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The implications of Winston Peters’ Northland win

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 4th, 2015 - 90 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, articles, david cunliffe, john key, journalism, Judith Collins, labour, Media, national, national/act government, newspapers, nz first, winston peters - Tags:

Both the Herald and the Dominion Post have opinion pieces published today on the medium term implications of Winston Peters’ win last Saturday in Northland.

John Armstrong’s analysis is that long term this presents a significant threat to National as its previously stronghold provincial seats may now be at risk.  As third term grumpiness takes hold provincial voters may be keen to embrace the mantra that they have been taken for granted while the urban centres receive all of the Government’s attention.

Peters’ triumph has changed everything longer-term. His game of divide-and-rule which has him pitting voters in regions which have suffered economic stagnation against their big city cousins is the most serious challenge he has mounted to National’s centre-right hegemony since he climbed aboard the anti-Asian immigration bandwagon some two decades ago.

Armstrong challenges the suggestion that suddenly ACT and United Future have more power.  Although on the occasional issue where the Government’s position is extreme, like Resource Management Act reform, this may be significant but the reality as Armstrong notes is that both parties are poodle parties whose very survival depends on National largesse.  The chances of them refusing support to this Government on supply or confidence is equivalent to a couple of turkeys voting for an early christmas.

Armstrong notes Andrew Little’s declaration that he wants the opposition parties to act in a cohesive manner and blames David Cunliffe for Labour’s failure to do this last year.  This is somewhat harsh although certainly Labour needed to work out and improve its relationship with the Greens.

He notes National’s claim that Andrew Little’s momentum has recently stalled.  I presume that this is as accurate as National’s claim that Peters and Osborne were neck and neck in the polls.  National does have this habit of saying things for political advantage that are not necessarily true.

The most telling part of Armstrong’s analysis is where he describes the effect that the win will have on the morale of National MPs.

What will really be troubling Key, however, is that Peters’ repositioning of New Zealand First as some kind of “Country Party” will see him wreaking havoc behind National’s well-fortified frontline – territory previously considered to be impregnable.

That is Key’s nightmare. Not that he will be allowed to sleep in peace anyway.

The fall of Northland means there will be sleepless nights for nervous National MPs who thought their seats in National’s supposed “heartland” were safe forever.

Those MPs will be keeping Key very much awake to that no longer necessarily being the case.

National has been focussed and disciplined for the past seven years.  But if the wheels fall off and individual MPs panic and seek to distance themselves from the party then that strong support will crumble.  There are rumours that Cameron Slater’s recent attacks on the government may be related to Judith Collins wondering if her future may be better in ACT.  This sort of incident would shatter the up to now impregnable face that this National government has presented.

The second article is by Tracey Watkins in the Dominion Post.  She rightfully gauges the significance of the loss:

Losing a safe seat like that so soon after an euphoria-inducing election win is a gut-wrenching reminder to National MPs that nothing lasts forever.

No wonder Parliament felt like all the air had been sucked out of it this week.

National’s third term is barely under way and its MPs have already been forced  to confront their own mortality.

Yet the lesson from Northland is hardly a new one; all it takes is a lightning rod and the voters will turn.

She then tries to find some silver linings and points out that at least National has two years to turn things around, she notes National’s claim that Labour’s rise in the polls has stalled, and she describes Peters as inherently conservative so that the chances of National and New Zealand First working together remain good.  She also notes Peters’ advancing age.

She concludes by saying this:

The by-election was the result of a unique set of circumstances.

At least that’s the official explanation from John Key and his loyal lieutenants. The real disaster for National would be if they started to believe their own spin.

The sense of third termitis is growing strong.

90 comments on “The implications of Winston Peters’ Northland win ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Radio NZ’s Brent Edwards also sees a glass half full for the Nats. Maybe there’s something in the water in the Thordon Bubble.

    • philj 1.1

      I’ve also noticed Bent Edwards being increasingly ‘kind’ to the Government. It is a government run station after all haha!

  2. Gruntie 2

    “Losing a safe seat like that so soon after an euphoria-inducing election win ….”
    National did not win a landslide in Sep 2014 – they barely maintains the party vote numbers scheduled in 2011 – when is the MSM going to stop this myth

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Never – They’re propping up National and so they’ll continue with the lies.

    • lurgee 2.2

      The word ‘landslide’ does not occur in the section you quoted. I’m sure National and National supporters were euphoric. As the left would have been if they had managed to cobble together a coalition to take power.

      Like it or not, increasing share of vote after being in power for 6 years, and being in a position to govern with only reliance once a couple of domesticated personality parties is probably worthy of a bit of euphoria.

  3. Philip Ferguson 3

    I think Peters has a good chance of holding Northland in 2017, unless he performs some major stuff-up (always some possibility of that as he’s something of a loose cannon). If he doesn’t get involved in some major scandal or screw-up I think he could pass that seat on to his successor (Shane Jones? Ron Mark?)

    Historically, there was a very strong Social Credit vote there. I think that legacy is part of what Peters has tapped into,

    The Dark Lord takes the North Land: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/the-dark-lord-takes-the-north-land-peters-win-no-victory-for-the-working-class/

    • Bearded Git 3.1

      @ Philip Agreed-people will split their vote and Peters will win.

    • fisiani 3.2

      Peters will not stand in 2017 and he knows it. He would be 72 if still alive. Already his signs of cerebro-vascular and hepatic illness are obvious to the trained clinical eye.
      The question is who will be the next NZF leader and could they win a seat or reach 5%.
      NZF is really Winston First and neither Tracey Martin , supported by the Party President (her mother) nor Ron Mark (the wannabe) could achieve either goal. No one else would contest leadership. Shane Jones could possibly achieve both goals. Shane Jones is a pragmatist and not an ideologue. There is no way he could be the junior party in a government with Green Ministers. Deputy Prime Minister to John Key would be a fitting way to end his political career.

      • felix 3.2.1

        72 isn’t the end of the road for a guy like Winston.

        As someone noted recently, in the U.S. he’d be gearing up for a run at the presidency.

      • Weepus beard 3.2.2

        Speculating upon the death of your master’s political opponents?

        You are all class, fisiani.

        Shane Jones is a pragmatist and not an ideologue. There is no way he could be the junior party in a government with Green Ministers.

        -fisiani

        Refusing to work with Green ministers is an ideological stance. You claim he can’t be both so which is it? Pragmatist or ideologue?

        I think he’s nothing but a fat porn addict.

        • felix 3.2.2.1

          I don’t care that he’s fat or a porn addict.

          I do care that he’s a cheapskate and expected us to pay for it though.

          • Weepus beard 3.2.2.1.1

            Elected reps should set an example I think. Being obese is not setting an example.

            As for porn addicts, well, I don’t want someone like that making laws for us, thanks.

            • fisiani 3.2.2.1.1.1

              Any evidence of his addiction? I thought not.

              • felix

                Quite right fizzy. I think our friend above has unusual expectations for our MPs, especially the not wanking bit.

      • Olwyn 3.2.3

        Already his signs of cerebro-vascular and hepatic illness are obvious to the trained clinical eye.

        And yours, I take it, is a trained clinical eye? I suspect that if it was, you would not be making such bold assumptions on the basis of snap shots.

      • North 3.2.4

        You are so trained I take it Fisi’. If by chance you are did that training set you up for diagnosis from afar quite unblemished by wishful thinking ? You do have a fascinatingly dark fantasy life !

        • fisiani 3.2.4.1

          His illness will become obvious to everyone by the end of the year, Do you seriously think he can smoke 40 cigarettes a day and down a bottle whisky daily with impunity?

          • Weepus beard 3.2.4.1.1

            Citation please.

            You’re just hurting, and wishing him dead, because he beat the Key lead government without breaking a sweat.

            It’s how Key himself operates, so I’m not surprised.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.3

      Social Credit won there 50 years ago ! ( 1966). It has no real influence today.

      What is important is that Hobson, which only covered part of the larger Northland electorate, was the west coast areas from Dargaville north to Kaitaia where Winston was strongest.

  4. Gruntie 4

    “Losing a safe seat like that so soon after an euphoria-inducing election win ….”
    National did not win a landslide in Sep 2014 – they barely maintained the party vote numbers achieved in 2011 – when is the MSM going to stop publishing this myth
    (Vagaries of not being able to correct post on an iPhone )

  5. Skinny 5

    I wouldn’t be trumpeting too much that the Tories will be the only big losers from Peters buy election win. Labour too could suffer just as much as National. Namely because of sellout Jones, who barring say something unexpected like health reasons will return to politics under the NZF banner. Depending how Labour is traveling I can see atleast one Labour defection to Peters ranks.

    I also see a resurgence of ACT, who will benefit from National’s third term blues. It is almost a certainty the spin merchants PR consultants like Hooton will be offered big money to come up with a game plan that will kill off Peters once and for all.

    Labour really need to recruit high quality candidates NOW, preference given to people with a profile. The nagging problem of deadwood, and their unwillingness to move on must be dealt with.

    Very sure the policy platform will be rectified and won’t be an problem. They do need to seriously consider a handful of common policies that the Greens and themselves can
    go to the polls with.

    • saveNZ 5.1

      Totally agree Skinny.

      Labour really need to recruit high quality candidates NOW, preference given to people with a profile. The nagging problem of deadwood, and their unwillingness to move on must be dealt with.

      In addition Labour needs to have a look at who their supporters are. In my view people on PAYE in ‘social’ roles. Teachers, Doctors, Nurses, lecturers, social workers and those in creative industries. The constant focus on ‘blue collar’ worker which is very old Labour – I’m just not sure they are voting for Labour now. Those traditional Labour supporters teachers and higher earners on PAYE in social roles etc are totally neglected. The Labour polices in last election seemed to specifically target their own supporters to increase their taxes. Not sure that strategy won them any votes.

      They also need to get away from barristers in parliament! Tired of those people – how about more representation of the above in parliament and also some ‘honest’ entrepreneurs or just some different type of people in there. The biggest problem is that Labour has lost touch with the people of NZ. Too many of their MP’s have been there too long, and the new recruits do not seem authentic either.

      MP’s need to have a ‘service’ ethic. Not a self promotion in Womans mags ethics.

      They need to do more for their constituents. Someone I know had a problem with Auckland council, went to their National MP Nicki Kaye and was just blown off. You have zero representation in Auckland with the Auckland council and Auckland MP – it is not just the rural provinces that are angry.

      National and Labour MP’s have taken their voters for granted. In another weird poll from Labour the other day I was asked who I voted for in my party vote.
      They did not bother asking my electorate vote or why they might be different. Again the Labour arrogance/incompetence why would they not bother to ask for both to get an idea of why people split their vote.

      My impression is that Labour believe they already know – and they could not be more wrong or more stupid if they go after the party vote only thinking their electorate votes are safe. That is also going to be a BIG surprise next election if they keep being complacent.

      • Incognito 5.1.1

        “They also need to get away from barristers in parliament!”

        That includes Willow-Jean Prime or just Andrew Little?

        I 100% agree with you about Aucklanders being ignored and played; where (and who) is their proverbial “saviour”? A large number of voters are getting more and more pissed off.

        • saveNZ 5.1.1.1

          @Incognito

          Lets just say there are plenty of barristers in parliament already! Nothing against Little and Willow-Jean, but there is Metiria and so forth. Just being good at public speaking is not enough, you need to be able to fight effectively as well and be effective with strong ethics. The new contender for leadership who wants to go with National from the Greens is a barrister etc etc. Winston Peters. What a nightmare, please no more barristers!! Len Brown.!!

          Barristers are way overrepresented in parliament.

          Is it my imagination or do former Barristers seem to sell out way too easy or just linger on without achieving much but their position in power! No wonder John Key is (formally) popular at least he is not a barrister!

          Anyway I think many barristers vote National, so again…. not representing the people.

          • Incognito 5.1.1.1.1

            @SaveNZ

            Fair enough although I think that the barristers in Parliament represent barristers in the general population as much as Gerry Brownlee represents wood work teachers.

            Some MPs are pretty shite at speaking in public (or speaking in general, for that matter). Strong ethics has never been a requisite to become an MP; it almost seems to be the opposite.

            I suspect that to become a list candidate for National all you have to do is to pass the Osborne Test: which political leader has inspired you the most? Actually, now I come to think of it, Judith Collins would fail this test – she apparently admires Margaret Thatcher, but that is close enough I guess and I am sure she has soft spot for John Key, somewhere …

            John Key could never become a barrister: he is too sloppy with detail; he lacks the stamina and intellect to deal with complex issues, i.e. he is intellectually lazy and not all that smart; he cannot retain even simple information (e.g. what hat was he wearing when he put the cat out at night?); his public speaking skills are awful; his pronunciation of English is crap (hence, “cut the crap”); he has got no idea of lexical semantics; his idea of Law is something to be pushed through under urgency.

        • mickysavage 5.1.1.2

          The world needs more lawyers 😀 (joking)

          Although Labour’s ranks are rather thin (Little, Parker, Salesa with only Parker having general practice experience).

          They deal with legislation all the time so some legal experience is very helpful to have. Since Charles Chauvel and Lianne Dalziel left there has been a bit of a hole in the ranks.

          • Skinny 5.1.1.2.1

            I do agree a legal mind or 5 does add strength. Nothing worst than scruffy legislation that a bus can drive thru. Especially when the corporate pricks pay top dollar to exploit loopholes, think TAX.

          • gsays 5.1.1.2.2

            i have to roll with the observation from david lange: dont trust lawyers, half of them are always wrong.

      • aerobubble 5.1.2

        Housing bubble burst, not on Labours watch… ..thats i believe is why labour ar so insipid, how else do you explain Cunnliffe being made leader. L,abour likes Key in power doing little for the macro economy, leading inevitably to growing critics etc.

        Key cannot go to the election with a pact with NZF without conceeding Northland to Peters. Everytime Key says Peters is a potential partner the sneers will overpower him. So either Keys days are numbered or Labour have to get more
        insipid.

        As to Dunne having more power, before Northland Key could phone ACT, UF, or either Maori MP. Now Key phones the Maori party, then Dunne and Seymour, or NZF. How does Seymour being able to veto Dunne make Dunne more powerful??

        Northland sent the message, Peters back to parliament. Message recieved.
        Now Little should declare this, not allow Key to make it about something else,
        and us it to ally with the Greens since should the electorate wake up to
        Labours ploy of avoiding govt they may start split voting Green in the party.
        That makes whoever is Green leader the next PM, i.e collapsing Labour party vote
        but holding electorate seats or adding with Green help.

        Key thus loks weaker than ever.

  6. Weepus beard 6

    In Gore for work for a few weeks. SH1 and others are a mess down this way. For a govt obsessed with roading they have really neglected it in the provinces.

    The focus on poor roading could be a good starting point for opposition parties up and down the country.

    • Sacha 6.1

      The Nats have very deliberately shifted road funding away from local maintenance towards big duplicate highways. Opposition parties could easily come together around reversing that. They have all mentioned it separately.

      • Skinny 6.1.1

        Yes I agree, due to the buy election Peters was able to use regions broken roads as a platform to crack the Nat’s, which he achieved to great effect. Now he has had his time in the Northland sun it’s time for a consolidated lambasting by the other player Labour and the Greens.

        Since the parliament is in recess it will be an opportunity to seat down with them to plan a strategy, well that’s my intentions over the next week or so.

      • ScottGN 6.1.2

        And they’ve gutted the NZTA winter maintenance budget in the south. Last year, for the first time since I’ve lived in Queenstown SH6 between Kingston and Lumsden was sometimes closed overnight for no more reason than a bit of ice. It might not really matter except that, in the event of a medical situation that the little hospital in Queenstown can’t manage an ambulance is used to transfer patients to Invercargill.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.2.1

          Its not just maintenance of rural state highways, its the small upgrades, a few 100 m here and there that adds up over time.
          Thats normally done by local contractors and workers and keeps the money in their communities

    • Atiawa 6.2

      Little, when Labours New Plymouth candidate (2011&14) campaigned hard on the unsafe state of the main Highway between Awakino & Pio Pio. He made several telling points on the hustings regarding roading and the significance of them to Taranaki’s economy.
      If a week is a long time in politics, 30 months is ?

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    The real disaster for National would be if they started to believe their own spin.

    They always come to believe their own spin as the truth. For the spin to be accepted by the voters as truth then National’s MPs and candidates have to act as if it’s the truth and this acting enforces the belief that it is the truth even when they knew that it was all just spin to start with.

    The real disaster is the damage done to NZ as National continues to lie.

  8. Incognito 8

    Winston Peter pulled off a major heist in Northland but people are starting to fawn over him like he can walk on water and will rise from death in a couple of days. Even Dita De Boni, who is normally very well-grounded, portrays Peters in the Herald as the only man standing between us and pending TPPA doom. Get a grip Dita! I think there are “a few” New Zealanders objecting to the TPPA being signed by Cabinet. (NB Cabinet is not a creature of legislation – its procedures are not governed by statute. The Cabinet Manual guides Cabinet’s procedure)

    Frankly, I cannot see how Peters’ win in Northland has somehow stalled Little’s momentum; I think AL did a good job in the buy-election. Obviously, his profile did not rise as much as that of Peters simply because he was not the Labour candidate! It suits National to perpetuate this kind of narrative – dutifully spread by John Armstrong and other mercenaries in the Herald – and try drive a wedge between opposition parties. If somebody’s star rises and he/she gets the limelight there must be another person who stands in the shadow or so goes the narrative. Seems to me that National is in the dark and on the dark side.

    • Treetop 8.1

      I’d like to know how many National voters did not vote in the recent Northland by election out of protest?

      There would have been some and some National voters voted Winston as a protest vote.

      • Incognito 8.1.1

        I am having real problems with the concept of “protest vote” that is tossed around now. WTF does it mean? Was the General Election result in 2002 a “protest vote” with Labour getting 52 seats (41.26%) and National 27 seats (20.93%)? Was last year’s GE a “protest vote” and aren’t all elections a “protest vote” one way or another?

    • Anne 8.2

      My thoughts too Incognito @ 8. In fact I’ve been wondering why there hasn’t been more discussion about the claim that “Little’s momentum has stalled”. As far as I know the NActs and their media acolytes have produced no evidence to back it up. I suppose it is based on the fact Labour came a distant third in the byelection which, given the circumstances, is a twisted response. Of course there will be idiots – like the fizzy-boy – who will believe it.

      I was also surprised by De Boni’s adulation of Peters column. Seemed a bit out of character to me.

      • Incognito 8.2.1

        Ta 🙂

      • Olwyn 8.2.2

        I was not surprised, even if she was a bit more hyperbolic than usual. Peters, in both his historical position and his current talk, is unequivocal about New Zealand’s sovereignty. Labour treads a more cautious path, and pretty much as has to. It is possible to look at the sum of dodgy behaviour leading up to the last election as determination shut down any and all alternatives to BAU, with the TPPA, further asset sales, RMA “reforms” etc included in BAU.

        In Northland, Peters managed to take them by surprise, and ran unmarked until it was too late to stop him. Hence he has achieved something that Labour, never having the luxury of going unmarked, would be hard-pressed to achieve by itself. He has managed to get matters of representation and sovereignty into the discussion as live options, with sound electoral backing.

        • Anne 8.2.2.1

          There’s a lesson in there somewhere for Labour though Olwyn.

          Imo, it goes something like this:

          Stop pussy footing around and call a spade a spade.
          or
          Forget the nice sounding rhetoric and go for the jugular like Winston Peters does.

          Winston talks in the language of ordinary working people. Labour forgot how to do that a long time ago, and that is why they don’t get the response they usually deserve. My hope lies in Andrew Little reversing the trend.

          • red-blooded 8.2.2.1.1

            “Winston talks the language of ordinary working people”??? Come one! The man is a bombastic blow-hard who can’t give a straight answer too a straight question. And let’s not forget the little matter of the giant “NO” sign that was proven to be a giant lie. He was an embarrassment and encumbrance to Clarke’s last government and would damage any future government that might be forced by circumstance to do a deal with him.

            Yes, I’m glad that he won in Northland, but only because it has tripped up Key and Joyce. No, I don’t think this has damaged Little; he read the situation well and has shown sound political judgment. But do I want Winston back in a position of power? Hell, no! (And the same goes for Shane Jones. He and Winston have a lot in common; one thing being that neither is reliable.)

            • Anne 8.2.2.1.1.1

              Yes, he is a bombastic blow-hard who can’t give a straight answer too a straight question. But it doesn’t alter the premise that he knows how to talk the language of ordinary people.

              I think you have incorrectly interpreted my comment. Never voted for
              Peters or ever likely to. But I admire his political nous and want to see Labour showing the same level of nous – albeit not in a “bombastic” way.

            • Olwyn 8.2.2.1.1.2

              I am not a NZF voter, but I have to say that Winston Peters can and does interact comfortably with ordinary people. If you see him down at Galbraiths, he is not smilingly cautious and defensive, and does not comport himself like some sort of celebrity. Instead, he hangs out with the locals and chats easily with all comers.

          • Olwyn 8.2.2.1.2

            +100 Anne

  9. alwyn 9

    An amusing side-effect may be that Labour will have to insist that Phil Goff must remain in Parliament and he will not be allowed to run for Auckland Mayor. I don’t think he would dare to try and stay as an MP if he were to run for the Mayoralty as it would be a full time campaign for at least a year if he really hoped to win.
    If he did quit Parliament there would be a very good chance that National would take the Mt Roskill seat in a bye-election. After all, in the Party Vote there last year National got about 2,200 more votes than Labour.
    To keep him happy as an MP they party leadership will have to guarantee him a major portfolio and a major role if Labour were ever able to form a Government.
    I don’t see that going down very well with the party membership.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      You are joking about National winning Mt Roskill. Michael Woods would be the likely candidate, he is a very well known and effective local board member and would run rings around any potential National candidate. National is scraping the barrel as it is, have a look at what happened in Northland …

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        You may be right. I’ve never heard of him so I can’t judge what Mr Woods might be like.
        It will be interesting though to see whether Goff does run for Mayor and when he is going to step down for the campaign if it happens.

        As another item Little claimed on Morning Report on the 30th (Monday) I think it was that
        “”I spoke to Winston Peters on Saturday afternoon to wish him all the best for the evening, he clearly pulled through and we agreed that we would try to meet sometime this week and that’ll be the first time I’ve met him for many many weeks.”.
        I wonder whether they did get to meet or whether my comment early this week is turning out to be correct? There has certainly been no mention of a meeting happening has there?

        Bait and switch


        I suspect that Andrew has been fobbed off all week.

        • Skinny 9.1.1.1

          Goff is running for Major, he has confirmed this, just not publicly. Why else other than he lives in Auckland has an MP in the twlight of his career been given the Labour portfolio of Auckland Issues.

          Mick Wood is solid ‘bring on the by election.

          I heard Little say he is going to meet with Peters regularly. Probably not as much as Jones meeting with Peters I suspect.

          • les 9.1.1.1.1

            so what..at least Little is not ..Cunnliffe who ‘had the measure of Key’!

          • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.1.1.2

            Auckland mayoralty is a thankless job. Mostly a one term wonder

            You are , like all mayors, only one vote on the council. It has a bit more power to appoint committee chairs… who wouldnt die in a ditch to appoint your committee chairs ?

            • alwyn 9.1.1.1.2.1

              “Auckland mayoralty is a thankless job. Mostly a one term wonder”.

              That is a rather inane comment isn’t it?
              There has only been one person who has been Mayor and he is already in his second term.
              Logically therefore there has never been a one-term wonder.

              • tracey

                nonsense. There has been one Supercity mayor. Auckland, has had many mayors.

                Notably sir dove meyer robinson was no one term wonder… Cath Tizard had 3 terms… Les Mills had a couple of terms…

                • alwyn

                  When I said that about John Banks having been “Mayor of Auckland”, which seems to be exactly the same thing as talking about the “Auckland Mayoralty” I was taken out behind the woodshed by, among others Lprent.
                  In http://thestandard.org.nz/northland-is-not-a-dirty-deal/#comment-982315
                  I was informed that Banks had never been Mayor of Auckland but only
                  “John Banks was the mayor of a smallish region called Auckland City Council”, and that was not Mayor of Auckland.
                  This would also seem to apply to Dove-Meyer and Cath Tizard.
                  Who is right? You or Lprent?

                  • felix

                    It’s true. Mills, Tizard and Banks were mayors of Auckland City, and they served a couple of terms each, but they were never mayors of anything like what is now “Auckland” as represented by Auckland Council.

                    If you look at the other cities that amalgamated to become Auckland Council you see some really long term mayoralties. Bob Harvey was mayor of Waitakere for a couple of decades and Barry Curtis of Manukau even longer.

                    There may be examples on the North Shore too but I don’t talk about the North Shore.

                    edit: Harvey 18 years; Curtis 24 years.

                  • tracey

                    Well, in the context of the person you and I responded to, who was speaking of “one term wonder”, there is an argument they must have been referring to all mayors.

                    I have lived in Auckland for over 45 years and they have always been colloquially known as the mayor of Auckland. Auckland’s mayor and so on…

                    But, so as not to sit on the fence, lprent is right cos he runs the show 😉

                    [lprent: Argggh don’t say that. I saw some obvious shit while moderating and made a comment about it (that doesn’t happen that often). Now look what you’ve done. I’m pretty sure that PG will have invented a conspiracy out of it by morning. After all it is his forte – making something out of nothing. Kind of like United Future – he was natural fit.

                    Hmmmm I’d better stop scanning and go to bed. ]

                    • felix

                      “they have always been colloquially known as the mayor of Auckland. Auckland’s mayor and so on…”

                      It’s all context. And it depends what part of Auckland.

                    • alwyn

                      “lprent is right cos he runs the show”.
                      That is a reason that is totally impossible to argue with.

                      It reminds me of the story of when Henry Ford II, the chairman of Ford sacked Lee Iacocca, who was at the time the President of the company.
                      When Lee Iacocca tried to argue with him Henry simply told him that I can sack you because “My name is on the building”.

                      I was probably only being rather pedantically picky anyway because I’ve finished all the Telegraph and Cryptic crosswords in last weeks Dom/Post issues and was a bit bored.

                    • tracey

                      😉

                    • tracey

                      alwyn

                      Nice story…

                      I was being tongue in cheek also.

                    • tracey

                      felix

                      I always remember how Manukau was, Manukau for a few years, except when the media were reporting crime and then they called in South Auckland.

                      I can categorically state that when I was young Auckland had a Mayor and he was not known as the Mayor of Auckland City, not colloquially.

                    • felix

                      No I get that Tracey, that’s what I meant about context. In Auckland they were known as Mayor of Auckland, colloquially. In Waitemata we understood that that meant “Mayor of the middle bit of Auckland”.

                      Where it gets weird is when people try to make direct comparisons between the jobs of the Mayors of the old Auckland City Council and the job of the Supercity Mayor which is totally apples and oranges.

                  • lprent

                    What you demonstrated was that you simply aren’t a native Aucklander, a resident immigrant from elsewhere in NZ or the world, or even someone who actually thinks about their bullshit outside of your little world.

                    The old Auckland City council was a teeny area and a teeny population compared to whole of the Auckland city. It was dominated by a couple of pretty rich suburbs where some people voted. They often voted twice or more if they had businesses in the CBD, which is why the Epsom/Parnell and external business cliques tended to dominate it. Which was why we got some pretty damn flakey idiots from the right on the council, including the ever manipulable John Banks.

                    Until the late influx of apartment housing and the growth of 50-60k in population in the late 90s and 00s, I think it was one of smaller people populated cities in Auckland.

                    Perhaps you were thinking about the old Auckland Regional Council, which ran the cross region services.

                    The Auckland Council is larger than the ARC.

                    What you did was try to state something that was false to fact, and quite apparent to the Aucklanders uncomfortable enough already with this daft unworkable supershitty that bloody Act foisted on us – ignoring almost everything sensible that was in the Royal Commission’s report.

                    You then proceeded to play daft semantic games. The usual response to obvious stupidity ensued. Because you pissed around, ignoring the valid arguments put to you about how daft you were, I’d expect that this will keep popping up as an example whenever you make an unthinking assertion from here on out.

                    • felix

                      Um, Auckland City was a small geographic area but it actually had a population larger than either Manukau or Waitakere.

                      Hardly teeny.

                    • lprent []

                      I was exaggerating a bit for effect, but Auckland city has been falling below a third of the Auckland region population for about as long as I have been around.

                      I see that PG raised the same point in his usual snide fashion, and as usual not linking to his source – which means that it is useless. He also lied with numbers on the geographic area calcs by carefully removing Franklin District, Rodney District and probably a few others. I guess that was why he left out the source.

                      From the census for the region 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 (it’d be nice if the census put out larger time based streams)

                      Incidentally as a point of comparison for PG. Normally resident population of Dunedin in 2013 was 120,246

                      Auckland region and city (the latter is a calculation from the 2013 census based on the super city censusus)

                      Census year Auckland City Auckland Region Ratio Auckland super city Auckland super city increase
                      1986 294,163 873,905 33.7%
                      1991 306,210 943,774 32.4%
                      1996 345,870 1,068,645 32.4%
                      2001 367,749 1,173,639 31.3% 1,160,271
                      2006 404,658 1,321,074 30.6% 1,304,958 +144,687
                      2013 1,438,446 1,415,550 +110,592

                      Ummm lets see if that lines up. Now it does…

                      The Auckland super city is close to the population and geographic bounds of the Auckland region which has remained pretty constant geographically since the early 80s. I put in the regional and supercity area population stats to show the similarity. So I used that as the test. Aucklanders tend to view the Auckland Region and the super city as being very similar.

                      The old Auckland city has remained geographically static as well (some of the other cities had a lot of geographical shift).

                      The Auckland city has never been more than third of the population and has been steadily falling. The only reason that it didn’t dip into the mid-20s was the rapid influx of infill housing and central apartments in the mid 90s to mid 00s. Which is why you see a hiatus in the fall between 1991 and 2001.

                    • tracey

                      Yikes, have lived here all my life except for a brief 7 month stint in Christchurch in the early 90’s. I know you were addressing alwyn.

                      I dislike the super city with a vengeance. BUT most of the time I grew up people talked about a mayor of auckland and it was only when Curtis and Harvey got elected that began to change (imo)

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah, but for me that was when the old Auckland city bounds had something like 60-70% of the Auckland regions population. I grew up in Auckland in the 1960s and 70s. I was born in 1959, the year that Auckland Harbour bridge opened and the first outflux of people out of the old bounds spilled into the North Shore.

                    • tracey

                      1966 here.

            • Sacha 9.1.1.1.2.2

              “You are , like all mayors, only one vote on the council.”

              Not under the supercity legislation.
              Worth a read.

  10. Saarbo 10

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/270359/winston-peters-forestry-and-dairy-at-risk

    This RNZ article probably supports Armstrong’s opinion about Winston pushing for the rural vote. Another year of low dairy payout (which is a real probability) and you watch the support for Winston’s idea of fixing and devaluing our currency go through the roof.

  11. meconism 11

    Micky, Any chance of you doing your own analysis of this result I would be keen to read that.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    I’d be inclined to think the real potential change from the buy election would be NZF first partisans destabilising the Gnat’s empty heartlands. A lean and hungry party would gobble up these lounge bar lizards like a white dire wolf coming off a starvation diet.

    Labour has it’s own and quite separate battles to fight – recovering the unlosable Christchurch seats for example – Labour’s home ground, not Gerry ‘Harkonnen’ Brownlee’s.

  13. lurgee 13

    Tactically, the Northland loss is a an annoyance for National – bad headlines and a slight inconvenience, unless they decide to bring NZ 1st into the fold of the coalition – which is unlikely as it would increase the appearance of the government being weakened.

    Strategically, it probably will persuade them that ACT and UF aren’t worth maintaining. It is likely they’ll have to rely on NZ 1st in 2017 if they are to continue in government. So they’ll want to hoard all their baubles, rather than share them out with singleton dead-enders ho aren’t worth the bother. Winston, or his successor, will expect plenty of baubles.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1

      Baubles ? Are you singing from the Hooton Farrar song sheet ?

      You dont seem to mention the job given to the ACT party show pony, plus other qangos for their supporters.

      Baubles is a national party song they havent stole the copyright, that they trot out for Peters, when they arent shy about tossing them around for their supporters like subsidies for Wanganui Collegiate.

  14. rich the other 14

    Winston needs a good result in northland to justify his presence , something new and expensive , national holds the key to this happening .
    Voters in the regions won’t vote NZ first unless Winston commits to National before the election , they won’t take a chance on the greens being involved in government .
    Winston is a pragmatist and so is Key .
    Next Govt , National / NZ first coalition .

    • Incognito 14.1

      Sure, Winston needs to deliver in Northland but he’s not in Government. But it is illogical to assume that Northland voters will return to National if National doesn’t deliver to Northland just to snub Winston; their best option then is to vote National out of and NZF into Government. This is the bigger game with the much higher stakes and the real reason why National is now starting to shit its pants. To woo back voters National will have to come to the party if you’ll excuse the pun. Anyway, the best predictor of future behaviour still is past behaviour, which is why it astounds me that National is in its third term and people are even talking about a fourth term!? Voters just need a good wake-up call and one that is not drowned in the MSM by spin and counter-narrative. In many ways Winston Peters is the right guy to give this wake-up call without getting easily distracted because he does have principles and firm & grounded political views.

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