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Time for a change in Ohariu

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, September 5th, 2011 - 19 comments
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Labour’s Charles Chauvel is campaigning hard in Ohariu, and would certainly bring a fresh approach and much more energy to representing the electorate. The polls are close, so close that John Key has had to come out to Ohariu’s small party launch to support Dunne. Katrina Shanks has been sidelined – parked in the middle of National’s list along with their other sacrificial lamb in Paul Goldsmith.This tactic may backfire – word is that many people in the electorate don’t like being told how to vote.

Peter Dunne has certainly been around a long time – I remember him as a Labour MP in the 1980’s. He’s was a bit of a chameleon then and he’s now represented four political parties over twenty-seven years in Parliament. He has been assiduous in cultivating the electorate over that time but people say that is slowing down too these days.

Saturday’s DomPost gave some good coverage to what is shaping as a real fight.  United Future’s president Judy Turner says Dunne is “part of the furniture of Ohariu.” Perhaps Key had to intervene because people were noticing that the furniture is a bit worn. Certainly some in Ohariu think so as these videos show.

The photos too – not on-line – were illustrative – Chauvel’s genuine engagement with some kids, Key and Shanks smiling at the floor but not each other, and Dunne staring at tins of food in a foodbank that unlike the rest of the country is seeing decreasing demand.

19 comments on “Time for a change in Ohariu ”

  1. There are fascinating possibilities here. The encumbent has an obvious advantage being connected to a popular government that is likley to be returned.

    One interesting scenario – if it closes up and the overall party numbers look tight getting close to the election, which way would floating voters go if the choice looked like being National + Act (if Chauvel wins) versus National + UnitedFuture?

  2. Tigger 2

    As a local I can tell you that Shanks is MIA. I couldn’t tell you what she’s been doing for the past few years and I’m supposedly a potential voter. With numbers close I expect Dunne’s people door knocking prior to the election (something they didn’t do in our street at least last election) and I look forward to engaging them in a discussion about his voting record…

    Got a candidates meeting for the KEG (Korokoro Environmental Group) later this month. Great to have an opportunity to see them all up close and very local. They’ll mainly be answering environmental based questions. Hopefully by then someone will have explained to Shanks what ‘environment’ means. They’ll probably also have to point out Korokoro to her.

  3. mikesh 3

    I spotted Shanks Friday morning at Johnsonville Mall, helping out at the Challenge 2000 stand.

    Well, I just thought you might be interested.

  4. johnm 4

    Dunne is a spineless jelly fish floating in the warm sea of political patronage. When the Blue colony is dominant with excellent feeding opportunities he floats over to them. When the Red colony is doing best offering better feeding opportunities…he floats over to them. It’s a good life and this jelly fish is now about 27 years old—-good life span.

    My impression of Katrina Shanks is…. she is awaiting beatification from the Pope! Her angelic smile speaks of a lofty spiritual nature far removed from politics.

    • At least Dunne gets to do stuff that make a difference:

      Dunne announces NZ Medicines Formulary

      Health professionals will soon have access to an up-to-date, comprehensive and New Zealand-specific medicines information resource, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced today.

      “Whether prescribing, dispensing or administering a medicine, the New Zealand Medicines Formulary (NZMF) will be the first reference resource for health professionals wanting information on those medicines,” Mr Dunne said.

      He said the formulary will provide concise, independent, evidence-based medicines information and guidance on best practice, and will be available in all service areas.

      Chauvel is likely to have to tread water for another three years.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        At least Dunne gets to do stuff that make a difference:

        Its bloody vapourware lol but that does sound like the limit of Dunne’s impact in parliament

        Until health practitioners actively start using the ‘Formulary’ and decide that it is a better resource than what they have been using up until now, its just another Government PR waste of money , a website sitting there gathering dust.

      • Hanswrst 4.1.2

        I don’t think that Dunne’s ability to announce things has ever been in doubt.

      • kriswgtn 4.1.3

        At least Dunne gets to do stuff that make a difference:


        New workplace legislation extending the 90 day fire at will policy wa supported by Ohariu’s Government MPs Peter Dunne and Katrina Shanks and they both voted accordingly

        Well done allright
        and make a difference

        For sure

        I have a friend lives in Belmont

        He said to me on Sunday

        It has made things harder for working kiwis in Ohariu who are feeling uncertain about their job security

      • mik e 4.1.4

        Boring people to death yeah right Kronic fatigue syndrone

      • mikesh 4.1.5

        All he did was announce it. If I had been associate minister of health then I guess I’d have had the privilege of announcing it; but so what.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Dunne may well have gone past his used by date, but let’s not get too snotty about it. He’s been a reasonable ‘middle of the road’ party leader who has skillfully played the cards he’s been dealt.

    And Ohariu-Belmont is an interesting electorate, with the highest average income and educational attainment in the country and is well liked personally. Dunne has done the hard yards on the ground for many, many years and made himself ‘part of the furniture’. None of that was an accident.

    So while I’m not asking anyone here to like his politics, and I don’t much either; there isn’t much respect earned by slagging off a man whose achieved more than any of us have… or are ever likely to.

    I guess what I’m saying is that while we all know politics is a bruising game, there comes a point when you can step back and acknowledge your opponent for playing well.

  6. mik e 6

    The worm takes another turn

  7. McFlock 7

    I was thinking that maybe it was a wee bit of wishful thinking, but I didn’t realise itwasessentially a marginal seat. Fascinating – 1 seat is 1 seat, and the house really might come down to 1 or 2 seats this time.

  8. Shazzadude 8

    I think Dunne will be fine, and will increase his majority. I expect he’ll lose 2,000 of his votes last time to Chauvel (those who like Dunne but prefer Labour), but take up around 5,000 votes off Shanks.

  9. alex 9

    The situation in Ohariu is a real shame for the left, Chauvel is a great candidate, but so is Hughes, and its a pity the race for the seat can’t be between them. Wish Dunne would get a move on so we didn’t have to all swing in behind Labour by default.

  10. Mark 10

    @Alex that is an uninformed comment. Look at party votes in the area over the past few elections – the right always wins. The left can only take it in a 3-way split but all evidence would suggest they would lose it the next time round. Dunne won for labour in 1984 in a 3 way split and managed to hold on by being on the right of the labour causcus and then outright leaving them to move into the centre-right block – this is why he has managed to hold on.

    Your suggestion is that when Dunne retires it will let Labour and the Greens have a proper battle to see who will take the seat. Illogical. It will become a National safe seat, or heavens forbide a lifeline for ACT or another right wing party.

    Head out of arse people: Ohariu is not going to swing left against the mood in the rest of the country.

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