With scarce resources and limited time Mana needed a name candidate. I think that’s why Te Hamua edged out Leon Hawera. Although Leon offered a better political mind (apparently), Te Hamua offered name recognition and street appeal.
Low turnout out will work against Mana, Bomber’s right to argue that it’s a race for second place. To win the momentum Mana needs to supplant and be seen to supplant the Maori Party as the independent Maori voice.
Te Hamua needs play off of his street appeal (the “Haati Naati” stuff). If he can do that effectively turnout will increase (I assume) and so too the chances of snatching second place. For his sake I hope he backs off any talk of marijuana.
The Maori Party
Na Raihania carries himself well, but that’s not enough to win. He was gracious and able in 2011, but the structure of the electorate hasn’t change - overwhelmingly Labour.
The Maori Party is running to win. The party needs to build momentum off of their budget wins and the byelection is the platform to do so. The problem, though, is that the party’s narratives are vulnerable. The ‘at the table’ argument is easily undermined against the ‘under the table’ narrative. In other words, the party can point to their wins, like $34m in new funding in budget 2013, but that is nullified against the context, $34m represents less than 4% of new funding in budget 2013.
Add to that inferior branch operations (in comparison to Labour at least) and the mana and affection Parekura had earnt (that will mostly flow to the Labour candidate) and the Maori Party seems better off going for silver.
The Greens are serious about the Maori vote. Good. Standing demonstrates that their commitment to kaupapa Maori is more than rhetorical.
I wouldn’t have a clue who they have in mind, Manu Caddie is happy in local government,
The Greens role in the byelection will be, I think, to keep Labour honest. In the race for second place (i.e. between Mana and the Maori Party) there is a chance that Labour will gallop through the middle of a clear field. That’s not healthy and that’s where the Greens will be most important.
The byelection will be won or lost in the selection hui. Four candidates have stepped forward: Hayden Hape, Henare O’Keefe, Meka Whaitiri and Shane Taurima. All four are capable of winning the seat. The smart money is on Meka and Shane.
Hayden Hape is capable, but the indications are that he isn’t ready and lacks the recognition that the other three enjoy.
Henare O’Keefe is a legend. With local government experience (as a Hastings District Councillor) and a deep commitment to Maori (he’s fostered hundreds of kids over two decades), Henare is hard to bet against. However, without networks in the party he can’t and won't win selection. Winning selection is mostly about political manoeuvring, the strength of your CV is secondary.
Shane Taurima suffers from the same problem: a lack of networks in the party. The difference between Shane and Henare, though, is that Shane knows how to play the selection and is being well advised. He has leveraged off of the media and is signing up new members too. Aside from running a smooth operation, Shane's communication skills and wide whakapapa connections are his biggest assets.
Meka offers wide whakapapa connections as well, although her central strength is her iwi experience. Arguably an ideal candidate for post-settlement Maori society. Meka is signing up new members and is well advised too. Shane is a favourite, but Meka is more of a favourite (if that makes sense). She is a better sell on the ground and Shane - whether justified or not - is perceived to be a candidate that the Labour leadership is attempting to parachute into the electorate. That perception might be fatal if Shane is selected.
Lastly, if you want to be the first to find out who the winning Labour candidate is you can sign up here.
This is a dry run for the Maori seats in 2014. An upset win is possible, but falls well short of being probable. Labour can win by default. The mana and affection that Parekura had earnt will fall to the Labour candidate. High turnout and the introduction of a strong Green candidate could fracture Labour’s vote and push their winning margin to the edge. Possible, but not probable.
*Turns out I was wrong on that one. See the comments.
Is it really a dry run for 2014 if the boundaries might change substantially?ReplyDelete
Any insight into whether the chance to vote in the by-election is having an impact on the Maori option?
I think it's fair to say that the structure of IR will remain roughly the same (Gisborne and Napier/Hastings will remain, for example). Don't we agree that a boundary change is more likely in Auckland? If that's true I imagine Te Tai Tokerau will be pushed out of North and West Auckland and/or Hauraki Waikato will be moved further south. I would assume that if it did happen the major centres in IR will be unaffected.Delete
Manu Caddie is not Maori and Metiria comes from the Wairarapa with Kahungunu/Rangitaane affiliation's! If the media coverage today is anything to go by, then Te Hamua Nikora stands a bloody good chance of taking it out. What about how much blood will be on the floor after the candidate is announced from Labour? How about the Greens standing to split the vote with Mana and is that a backroom deal with Labour?
Te Hamua does have a good chance - of coming second. Unless - like you say - there is blood on the floor after the Labour selection. I don't think there will be. The circumstances would have to change rapidly between now and the end of June if Te Hamua is going to take it out. He'll run an innovative campaign (he can connect with people better than the rest of the field) but I don't accept that that's enough.Delete
Split the vote? Whose vote is it to split from? Who says? What about we leave that up to whanau in the electorate and give them the best that all parties have to offer?Delete
Yes Metiria is strongly Kahungungu and she has already said to Vernon Small yesterday that she won't standReplyDelete
ive heard its marama Davidson for greensReplyDelete
The Green selection meeting is not til Friday. Marama Davidson is pretty awesome, and her dad has campaigned for the Greens in the past, but I thought she was Mana. (I'd be delighted if she was now Green).ReplyDelete
Voter turnout in IR is usually quite low (compared to even low-turnout general electorates), with less than 20,000 votes in it. It's possible that special circumstances and a strong field could increase that. Nevertheless, a few hundred votes will have a significant impact on who comes second or third.
True, and turnout will (if history is any guide) be even lower in the byelection.Delete
If Shane Taurima wins and the perception sets in that he was a parachute from the Labour leaders office then that will undermine his campaign. Personally, I don't think there's much merit in it and I think it distracts from the issues in the electorate. However, Whale and Bomber are pushing the line hard.
If Te Hamua can convince his natural voting group to turnout (e.g the young, disengaged and so on) that will push Labour's winning margin close. Couple that with the strong showing from the Maori Party today (all the MPs joined Na on the campaign trail) and Labour's winning margin could be pushed to the limit.
Those factors considered, what makes me think Labour can pull through is that the Green vote doesn't overlap with the Labour vote (i.e. I don't think the Green candidate will win Labour voters) rather the Green candidate will bleed the Mana vote. There is some concern with the Greens' decision to stand. Some feel that Mana should have been left to contest the Green vote. I can see the political logic in that, but for the credibility of the Greens they needed to stand and I think their (your) decision was the right one.
I regard this as possible, but I'm still not convinced that the factors will converge and lead to a Labour loss. Having said that, there's some way to go.
It also underscores that signing up voters is important, and having a good party organisation that facilitates turnout is crucial.Delete
Turnout was one thing that knocked over Labour at the General Election, and they need to be looking at how they can consistently maximise it. As do other parties.
I don't know how it will affect this electorate. There's been Green resistance to standing electorate candidates in any contest for the last decade, and the internal orthodoxy was that it was "only the party vote that counts", to the extent that even paper candidates were usually seen as unnecessary and a drain on limited resources rather than a potential gain.
That there's been a call for candidates represents a pushback against that, and it will be watched to see what the effects are. That result will of course depend on who runs, and the campaign they run.
Yes I don't think the Greens will get much Labour vote maybe some of the soft vote that Parekura held but I think we will pick up significant support from both Mana and Maori. In TTH, although the circumstances were different, both I and Timutimu seemed to get all our candidate vote from Tariana. Soraya's vote was roughly the same as Errol Masons in '08. So there is a huge block that always vote Labour, and its very hard to change that. However I actually think low turnout will favour Greens and Mana as Labour voters will be harder to motivate to vote in a by-election, esp. if they pick Taurima. It's a broad generalisation but kaupapa Maori and kaupapa taiao voters are more politically motivated and more likely to vote in by-elections. But of course the Labour Party machine is a formidable beast. In terms of the Mana and the Greens thing, I don't think it would benefit anyone if we stepped aside for Mana. There are many Maori who will never vote for Hone or a party he leads. And besides, I know the Greens are going to have the better candidate haha. Also running is only going to help the Greens party vote, which is usually the motivation for everything they do. We were getting criticism for not standing, just because we announced later than others. Now we are getting criticism from some for standing. Political parties will never please everyoneDelete
George, Marama is a member of the GreensDelete
I'd argue the opposite. Low turnout will favour Labour and their habitual voters - i.e voters who retain a historical loyalty to Labour and a contemporary loyalty to Parekura will turnout. I think you're on to a point about kaupapa voters, though, but I'm unsure whether they are a large enough bloc? The Maori and Mana parties did poorly in 2011, but it's hard to say whether that was a result of loyalty to Parekura the person, loyalty to Labour or a mix of both. I tend to think it was a mix.Delete
IR is still an overwhelmingly working class electorate. Many Maori are involved in freezing works, manual labour on farms, vineyards and so on. The primary sector dominates and I think that pushes things in Labour's favour (even though the other parties represent working class issues just as well and if not better). However, the Maori vote is incredibly fluid and will move if the Mana, Maori and Greens can tap the right issues with the right candidate.
I think the Greens were right to stand. Had to, really. The real target for Mana should be the Maori Party.
The unspoken issue here is the Maori option. None of the Maori MPs is actively campaigning for the Maori Roll. The result? The number of us on the Maori roll is dropping. If we lose a Maori seat, it will be on their shoulders, the Maori seat MPs, because they don't express concern for their bread and butter, the voters that put them there. So they are leaving in droves.ReplyDelete
On that note I think there is a Parliamentary Services rule that MP material that is funded out of their Parliamentary Services budget cannot advocate one option over another. It has to be neutral. I'm not sure this is strictly correct, but would go some way to explaining their relative silence.Delete
So Hone is barred from putting a media release out advocating the option? I think National in 2006 opposed the option the day before it started (or Act, it was Brash, whoever he was with at the time).Delete
Parekura was a man of the people and in this regard, I see Te Hamua, as a close version if only in terms of his warmth, his ability to reach out to all Maori, and his language and cultural nous. Due to his role in the Labour Department, Parekura was well known across the region, and not just by one tribe. This is where media people have it over local people who work with one tribe: they have wider recognition. But Shane Taurima may be too slick for the working class electorate? Meka's whanau are strong and loved Parekura. I'd be surprised if they didn't fight for it. The Labour Party will need to be careful how it plays their cards. It should win comfortably if the theory is true - the electorate loved the party and not just Parekura. The early polls will be interesting.ReplyDelete
I agree. Te Hamua embodies many of Parekura's best traits: kanohi kitea, warm, humble and so on.Delete
I made the point on Twitter, but I'll repeat it here: Shane - who is a good man with a good mind - comes across as cool and distant. That's not a criticism, but it sits uncomfortably against Parekura who was warm and accessible.
Jack FYI: Marama was (and perhaps still is) a Mana Party member. That may count against her in the by-election. If Mana loose by 500 to 1000 votes that the Greens pick-up, then that will be pretty telling and it may backfire in the long term in terms of the Green's standing in the Maori electorates. Some of my friends think that the Greens are only doing this to split the vote for their closer friends, Labour.ReplyDelete
That's an interesting perspective. Jack can clear this up better than I can, but it seems to me that the Greens are standing to demonstrate their commitment to 1) the Maori seats and 2) kaupapa Maori politics. I welcome that, personally.Delete
I'm certain she is a current Green Party member, which she means can't currently also be in Mana. Morgan is right about our reasons for standing. Like any party, we are standing to gain votes and support but also, as Morgan said, to demonstrate our commitment to kaupapa Maori politics. By-elections are also useful for development of party infrastructure and narratives. This will help us lay the foundations of our narrative for 2014. Also, we are running to win, not to just get second or third. The decision to stand had nothing to do with Labour. We have never stood aside for Labour in an electorate campaign, so we wouldn't step in for them either. and most of the people i know in the Greens are more friendly with Mana supporters than they are with Labour members. If we are to pick up 1000 votes from Mana, how would that backfire against us? It would show an increase in Green Party support and from our perspective that can only be a good thing. It's worth remembering that Mana didn't do as well as the Greens in two of the Maori seats in 2011, no one has a right to votes and competition in a democracy is healthy. We offer an unique choice for voters. The more parties expressing a kaupapa Maori vision, the better.
Re: commitment to Kaupapa Maori. The reality is that the Greens, out of a caucus of 14, have 2 Maori MP's. I would love to have seen more Maori in the Greens higher on their list, such as yourself Jack - no message speaks louder than having more Maori MP's within a party. The backfire could come if it costs Mana the seat. I agree Jack, it is the prerogative of the Greens to stand or not and it is a democracy. But strategically in terms of the relationship between Mana and the Greens and the best bet for winning the seat, I'm struggling with this one.ReplyDelete
Actually we have 3 Maori MPs - Metiria Turei, David Clendon and Denise Roche. Which is ~20% of our caucus which is proportionality higher than the Maori pop. of NZ. We have a very strong commitment to Maori issues and Maori representation in our party lists.Delete
Why do you assume the Greens (if there is any consensus on the matter) would prefer Mana to have the seat over Labour?Delete
It's also worth mentioning Catherine Delahunty (who isn't Maori) but has a fierce commitment to kaupapa Maori politics.Delete
It's three out of 14 - and one of those is party co-leader.
I presume you are thinking of Metiria and David Clendon, but Denise Roche is of Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Huri descent.
In the short term the Greens might be a threat to Mana in this seat but in the longer run they are a serious threat to Labour in the Maori electorates.
The challenge for Maori under MMP has been well illustrated by Tariana's split from Labour. When Maori are inside a broad political party like Labour they risk being ignored but independent Maori political movements such as the Maori Party and Mana have failed to achieve the kind of numbers to deliver much more than minor policy concessions.
In some ways the Greens work well as a vehicle for Maori political aspirations. They have the size to carry significant influence over the next government, their caucus and policy platforms are very pro Maori and because their MPs are all list based any Maori seats won would have the effect of displacing lower ranked candidates with Maori thus significantly reshaping the make up of the caucus.
Yes. What Richard said. this by-election will be a good opportunity for the Green candidate to position themselves for the party list in 2014Delete
Just a wee correction - 3/14 Green MP's have Maori whakapapa(Co-leader Metiria Turei, MP David Clendon, MP Denise Roche).ReplyDelete
I'm sure there will be lots of great Maori candidates on the Green list again at election 2014, like there were in 2011, so I'm looking forward to seeing that number grow as the Green seats increase. :)
The Greens have three Maori MPs; Metiria, Dave and Denise.ReplyDelete
Marama has never been a member of Mana but has been a huge supporter of grass roots kaupapa and activism initiatives regardless of what party they belong to. Which is why she has been spotted at many Mana hui and protests etc.ReplyDelete
Also, you don't have to be Maori to stand in a Maori seat. Weird but true. I guess it just wouldn't make sense to stand unless you had the whakapapa is all.
Will any of the other parties have candidates? I doubt that National or NZ First have a shot at more than a percent or two of votes, but for National standing a candidate would at least show respect to the Maori electorate and let the govt talk about some of the successes of the past 5 years...ReplyDelete
Only Labour, the Greens, Mana and the Maori Party are standing. It's National policy not to stand in the Maori electorates. Hekia Parata came under some pressure to stand but had the sense not to try. It's hostile ground (well, sort of) for National.Delete
Hekia got questioned/pressured on her commitment to the Maori seats this morning on The Nation. I guess that is fair enough given the byelection.Delete
What I didn't think was fair enough is when she was asked "How Maori are you?". She seemed unfussed by the question and responded well, talking about her upbringing and Ngati Porou whakapapa...
Meanwhile I was shouting at the TV - "WTF kind of question is that?" When does a white skinned politician get interrogated with questions like "How Pakeha are you?" because they hold different political views to some other Pakeha....
Quite an homogenous discussion on this page.ReplyDelete
Except for the odd voter in Wainuiomata/Hutt Valley perhaps, nobody would vote for a woman MP in this electorate. Also, the candidate has to korero Maori, including NP dialect. He has to show his face on all marae now, not much time for that now.
Under the circumstances, my educated guess is Shane.
I'm interested: why won't IR vote for a woman? Parekura was a big supporter of Maori women. He was a life member of the Maori Women's Welfare League and one of the biggest advocates for female speakers on the pae. NP has a proud history of female leaders like, say, Huturangi. I'm not an expert on NP whakapapa, but I'm interested to know why you don't think IR will elect a woman?Delete
Shane is a strong chance, though. He'd be a very good MP - not my first pick though (personally).
Morgan - I am not talking about mana wahine in Ngati Porou or Ngati Kahungunu. Mana wahine there is probably stronger than anywhere else. I am talking about voting behaviour, which I have observed close-up for a quarter of a century.Delete
It is just as paradox as the cringe factor that Whaea McClutchie provoked on the paepae and in her own people, when she stood up and talked to manuhiri, straight after having welcomed then on her marae with her karanga. One would have thought that people would have been proud of the fact they had a prolific female orator among them. They were not. I do not know why that is the case.
As for the standing of the politically active local women - nga mihi! They certainly do have my respect and support, be they working for runanga, as activists and otherwise.
To Anonymous below ("What the hell is that comment ..."): Don't shoot the messenger. I cannot change Naati voting attitudes. (Watch the elections and lets pick up the conversation again afterwards?)
Thanks for that. You've given me something to think about.Delete
You are welcome, Morgan.Delete
The race has just become a lot more interesting: Meka Whaitiri has been selected to stand for Labour.
What the hell is that comment about nobody would vote for a woman? You better go and talk to all the women and many men who are waiting for women to stand in that electorate!Have you been in touch with the women who are doing the work on the ground in rohe lately? Can't be to come out with that statement. You just lost your whole political dignity in one stupid sentence.ReplyDelete
Meka is an example of a Maori woman working on the ground. From the freezing works to Ngati Kahungungu. I'm bloody interested to know what the basis for that statement is...Delete
All this talk of personalities and party politicking but none of the issues and polices that will make a positive difference in the lives of whanau in Ikaroa-RawhitiReplyDelete
Bloodletting will happen 4 labour- 1 winner but 5 losersReplyDelete
Kia ora Morgan, I'm pretty much into your analysis even when I disagree but I'm not so keen on your uninformed comment on my whakapapa. You haven't spoken to me about this so how could you judge? This kind of presumption doesn't do you justice. McReplyDelete
Thanks for clearing that up, Metiria. I asked a friend (whose knowledge I trusted), but we were both wrong.Delete
Generally speaking, when I get it wrong (which is more times than I'd like) I keep it there. People can judge me on it. However, I'll remove it if you think it is damaging to you. Apologies for calling it wrong.
Ok so a different scenario. I'm hearing that the Greens will split Labour's vote. If the Maori Party are dead in the water, that only leaves the option of Te Hamua for Mana.ReplyDelete
Kia ora Morgan, dont remove the post, its an honest opinion. I have lived a lifetime of criticism as to whether I am sufficiently Maori and l am much less tolerant of that as I get older. There is a generation of us who live in the cracks between the colonial denial of our existence and the decolonised resurgence of our strength. We often make good translators between the two but are rarely believed to belong to either.ReplyDelete
Nga mihi, Metiria. Arohanui, totally get that.Delete