Armstrong on National barbarians

November 30th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

writes in the NZ Herald:

For most Wellingtonians, Pukerua Bay is notable only for a couple of kilometres-long stretch of State Highway One where the speed limit briefly but annoyingly drops from 100km/h to 50 km/h and creates another bottle-neck on the slow trip north.

Not for me. My grandmother lived in Pukerua Bay and I would often train up there as a kid to spend weekends and holidays there. I have an intimate knowledge of all the playgrounds in Pukerua Bay :-)

It is here that a major shift in voter behaviour was noticeable in last Saturday’s extraordinary outcome of the byelection. …

In Pukerua Bay, where a large proportion of people designate themselves as “professional” for Census purposes, National’s Hekia Parata won by 249 votes to 217. Go back to the 2002 and 2005 elections and you find Labour winning the booth on the party vote – the fairer measure as the candidate vote was distorted by the huge personal appeal of Winnie Laban, whose retirement prompted the byelection.

Pukerua Bay went narrowly in National’s favour in 2008 – an indication that Clark’s cross-over appeal was on the wane.

But the trend was replicated elsewhere in outlying settlements of Porirua City, such as Plimmerton and Pauatahanui. National’s share of the vote even increased in less well-off Titahi Bay.

There are still wealthy pockets of Mana, such as Paekakariki and Raumati South, where Labour’s support remains staunch. These settlements may have saved the blushes of Labour candidate and now MP, Kris Fa’afoi. But with the Key machine carving out more territory in middle New Zealand for occupation by National, Fa’afoi should not be relying on them remaining faithful next year.

Labour’s stranglehold on Wellington is under threat; the National barbarians are storming the city’s northern gates.

I’m going to be watching Mana with interest in the 2011 election.

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17 Responses to “Armstrong on National barbarians”

  1. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    “I have an intimate knowledge of all the playgrounds in Pukerua Bay.”

    I expect this will be used as prosecution evidence in the court case ;-)

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  2. Fisiani (1,048 comments) says:

    The tide is going out for Labour in Wellington. National won the Party vote in Ohariu and Wellington Central and Otaki.
    Watch out for Mana 2011 when it will be obvious to all but the most biased in Cannons Creek and Titahi Bay that Hekia Parata would make the best local member. This could be a major surprise for the pundits but given how weak Kris Faafoi is he may only be a seat warmer.
    Wellington Central is another potential potboiler. If just a few Labour voters gave their electorate vote to a strong National candidate they would have a local MP in Government and Grant Robertson a List member as a backstop.

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  3. Shazzadude (531 comments) says:

    And one rather large omission in ths story is that Jan Logie scored over 15% of the vote in Pukerua Bay. With the left (Fa’afoi, Logie, McCarten) combining for 56% of the vote in Pukerua Bay against just under 42% for Parata/Du Plessis it’s a bit misleading to consider the suburb as now being National territory.

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  4. Jadis (146 comments) says:

    To be fair David my stoner days were when I was at High School, NOT Primary.

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  5. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Jadis dear boy you wasted time stoning when there were all those lasses to be pursued, tsk tsk terrible waste of time .

    Wellington voters have a duty to vote labour, the whole bloody lot of them get their money, no not income, from hardworking NZ taxpayers.
    Try and find some bugger in Wellington whose hand is not stuck in the taxpayer’s wallet, difficult to find.

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  6. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Well, Grumpy, there’s me for a start

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  7. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Slightlyrighty One, no surprise in that :-)

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  8. tom hunter (5,091 comments) says:

    There are still wealthy pockets of Mana, such as Paekakariki and Raumati South, where Labour’s support remains staunch.

    An important point – for Labour and the left around the world!

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  9. Gwilly (158 comments) says:

    I’ve never meet anyone wealthy that supports Labour.

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  10. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    Hmm, me too grumpy, as I sit in my apartment in Wellington that I pay for, working on client stuff, but that said, my visit today to Moore Wilson produced a lovely Terreine that is going very well with a fine Pinot Noir from Rumbles. And my client is private sector, if that helps. Capitalism rocks :)

    Head home at the weekend to the provinces after extracting wealth from the capital ;)

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  11. kiwi in america (2,511 comments) says:

    National’s result in Mana was quite extraordinary indeed unique in modern NZ political history and as a snapshot of voter opinion this close to an election year, the electorate is starting to harden around Phil Goff’s Labour not being government material. However the trend for close run by elections that are normally safe seats for the winning party is for the winning party’s majority to return to somewhat back to the historical norm in the next General Election. An exception was of course Wellington Central which Chris Laidlaw won with about the same margin as Faa’foi won Mana. He was a most unexceptional (indeed some would say useless) MP and his taxi chit rort and a vigorous campaign from popular local Pauline Gardiner saw Laidlaw ousted against the Labour tide in 1993 that almost saw Moore elected as PM. Faa’foi will need to work hard to gain the locals trust or he could face a bit more of an uphill battle than would normally be the case.

    The party vote for National should hold up especially if Parata runs again in 2011.

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  12. tom hunter (5,091 comments) says:

    I’ve never meet anyone wealthy that supports Labour.

    Echoes of the past.

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.

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  13. swordfish (1 comment) says:

    A week ago, I set-out some comprehensive suburb-by-suburb stats comparing the 08 Mana Party-Vote with the 2010 By-Election vote in comments on Red Alert.

    Why do I get the feeling that Armstrong’s Op-Ed is almost entirely grounded in my figures ?

    I mean I slaved over a hot calculator for hour after hour after hour and do I get a word of acknowledgement ? Nah, Zilch.

    (Incidently, DPF, on an entirely unrelated matter – we went over the Gross Glockner Hohen Alpine Strasse (Jesus, what a mouthful) last year. Sounds like you enjoyed it just as much as we did. If there’s one thing I love it’s those European Alpine mountain passes: stunning scenery, beautiful engineering and, above all, those brilliant hair-pin bends. Get to play ‘rally-driver’ for a day).

    [DPF: It is quite simply a magnificent road]

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  14. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    You get the feeling that Mr Armstrong had had one drink too many when he wrote that piece. Still, his reference to National as barbarians isn’t far off the mark.

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  15. Viking2 (11,571 comments) says:

    Barbarians at the gate eh?
    Well those same barbarians had better start to take notice of what is going down behind the scenes.

    Tucked away in a survey by MYOB is this little gem.

    A Myob survey of 1000 businesses has found that 44 per cent of businesses are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the support they receive from local government.

    The survey also found dissatisfaction with the National Government has increased sharply with 38 per cent of businesses dissatisfied with the support they receive from Wellington, up from 29 per cent in August.

    Satisfaction with central government remains low, at just 15 per cent – the same as the level reported in August.

    “The economic results of the Myob Business Monitor show Kiwi businesses have been doing it tough over the last quarter, with revenue falling and pipeline work drying up.

    “And some of the frustration at the slow and uneven recovery will no doubt be colouring how businesses see the performance of the Government,” said Smith.

    “But at both a local and national level, it’s clear the business community feels their elected representatives are not doing enough to support their success,” he said.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10691152

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