The Labour Civil War goes public

December 13th, 2010 at 3:30 pm by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins and Kate Chapman at Stuff report:

A public spat has erupted between Labour Party head Andrew Little and MP George Hawkins after a replacement candidate was selected to represent the party in Hawkins’ Manurewa electorate last night.

Hawkins said this morning he was “very happy with the selection”.

“It wasn’t someone forced on the electorate by the engineers union who turn up once every 20 years to have a say, so we’re very pleased.”

This is what annoys a lot of rank and file members. They can spend years paying a sub and working hard for the party, and they get the same vote for selection ass a union affiliate member who gets bussed in to vote the way his union has told him to, and otherwise has no interest in Labour.

Little replied saying Hawkins was a lightweight within the party and had been on the sidelines for a long time.

Hawkins comments were unhelpful but not surprising from an MP who believed he had an entitlement to remain in the Manurewa electorate, Little said.

“The key objective was to remove George Hawkins and we achieved that objective.”

Is this Andrew speaking as EPMU National Secretary or Labour Party President? If I was a Labour MP I’d be very worried that the party president openly boasts of taking an MP out.

Hawkins said he had not discussed the selection with Little, who had not spoken to him for two years.

My God. They can’t even pretend to tolerate each other.

He dismissed suggestions, meanwhile, that concerns over his health might be another reason for him to quit Parliament early after winning a place on the Manurewa community board.

“Since I’ve had the stroke, I’ve had deep vein thrombosis, I’m diabetic and I’ve had bowel cancer. None of that’s going to stop me and the engineers aren’t going to stop me.”

George the battler.

Asked why he was opposed to the union Hawkins responded: “If you want to take part in the Labour party you should turn up each month, go to the meetings, have your say. If they did that I would have been happy to support them but that’s not happened.”

The point I made earlier.

By-election averted

December 12th, 2010 at 10:15 pm by David Farrar

News just broken on Twitter. Louisa Wall has won the nomination for Manurewa, which makes it a victory for the Service and Food Workers Union over the EPMU.

Labour supporters will be relieved that a by-election has been averted.

Personally I think it is a pretty good choice. Louisa performed pretty well in the last term of Parliament for a rookie MP, and I think she’ll have a successful career as MP for Manurewa. If she doesn’t piss her colleagues off, she should become a Minister in the next Labour Government.

Attention will not shift to Te Atatu selection next weekend. Wall’s victory here should help Twyford win the nomination. If Wall had lost out here, then there would have been more pressure to select a female candidate such as Kate Sutton.

More turmoil in Labour

December 9th, 2010 at 9:19 am by David Farrar

Claire Trevett reports:

Turmoil is continuing within the Labour Party as it heads toward Sunday’s contentious candidate selection in Manurewa with current MP George Hawkins threatening to resign and force a byelection if the party selects a candidate he dislikes.

The party will select its new candidate to replace the retiring George Hawkins on Sunday and Mr Hawkins is understood to have told Labour leader Phil Goff he would force a byelection or publicly criticise the party if candidate Jerome Mika was selected.

George should not rule out both!

While the EPMU supports Mr Mika, the Service Workers Union, the Maritime Union and Amalgamated Workers Union support Louisa Wall. If the two sides can not agree on either candidate, they could choose a third person as a compromise rather than take a majority vote.

This is Labour Party democracy in action.

The three unions are also supporting List MP Phil Twyford in Te Atatu, which will have its selection a week later. Mr Twyford’s chances could be hurt if Mr Mika is selected for Manurewa because of calls for more female candidates in Auckland.

I suspect it will be fourth time lucky.

Things must be quite fragile in Labour at the moment, as Phil Goff has yet to announce the further rejuvenation reshuffle that was expected. When he did reshuffle due to perks abuse, the Herald reported:

Labour leader Phil Goff said there would be further changes ahead of next year’s general election.

You generally avoid reshuffles in election year. I wonder if Goff has backed off a reshuffle, as he can’t afford to upset any of his caucus at the moment?

Te Atatu and Manurewa

December 3rd, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

NZPA report:

Two Labour list MPs are among eight nominees to contest Chris Carter’s Te Atatu seat in next year’s general election.

Rajen Prasad and Phil Twyford have put their names up, along with small business owner Nick Bakulich, law student Jim Bradshaw, barrister Michael Kidd, university lecturer Hamish McCracken, community advocate Ann Pala and communications consultant Kate Sutton.

It could well be fourth time lucky for Phil Twyford. He is a member of the anti-Goff faction, so will have the support of the Te Atatu members who were supporters of Chris Carter.

Michael Kidd has no chance, having previously stood for the Destiny Church linked Family Party.

Rajen Prasad hasn’t exactly shone in Parliament, and I think he may b on the wrong side of 60, so would be surprised if he comes through.

I think Kate Sutton will be the one to watch, as the main alternative to Twyford.

Another list MP, Ashraf Choudhary, is one of seven nominees to contest the Manurewa seat for Labour, which will be vacated by George Hawkins who is retiring from Parliament.

The other Manurewa nominees are lawyer Ian Dunwoodie, union organiser Jerome Mika, lawyer Amelia Schaaf, human resources manager Shane Te Pou, company director Raj Thandi and policy advisor Louisa Wall.

I’d be amazed if Ashraf Choudary wins the nomination. It could only happen if Hawkins endorses him. Choudary is almost invisible at Parliament.

Jerome Mika is backed by EPMU and it is rumoured that Hawkins will force a by-election if he wins. Shane Te Pou has been written about extensively on Whale Oil. Louisa Wall as a pretty good MP during her short time in the House, and I was surprised she got such a low list ranking. But I understand she wasn’t great at getting on with others.

Ian Dunwoodie may be the candidate backed by Hawkins, as he used to work for him. He has also worked for the ATA, is a lawyer and even an EPMU member so could be the candidate acceptable to all factions.

Don’t know much about Amelia Schaaf – she is a barrister.

Raj Thandi is the General Secretary of the New Zealand Indian Central Association. He is an unsuccessful candidate for the Papakura Local Board.

So at this stage I’m picking it as Mika vs Dunwoodie.

A second by-election

October 9th, 2010 at 4:19 pm by David Farrar

NewstalkZB reports:

Labour MP George Hawkins says he will be resigning from parliament.

He has just been elected to the Manurewa Community Board.

Mr Hawkins says he has yet to decide when he will step down.

On the plus side, this gives Phil Twyford another seat he can try and get the nomination for 🙂

Hawkins has only been elected to a local board, not even the main Council. I don’t think resigning from Parliament is necessary – but that is his choice to make.

UPDATE: I am interpreting resign from Parliament as meaning actually resign. It is possible he means retire, and is not ruling out staying until the election. He could avoid a by-election if he stays on until middle of 2011.

An opportunity for Labour?

August 12th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

John Armstrong writes:

Labour will have very mixed feelings about being forced by one of its MPs to fight a byelection in Mana, even though it is one of the party’s safest seats in the Wellington region.

The byelection sparked by Winnie Laban’s departure to a job at Victoria University is a nuisance for Labour and an opportunity.

I like the idea put forward by Matthew Hooton on National Radio this week. Matthew proposed that Labour should arrange an effective mini-election in November – by-elections in Mana, Te Atatu, Manurewa and Wigram.

This could be a circuit breaker for Labour – they’d get publicity for four to six weeks, and would probably win all four seats, achieving a massive rejuvenation. This would help their chances in 2011 significantly, as they would look a lot less like the bunch thrown out.

Jones, Carter & Cunliffe

June 11th, 2010 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The real winner out of yesterday’s revelations is David Cunliffe. Not only were his records squeaky clean, but he is now clearly the leader in waiting, with Shane Jones having self destructed.

But Jones may not be totally gone. While he is a List MP, it has long been rumoured that George Hawkins will retire from the safe Manurewa seat at the next election, and George is said to have two preferences for his seat – anyone but Twyford, and Shane Jones as a mate to keep Twyford out.

Manurewa would give Jones a seat for life. It is one of the safest in the country. Will this plan go ahead now?

TV3 reported that Phil Goff was going to demote Chris Carter from the front bench at his upcoming reshuffle, due to his travel and spending. That is little surprise, but it raises the question about whether he will leave Shane Jones on the front bench?

The Auckland Seats

November 12th, 2008 at 1:34 pm by David Farrar

Starting at the top, the three northern seats of East Coast Bays, North Shore and Northcote were solid blue. Their party votes went up 9%, 4% and 11% respectively.  In East Coast Bays almost three times as many people voted National as Labour. These seats now are counters to the South Auckland seats.

The personal majorities were 12,800, 13,200 and 8,500 respectively. Northcote was held by Labour up until 2005 and Jonathan Coleman this tme incraesed his majority by around 6,000.

Out west we saw the near impossible – National won the party vote in all three West Auckland seats. Tim Groser worked hard on New Lynn to lift the party vote by 10% to 41%, with Labour dropping 12%. Te Atatu went from 32% to 42% and Waitakere from 33% to 42%. Listing the vote 10% in Westieville was great work.

Paula Bennett’s win in Waitakere is all the more remarkable because of the new boundaries. They had her 6,000 votes behind in 2005 and she won by 900. Groser reduced Cunliffe to 3,500 from a paper majority of 12,000 – also one of the biggest swings! Finally Chris Carter dropped to 4,500 from 7,500.

In central Auckland we have Auckland Central. National lost the party vote by 12% in 2005 and won it by 5% this time. This seat has been held by Labour since 1919 (apart from once going further left to the Alliance), making Nikki Kaye’s 1,100 vote victory all the more remarkable.

Mt Roskill also just went to National on the party vote, and Goff’s majority went from 9,400 to 5,500 – still very safe. His leadership predecessor in Mt Albert won the party vote by 6%, and had a slight dent in the electorate majority from 11,400 to 8,700.

Epsom went from 58% to 63% for National on the party vote, with Labour falling to under 20%. Rodney Hide drives his majority from 2,000 to a staggering near 12,000. They liked his dancing. Tamaki also remains solid blue with another 60:20 split on the party vote. Allan Peachey saw his majority go from 10,300 to over 15,000.

Maungakiekie was another big mover. The party vote went from a 13% deficit to 45 lead. And Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga scored an 1,800 majority from an close to 7,000 majority to Labour previously. Sam is one of the most well liked guys in the National Party, and had one of the biggest teams in recent memory on the hustings. He had between 10 and 25 people door knocking both days every weekend.

Out East we have Pakuranga which was no surprise. It is another close to 60:20 seat. Maurice is very popular locally and scored a 13,000 majority.

Botany. This brand new seat got the second highest party vote in Auckland for National – 62%. Pansy Wong also got a 10,000 majority. ACT’s Kenneth Wang was in third place but got a respectable 4,500 votes.

Papakura. The party vote went 52% to 28% for National, and Judith Collins took a 6,800 paper majority and turned it into a 9,700 real one.

Finally we have the three M seats in South Auckland. Mangere, Manurewa and Manukau East. Mangere saw Labour’s party vote go from 73% to 61%. In Manurewa it was from 61% to 50% and Manukau East from 65% to 57%. But turnout was down also and in absolute terms, Labour went from 55,000 votes to 38,000 over the three seats.

Thankfully Labour’s Sio beat Taito Phillip Field by 11,300 to 4,700

Note the above comparisons are all to 2005 results adjusted to new boundaries. Also a more formal analysis will be done when we have final results.

Hawkins attacked by bible

October 1st, 2008 at 8:04 am by David Farrar

A man, who sounds like he is in need of professional help, threw a 5 kg bible at George Hawkins during a Meet the Candidates meeting in Manurewa.

A shame when a nutter goes from merely saying nutty things to doing nutty things.