The Tamihere issue

November 10th, 2012 at 11:39 am by David Farrar

writes in NBR:

Labour’s New Zealand Council will soon consider ’s application to re-join the party.

Despite Mr Tamihere being encouraged by current leader David Shearer, who believes he would make a fine social development minister, the council faces a terrible dilemma.

Either choice will define Labour for a generation – neither in a good way.

But will the Council overlook:

On the other, Mr Tamihere has offended all the party’s factions.

The Women’s Council may have forgiven him calling them “frontbums” and for slamming Helen Clark.

But, since leaving parliament, Mr Tamihere has continued to be an outspoken critic of identity politics, including feminism.

A year ago, he attacked David Cunliffe for selecting Nanaia Mahuta as his running mate: ”The only thing she’s lacking is a limp.  Then he would have got the disabled vote too.”

Choosing her made Mr Cunliffe “smarmy,” he said.

His relations with Rainbow Labour are no better, having called gay people a health hazard to the rest of the community.

Nor is Mr Tamihere a friend of the unions.

Then, in February, he backed Act’s charter schools policy, planning to set one up.

“All we’re looking at doing,” he said, “is bringing the best practice from Remuera to the west.”

Mr Tamihere has also lost friends in Labour’s caucus.

A month ago, he criticised them on national TV: “The front bench is not firing, across the whole line, whether it’s health, welfare or education.”

I think it would be great for Labour to have a member and MP who supports charter schools!

Nevertheless, rejecting Mr Tamihere is also fraught with risk.

There is almost no precedent for a rejection, and certainly none involving a person of his calibre.

A judicial review would be certain and no doubt Mr Tamihere is already operating with the benefit of legal counsel.

Mr Shearer’s encouragement of Mr Tamihere’s return would surely be brought up in court and it would be argued the council, dominated by unionists and Rainbow Labour, was not an impartial jury.

If Shearer has encouraged him to join, and the Council declines, I think it would show Robertson is in control of the party.

Even worse for Labour are the political risks.

Mr Tamihere and Winston Peters are again on good terms.

If Mr Tamihere joined NZ First, the two could hit the road in the provinces and West Auckland portraying Labour as controlled by feminists and gays with no residual interest in good old working-class kiwi blokes.

That would undoubtedly transfer 5% of the vote from Labour to NZ First, putting the former down to 25% and the latter well above 10%.

Mr Tamihere may dream of being social development minister in a Labour-led government.

But, if his membership application fails, it’s not impossible to imagine him as social development minister in a National/NZ First coalition.

An intriguing thought. However I seem to recall there is some bad blood at the family level between Tamihere and Peters.

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23 Responses to “The Tamihere issue”

  1. Nostalgia-NZ (5,317 comments) says:

    ‘Either choice will define Labour for a generation – neither in a good way.’

    That’s a real stretch to begin with. Particularly because he doesn’t explain why.

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  2. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Unless they want the huge rump of kiwis who are not politics junkies to wake up and realise that all the top back office jobs are held by gayers and lesbianists they will allow him in.
    But he has 0% chance of getting higher than 120 on the list or a seat to contest

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  3. Harriet (5,199 comments) says:

    Tamihere and Peters would be in the position to strengthen the Marriage Act.

    Women control households now – feminists say so. And disadvantaged kids would then be better off too.

    ‘Child poverty’ is identity politics that Tamihere could actually capitalise on – by fixing it!

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  4. Key is our man (899 comments) says:

    Absolute rubbish. Nothing is going to happen. Everybody knows a Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana government is a shoe-in in 2014. Why will they upset this by changing the leader now? All they need to do is NOTHING. Sit back and sip latte and enjoy the power.

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  5. Minnie1972 (42 comments) says:

    Tamahere in or out will define Labour for a generation? I don’t know whether that’s perhaps giving Tamahere too much credit.

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  6. Harriet (5,199 comments) says:

    Single parenting is a CAUSE of child poverty.

    Tamihere won’t sit quiet on that.

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  7. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    Winston Peters in formal coalition with the smelly climate Taliban.
    What are you smoking?

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  8. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    Tamahere for Labour – not a hope in hell.

    Robertson and his feminist/homosexual grouping will not allow it – it will take too much Media time and attention off his own internal Caucus’s machinations and intrigue.

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  9. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    Tamihere/Tau Henare?? ! :)

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  10. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    You can never really trust a brown job! :)

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  11. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    Or their Bro’s eh? ! :)

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  12. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    Oh – come on Nostalgia-NZ…………

    you must have your dark glasses on this morning.

    Just for you Ill explain….

    if they say no to him it means that they are into identity politics for years to come – gays, fem, disabled, coloured, … almost anything but ‘normal’

    If they yes to him then they may as well tell the gays, fems, disabled, coloured (ie: almost all the party and memebership) that they dont matter a rats arse about them.

    Its loose, loose.

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  13. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “His relations with Rainbow Labour are no better, having called gay people a health hazard to the rest of the community.”

    He is only speaking the truth.

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  14. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    **Good on Tamihere** for backing the charter schools policy!
    Labour *desperately* needs someone like Tamihere. Someone who is completely unafraid to speak their mind. Someone who recognises bloody good policy when he sees it – even if it is policy from another party.

    Having said all that – I want Labour to remain in Opposition, so I very much hope that Labour reject Tamihere.

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  15. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Sorry but it’s hard to put too much faith in the advice or prognistications of Matthew Hooten – what is he if not a aspiring poor-man’s Karl Rove?

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  16. bringbackdemocracy (429 comments) says:

    Labour will accept JT as a member but not as a candidate. Winston won’t prop up a Key led National government.

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  17. ChardonnayGuy (1,230 comments) says:

    I’m not sure what the Sock Con Apparatchiks are smoking this morning, but if they can even lose Republican Party presidential and Senate elections during a period of intensive recession, what makes Tamihere think that he’ll be allowed back within the Labour fold? The guy’s a loose cannon and he wouldn’t even be doing this other than throwing a tanty because Te Puna Kokiri cut off the Waipareira Trust’s Whanau Ora funding. The guy’s a crazed populist and opportunist, despite his otherwise excellent strategic management skills. I’d suggest either New Zealand First or National. They’re more suited to his actual politics. Just stop bothering the Labour Party.

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  18. Peter (1,694 comments) says:

    What if he wears a totally gay red shirt?

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  19. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy…..

    so – …..’ The guy’s a crazed populist and opportunist,’…………… so hes just like all the other MPs then.

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  20. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Peters wouldnt have Tamihere for the same reason he won’t have Tau Henare join the crew…either of them is far too likely to be a threat to a Captain long past his best …IMHO…

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  21. Keeping Stock (9,371 comments) says:

    The delay in dealing with Tamihere’s application to rejoin Labour is about nothing more than denying him the chance to contest the Waitakere nomination next year. NZLP rules require someone to have been a member of the party for one year before they can seek a nomination. If the party defers Tamihere’s application for membership, all they have to do is schedule nominations for the Waitakere seat to close less than a year after the date of JT’s reinstatement to the party, and he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. This is more about protecting the petulant Carmel Sepuloni than it is about JT.

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  22. Steve (North Shore) (4,536 comments) says:

    If National is ‘Labour Lite’ then JT is in the wrong Party. He aint perfect but he is far better than some of the arseholes who have the title ‘MP’

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  23. ChardonnayGuy (1,230 comments) says:

    KS…at least Carmel Sepuloni almost won the seat off Paula Bennett. Could one say the same about JT? Sorry, don’t think so. He’d have to embrace party discipline. He’s shown no signs of doing that in the past.

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