Glender Fryer campaigning

April 28th, 2009 at 1:39 pm by David Farrar

Labour aspiring candidate for Mt Albert Glenda Fryer put out a release yesterday:

After receiving news that francisee Chander Satija was to have the Sandringham Post Office and Kiwibank closed down, Cr Fryer wrote a letter to NZ Post and met with Auckland representatives to ask them to reconsider their decision.  NZ Post undertook to do this.  NZ Post have yet to give Mr Satija their final decision. …

Concludes Councillor Fryer “ I know the franchaisee Chander Satija   has given NZ Post over 500 letters from local people saying how much they depend on the services of the post office and bank.  Many locals feel they also want to show their faces and stand behind the only bank in Sandringham to tell NZ Post they love their local services and don’t want them closed down. “

So that evil NZ Post is closing down the Sandringham Post Office and Kiwibank. Maybe Glenda should lobby some of the Directors. Perhaps a Mr Shale Chambers? It should be fairly easy for her to lobby him, as he is her husband.

Four candidates so far for Mt Albert for Labour

April 16th, 2009 at 10:27 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Business studies lecturer Hamish McCracken, Auckland city councillor Glenda Fryer, Auckland University politics head tutor Meg Bates and employment lawyer Helen White have all confirmed their candidacies.

I would be surprised if McCracken has much of a chance. Not based on any specific knowledge, but the reality he has stood many times before for Labour and never been ranked highly. In 1999 he was no 60, in 2002 no 52, in 2005 no 49 and in 2005 no 50. I can’t see a fifth time lucky.

Bates is well regarded and well connected as a former electorate agent. Her age will be a factor though. Helen White could do very well too – she has a professional career established, and has union support.

Fryer is more unlikely, but not as unlikely as McCracken. She doesn’t particularly represent rejuvenation, and her Auckland City Council junket draconian attempt to ban sign billboards will be fresh in some minds.

But the potential candidate cited as Miss Clark’s favoured successor, list MP Phil Twyford, is still deciding whether to put his name forward a week before nominations close. Mr Twyford said he had discussed the matter with senior party members, but declined to comment further.

Twyford is a popular and respected MP for Labour. Definitely one of the stars of the future, and no doubt wants a safe seat as security. But by pure bad luck the Tizard issue is a real factor, and no one knows how much. So his choice is does he go for Mt Albert in 2009, or wait for another safe seat to come up, such as Mt Roskill in probably 2014?

At Backbenchers last night they discussed the Tizard issue, and it is fair to say no one was wamly welcoming the possible return. In fact there was a hilarious moment as Wallace Chapman went up to the loudest noisiest most partisan pro-Labour table, and asked them if they wanted Judith Tizard back in Parliament. One of them fell mute, while another could only repeat the official script that the issue is about the best candidate, not about who comes in on the list. You know there are problems, when not even your most partisan crowd supporters will say on camera they want Judith back.

And over on Labour Grassroots, members and supporters are not keen. Some quotes:

Suzanne says:

Headlines that say “Goff: Happy to have Judith Tizard back” says nothing to me about a party that wants to revitalise, bring in some new faces, get behind some issues that central Aucklanders care about.Like the Supercity, the environment. If Labour is behind Tizard it makes a mockery of the party recreating getting more in touch with its grassroots.

And Tanya:

Still, the voters are pretty MMP savvy these days, and I believe will be annoyed at Goff for backing Tizard back into parliament, after the voters said no.

And Darren:

Well said, Suzanne. I could not agree more. Labour needs ‘new blood’ everywhere, and to be SEEN to be bringing new faces in at every opportunity. Ms. Tizard did not strike me as a particularly effective MP. Certainly her hand on the on the intellectual property tiller steered it way off course and into the sea of stupidity…. witness the mess of s92a!?!

Her electorate obviously didn’t think she did a good job either, so why the hell would Phil want her back? Regardless of his motivation, which was obviously to keep Tizards’ supporters happy in touchy electoral times, it just makes our Parliamentary leader look horrendously out of touch.

And finally Caitlin:

This whole hullaballoo about Judith Tizard was started by media rumours (probably started by political opposition) and while some Labour activists and supporters may have qualms, we have to continue to pull together as a party to make sure we win this seat. We can’t be complacent – an assumption of victory was one of the problems with the Auckland Central campaign.

Caitlin is right that a party needs to be unified to win, but how motivated will supporters be to bring Judith back into Parliament?

There is also an associated danger with all this. The media will cover the by-election, and the media always have to have some big issues for the by-election. In TKC it was Stratford Hospital. In Tamaki it was send Wellington a message. Now with Mt Albert there may be no big issues on policy – National has just won an election and has gone so centrist it is probably going to even cancel the future tax cuts a couple of weeks before the by-election. So it is hard to see that there will be major policy issues at play in the by-election (unless the Govt decides to knock down 400 local homes for a motorway). But if there are no major policy issues, then issues such as the Tizard dilemma will become a major issue, because the media will make it an issue. They’ll do vox pops on the street asking people about it. They’ll do electorate polls and publish them. People will ask questions at meet the candidate meetings.

Now maybe Mt Albert voters won’t give a damn, even if the media do. They might only care about who will be their local MP, not who will enter Parliament as a result of their vote. But this is the fun thing with by-elections – they are notoriously unpredictable – and with the Greens planning a vigorous campaign, it really will be interesting.

UPDATE: Today’s Dom Post editorial talks about the Tizard issue, noting:

Though the parliamentary party is in capable hands leader Phil Goff and deputy Annette King are respected for their knowledge Labour must nonetheless now find a new generation of leaders to carry the party forward.

How ironic, then, that the departure of Miss Clark and Dr Cullen might reopen the door for two has-beens, Damien O’Connor and Judith Tizard. …

A party that is poised to welcome back Mr O’Connor and Ms Tizard is far from positioned to resume the Treasury benches.

The race for Mt Albert

March 31st, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Ten people have lined up so far for the Mt Albert by-election – seven for Labour and three for National. The Labour seven are:

  1. Phil Twyford
  2. Louisa Wall
  3. Hamish McCracken
  4. Helen White
  5. Glenda Fryer
  6. Conor Roberts
  7. Meg Bates

Twyford has to be the favourite, so long as he can deal with what the Herald calls the “Tizard dilemma”.

Louisa Wall impressed me as an MP. Labour has a pretty bad record of selecting Maori candidates for winnable general seats, so this would be a chance to change that. However Wall did not go out of her way to curry favour with various party factions and they may not want to give her a seat for life.

Hamish McCracken has stood three or four times before and never been ranked above the 50s, which suggests he is not seen as being of the quality needed to have a safe seat. His EPMU background will help with the head offices votes though.

Helen White also has an EPMU background, and is politically quite experienced. Could do well.

Glenda Fryer. Has some profile from Auckland local body politics but I doubt a front runner for the seat.

Conor Roberts. Conor is one of those annoying people – annoying because absolutely everyone likes him! He may be seen as a bit too young for the seat, but on the other hand it has only had two MPs since 1947. Conor would do well on the campaign trail.

Meg Bates. Meg is the only Young Labour President I have not met, so can’t really comment in detail. She used to work for Helen, and Helen generally employed pretty smart people, so she could be another Jacinda Ardern potentially.

The Nats list is:

  1. Melissa Lee
  2. Ravi Musuku
  3. Mike Loftus

As membership is over 200 in their Mt Albert electorate, the selection will get decided by a selection panel of 60 delegates.

Labour’s selection is a panel of seven, made up of:

  • Three people appointed by the NZ Council, one of whom must be a woman
  • Two people elected by the LEC, one of whom must be a woman
  • One person elected at the selection meeting
  • One vote by ballot from those at the selection meeting

The battle for Mt Albert

February 16th, 2009 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post on Saturday looked at the battle for Mt Albert within Labour:

Party sources say the leading contender to replace her is newly elected list MP Phil Twyford, who unsuccessfully contested the North Shore electorate last year.

Ha I have been saying that for months.

Two women are also bidding for the job: Auckland City Eden-Albert councillor Glenda Fryer and deposed cabinet minister Judith Tizard.

I’d be amazed if either of them were selected.

Under the Electoral Act the vacant list seat would be filled by the next unelected person on Labour’s list former Corrections minister Damien O’Connor, who lost his West Coast seat. He famously submitted his resignation to Miss Clark last year in a text message from Hong Kong Airport. She did not accept it.

Mr O’Connor could not be contacted, but if he turns down the invitation the next person on the list is Miss Tizard.

Yes Judith could be back either way, as Cullen retiring and Twyford winning Mt Albert would bring two people in on the list – O’Connor and Tizard.

I understand Labour sources are fairly relaxed about O’Connor coming back in. He didn’t do great as a Minister but has rural appeal, which they need.

Labour’s nighmare is the block of five after O’Connor. They are:

  1. Judith Tizard
  2. Mark Burton
  3. Mahara Okeroa
  4. Martin Gallagher
  5. Dave Hereora

So the rejuvenation caused by Cullen or Clark going would be to bring back in an MP who lose their seat, and who has no chance of ever making Cabinet agin – or to bring in (Hereora) an MP who was so invisible that he made Larry Sutherland look like a dynamic high profile MP.

The next on the list after Heroera is Louisa Wall. I rate Wall pretty highly – she’s smart, good on policy, and articulate. She did not make many friends in Labour though, hence her low list ranking. However after her is Lesley Soper, whom no one in Labour wants back, so I understand their aim is to get Wall in to replace Cullen or Clark (whomever goes second).

But to get Wall in, they have to convince not one, but five former MPs to stand aside. As the Greens found out with Mike Ward this can be easier said than done.