Pacific church ministers switching to National

April 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

’s master strategy is to get 250,000 extra voters in South Auckland and elsewhere voting for them. I’m not sure how their strategy will fare in light of this story at Stuff:

A small group of influential Pacific Island clergy have sparked fierce debate in South Auckland after they declared they would switch their support from the traditional Labour Party to the Party.

That is basically unheard of.

The action, taken at the Manurewa flea market on Sunday, is under fire on Pacific Island social media.

The ministers involved have been criticised for not consulting their parishes.

The move has also sparked another meeting next Sunday when, under the auspices of a Samoan Catholic Church, 23 churches will meet to discuss political parties and Christian values.

It’s not an issue for me, or most people, but they may have noticed that not only is Labour’s caucus already over-represented with LGBT MPs, they’ve selected a further four LGBT candidates and inevitably Taurima also. There has always been a tension between their socially liberal activists and some of their more conservative supporters.

A Seventh Day Adventist minister, Teleiai Edwin Puni, said he and five other Seventh Day Adventist ministers – all recognised in the Pacific community – met National MP on Sunday.

“If we are to defend our Christian values and build a brighter future for New Zealand families, we need to engage our Pacific people and vote National,” Puni said.

Cam Calder converts South Auckland to National – well done Cam! :-)

Fundamentalist pastor Sooalo Setu Mu’a said they had been supporting Labour.

“To change from wearing red to blue is not an easy thing for our Pacific communities who have been voting Labour over the years.”

No party can take any group of supporters for granted.

National has two excellent Pacific Island MPs – Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and Alfred Ngaro. I suspect their hard work may also be a factor in some Pacific voters reconsidering their traditional allegiances.

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39 Responses to “Pacific church ministers switching to National”

  1. EAD (1,452 comments) says:

    To be honest, I don’t give a rat’s arse who the red team or blue team pick to represent them in the general election. I would much rather candidates were selected based on their abilities, sincerity, wisdom, humility and understanding of REAL history and the nature of political power.

    What a joke NZ politics has become – to think one women can speak for all women, one LGBT person speak for all LGBT (whatever that means) peoples, one Maori can speak for all Maori, one gay speaks for all gays or one youth speaks for all youth – are people not allowed to be individuals any more?

    Must we all be like sheep, squared into boxes that our political masters want to group us into, ignorant of the real issues and instead cast “votes” based on perceived group loyalties?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-30/2014-brave-new-dystopian-1984-world

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  2. Yoza (1,926 comments) says:

    Labour does seem to take the PI vote for granted, considering the flak they copped from Maori for taking that voting block for granted you think they would’ve learned. Still, I don’t think National is going to be a destination for the great Pasifika exodus.

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  3. duggledog (1,625 comments) says:

    More bad news for Labour, in an endless shower of shit for the party. Labour reminds me of a rock band that were great in their day but keeping putting out stink records that nobody buys just because they had a ten album deal in the 1990s

    I don’t know, but maybe it’s something to do with being aligned with not only the clinically insane Greens, but academics (who bamboozle PI’s with their ‘words’ and ‘facts’), homosexuals (who PI’s do not like particularly), teachers (who gave them bad marks) and unionists (who PI’s have finally realised don’t do much for them aside from taking fees with very little in return).

    Labour – doomed by their own hands. Nothing to do with the incumbents

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  4. gazzmaniac (2,306 comments) says:

    Good work Cam Calder.
    Sam Lotu-Iiga is probably one of the hardest working MPs, I am always seeing stories about him working for his constituents and being out and about in South Auckland.

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  5. anonymouse (705 comments) says:

    Mike Williams was a supreme organiser, and his campaigning to get out the vote in 2005 were legendary.
    The Current party leadership are not anywhere close in their ability to motivate people to vote for them.
    When Moira and the bus driven by Tim Barnett turn up to take people to vote, I suspect many will just walk away….

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  6. RightNow (7,015 comments) says:

    Fancy that, you bash Christians long enough and they’ll stop voting for you. Who knew?
    Salvation Army next, just keep shouting about how unfair it was that they won expanded contracts for problem gambling services.

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  7. Weihana (4,621 comments) says:

    RightNow (6,295 comments) says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Fancy that, you bash Christians long enough and they’ll stop voting for you. Who knew?

    Is nasska a Labour member? :)

    What would be a prime example of Labour’s Christian bashing?

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  8. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    I’m only surprised that this has taken so long. Some of the most morally conservative people I know are real dark red, lifelong union members and Labour voting (‘working class’ if you will…)

    Trade union Labour, bene-for-everyone-Labour and Gay Rights Labour are pretty strange bedfellows, all they really have in common is a love of socialism, there should really be at least two separate parties to coherently represent their ideas IMO. It is quite astonishing that in the information / internet age the Clark regime was able to knock enough heads together to keep it all unified for so long.

    IMHO Colin Craig should be targetting those ‘working class’ morally conservative Labour voters hard out, there are a LOT of them who would be all over some of his policies if he sold them right. They could be a power base for him quite independent of anything National might want to gift him. I believe he could potentially take many votes off Labour and take them to the right of National, which would be a real sea change in NZ politics.. (IMO)

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  9. Ross12 (1,486 comments) says:

    I heard one of the South Auckland Labour MPs interviewed about this by Hoskings and he described these PI church leaders as entrepreneurs ( not church leaders). He said they were just wanted to be “looked after” financially by National like National looks after all their rich mates –I cannot see that explanation going down well in the churchs on Sunday.

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  10. Weihana (4,621 comments) says:

    RRM (8,950 comments) says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 10:36 am

    IMHO Colin Craig should be targetting those ‘working class’ morally conservative Labour voters hard out, there are a LOT of them who would be all over some of his policies if he sold them right.

    I question whether a lot of these people are as “morally conservative” as people think. People seem to have this stereotype about anyone who goes to church or who is religious and immediately people assume “Colin Craig must be the man for them”. Yet many of these people (most perhaps?) have little problem with gays even if its not something for them personally.

    If anything I suspect tension may exist because religious people and religion in general is often the target of commentary in the gay community and other liberal-minded people. I think there are many people out there who read their Facebook feeds only to find their gay/liberal friends making derogatory remarks about their religion or religious people in general and they think it is unfair.

    So it’s not because they are gay as such, but because they feel they face prejudice because of their religion in the same way as some religious people are prejudiced against gays.

    Just a theory.

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  11. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    I’ve always wondered why those communities, so conservative by their nature, have supported “modern” Labour. Labour, where corruption and bribery is OK, “he was only helping his constituents”, the rainbow faction, the feminazi faction and the man-ban, the minimum-wageists and so on. I would have thought Labour was the anti-thesis of everything those communities stand for.

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  12. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    DPF: met National MP Cam Calder on Sunday.

    Who voted for same-sex marriage. They’re deluded if they think this will help their case (assuming their case has anything to do with Biblical teaching, and not simply being important). But why ministers/churches are involved with politics is already beyond me.

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  13. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    I read the Catholic bishops pastoral letter before the last GE.

    Going by that with its emphasise on the environment and “social justice” one would be voting Green.

    Fuck that.

    In this day and age voters should be educated enough to make up their own minds.Otherwise they shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

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  14. flash2846 (289 comments) says:

    Improvement in the right type of education = better understanding of economics = more sensible decisions on which way to vote

    Pacific Islanders have been on fairly steep education curve for the past five years; most of them are under thirty years of age and therefore have recently become eligible to vote.
    Union representatives no longer have control of the information Pacific Islanders receive; technology not helping the left.

    If this business receives enough publicity it would have to be disastrous for greens/labour

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  15. Weihana (4,621 comments) says:


    …under the auspices of a Samoan Catholic Church 23 churches will meet to discuss political parties and Christian values.

    I wonder if such efforts will be as successful as eliminating the use of contraception and sex outside of wedlock? :)

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  16. EAD (1,452 comments) says:

    @ Rich Prick

    It does amaze me as well, way back when, though, right v left was a much more straightforward battle between capital and labour, the old left still shared the same values of family, community, stability and tradition which is probably why we freedom loving “righties” tend to get on so much better with leftists like the Pacific Island Community than we do with the slippery progressives of the Occupy crowd and the Green, Feminist and Maori apartheid movements.

    Reading NZ history before my time, I could see myself having a beer with old school lefties like Peter Nash and Norm Kirk – they may be wrong or they may be greedy – out to screw as much money as they can from the taxpayer by holding the government to ransom – but at least they’re honest about it.

    Unlike the modern left which started with Geoff Palmer, they don’t try to dress up their motives as concern for the planet, or the plight of women, or racial equality.

    They’d much rather “Brave New World” you into a “1984” vision of society and they’re doing a pretty good job so far!

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  17. doggone7 (849 comments) says:

    Rich Prick: “…always wondered why those communities, so conservative by their nature, have supported “modern” Labour. Labour, where corruption and bribery is OK…”

    Hard to understand why they wouldn’t take the KeyGCSBDunneSkyCityBanks route of honesty and integrity.

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  18. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (900 comments) says:

    A small group of influential Pacific Island clergy – phew, big deal. Chief Of Staff Matt says, he is getting thousands of emails from disgruntled National voters switching to Labour. Move on will ya?

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  19. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    Now if only we could get the Indian Community to follow suit.

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  20. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    Sir Cullen your assertion about people switching from National to Labour is pure poppycock. Conversely the switching of the pastors must be a problem for Labour. Selecting so many high profile GLBT candidates must be problematic.

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  21. Neil (577 comments) says:

    Like DPOF I would love to see PI switch their vote to National like we always hope maori voters might.
    It’s a bikt like waiting for pigs to fly !! It ain’t going to happen, they’re part of that entitlement mentality people who believe in the cargo cult.
    Now I don’t claim to be an expert on PI affairs, I live in Southland, but I’ve seen so many of these reports before. Like when all and sundry were saying that Clive Edwards,National PI, would take Auckland Central. Miles away !!
    Let’s say that a few more educated PI people are drifting to National – perhaps 8%. A bit like afro-americans in the USA.
    Let’s get our own voters to the polls, not pour money down a rat hole !

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  22. david (2,194 comments) says:

    Someone should start a book on how long it will take for Trevor Mallard to label the PI community as “overweight, fuzzy-wuzzy tapa cloth wearers” a-la the Brethren response.

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  23. Ed Snack (1,940 comments) says:

    The saddest thing about this is the emphasis on identity politics, the insistence that you are nothing more than a member of your assigned group. And you must vote along with that group’s assigned interests with any deviation a sign of class/group hatred and thus deserving of all and any abuse that comes your way. Witness the treatment of Blacks in the US uppity enough to vote Republican.

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  24. Viking2 (11,680 comments) says:

    One is left wondering what will happen to the number of millions of dollars of assets that the Labour Party has accumulated over many years.
    This election will most likely see the demise of the Labour Party (which I predicted after the last election) and their funders the Unions.
    There is a huge pot of gold sitting there waiting to be raided.

    Someone is going to make themselves a fortune.

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  25. Liam Hehir (149 comments) says:

    I think it makes political sense for people for whom this is a priority to move towards the classical liberal side of the ledger. No National government is going to repeal the gay marriage law. The thing is, however, is that that would not not be a realistic agendum for any government, even one in which the so-called Consertvatives play a part.

    Of the main parties National are more likely to favour a wider application of religious freedom for traditionalists. As the party of civil society, they’re less likely to want to interfere with religious schools and other organisations.

    I actually wrote a column on the theme here.

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  26. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Weihana –

    The people I’m thinking of aren’t even religious at all!

    Just hard working blue collar families that are extremely down on beneficiaries who they see as lazy feckless bludgers, absentee dads, parents who spend all their money on booze, etc etc.

    They also tend to see gay rights movement etc as an annoying sideshow, and think people should just keep it in their pants.

    (Unfortunately they tend to have been convinced you can’t trust John Key, and four legs good two legs baaad…)

    I just think these people would switch to Colin Craig in a heartbeat if he sold his ideas right. Can he do it?

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  27. ShawnLH (6,693 comments) says:

    People do realize that Sir Cullen’s Sidekick is someone engaging in a bit of humor right?

    Anyway, I think the generations that grew up voting on the basis of how their parents voted, or how their community expected them to vote, are no longer the norm.

    I wonder too how much Labour’s unofficial alliance with the Green’s is affecting this. A lot of Christian PI’s would not be fans of Russell Norman or the Greens in general. Norman probably did not do Labour any favors with his attack on Colin Craig, and while that might not translate into votes for Craig, it may have made many PI’s think twice about Labour and consider National instead. National may not really be socially conservative anymore, but the Nat’s don’t go around bashing Christians as Norman has done on a number of occasions.

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  28. duggledog (1,625 comments) says:

    RRM – yep.

    Colin Craig’s tax free first $25,000 would ensure a tick from all but the dumbest South Aucklanders.

    Anonymouse ‘Mike Williams was a supreme organiser’

    Yeah he organised people to drive round in Labour livery, picking up lofos, giving them KFC and delivering them to their polling booths

    Genius

    As clever as Michael Cullen taxing me through the arse hole to pay off debt. Give that man a knighthood

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  29. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    tvb
    Sir Cullen’s posts are tongue in cheek. He gets a swag of red down thumbs every time though!

    Viking2
    Labour has sold off so many of its real estate assets its not funny – all to pay for things that should’ve been paid for from member dues. In Christchurch the LRC (Labour Regional Council) sold a rental property that was getting higher than normal rent yields because it was a boarding house just to pay the electorate head office dues for a couple of lazy electorates who couldn’t be bothered fundraising properly. I also believe that whilst Labour still owns some or all of Frazer House (its National HQ in Wellington), they mortgaged it to pay for previous campaigns due again to poor fundraising. There is no pot of gold left anymore because the family silver has long been sold.

    This is an ominous development for Labour. The PI vote in South Auckland has been the bedrock of Labour’s vote in Auckland. Mike Williams essentially won the 2005 election for Labour on the strength of turning out that vote (greased by a few KFC vouchers!). Labour’s activist core is heavily dominated by the rainbow coalition and, whether you consider it unenlightened in the modern era, PIs are famously very down on homosexuality. Selecting a slate of LGBT candidates does Labour no favours with this key voting block. The excellent work of the National PI MPs has helped demonstrate that National can listen to and reach out to this demographic group. Finally John Key’s easy likeability alongside Cunliffe’s untrustworthy smarminess likely plays a role in this trend.

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  30. chris (647 comments) says:

    KIA: boy, they don’t mind selling assets when they’re their own then, do they?

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  31. Nostalgia-NZ (5,322 comments) says:

    Not only thanks to the work of Ngaro or Pesta Sam (Peseta being a high chief title,) but to Key who has deliberately mined this vote. I don’t know how this fits with some from the right lambasting ‘lazy’ or ‘obese’ PIs as a standard catch cry, but it reflects the actions of HC losing Maori support that resulted in the beginning of the MP. At that time a tradition was broken not only across Maoridom but seeds were spread among PI that Labour was being indulgent and possibly taking advantage of something they didn’t essentially respect.

    As others have pointed out above PI conservatism is in many ways very liberal and forgiving compared to perhaps the European version. Another factor however is the ‘vote rally’ when the Church or elders say don’t forget to vote that is what happens. Some of the predictions about waking the ‘sleeping’ voters miss that point, I doubt that Key has.

    It’s a very interesting advance, also to read some of the apparently misinformed, or guess work opinions about this.

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  32. Changeiscoming (202 comments) says:

    I doubt very much the Pacific people will move from one socially liberal party to another socially liberal party. If they ever did move and I sincerely doubt they will, they would move to a socially conservative party.

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  33. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    One thing about Pacific Islanders, they are not secular, don’t believe in funny marriage, and have a sense of family values, something Labour/Greens abhor. Labour get the treatment they deserve, so what will their mentor Williams have to say about this!

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  34. doggone7 (849 comments) says:

    igm: “One thing about Pacific Islanders, they are not secular, don’t believe in funny marriage, and have a sense of family values, something Labour/Greens abhor.”

    Be specific, which Labour/ Green person do you know who abhors family values. What percentage of Labour/ Green people abhor family values? How do you know?

    Are there any in the National Party some members of South Auckland Pacific Island churches are throwing their support behind, who support “funny marriages?” Who was the Prime Minister when the “funny marriages” thing went through?

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  35. allgoodal (14 comments) says:

    South Auckland finally showing signs of turning to National. We’ll done Team!

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  36. wrightingright (145 comments) says:

    wow, Cam Calder might just be National’s best ever candidate from Manurewa!

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  37. Phill McCaverty (1 comment) says:

    I wonder if this will bring a new focus on all the violence, drug taking, Crime and social issues in South Auckland?

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  38. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    doggone: Labour are pro-weirdo and decadence, look at the line-up of foul degenerates contesting seats in the forthcoming election; they are continuing along the path mapped out by Clark and Simpson, now hidden at the hapless UN along with another bunch of ex-Labour weirdos, including Carter, Chauvel, and I would not be surprised if child molesting ginga does not appear there soon also; maybe they have a NZ rainbow room as well. Clark did its best to dismantle the family unit via its unionised teachers and feminists during its reign of evil and disgusting ruination.

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  39. ChardonnayGuy (1,232 comments) says:

    This was a stage managed fix. Edward Puni, who reported on the above, appears to be associated with Event Polynesia, a Netbased Pacific Island-oriented online news service. On past occasions, he has reported about Seventh Day Adventists changing their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday…because Teleiai Edwin Puni is a Seventh Day Adventist minister, as were most of the others. They met a critical reaction on Facebook- such as, given that John Key supports marriage equality, why were they changing parties? Moreover, the clergy in question apparently didn’t consult their parishes first. Most of them were previously associated with jailed former Mangere Pacific Party MP Taito Philip Field’s failed political vehicle, so they weren’t actually Labour Party members at the time.

    Here endeth the lesson…

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