was before the seabed and foreshore national legislation and it is not that popular up north here.

        Any maori party candidate shall struggle to get half the votes of Davis and thats with Davis second.

        Davis is in the race to run a good second and help profile labour leading into the election.

        It will be interesting to see if labours campaign shall be to the maori electorate or to the general electorate.

        There is no National candidate so labours message may be over the top of the feelings within the electorate.
         
        I dont think there is a party vote in the by election?
         

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          “The point is in the Electorate vote Hones personal vote increased by about 10% while at the same time the maori party vote dropped by 1.3% in his electorate.”

          Yes, that is factually correct.

          “Therefore the trend would suggest that Hone has risen in popularity and the maori party was trending down in support.”

          I don’t agree. A change of 1.3% really is margin of error / noise and I don’t really think it’s clear enough for any specific conclusions to be drawn. Maybe the 1.3% lower votes decided to split their vote and give it to Labour, because they really wanted a Labour-led government? Maybe the 1.3% lower votes was simply because the specific demographic who party-vote Maori didn’t bother voting at the last election – it was a low turnout remember.

          “I dont think there is a party vote in the by election?”

          Correct, there is not. My point is that the previous election really isn’t very relevant to the upcoming by-election because so much has changed. The electorate votes in this by-election will be illuminating, as will the party-vote at the upcoming general election.

  7. FromTheSidelines 7

    “We want more Maori in Parliament not less, a vote for Mana is for more Maori in Parliament”
    The last time I looked, Mana was offering itself as a party of the left – not a party to represent Maori.

    • todd 7.1

      The left represent Maori interests to a far greater degree than the present Maori party, so a vote for the left wing te Mana party (although not strictly only a vote for more Maori in Parliament), is a vote to help Maori and other disaffected groups within society. It is also a vote to help ensure that those who will become disaffected under Nationals repressive policies, will retain or improve their current situations. The reason the right wing hate Hone, is because he stands up for the little guy… The same little guy the Natz love to ostracize, blame and bully. In my opinion, the colour of somebodies skin has little to do with a persons credibility, which Hone has in spades.

    • Terry 7.2

      I think to date the two possible candidates for the Mana Party are Hone and Annette Sykes.

      I think they are allowed to represent Maori just as Pita and the other one that announced was she was resigning from Parliament but didnt follow through with it.

      She should have gone it may have ultimately saved the Maori Party like Hide with Act.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        “was she was resigning from Parliament but didnt follow through with it.”

        Well she said she wasn’t going to stand at the next election, due to health reasons. Not quite the same as “resigning from Parliament” which would indicate she was leaving early.

        • Terry 7.2.1.1

          Is she standing in the next elections?

          If she is may I suggest the reason being, that the Maori Party brand would struggle to hold the seat without the her being the candidate.

          The point was not her leaving early but saying one thing and doing another. She and Sharples want to come back to the baubles of Office.

          Hone said he would resign and a lot of people said he would not but guess what he did.

          • Lanthanide 7.2.1.1.1

            It’s not just a cut and dried case of “saying one thing and doing another”, though.

            She clearly said she wasn’t going to stand for parliament because of personal health reasons. She then went and got a stomach banding and has lost huge amounts of weight, and so her health has improved to the point where she now feels she can continue on.

            Did she get the stomach banding simply because she wanted to continue working for the Maori Party and knew she was the only one who could hold the electorate? It’s probably part of the reason, but I’d say not wanting to die young, and having a better quality of life, would also be a large part of it.

            • Terry 7.2.1.1.1.1

              She can have the operation and not come back, im sure her operation was not conditional on her returning to Parliament thats my point.

              Of cause she has a right to not die young, and have a better quality life. Im sorry there is no way that i intended  that at all.

              • Lanthanide

                Sure, I agree. But I don’t think this is really a clear-cut case of saying one thing and doing another.

    • lprent 8.1

      You are an epic fool? It is a electorate campaign with no party vote for the Mana party. It doesn’t even make a difference for the Maori party vote from last time because of the overhang. If Kelvin Davis wins it as the Labour candidate makes no difference to Labour in the house.

      It is a electorate byelection campaign – there is no party spending component on top of Electorate campaigns.

      This is a pure FPP at any legal level. The only way it could make a difference to party votes is if Kelvin Davis chooses to stand as an independent or a sitting National MP dares to stand for the seat.

      • Samuel Hill 8.1.1

        Well sorry if I offended you.

        But I only posted this because I understand it to mean that Hone Harawira will not be able to stand in the by-election under the ‘Mana’ Party banner, am I right?

        • lprent 8.1.1.1

          No. He could use almost ANY party name he liked for this byelection including “Mana Party” or “No Sellouts party”. The party being valid is only relevant when it comes to party votes and election funding. Neither are an issue in this by election.

          It is possible that I am incorrect in my reading of the acts. In which case I will get corrected by the many lawyers. But it is unlikely.

      • Alwyn 8.1.2

        Isn’t the relevant point that if the Mana party doesn’t get registered, and Hone wins, that he will simply be an independent MP, just as he is now.
        He wouldn’t get a party leaders salary, which wouldn’t matter very much, but far more importantly he won’t get a party leaders budget which is a hell of a lot more money which I’m sure they will want for the election campaign.
        If Davis wins it for Labour he becomes an electorate MP, resigns from his list seat and I think that Labour get to replace him from their list. I’m not certain of this but I think that is the situation and therefore Labour would get an extra member in the house.
        Any lawyer reading this who knows the electoral act?

        • Samuel Hill 8.1.2.1

          I was gonna wait for lprent to reply. But since somebody else has jumped in..

          The point I was leading too is that, if Mana don’t get registered in time, doesn’t this just mean that we will have $500,000 of tax-payers money wasted on a by-election to elect and independent MP who is already an independent MP?

          • Carol 8.1.2.1.1

            But if Hone got elected as a Maori MP, then became an Independent MP, can’t he get elected as an Independent MP, campaigning on the fact he will be a Mana MP, then change to being a Mana MP once it’s registered? And once he’s a Mana MP can’t he be selected as a leader?

            • Samuel Hill 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Doesn’t that just make this pointless then? He can say he is in Mana already.

            • Alwyn 8.1.2.1.1.2

              In a sense he can, in that he can call himself anything he likes.
              However he won’t be recognised as a party leader and for all practical purposes he will be treated as if he is an independent MP with none of the financial benefits or status as being a party leader.
              This includes staff, questions etc. Parliaments rules will take no notice of the fact that AFTER the election he became a party leader

          • Terry 8.1.2.1.2

            Samuel Hill 8.1.2.1

            The point I was leading too is that, if Mana don’t get registered in time, doesn’t this just mean that we will have $500,000 of tax-payers money wasted on a by-election to elect and independent MP who is already an independent MP?
            Answer:
            Hone is seeking a mandate for himself and Mana he does not need a piece of paper to do that in the by election.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.2.2

          The party vote determines the total number of MPs in parliament for that party. First all electorate MPs take seats, and then the list is read in-order to make up the numbers.

          So if there are 30 electorate MPs and 10 list MPs for a total of 40, and one of those list MPs then win an electorate seat, the total number of MPs stays at 40, and we simply end up with 31 electorate MPs and 9 list MPs – the 1 ‘new’ electorate MP is simply the same list MP that was already in parliament, there are no new entrants in this case.

          If Labour wins the seat and Hone loses, it means we’d go from a parliament of 122 (2 overhang) to a parliament of 121 (1 overhang). This would technically make the National government stronger as it would increase their majority, although in practice there’d be no difference whatsoever.

        • lprent 8.1.2.3

          Isn’t the relevant point that if the Mana party doesn’t get registered, and Hone wins, that he will simply be an independent MP, just as he is now.
          He wouldn’t get a party leaders salary,

          Nope. The funding happens from when the party is registered. That can be before or after the by-election, or even if one did not happen. The only requirements are that he’s a sitting electorate MP and the party is registered

          Why don’t you read the acts, or at least the elections.org website to dispel your myths.

          • Lanthanide 8.1.2.3.1

            But surely they need to have an elected member of parliament that belongs to that party – otherwise anyone could set up a “political party” and get “funding” for whatever they want?

            The whole point here is that Hone may end up being elected as an Independent and therefore not a member of the Mana Party (because it didn’t exist when he was elected). Whether he can transfer from Independent to Mana Party after the fact and then get funding as such is the question.

          • Alwyn 8.1.2.3.2

            I don’t think you are correct on this.

            Graeme Edgeler discussed this on his Legal Beagle blog and said that you cannot just create a party after you are in Parliament and then claim the party leader’s budget.
            You must be elected to Parliament representing that party at either a general or a by-election.

            Also I think that if you are elected to an Electoral seat and then resign your list seat you can be replaced, as it is the number of list seats that is determined after a General election. This came up in Mana when Hekia Parata stood. I can’t find a reference unfortunately.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.3.2.1

              Well, technically, he’s campaigning as the leader of a registered party. The registration papers were submitted today that means, IMO, that the party came into being today. How long the confirmation takes to validate that party should make no difference to that initial registration date.

            • lprent 8.1.2.3.2.2

              Ah, having read Graham’s post and his followup I think you are right. It runs on what parliaments standing order 34 is and if it defines a party.

              But what is a parliamentary political party? These instruments don’t say.  The best bet seems to be the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives. Standing Order 34(1) states:

              34 Recognition of parties
              (1) Every party in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.

              Note that the last bit of this effectively prohibits MPs from leaving their parties and setting up new parties for the money. For this reason, MPs like Gordon Copeland, and Phillip Field weren’t recognised as representing the Kiwi Party or the Pacific Party while in Parliament (and didn’t qualify for the higher salary or funding). Recognition as a party in Parliament affects in a number of things: the method of voting during party votes, membership of the Business Committee, rights to speak in response to ministerial statements and others.

              So parliament defines what a party is in relation to parliamentary expenditures.

              On the unregistered party question, in Graham’s second post.

              4. If Hone wins the by-election as a candidate for an unregistered Mana Party, then the Mana Party MAY be entitled to party funding in Parliament.
              5. Point 4 turns on a new question of interpretation: if parliamentary authorities adopt the same definition of the word party as is used in the Electoral Act, then the Mana Party will NOT be entitled to party funding in Parliament. Electoral Act provisions are used in determining related matters, but it has not been categorically determined whether they also apply to the definition of party in this context.

              Bearing in mind that the six week delay in registering a party is almost entirely from the electoral commission checking, I would say that there is a pretty good argument for backdating it.

              • lprent

                I’m also surprised that what a party is depends on a standing order and is not in statute. But thinking it through, most of the remunerations and rights for parties is actually internal to the parliamentary budget. Perhaps this should be more clearly defined in statute since with the advent of MMP parties are actually important electorally.

                A party is defined in the electoral acts, but only for the purposes of election note counting and campaigning expenses. It is not defined in statute for payments to parties or what most of their rights are in
                Parliament

                • Alwyn

                  I followed up on the second part of my comment about whether Labour would get another member if Kelvin Davis won. Actually I asked it in a Kiwiblog posting which I had seen that Graeme Edgeler was following and he responded.
                  If Davis wins, and resigns his List seat before the writs are issued there will be a List vacancy that Labour will fill. Davis will then take his seat as an Electorate MP. Since I doubt they are so stupid as to not have him resign in time they WILL pick up another seat.

                  • lprent

                    Seems unlikely. Labour has less electorate MP’s than their party percentage allows.

                    Ummm – I see (after a bit of thinking). It is the question of what happens when a list MP is seated in parliament. There is no provision for reducing the number of seated list MP’s when a new electorate MP wins in a by-election. So if Kelvin wins, steps down as a list MP before writ day, and the next on the list is put into the house – then that person will not be removed when Kelvin is seated as an electorate MP.

                    Interesting. But really a bit moot in terms of passing legislation between now and the general election.

                    • Alwyn

                      It might be moot in terms of legislation in the house but –
                      1) It probably gives the party a bit more money in the leader’s budget which they might find, if the rumours about party finances have any reality, very useful in the election.
                      2) Judith Tizard has to be the first list candidate asked. It doesn’t matter that she turned it down last time. We can have another Dame Nellie Melba type “absolutely last final appearance” as she publicly anguishes over it!

            • joe90 8.1.2.3.2.3

              I’m particularly intrigued by the NWO

              My favoutite NWO policies.

              Cocaine shipments to New Zealand. New Zealand doesnt have cocane here stop holding out on us.

              Feed the birds, if they dont survive we are stoffed.

              Freedom of speech.

              Anti smacking.

              No bickering.

              Don’t touch me policy.

              Anti violence.

              No excuse policy.

              There is a God. But All Relgion is False Religion.

              Free car parking.

              Don’t hold the line up at the traffic lights, when the lights go green everybody must put their foot down at the same time so that we can get a thousand cars through the green light.

              Bonds are not an extra income for landlords.

              Martin Suggestse that there be a 24/7 Supermarket in every world international city territory.

              Reintroduce tobacco companies sponsership for the v8 supercars, and the formula one.

              The government department the electoral commission should have a 0800 phone number.

              Hobo’s and bad buzzes will not be allowed to gate crash the party and the parliament piss ups.

              Legalize most of all the illegal drugs World Wide, the only thing is the police wont have a job supervising and disciplining users.

              . etc etc

      • Terry 8.1.3

        Im sorry,

        I only mentioned the party vote to put the by election into perspective.

        That the Maori Party brand shall play a greater role that any individual candiadate they stand in the by election.

        Hone may lose some support for not being part of the Maori Party brand, but it shall be minimal and compensated in other demographics.

        Labours attempt to hold the middle ground in the by election may lose those of the left fraction of Labour voters.

        Further, the Mana party may end up being a vehicle for mainstream left voters to have some control of the policy direction of their own Labour Party.

        It is quite clear that a number of labour voters voted for hone in the elections.

        The party vote helps the insight to the electorates mind. Maori are strategic voters in the electorate.

        Why vote for Kelvin come general election if he is already in? 

        I can only see the Labour Party vote decreasing in the electorate with the split between the Maori Party and Mana.

        In effect if Kelvin did win we would lose a local Maori MP.
        And served by Phil Heatly, some ex Meth cop, Kelvin, and why not have another.

        • lprent 8.1.3.1

          I wasn’t getting at you. I was irritated by SH’s comment about the Mana party that I replied to. Your comment much further up was sort of relevant

  8. Rodel 9

    Is Don putting up a candidate? Democracy at work and all that? Ehhh!

  9. Irascible 10

    For anyone to believe that Mana will be a party of the left is to remain in the land where peole believe that John Key is an honest politician and keeps his election promises.
    Mana is a party of the self interested focused entirely on the actions of Hone Harawira whose ability to remain consistent is as constant as that of John Key and whose belief system comes from the figure head’s disillusionment with Turiana Turia rather than principled policy.
    I’m sorry to disillusion those who see the Mana Party as a saviour of the left. It isn’t. it is and will remain a reactionary conservative party that will act as a drag on any socio-economic reform movement in New Zealand.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      With Sue Bradford and Matt McCarten on the team, I think Mana is more than just a Hone party. They also say the same. Now maybe over time they’ll be disillusioned and quit, but at the moment it seems that Those In The Know think that it isn’t just a Hone vehicle.

      • Irascible 10.1.1

        At the moment they “who know” think that Mana might be a vehicle for the radical left. Their mistake is to attempt to build a credible political vehicle around a single object – Hone Harawira – whose political antecedents are born from the reactionary conservative roots of his mother and his own disillusionment with the Maori Party and the leadership of Turiana Turia whose own antecedents were born of her intense dislike of Helen Clark rather than reasoned principles.

    • Terry 10.2

      I think it is fair to say Matt is of the left, Annette from my dealings fit with the left, Syd Kepa another figure who is from the CTU and NDU I would suggest left, opposition to 90 days left. Im sure Mana fits into the left, whereas the Maori Party doesnt easily at all.

  10. FromTheSidelines 11

    Sooooooo……… As sayings seem to go.
    A vote for Hone is a vote for Titewhai.

  11. Shazzadude 12

    Presuming Hone wins this by-election, I’m picking Annette Sykes to win Waiariki.

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