The curious attitude of Tracey Martin

Will Tracey Martin walk away tomorrow from a position of power she seems to have not wanted?

Martin has been replaced as NZ First Deputy Leader by Ron Mark in what is claimed to be a close vote, and against the wishes of Winston Peters. And seemingly with the full support of martin.

Martin’s reaction has been curious, as have past comments by her about her elevation in the party pecking order.

Just before the announcement yesterday that Mark was replacing her Martin tweeted:

Worth a re-read. :). Tracey Martin – in Winston Peter’s shadow

This linked to a Stuff profile of her from two months ago – Tracey Martin – in Winston Peter’s shadow – which suggests she wasn’t ambitious about leadership roles.

Living in the shadow of NZ First leader Winston Peters would be a cold place for many and while deputy Tracey Martin is no threat to his popularity she is successfully carving herself a place in Parliament.

As the party’s deputy leader she is the apparent succession plan for a party that seems to have prided itself on never having one.

That may sum up her elevation up the NZ First list and installation (until this week) as deputy – she wasn’t a threat to Winston.

Martin was a surprise pick for the deputy role and the unkind would say that’s because she wasn’t a risk of overshadowing her charismatic leader.

At the age of 50, Martin has found herself in a position of power that she never asked for and would walk away from tomorrow – a surprising claim from an MP only six months into her second term in Parliament.

Martin presents as very unambitious and not very committed – so why was she promoted and why was peters still, apparently, wanting her to remain as deputy this week?

In 2008 she was 13th on the party list and had no hope of making it to Parliament but when the listing committee, including her mother, met in 2011, she leaped up to second place.

“I deliberately said to my mother if she had any influence at all don’t make me number two because there was a certain group of people who were a bit anti the Martins anyway.”

But she was made number two anyway, and later she was made deputy leader, apparently against her wishes.

Better female representation is a long-term goal but for Martin the job is only a three-year commitment.

“And that’s only if you don’t cock it up.

“I could happily go home tomorrow and do what I love to do which is raising money to help my community.

“I’m not desperate to stay here and that’s because I think the absolutely worst kind of politician is a person who is desperate to keep their job because they’ll do and say anything to keep it.”

She doesn’t sound desperate to keep her job. Odd comments for an MP, it looks like she has been put into the party and the leadership against her wishes.

And the curiosity continued this week. It has been reported to be a close vote that deposed her as deputy, with Peters wanting her to remain as his 2IC. But from what she said yesterday she seems to support Mark’s elevation over her.

Stuff again, in Ron Mark new NZ First deputy:

Martin said she supported Mark and would never have been the deputy leader if he had been in the last caucus that appointed her in the role.

“I think I’ve done a really good job as deputy leader in the period of time I was required to do it. I think I did the best I could do with the experience I had.

“This isn’t an anti-me, this is the fact that Ron had years more political experience than I do and that is the right person in that place in that job going forward in this moment.”

This sounds almost like she would have voted for Mark against herself and against Peters.

Martin said there were no surprises over the announcement and she didn’t yet know what her future held.

“I hope to remain a well respected member of the NZ First caucus and Parliament. I’ll do my job and do it to the best of my ability.”

Except that yesterday she pointed out a two month old article that said “Martin has found herself in a position of power that she never asked for and would walk away from tomorrow”.

Very curious.

And now she finds in a position of less power. Will she walk away tomorrow?

Mark confirmed NZ First deputy

After a weird week of speculation Ron Mark was confirmed as the new NZ First deputy leader, replacing what is reported to be Winston’s choice, Tracey Martin.

It has been claimed this is the first time the NZ First caucus has decided something significant against Winston’s wishes.

This may introduce unfamiliar tensions within camp NZF. It has been widely known or assumed that Winston doesn’t tolerate any threat to his own leadership. Last term Brendon Horan and Andrew Williams were excommunicated, supposedly for daring to have ambitions that threatened Winston’s authority.

Mark is saying all the right things (that is, pandering to Peters) about his own ambitions, saying he sees Winston as the leader into the foreseeable future.

But whoever is deputy when Peters decides to retire (or otherwise ceases to be leader) will have the inside running to take over the top position, and it’s thought that Mark has his eye on this goal.

Mark is an experienced MP, having been in Parliament for about a decade before NZ First got rejected in the 2008 election.

He became mayor of Carterton and didn’t stand in 2011 when NZ First returned, but was reported to have been persuaded to stand last year.

Mark was apparently pissed off to be only placed at 9 on the list but with NZ First’s resurgence that was enough to get him back in.

The list selection is reported to be dominated by Peters and the party President, Tracey Martin’s mother. In 2011 Martin had been promoted to two on the list where she remained last election. So Mark has overturned the party rankings to get himself installed at second in command.

My impression of Mark in Parliament this year has been as a jumped up smart arse.

Perhaps the greater responsibilities he now has will morph him into a respectable and credible leader-in-waiting.

This should mean not trying to act like a young Winston clever dick. Time will tell.

Winston succession talent on display

While secrecy over the clash of the deputies continues Winston Peters lauded all of the NZ First talent in 3 News: NZ First cagey about leadership rumours:

Asked whether the party had a succession plan, Mr Peters said he’s “probably got 10 successors – that’s how much talent we’ve got in New Zealand First”.

Some of this talent was on display during Question Time in Parliament today.

Both deputy aspirants seemed to be trying to be young Winstons, without vast experience and without success.

10. Trade, Minister—Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership

[Sitting date: 02 July 2015. Volume:706;Page:9. Text is subject to correction.]

10. FLETCHER TABUTEAU (NZ First) to the Minister of Trade : Does he stand by his statement in respect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that “We were never going to start the serious negotiations until it was show time”, and will this include the future of Fonterra?

NZFTabuteau

Hon STEVEN JOYCE (Acting Minister of Trade): Yes, the Minister does stand by his statements on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This includes the statement that further negotiations are needed to resolve the most difficult issues in negotiation, which include market access for dairy. In respect of the second part of the question, if the member is referring to the structure of Fonterra, the way Fonterra operates, established in the dairy industry reforms of a decade ago, is not up for negotiation.

Fletcher Tabuteau : For clarification, how does the Minister then reconcile the US Dairy Export Council’s strong support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement fast-track when its president, speaking about Fonterra before a Senate inquiry, said: “If this is going to be a high ambitious agreement in the 21st century, you need to reform the industry, which is creating a 90 percent market share for one company in the global market that the company”—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Supplementary questions must be concise. Bring the question to a conclusion very quickly, otherwise I will rule it out of order.

Fletcher Tabuteau : Thank you, Mr Speaker. The president was suggesting that Fonterra has way too much market power by law and should not be therefore—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Debates occur after question time. If the question can be made out—[Interruption] Order! I am on my feet at the moment. If the Minister can establish a question out of that, I invite the Minister to answer it.

Tracey Martin : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Unfortunately, because that is a direct quote from hearings held on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Minister would not be able to answer the question of my colleague without hearing the direct quote.

NZFMartin

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member needs to study the Standing Orders. Standing Order 380 is quite specific on how questions can be asked. That question is miles too long. I warned the member. He then continued with a long question. I am now giving the Minister the opportunity to answer. If there are further supplementary questions and they are of that length, I will simply rule them out of order.

Ron Mark : Point of order. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Would all members resume their seats. This may be a fresh point of order, in which case I am happy to hear it. But if it is in any way a relitigation of a ruling I have just made in respect of that question, then I will treat it very seriously indeed.

Ron Mark : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I fully accept your ruling. The question though is going forward to help us, could you give us a word count so that we can check ourselves—

NZFMark

Mr SPEAKER : Order! It is the last day before a break, so I will, on this occasion, be a little generous to the member. The published Hansard will be available at about 4.30 p.m. I suggest he just count it for himself. [Interruption] Order! No, the member will resume his seat. The question has been asked with some difficulty for me to decipher, but I am going to give the Minister a chance to answer. If there are further supplementary questions, we will move from there.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : It is not the job of the New Zealand Minister of Trade to reconcile the statements of a US lobbying group, whoever they are. I stand by the answer to the substantive question.

Fletcher Tabuteau : Would the Minister describe the stand by the US National Milk Producers Federation as shadow-boxing given that it stated, after the fast-track was passed, that the US dairy industry has been a strong advocate for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, with it previously telling the US international—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! That will do. The question has been asked, and again it is too long.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : The answer remains the same. It is not the job of the New Zealand Minister of Trade to reconcile the positions of any other organisation that is lobbying in favour of a particular outcome in regards to a trade agreement. It is the responsibility of the New Zealand Minister of Trade to lead the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Fletcher Tabuteau : Can I raise a point of order and seek clarification?

Mr SPEAKER : Yes, you can.

Fletcher Tabuteau : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I have sought to keep these questions within the bounds and structure of previous questions that I have asked in this House and have been allowed. Your—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member has just summed it up perfectly for himself. I have noticed a habit whereby increasingly the questions that are asked by this particular member are far too long. I have given him the opportunity to shorten them. He has not taken my advice. He may well get the same treatment in the future. Does the member have a further supplementary question?

Fletcher Tabuteau : Can the Minister confirm to New Zealand farmers and consumers that under a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement United States milk and meat products containing wrapped dopamine and recombinant bovine growth hormone, both banned here in New Zealand, will not enter into New Zealand, as stipulated by the EU in its own free-trade agreements with the United States?

Mr SPEAKER : Again, marginal but I will allow it.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : There are all sorts of things that are being negotiated, including such issues as phytosanitary conditions and all the requirements on animal product health and so on. These negotiations are continuing. The Minister is not in a position to comment on individual items, except to say, in response to the substantive question the member raised, that the way Fonterra operates is not up for negotiation.

To assist the NZ First talent here is Standing Order 380:

380 Content of questions

(1) Questions must be concise and not contain—

(a) statements of facts and names of persons unless they are strictly necessary to render the question intelligible and can be authenticated, or

(b) arguments, inferences, imputations, epithets, ironical expressions, or expressions of opinion, or

(c) discreditable references to the House or any member of Parliament or any offensive or unparliamentary expression.

(2) Questions must not seek a legal opinion.

(3) A written question must not repeat the substance of a question already lodged in the same calendar year.

(4) Questions must not refer to proceedings in committee at meetings closed to the public until those proceedings are reported to the House or (subject to Standing Order 115) to a matter awaiting or under adjudication in, or suppressed by an order of, any New Zealand court.

(5) Where the notice of a question does not comply with the provisions of the Standing Orders, it is not accepted. If, by inadvertence, such a notice is accepted it may be subsequently disallowed by the Speaker unless it is amended or revised so as to comply with the Standing Orders.

The Winston replacement battle

Hints of a possible deputy leadership battle in NZ First look like they were accurate – see Peters can’t name his deputy – with an announcement supposedly imminent (tomorrow is the word).

3 News: NZ First cagey about leadership rumours

New Zealand First is planning a crisis meeting tomorrow where it’s widely expected deputy leader Tracey Martin will be rolled.

The party’s MPs have been cagey about the issue over the last two days, with many refusing to confirm Ms Martin’s still in the role.

Leader Winston Peters says she is for now, but won’t say what might happen tomorrow.

Asked whether the party had a succession plan, Mr Peters said he’s “probably got 10 successors – that’s how much talent we’ve got in New Zealand First”.

Yeah, all lining up to topple Peters.

David Farrar with the not so secret The secret NZ First Deputy!

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.

Mark has look ambitious since his return, utu is likely to be just a bonus.

All the competition in NZ First is for second fiddle to Winston. Those who look to have ambitions in the past have been thrown out – Brendon Horan was kicked out of the party while an MP and Andrew Williams was thrown out through a low list placement last year.

If Mark gets the numbers to defeat Winston’s favoured deputy the tensions may rise a tad in NZ First. And if Mark becomes deputy the Peters/Martin control of the list appointments may be tested, demoting a deputy to an un-winnable position would surely be untenable.

The big prize of course is to be in a position to replace when he finally finishes his parliamentary stint.

I don’t think NZ First would look great with either Mark or Martin as leader. Winston’s “probably got 10 successors – that’s how much talent we’ve got in New Zealand First” looks a bit dubious.

Peters can’t name his deputy

Today Winston Peters coudn’t or wouldn’t name the deputy leader of NZ First. That’s bizarre.

There seems to have been a flare up of a battle for the deputy position, with claims that Ron Mark has challenged Tracey Martin for the leader-in-waiting slot in the NZ First caucus.

Peters was asked after the meeting who his deputy was. NZ Herald reports in Winston Peters: No comment on coup:

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.

Sure he can’t discuss abacus business out of caucus. But not naming and refusing to confirm who the party deputy is seems nonsensical.

Martin sat beside Peters in the deputy’s seat in Parliament soon afterwards, so refusing to comment was a futile refusal to open.

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

Why couldn’t Peters confirm that? It should have been an automatic response.

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.

Mark could also confirm  he wasn’t deputy without breaching caucus confidence.

Radio NZ NZ First quiet on rumoured coup attempt:

Ms Martin herself refused to talk about anything that may have happened in caucus, saying she had no comment.

Not confirming she was still deputy also seems bizarre.

They all refused to comment, citing caucus confidentiality – including Mr Peters.

“I’m restricted by that, which we’ve had as a rule for 22 long years.”

He was asked by reporters why he could not just confirm there had not been an attempted coup.

“Well look, excuse me, I just gave you an answer, which is total if you follow it slowly – we do not discuss caucus business outside of caucus.

Sounds like blanket evasion.

Patrick Gower reported on 3 News that a coup attempt failed after Peters stepped to support Martin. Martin’s mother is reported to be close to Peters and is party president.

Binding referendum an awful option for euthanasia

Tracey Martin said on The Nation that she didn’t have a position of euthanasia and didn’t think Parliament should vote on it, and that it should go to a binding referendum.

I think euthanasia would be one of the worst things to be decided by a binding referendum.

This issue is complex and has very serious implications. It needs a very thorough investigation into all aspects of it and then MPs should do what they are elected to do, represent all of us responsibly.

It would be possible to get popular support for “euthanasia should be a personal choice in consultation with a person’s doctor” in a referendum, and it would be highly irresponsible of Parliament to allow something like that.

Referendums are fine for things like flags, but not for protecting a small vulnerable minority.

A binding referendum would be an awful option for euthanasia.

Martin is either severely misguided suggesting a public vote – or she is trying to avoid stating a position on euthanasia. Possinble both.

Northland MP or grumpy old president?

“The Chairman is on his feet, will the member keep his mouth shut”.

WinstonPetersParliament

Winston Peters loved all the attention and the success the Northland by-election gave him.

The latest Herald-Digipoll adds to that, with Peters doubling his ‘preferred Prime Minister’ support from 5.9% to 12%.

But has it all gone to his head?

Something not many people will see – the media are unlikely to show it – is some of his behaviour in Parliament, where he acts like a cantankerous old git who thinks he deserves to rule, and who despises being told what to do.

See the video…

…starting from 1:56 leading to where Peters objects (at about 2:16) to a determination by the Business Committee of speaking rights for Appropriation Bill. Peters starts speaking from 3:40.

He displays disrespect and petulance. When told he could seek leave to the House to deal with his gripe it was objected to, so his acrimonious approach failed to achieve anything.

Draft transcript:

Annual Review Debate

In Committee

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows): This debate is the Committee stage of the Appropriation (2013/13 Confirmation and Validation) Bill. The time allocated for this debate is 9 hours and comprises two distinct elements in accordance with determinations of the Business Committee. The first is the debate on the annual financial statements of the Government, as reported by the Finance and Expenditure Committee. The time allocated by the Business Committee for this debate is 2 hours.

The second is the debate on the annual reviews of departments, Officers of Parliament, Crown entities, public organisations, and State enterprises, as reported on by select committees. The time allocated by the Business Committee for this debate is 7 hours.

We turn first to the 2-hour debate on the Government’s 2013-14 financial statements and the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee. The Business Committee has determined that the first call will go to the chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee and that the total number of calls will be as follows: the New Zealand National Party, 12 5-minute calls; the New Zealand Labour Party, seven 5-minute calls; the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, three 5-minute calls; the New Zealand First Party, two 5-minute calls; and the—

[Interruption] The Chairman is on his feet. Will the member keep his mouth shut? The Māori Party—[Interruption] Order! [Interruption] No, I am on my feet. The member will be seated. [Interruption] I am on my feet. The point is, for the members who are present, that the Business Committee has agreed to a motion—particularly from the Opposition parties—so that this debate will have more meaning than they have deemed it to have in the past. It is a new process, and I am endeavouring to lay that out to the Committee of the whole House as we are now. I would appreciate the ability to continue so that members are fully aware and not ignorant due to their adherence to the ways that have happened in the past.

The Māori Party, ACT New Zealand, and United Future New Zealand may negotiate with the New Zealand National Party for calls during the debate.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): I raise a point of order, Mr Chairperson. You may say that this committee outside this House decided this and it decided that, but the fact of the matter is that this House is the master of its own destiny and we will not be ruled out because of some arrangement made outside with House with which we do not agree.

If you could tell me how 14 members gets 15 minutes and 12 members gets 10 minutes and that is fair, then I would like you to explain it to me mathematically, but it is not. [Interruption] I beg your pardon? Have you got a problem with actually working out the mathematics on that? If 14 members—

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows): The member should make his point of order or complete it.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: My point of order is simply that that ratio cannot be fair, that 14 members—sit down. Fourteen members getting 15 minutes would surely mean that 12 members are entitled to more than 10 minutes. It is just actually mathematic. So there, for a start, I do not think it is reasonable—

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows): I do not need any further help from the member on this matter. Sit down. [Interruption] Take your seat. The point is that the protocols for this debate have been determined by the Business Committee. If the member wishes to seek leave to change that, he can.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): I seek leave for New Zealand First to have, for a start, a fairer ratio of speaking time than that laid out by you in your little preamble.

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows): Leave is sought for that purpose, is there any objection?

There were objections from the Government side

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows):The motion is lost.

There was a ruckus at the beginning of the next speech.

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows): Order! Please take your seat. As I indicated earlier, the reason the new process was put before the Business Committee was to try to raise the level of debate. Let us see if members of the Committee can do that.

Then at 1:00 in the speech NZ First MP Ron Mark made a point of order:

Ron Mark: I raise a point of order, Mr Chairperson. Sorry to the member for interrupting his speech, but you did make a statement there that has got me totally confused. When has there ever been a question about the level of debate in this Committee, and who does it involve?

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows): That is not a point of order.

Ron Mark: Well, you have made a statement and it should be clarified.

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Chester Borrows): Do not challenge the ruling I have already given.

An abrasive petulant approach to Parliament is unlikely to achieve anything positive for the Northland electorate, nor for the NZ First Party.

National and Labour down in Roy Morgan poll

The latest Roy Morgan polls has drops for both National and Labour with Greens and NZ First up. This may reflect the respective attention the parties got in the Northland by election.

  • National 45.5% (down 1%)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (down 0.5%)
  • Act NZ 1% (unchanged)
  • United Future 0% (unchanged)
  • Labour 27.5% (down 3.5%)
  • Greens 13.5% (up 2.5%)
  • NZ First 8.5% (up 2.5%)
  • Conservative Party 1% (down 0.5%)
  • Internet-Mana Party 0% (unchanged)
  • Independent/ Others 1.5% (up 0.5%).

National won’t be too worried with a slight easing but Labour may be a bit worried, it’s the first drop since Andrew Little took over leadership. It’s just one poll but the Northland rock and a hard place may have knocked them.

It demonstrates one of Labour’s problems – if their potential support partners go up they go down.

RoyMorgan2015April

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 888 electors from April 6-19, 2015. Of all electors surveyed 4% (up 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

Roy Morgan:

Tracey Martin responds, sort of

Tracey Martin has responded to a post via Twitter with an attack on the messenger and no indication of what she disagreed with.

I had linked to Tracey Martin oblivious to NZ First ironies and contradictions with this tweet:

@TraceyMartinMP may have to step up but appears oblivious to @NZFirst ironies and contradictions

She two days later she replied:

@PeteDGeorge @NZFirst That is because they are neither – you have taken words and twisted them in your head to fit your picture, unfortunate

It’s unfortunate Tracey has chosen a bland attack on the messenger without addressing what she disagrees with.

She may have a point – this direct quote…

Martin says she’s never formally met  Hekia Parata but is critical of the way she treats other MPs.

“We talk about bullying inside of schools; the abuse the Greens take, in particular Hekia and the abuse she gives Metiria [Turei] in te reo most of the time, is bullying we’d never accept inside a classroom and it’s in Parliament.”

…may be more hypocritical rather than ironic or contradictory, given the way Winston Peters acts in and around Parliament.

And maybe it’s not exactly bullying when Peters makes serious accusations against other MPs and often fails to produce any evidence to support his claims.

Tracey can explain what she thinks it is if she chooses. I’ve offered her a right of reply to explain what she disagrees with.

Tracey Martin oblivious to NZ First ironies and contradictions

Stuff has an interesting profile of NZ First deputy leader Tracey Martin, who is a low profile contrast to Winston Peters. Her party leadership profile may step up a notch or two if Peters becomes committed to spending time in his Northland electorate.

So Tracey Martin – in Winston Peter’s shadow may have to change.

There’s significant Martin family involvement in NZ First, with Martin’s mother on the board of directors and Tracey’s sister works for her.

And there could be more as the NZ First board will decide on Monday who will ‘choose’ to take up Winston’s vacant list position. If Ria Bond at next on the list turns it down then Martin’s Mataroa Paroro, who is married to Martin’s sister-in-law, will get the opportunity to be instructed by the board to become an MP. That’s the board that includes Martin and her mother.

The profile paints a partial positive picture of Martin.

Living in the shadow of NZ First leader Winston Peters would be a cold place for many and while deputy Tracey Martin is no threat to his popularity she is successfully carving herself a place in Parliament.

Martin is consolidating a reputation in Parliament as one to watch, including nipping at the heels of Education Minister Hekia Parata.

But it also illustrates some irony and contradiction.

“We talk about bullying inside of schools, the abuse the Greens take, in particular Hekia and the abuse she gives Metiria [Turei] in te Reo most of the time is bullying we’d never accept inside a classroom and it’s in Parliament.”

Martin says she’s never formally met  Hekia Parata but is critical of the way she treats other MPs.

“We talk about bullying inside of schools; the abuse the Greens take, in particular Hekia and the abuse she gives Metiria [Turei] in te reo most of the time, is bullying we’d never accept inside a classroom and it’s in Parliament.”

Accusing another MP of Parliamentary ‘bullying’ and sledging while serving in Winston’s shadow is cute – Martin can often been seen laughing and cheering when Peters is in full fight in the House.

At the age of 50, Martin has found herself in a position of power that she never asked for and would walk away from tomorrow – a surprising claim from an MP only six months into her second term in Parliament.

In 2008 she was 13th on the party list and had no hope of making it to Parliament but when the listing committee, including her mother, met in 2011, she leaped up to second place. ntsG came out as number two. nte

“I deliberately said to my mother if she had any influence at all don’t make me number two because there was a certain group of people who were a bit anti the Martins anyway.”

Has she really not sought some level of power? She wasn’t promoted to second on the list and deputy leader by accident. If she hasn’t tried to get there she has been put there. It’s more likely a combination of both seek and having a hand up, despite her claims.

Martin is a self-professed feminist in the true meaning of the word.

She once asked her daughter what she thought a feminist was, she responded, “a woman who thinks she’s better than a man”.

Martin was quick to correct saying, “no, a feminist is a woman who believes she’s equal to a man. A woman who thinks she is better than a man is Mum”.

Regardless of whether she’s referring to herself or her mother as ‘Mum’ that’s an odd statement.

Better female representation is a long-term goal but for Martin the job is only a three-year commitment.

She’s in her fourth year in Parliament.

“I could happily go home tomorrow and do what I love to do which is raising money to help my community.

“I’m not desperate to stay here and that’s because I think the absolutely worst kind of politician is a person who is desperate to keep their job because they’ll do and say anything to keep it.”

Again that’s from someone serving as deputy to Peters, the king of saying anything to keep his job and do anything to keep it – as happened in the Northland campaign, where it seems the media is so used to Peters making outlandish promises they don’t take him to task for it.

Martin comes across as oblivious to the ironies and contradictions she illustrates.

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