Mahuta won’t go quietly

October 5th, 2012 at 8:57 am by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

MP has hit back at speculation she will be demoted in a looming reshuffle by Labour leader David Shearer, indicating she will resist any attempt to take the education portfolio from her.

Mr Shearer confirmed last weekend he intended to go ahead with a reshuffle toward the end of the year. The recent appointment of Chris Hipkins to the education team and Ms Mahuta’s relatively low profile in the role until recently prompted speculation she would be taken off the front bench and the education portfolio given to another MP. The reshuffle will also coincide with Ms Mahuta having her second child in December.

If Shearer demotes her, it will look like she is being demoted for being pregnant and a mother. Would be a terrible look.

Ms Ms Mahuta said this time she intended to return to work and her pregnancy should not be a factor in any decisions to do with the reshuffle.

“I’ve said I intend to come back to work and I am happy in the role that I have in education, and I will work hard and am committed to that because it is an important portfolio.”

The other problem for Labour is their lack of Maori MPs who can become Ministers. Pareura is invisible (well politically) and on his way out. Shane Jones is under a cloud. And Mahuta is having people brief against her.

Asked about her future in politics, Ms Mahuta said she did intend to stand again in 2014. She was more dismissive about the possibility John Tamihere could run for Parliament again, saying Labour had decided during its recent organisational review that it should focus on attracting more young people and women to ensure it was in a strong place through to 2026.

“John Tamihere says a lot of things, and a lot of them are very memorable, like front bottoms, so if there’s space for John Tamihere in the Labour caucus it will probably be at the call of the current leadership. But what I know is that the future of the Labour Party will require looking to a younger generation of Maori leadership.”

Doesn’t sound like a warm welcome for JT.

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29 Responses to “Mahuta won’t go quietly”

  1. Brad (75 comments) says:

    “If Shearer demotes her, it will look like she is being demoted for being pregnant and a mother.” Not if you’ve got half a brain

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  2. Nostalgia-NZ (4,686 comments) says:

    Agreed Brad.

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  3. Alan Johnstone (910 comments) says:

    Yep, she’s airing the dirty washing in public to try and hold her position.

    Must be scared.

    Demoting her wouldn’t look terrible, it’d look like a stronger leader in control of his party.

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  4. Pete George (21,806 comments) says:

    The joys of party leadership, demoting Mahuta will be portrayed by some as anti Maori, anti women, anti motherhood and anti Cunliffe. And if she’s not demoted Shearer’s leadership will be portrayed as anti strong.

    Labour actually need more strength in other portfolios, Parata is doing sufficient to keep pressure on herself, so the thin on talent caucus would be better spreading attention elsewhere.

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  5. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    I think that she does have a point about John Tamihere. Be very careful- I wouldn’t want him to decide to inflict himself on the National Party any more than Labour. One John Hayes is bad enough…

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  6. tvb (3,939 comments) says:

    I presume she will make sone kind of threat involving her Tainui connections. We will see how Shearer navigates that. But that is the only card she has.

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  7. Colville (1,771 comments) says:

    How does JT go with Gays and G*d?
    His ability to get both feet wedged in his mouth would make him a perfect fit with Coiln Craig.

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  8. Alan Johnstone (910 comments) says:

    John Tamihere has cross over appeal, he can speak well and win votes in the centre.

    I guess it all comes down to this, does the Labour party really want to win next time out (it clearly didn’t last year) and is it willing to do what’s required to get there ?

    It only wins from the centre.

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  9. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    How does JT go with Gays and G*d?

    His radio utterences put him very much in the “why are we bothering, there’s nothing broken that needs fixing” camp over gay marriage and I think he is a church-goer.

    He was also very dismissive of Mahuta around the time of the leadership contest, stating that she was a product of quota box-ticking rather than any actual ability. Not surprising she’s no fan of his.

    I reckon put Winnie into a home for the bewildered, draft JT and Jonesy into NZ First and lay in the popcorn supplies.

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  10. arkhad (62 comments) says:

    There is an easy solution to the pregnant thing.just make sure that you spell out that it is not because she but because she is not performing. pregnant

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  11. mister nui (880 comments) says:

    Pregnant?????

    Must’ve been a frozen pop.

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  12. marcw (206 comments) says:

    What exactly has Ms Mahuta done to promote the Labour Party policy on Education? Hekia Parata has provided an Opposition’s dream-fest with material to attack them, but I fail to recall any effective countering from Labour’s Education Shadow Minister. I would demote her in a reshuffle in an instant because of her lack of competence – no other reason required.

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  13. Colville (1,771 comments) says:

    Pregnant?????

    Must’ve been a frozen pop.

    My money would be on a short sighted pig hunter after five jugs of Waikato!

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  14. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    F*ck off with the identity politics! If Hipkins is smarter and more capable promote him!

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  15. calendar girl (1,108 comments) says:

    “If Shearer demotes her, it will look like she is being demoted for being pregnant and a mother. Would be a terrible look.”

    Why? This claim has been made more than once, mischievously I presume as Mahuta’s public performance in the education portfolio – or lack of it – has given Shearer ample justification for introducing a more capable replacement onto his front bench. marcw sets out the situation eloquently in his comment above.

    Other than in a Wellington parliamentary environment obsessed with political correctness, pregnancy is not yet regarded as a working woman’s accountability-free zone.

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  16. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    If Shearer demotes her, it will look like she is being demoted for being pregnant and a mother. Would be a terrible look.

    FFS, of course that’s what DPF wants people to say. Nobody thinks it’s because of this, but of course being the most-read blog in NZ, DPF feels the need to bring political correctness into the scenario.

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  17. Viking2 (10,713 comments) says:

    Mahuta, troughs Tainui and pigs.
    Some thread running here.

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  18. Mark (1,301 comments) says:

    If Mahuta is demoted it will be about her weak performance and inability to exploit Parata’s stream of gaffes. Mahuta has failed to score points against Parata despite the shambles of the class sizes announcement, the Christchurch schools announcement and subsequent back tracking and her lack of communication and consultation with the front line teachers and principals.

    This will have nothing to do with her pregnancy it is simply a reflection of poor perfromance

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  19. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    She states that no one has informed her about concerns about her lack of performance – to me that just translates as

    “I’m lazy and complacent.”

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  20. Peter (1,468 comments) says:

    “Pareura is invisible (well politically)”

    LOL

    But I don’t agree that “If Shearer demotes her, it will look like she is being demoted for being pregnant and a mother.”

    He simply needs to make it an issue of competence. Difficult when we’re talking Labour, but still…

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  21. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Shes a stupid bint a waste of space and only there thru family connections. The old boys/girls network. Shes part of the Maori Aristocracy thats taken the BIllion Dollars of settlements for their own use over the past 15 years.
    Whats she ever contributed. Nothing zero.
    If Shearers got any balls he will get shot of her and send a message to the rest of the hopeless Socialist Party pollies whose fat arses sit in the House and do nothing.

    Just a bunch of welfare bludgers the lot of them

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  22. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    ***If Shearer demotes her, it will look like she is being demoted for being pregnant and a mother. Would be a terrible look.***

    OTOH it would be terrible for National if she gets replaced by someone competent. So, this ^^ is a very cunning line to scare Shearer into keeping her :)

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  23. projectman (190 comments) says:

    “If Shearer demotes her, it will look like she is being demoted for being pregnant and a mother. Would be a terrible look.”

    Just because you say so DPF – assert so – doesn’t make it so. Perhaps if you say it often enough someone will believe it. Is this your intention?

    It would be a good look if she was “demoted” through lack of performance if that was the case, although I doubt it would be expressed this way.

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  24. projectman (190 comments) says:

    re Jimmy Smits at 10:24:

    “…but of course being the most-read blog in NZ…”

    Not so. The stats for some time now have had Whaleoil at #1, with Kiwiblog at #2.

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  25. Paulus (2,296 comments) says:

    Great to have Mahuta continue – she is a great advertisment as to why people should vote National.

    Shearer would not dare get rid of the Maori Princess.

    She will continue to represent what is wrong with New Zealand.

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  26. Fairfacts Media (370 comments) says:

    Come one, it is in National’s interests to keep the troughing Tainui turd in her top job.
    Anyone who can make Hekia Parata look talented deserves a special place in our opposition.

    It does make you wonder to see such failures how political correctness pushes some people way above their ability.

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  27. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Mahuta thinks shes somebody because she has a name that has some mana in the waikato maori – but she isnt the one who earned the mana.

    She is lazy, as far as I know has done nothing worth being recorded, shes arrogant, she supports the illiterate thugish ex-truck driver. Shes never done anything about her weight (it certainly wont be of any benefit to her baby. And dont tell me that she cant help it – she has a duty to her unborn to be a healthy as she can during prgnancy and shes not doing that.)

    Shearer hasnt got any leverage in the maori voters anywhy so whats he got to loose – nothing.

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  28. Viking2 (10,713 comments) says:

    Actually it would be good to give seberal of those lazy house horis a bloody great shove back into the Grasslands. They are over represented in Parliament as a group and time you lot woke up to the fact that as a group the decide what does or does not get done. Party havs nothing to do with it. Even Winny and Jones play the game with Turia et al.

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  29. Viking2 (10,713 comments) says:

    And to sum up the week in politics.

    http://screencast.com/t/YxTzx0hPN2IZ

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