Six months for Winston to open an office

September 4th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Northern Advocate reports:

The 2017 election campaign appears to be off to an early start in Kerikeri with the National Party opening an out-of-Parliament office today – one day before Northland MP Winston Peters opens his first electorate office since winning the March byelection.

So Northland residents have not had an office for their local MP for six months. That’s show how committed Winston is to the seat.

Winston receives $350,000 a year of taxpayer money to be the MP for Northland. That is meant to be used for electorate offices, staff etc. But in six months he’s had no office or staff in Northland electorate.

Why? I doubt there is a lack of office space to be found.

Mr Peters had originally planned to open four offices around the electorate. A Dargaville office is planned and possibly also one in Wellsford.

So he promised four offices, and after six months has delivered one.

Mr Peters’ office hours have yet to be decided.

Will it be open at all, or just be an expensive billboard to promote Winston?

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Well done Denis O’Rourke

August 3rd, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

NZ First MP Denis O’Rourke has vowed to resign if the party adopted a policy that would see “new settlers” forced to take out medical insurance for a decade.

The idea was proposed at the party’s annual conference in Rotorua on Sunday and a heated debate followed.

O’Rourke immediately stood up to declare the policy was discriminatory, illegal under the Bill of Rights and would open up NZ First to ridicule.

If the “disgraceful” remit was adopted, the list MP said he would considered withdrawing his membership.

His colleague Mahesh Bindra, who was born in India, also argued against the idea.

After arguments over the wording and the difference between citizens and permanent residents, the policy was rejected.

On Saturday, leader Winston Peters appeared to back the idea.

“Other countries have that. You can climb off a plane in New Zealand and be in our hospitals the next day … we’ve got to stop having a soft heart and a head to match,” Peters said.

Congratulations Denis O’Rourke. Great to see an MP take a principled stance.

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Oh dear Winston

August 3rd, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters says Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga is best placed to be in charge of the prison population because he is Polynesian.

He really said that?

It followed an attack on Cabinet Minister Anne Tolley who he said was unqualified to be education minister, a role she held until last year. He said he blamed Tolley and former justice minister Judith Collins for presiding over the privatisation of two of New Zealand’s prisons.

When it was pointed out that Lotu-Iiga had no experience with the prison system, he said: “I think Sam has a greater understanding of some of the psychology of some of the prisoners in New Zealand who happen to be Polynesian and Maori. I think he’s got a slightly better understanding than many people think.”

Asked to clarify is this was because he is a Pacific Islander, Peters said: “Look, if you come from the biggest population group in the prisons you might have a rough idea what some of their concerns and aspirations are better than some other country.

Except Polynesians are not the largest population group in prisons.

Maori are. They are 51% of the prison population, followed by Europeans on 33% and Pacific people on 11%.

If you adjust for population size, then you still have Maori way ahead of Pacific people.

Maybe Peters thinks there is no difference between Maori and Pasifika?

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Winston vows 10,000 new members or he’ll resign

August 2nd, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Winston Peters has said NZ First will grow its membership by tens of thousands of people by the next election or he will resign.

But as with all Winston promises, it never lasts long.

After his opening address he told media that he wanted a war chest “way beyond” $1 million to fight the next election, and said he would resign if membership didn’t grow to support that.

NZ First spent $268,530 on last year’s election campaign.

Asked if he would he resign if membership did not grow by tens of thousands of people, he said he would, before later backing away from that and saying he misheard the question.

If Winston did get 10,000 members, then Labour would have fewer members than both the Greens and NZ First.

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An Orwellian statement from NZ First

July 8th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

3 News reports:

The former president of New Zealand First’s youth wing has been charged with possession of cannabis for supply.

Curwen Rolinson’s always been a troublemaker for New Zealand First and now it seems he’s a law-breaker as well.

Police arrested the aspiring politician on April 15, and he since appeared in court charged with possession of cannabis for supply.

 

Winston Peters in a huge show of loyalty to one of his most dedicated followers put out this statement:

A remit proposing to formalise a youth wing is coming before the New Zealand First Convention in August.

Mr Curwen Rolinson was told countless times never to call himself the president or leader of a youth wing. New Zealand First does not have a youth wing in its Constitution, and therefore does not have a former or present president of such an organisation.

This is such a rewriting of history, it ranks up there “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia” from George Orwell’s 1984 novel.

Here’s a few of the numerous mentions in the media over the years of Curwen as leader of the NZ First Youth. He’s also been on Backbenches many times representing the party.

Most delegates were aged over 60 but the party known for attracting the older voter could also be fielding one of this year’s youngest candidates if 21-year-old Curwen Rolinson, leader of the party’s youth section, gets the nod.

Herald on Sunday July 2011

NZ First President Kevin Gardener has confirmed the party has shut down its social media pages but is downplaying reports the move is linked to the leader of the party’s youth wing, Curwen Rolinson.

NZ Herald October 2013

The president of NZ First’s youth wing has signed a pledge in favour of same-sex marriage.

It is a move that goes against the party’s opposition to the marriage equality bill, which is due for its second reading in Parliament on Thursday.

NZ First Youth president Curwen Rolinson was one of eight youth party representatives who signed a marriage equality certificate outside Parliament this morning.

 

3 News March 2013

They’re young and politically minded, with plenty to say on the issues that affect New Zealanders. Karyn & Andrew talk to Curwen Rolinson of NZ first youth and Taylor Warwood of Act on Campus./

Radio Live March 2013

The Facebook page Letcher was referring to belongs to NZ First Youth leader Curwen Rolinson, who posted

Waikato Times December 2014

Everyone in politics knows that Curwen was the leader of their youth wing for several years. For Peters to claim he never was, is just appalling.

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Hosking on NZ First

July 7th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Rob Hosking writes:

It appears Mr Mark’s move is aimed at forestalling any bid to recruit former Labour MP Shane Jones in to the party and to be installed as Mr Peters’ successor.

This has long been rumoured and on the surface it makes sense. Mr Jones and Mr Peters are known to be close: both are Northlanders by origin, and now Mr Peters holds the Northland seat Mr Jones is in a good position to take it if and when Mr Peters stands down.

Mr Peters himself is 70 and visibly flags at times in Parliament. The blokey, big personality of Mr Jones fits the New Zealand First brand rather well, and having left Labour because he no longer fitted within that rather shrunken, politically correct organisation, will be looking for a new vehicle.

So the received wisdom goes.

The trouble is, this could only work if New Zealand First MPs were prepared to behave like dumb cattle.

They might be known as “hillbillies” around Parliament but New Zealand First MPs are not beasts of burden at the beck and call of Winston Peters. They are, after all, politicians. They have politicians’ egos.

The ‘received wisdom’ that the whole thing would be neatly done by shipping Mr Jones in over the heads of the caucus always looked like the kind of idea cooked up in some room in Wellington and which involved the human beings involved behaving, well, not like human beings.

It was never going to work – at least, not without a major and highly destructive fight.

All this assumes, of course, Mr Jones actually wants the job.

But does he? 

Leading a small political party is a huge job. Taking over someone else’s small political party, when most of the caucus members of that party do not want you there?

It doesn’t sounds like a job with a future. 

Rob is right, and wrong.

He is right that Shane Jones can not just be foisted on a caucus that doesn’t want him.

He is also right that Jones may not want the job – especially if pushed onto colleagues who don’t want him. He had enough of that in Labour!

But where Rob may be wrong is the assumption that the caucus would not want him. Sure half of them probably think they could be leader, but deep down they will be worried that without Winston they won’t make 5% or hold Northland, and then all of them are unemployed.

I also understand that Mark and Jones get on quite well.

So I wouldn’t write off yet the possibility of Jones.

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It’s Ron

July 3rd, 2015 at 12:15 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Ron Mark is New Zealand First’s deputy leader after caucus members voted to dump Tracey Martin from the position.

Leader Winston Peters issued a statement confirming the change this morning, ending speculation that had swirled around Parliament all week.

The fight for the deputy position is seen as important in terms of an eventual successor to Mr Peters.

A vote on caucus positions was planned for March, but was delayed after the Northland byelection and Ria Bond joining as the party’s 12th MP.

Caucus voted on Tuesday and elected Mr Mark as deputy leader, with effect from today.

Very tough on Tracey who has been a loyal and hard working MP for NZ First.

Mr Peters, who is currently travelling to Tonga, was believed to have supported Ms Martin.

Like Colin Craig, Winston is discovering he doesn’t have sole ownership of his party.

Note I reported this outcome yesterday. My sources were correct.

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The secret NZ First Deputy!

July 2nd, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

It says something about the culture of NZ First, that they seem to regard the identity of their deputy leader as a confidential secret.

Stuff reports:

Winston Peters says questions about New Zealand First’s deputy will soon be made clear, urging reporters to “be patient”.

Since Ron Mark returned to Parliament in 2014 there has been speculation that he may replace Tracey Martin as deputy, with talk mounting that a challenge had taken place this week.

This is like the days of the former USSR, where leadership changes were only announced some months after someone had died!

UPDATE: I understand that Mark did defeat Martin by one vote for the Deputy Leadership, after Richard Prosser swapped camps. We’ll find out tomorrow if this is correct, but heard from a parliamentary source.

It seems that Mark blames the Martins for his low list ranking last election, as he was seen as a threat – so this is a delayed utu.

If correct a shame for Tracy Martin, who I’ve found to be a decent MP. But the bigger issue is this is really all about who will succeed Winston Peters as leader. My money is still on Shane Jones.

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An attempted coup in NZ First?

July 1st, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Normally coup and NZ first do not go together as we all know Winston is Leader for life. But it seems there was an attempted coup for Deputy Leader reports the Herald:

New Zealand First members including leader Winston Peters have refused to comment on whether deputy leader Tracey Martin faced a challenge for her position.

Ron Mark was rumoured to be making a bid for the party’s deputy leader position, but this afternoon it was confirmed that – if any challenge was in fact made – it was unsuccessful.

Mr Peters has left it to his party members to shed some light on the situation.

He was asked repeatedly by media who his deputy leader is and whether he could confirm Ms Martin would remain in that position.

“I cannot discuss caucus business, that’s confidential. I am restricted by that. We do not discuss caucus business outside of caucus,” Mr Peters said.

During question time he faced jeers of “who’s deputy”. Ms Martin sat in the party’s deputy chair.

Afterwards, most NZ First MPs refused to comment, but Denis O’Rourke confirmed that Ms Martin remained deputy leader.

Mr Mark also said he was not the new NZ First deputy leader, but would not comment on whether he had made or planned a challenge.

Which strongly suggests he did, or tried to.

Wait until Shane Jones is parachuted in as the Deputy Leader. That will really upset both Ron and Tracey!

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What a surprise – Winston was all talk and no action

June 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

More than two months after the Northland byelection the electorate’s new MP Winston Peters is yet to make any approaches on the promise he made to introduce SuperGold Card free ferry travel in the Bay of Islands and Hokianga.

At a public meeting in Paihia two days before the byelection, Mr Peters was asked about the lack of GoldCard concessions in the north. He said it was unfair Aucklanders benefited from free ferry rides to Waiheke and Northlanders should get the same for Paihia-Russell and Rawene to Kohukohu.

“I’ll get you a Gold Card across there. But it goes like this: you’ve got to vote for us first.”

Northlanders kept their side of that bargain but Mr Peters admitted yesterday he had not yet approached ministers about the SuperGold Card or sought to have the ferry rides included in this year’s Budget.

It’s coming soon!

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Peters flip-flops on refugees

May 20th, 2015 at 11:30 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the number of refugees who are allowed to settle here should be greatly increased.

The Northland MP, who is well known for his opposition to current immigration levels, believes New Zealand’s refugee quote should be increased by at least a third.

There is currently an annual limit of around 750 places for refugees on United Nations waiting lists.

“There’s no reason, in my view, that we couldn’t go to 1000 easily, and do it in a responsible way,” Mr Peters said, in answer to a question from a first year politics class at Victoria University of Wellington yesterday.

Winston of course was campaigning against in 2004. The RMS responded to his claims:

Winston Peters’ comments in the House yesterday about New Zealand’s refugee quota system were inaccurate and misleading, says RMS Resettlement director Peter Cotton.

“He chose to hide behind Parliamentary Privilege to attack a former Somali refugee seeking to bring members of her family to New Zealand. At the same time he blatantly misrepresented the Government’s response to refugees, suggesting that each refugee accepted in New Zealand’s small annual quota (750) was likely to be followed by an additional 14 family members.

So in 2004 he was attacking us for having 750 by claiming each one would bring in 14 more. In 2015 he pretends he is in favour of increasing it.

In 2001 he attacked the Government for allowing in the Tampa refugees.

“The fact remains that New Zealand was a soft touch when she took office and it is even more of a soft touch now. Another load of refugees does not make any sense when we have already been very charitable. The truth is that there were many UN signatory countries closer to the Tampa than New Zealand, why then is New Zealand being expected to once again grossly exceed its limit?

“The duplicity of government is astounding. The more facts that come out of this debacle the more concerning it gets. We now hear that many may be carrying third-world diseases, as if we didn’t know that, and have not been treated in Nauru first. The Government has a duty to protect the health and security of its inhabitants, a test which it is failing miserably.

Not big on consistency is he.

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Hehir’s prediction to 2020

April 9th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Liam Hehir predicts some future press clippings. They include:

  • Willow-Jean Prime ranked 12th on Labour’s List in 2017, with Andrew Little encouraging more tactical voting in Northland
  • NZ First gains 4.6% of the vote but remains in Parliament as it holds Northland in 2017 election
  • NZ First announces coalition deal with National
  • July 2020 – PM Paula Bennett announces ACT and NZ First as preferred coalition partners for 2020 election and encourages tactical voting in Epson and Northland, with Opposition Leader Grant Robertson condemning the deal with NZ First

Labour may regret making NZ First’s only electorate seat, a very blue one.

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How much extra Winston First gets for winning Northland

March 31st, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

So how much extra money will Winston personally get, and his parliamentary party get for winning Northland, and bringing in an extra List MP. It’s quite a bit.

  • Winston – $1,360 extra salary per year
  • Barbara Stewart (NZF Whip) – $1,360 extra salary per year
  • NZ First Parliamentary Party:
    • $64,320 extra leadership funding
    • $22,000 extra party funding
    • $3,804 extra relief funding
    • $354,832 extra MP funding
    • $444,956 total additional taxpayer funding

Not a bad outcome for Winston. I’m sure of course all that extra funding will be used to work tirelessly on behalf of the people of Northland.

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What a surprise – Winston decides to get another MP

March 30th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The media are like Charlie Brown, when it comes to Winston Peters. No matter how many times Lucy grabs the ball away, they always give him the benefit of the doubt.

The Herald yesterday reported:

NZ First leader Winston Peters says NZ First may decide not to bring an extra MP into Parliament after his Northland byelection win because his party supports a smaller Parliament.

Mr Peters’ 4,000 vote win last night allows him to resign his list position, opening the way for someone else on NZ First’s list to enter Parliament.

Mr Peters said the party would “seriously consider” not taking on the extra MP.

“It may be we decide that we are for a much smaller Parliament, that we won’t take this option and that we will try and demonstrate that Parliament should be, as the Robertson petition said, no more than 100 people.”

Note the use of quote marks, which means a direct quote.

Then this morning in Stuff:

Northland’s new MP Winston Peters has confirmed he will resign from the NZ First list meaning his party will now gain an extra MP.

The change in the makeup of Parliament will make it harder for the Government to govern.

The NZ First leader, who convincingly wrested the northern stronghold from National by more than 4000 votes, told Radio NZ’s Morning Report that there was never a question that he would resign as a list MP.

“Of course I’ll resign, I don’t know why it was ever a material question,” he said.

I never had any doubt he would resign. And it is a useful reminder that you basically can’t believe anything he says.

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Winston promises a cannabis referendum – for around five minutes

March 24th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters promised to hold a referendum on legalising marijuana while campaigning for the Northland byelection, but rapidly backtracked on it straight afterwards.

Mr Peters was holding a street meeting in Kaikohe when a man asked whether he would legalise marijuana.

Mr Peters replied: “you want to legalise marijuana? I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give you a referendum and if the answer is yes, the answer is yes. I’ll give you a vote on the referendum and if the answer is no, it’s no. Yes if you’ve got the majority, no if you haven’t. That fair enough? Wonderful.”

Asked about it later he denied he was supporting any such proposal or putting up a referendum himself, saying his comments were simply the shorthand required on a campaign trail. “I didn’t say ‘I’m going to give you the referendum. I said our policy is a referendum and if you want one, you’ve got to go and get one.”

Pretty clear what he said. Peters is a master of saying and promising pretty much anything.

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Winston makes it up – again!

March 17th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

NewstalkZB reports:

Winston Peters is on the attack over the closing down of a health centre the government says doesn’t exist.

The New Zealand First leader says the Wellsford community health office is under threat, but the government’s waiting a few weeks before its closed.

“I kind of think that this is linked to the fact that they don’t want people upset in the by-election, and they’re going to close it afterwards.”

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says there is no Wellsford community health office.

“The best advice that I’ve had is that there’s no facility in Wellsford that is closing, and that is what my officials have told me.”

There is a public health nurse operating out of her own office in Wellsford.

The local DHB’s deputy director of funding, Tim Wood, says she’s not going anywhere.

“The DHB has no intention to discontinue their role, and they will be based in Wellsford on an ongoing basis.”

Tim Wood says the DHB is looking into extending its services into Wellsford.

Remember the fleet of BMWs that Peters claimed WINZ owned, and scores of other fantasies he has pushed over the years. More recently the sale of Huka Lodge, which was a complete fabrication.

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Trevett on Labour and Northland

March 14th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett writes:

For Labour the nod is a short-term gain, an attempt at a humiliating poke in the eye for National and a result that would make it harder to get a majority on legislation such as Resource Management Act reforms. But short-term sugar rushes are always followed by a crash.

Enter 2017 and the next election. The reason Peters is a reluctant beneficiary of Labour’s endorsement is because he knows Northland is inherently a conservative electorate. It is partly because Peters is also inherently conservative that he has a chance.

If he does succeed in putting the “win” into Winston, Labour could be handing National a future coalition partner.

An electorate seat would be a powerful security blanket for Peters. So far he has refused to say if he will stand again in 2017 – when he will be 72. It’s a safe bet he will if he wins the by-election, if only to try to cement his hold on the seat. If he chooses well, he might even get Northland to accept an NZ First successor (hello, Shane Jones?). He will not want to do anything that might imperil his party’s hold on the seat and return it to the precipice of the 5 per cent threshold.

Peters has felt the wrath of conservative voters scorned in Tauranga and knows it is National they flock to – and in bulk. Winning a seat in a by-election is one thing. Keeping it is quite another. If Peters wants to hold the seat come 2017, cuddling up to Labour is risky territory. So, if Peters holds the balance of power in 2017, Labour could well find its gift to NZ First was a gift to National in disguise.

Labour’s effective endorsement of Peters, if it works, may turn out to be one of their bigger strategic blunders.

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Peters again claims Wellsford in not in Northland

March 13th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

What is your stance on the $1.75 billion Puhoi to Wellsford Highway?

Winston Peters: Any expansion of better road services would be welcomed by the North, but it doesn’t even get out of the Auckland City area.

Why doesn’t anyone pull Peters up on his lies?

Wellsford in in the Northland electorate. It is in no way in Auckland. Peters knows this as he has campaigned in Wellsford, yet he keeps repeating this lie.

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Winston wrong – again

March 12th, 2015 at 3:51 pm by David Farrar

The Southland Times reports:

It may be at the opposite end of the country, but the future of Southland’s political landscape could hinge on the outcome of this month’s Northland by-election.

Invercargill hairdresser-turned NZ First candidate Ria Bond is in line to become the region’s third MP, alongside National’s Sarah Dowie and Todd Barclay.

If NZ First leader Winston Peters is successful in his campaign for the Northland electorate, the former Deputy Prime Minister could resign as a list MP, leaving the next candidate on NZ First’s list to take his seat.

The party gained 11 MPs at the general election, with Bond 12th on their list.

However, Peters said a victory would not automatically signal Bond’s election.

The party’s focus was solely on winning the March 28 by-election, he said.

“That’s something we haven’t spent any time thinking about for obvious reasons.

“If we win it will become an issue and we’ll consider it then, but it won’t be for me to say who comes in – it will be a board decision.”

No it won’t be. Once a list has been finalised, it can not be changed.

The party gets no say in whether Bond becomes an MP, if a vacancy occurs. Their only job is for the secretary to confirm she is still a member (and as she is on their board of directors, she is of course).

Then the decision is purely hers as to whether to accept the seat.

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Winston joins the conspiracy nutters

March 11th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I blocked two morons on Facebook yesterday who were claiming the 1080 poison scare was a false flag operation run by the Government to distract attention from Hager’s latest allegations. I thought only the most demented nutters would actually believe that.

But it seem they have a high profile ally. Stuff reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters was first to fly a conspiracy theory up the flagpole by questioning the timing of the announcement during the Northland by-election.

Need more be said.

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No surprise – hypocrisy from Labour

March 9th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Labour have spent the last decade condemning tactical voting in seats like Epsom and Ohariu, where National has indicated to supporters that it may be in the party’s overall interest to vote for another candidate.

Little has now done the same in Northland. Now I have no problem with his decision to encourage people to vote for Peters. It makes tactical sense. But the issue is their hypocrisy of having spent a decade condemning National for the same.

Interestingly while having Peters win Northland may be a tactical victory for Labour, it could also be a strategic blunder for Labour and the Greens.

If Peters does win Northland, then that is a potential lifeline for NZ First post Peters. They can’t be guaranteed to make 5% with someone else leading them, but if they win and can hold Northland, then they would be able to continue post Peters.

Now neither Ron Mark nor Tracy Martin could I think hold Northland (if Peters wins it), but Shane Jones could. If Peters wins Northland, then Shane Jones could stand in the next election (or the one after) for NZ First, and he would be very likely to hold it.

Now think about what this means for the Greens and Labour? Can you imagine a Shane Jones led NZ First ever letting the Greens into Government? he hates them more than Winston.

Also can you imagine Shane Jones going into coalition with the party that he said no longer has room for people like him in it? I think it is unlikely.

So the irony of Little’s ploy is that it may give the left a tactical victory, but it may be a strategic blunder that pries NZ First away from the left and leaves Labour and the Greens marooned in near perpetual opposition.

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Hide on Northland

March 8th, 2015 at 2:11 pm by David Farrar

Rodney Hide writes in the HoS:

A Peters win would destabilise the Government and power up a Wellington electorate MP. Ohariu would benefit – not Northland. On winning Northland, Peters would resign as a list MP to clear the way for the next candidate on New Zealand First’s list. That candidate is Ria Bond … from Invercargill.

That’s right. In choosing Peters, Northland voters would be electing an MP from Invercargill.

Those in the Far North would elect a candidate from the deep south.

But it gets better.

Peters lives in Auckland. Parliament is in Wellington. That’s how he divides his time. Kerikeri is 250km north of Auckland. So Peters is asking the people of Northland to vote for an Aucklander to elect an MP from Invercargill and empower an MP from Wellington.

Yep.

It has been 40 years since Peters stood for Northern Maori. He’s late in rediscovering the north but his campaign is exciting.

I believe he prefers a close second. Winning would be altogether too much work.

Northland is a huge electorate with huge needs. John Carter used to spend every spare minute doing constituent cases, and driving around.

How often would Peters visit the electorate from St Marys Bay?

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Five things to remember re Winston and Northland

March 6th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar
  1. If Winston wins, then NZ First will have their Invercargill candidate enter Parliament which will effectively mean one fewer MP in Northland and one more MP in Invercargill.
  2. NZ First care so much for Northland they failed to stand a candidate there not only in 2014,but also in 2011 and 2008. Winston was list only for the last two and could have stood there but chose not to.
  3. If Winston did win the seat, Parliament would lose the proportionality it had on the general election results, and United Future (which got 0.22% of the vote) would then hold the balance of power in Parliament.
  4. NZ First policy is to remove $300 million funding from roads of national significance (such as Puhoi to Wellsford) and spending it on trains.
  5. Winston doesn’t even know the boundaries of the electorate. He said on Q+A the Puhoi to Wellsford road of national significance “doesn’t get to the Northland electorate at all” but Wellsford is in Northland, not Rodney.
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Peters standing in Northland

February 27th, 2015 at 12:21 pm by David Farrar

As expected Winston Peters has announced he is standing in Northland, despite living in Auckland Central.

A key point is that as Peters is already an MP, if he did win, then NZ First gains an additional MP, who is their candidate for Invercargill.

So a vote for Peters is a vote for one fewer MP in Northland and one extra MP in Invercargill.

National’s selection is tomorrow night. It will be a decision of 120 local members, rather than executive fiat.

UPDATE: Peters say he has always been very concerned for Northland. If that is the case I look forward to media asking him why his party didn’t even bother to stand a candidate in Northland not just in the 2014 election, but also 2011 and 2008! Yes his party has not even stood there for the last three elections, and he claims to care about it.

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NZ First wants to abolish Smartgate!

February 19th, 2015 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

NewstalkZB reports:

New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser says it’s insane these incursions keep happening and is scathing of the current state of biosecurity protections at the border.

“The first thing we’d like to see is the Smartgate gone.

I can only assume Mr Prosser thinks the fruit flies have immigrated from Wogistan!

His call to abolish Smartgate is one of the dumber things a politician has said. Smartgate does not get you around biosecurity checks. It just scans in your passport details and takes a photo of you. The smartgate is *before* you pick up your luggage. Once you pick it up, you still queue for biosecurity and have a personal interaction with a biosecurity/customs officer.

I await the next NZ First policy, which no doubt will be to abolish tourism to NZ.

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