Cunliffe lying about electorate deals?

While David Cunliffe criticises National for doing electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, and insists Labour will not do any electorate deals, there are reports from Te Tai Tokerau that Labour have effectively thrown the electorate, leaving it to Internet Mana..

Is this a case of Labour doing something different to what they claim, and doing what they criticise National for doing? If so this is deceitful.

In NZ Herald Cunliffe denies double standards over deals:

Labour leader David Cunliffe has denied he has double standards for refusing to rule out relying on the Internet Mana party to form a government despite deriding National for its coat tailing deals in Epsom and Ohariu.

Mr Cunliffe has accused National of manipulating voters by using the coat-tailing provisions to try to boost its support partners’ chances through electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu.

However, he will not rule out calling on the Internet Mana Party if needed to form a Government.

There appears to be double standards and deceit there.

Mr Cunliffe said he had made it clear it was “extremely unlikely” any Internet Mana Party MPs would get ministerial positions, or even lower level associate or undersecretary roles in a Labour-led Government.

But he would not rule out policy concessions in return for their votes, saying that was a matter to discuss after the election. “We will talk to whoever the voters serve up.”

But there are claims that Labour are ‘manipulating voters by using the coat-tailing provisions’ to try to boost Hone Harawira’s chances  in Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Cunliffe denied it was a double standard.

“Because I’m not trying to tell New Zealanders who to vote for. I’m being absolutely plain that they should vote Labour with two ticks.”

That doesn’t appear to be what’s happening in Te Tai Tokerau, despite Labour’s candidate Kelvin Davis previously saying he would vigorously contest the electorate.

A resident of the Far North commented on Kiwiblog:

A couple of earlier commenters mentioned Davies winning TTT. Forget it. He is invisible, no signage in the North. None. Labour have hung him out to dry again. A vote for labour is a vote for the Harawira crime family and Kim Dotcom.

And a similar story at No Minister:


So much for the hypocritical beating from Labour about National doing ‘deals’ in Epsom and Ohariru (leaving aside the fact that MMP is all about doing deals).   It is now clear the Cunliffe and Labour, have done exactly that and conceded Te Tai Tokerau to Hone in a deal that should let the Mana/Internet Party come in with three MPs (based on their current pollling).

What’s the evidence for that?     Well, the Vet and Mrs Vet took a trip up to Kaitaia on Saturday for a meeting of the Far North Vietnam veterans.    On the way up we encountered numerous National Party signs; a sad looking half sign promoting Labour’s Northand candidate; two signs from a weird mob called Focus New Zealand ; a heap of signs from Hone, but from Kelvin Davis, the Te Tai Tokerau Labour candidate, zip zero nothing, nothing at all.

And I am told suma suma in the southern part of the electorate.

…now it’s clear that Cunliffe and Labour have pulled the rug from Davis as a serious player…

It may be that Kelvin Davis and Labour are yet to launch a candidate campaign in Te Tai Tokerau. I’m trying to check that out with him.

But at this stage of the campaign it looks like David Cunliffe may not be being truthful about Labour’s electorate intent.

UPDATE: Cunliffe has just spoken on Firstline repeating that Labour would contest electorates “up and down the country” and wouldn’t support coat tailing.

UPDATE 2: Kelvin Davis has responded this morning “That is a pure beat up. Im out to win the seat.” But he hasn’t replied yet when I asked when he was putting hoardings up.

Mana manouvres

Ex Mana Party candidate Clinton Dearlove announced he would stand in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate as an Independent, which would put him up against Hone Harawira – see Three MPs for Te Tai Tokerau?

He has now claimed that Mana have asked him to stand for Mana in a different electorate. He says he declined.

Details from his Facebook page.

Dearlove Declines Mana Party Request

Over the weekend Mr Dearlove declined a request to stand as a Mana candidate in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate by current Mana members.

“It had been a privilege to have had an opportunity to have stood for the Mana Party previously”.

“We firmly believe in the concept of MANA for ALL and carry that belief with us into the future. We honestly believe that politics is about people, we encourage the Mana Party to carry on its work to highlight the issues affecting our Whanau and Hapu”.

“There are numerous issues that are important, we believe there a number of different paths to achieve improved results for our Whanau and Hapu here in Te Tai Tokerau. We parted ways but we are travelling to the same destination, the empowerment of our Whanau and Hapu aspirations”.

There is a MANAinternet roadshow due to start this week. Mr Dearlove encourages Whanau and Hapu to join him at the roadshow to learn more.

“The Whanau and Hapu do not really know much about Laila or Mr Dotcom”.


“We are committed to our Vote Dearlove Get 3 campaign here in Te Tai Tokerau. We look forward to joining Hone and Kelvin in Parliament working for our Whanau and Hapu”.

Together building healthy communities – Tu Kotahi Tatou

Dearlove stood for Mana in Te Tai Tonga in 2011.

“Almost everyone” knows Wairangi Koopu

MANA announces their MANA Youth Ambassador – Harawira

Ex New Zealand Warrior hard man and Maori television media personality Wairangi Koopu has joined the MANA strategy team as the new MANA Youth Ambassador in another game changer move for the MANA party.

“When we say we want more change for rangatahi, by rangatahi, we mean it”, says Hone Harawira, MANA Party Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

“The great thing about Wairangi is he is known by almost everyone in Aotearoa because not only is he a former Warriors League player but as a presenter on one of the coolest shows on Maori TV, CODE, so his public appeal is really up there”, said Harawira

Koopu is 34 so is getting on a bit to be a youth ambassador. The surname was vaguely familiar but f ‘Warriors’ hadn’t been mentioned I wouldn’t have connected him to league, although I’ve sort of followed the Warriors over the years.

I’ve never heard of “one of the coolest shows on Maori TV, CODE”.

I doubt “almost everyone” will know him, maybe some of MANA’s constituency but not across the youth of the country.

Koopu may work well for MANA but it will be difficult attracting disinterested youth to politics.

Harawira apologises for “bugger all” comment

Hone Harawira has given a ‘sincere apology’ for a comment he made last week about the Malaysian diplomat case when he said “I think all of the media, their heads should roll for making a big fuss about bugger all.”

Stuff reports: Harawira U-turn in diplomat sex case

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has apologised for calling the row over a sexual assault charge against a diplomat “bugger all.”

The Te Tai Tokerau MP made the remarks on political panel show Backbenches last week.

Asked on the show about the political storm around alleged attacker Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, Harawira said: “I think all of the media, their heads should roll for making a big fuss about bugger all.”

The country was facing more pressing matters such as “kids starving”, he said.

Harawira added: “Let’s just keep it there, it’s allegedly, and so until such time that this sorts its self out, let’s get on with running the country in the best interests of all off the citizens.”

Now Harawira says he made a “big mistake” and praised Tania Billingsley, the 22-year-old victim of the alleged attack, for speaking out about mishandling of the case.

In a Facebook post this morning, Harawira said: “I want to sincerely apologise if my comments on Backbenches may seem to have minimised the gravity of the situation regarding the young woman who asked police to investigate the complaint of sexual assault against the Malaysian diplomat.

“I have reviewed the tape and I accept that my comments were not helpful at all.

“Sexual assault IS a big deal, and I applaud Tania Rose Billingsley for her brave and courageous appearance on television last night.”

It’s good of Harawira to acknowledge his mistake and apologise for it.

Disturbing attack on Harawira’s office

Hone Harawira’s electorate office in Kaitaia has had shots fired at it. MSN News reports:

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says shots have been fired through the window of his Kaitaia office.
“I get threatened with violence and I get death threats but when somebody starts taking shots at my office than that’s another matter altogether,” he said.

“It’s life-threatening and I hope the police catch the perpetrators soon.”

“Politics can be a tough game and you can get hardened against some of the nasty and mean-spirited attacks against you,” he said on Tuesday night.

“But shooting into an office without knowing who might be inside is more than scary.”

Stuff also reported this but it was the third item in their Today in Politics:

The main street office was reportedly peppered with bullet holes which a spokesperson for Harawira said were thought to have been caused by shots fired from an air rifle.

Harawira told 3 News he was not sure when office was targeted and said he was worried about the safety of his staff.

Oddly I can’t find this on the 3 News website.

If an (alleged) attack like this happened to an office of John Key or David Cunliffe it’s hard to imagine so little media attention on it.

Harawira is right, politics can be mean spirited and nasty. He has a history of being abusive and provocative. In 2009 he said Phil Goff “and his mates should be lined up against a wall and shot” – see ‘Goff should be shot’ – Harawira’s latest gaffe

But regardless of Harawira’s past the actual firing of shots like this is very disturbing.



Internet Mana right and wrong on electoral reform

The Internet Party with the MANA Movement are campaigning to make changes to MMP

Internet Party

Sign the petition to give our party votes equal value by lowering the 5% MMP threshold and removing the one-seat threshold.

Who do we want to petition?

The NZ House of Representatives.

What do we want them to do?

We want Parliament to take action to make changes to MMP. The Electoral Act should be changed to give all party votes equal value. Parliament should lower the Party Vote threshold (from the current 5%), and remove the one-seat threshold (the coat-tails rule).
Why is this important?

The most important feature of a democratic electoral system is that everyone’s vote counts equally. MMP was a big improvement on First Past the Post – but some of its features still mean that some votes count more than others.

In the 2011 MMP referendum New Zealanders voted to keep MMP but to make it better. This lead to an Electoral Commission review of some of the details of MMP, including the Party Vote threshold and the one-seat threshold (the so-called coat-tails rule).

Currently your Party vote only counts if your Party either wins 5% of the vote or wins an electorate seat. Since MMP was introduced every new Party in Parliament has been a break-away from an existing Parliamentary Party.

Your Party Vote is your most important vote as it decides the make-up of Parliament. Under the current rules over 100,000 Party Votes can be wasted unless a party wins an electorate seat.

The Electoral Commission has said that the 5% Party Vote threshold is too high and it should be lowered. They recommended an initial change to a 4% threshold but also said that a 3% threshold would not create problems for Parliamentary stability. The Commission recommended lowering the threshold at the same time as abolishing the one-seat threshold. Research by Political Science Professor Rob Salmond presented to the Electoral Commission review showed that claims that low thresholds cause unstable parliaments are a myth and are not supported by the evidence from around the world. He recommended a threshold of no more than 2%.

The Internet Party has launched this petition with the MANA Movement because we believe that Party Votes should have equal value, whether or not a party wins an electorate seat.

I’ve posted a number of times on substantially reducing the threshold so agree with this aim, but I’m not sure that a petition is the best way to achieve it  fair result.

3 News/Radio Live report Internet Mana wants MMP threshold lowered

Internet Party leader Laila Harre says it is wrong that a party can get more than 100,000 votes and still not be represented in Parliament.

“In order for all party votes to have equal value, we need to see a reduction in that threshold,” she says.

Ms Harre says there would be no stability problems even if the threshold was lowered to 3 percent.

Internet-MANA would need the support of both Labour and Greens (at least) to get this changed but both those parties say they want recent Electoral Commission recommendations implemented. This would favour large parties even more, as while it would lower it would lower the threshold to 4% it would also drop the ‘coat tail’ provision which would mean smaller parties would be less fairly represented if they won an electorate.

In another 3 News report Internet Mana seeking electoral reform:

Mana leader Hone Harawira said the 5 percent party vote threshold was “undemocratically high” and should be separated from the one-seat threshold.

Internet Mana wants an equal value for all party votes to underpin any change to electoral law.

“This could be done before the election provided that those parties who have benefited from the current rules do so in the spirit of one person, one party vote,” said Ms Harre.

Calling for it to be changed before the election suggests this is more an election campaign strategy rather than an attempt to change the rules – there is nowhere near enough time to change the electoral rules this close to an election and it would be wrong to do so. Petitions

Few if any current MPs are likely to support this timeframe.

I don’t have any problem with Internet-MANA pushing for abolishing coat tailing while aiming to try and benefit from it, they are entitled to use the current system while promoting a change.

Harre and Harawira must be aware there’s pretty much zero chance of any change before the election, again I see no problem with them using the petition as a campaign tool, other parties have used petitions and a referendum promote their own agendas.

I hope that after the election they are still keen to promote the lowering or dropping of the threshold.

Three MPs for Te Tai Tokerau?

Ex Mana candidate Clinton Dearlove has announced he is standing as an Independent for Te Tai Tokerau.

Dearlove says that if he wins the electorate vote then Kelvin Davis will get in on the Labour list and Hone Harawira, backed by $3 million and the Internet Party, will get in too. That will be three MPs for Te Tai Tokerau.

Clinton Dearlove tonight announced that he shall be standing in the Te Tai Tokerau election as an Independent.

Mr Dearlove shall be running a “Vote Dearlove Get 3″ campaign, he goes on to say

“Kelvins high list placing for Labour, and Hones access to over $3 million with his list placing shall see them elected to Parliament.”


“If the voters of Te Tai Tokerau vote strategically it is possible to have 3 MP’s for the electorate. We shall only be seeking the electorate not the party vote in this election.”

“We shall be campaigning on building healthy communities, underpinned by 5 key policy areas Health, Education, Housing, Employment, and Regional Development” says Mr Dearlove.

Dearlove explains more in a Facebook video:

Our team has calculated that with Koro Kelvin Davis’ high placing in the Labour Party, that he shall get into Parliament on the list.

With over three million dollars at Papa Hone’s disposal, that he also will be in Parliament on the list.

So we will be running a ‘Vote Dearlove, get three’ campaign.

This would depend on MANA winning a different electorate, perhaps via Annette Sykes, or the Internet-MANA umbrella party getting 5% or more of the party vote.

Where we, Te Tai Tokerau, will have three seats in Parliament, we will have three voices speaking for our whanau, for our hapu, for our te Tai Tokerau.

This is an interesting proposal. I campaigned on something similar in Dunedin North last election (where the electorate could have had three or four MPS) but the media ignored the innovative approach – and so did the voters, most of whom never heard about it.

There are major hurdles to overcome if this were to succeed in Te Tai Tokerau. Both Davis and Harawira would just about have to support the concept and campaign accordingly. I doubt very much MANA and Harawira would take the risk, the success of Internet-MANA may depend on Harawira’s success.

Dearlove could have an adverse effect, and this may be more likely. If he takes enough of Harawira’s votes this would significantly improve the chances of Davis winning the seat, so Dearlove would miss out and also a possible failure for not just Harawira but also Internet-MANA.

Harawira may also lose votes through his alliance with Kim Dotcom.

And this depends on Davis getting into a list position where he will get into Parliament. He was placed too low in 2011 and there’s doubts about where Labour’s cut-off will be this time.

It’s most likely Dearlove won’t get any traction for his proposed three for one campaign but it’s an interesting approach. More electorates should try it.

Mr Dearlove when asked about about the other candidates in this years election stated “I look forward to helping Papa Hone feed the kids, and am quite excited about also helping Koro Kelvin with educating our kids.” Mr Dearlove finished by saying “This election should not be about us the candidates as individuals but as part of a community.”

Dearlove stood for Mana in te Tai Tonga in 2011, at the opposite end of the country to Te Tai Tokerau. Dearlove was fourth:

  • Rino Tirikatene (Labour) – 6,786 (40.62%)
  • Rahu Katene (Maori) – 5,311 (31.79%
  • Dora Roimata Langsbury (Green) – 2,546 (15.24%
  • Dearlove (Mana) – 1,360 (8.14%)
  • Emma-Jane Mihaere Kingi (Legalise Cannabis) – 703 (4.21%)

Seeking the youth vote

The Internet Party and MANA Movement is seeking votes from youth currently not interested in voting.

…enrolling and encouraging to vote as many new and current non-voters as possible, specifically (but not exclusively) targeting the young, Maori and Pasifika individuals.


The messengers look a bit out of synch with their target constituents. The presumed top four on the Internet Party and MANA Movement:

1. Hone Harawira (MANA leader)

Hone HarawiraBorn 1955 – 59 years old

2. Annette Sykes (MANA Party)

Annette SykesBorn c. 1961 – about 53 years old

3. Laila Harre (Internet Party leader)

Born 1966 – 48 years old

4.  John Minto MANA Party

Born c. 1953 – 61 years old

Photos obtained were as recent as possible.



Labour staunch in contesting Te Tai Tokerau

Labour seem staunch in their determination to contest the Te Tai Tokerau electorate. This is at odds with what has been described as “the new Auckland left”.

Kelvin Davis, Labour’s candidate for , continues to promote his chances in contesting Te Tai Tokerau for Labour against Mana’s Hone Harawira (electorates will be contested as MANA, only the party vote will be sought for Internet/MANA).

Davis linked to Today in politics: Saturday, May 31:

Davis will put in 110pc to win Tai Tokerau

Retread Labour MP Kelvin Davis likes a rugby analogy. And he is adamant he will not lay down or allow Labour to cut a deal in Te Tai Tokerau for the election, backing himself to take the seat off Mana leader Hone Harawira. “I played rugby until I was 40 so, in 20 years of senior rugby, not once did I step on to a rugby field and want to come second.” He says he is the most logical, intelligent, and sensible person to become MP for Tai Tokerau.

He is clearly backed by Labour leader David Cunliffe as interviewed on Q & A yesterday.

Corin Dann: …in Te Tai Tokerau can you give voters an assurance that there’s going to be no cup of tea deal to ensure that Hone Harawira has a clear run at that seat?

David Cunliffe: I can assure voters that Labour is contesting vigorously all seven Maori seats and we think we have the opportunity to win all seven.

Kelvin Davis is a terrific candidate as you have no doubt heard, he is passionate about representing the people of Te Tai Tokerau, and we’re backing him to do that.

This follows a Radio NZ report on Friday: Labour says no Te Tai Tokerau deal

Mr Cunliffe said he expects that Kelvin Davis, who was 1165 votes behind Mr Harawira at the 2011 election, to run a vigourous campaign. He said there would be no deals with other parties until after the election on 20 September once it is known what voters want.

Mr Davis is adamant he is in the competition to win. “It would be immensely damaging up in Te Tai Tokerau. The people up there do not want to see an MP whose prepared to roll over for anyone. They want somebody up there who’s prepared to stand and fight for what’s important to them.”

He told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report programme on Friday the Internet-Mana alliance is a ruse and a scam and he would fight them for the seat.

“I’m the best person – the logical, the intelligent, the sensible person – to become the Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau. They can see through this whole ruse. Basically it’s a scam to get their vote.”

Hone Harawira said Mr Davis had lost the seat several times before and is confident his constituents supported the alliance.
Mr Harawira said opposition parties shouldn’t be fighting each other. “We can either focus on attacking one another and end up with a limited number of seats and no possibility of changing the Government or we can be intelligent enough, and big enough, and bold enough to work together.”

Davis has continued the attack against Internet/MANA on Twitter today:

Sorta ironic that in 1914 Mata Hari was a German agent, and in 2014 there’s Laila.

Davis has been criticised by some on the left who want to see co-operation amongst parties “for the greater good”. A comment on Davis’ Twitter page:

Will Edmonds Yup, previous Labour voter, but disgusted by your apparent inability to work for the greater good on this issue. You’ve lost my vote, just ridiculous.

Chris Trotter blasted Davis on The Daily Blog in Authoritarian Labour: Why Kelvin Davis needs to STFU – and soon!

DAVID, MATT, SOMEBODY – PLEASE! Tell Kelvin Davis to pull his head in. His outburst on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report this morning was way beyond embarrassing. The ill-considered slagging of Hone Harawira and the Internet-Mana Party (IMP) not only reflected poorly on his own political skills, but it also raised doubts about Labour’s overall ability to read what is happening in the run-up to 20 September.

Trotter seems to be swept up by the Dotcom/Mana mania, where some on the left seem to think it will be the saviour of the Left’s election chances. But trotter het”s unusally carried away.

It wasn’t just the absence of any semblance of strategic – or even tactical – understanding that was so worrying about Davis’s performance this morning, it was his barely concealed aggression. There is an anger in Davis that calls into question his suitability for any kind of public office. Anger, and what appears to be a classic authoritarian character structure (the two often go together).

Just listen to how he describes his family in the potted biography Labour has displayed on its website. Davis tells us that he is “married with three beautiful, intelligent and respectful children”. It’s the use of the word “respectful” that gives him away. His need for respect and his use of the word as a distinguishing character marker, as in: “My children show me respect – do yours?”, tell us a lot about Davis’s personality and where he most likely fits on the Left-Right/Authoritarian-Libertarian grid.

My guess is that he occupies a position that places him towards the Authoritarian end of the Authoritarian-Libertarian gradient and well to the right on the Left-Right spectrum.

Very ironic that Trotter wants to dictate to Davis and at the same time accuses him of being authoritarian.

There seems to be a battle looming on the left, and Labour seem to be staunching up against the attempted takeover of the left – and Government – by “the new Auckland Left that is now influencing so much of these strategic moves”.

Cunliffe and Davis at least are clearly in the camp that wants to see Labour dominate in Te Tai Tokerau and dominate the left. The election itself may be just another battle in a bigger war – if Internet/MANA can establish credibility and build themselves into a cohesive political force.

Will Hone’s wife have the final say?

The Mana/Internet Party alliance decision gets even more bizarre. Hone Harawira was previously reported saying that the Mana executive would probably decide.

Mr Harawira indicated the final decision would be made by senior party figures rather than a wider vote.

“It will probably be made by the executive in the final analysis.”

But now he says that if his wife says no “it’s probably no” - Harawira’s wife wary of Dotcom link

Mana leader Hone Harawira’s wife, veteran activist Hilda Halkyard-Harawira, is among party members concerned about a likely alliance with the Internet Party.

Halkyard-Harawira raised her concerns about the alliance in a closed session yesterday at the party’s conference in Rotorua, with Harawira confirming she remained wary of it.

“She’s wary of the deal and understandably so. She sees it from not just a perspective of a Mana member or the wife of the Mana leader but from a long history of involvement in politics and activism,” Harawira said.

He said his wife, who declined to comment, shared the concerns of others about the potential watering down of what the movement stood for. She told members yesterday she was worried about the mana of the movement being diminished by relationships with other parties.

Protecting that was important and the leaders needed to be wary of guarding that credibility, Harawira said.

“The funny thing for me is that I can convince the whole of the movement but if she says no, it’s probably no.”

Regardless of what “the whole of the movement” thinks it could come down to one person’s say? What position does Hilda Halkyard-Harawira have in the Mana movement other than wife of the party leader??


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