Two high profile Pacific endorsements

The Herald reports:

Former All Blacks and have today backed John Key’s Party. …

“We don’t want our people just working in factories”, said Tuigamala. “We want them starting to own those factories.”

They were attending National leader John Key’s announcement of his party’s plan to create five new trades academies, which was made at the Southern Cross campus, a centre for Maori and Pacific Island education located in Mangere, Auckland.

Pity they are not standing – the parliamentary rugby team woud be much improved!

The Herald on Sunday also focused on some endorsements, which were interesting:

  • Sir – Labour party vote, Maori Party electorate vote – used to give Labour electorate vote
  • – voting ACT after 40 years with Labour
  • – remaining Labour
  • – Greens on both votes – used to give Labour electorate vote
  • – National – has never endorsed before
  • – voting National – normally a Labour voter

So of the six people, two are defecting on the party vote from Labour, and two defecting on the electorate vote.

UPDATE: Colin Espiner blogs:

… getting Inga and Michael Jones on board is a stroke of genius. The pair are absolute legends amongst their communities – well, the whole country actually – but particularly in South Auckland. They were mobbed at Southern Cross school by ecstatic youngsters who knew exactly who they were, despite the fact that most of them weren’t even born when these guys last played.

At Progressive, Inga and Michael drew a big crowd of mainly Pacific Island workers in their overalls and steel caps, who cheered and clapped after they spoke.

I know what you’re thinking. So what? It was the rugby heros they were applauding, not Key. And yet talking to some of them afterwards, it was clear they were mighily impressed that Key had the support of Inga and Michael. And they didn’t just endorse Key. They called him their friend, and told the factory workers that they could trust him and he would make their lives and their families lives better.

The pair argued that while Labour had worked hard for Pacific people, there was nothing to be feared from change and that their community should lift its sights. “We don’t want to just work in this factory, we should own this factory. Our children should own this factory,” Jones told them. It was a powerful message.

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