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The Tauranga by election

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, June 18th, 2022 - 64 comments
Categories: by-election, elections, labour, national, Simon Bridges - Tags:

This has been one of the quietest by elections I have ever witnessed.

Normally by elections are rather dramatic things with quirks and strange events.  This one has none of those features despite a host of fringe and weird candidates.  They almost inevitably go against the Government.  And Labour has not won this seat since 1935.

I expect that National will cruise home and if it does not then this will be significant.  Labour will not do as well as it did in 2020 when Jan Tinetti came within 1,857 votes of beating Simon Bridges for the seat.

I expect the result to be similar but worse to 2017 when Bridges won 54% of the candidate vote as opposed to Tinetti’s 26% with the rest being shared amongst the minor candidates.

Which makes the Q & A Kantar poll last week so interesting.  It had National’s Sam Uffindell on 45% and Tinetti on 35%.  If this is the result I personally will celebrate this as a win.

My impression of the candidates is that Uffindell has been wooden and talks mostly in slogans.  His raison d’etre is to build more roads.  He is typically National.

Tinetti is well respected and her promotion into Cabinet underlies her expertise in the Education area.

And for the dumbest take about the by election Josie Pagani has criticized Labour for not performing a similar stunt in the UK where she claims Boris Johnson released the inhumane Rwanda extradition for refugee candidates in order to take the attention off the Tory who resigned after he was discovered watching porn in Parliament.

This post will be updated as results come in.

64 comments on “The Tauranga by election ”

  1. Incognito 1

    @ Micky, this Post had missed it Schedule @ 7:00 pm, so I pushed it out. Hope that’s ok.

    [Cheers thanks for this – MS]

  2. mickysavage 2

    Cheers bloody WordPress …

  3. mickysavage 3

    At 7:50 the results are Uffindell 58% and Tinetti 24% which is not far from the 2017 result.

    Sue Grey is a distant fourth and the others do not bear talking about.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Sue Grey doesn't bear talking about either.

    • Incognito 4.1

      Looks like almost 1,000 people in Tauranga will beg to differ.

    • mauī 4.2

      That's a bit sad… a candidate who had a successful election running on local democracy and community, freedom of choice, and green values is to be ignored…

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1


        Not enough votes = ignored.

        That's politic, I guess.

        Sue and her crew believed they would take this election, as they believe they will take the coming General Election.

        Hope they don't get … ignored …

        (sorry to tease, mauī, I know you are a good, sincere person).

  5. Mike the Lefty 5

    National's perennial solutions for all ills are more roads and tax cuts. National never had a progressive policy in its existence.

    • Obtrectator 5.1

      " … more roads … "

      Blimey, haven't they got enough of 'em yet? Last time I was up that way we couldn't help but notice all the big empty roads everywhere we went in the area, with huge M-way style intersections linking them. Who, we asked ourselves, had decided to build this lot, and why? Then there's that endless ribbon development all the way from The Mount through Papamoa and onward, ever eastward …. Hideous.

      And, as someone further down remarks, a cultural desert (whatever became of the old Historic Village? – now just a few old or old-style buildings gutted of any historic content and housing often-closed modern businesses). Reckon Obtrectatrix and I dodged a bullet when events and circumstances scuppered our plans to semi-retire up there.

      As for the election outcome: Gammonsville stays blue with the usual swing against the sitting government. How utterly unexpected! Nothing to truly perturb Ms Ardern there.

  6. Anne 6

    Uffindell doesn't come across as very bright but that is not a consideration among the Nats. So long as they can sign their name at the bottom of the page. We saw an example of that back in the JK days when the MPS were sent letters to pass on to their constituents. All they had to do was [insert name of electorate here] and sign them.

  7. Incognito 7

    To summarise, the anti-army has invaded and re-captured its own stomping grounds from yesteryear and this is their Victory Day. I salute them on their astonishing accomplishment.

  8. Ross 8

    Which makes the Q & A Kantar poll last week so interesting.

    The Kantar poll was a fantasy. Uffindell wins with 56.3% of the vote, Tinetti finishes a distant second with 25.2%. What a thumping.

    The Newshub poll was not far off the mark.


  9. alwyn 9

    Reply to Incognito.

    It is good to see that you and Micky appear to understand the law about what you can do on Election Day.

    I am told that Cabinet Ministers Jackson, Allan and Tinetti herself didn't bother to stick to the rules. Do you know if that was true?

    • Incognito 9.1

      You should stop listening to those voices inside your head unless you can back them up with a link other than a mind meld.

  10. Robert Guyton 10

    "Sue Grey is a distant fourth and the others do not bear talking about."

    "Sue Grey doesn't bear talking about either."

    "Looks like almost 1,000 people in Tauranga will beg to differ."

    They can talk about her amongst themselves.

    • Incognito 10.1

      My guess is that the chatter around her is not about her per se, as she’s not a cult leader yet, is she?

  11. Belladonna 11

    It would be interesting to see how candidates (and everyone else) are supposed to handle social media posts.

    I mean, the post may have been made on Friday – but it's still live and visible – especially if people are commenting on it – which will push it up the result list on Facebook (for example).

    Technically, should the poster take it down?

    Personally, I don't see any real reason that the law can't be updated, so candidates can continue to campaign on polling day – just not in the vicinity of the polling booths (no one wants to run a gauntlet of desperate politicos in order to cast their vote!)

  12. Belladonna 12

    I'm not sure if this is responding, or not (sorry, if it's in the wrong place)


    Chris Bishop did a gotcha on the official Labour MP accounts doing posts on election day – posts were removed within an hour.

    8.20 timestamp

    • Incognito 12.1

      Nah, that’s a reply @ alwyn, but thanks anyway 🙂

      As for Chris Bishop, it’s a shit job being a muckraker, but somebody’s got to do it, and he does it so well, doesn’t he?

      • Belladonna 12.1.1

        I agree – if stuff is there to find, Bishop (and his admin team) will do so.

        But, pretty elementary mistake from an apparently experienced Labour party organization (I highly doubt Tinetti actually pushed the 'send' button herself – I gather most official MP accounts are actually managed by their local party team and/or their Wellington staff.)

  13. Ross 13

    On election day, you can’t publish or broadcast anything that is likely to influence voters until after voting closes at 7pm. If you publish a newspaper after 6pm on the day before election day, it counts as publishing it on election day. On election day, it's illegal to post or share anything that’s likely to influence voters. This includes photos of completed ballot papers. Posting personal political views on election day can also break the law.

    That seems pretty clear to me. Earlier today Jan Tinetti tweeted: "Let's keep moving forward #Vote#TinettiforTauranga". A simple enough mistake for a Cabinet Minister to make…


  14. Ross 14

    Tauranga Labour candidate Jan Tinetti's campaign could get in trouble with the Electoral Commission, after it made posts encouraging people to vote for her on by-election polling day.

    Under electoral law, candidates and parties are forbidden from campaigning on polling day.

    This includes social media posts.

    But the Facebook page for the Labour candidate made a post saying "hashtag vote, hashtag Tinetti for Tauranga", and reminding people today was their last chance to vote.

    A spokesperson says they became aware of the post within an hour of it being up, and took it down immediately.

    An Electoral Commission spokesperson said in a statement, " I can confirm we became aware of the posts earlier today and contacted the Labour Party. The posts were taken down."

    Come on, Cabinet Ministers cannot be expected to know the law.


    • Blade 14.1

      One wonders what other skulduggery from the Left MAY eventuate leading up to the general election? Chris Luxon may come out from a fancy restaurant in Tauranga to find his Mercedes has four flat tyres and is scrawled with graffiti saying '' no more roads…go electric.''

  15. MickeyBoyle 15

    The Greens should have run a candidate. They need to untie themselves from Labour and start telling kiwis what they stand for. I know they would not have won, but they have missed an opportunity to get their message out to voters.

    As for the result, no big surprise. I thought Jan might do better considering there was no Green candidate and she has recently been promoted to inside of cabinet.

    Not a great result for the left and it continues a run of average news unfortunately.

    • Mike the Lefty 15.1

      I was surprised when the Greens didn't run a candidate because it could have given them a good indicator of how the NZ voters really view their involvement in government – whether it counts for real or is just token. I also really thought that Winston would stand too, considering his history in the seat, and that would have made the by-election campaigning a bit more lively instead of being as Stuff described it as one of the most low-key by-elections ever.

      The result was as most expected: a comfortable win for National on the back of falling support for the government, economic bad news and post=COVID fatigue. The low turn out comes from many people taking the result as a foregone conclusion and therefore not bothering.

      Unnoticed by the media was ACT's showing – just over 10% of the vote that suggests ACT could well be a deciding force in the next general election and that National had better not ignore what's going on to its right.

      • MickeyBoyle 15.1.1

        National won't care about what's going on to the right of them with ACT. Seymour will go with National and no one else.

        Deep down many on the right will be hoping for a strong ACT showing, just like many here would love for Labour to be reliant on the Greens. Yes the center is where elections are won and Luxon seems to be doing a good job winning those voters back. But to the edges of both sides is where true transformational policy lies.

        A strong Green or ACT vote means transformational policies can be delivered and gives National and Labour someone to blame if it all goes pear shaped.

      • Temp ORary 15.1.2

        I was neither surprised nor disappointed that the GP chose not to squander their limited resources on contesting an unwinnable by-election. Tauranga not only doesn't represent Aotearoa as a whole, the 19,403 people who were registered and chose to cast a by-election vote in the Tauranga electorate on Saturday can barely be said to represent the 130k residents of the city of Tauranga.


        That's the link that the page gave me – hopefully it's specific enough to get to the Tauranga results, otherwise it's just a click away. But if we take the 2020 numbers as a rough guide, there were 12k people who didn't turn out to vote for Tinetti in this by-election compared to the last general election (more voting Labour on PV). If the 1,901 votes that Cole (2,407 GP) recieved last election had suffered a proportionate diminution, then that would work out as 552 votes – 60% of the 917 NZOF's Grey.


    • Belladonna 15.2

      I agree that I was surprised not to see a Green candidate.
      Possibly cost was a factor – in an election that they had no chance of winning.
      However, as you say, it would have given them a platform to test communication strategies and ideas – and de-coupled them from Labour.

      I don't think they would have been worried about potentially kneecapping Tinetti – and letting Uffindell through the middle with a split vote – this was always a safe National seat.

      I'm assuming that Green voters simply stayed at home, and didn't bother voting.

      No surprise that Peters didn't stand. That boat has long sailed from the Tauranga electorate – and he has zero interest in wasting money (assuming that NZF actually has any, after the last debacle being played out in the courtroom now) – on an election he couldn't win. It's all about Winston, remember….

  16. Ad 16

    Tauranga is a perfect National city: car-reliant, no soul, past-erasing, nothing but agricultural servicing and real estate.

    Its Council is stripped out to mere admin, has no plan, its roads are intestinal, and it has ruined everything that used to be good about it.

    The new mp will simply support more and more and more of that.

    • Blade 16.1

      It never used to be that way. The old Tauranga and Mt Maunganui died in1989 when the rest of NZ rolled in to enjoy a good thing instead of just visiting for the holidays.

    • RosieLee 16.2

      Correct. And that photo pretty much sums it up. Sickmaking.

    • Robert Guyton 16.3

      Nat heartland then!

    • Psycho Milt 16.4

      No soul? Hey, to be fair I hear Tauranga has an excellent white supremacy museum.

    • Belladonna 16.5

      If no local government, who is to blame?
      3 years of government appointed commissioners….. Just been extended, by Mahuta, so no local government elections this year.

      It doesn't matter, whether left or right-wing – central government should be very wary of stepping in to run local government. It should be last resort, and should be on a very short timeframe.

      If the commissioners can't sort out the local government in 3 years – why would 2 more make any difference?

      Mahuta's involvement in this, combined with 3 waters – gives the opposition a lot of conspiracy theory to play with.

      • Incognito 16.5.1

        Conspiracy theorists always find something to feed and confirm their paranoid suspicions. For example, they may want to create the impression that central government, and Minister Mahuta in particular, have taken all control away from the local authority to push through a nefarious agenda.

        Rarely will those conspiracy theorists read up on facts – they prefer to listen to talkback radio to have their worst fears confirmed – and even more rarely will they change their tune after analysing such inconvenient facts.


        • Belladonna

          Read it.
          To summarize: The Commissioners (appointed, not elected) don't trust the people of Tauranga to elect representatives that will carry out their plan.

          Really, this quote says it all

          How to mitigate the risk that a newly-elected Council reverses significant Commission decisions and deviates from the strategic path which the Commission has determined is required;

          Followed by the ‘solution’

          “It is the view of the Commission that this is best achieved through a 12-month extension of the Commission’s term; election of a new council in October 2023; and having a Commissioner appointed as a Crown Manager at the commencement of the new elected council, with Terms of Reference covering the matters outlined in (b) above.”

          So, pretend to allow democracy again, but actually retain the reins of power in an un-elected Crown Manager, appointed solely by the Minister.

          Democracy is a failure, because the people are too ignorant to elect 'proper' representatives.

          Dictatorship is the solution.

          • Incognito

            Democracy is a failure, because the people are too ignorant to elect ‘proper’ representatives.

            Dictatorship is the solution.

            Didn’t expect you to brandish lazy labels and make nonsensical statements. But at least you appeared to have read it, so that’s something, I guess.

            This Exit Plan recommendation reflects the Commission’s view that the scale and significance of identified high risk areas is such there will be actual or probable adverse consequences for residents and ratepayers of a return to an elected council in October 2022. Furthermore, the substantive positive momentum and change achieved through the term of the Commission could be reversed, with significant detrimental impact on the city and the sub-region.

            The Exit Plan provides a pathway to return to a democratically elected council, while also mitigating the more significant risks associated with that course.

            • Blade

              Mikey said giving the green light for the redevelopment of Tauranga CBD is the only good thing the Commissioners have done. I don't know whether that is correct of not. All I know is if the shite hits the fan I assume the commissioners can walk away without a care in the world?


              ''Rarely will those conspiracy theorists read up on facts – they prefer to listen to talkback radio to have their worst fears confirmed.''

              I have heard a few ring talkback, sometimes more than a few. Most get cut down by the host, and exit stage left. If a host should express a view(s) like Peter Williams did about the Covid vaccine, they suddenly don't return to their job. I'm afraid it's not the whacky wonderland you believe it is or want it to be.

              I don't listen to talkback to have my worst fears confirmed. Talkback provides the litany of fears that unfortunately more times than not foreshadow future realities.

              • Incognito

                Rarely will those conspiracy theorists read up on facts – they prefer to listen to talkback radio to have their worst fears confirmed.


                • Blade

                  QED…just what I was thinking. But I didn't know the cool Latin to describe said thoughts. I would have said you live in a self contained bubble.

                  ''Q.E.D. is an acronym for the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, a fancy way to show off you just logically proved something.''

                  Yes, I believe I have.

                  • Incognito

                    Well done, Grasshopper, you have come a long way on the path to self-endearment and belief in talkback conspiracies. Master Mikey is rolling his milky eyes up to sky full with pride.

            • Belladonna

              As I said, 'pretend' democracy.

              Real democracy is where the electorate can elect representatives to reflect where and how they want to spend their money – regardless of the priorities that the 'governing classes' might wish them to have.

              • Incognito

                That’s a rather narrow definition and understanding of ‘real democracy’, as if there’s only one ‘real’ one!?

                Yup, we all know that the elites and the ‘governing classes’ only have their own interests at heart and are pushing their own nefarious agendas in secrecy and in stealth under the cover of democratic elections. And it might be considered a thought-crime to think negative or critical thoughts of our central government – local government are the good guys, of course.

                You must be looking forward to 8 October, when the forces of good do battle on the field to choose who might be worthy to face the evil enemy that is central government. I hope Leo will win in Auckland because they need strong and decisive leadership. I assume he’s endorsed by Mikey, which is an up-tick for me, because what Mikey says feels good (enough) to me. Are you in Camp Leo too?

                • Belladonna

                  Nope. Leo's not my cup of tea at all (more for personal than political reasons – Auckland is a small town (figuratively speaking), and I know a bit too much about him).

                  However, I do support democracy, rather than autocracy – regardless of whether the left or right do it.

                  And, I'm deeply allergic to 'mother knows best' style of governance.

                  There is nothing at all democratic about the commissioners appointed in Tauranga. Not elected. Local people have no say over who was appointed, and for how long, or over the policy they've implemented.

                  Just think for a moment, would you be equally as supportive of this situation, if it were a Right-wing government who'd appointed a board of commissioners, and openly agreed with their proposal to enshrine a Government Manager in place (to cement in their programme), before elections (which, horror of horrors) might return people who disagreed with the agenda?

                  I always vote (even when I don't think my vote will do any good – i.e. change the outcome). I think if you choose not to vote, then you have zero right to complain about the outcome for the next 3 years 🙂

                  PS: are you implying that Efeso Collins won't be a strong leader? I think that would be news to many of the people I know in his 'camp'.

                  • Incognito

                    So, elected officials appointing unelected officials is undemocratic and autocratic? Even when this is a temporary measure to enable a re-start of the local democratic process with positive and better outcomes?

                    NZ Law specifically allows for Commission. Such Commission is supposed to act on behalf of and in the interest of the local authority.


                    As a mother you’d know that mother doesn’t always know best but often she does. And even when she’s wrong she’s still the parent with the authority and respect. Democracy is not B&W and it’ll never be ‘perfect’ either and there are many forms of democracy just as there are many forms of motherhood.

                    Leo has the mongrel to give the finger to central government. Some talkback listeners would consider this the best thing since the bee’s knees and he can count on those votes.

                    • Belladonna

                      Well, I hope that you're still of the same mind if/when a Right wing government appoints commissioners.

                      That will, presumably, be just as 'democratic' in your eyes.

                      Yep. Mum knows best (benevolent – well, we hope so – autocracy) is an essential rule when dealing with toddlers' bedtimes and tantrums – doesn't work so effectively when the 'child' is 15 – let alone 35.

                    • Incognito []

                      Don’t be daft! There is no singular version of ‘real democracy’ and each case needs to be judged on its merits and outcomes. Unlike you, it seems, I have a much more fluid idea of what democracy is and no dogmatic or ideological hang-ups either.

                      A child is still the child, even at 15, and that seems where some parents seem to drop the ball (too early). Once they have moved out and become independent things change, of course, but never the respect for the parent even if that parent screwed up badly. There’s not to be a rewrite of one’s upbringing, no ‘Whig fallacy’ and no ‘presentism’.

                    • Blade

                      I don't think Belladonna is much interested in talkback and its machinations. Only I am.

                    • Incognito []

                      She might be interested but at least she can think for herself and construct a decent argument and counter-argument unlike some talkback co-dependents.

                    • Blade

                      If you say so. I don't believe that for one moment. I'm a regular Arthur Whimbey.

  17. Tiger Mountain 17

    “Towel–Wronga” reaffirms its status as one of NZ’s true shit towns, a venal money trench for blue suit wearers–a cultural and intellectual desert best avoided by anyone with some realisation of what living in the 21st century should entail.

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