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The Northland by-election

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, January 30th, 2015 - 162 comments
Categories: by-election, equality, labour, national, uncategorized, unemployment - Tags: , , , ,

With Mike Sabin’s precipitous resignation, a by-election is on the cards in Northland, and soon:

It’s exciting times for politics nerds like myself, but the fact is that Labour isn’t going to be taking Northland off National, no matter what comes out of the rumours swirling around Sabin. He was returned with a 9,300 majority and Labour got just 16% of the party vote there last year.

But this is still a great opportunity for the left. Andrew Little has made it very clear that his focus for the year ahead is jobs, jobs, jobs – and Northland is a region that’s been really hard hit by unemployment and the increasing gap between rich and poor.

With a team spearheaded (potentially) by the fantastic Willow Jean Prime, supported by local Māori MP Kelvin Davis, and a lot of lefties eager to move past the horrible 2014 result and capitalise on the Nats’ moment of weakness, this byelection is a platform we can use to put jobs, inequality and the National government’s total lack of serious action on the map..

Labour isn’t going to win this battle – but by fighting it well we start to turn the war around.

162 comments on “The Northland by-election”

  1. mickysavage 1

    I was very impressed with Willow Jean and hopefully she will be able to stand even though her chances of winning are remote. She is a lawyer by training and from memory is elected to the Far North District Council.

    She was one of the most impressive list candidates Labour had last year and her high ranking was well deserved. As I said I am sure she will not win but she will give it a really good shot.

    • lprent 1.1

      She may have other things on her mind right now.

      Her face book had this to say yesterday

      Introducing Hihana…

      At 11.32pm on 24 January 2015 our baby girl finally arrived. What a surprise!

      Weighing 8 pound 4 ounces and measuring 53cm. … .

    • Anne 1.2

      If she gives it her best shot and does well, then she will be assured of a list placing that will see her in parliament in 2017.

      It would be helpful if the Greens at least were to avoid the expense and throw in their lot behind her. That would further assist reducing the majority win to the Nats.

      • fisiani 1.2.1

        Bollocks, No matter how well she does she will never have a high list placing as by election results have no bearing on 2017. You do not understand how Labour picks its list.

        • Anne 1.2.1.1

          Having been a member on and off for 40 years and a former well placed office holder for 10 of those years… I know nuffink according to our political sage supremo fisiani lols.

          • mickysavage 1.2.1.1.1

            You and me both Anne!

            Fisi I don’t think I have seen you at any of the list conferences held over the past 14 years. Were you at any of them?

            • Akldnut 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Fisi you don’t know shit about how Labour pick their candidates.

              In fact I’m calling you out on it pal – front up with the list selection plans.
              Link it and prove it or take your arrogant, know all arse back to the sewer.

              ***Bitchslap***

    • Skinny 1.3

      I am invited to a Labour Party BBQ tonight. If it wasn’t for my partner getting on with the guy putting it on’s wife I would not go this after just hearing Little’s ya never know rant.

      Why not try something different like a primary between the other Left party’s, where the winner goes forward as the sole candidate against Henry, Hosking, Susan Wood, or whoever is chosen by the Nats.

      • phillip ure 1.3.1

        “..after just hearing Little’s ya never know rant…”

        what did he say..?

        • Skinny 1.3.1.1

          A very piss weak Labour will be contesting the by-election, you never know..etc.

          There is only one candidate that has the creds to smack National around. She done it yesterday;

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/264798/call-for-sabin-to-front-up-over-claims

          Ellis is a tough no nonsense street fighting justice lawyer. She deals with the aftermath and effects on the poor by this Tory outfit day in day out.

          As for Prime what exactly does she stand for? I could never work it out. The last thing labour need is another neo-liberal MP coming in on the list.

          • Jenny Kirk 1.3.1.1.1

            You don’t know anything about Prime, Skinny. Stop showing off !

          • mickysavage 1.3.1.1.2

            Kelly is also impressive. And another lawyer …

            • alwyn 1.3.1.1.2.1

              No, please no.
              Are you, like me, old enough to remember the Tom Paxton recording of the album “One million lawyers and other disasters”?
              Enough lawyers is already to many.

              • mickysavage

                Alwyn the one place where there are not enough lawyers is Labour’s caucus … from memory there are only two there right now.

          • DoublePlusGood 1.3.1.1.3

            Kelly Ellis is just as much a bully as Mike Sabin. Electing her will not improve a thing. And while she might be a no-nonsense street fighting justice lawyer, don’t assume that she’s on the left of labour as a result of that.

            • Kelly Ellis 1.3.1.1.3.1

              Please elaborate unless, of course, this is Crazy Viv, in which case no explanation is required.

            • mickysavage 1.3.1.1.3.2

              Ellis would make a damn fine Parliamentarian and I suspect there is a reasonable chance of this occurring.

              • DoublePlusGood

                I would then counsel you to investigate her behaviour in the trans community in Auckland, particularly with respect to her actions at Genderbridge.

      • Jenny Kirk 1.3.2

        Repeating Phillip Ure’s query : what did Little say that has so upset you ?

        Thought you’d decided to resign from Labour anyway.

        • Skinny 1.3.2.1

          It was a wasted oppotunity. Little should have swung the discussion around to the cost of a by-election to the taxpayer. Crap happy Key is trying to say he wasn’t aware of serious allegations against one of his caucus. That’s bullshit!

          I stood down as vice chair during the election campaign so I could float amongst the left party’s without idiots accusing me of a conflict of interest. For an ex MP your not too up with the membership process, which is surprising.

          I am an affiliate union member to the NZP, and that unions elected regional representive to the local LEC. So technically a full rights member. I do choose not to personally be an individual member, but choose instead to represent our union membership.

          You may wish to explain this slowly to one of your offsiders who tried some cheap shot at the last husting meeting, so he doesn’t make a jackarse of himself in front of packed venue again.

  2. Tracey 2

    I am wondering if Mana will take a tilt…or lay low to further distance itself from IP with time. What does a by-election cost a candidate who goes whole-hearted?

    • i must question yr assumption mana need to ‘distance themselves’ from the internet party..

      ..aren’t you just buying into that bullshit that saw labour sink to its’ lowest point..with the ganging-up against/colluding to block mana..?

      ..mana need to get their shit together on a variety of fronts..

      ..having to ‘distance themselves’ from what they originally got together for..

      ..isn’t one of them..

      ..those reasons to stand as imp still stand..

    • Murray Rawshark 2.2

      It’s Northland, not Te Tai Tokerau. All the “left” should get together and use it as a propaganda opportunity.

    • alwyn 2.3

      I don’t know but if the candidate was one who ran in the general election it probably wouldn’t cost very much at all.
      They would probably already have any billboards from the General election. The election will probably be held by mid-March so they would only need to spend about 5 weeks off work campaigning.
      If it was a new candidate they could probably cobble a new picture on some old billboards from someone else’s campaign.
      You would still be talking thousands but I don’t think you would reach 5 figures.
      However someone like Mickey Savage could no doubt give a more informed opinion.

  3. swordfish 3

    “A by-election is imminent – so how does Labour win in a safe National seat ?”

    By deploying four key pieces of weaponry:

    (1) Fear

    (2) Surprise

    (3) Ruthless Efficiency

    and

    (4) An almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.

  4. Morrissey 4

    Is Allen Titford going to run?

  5. James 5

    Labour could start talking about blocking the “Holiday Highway” again. That always goes down as a vote winner up north.

  6. swordfish 6

    Northland – 2014

    Candidate Vote

    SABIN (Nat) 18,269….. 52.7
    PRIME (Lab) 8,969….. 25.9
    CLENDON (Green) 3,639….. 10.5
    RINTOUL (Focus) 1,661….. 4.8
    TAYLOR (Con) 1,555….. 4.5
    (Other candidates received less than 1%)
    SABIN Majority 9,300

    Party Vote

    National…. 49.0
    Labour…. 16.6
    NZ First…. 12.8
    Green…. 10.8
    Cons…. 6.3
    IMP…. 1.7
    (All other Parties under 1%)

    • so if the greens didn’t stand..(as the first example of them proving their ability/willingness to work co-operatively with labour..?..)

      ..the majority is about 5,000..

      ..so not insurmountable..

      ..and if prime is busy..

      ..it cd all come down to who both national and labour choose as candidates..

      ..and of course the execution of the ensuing campaign..

      • felix 6.1.1

        Bit of a leap to assume all those Green votes would default to a Labour candidate.

        • phillip ure 6.1.1.1

          the greens wd have to actively campaign/argue for them to do so..

          ..just not running and then saying nothing wouldn’t be enough..

          ..i mean..it’s hardly mensa…for those green voters..

          ..esp. if turei/norman campaign hard in the seat/for the tactic..

          (..and of course..if not prime.. the labour candidate wd have to be ‘green’/strong….)

          ..plus there is the local excitement of a bye-election battle..that will likely ensure a larger turnout than in the ho-hum of a safe tory seat during a general election..

          ..if nothing else..such an exercise wd be worth doing for the greens..as major proof that they can/will co-operate for the common-good of the left..

          ..the more i think about it..the more sense strategically it wd make for the greens to make that offer to labour..

          ..and to then actively campaign..

          ..even losing will make labour/greens winners..

          ..and there cd b a chance to pull it off..

        • swordfish 6.1.1.2

          Yeah, on the one hand, the aggregate Labour/NZ First/Green/IMP Party-Vote in Northland in 2014 = around 42% So, I’d be inclined to agree with Skinny and Phillip on that basis. Worth a go.

          But then, reinforcing your point (felix the cat), more than 6% of Green Party-Voters and almost 27% of NZF Party-Voters went for National's SABIN in the Candidate- Vote in 2014 (an unusually high split-vote in favour of the National candidate among NZF supporters). Sans a Green candidate, history suggests most Greens will default to the Labour candidate, but certainly not all. By the same token, more than 500 of CLENDON's Candidate-Vote came courtesy of people who Party-Voted Labour.

          So, it’s a crazy, mixed-up, complex world out there. The future’s not ours to see. What will be, will be.

          • Tracey 6.1.1.2.1

            a singing statistician!

          • tricledrown 6.1.1.2.2

            The non vote of 20% could be the difference.
            Even if it still went with National in the end rebuilding labours organization should be a priority.

        • lprent 6.1.1.3

          That would be my impression. This is a frigging by-election. We will be lucky to reach 50% of the general election vote and most of those will be the good conservative people who always vote.

          • Skinny 6.1.1.3.1

            Yes Iprent by-elections are notable for low turnout. Of course more so from the Left. The loyal Tories will front up as per usual, god knows why National doesn’t do jack for them in the North apart from make the rural folks suffer broken roads.

          • Melanie Scott 6.1.1.3.2

            They are a funny lot up here in some parts of Northland. I did lots of telephone canvassing for Willow-Jean in the Kaiwaka, Mangawhai area during the general election campaign. (And by the way, she would make a great MP.)

            Kaiwaka seemed quite pro Labour and Willow Jean – especially among older women and Maori voters on both rolls.

            Mangawhai? – well, really weird. Despite the widespread whingeing about the Kaipara DC mismanagement of their sewerage system and Sabin championing the Bill that would make the Council’s illegal and inept actions ‘legal’, the worthies of Mangas were mainly Labour hating ‘true blues’ and one man said he would never vote Labour ‘because of their morals.’ LOL

      • Tracey 6.1.2

        and who will the conservatives default to to stop that Phil?

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Pretty big PV for the conservatives there.

    • weka 6.3

      swordfish, do you know what the non-vote was?

  7. Atiawa 7

    You gotta love Little’s sharpness.

    8.6% unemployment in Northland.

    Will he win any media kudo’s for knowing that figure? Unlikely.

    • freedom 7.1

      lol 8.6% – ya gotta love it
      well when one hour of paid work counts as employment, what can we expect right?

      based on chats from friends who live there, 18% would be closer to the mark

  8. Ross 8

    So if Labour aren’t going to win anyway, then let’s go in blazing. It is time for Labour to begin positioning itself as an alternative. The days of NatLite are over. Unemployment in Northland – second highest in the country and has always hovered near the top. Attack that issue and all the associated consequences like poverty and housing.

    Damn, this government has given us so much ammunition. What the hell are you saying we can’t win for. If we can’t win it’s because we don’t want to! Stop being so polite. Say it like it is. Make the story. Get it done.

    Je suis Syriza

    • gsays 8.1

      hi ross, here here.

      i remember being in pahiatua in ’99, when georgina beyer took wairarapa.
      staunchly tory electorate.

      i accept lprents’ point that this is a by-election however when energized an electorate will do what it will do.

      if the current mp has done something disgraceful, and the pm is shown to have known about it,
      if labour could cooperate with the other parties,
      if.. if..

    • greywarshark 8.2

      Good points Ross. So if Labour aren’t going to win anyway, then let’s go in blazing. It is time for Labour to begin positioning itself as an alternative.

      Issues flash like neon signs – poverty and housing – and the lack of financial blood-flow to the outer regions like Northland, so their roads aren’t up to the needs of business in the region and aren’t even repaired properly back to previous condition after big floods. Which are likely to occur more frequently with the dump effect from climate change.

      And so it goes. Yes why not make a song and dance about it. Get Labour Maori up there to develop a special haka and present it at every meeting!

  9. Karen 9

    Doubt that the Greens or Mana would stand a candidate because of the cost/benefit ratio , NZF have already said highly unlikely for the same reason (and didn’t bother for the Gen election).

    Even so it looks like a much too big a hurdle of Labour. Should be able to get some good media coverage of the issues though.

    • a special defeatist-award will be couriered 2 u…

      ..as i and others have shown..yes..it is a longer-shot than wd be liked..

      ..but it is most certainly worth ‘having a go’..

      ..it is not insurmountable..

      ..and how about not giving up before even examining the idea..?

      • Karen 9.1.1

        I wasn’t suggesting that Labour should not fight hard for the seat, just noting that it will be very difficult to win.

        Labour should get the Green votes (assuming the Greens don’t put a candidate up) and hopefully there will be a bit of a swing against National. There also could be a bigger turnout from left voters who didn’t think voting in the general election would make a difference. Although I think it highly unlikely this would be enough to swing the seat, a strong campaign from Labour will have benefits for support nationally.

        • phillip ure 9.1.1.1

          and i think the benefits of grns/lab being seen to work together well in the common-interest..

          ..cd almost be enough reason to do it..

          ..and worth as much in the long-term as a victory..

  10. Ron 10

    Surely the question is why National does so well in Northland. Looking at the towns that make up the electorate they should be ripe for change.
    I am of firm opinion that any electorate can be won if you have the right candidate and the right policies for the electorate and if you don’t choose the right candidate and your policies don’t reflect the electorate then you have no business being in politics.
    Parties must reflect the electorates and listening to Little I think that is something he understands. Here is a good place to start
    Oh and your candidate must be able to speak rationally to the people of the electorate. I shudder when I look at some of the people we choose for candidates

    • Takere 10.1

      Probably …. Labour have been too complacent over the years and haven’t really delivered in jobs and growth/development for the region for the past 30 years?!

      • phillip ure 10.1.1

        yes..this gives little an early opportunity to tell the people of northland what a little labour govt wd do for them..esp in those areas little says he is focused on..jobs etc..

        ..it is made for him/that..

      • Shane Le Brun 10.1.2

        considering it is prime cannabis territory up there, there must be some opportunities in allowing med pot up there, poach a few keen growers from the gangs?

    • swordfish 10.2

      Bear in mind all those Northland Maori voters in Te Tai Tokerau. Maybe about a quarter-to-a-third of all Northland voters (a very rough estimate).

      • Foreign waka 10.2.1

        31% and for the 15 yrs old 15% are unemployed in comparison to 5% in the rest of the country. Also in terms of professions, statistically there are more managers then any other group.
        Not sure whether this makes a difference, but Maori do support National, who knows why is anybody’s guess with those numbers.

    • Virginia Linton 10.3

      I agree with you Ron we can get the party vote higher. People in the north are impressed by Willow Jean, and cross fingers she’ll run in the by-election. Good candidates don’t grow on trees up there or anywhere; she’s the best by far in years. The Far North deserves quality representation and we’ve got Kelvin; with luck Willow Jean will go far too, if not in the by election then next time.

    • Melanie Scott 10.4

      Need to remember that most of those who vote are well healed retired Aucklanders or farmers. The long term permanents in the towns would not vote National – if they voted at all, but they are probably a minority (if you take out Whangarei).

  11. BLiP 11

    Why should the people of Northland be deprived of the option to vote for a Green candidate?

    • Skinny 11.1

      Clendon is not much chop, nice enough guy tho.
      I really think a primary contest amongst the main opposition party’s with the wining candidate being the sole one going forward.

      • phillip ure 11.1.1

        is that really needed..?..clendon is a reasonable man..

        ..i can see the rationales behind yr primary run-off idea..

        ..but i think that process cd b circumvented by a bit of a yack and a couple of handshakes..

        ..and all the energies saved for the actual campaign..

      • BLiP 11.1.2

        Taking a cheap shot at David Clendon and suggesting an unlikely process to select a sole candidate doesn’t answer the question.

        • mickysavage 11.1.2.1

          I have had a number of dealings with Clendon. He is not too loud or flashy and he is thoughtful and solid and he has a very good world view. I appreciate that in the political world such characteristics are considered to be a weakness but he is a very decent human being and there should be more like him in politics.

    • because there might be a chance of doing more/better for the common-good..?

      ..and a chance of winning a safe tory seat..

      • BLiP 11.2.1

        If concern for the common good is to be the driving factor, it should be Labour which steps aside. Its performance over the last 30 years, including even its time in opposition under Little, has shown it has less regard for the common good than it has for the status quo. Consider also the parlous state of our environment particularly as it is likely to impact on farmers. With this in mind, Labour standing aside so that environmental issues might receive a broader platform for wider exposition by those who actually understand and care about the situation is also likely to do “more/better for the common good”.

        The chances of Labour winning in Northland are so negligible as to be of little consideration. Followers of the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key operate instinctively without regard to reason or even concern for their own and their families’ best interests. Accordingly, it doesn’t matter to them whether its a Green or a Labour candidate standing.

        • phillip ure 11.2.1.1

          i disagree..the non-vote/component of the missing-million is high up there..

          ..there is a huge pool of people who might vote..if there is a chance of throwing the tories out..

          • BLiP 11.2.1.1.1

            Huh? There is always a chance of throwing the Tories out. The National Ltd™ Cult of John Key is only just hanging on with a one member majority thanks to its ACT franchise. The fact that so many people (20% in Northland – less than the national average FYI) are not voting indicates a number of things, least of all a perception that the Tories cannot be removed. The reason most likely to be prevalent is the perception that it doesn’t make any difference whether its Labour or the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key which is pulling the levers. This, in turn, suggests standing a Green candidate is more likely to draw out those missing voters, especially the young.

            • phillip ure 11.2.1.1.1.1

              so u see david clendon doing that..?

              ..and u haven’t really challenged in any meaningful way the case i made..

              • BLiP

                Sure, why not?

                I have debunked the case you made quibbles you raise and pointed out that there is no advantage to the people of Northland for them to be deprived of the opportunity to vote for a Green candidate.

            • greywarshark 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Like your thinking Bill. Have been up there recently and getting a feel for things. There are the social climbers, many live at Kerikeri (Just a convenient label) who vote National, there are the poor and unemployed who don’t know how to vote for and probably group think. Don’t know if they vote.

              There are strong Maori connections there. Some might follow what their local marae or hapu thinks, some what personalities like Margaret Mutu think, some what the local rugby club thinks.

              There are small businessmen who like to think they are part of National’s business coterie.

              There are the farmers and I am not sure that they would vote National, they might be encouraged to change. They have already acted against Fed Farmers NZ. and want to retain their name but not be told what to do by head office.

              There has been a strong marijuana growing group up there for many years. If the Greens could take on growing marijuana for medicinal purposes they already have the expertise.

              John Carter is a previous National Party MP and now Mayor for the expanded local district He is regularly in the paper opening things, and handing out certificates etc. Whether he is a force for action up there I don’t know.

              There is a go-ahead Whangarei area group who want to raise money and get a Hundertwasser design building which will include a Maori museum and all the status quo, self satisfied citizens are against it. They don’t want to invest in a public building that will enhance and encourage tourism but there is a strong move to get the funds.

              • mickysavage

                The problem for the left is the strong Maori connections are on the Te Tai Tokerau roll. The European seat results suggests that Northland is a hotbed of right wing activity but the reason for this is that many of the progressives are on the Maori roll.

              • Skinny

                Very good observations Grey, you call things well.

    • tricledrown 11.3

      Because its a deprived area.
      Labour and greens haven’t figured how to work together until they do oposition is going to be a permanent state of affairs.
      National know how to work with its coalition parties the left are to scared to take a risk.
      Like in Ohariu the greens could have cut Nationals coalition partners by one.
      Same in epsom by taking a risk!
      ACT could have missed out if the left voted for Goldsmith.
      Making this byelection a vote for a new govt!

      • greywarshark 11.3.1

        Perhaps in UNACT eyes Northland will always be a deprived area until there is a four-lane holiday highway right to Cape Reinga. Then it might be worthy of their interest if there is some nice coastal land available to buy. Here’s some background to one fight from the 1990s that some might not know about.

        They might not come to that party though remembering the fight with Titford. He was planning to subdivide the coastline of his farm – lovely with white sand beaches. There was big money to be made. I think that access would have been over burial sites, and whatever was the precise reason, the local Maori were definite that it should not happen. Much negotiation and Titford aggrieved at the loss of plums that would have come to him. Which goes on and on apparently.

        http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/farmer-returns-from-australia-to-protest-decadeold-land-dispute-2008102217 – 22 October 2008
        It began when the Waitangi Tribunal recommended burial sites on the farm be returned to local Maori Te Roroa.
        The claim sparked violent and bitter conflict, and the Titford’s house burned down in mysterious circumstances.
        In 1995, the Titfords signed over the farm and moved to Australia…
        In 1995 farmer Alan Titford was persuaded to accept $3.25 million in compensation for his farm, which was bought from him and handed back to Maori.
        But now he has returned to the land at Maunganui Bluff to protest.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=10970957 13 June 2008
        But a Titford supporter, One New Zealand researcher Ross Baker, has called for a full inquiry into the clerical errors and other aspects of the farm purchase, including a 1990 deal between the Crown and Te Roroa which he said rewrote history by recognising iwi claims to areas of Mr Titford’s farm without documentary evidence.

        Interesting background to Titford’s grievances – some group all ready to stir up grievances on both sides. Nothing must ever be settled, compensation made and then accepted as finished, there are always the termites with their poisonous resentments and dissatisfaction.
        http://www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz/AllanandSusanvsTheWaitangiTribunal.html
        and Titford gets charged –
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9435787/Bittersweet-vindication-for-iwi

        • Skinny 11.3.1.1

          Titford one nasty character, it doesn’t take much to wind up the rednecks in the North as he showed by burning his house down and pinning it on Maori’s. Jail would be a lonely, dangerous place for him.

  12. b waghorn 12

    How about ditching the labour can’t win it bullshit for a start if the three parties on the left (I don’t include nzf in that three) bury the hatchet and pool there volunteer recources and go out to give key and his lot a bloody nose it would go someway towards showing nz that there is a viable left government in waiting.

    • Ron 12.1

      Exactly! We are so defeatist. We need to examine the electorate and find candidates that reflect the electorate. Considering that Sabin was unknown before the election h=if he managed that sort of majority I think people are just voting National our of force of habit or maybe because they cannot see any alternative.

      How about ditching the labour can’t win it bullshit for a start

      • b waghorn 12.1.1

        It would be interesting to know how many None voters were in that electorate the labour /greens vote was within 5k if they could swing a couple thousand away from nats and get a couple thousand off the couch to vote anything could happen..

        • phillip ure 12.1.1.1

          aye..!…if they co-operate and campaign together..it is totally do-able..

          • b waghorn 12.1.1.1.1

            This from Little in the herald
            “We polled 16 per cent in the last election so Northland clearly is not a Labour stronghold. But they’ve got issues up there. They’ve got unemployment up round 8.6 per cent, one of the higher levels of unemployment in any country. They’ve got major problems with housing. And these are big issues for us. But it has been a National stronghold for a long time and I doubt whether that will change.”
            Not sure I’d get off the couch to vote for that sort of talk.its not dishonest to talk up your chances and be positive.

            • phillip ure 12.1.1.1.1.1

              “..Not sure I’d get off the couch to vote for that sort of talk.its not dishonest to talk up your chances and be positive..”

              ..aye..!

            • Anne 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Come on b Waghorn – and others who have made similar comments. One of the things I like about Andrew Little is his strong grasp of realism. And realism tells us no other party has a show of winning Northland. But what we could do if Labour/Greens/ NZ First play their cards right is to reduce that majority to less than half what it was a few months ago. Now that would be something all three parties could use to beat the Nats with for the next 2 and a bit years.

              It could be the start of close cooperation between the three parties which can only have a positive outcome.

              • Clemgeopin

                +1

                One point that some are advocating I am not sure about and that is wanting Winston or Clendon standing there. Even if they win, how will that help increase the opposition total MPs, considering these two are already MPs!?

      • Incognito 12.1.2

        “Considering that Sabin was unknown before the election”!? What election are you referring to? Sabin has been the Northland MP since 2011. His majority in 2011 was 11,362 from 32,576 votes counted http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/electorate-34.html

        Last year Sabin’s majority had slumped to 9,300 from 35,056 total votes http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-35.html

        In politics anything is possible and eroding by one the current majority that this Government is ‘enjoying’ makes this a worthwhile cause. The left have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    • weka 12.2

      I tend to agree, but,

      “How about ditching the labour can’t win it bullshit for a start if the three parties on the left (I don’t include nzf in that three) bury the hatchet and pool there volunteer recources”

      Two of those parties hates the third and won’t touch them with a ten metre barge pole. This would be an excellent opportunity to see some shifts in Labour and the GP’s attitudes, but I don’t be holding my breath.

      • phillip ure 12.2.1

        u can share the above defeatist-award..

        • weka 12.2.1.1

          and you can have the comprehension fail award. As well as the biggest hypocrite on ts this week award.

          • phillip ure 12.2.1.1.1

            “.. the biggest hypocrite on ts this week award…”

            um..!..and what wd that b 4..?

            ..and what exactly am i failing to ‘comprehend’..?

            • weka 12.2.1.1.1.1

              haven’t you been slagging off Labour all week?

              You’re failing to comprehend that I’m not defeatest in what I said. I’m actually hopeful that Labour and the GP will get their shit together on this. I just don’t think it will happen in the next month, for all sorts of reasons.

              • “..haven’t you been slagging off Labour all week?..”

                um..!..i expressed my disappointment@ littles’speech..and labours’ promise to ‘move away from social policies’ i find somewhat alarming..

                ..and so have said both..

                ..and have also noted/pointed out to them the sorry end of the greek ‘labour’ party just like them..ideologically..

                ..i also noted i supported little in the leadership race..

                ..i repeat..whither the ‘hypocrisy’..?

                ..and why do you think ‘it won’t happen’…?

                ..if not now/these circumstances..when..?

          • Skinny 12.2.1.1.2

            Be original Weka.
            Phil hands out the awards, besides your in good company, I got one liner of the day award, yours is just as fitting.

            Phil is tight tho, thought I might get another for my titanic meme about Sabin. No such luck with the judge.

            • weka 12.2.1.1.2.1

              Sorry, I generally don’t read phil’s comments so have no idea what you are talking about 🙂

              • greywarshark

                @ weka
                You could try reading p us piece. It would be a shame to not keep an agile brain moving, meeting new methods of expression. Helps to keep alzheimers away they say. Phil has made a good reasoned case for himself why don’t you answer it without the put-down.

                • weka

                  I find his comments too difficult to read because of the punctuation and sentence structure.

                  I’m also more likely to read a comment from someone who doesn’t enter the conversation with a put down of me.

      • b waghorn 12.2.2

        Watching the greens and labour is a bit like watching” Who’s the boss” from the eighties every one knows there going to get it together one day .

  13. Penny Bright 13

    What might put a wobble in the works is if the revolting Mangawhai Residents and Ratepayers choose to put up a candidate, campaigning for the repeal of the democratically repulsive Kaipara District Council Rates Validation Act 2014?

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/local/2013/0125/latest/DLM5229923.html

    Preliminary provisions
    3 Purposes

    The purposes of this Act are to—

    (a)validate the specified rates set and assessed by the Council and the penalties added to those rates; and

    (b)treat all money received by the Council in payment of the specified rates or penalties added to those rates as having been lawfully paid to, and received by, the Council; and

    (c)authorise the Council to recover any part of the specified rates and any penalties added to those rates that remain unpaid as if the specified rates or penalties had always been lawfully payable; and

    (d)validate any election or application (as the case may be) of the Mangawhai uniform targeted rate for the financial years relating to 2008/2009 to 2010/2011 (inclusive) and any subsequent financial years; and

    (e)validate the information contained in the rates assessments for the financial years relating to 2006/2007 to 2012/2013 (inclusive); and

    (f)validate other actions or omissions of the Council relating to—

    (i)the continuation of its 2006 development contributions policy for the 2009 financial year; and

    (ii)the late adoption of its annual report for the 2011/2012 financial year and its long-term plan for 2012–2022; and

    (iii)its conduct of the special consultative procedure for its long-term plan for 2012–2022; and.

    (g)validate any other actions or omissions of the Council relating to the financial years 2006/2007 to 2012/2013 (inclusive).

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    For more background information on the democratically DISGRACEFUL goings on in the wilds of Kaipara – have a squiz at this ….

    http://www.oag.govt.nz/2013/mangawhai

    Auditor-General’s overview

    Inquiry into the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme.

    This report describes how Kaipara District Council (KDC) managed the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme between 1996 and 2012, as well as the role played by other agencies, including my Office.

    The matters this report covers are long and often complex, but the overall picture is simple. I summarise it as a woeful saga. Overall, the inquiry found that:

    KDC failed to attend to its fundamental legal and accountability obligations.

    KDC effectively lost control of a major infrastructure project.

    Some of the work done on behalf of the Auditor-General has fallen short of the standards I expect.
    …..
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    This matter deserves a MASSIVE public spotlight – because what happened to citizens and ratepayers of the Kaipara District Council – could happen ANYWHERE in New Zealand.

    Making the repeal of the Kaipara District Council Rates Validation Act 2014 a major Northland by-election issue, in my view, would help do just that …..

    Penny Bright

  14. millsy 14

    The left wont win this. So perhaps it should sit it out….

    perhaps Winston should have a crack?

    • rawshark-yeshe 14.1

      indeed millsy .. and it’s going to make a huge difference ( imho) if it is well established in the House that Key and cronies knew of this awful Sabin secret prior to the election … fool me once, fool me twice etc … go Winston !

  15. Pat O'Dea 15

    Labour admits that they can’t win this seat off National.

    The question is who could then?

    Would the Green Party have a better chance?

    According to the Government website on electorates, in Epsom richest, whitest, best educated electorate, and arguably the most conservative electorate in the country,

    A Colmar Brunton Poll seemed to indicate that the Green Party was more popular than Labour in this most conservative of seats.

    the http://yournz.org/2014/08/10/surprising-poll-result-in-epsom/.

    Could this popularity translate to the conservative Northland electorate?

    It might;

    Northland is an electorate where deep sea oil drilling has become a hot button political topic, both National and Labour are in support, and only the Greens are opposed. (Epsom is not threatened by deep sea oil, where Northland is)

    If the Labour candidate stood down (and explained why)….

    If the Greens chose a good candidate…..

    If the Green candidate campaigned on stopping deep sea oil drilling in Northland…..

    If all the opposition parties Labour, Greens, Mana, New Zealand First all agreed to pool all their combined resources to back the Green candidate….

    A combined campaign ran on these lines might still not win Northland, but it would be guaranteed to give the Nats a bloody nose. Not only this, but it would disprove National’s main attack strategy of the last election, that these disparate opposition parties could not work together and would put their sectarian interests before the common good.

    Disclosure: Pat O’Dea is the Mana spokesperson for climate change issues

    • Pat O'Dea 15.1

      Just saying.

      • Pat O'Dea 15.1.1

        The Northland campaign, could if fought on along the lines above would also be a referendum on deep sea oil drilling.

        Also the combined efforts of the opposition parties would represent a formidable electoral machine that would sorely test the Nats.

        “Deep sea oil drilling is a defining environmental issue of our time. New Zealand stands to lose a lot if the world cannot limit climate change to 2 degrees warming. It can’t be said enough: Our agricultural nation depends on a stable climate. If we don’t get serious about climate change our farmers will suffer increased droughts and damaging storms, and profits will suffer. This year if Labour and National want to ignore the realities of climate change and throw their support behind deep sea oil drilling, that’s their choice. The Green Party knows there are better alternatives, which is why we will focus on providing solutions to do more with less oil and invest in a smart green economy.”
        GARETH HUGHES

        If Labour really are a democratic party with the best interests of the majority at heart, they should welcome the North’s support for deep sea oil drilling tested.

        If there was a huge swing against the Nats on this issue, this would inform Labour of the need to change their policy on supporting deep sea oil drilling.

        if Labour are proved Right and this issue strikes no note of resonance in this electorate, then maybe the Greens will have to reexamine their stance.

        Why is this important?

        The possible election of a more Left more environmentally hardline leadership, of the Green Party could be problematic in forming a viable Labour led coalition government as long as Labour stick to their fanatic support of deep sea oil drilling with nothing to point to prove that it is a worthwhile policy with wide public support. When the opposite appears to be the case. A TV3 poll* cited by Greenpeace on deep sea oil drilling showed 80% opposed.

        So come on Labour, as the biggest Left Party in New Zealand stand down, you have already admitted you can’t win so get behind a Green candidate standing against deep sea oil drilling in the North and use this opportunity to test the wind for your support for this policy.

        *Unfortunately I have not been able to recover the link

        • Pat O'Dea 15.1.1.1

          Oops. Forgot to provide the link to Gareth Hughes statement on deep sea oil drilling: particularly notable is how Hughes always links deep sea oil drilling, (which is one of the unconventional fossil fuel technologies) to climate change.

          When the science tells us that even the unrecovered ‘conventional’ fossil fuel reserves have the potential to broil the planet, this is a smart move by Hughes.

          Last year I attended a public talk by Gareth Hughes where he stated that if we really want to fight deep sea oil, we must fight it on cllimate change grounds.

          I can see his point. The evidence is irrefutable, there can be no legitimate defence against the argument that unconventional fossil fuel technologies (Deep sea oil, Fracking, Tar sands, shale oil) are suicidably dangerous in the threat they pose to the climate.

          Here’s the link: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/11/guest-blog-gareth-hughes-deep-sea-oil-drilling-national-labour-are-ignoring-the-facts/

  16. Ovid 16

    It’s still worth Labour standing a credible candidate. They won’t win, but people casting party votes in 2017 will remember.

  17. Paul 17

    Labour should follow Syriza’s example and abandon the politics of fear.
    Or a party like Syriza will rise up and eclipse them.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/28/convictions-politics-fear-syriza-podemos-snp-green

    • Wayne 17.1

      Paul,

      New Zealand is not in the same situation as Greece. It takes desperate times for a party like Syriza to get traction.

      Now I suspect that you might believe the NZ economy is about as bad as the Greek economy, but you will have a hard job convincing many voters the truth of that proposition.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    In 2011, I stood as an Independent in the Botany by-election, using the electoral process to campaign against the ‘partial privatisation’ of State-owned electricity assets.

    Despite both National candidate Jami-Lee Ross and PM John Key begging National voters to get out and vote – thousands didn’t.

    The Botany by-election voter turnout was 36%.

    In my considered opinion, if there is a big cloud over the apparently dodgy resignation of (ex) National Northland MP Mike Sabin, then there is likely to be a low National Party electoral turnout.

    If the disaffected striking ratepayers put up an Independent candidate from Mangawhai, which, in my considered opinion, is very likely, campaigning for local democracy, against corrupt corporate conflicts of interest and for the repeal of the disgraceful Kaipara District Council Rates Validation Act 2014, I think that would work against the election of a National MP for Northland.

    I, for one, would actively support such a campaign.

    Penny Bright

  19. Tamati 19

    Surely Wintson has the best chance up north?

    In his home turf, great in front of a crowd and the greatest political campaigner the country has every known. I hope the old fella runs!

    • Pat O'Dea 19.1

      “Surely Wintson has the best chance up north?”
      TAMATI

      This could be an option. But it would be incumbent then on all the opposition parties including Labour and the Greens standing down and throwing all their weight behind Winston.

      To those who say, but this would be gaming the system.

      This is how National won the general election.

      Why did National win?

      Because they wanted it more.

      • Ron 19.1.1

        Winston’s party is a Conservative party. I don’t think he as ever had a Liberal thought in his life. Labour should not get too close to NZ First.

        • sabine 19.1.1.1

          Winston is a Kiwi? Well and he is in opposition? And he refutes many of the ideas National espouses?

          so why would Labour not want to get close to NZ First…..oh…yeah…cause IT”S WINSTON!!

          gosh, really. Bored now.

    • Murray Rawshark 19.2

      I don’t know many people who like Winston in that electorate. Racists won’t vote for him because he’s Maori and Maori won’t vote for him because he’s racist. (Gross generalisation, but a fair bit of truth in it)

    • Clemgeopin 19.3

      Winston is already in the parliament. How does his winning help to increase the opposition numbers?

    • Clemgeopin 19.4

      I hope the old fella runs!

      Oh, no! He is a bit ripe for that. Bad for dem bones. Safer to walk, I think.

      And another:

  20. sabine 20

    Well, labour, the greens and other lefty groups/parties and the likes could show some spirit and pool their resources, agree on a candidate and then get the vote out…
    They could show some enthousiams and not pretend the horse is dead before the horse has started to run in the raise.
    They could raise the issues affecting Northland and the rest of NZ because…well by-election.
    They could constantly harp on John Key as to what he knew, when he knew and how come three days ago he still thought Mr. Sabin was the best thing after sliced toast.
    they could do many things…they may loose ….but they could at least pretend to put up a good fight.

    Reading Mr. Littles comments however does not inspire.

  21. Marksman33 21

    Although I really have great respect for TS and most of the contributors, most of you really have no idea about Northland or the way it works. As one of the great unwashed working class people up here and not a desktop warrior I have a hell of a lot more skin in the game than most of you. The only time its been anything other than blue was when she went Social Credit in the early 70s, and that went all of one term. The stench of conservatism is almost palpable even with the hippies I run across. Even the people being mentioned here aren’t what I would call true lefties so everyone take a deep breath and lets give this some more thought.
    Would just add, I may have been a coward recently but a very well informed one. Kia Kaha.

    • Colonial Rawshark 21.1

      Chur dude thanks for the on the ground perspective.

    • sabine 21.2

      I just would like the opposition to put up a fight. you are right insofar as I don’t have much of an idea of northland, and i guess that counts for others too.

      but

      i would like to see a good fight.
      The issues of crap housing, lack of jobs and decent income, falling apart infrastructure , unsustainable farming and the likes are not only issues for Northland, they affect the country up and down and to all sides.

      I want to see the opposition parties put up a fight and raise a stink about what affects most of us, and our children.

      that already would please me to no end.

      • Incognito 21.2.1

        I like your (fighting) spirit and I like your thinking. It would be great if the “opposition” could muster a united front and campaign accordingly. There’s a slim chance that they can pull off the “impossible”, but even if they don’t a united opposition would scare the living daylights out of the government and also send a clear message to all of New Zealand that there’s a viable alternative. You don’t have to win each battle to win the war.

    • lprent 21.3

      I’d agree with that. It doesn’t look to me to be winnable in a by-election. It’d be nice to be proved wrong – but it’d take a real local issue to get the people who vote in by-elections (ie the conservatives) to flip.

      • rawshark-yeshe 21.3.1

        Maybe the real issue could become that Key allowed Sabin to go forward into the election at all and lied to the electorate by omission.

        Even if it all remains shrouded in permanent suppression orders, truth will out a la Graeme Thorne. And if it is as vile as rumours incl Slater suggest, might voters easily seek a just revenge for the rorting deception ?

      • Pat O'Dea 21.3.2

        Couldn’t agree more.

    • Ad 21.4

      Well said.

      Labour have a long, long way to go before they get a regional town centre electorate back.

    • Pat O'Dea 21.5

      @Marksman33 you are absolutely right. Northland is a true blue National seat.
      The subtitle of this post by Stephanie is, “So how does Labour win in a safe National seat?” That means that this post is a can pigs fly sort of conjecture, like can humanity survive past the NTHE caused by climate change.

      Firstly I think that Stephanie has worded it wrong, this post subtitle should read, “So how does the Left win in a safe National seat?”, notice the subtle difference.

      But it changes the whole meaning, it is not about Labour winning the seat, but getting a win for the Left by highlighting before the nation, the issues that are sensitive weak spots in the National Government’s flank.

      This will be a win for the Left, (Labour can capitalise on this win if they chose to, or not.)

      The issues where National are particularly vulnerable, even amongst conservative voters, is deep sea oil drilling and climate change.

      Deep sea oil drilling is a very contentious issue, particularly in the North. Nationwide, 80% of the population are opposed to deep sea oil drilling, this sort of poll result must capture many conservative voters. Yet despite there being no votes in it for Labour, Labour still persists in supporting it. This is why a Labour candidate could not possibly get a “Win for the Left”and could only make a hash of it.

      When it comes to the related issue of climate change…,

      Even a conservative “populist” like Winston Peters when asked by a reporter, whether he believed in climate change replied in his inimitable way “You would have to be a fool not to”

      It is for this reason that I think a Green candidate, or even as Tamati suggested, Winston Peters would have a better chance of getting runs on the board against National in this seat than a Labour candidate.

      This effect could be magnified is all the opposition parties including Labour worked together to get behind the candidate.

      After witnessing Labour’s sectarian strategy in the general election – This probably is the real, Can Pigs Fly, conjecture in this post.

      • Please don’t tell me what my subtitle should or shouldn’t say, Pat. I wrote this post from a Labour perspective because I think any scenario involving another party of the Left winning Northland is even more of a pipedream.

        And since even Labour is unlikely to win in a safe National seat during a by-election, I propose in my post that Labour can “win” by using the by-election to raise important issues about jobs and inequality.

        • Pat O'Dea 21.5.1.1

          I am not telling what to say Stephanie I am saying you are wrong in what you are saying. Am I not allowed to say that?

          Those who know the North refer to the white rural farming area of Kerikeri as Johannesburg, and not because of the number of SA immigrants in the area, but because of the redneck views of the majority rural white Pakeha farm folk.

          Issues like jobs, and particularly inequality, will go down like a lead balloon in this political environment.

          Surely Stephanie you realise this?

          However, according to Gareth Morgan (though he has yet to prove it) conservative voters have a soft spot for the environment.


          ‘The future will be green or not at all’

          I never suggested that another party of the Left could win Northland. Stephanie please do not put words into my mouth that I never said.

          All I am saying is that a combined Left campaign would be far more devastating than a Labour alone campaign.

          But of course that will never happen as long as Labour are committed to deep sea oil drilling in the North.

          The danger for Labour is, that if Labour refuse to address their support for this highly unpopular policy, and refuse to work with the Green Party (and the wider Left) on a jointly agreed campaign, then Labour could quite possibly get beaten into third place by the Greens.

          In fact I would recommend to the Greens that if the Labour Party refuse to work with them over this bi-election, and continue their sectarian me first strategy, then the Green Party should campaign to make this by-election a referendum on deep sea oil drilling and climate change.

          For two reasons; Firstly, because opposing unconventional fossil fuels like deep sea oil is the right thing to do.
          Secondly, unless their difference over deep sea oil is definitively sorted out, it will remain problematic in forming a viable Labour led Green Party coalition.

          Let us find out whose billboard message strikes a greater resonance in this electorate.

          “Jobs and inequality” Or “Stop Deep Sea Oil Drilling”

          I would put my money on the latter.

          Disclosure: Pat O’Dea is the Mana spokesperson for climate change issues

          [Stephanie: Don’t be a condescending dick. Your comment clearly said “I think Stephanie has worded it wrong, the subtitle should be”. You do not know better than me why I wrote what I wrote. Disagreement is not the problem: implying that authors are too stupid to understand their own words is the problem.]

          • Pat O'Dea 21.5.1.1.1

            No need to get abusive Stephanie. I also think your grounds for this abuse a little pedantic. And Yes, I still think you worded it wrong. Am I not allowed to say this?

            And yes I am aware that you “wrote this post from a Labour perspective”.

            My opposing opinion is that a credible result for the Left is more achievable than a Labour alone effort.

            How about this; If you don’t like what I said, Instead of splitting hairs and getting abusive. Don’t you think it might be more politic to address the argument?

            And I never implied that I think you are stupid, I am sorry if you feel that way.

            I have, for a number of reasons, that I would like to discuss with you, the sincere opinion that Labour’s campaign as you have set it out just like the general election result will be a dismal failure.

            I may live to be proved wrong, if so I will accept that with good grace.

            • Pat O'Dea 21.5.1.1.1.1

              look I apologise Stephanie if we got off on the wrong foot.

              Let’s start again.

              From your post I took it that you were asking the wider Left and the Greens to get behind a Labour candidate without Labour agreeing to making any concessions at all to the Wider Left or the Greens. And instead for Labour to go it alone.

              My suggestion is that a combined Left campaign would do better.

              What if for argument’s sake Labour stood a candidate prepared to stand on a platform that the wider Left the Greens and local Maori concerned about Kaitiaki of the seabed and foreshore could get behind? One that encompassed opposition to deep sea oil drilling, and for jobs. On such a program I know that the Greens would be prepared to step down and give their support to Labour.

              Mike Sabin won this seat with 18 thousand 269 votes

              The combined Green Labour candidate vote came to 12 thousand 608.

              Sabin’s disgrace, together with a broad Left campaign encompassing both opposition to deep sea oil drilling and for jobs and equality, should be able to lift this by at least another couple of thousand votes, enough to give National a scare. As well as demonstrating to the nation that Labour and the Greens can work together.

              Here are a few of my suggested bill board campaign ideas:

              Vote: Against Deep Sea Oil drilling
              For Northland

              Vote: Against inequality
              For jobs

              Vote: For Labour, Vote for jobs, Vote for the climate, Vote for the future.

              This is what I call an inspiring campaign

              On this platform I predict that the Labour candidate should be able to get within 4,000 votes of Sabin’s replacement, and National would know that they have been in a fight.

              Without this approach I expect that even in the light of Sabin’s disgrace that the Labour candidate will do worse than in the general election, and possibly even worse than the Green candidate.

              That would be just tragic.

              [Stephanie: Nope, I was talking about Labour and addressing a Labour audience. Maybe you should check before being a condescending dick in future.]

      • Incognito 21.5.2

        If Winston Peters stands in this by-election and if he wins will that get rid of the overhang in Parliament?

  22. Stuart Munro 22

    Labour should take this one to the mattresses in a dress rehearsal for the early ousting of Key. Tired of the crook yet? might be a good motto.

    And if Labour lacks the energy then a Green candidate should do it. There are no shortage of issues and discontent.

    • Wayne 22.1

      Yes, go for it. That billboard slogan will really appeal to New Zealanders. In fact I would encourage Andrew Little to say it whenever he talks about John Key. Should be a real winner.

      • rawshark-yeshe 22.1.1

        @Wayne … this might help to lighten your heavy sarcasm load.. dated yesterday …

        [Sorry RY but best if this site does not link to that site – MS]

  23. whateva next? 23

    Are there really 18,269 “(financially)comfortable” people who are voters in Northland? Or just a lot of people who believe the right wing narrative? If so, could they possibly be woken up to the idiocracy they have been blindsided by ?

  24. Pat O'Dea 24

    Action on climate change is an election winning strategy

    Ahead of the 2016 elections, the verdict is in: Most people in the United States—including a large number of Republicans—think global warming poses a serious threat to the world and want the government to take action to stave off climate crisis.

    Most Americans want Government action on climate change

    I am sure that a similar poll done in New Zealand would return the same result.
    Showing that in conservative seats it is possible to make common ground with normally conservative voters.

    Now in a third summer drought farmers after a winter of extreme precipitation events will not particularly welcome more oil wells, this is apart from the danger of oil spills.

  25. Wensleydale 25

    Anyone else keen to see Brooke Sabin interview his old man regarding the reason for his sudden resignation? Purely for shits and giggles of course, and as a demonstration of his… *cough* …journalistic integrity.

  26. Pat O'Dea 26

    Northland faces a by-election, Northland also faces deep sea oil drilling, Why won’t Labour face up to this issue? Why does Labour refuse to work with other parties of the Left?

    “We can do better. And we must, before it’s too late.”

    “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.”
    PRESIDENT OBAMA in his State of the Union address last week.

    The decisions we make now about fossil fuels and energy development will have massive repercussions for future generations – coasts swallowed by rising oceans, dangerously warm temperatures, droughts, food shortages, deadly weather events, wildlife extinctions, the list goes one. We can still avert the worst that climate change will bring but the window for action is rapidly closing. And once it’s shut, there’s no going back….
    MIYOKO SAKASHITA for the Huffington Post, January 30, 2015

    Echoes of Labour

    President Obama ought to be banning offshore drilling in the Arctic and along the Atlantic coasts, not giving them new life. It’s a disappointing and troubling move that casts a long shadow over his promises to finally tackle this crisis.

    Yes, the oil and gas industries will be thrilled to sink their drills into these pristine places but the rest of us – people and wildlife today and tomorrow – will be left coping with a planet suffering from the terrible cost of policies that valued profit and greed over all else.
    MIYOKO SAKASHITA for the Huffington Post, January 30, 2015

  27. Sacha 27

    Using the by-election to show voters a viable alternative government does not mean withdrawing any party’s candidate. Left parties formally agreeing not to attack each other during the campaign, and honuring that promise, would be a start.

    There will always be policy differences and those can be expressed positively in campaigning – ‘here’s what we are offering’ – without needing to slag anyone but the government.

    Taking the example upthread, Labour seem to view oil drilling as offering good jobs for Northland whereas the Greens and Mana have always emphasised the associated environmental damage. That difference may continue for many years. A mature coalition knows the right place and time to disagree about such things and when to bite their tongues. They do not show that by agreeing that all but one of them should go stand in the corner.

    • mickysavage 27.1

      I am sure my comment will attract adverse responses but Dave Clendon performed well last time. If the Greens were to endorse the Labour candidate you never know but it could be interesting. If there is a green candidate then the chances of something interesting are zero. And I appreciate that your response will be “what is in it for the greens”? But this could affect Parliament’s balance of power in quite a dramatic way. Bills like the RMA will be under considerable threat.

      • Sacha 27.1.1

        In tighter electorates, deals like the right have used for years make more sense. Unfortunately this electorate is nowhere near close, even in a by-election. The Nat voters will just turn out more strongly if their party’s tracking polls say they need to.

        So let’s see any left parties who want to use this as a chance to engage local voters do so – but with the guns all facing at the government, not one another.

  28. Michael 28

    I live in a provincial electorate at the other end of the country from Northland but, as I see it, Labour has no chance of winning this seat or even increasing the votes cast for its candidate above those received in last year’s general election. The principal reason is one of Labour’s own making: it has ignored provincial New Zealand (and urban, working-class New Zealand) for too long for it now to close the gap that exists between its caucus and the people who live in provincial New Zealand in the few weeks that a by-election represents. I think Labour should put its effort into reviewing why it is so unpopular with the people it needs to gain power (what happened to these reviews Bryan Gould was conducting, BTW?) and come up with credible ways of regaining popular trust (including further caucus retirements), instead of being distracted by a campaign it cannot win.

    • Alpha 28.1

      is that u john key?

    • Colonial Rawshark 28.2

      Pretty much; Labour remains culturally disconnected (and sometimes openly scornful) of NZ’s provinces. That’s why Labour has only a single rural general electorate seat in the entire country.

  29. Clemgeopin 29

    I am not sure if anyone has made a comment regarding how the by-election will potentially alter the composition of the parliament.

    The election.org page says this:
    http://www.elections.org.nz/voting-system/elections

    ‘A by-election has all the same features as a general election with a few exceptions. The differences are that it is an election for just one electorate, only registered electors of that electorate can vote, and there is no party vote. A by-election takes around the same time as a general election to run.

    A by-election result can change the proportionality of Parliament that was determined at the preceding general election (for example, if a by-election is won by a candidate representing a different party from that of the member who vacated his or her seat)’

    Am I correct in understanding the above as follows:

    Before Sabin resigned, National had 60 MPs. Now have 59.

    * If National wins the bi-election with a new candidate (who is not an existing list member) then Nats will have 59+1 new electorate MP= 60 MPs, as now.

    * If National wins with a candidate who IS an existing list member, then Nats will still have 58 +1 new electorate Mp+1 next in line from list= also 60 MPs as now.

    * If Labour wins, then Nats will have 59, but Labour’s number will go from the present 32 to 33.

    * Similarly, for NZF, if they win, will go up from 11 to 12, and Nats=still 59.

    Am I correct?

    If opposition wins, then numbers will be:

    Nats=59
    Maori party=2
    ACT=1
    Dunne=1

    Total=63

    61 needed to govern;
    [Hopefully, the 2 Maori and 1 Dunne will come out of the dirty dark side]
    —————–
    Labour= 33 (or 32 as now if Labour loses)
    NZF=11 (or 12 if they win)
    Greens=14

    Total=58

    [[Hopefully Maori+Dunne will see the errors of their ways in supporting this dishonest anti people-anti-NZ rogue RW National government]
    ———-

  30. “Labour isn’t going to win this battle – but by fighting it well we start to turn the war around.”

    What defeatest drivel. In order to take the seat off of National, Green/NZF/Labour/Conservative and others (Internet Party) could stand a single candidate. I said as much to all the above parties, and to its credit, at least Labour acknowledged it.

    If you want to fight this by battle at all, it is with the hope of taking the seat. Only taking the seat will turn the ‘war’ around. Labour was routed at the last election.

    • Thanks for your thoughts on my month-old post, James, but I stand by my evaluation of the Northland by-election as a difficult one to win. Willow-Jean Prime would be a fantastic MP and I know she’s going to campaign hard, but even if she doesn’t win, the by-election is a great opportunity for Labour to get their message out. Which was the point of my post.

      As for the suggestion the Conservative Party would ever be able to work cooperatively with Labour and the Greens … well, you used the word “drivel” first.

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