Asentati Lote-Taylor to come back as NZ First’s new list MP?

If Winston Peters wins the Northland by-election he will become an electorate MP. Under our MMP rules he then has the option to resign as a list MP, which he would be expected to do. This means that NZ First can get a new MP into Parliament to restore their election result dictated quota.

It is often claimed that the new MP would be Ria Bond from Invercargill as she is next on the NZ First list. She would certainly get the option to take up a seat in Parliament.

But she could either be genuinely unwilling, or she could be pressured to be unwilling to allow someone else to claim the seat.

And Peters has said as much on The Nation last weekend – “We have not chosen the next candidate”.

Gower: Well, tell the people of Northland, because if you win this seat, Ria Bond comes in on the list, doesn’t she?

Peters: No, no. We have not chosen the next candidate in the context. The rule is the next available candidate, so please don’t forecast what we haven’t worked out ourselves.

So Peters is saying “we” will work out/choose who”the next available candidate” is from the NZ First list.

12 Ria Bond
13 Mataroa Paroro
14 Romuald Rudzki
15 Jon Reeves
16 Asenati Lole- Taylor
17 Brent Catchpole
18 George Abraham
19 Ray Dolman
20 Hugh Barr
21 Anne Degia Pala
22 Steve Campbell
23 Edwin Perry
24 Bill Gudgeon
25 Brent Pierson

It wouldn’t be the first time a list has been manipulated like this. In 2008 after Russel Norman was chosen by the Green as new co-leader he was declared elected to parliament when Nandor Tanczos resigned after the two next on the list, Mike Ward and Catherine Delahunty ‘agreed to stand aside’.

So it could be any of the list candidates who replaces Peters as a list MP.

If any of them didn’t follow a Peters directive to stand aside to clear the way for who ‘we’ choose they would be likely to have a difficult time in the NZ First caucus.

But it’s not likely to be Asenati Lote-Taylor as it looked like she was demoted out of harms way down the list. Her biggest claim to fame while she was in Parliament last term was not being able to tell her Twitter account apart from a spoof account (I often had to check carefully to see whether it was the MP tweeting or not).

Here is the official procedure from the Electoral Commission:

Filling a vacancy in a list seat

When a vacancy arises in the seat of a list Member of Parliament, the vacancy is filled by the Electoral Commission declaring elected the next available member on the party’s list who remains a member of the party and is willing to be elected.

The process in detail is as follows. When a vacancy arises in the seat of a list Member of Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Representatives publishes a notice of the vacancy in the New Zealand Gazette.

The Governor-General then issues a direction to the Electoral Commission to fill the vacancy.

The Electoral Commission determines who is next on the party list and then finds out from the party secretary of the party whether the person next on the party list remains a financial member of the party.

If advised by the party secretary that the next person on the list is a financial member of the party, the Electoral Commission then asks that person if they are willing to be a member of Parliament. If they reply that they are, the Electoral Commission then elects them by declaring them elected in a notice published in the New Zealand Gazette.  If they are not willing to be a member of Parliament, the Electoral Commission repeats the process for the next person on the list. If there is no person on the list willing to be a member of Parliament then the seat remains unfilled.

So if the next on the list is unwilling by choice or coercion to be a member of Parliament the next on the list is offered the vacancy until a willing replacement is found.

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3 Comments

  1. Concerned Kiwi

     /  8th March 2015

    Don’t forget Winston has a tendency to change his listing order. He has done this in the past and will do it again . . . he did it in the first MMP election . . . many of us were involved in this deception.

    Reply
    • I think the list order as at the election is fixed. But that wouldn’t stop him encouraging unwillingness until his preferred list candidate got a shot at it.

      He could also sack them from the party as they have to be party members to take up the position but he wouldn’t be that brazen? Maybe not in the open anyway.

      Reply
      • Concerned Kiwi

         /  8th March 2015

        Pete: I sat on the list selection of our first MMP election. There were definitely some strange goings-on and a lot of fall out. Winston abandoned many of his policies for a few goodies. What drove me away was his backing off processing millions of logs stacked at various ports around NZ, to be exported raw overseas. He has a short memory and will sell his woul for very small “baubles”.

        Reply

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