Will Labour not stand in Ohariu?

June 2nd, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Richard Harman writes at Politik:

The Labour/Green pact announced yesterday may pave the way for Greens Co-Leader James Shaw to stand against Peter Dunne in Ohariu.

If Labour didn’t stand a candidate — and Labour sources say that’s a real possibility — then, on paper, based on the last election results, Mr Dunne would lose his seat.

I’m not sure Labour not standing would see Shaw win the seat.

If Labour pulled out, then it is quite possible National could decide not to stand also. Or alternatively National voters would be more likely to vote strategically to ensure Shaw did not win.

It is also possible Dunne may not stand again in 2017, in which case National would win easily I’d say.

Let’s look at the party vote in the seat, as that gives a good idea of how right or left a seat it.

National got 50.4%. Labour got 23.5% and Greens 15.1%. So their combined vote is 38.6% – around 12% behind National.

Of those National voters 29% voted for the National candidate and 59% for Dunne. If it looked like Shaw might win, I’d say you’d get even greater tactical voting.

National announces coalition choices

July 28th, 2014 at 4:13 pm by David Farrar

John Key has announced the following.

  • They will contest all 64 general electorates
  • In Ohariu and Epsom they are saying that they are happy for supporters to vote tactically for Peter Dunne and David Seymour
  • There is no “deal” with the Conservatives in East Coast Bays, or elsewhere.
  • Main focus is on maximising the party vote for National

I suspect thousands of National activists around the country have just breathed a sigh of relief there is no deal with the Conservatives.

In my view there should be representation in Parliament for those who have seriously conservative social and economic views. However both NZ First and Conservatives are competing in that space and while they remain separate parties, there is a risk neither will make it. But I can’t see either leader agreeing to be the deputy leader to the other one 🙂


August 15th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Whale has blogged:

Hooton identifies that Joyce may have pushed close friend (and former Key deputy Chief of Staff) out into the real world so that he can seem like a man of the people… and can challenge Shanks (and perhaps Hekia) for the Ohariu seat.  

There is always speculation when a senior and successful staff member leaves Parliament, but it is totally astray in this case.

Phil DJ has done ten years in Parliament, and that is much longer than most. I did eight years in Parliament and that felt a lifetime. There are few work environments where leaving at 9 pm is regarded as going home early. Phil went in as a backbench MP’s secretary and ended up Deputy Chief of Staff, which speaks volumes about his ability.

Phil has absolutely no ambitions or intentions for Ohariu, or any other Wellington seat. He is very focused on his future corporate career – plus of course anything which involves guns, boats or aircraft 🙂

A great own goal

May 19th, 2012 at 10:09 am by David Farrar

A wonderful own goal at The Standard. Zetetic blogged on Peter Dunne:

He lashed out that those who pointed out he’s voting for asset sales he never told his electorate he would support.

Now this is a lie the left keep repeating. And watch it bite them hard.

Pete George pointed out this was a lie and Eddie ranted:

three choices. Present evidence Dunne explicitly said he would support the partial sale of the energy companies and air nz, withdraw your comment, or face a three month ban. 

So Mr George gets to work.

First he brings up this quote from Zetetic him or herself:

and National is on a razor edge, with a 2 seat majority but the rest of Parliament opposing asset sales if ACT and Dunne lose, or on Dunne.

Absolutely proving Zeletic is lying about Dunne. He warned people before the election that a vote for Dunne was a vote for asset sales, and then afterwards he claims no one knew a vote for Dunne was a vote for asset sales. I think we now understand why he or she does not dare to post under their own name. They would be unemployable.

A second quote is found, this time from Eddie before the election:

This is high stakes stuff. If ACT goes and Dunne loses too, as looks likely, National will be bereft of natural allies. And National’s support is tracking down to the point where it can’t govern alone. The Banks endorsement should only make that more likely.

What happens in this scenario? There would be no parties that would support its asset sales policy through Parliament, except perhaps the Maori Party

So Eddie is also exposed as a liar. Remember this if anyone from the left ever claims Peter Dunne’s position was unknown – the left were actively campaigning against him on the basis they knew he had said he would vote for partial asset sales proposed by National.

Eddie, also very glad he does not use his full name or possibly even his real name, doesn’t give up and basically says that what he said is not important, but that he will ban Pete George for three months if he doesn’t come up with something directly from Dunne.

Then the final knock out blow as Pete George quotes from a live chat on Stuff:

The Dominion Post:
To Peter Dunne, from Joe Brown: Will you say no to all state asset sales like Labour and Charles Chauvel have this year?

Dunne Peter:
In principle, UnitedFuture does not advocate selling state assets, but in the event National putst up its mixed ownership model for the electricity companies and Air New Zealand we would be prepared to support that, provided the maximum was 49%, with a cap of 15% on any indivudual’s holdings. We would never support the sale of Kiwibank, Radio New Zealand or control of water assets.

Game, set and match to Pete George.

A huge thanks to The Standard. The left have got away with lying about Dunne for months on end now. Thanks to this thread they started, we now have nice documented proof that they have been lying.

Labour with their proxies in “People’s Power Ohariu” have an Operation Ohariu next weekend to try and build opposition to asset sales. I wonder how many of them will also spread lies about Dunne’s position?

I’d point out in Ohariu National got many mroe party votes than Labour and Greens combined, and that Dunne and Shanks (both known to vote for the mixed ownership model) got almost 20,000 electorate votes between them and Chauvel got 13,000 and Hughes 2,000 so not even close.

People Power Ohariu

April 25th, 2012 at 10:35 am by David Farrar

Danya Levy at Stuff reports:

The Government has been accused of treachery during emotive pleas for it to dump its plans to partially sell state-owned assets. …

People Power Ohariu was formed after last year’s election to convince UnitedFuture leader and MP for Ohariu Peter Dunne to vote against the bill.

United Future’s policy was very clearly known before the election and Peter Dunne got re-elected on it.

Her voice breaking and close to tears, People Power Ohariu spokeswoman Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati told the committee the sales were “nothing less than treachery”.

“It is absolutely ludicrous that in our country a group of 61 people can make decisions that have serious, serious, implications for our country and our children’s future and our land.”

That is an unusual name. Presumably the same person who is a Mana Party activist.

And it is interesting to see how she thinks it is treason to announce a policy 10 months before an election, have it as the most contested issue of the election, and have parties than supported it gain 61 out of the 121 seats.

And the implications for the children’s future and the land is just ridiculous hyperbole. My God, its some minority shares in some power companies. Contact Energy got wholly sold off in 1998 and the world didn’t end. In fact, barely anyone noticed.

People Power Ohariu spokesman John Maynard said it was particularly concerned about the Trans Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement being negotiated among New Zealand, the United States and at least eight other countries.

This is the John Maynard that Whale pointed out was President of the Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa.

Labour MP paying 11 year olds $10/hr to wave his signs

November 25th, 2011 at 1:45 pm by David Farrar

Just been relayed this story from a grandfather whose grand-daughter is visiting him.

The grand-daughter goes to St Brigid’s School in Johnsonville and she told her grand dad about how some of the other 11 year olds at the school were earning money, specifically $10 an hour, to wave signs List for MP and candidate Charles Chauvel.

Isn’t Labour saying the minimum wage should be $15 and hour and there should be no youth wages?

Not a lot of local support it seems if you have to hire sign wavers.

I do hope Charles is including the wages of his hired help in his campaign budget disclosure. I also hope he is deducting and paying tax. As a lawyer I am sure he very aware of the law.


A close race in Ohariu

November 12th, 2011 at 8:11 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

The Fairfax Media-Research International mini poll shows the UnitedFuture leader, who has held the north Wellington seat for the past 27 years, could be ousted by Labour’s Charles Chauvel.

It put Mr Dunne on 37.4 per cent, less than two points ahead of Labour’s Charles Chauvel on 35.6.

National’s Katrina Shanks is a distant third on 19 per cent and the Greens candidate Gareth Hughes registered just 1.4 per cent.

A massive 34.6 per cent of voters were undecided.

The poll, conducted on Wednesday night, surveyed 163 voters and has a margin of error of 7 per cent.

Research International spokesman Paul Epplett said that means the race for Ohariu is too close to call.

Definitely too close too call. The probability that Dunne is in fact ahead of Chauvel is only 61%. Add onto that the 35% undecided, and either Dunne or Chauvel can win.

What will be interesting to see is if the 19% voting Shanks, now vote tactically.

Epsom and Ohariu

April 19th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins reports:

National looks set to throw ACT a fresh lifeline in Epsom and do a deal with Peter Dunne in Ohariu despite polls suggesting it could govern alone after November 26.

Prime Minister John Key has given his clearest indication yet that National will tacitly endorse ACT leader Rodney Hide in Epsom to save ACT from certain electoral death as it struggles to rate much above 1 per cent in most polls.

He signalled a similar strategy in Ohariu, which Mr Dunne has comfortably held on to under his UnitedFuture party banner since 1996, though his majority has been slowly whittled down to just over 1200 from more than 20,000 in 1999.

“The primary emphasis [in Epsom] will almost certainly be a party vote campaign,” Mr Key said.

Asked where else that might be the case he said “maybe Ohariu”.

What John Key has said, is no surprise. National was always going to stand candidates in  those two seats, but it was never going to actively run a campaign against Ministers who serve in their Government.

One should no more expect this to happen, than you would expect Labour to have tried to kill off Jim Anderton in Wigram, when he was a Minister in a Labour-led Government.

Regardless of whether National actively targets the electorate vote, many National party voters will give the National candidate their electorate vote. Tends to be around 80% nationally. This will also be the case in Epsom and Ohariu, unless onr or both of the following hold true:

  1. There is a candidate with huge cross-party support, such as Peters used to have in Tauranga, Harry Dunhhoven had in New Plymouth, Peter Dunne has in Ohariu etc
  2. It is tactically sensible to vote for another candidate to help your party – as happened in Wellington Central in 1996 and Epsom in 2005

National voters are smart, and also quite independent. They will decide for themselves what to do, regardless of whether the party is explicitly asking for electiorate votes or not. Epsom in 2005 is one example – letters went out to voters signed by the President asking them to vote for the National candidate. The voters said “No, we want ACT to remain in Parliament” and voted for Rodney.

What will happen in 2011? Well the two seats are quite different. Take Ohariu first. Peter Dunne, Katrina Shanks and Charkles Chauvel all polled quite close to each other last election and any of them could win the seat. If the National vote splits between Dunne and Shanks. CHauvel may come through the middle. If a poll shows this as probable, then you might get tactical voting – where eitehr Dunne voters vote Shanks to keep Chauvel out, or Shanks voters vote Dunne to keep Chauvel out. Whomever registers in third place in a public poll in that seat will run a risk of having their vote be tactically siphoned off. What Chauvel will want is the race to be so close that Shanks and Dunne almost tie, and he comes through the middle.

In Epsom, it will be a different sort of tactical decision. The seat is massively National and there is really no chance of Labour winning the seat. So why might National voters vote Hide? Because it may help National to do so. But my long stated position is that Epsom voters will only decide what to do in the final weeks. Any polls prior to that will mean little.

Around two or three weeks out, Epsom voters will ask themselves two questions.

  1. Can National form a centre-right Government without ACT? If National is at 57% the answer is yes, if National is at 47% the answer could be unclear, and if National is at 45% the answer is probably no. Remember that a National-Maori Party combination is not a CR Government. If Epsom voters see National as likely to need the Maori Party to govern, this will provide an incentive to give National an alternative in the guise of ACT.
  2. If the answer to (1) is no or “unclear” then the second question is will electing Rodney in Epsom make a difference. If ACT look like they can get five MPs again the answer is yes. If they are polling at below 1% the answer is probably no. If they are polling in the 1% to 3% range it is more complicated – especially as ACT usually does better on election night than the polls show.

The one thing the two seats have in common is that the public polls could have a significant impact on the outcome. Polls well before the election less so, but polls in the last few weeks could be considerably influential – far more so that what the party hierarchy want

Of course you want to be very careful that a poll has asked the right question. Peter McCaffery at AOC has a useful blog post on this issue, reminding people of the 2005 TVNZ poll which showed Worth beating Hide. That poll, as Peter explains, was asking the wrong question.

Winning over the voters one at a time

March 16th, 2010 at 11:21 am by David Farrar

BoomTownPrat blogs:

I had a great weekend in Auckland. The most wonderful Pixies on Friday with exceptional friends and then a couple of days with family et al.

Now I have a beautiful and very patient wife and three children, the children are 4, 3 and 2! Travelling is not easy, but I am of the firm belief that practice makes perfect. We travel often and prefer to fly as it is quick. With my work I also fly frequently, as does my wife. We therefore use Koru and Gold Elite to our advantage and when we fly we are seated up the front of the plane. That’s the way it works. I have been loyal to Air NZ and as a result,a 1 or 2 row seat, on a domestic flight is a benefit. With my family my flights are paid with post tax income.

I am also a row 1 or 2 person.

Tonight the 1900 flight to Wellington (Home) was busy. I sat down in row 2 EF with my daughter and my wife, daughter (1D), and son (1F) sat in front of us. Behind me in 3F (Chauvel) and friend in 3 E. Pause to get the picture. So most of my family are in front and Mr Chauvel is to my right and behind in Row 3. I can hear most of what he says though the middle seat gap as can my 3 year old in 2 F

The flight takes off, my kids make a bit of noise. The usual kid stuff, no one blinks( except a muffled rumbling behind …..seat 3F) My kids can perform, you may have heard them! But tonight they were fine. The odd squawk a few yells and disagreements but nothing that your average person on a short domestic flight could dismiss undercover of an insipid tea, a packet of crisps and a magazine.

Not 3F (MR CHARLES CHAUVEL LABOUR LIST MP). 20 minutes into the flight I hear the first, hissed,,,,,”Will you just shut up!” This I think was directed at my 2 year old in row 1. I hear it well given my position. I think he doesn’t realise that that object of his ire has a father directly in front.

I’ve once or twice asked a child to be quiet, and always ask politely. Yelling shut up at someone else’s kids is unwise for anyone – let alone an MP.

40 minutes a more vocal…..”Will you just shut up!”

At this point I got angry and sarcastically told my kids to be quiet as there were very important men behind us who needed their peace.

We start to land when my 2 year old gets some ear pain and cries. A bit like a baby, not to intense. At this point 3F lets out his true feelings and prejudices as he turns to his friend in 3E and says……..” I DONT KNOW WHY THEY LET THEM UP THERE”

God forbid parents with kids are now allowed at the front of the bus plane.

Anyway, here is the irony:

Some Points to Mr Chauvel in 3 F.

The “them” you refer to, is me, the voter.

I vote in Ohariu.

I paid for my seat….did you?

Those children you despise, will probably pay for your superannuation.

And Lastly Mr Chauvel in 3 F, I pay your salary, I would prefer it if you and your friend did not verbally abuse my 2 year old in front of my 3 year old.

I have no reason to construct this. This is what happened. This is how a Labour front bencher acted in public, when his party is on 30% in the polls, when the accusations of “out of touch” are still ripe and the electorate is still trying to digest the “many but the few” mantra.

I suspect the numbers of voters in Ohariu that Charles has alienated is far more than the father and mother. Imagine how many of their friends and neighbours will be told the story over the next two years.

Labour selections

February 1st, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Labour has announced four selections, reports the Herald:

Labour has already chosen its 2011 election candidates for Auckland Central, West Coast-Tasman, Ohariu and Maungakiekie.

First-term list MP Jacinda Ardhern will contest Auckland Central and Carol Beaumont, also a list MP, will contest Maungakiekie. Both are held by National.

List MP Damien O’Connor will try to take back West Coast-Tasman, the seat he lost to National in the last election.

Senior MP Charles Chauvel, another list MP, will contest Ohariu, which is held by United Future leader Peter Dunne.

I wonder why Labour did not open nominations for NZ’s most marginal seat of New Plymouth? Is it because Andrew Little plans to parachute in there later, as that is his home town?

There were four nominations for Waitakere, the seat held by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, and a selection meeting will be held on March 20. The nominations were Ann Pala, Carmel Sepuloni, Hamish McCracken and Phil Twyford.

It will be pretty devastating to Twyford’s career if he fails to win the nomination, after having been scared out of both Mt Albert and Auckland Central.

He is a more polished politician than Sepuloni, but Labourites may not be keen to put up a “white middle aged male” against the young at heart fiesty Paula Bennett.

McCracken is a perennial candidate – his list ratings have been in 1999 he was no 60, in 2002 no 52, in 2005 no 49 and in 2005 no 50. I can’t see him beating one, let alone two, MPs to the nominaton.

Ann Pala is a Fijian immigrant who was President of the Waitakere Ethnic Board, a director of Winmac Computer Solutions, member of the Islamic Women’s Council. To her great credit she has criticised her party’s association with Winston Peters.

Less agreeably, Pala called for an “ethnic ward” for the Auckland Council, which would elect two or three Councillors. Pala seems to be the only actual West Auckland standing for the Waitakere nomination.

Meanwhile the Dominion Post reports:

United Future leader Peter Dunne faces a tough battle for his Ohariu seat after Labour kicked off its campaign and National vowed it would not stand aside to give him a free ride.

List MP Charles Chauvel will begin door knocking and leaflet drops within weeks after he was the only nomination as Labour’s candidate.

The seat is the eighth most marginal in the country. It was held by Mr Dunne by just 1006 votes at the last election – well down on his 7702 majority in 2005 and the 12,000-plus margin he racked up in 2002. …

Mr Dunne won 12,303 votes in 2008, compared to 11,297 for Mr Chauvel and 10,009 for Ms Shanks.

I expect National will vigorously contest the seat. The reality is that if both National and Dunne stand, then it is possible Chauvel could win the seat due to vote splitting. However if Peter retires from Parliament, then it would be a safe seat for National. Take a look at recent election results.

In 2008 National’s party vote was 17,670 to 12,728 for Labour. In a clear two way contest National should win the seat by 3,000 to 5,000 votes (depending on if many Greens tactically vote).

The split voting statistics tell a story in Ohariu. This is where Dunne has picked up votes in the last three elections:

  • 2002 – Dunne got 47% of Labour voters and 57% of National voters
  • 2005 – Dunne got 34% of Labour voters and 52% of National voters
  • 2008 – Dunne got 16% of Labour voters and 44% of National voters

Peter used to pick up strong support from Labour and National voters. However from 2002 to 2008, he support from Labour voters declined by two thirds. Ironically it was during this period he supported them with confidence and supply, so there is no gratitude in politics!

Now that Dunne can’t attract large number of Labour voters, the main impact is to split the electorate vote of centre-right voters between him and the National candidate. Hence why Chauvel would have a reasonable chance of winning, if Dunne stands in 2011.

But if Dunne retires, then Ohariu should become the only National held seat in Wellington.

Ohariu in 2011

January 20th, 2009 at 12:09 pm by David Farrar

The Wood Chipper has an excellent blog on what will happen to Ohariu in 2011.


This graphic is an excellent way of showing what has happened to Peter’s vote, from the high in 2002. It has gone from attracting support from all parties, to mainly support from National voters only. Somewhat ironically, as from 2002 to 2008 Peter backed a Labour-led Government.


If Peter does not stand in 2011, then this graph shows pretty clearly that it should become a very safe National seat.

The Lower North Island Seats

November 13th, 2008 at 4:32 am by David Farrar

Whanganui had a 3% lead in the party vote in 2005, and this expanded out to 22% in 2008. And the 3,500 majority for Borrows goes to 6,000.

Rangitikei sees a 25% lead in the party vote and Simon Power moves his majority from 9,000 to 11,000.

Tukituki has an 18% lead in the party vote, and a 2,600 majority for Craig Foss gets a boost thanks to Labour’s sacking of the local District Health Board to over 7,000.

Palmerston North has been held by Labour since 1978. The party vote was narrowly won by National but Labour’s Iain Lees-Galloway held off Malcolm Plimmer by 1,000 votes.

Wairarapa has National 17% ahead on the party vote. And John Hayes turns the seat safe with a 2,900 majority converting to 6,300 in 2008.

Otaki was a huge battle. I’ve door knocked Otaki in the past and it is not natural National territory in the Horowhenua parts. So winning the party vote by 8% is good for National after trailling by 3% last time. Darren Hughes put up a huge fight to protect his sub 400 majority but Nathan Guy grabbed the seat by almost 1,500.

In Wellington, Labour does a lot better starting with Mana. Labour remains 6% ahead on the party vote but reduced from 18% in 2005. Winnie Laban’s 6,800 majority shrinks only slightly to 5.300.

Rimutaka was the last hope for NZ First. Labour won the party vote there in 2005 by 11% and in 2008 by 0.3%. On the electorate vote just as narrow with Labour’s Chris Hipkins pipping Richard Whiteside by 600 votes. Ron Mark got a credible 5,000 votes but stll trailed by 7,000.

Hutt South is home to Wainuiomata and Trevor Mallard. Trevor delivered a party vote margin for Labour of 4% and a 3,600 majority for himself. In 2005 the party vote margin was 14% and the personal majority 6,600 so some movement there.

Rongotai is now the home of the Labour Deputy Leader. But even before her ascension, Rongotai gave Labour a massive 11% margin on the party vote – 43% to 32% for National. And her personal 13,000 majority in 2005 was only slightly dented to just under 8,000. If that is her low tide mark, she’ll be happy.

Wellington Central saw in 2005 a party vote for National of just 33%, Labour 43% and Greens around 16%. In 2008 it was National 36%, Labour 34% and Greens around 20%. Marian Hobbs had a 5,800 majority and Stephen Franks cut that to 1,500 against new MP Grant Robertson with some Green party votes giving Robertson their electorate vote to keep Franks out.

Ohariu was assumed by almost everyone to be safe as houses for Peter Dunne. But it got close this time. First on the party vote, National beat Labour 43% to 40% in 2005. This time it was 47% to 33%. On the candidate vote Peter Dunne dropped from 45% to 33% making him vulnerable. National’s Katrina Shanks lifted her vote from 21% to 26% and Labour’s Charles Chauvel from 26% to 30%. The Greens candidate got 7% of the vote and may have ironically saved the seat for Dunne.