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Twelve mistakes National made in Northland

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, March 30th, 2015 - 86 comments
Categories: by-election, john key, national, uncategorized - Tags: , ,

National made many specific mistakes of course, but arrogance is the thread running through all of them:

(1) There would not have been a Northland by election without National’s arrogance. They put Sabin forward in the 2014 general election knowing that there were “rumours” hanging over him that could force him to later resign. They let that happen because they were distracted by other matters at the time, and because they assumed that later winning a by election in the safe seat was a foregone conclusion.

(2) They underestimated Winston Peters and his Northland roots. Key wrote him off as having “zero” chance, a mistake that probably crystalised the protest vote support for Peters in that first shock poll. That quotable misjudgement haunted the whole National campaign.

(3) They never acknowledged that the circumstances of the by election were their fault, and they never apologised to Northland for it. An apology would have done much to quell the power of the rumours.

(4) They selected a weak candidate with an inquiry hanging over him.

(5) They selected their candidate too late, and started their campaign too late.

(6) Their campaign was (according to Farrar) organised and run by a Wellington team, putting off the locals.

(7) They never let their candidate be himself and speak for himself. Refusing to put him in the studio with Peters (and having Joyce “managing” him from off camera during the debate) completely undermined his credibility.

(8) They lied about the number of jobs created in Northland. It was never plausible, they got caught out, another indication of treating the locals with contempt.

(9) After the polls putting Peters ahead they panicked. That panic took many forms, the first was to promise far too much pork far too soon. It was just too obvious, and they were ridiculed for it.

(10) They threatened locals to keep quiet until after the election. That’s a terrible, terrible, terrible look.

(11) They flooded the electorate with Wellington suits and limos. By now it was too late, and this just further emphasised the panic and the disconnect with Northland.

(12) They depended too much on the “Key magic”. That is now a busted flush.

At every level these are mistakes born of arrogance – the sure and certain knowledge that they could take the voters of Northland for granted, and (as things started to go wrong) that the clique around Key knew best. On top of decades of neglect it was too much. And so to many people’s surprise (including mine!) pride went before a fall in Northland.

86 comments on “Twelve mistakes National made in Northland”

  1. Ron 1

    Maybe Labour has lessons to learn from the results as well. If you are contesting an election in a strongly conservative electorate don’t waste time putting up a leftwing candidate. if the party can not tolerate conservative people in the parliamentary party they would be better not running a candidate.

    • weka 1.1

      What was wrong with Willow Jean Prime standing? There are Labour voters in Northland (including people who party vote Labour at general elections), what do you think happens to them if Labour doesn’t stand a candidate?

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Agreed. Look at the result. People take guidance from the candidate and without a candidate this probably would not have occurred.

        • Ancient Ruin 1.1.1.1

          And the party vote too. No candidate (especially a local-issues candidate) and you’d lose a percentage of that in the general election.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          The actual answer is to make electorate voting preferential. That way you’d get the most preferred candidate while still having every party and independent able to stand a person for the seat.

          • Pasupial 1.1.1.2.1

            Preferential voting certainly has its merits (although in the DCC elections there are just so many candidates to rank in an STV system that it has the unintended consequence of discouraging participation). However, as the change would require MPs voting to make their positions more democratically responsive, I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

            An important point to remember about Prime’s candidacy is that; at the time of the LP putting her name forward, Peters had not entered the contest. She was never going to win, but this did give her the chance to raise her profile and a soapbox to state Labour’s position on the issues of the day.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.1.1

              (although in the DCC elections there are just so many candidates to rank in an STV system that it has the unintended consequence of discouraging participation)

              I find the problem with local body elections is that all the candidates are coming at you cold. You have NFI WTF they are or what they stand for and there’s no platform on which to judge them. This does need to be fixed somehow but it really doesn’t apply to national and electorate elections as the people standing are, more often than not, a member of some political party that has been around for a while and has a history that it can be judged on.

      • Ron 1.1.2

        Nothing wrong with Willow Jean standing just not sure she reflected the majority of the Northland voters. I suggest anyone that doubted that should have spend a few hours on the phone bank for the campaign. People generally liked Willow Jean but they would not vote for her. if we are not prepared to select candidates that reflect an electorate then we are are being pig headed. If the party thinks WJ should be in Parliament then give her a decent slot on the list. That is what the list is for. There are plenty of people higher up the list that we can swap out.

        • weka 1.1.2.1

          Fair enough, but I think that’s a separate issue from not standing anyone at all. And this gives Prime a chance to work her way up the list.

        • Tracey 1.1.2.2

          Party vote will count in 2017. Prime should be regarded as the advance party in that regard.

    • Tanz 1.2

      Agreed, Ron. I just don’t see the sense in standing a candidate for your party, and then saying ‘it’s okay to vote for the opposition. I guess though, it proves how screwed up the MMP system is. Also, it’s a waste of party funds, etc.

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        One rationale is that it builds profile and identity for the party – a candidate for every town hall debate, as well as someone for the local election team to dig deep for.

        I’ve no idea whether party votes are lower in electorates that have no candidate for party x, or if true whether the lack of candidate is symptomatic of the lower support. So grain of salt time.

        • Raf 1.2.1.1

          Not having a Labour candidate would have been disrespectful – taking away genuine choice from Labour people, some of whom (1000 odd, in the end) preferred, for their own reasons, to vote Labour. Better for those Labourites who voted for Winston to know it was their choice, and that they weren’t forced into it by political shenanigans.

  2. adam 2

    Do we really need to tell the Tory scum how they went wrong?

    Personally, I’d prefer to let them rot in their own juices over this one.

    • weka 2.1

      how about the glee factor? 🙂

      • adam 2.1.1

        Forgive me please weka, I just can’t get happy about a Tory winning an election.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          For me the happiness isn’t about Peters winning, it’s about National being shown up for the dicks that they are. I replied to the victory stuff in OM.

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      Yeah – sounds like concern trolling

      • adam 2.2.1

        So Enough is Enough, your happy to give more power to the authoritarian right? That does not make you left wing you know. I know the lines blur with you authoritarian types, but, your comment is low, even for an authoritarian.

        Lets face facts – Peters and NZ first are still part of liberalism, they have a track record of supporting conservative issues on social policy, and economics. And, whilst not hard right – they still support a liberal approach to economic theory – politics. None of which is that great for working people living and surviving in Aotearoa/NZ

        I should never be surprised by the blinkers of the authoritarian left or right to support a limited political agenda. But everyday I am a little more heart broken with the authoritarian foibles by some on this site.

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          the alternative was Osbourne being a taxpayer funded MP today.

          • adam 2.2.1.1.1

            What does that comment even mean Tracey? We got a Taxpayer funded right wing MP – either way. So are you saying your a full supporter of the authoritarianism? Or is a case of pitiful expectations by the left again – not willing to demand the direction of the debate? Or something else?

            Because this type of politics I personally loath – it’s not a win for the left or left wing economics to have a Tory beat a Tory – even if it is a Tory who wins is less of a scum bag, that the other Tories. Authoritarian types will band together when the chips are down – don’t forget it.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1.1

              well, we got a social conservative and economic protectionist tory rather than a junior rubberstamp for the neoliberal agenda.

              Winston is pretty xenophobic, but that includes being anti-TPPA and wanting controls on foreign investment in NZ. Not to mention that Northland might actually see some of the pork the nats were promising with no apparent intention of delivering.

              I suppose the difference is that Winston serves an electorate segment that I don’t agree with, whereas Key serves a much smaller segment of transnational capitalists who happen to have NZ citizenship and are happy to have the rest of us in slavery (if the fishing fleets are anything to go by).

              • weka

                +1

                I’m not sure how many people are delighted that Peters got in. It’s more the other stuff.

              • adam

                McFlock, Winston and Co. are a fly in the ointment for the left

                Again, my point is – it’s one authoritarian for another. So they have some differences you mentioned. What that going to do for the unemployed in Avondale, or the single mum working two jobs and not getting by? The homeless, or our ever increasing prison population.

                And no Tracy it’s not revolution propaganda. It’s the fact, if this as good as it gets. That’s just sad. Real life for to many kiwis is slow unfolding hell, and Winston is just part of the problem – not a solution.

                Key and Co. have lost the poor and disposed with their lies and racism, already. The comments from people now are just raw, angry, and dripping with despair.

                Winston is no hope for the left.

                • McFlock

                  This is as good as it gets in a by-election when the nats had 60 seats so could pick’n’mix support for individual bills from any one of their three coalition partners. Now they need the cooperation of more than just ACT/dunne.

                  It might do something for people in Northland, but the advantage for everyone is that it slows the fuckage the neolibs can do between now and 2017. RMA rewrite being rewritten already, and the other factors I’ve already mentioned. Another advantage is that it means some of the glitter is falling off the Key turdball.

                  Prime was never going to win Northland. A green or mana candidate was never going to win northland. Even if all of them got behind one left wing candidate, they weren’t going to win northland. But Peters was a candidate that fucked-off tory northlanders could get behind, and they did.

                  And it also makes every nat mp in a “safe” seat a teensy bit worried, so maybe they’ll want more poster space to be taken from the party vote and dunnokeyo’s pic.

                  In short, some shades of blue are less catastrophic than others, and the darker shades of blue have just been give some slight staining of brown.

  3. les 3

    how about the ‘Jonah Key factor’, worked at the cricket too.

    • Skinny 3.1

      John ‘buy-election drumming nothing too do with me ‘ Key being interviewed on tvone this morning again putting the boot into Osborne for the loss. What an insulting thing to say ” Osborne campaigned for 40 hours opposed to Peters 40 years.”

      Man up Key and admit you big boys through the hapless party man under Peters bus.
      I have a feeling Key and Joyce are about to put an apple in Mark Osborne’s mouth and
      roast him as the fall guy over Sabin. Guilty by association/in on the secret.

      • BassGuy 3.1.1

        He can’t accept any blame, he’s got to distance himself from the failure. If he’s associated with it at all, then there’ll be damage to invincible Brand Key, but if he can palm it off as Somebody Else’s Fault then all is good.

        He’s just like most of the senior managers I’ve ever met – he can’t be responsible for failure, it has to be someone else’s fault. If it were his fault then his relentless rise to the top hasn’t been the result of his hard work.

        If he’s the sociopath that many of us believe him to be, what we’ll see in the next few weeks is damage control using irrational links connecting unrelated facts – most obviously when he’s not using rehearsed lines.

        After all, why wouldn’t we believe him? If he says it, it must be true.

      • David H 3.1.2

        Not only that the put up the Osborne posters over the Sabin ones, and when it rained off the came. It was a cluster fuck from day 1

    • Tracey 3.2

      Cricket s the National Sport of Australia. Abbott attended a state funeral in Singapore anyway. Key did not. Speaks volumes.

  4. vto 4

    Your points there r0b can be equally applied to this governments approach to near everything. They are blind to their shortcomings.

    Very very blind.

    For example, they refuse to see that self-regulation is a failed policy after Pike River, forestry sector deaths, etc yet they keep at it e.g. moving to let the heavy trucking sector self-regulate (hell, why not people issue their warrants of fitness for fucks sake what a dumb idea).

    I think what is happening is that this government is the very last roll of the dice for neoliberal and National Party type policies. And the people who are part of this government have such a complete vested interest in it that they are totally incapable of seeing it. They are hell bent on keeping their steam train choo-chooing towards the broken rail bridge. It is do or die. Some of them will realise it is a no-win train they are on now, but most cannot see it because they are hell bent on warming their seats in government.

    Fools. History repeats itself again and again

    • Sacha 4.1

      It’s worse. They know exactly what they are doing.

      • BassGuy 4.1.1

        I agree. I think they’re expecting that the market will force employers to become more safety-focussed.

        The cynic in me says that they look at any accidents as nothing more than numbers on a sheet and consider it a financial trade-off. (Check out the three part documentary The Trap and you’ll understand why I think this.)

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        Yep and I do wish people would realise that instead of just thinking that they’re wrong and need educating. National really is out to gift all our wealth to the rich and turn us into serfs. The majority of National’s members and people who vote for them probably aren’t but National’s leaders are.

    • Chooky 4.2

      vto +100…and interesting points in the Post and love the picture of John Key and the devastated landscape

      …i think the main reasons why Winston won is because he is a Northland home boy

      …and has stood up to this corrupt foreign John Key Nact govt most effectively in parliament

      ….and is so clearly hated by John key Nact and every other racist right winger…he is fly in their ointment…he shows them up

      ( interesting that John Key said on radionz this morning that he was surprised that the Greens and Labour had held their nose and voted for Winston Peters)

      …I never doubted the Greens would vote for Winston..he stands for many of the same things and they are savvy strategic voters….and it didnt surprise me that the Labour grassroots came on board too…also savvy

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    Northland is part of the wider Gnat failure to grow the economy and create jobs. Swingeing welfare policies and punitive traffic policing only appeal to those with secure incomes.

  6. ianmac 6

    They published my letter in our local paper where I reminded readers that in the 2014 Election a new main highway bridge was promised Blenheim. I hoped that that promise would be kept and not have the funds diverted to the Northland bridges.
    Hope other regions do some reminding?

    • ScottGN 6.1

      If that happens the irony of course, is, that your bridge in Blenheim and our Kawarau Falls bridge upgrade in Queenstown were part of a package National rolled out in the election campaign to try and counter accusations they were too focussed on Auckland’s roads. Which is exactly what’s turned around and bitten them in the arse in Northland.

      • Paul Campbell 6.1.1

        I think there’s an argument that the Kawarau Falls bridge upgrade was in fact being done on behalf of rich Aucklanders and their holiday homes (I live in Otago and no longer know anyone who still lives in Queenstown or Arrowtown, they’ve all be bought out by outsiders)

        • ScottGN 6.1.1.1

          Well I am originally an Aucklander I guess, though sadly, not a rich one. If it’s Aucklanders agitating for the Kawarau Falls bridge they must all live at Jack’s Point.

          • weka 6.1.1.1.1

            It is a technically difficult bridge to upgrade (can’t think why)? A bit weird that it’s taken so long esp with the amount of tourism traffic that it gets.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The existing bridge is ancient, so the replacement is a complete new build to one side.

              I think the old one will be retained as some sort of walkway – bikeway

              • weka

                Yeah I assumed it was a new build. Just curious why it’s taken so long and wondered if there is a technical issue that might make it more expensive (only thing I can think of is the approach from the Kelvin Heights side).

    • mac1 6.2

      Good on you, ianmac.

      They promised a bridge by 2015 for the Hurunui river on SH1 in the Kaikoura electorate in 2008. After nine years of one ineffectual MP, who got dumped by his own party for his ineffectiveness, I’ve not heard of a financial commitment or fixed plan for a replacement on this one-lane bridge.

      A failure of this bridge would be massively disruptive, as a recent letter from perennial Kaikoura candidate John McCaskey in the same local paper points out. Stuart Smith, the local MP, says he has made an approach to the Minister, three elections later.

      A recent NZ Herald article is clear on the matter of failed B/bridges.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11423676

      • ianmac 6.2.1

        I know the one you mean mac1. I reckon it now needs constant reminders to our now MP Scott.(Edit Smith.) My guess is that in spite of Scott’s rhetoric the Government would see little need to do much since Kaikoura is a very safe seat. Therefore we should niggle.

  7. Nonsense! The reported results are just propaganda spread by the left in a pathetic attempt to discredit Honest John. Another epic fail. Mark Osborne will have a triumph in the Roman style as he rides into Wellington this week and will be a strong contender to succeed Honest John when he retires as New Zealand’s most beloved Duce in 3000AD.

    There, just saved fisiani the bother.

  8. Philip Ferguson 8

    I generally agree with Anthony’s reasons for why National lost, although I think it’s a bit premature to refer to Key’s charm as a “busted flush”. I think the third term will be one of growing disillusion with Mr Smarmy, but he’s not a busted flush yet.

    It’s odd that National made *so many* mistakes, but I agree the common thread was their arrogance.

    They’ve been dominant in this seat for 50 years, so they thought any old shite would do. And, finally, enough people in Northland had had enough of being treated like that.

    I also think Winston, bar some major stuff-up on his part, will hold the seat in 2017, but with National winning comfortably in the party vote. NZF had a significant party vote in the seat last year, when I don’t think they even ran a candidate. Peters probably occupies the ground that the old Social Credit held there for a couple of decades.

    We look at what happened in the by-election here –
    The Dark Lord Takes the North Land – but no victory for workers: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/the-dark-lord-takes-the-north-land-peters-win-no-victory-for-the-working-class/

    • Chooky 8.1

      +100 …good points

    • ScottGN 8.2

      I thought Mike Williams made an interesting point on The Nation yesterday when he said that given the very large number of early votes it was too late for the Key magic to work (if it was going to work) by the time National had realised the dangers and deployed him in the last days of the campaign.

    • David H 8.3

      ” I think it’s a bit premature to refer to Key’s charm as a “busted flush”. I think the third term will be one of growing disillusion with Mr Smarmy, but he’s not a busted flush yet.”

      However the Teflon is scratched and the Rust is showing.

  9. logie97 9

    Why didn’t the party faithful vote for Key?
    Key said just outside parliament that we don’t need to take a vote on many issues because we have the numbers.
    Deployment to Iraq comes to mind.
    Perhaps he should have put it to The House.
    Mr Arrogant gets his comeuppance.
    And his lustre has been tarnished for ever.

    • Skinny 9.1

      I hope the pollsters are surveying other forgotten Regions like the East Coast. Give out of touch Johnny boy’s other eye a blackening, after his views that this has not effected Nationals overall popularity.

      It gobsmacked me that they pulled so many votes in 2014 from Regions outside of Auckland and Christchurch. Its was their weakness, all those zombie towns who weren’t included in Johnny Key and the fatnatcats rock show tour.

  10. KJS0ne 10

    A busted flush, brilliant analogy.

    One has to wonder, if National were forced to campaign in each locale on local issues whether they would stand a chance of making Government right now. The success of the National campaign the last 3 elections was their ability to campaign on personality politics, thus not touching policy with a barge poll. National know their policies are not nearly as popular as their PM, so they have always avoided getting bogged down in a debate about what they intend to do, this time it couldn’t be avoided and they got trounced.

    Would National get elected on a ticket of asset sales, deep sea oil exploration, spying on other Nations, committing our troops to Iraq, and signing off on a secret bill that will sell off our sovereignty to the TN corporations? Shit no.

    • Jo 10.1

      Talking of busted flushes, another possibility is that those who rest on their laurels could be wearing them in the wrong place.

    • Olwyn 10.2

      I notice that even in defeat they still want to appropriate Northland’s concerns into what they want to offer rather than what Northlander’s want for themselves. Joyce spoke somewhere of the people up north being “aspirational.” Today Key said, “Certainly a lot of resources have been put into Northland but what is clear is that the people of Northland are ambitious. They want more. They want to go faster.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11424988

      I can’t help but think that what they want to offer are such things as the sale of more property to foreign billionaires and the infrastructure for facilitating it. After all, that is what the words “ambition” and “aspiration” tend to mean when these guys say them.

      • Tracey 10.2.1

        those greedy northlanders, fancy not being happy with the top 1% thriving under national..

      • McFlock 10.2.2

        To heck with going faster.
        Apparently, one or two Northland communities would just like the trucks to go by without potentially causing major respiratory issues from the dust.

  11. dv 11

    A fairly crude analysis of the votes cf 2014 election

    Nat down 6055 % -34.8
    Lab down 4598 % -77.7
    green down 3855 (no candidate

    Total 14518

    very close to the NZ vote of 15319

    SO the nats lost 6000 votes to Winston – nearly 35% of the 2014 vote.

    Hardly a few votes.

    (Swordfish is this sorta right?)

  12. peterh 12

    How wrong you all are. IT was all labours fault they ganged up on us denial denial denial

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1

      It isnt denial, its called framing the counter arguement to suit your purposes.

      • mac1 12.1.1

        Exactly, ghostwhowalksnz. And it’s like commenters who say that Key has a poor memory. He has a very good memory- he just chooses what to remember, “and disregards the rest…. lie de lie lie lie de lie lie lie lie lie.” (Apologies to Paul Simon)

  13. Ant 13

    It seems like a lot of Wellingtonians underestimated how well known the Peters family is in Northland.

    • Tom Gould 13.1

      And the more the idiot beltway chooks banged on about him ‘moving to the electorate’ the more the good folks of the Far North realised that their commentary was ignorant and irrelevant and that they should listen to Winston, who has always been a boy from the north in their eyes, and who was talking their language. Fat cat ministers in their BMW limousines stuffed with pork just rubbed their noses in it, confirming they were just as out-of-touch as the craven chooks reporting them.

      • Skinny 13.1.1

        +1 Tom
        Speaking of chooks a cartoonist friend has sent thru a cartoon which sums up things pretty well. I flicked the rooster pic to TS, hope they put it up.

        I think Judith Collins and back bench Willy would have been chuckling seeing Joyce and Bennett at Osborne’s political funeral/election night gig.

        Hooton poked fun/stick at Key earlier by saying Key will look too support Peters with his by election promise of exposure of creeps bill.

        Many of us see Key taking up a better offer once the shit hits the fan over Sabin. Be some nervous clock watching going on at the moment. Another black eye and mauling is coming. The sweet taste of revenge is something Peters has waited a while for, and now he has a taste he will want more.

      • Once was Tim 13.1.2

        +1.
        I was going to try and stay away for two weeks (actually longer) after witnessing recent comments but @ Tom – you are completely correct. Same (below) with SKinny.
        We may ridicule Winnie at times but his conservatism is really that of the ‘old school’ Nat whose social conservative values would not have allowed themselves to have become corrupted by monetary/financial considerations. (To some degree, the likes of Don McKinnon is a bit like that DESPITE his Q+A performance yesterday where he seems to have felt honour bound to support Natzi leadership. They actually understood the concept of public SERVICE and didn’t really allow themselves to go for the main chance for personal gain – UNLIKE most of them today).
        Winnie’s bro Ian is also a decent sort of bloke. His Politics I don’t agree with, but principled, trustworthy and prepared to put their money where their mouths are.
        The spin has just started (the excuses from the neolib/neocon Natzis and their self-serving ilk.) There’d be quite a few trad Nats who are beginning to realise the current Natzi junta is a step (many steps) too far, and quite afew others who’ll be rolling in their graves.
        Thank Christ I was never one of the brand Nat!

    • Skinny 13.2

      I think everyone in Northland was thinking what a bloody insult ‘everyone knows a Peters’ a lot of people scoffed at the ‘he doesn’t live here’ crap too.

      For us political campaigners hearing those lines, the zero change, plenty more offering for Northland to come (Key) this after the 10 bridges.

      It was all apple sauce and gravy to go with the roast pork. It doesn’t get any better as far as getting the voters uptight. Joyce and Key were our great weapon, wonder if Joyce has tucked that one in his brain of what when wrong.

  14. humPrac 14

    Here I theorize:
    One must consider, It could be the case, that the general elections are rigged and that the “shock” votes towards NZFirst were the ACTUAL tendencies of the people.
    It could be the case that the by-election was a non-rigged election with which the cronies in control of National did not have sufficient time to set up election rigging.
    Notice that when Australia were forced to change their leader there was no election, the leader was simply replaced. Maybe this was because they could not set up election rigging quick enough and so bypassed the process completely.
    Most people put far too much trust in the hierarchically structured system, thinking that there are “things” in place to ensure the voting process is secure and portrays the wants and needs of the people.

    The digital nature of the way we do things, makes election-rigging VERY possible because it’s impossible to ascertain whether the computer code, incorporated within the election software(s), contains secret and complex code designed to swing votes to the side of National. They then use the media outlets to spread pro-National stories, which give the illusion that there are many National votes in place.

    Having said that, I don’t think rigging is actually happening. I do think that many people are actually stupid enough to vote away the few rights they have left.

  15. Brewer 15

    “They underestimated Winston Peters and his Northland roots.”

    I think this is a key to why so many National voters jumped.
    You have to understand Northland and the lines of power and influence that run through it. There are old Pakeha/Maori families whose lineages go back to the earliest days of settlement – think Henare, Latimer, Jones, Coopers, Samuels, Christiansen, a host with “vich” on the end of their surname and they are both proud and influential. The Peters family is highly respected with very good reason. Among Winston’s siblings alone there are Headmasters, MPs, footballers, Local Body Politicians – might even be a doctor or two (from memory). You don’t live in the North very long before you realise that Government up here is not a Pakeha prerogative, not a white veneer. Most old Northlanders have some connection with marae and whanau.
    National had their numpty, just off the bus, Pakeha candidate try to brand Winston as not belonging. Not only factually wrong but a gross insult – not just to Winston but to anyone who has lived here a generation or more. Stupid city-boy in suit stuff.
    It would be interesting to get Graham Latimer’s take on it.

    • Tom Gould 15.1

      Well said.

    • Once was Tim 15.2

      That’s very true @ Brewer. They’ve generally been incredibly magnanimous in their tolerance of the WASP mentality as well (many having benefited from some of the positive things that go with it – such as a good education), but that doesn’t mean they have to tolerate the arrogance, the being taken for granted, the being used and abused, or the total ignorance that has come with it. That they HAVE put up with it for as long as they have is what surprises me.
      I doubt the likes of Key or Joyce (or surprisingly even Pulla Bent and Soimun Brudizz) evn get it. I’m sure they actually DON’T unless they’re complete and utter cargo cultists – which wouldn’t surprise me either.
      ……..and then along comes a Sabin and camels and straw comes to mind

  16. Stickler 16

    Are you quite sure about the “Wellington suits”?

    As far as I could see it was a load of Auckland cabinet ministers and a couple of S Island ministers who headed to Northland.
    The National party is pretty well run out of Auckland, isn’t it?

  17. mary_a 17

    “(7) They never let their candidate be himself and speak for himself. Refusing to put him in the studio with Peters (and having Joyce “managing” him from off camera during the debate) completely undermined his credibility.”

    Perhaps because Osborne was the previous Northland MP’s electorate treasurer, he might have some information on the reason for the byelection and pushed himself to to be selected the Natsy candidate, or else! Hence the reason for Steven ‘Lord Haw Haw’ Joyce’s presence, to make sure nothing was said which could be embarrassing for the Natsies, particularly Key!

    Only my opinion, for all it’s worth.

    • Anne 17.1

      I think there is likely to be some truth in your opinion mary a. Osborne had to know the details of the case in question. His adamant denial he knew nothing was so ludicrous, I’m sure most Northland voters would have seen through it.

      I doubt he is the sort to have used his knowledge to gain selection, but crafty media questioning might have elicited information from him that could have been disastrous. Hence the 24/7 minder policy with a plethora of ministers and in particular Joyce.

      • mary_a 17.1.1

        @ Anne – if media hadn’t elicited certain sensitive info from Osborne, I’m sure Winston would have done. Bet he was just waiting for the opportunity.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    Derryn Hinch.

    John Key, in my opinion, will not survive the impending public outrage …

    Penny Bright

    • mary_a 18.1

      Thanks Penny 🙂

    • Skinny 18.2

      Key no longer cares, he has a number of mouthwatering offers by mostly American or
      UK outfits. You can tell by his water off a ducks back demeanor. While on the surface the Teflon looks OK, look closer and you can see the cracks, which is the internal implosion within the party. National have a history of self destructing, it’s only the LP woes of similar infighting in recent years that has dragged the Nat’s out of the limelight.

      Honestly why would you stick around when the Northland seat loss signals the beginning of the end of his political cycle. Key doesn’t have a stomach for being unpopular. Met by protesters everywhere he travelled in the NL campaign hurt his pride, and now the volley of commentators taking a stick to him is growing. Imagine if he did just up and quit in the next week or so, the Nat’s would struggle to hold his seat. And the prospect of Bennett, Bridges or Collins, Brownlee is a frightening prospect, it is possible if English is appointmented as a caretaker PM. Maybe the devil ya know might be better for the remainer of their term. The only opposition ready to handle a general election is NZF, the others better be ready just in case.

      • gnomic 18.2.1

        ‘Bennett, Bridges or Collins, Brownlee’

        Surely none of the above could ever be selected as leader even by the National Party let alone elected by the public at large. As for English beneath the country charm of Dipton is he not actually the coldest mofo of all? See his current attempts to abolish state (aka social or subsidised) housing. But hey, how about the world’s greatest campaign manager and Minister of Ubiquity, Mr Steven Joyce!!!

        http://spiderandme.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/go-back-to-dipton-bill.html

    • Hami Shearlie 18.3

      Indeed Penny – I heard that Matthew Hooten thinks Key will be greatly damaged – so do I – it’s so very richly deserved!

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