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