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The seat of Napier is now in play

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, October 1st, 2013 - 41 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Stuart Nash2

Chris Tremain somewhat unexpectedly announced yesterday that he will not be standing at the next election.  He has been the MP for Napier for the past eight years.  He won the seat in 2005 with a 3,600 majority over labour’s Russell Fairbrother, pushed it out to 9,000 in 2008 but then, in 2011 in an election where National blitzed the opposition saw his majority crumble to 3,700 over Stuart Nash.

This was a surprising result and testimony to an energetic campaign run by Nash.  In 2011 outside of Auckland and the West Coast Labour struggled to find anything to cheer about.  But the Napier result gives Stuart Nash, presuming he is selected as candidate, and Labour some hope of winning the seat next year.

Maybe Tremain saw the writing on the wall.  A similarly sized swing to the last one would have seen him relying on a list position to remain in Parliament.  And John Key has been clear in stipulating performance at an electorate level as a career enhancing requirement, and loss of an electorate seat as something to frown about.

Although we have MMP this approach is perfectly sound.  An electorate seat gives gravitas and resources to an area that should result in an improved political performance.

And Labour struggled to win provincial seats last time.  Amongst the General Electorates the only electorate winners outside of the four main metropolitan centres were Iain Lees Galloway in Palmerston North and Damien O’Connor in West Coast.

There is plenty of reason for hope.  This Government’s only approach to regional development is to leave it to the market.  A helping hand to the provinces could not only lift up their quality of living but also reduce the urge of Kiwis to flock to Auckland.    David Cunliffe choosing himself to be spokesperson for Regional Development shows the importance he attaches to this policy.

So expect a strong emphasis on regional development especially on job creation in the lead up to the next election.  And I would recommend that Labour hits the road and starts visiting the provinces to persuade locals that the best sort of political leadership is that which plays an active role in fashioning the future and not that which sits on its hands and hopes the wealthy decide to work for the common good.

41 comments on “The seat of Napier is now in play ”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    Stuart Nash, hmmm.

  2. Bill 2

    …presuming he is selected as candidate…

    A bit of a sidebar comment. (apologies) But the degree of appreciation, should someone familiar with the in’s and out’s of the selection process compile an informative post…it would be ‘up there’ somewhere 😉

    Y’know, how much (if any) influence/input do members have? How much (if any) influence/input do members sitting on LEC’s have? How much (if any) influence/input comes from ‘party central’, affiliates etc?

    And if members need to be on their local LEC to have a say/voice, then how do they go about doing that? And is there a limit to the size of LEC’s?….etc,etc,etc.

    • Rogue Trooper 2.1

      colloquially speaking

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Hi Bill.

      Depending on the number of party members in an electorate locals will have either two or three representatives on the selection panel and head office appoints another three representatives. There is also a card vote of members and affiliates who have had continuous membership for no less than 12 months and an indicative vote of all other members.

      A strong local organisation can insist on their candidate being selected as long as their support is solid.

      It appears that Stuart Nash is keen to give it another go.

      • Rogue Trooper 2.2.1

        imho (opinion), not prophecy, Napier is likely to remain National; while having a solitary morning cup of tea out in the garden, wearing a blue tee-shirt, a bumble-bee mistook me for a lavender bush.

        • greywarbler

          Do you think this was a familiar of the local NACTs and it was looking to be your creature? Or did it just like blue which I think they see as yellow, or or in our recent heraldic design. It all fits – in my fevered mind.

      • Bill 2.2.2

        Thanks Mickey. And you know that your comment has raised a number of further questions to do with the finer machinations of the structure(s) you’ve outlined. But I’ll save them for now, as this isn’t really the thread for it.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Wasnt there a missive, some months back, from the collective going by the name of Whaleoil that said Tremain was going to lose at the next election…unless had their special services to run his campaign ?

  4. Ramsay 4

    Good news for those of us who support a moderate, centrist Labour party.

  5. Tracey 5

    Im put in mind of simon powers resignation 12 months out from last election.

    any howls of discord in the nat ranks? No suggestion of bullying of the “younger” rising stars?

    Nah its national not labour

  6. Tracey 6

    And John Key has been clear in stipulating performance at an electorate level as a career enhancing requirement, and loss of an electorate seat as something to frown about.”

    Says he was gifted a safe sear

  7. Tracey 7

    “A moderate centrist labour party” – oh you mean national lite?

    Who will you vote for if you dont get your wish…

  8. just saying 8

    What party is Nash thinking of standing for?

    Glad there is no dynastic theme in this one Mickey.

  9. Skinny 9

    As long as Stu goes with the new direction of the LP, which is a political party that represents the interests of all Kiwis ‘meaning the rich are put into line.’ basically a party that has a social conscience.

    Don’t worry senior whip Sue Moroney has his number and will take delight in reining him in should he show overy overt tendencies lol.

    • Ron 9.1

      Thats all very well but I don’t recall Nash being any sort of team player. He certainly savaged Fran Mold which was not helpful to the party. I seem to remember some report of Nash being almost frog marched from Leaders office. Do we have any record of him being supportive to the current leader. I note he has recently been voicing nice things about DC but that seems newly found.
      I also note that he seemed very close to Pagani and I would prefer the party keep well away from that person.
      Surely we should be putting up some really good people for Napier selection committee and ensure we have a good chance of winning seat come election.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.1

        Whos this “we should be putting up some really good people”-

        is this like National where the nomenklatura decide which ones are favoured to be in the final group where the pretence of democracy occurs in selection of the candidate

        • Ron

          We as in NZ Labour Party. We should always be on outlook for good talent that will benefit the party and the people of New Zealand. One of the stupid positions we have got to now is that there did not seem to be any planned succession plan within party for nine years under Helen which is almost criminal. We need constant new blood coming into the party and not rely on people that have just hung around because they find it a easy to do so.

  10. Jenny Michie 10

    Stu Nash is absolutely the right man for this seat. He has continued to campaign for labour despite being shafted on the list. He’s built up a great organisation, is well regarded and just from a personal perspective, he was out campaigning for meka every week in the last by election, which is more than can be said for a number of people who should have known better. Also he’s smart and has a brilliant network here in Napier. The issue for labour is who’s going to stand against Craig foss in tukitukii. He’s hanging on by the skin of his ministerial teeth.

    • Ron 10.1

      But you did not really answer my question. Is he supportive of David Cunliffe and the current party lineup?
      Did he get ejected from Shearers office and if so why?
      Is he just another of Pagani’s people with their peculiar outlook on left wing politics?
      Can you point to any public statements that would indicate he is supportive of the way that party is heading or are we going to just have another closet right wing person economically speaking.

      Stu Nash is absolutely the right man for this seat. He has continued to campaign for labour despite being shafted on the list. He’s built up a great organisation, is well regarded and just from a personal perspective, he was out campaigning for meka every week in the last by election, which is more than can be said for a number of people who should have known better. Also he’s smart and has a brilliant network here in Napier. The issue for labour is who’s going to stand against Craig foss in tukitukii. He’s hanging on by the skin of his ministerial teeth.

      • Tamati 10.1.1

        The party needs both wings if it wants to fly mate. I don’t know where Stu stands on the issues, but if he has half a brain he’ll get in or get out.

    • Sanctuary 10.2

      Now that poisonous bastard Louis Peirard isn’t editor of the local paper hopefully Nash will also get a better hearing than the disgraceful smear campaign that Pierard ran to get ensure the defeat of Fairbrother.

    • my nickname for foss is foss-the-hapless..

      ..he defines bumbling incompetence..

      ..and has all the presence of a sun-dried cow-pat…

      ..and tremain has a few nicknames..

      ..(and along with the robotic-voiced guy..is hekle and jekyl..)

      ..my favourite nickname for him is ‘startled meerkat’…

      ..he looks like a meerkat..

      ..but it is mainly in the eyes..(all nervy/twitchy..)..

      ..and i have no problems imagining him suddenly popping up out of the ground…

      ..and nervously scanning the horizon..

      ..when he would jump to his feet in parliament..

      ..i imagined him somewhere out on the savannah..

      ..phillip ure..

  11. Tamati 11

    I’d be surprised it Tukituki came in play next year.

    Foss has a majority of over 10,000 and outpolled his own party vote in Tukituki (Unlike Tremain), so he obviously has some personal popularity in the region. Besides, the Havlock North area has become more and more of a retirement village area for wealthy Wellingtonians and Aucklanders. Labour will struggle against the demograhpic shift.

    Best to focus on winning Napier and just the party vote for the whole Hawke’s Bay area.

  12. Jenny Michie 12

    Ron, yes he is supportive of DC and the current line up. I don’t know what happened to him regarding the chief of staff roll but I do know that the COS position is one that can’t be filled by just anyone – it takes a very particular skill set not necessarily filled by MPs or ex-journalists.

    And I’m not sure what you mean by a ‘particular take on left wing policies’ and his association with John Pagani. John is ex Alliance – that’s pretty left. I’m proud to be an associate of Pagani, as I am to be standing by Stu. What we need is more Labour seats in the provinces where we have been thoroughly whipped so I for one am happy to get on board.

    • just saying 12.1

      May have once been left.
      Nowadays, however…

      • Ramsay 12.1.1

        Unfortunately, John Pagani crossed the line (for some here) by defending the previous leadership of the Labour Party. A minority of commenters seem to be experiencing a sort of “David Cunliffe Ultramontanism” where they don’t just see him as the best, most prudent choice to lead the New Zealand Labour Party but a messianic, father figure who is poised to bring about an administration of national salvation.

        Everything they perceive to be outside of that, is anathema.

        When the fever will break, I do not know.

        [lprent: John Pagani crossed the line here by accusing one of the authors of lying and cowardice. What he was accusing the author of was something that John himself had made up about the post – because it wasn’t in it. It was one of the most disgusting and overt bits of strawman activity that I’ve seen in politics. I classed him amongst the arseholes of politics, a dickhead of the net, and banned him *permanently* from the site.

        In my opinion he is a political fool. I wound up with a much better idea about why the rump of the Alliance never managed to make any headway outside of a single electorate when in theory they should have been able to carve a much larger niche out of the political landscape. Having a dumbarse like that running strategy would have been a excellent way of driving away supporters and activists. ]

  13. Morrissey 13

    With this utterly hopeless time-server slipping away unnoticed, the main vacuous head-nodders in parliament will now be Tim McIndoe and Louise Upston. They are the two directly behind the Prime Minister in this clip….

    • Rogue Trooper 13.1

      Good call!

    • the pigman 13.2

      Louise Upston a vacuous time-server? I think not. From her appearance on Parliament TV (behind the PM *spit* as you say) she appears to be by far the most… alert of the MPs on National’s side of the house. Almost too alert if you ask me (conspiratorial italics emphasized). Also, if I recall correctly, quite a lot has been invested in her promotion/PR already…

      • ghostwhowalksnz 13.2.1

        Shes the Whip, so its her job to pay attention whats happening around her in the house.

        Others are thinking what time their flight leaves Wellington or are reading newspapers

  14. Tony77 14

    “The issue for labour is who’s going to stand against Craig Foss in Tukitukii. He’s hanging on by the skin of his ministerial teeth.”

    The answer is Henarae O’Keefe – a legend in his community of Flaxmere – in the Tukitiki electorate. He might not win next year but if he gets a good place on the list then he will almost certainly take the seat in 2017. He would be a huge asset to the seat and the party and would bring voters across and voters out. He of course ran for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti nomination but missed out to good competition.

    Labour needs good people like Nash and O’Keefe.

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