Little – list or Rongotai?

According the the Herald Annette King will stand again in 2017 but may move onto the list only. That will leave her safe Labour electorate open for someone else to step into it.

Andrew Little lives in the electorate and it has been suggested before that he might inherit it. He has lost twice when standing in New Plymouth.

Annette King hints at Labour future

Labour veteran Annette King has confirmed she will stand again in 2017 but possibly only on the list, a step which would open up her Rongotai electorate for leader Andrew Little.

Mr Little lives in the Rongotai electorate in Wellington – a safe Labour seat in which Ms King has been the local MP since 1993.

Asked if Mr Little had asked her to allow him to stand in the seat, Ms King said “that is hypothetical”.

“We talk to each other all the time, but I’ll make my announcement on what I’m going to do in the future.”

She said she would announce her decision “when I’m ready.”

Remember that King had said she would be deputy leader for a year and then stand aside, but after the year was up decided to stay as 2IC to Little.

Mr Little has stood unsuccessfully in New Plymouth for the past two elections but has ruled out doing so again. He was yet to decide whether to stand in an electorate.

“I’m quite enjoying being a list MP having the flexibility to get around the country doing the job I do.”

He said candidate selection for the 2017 campaign had not yet started “so that’s a wee way down the track”.

There is supposedly some political mana in being an electorate MP but I don’t know if the public cares about it.

There’s a good argument for major party leaders to be list only as they have plenty to do without attending to electorate duties as well.

Last term Bill English retired from his Clutha Southland electorate and went list only, a goo idea for someone as busy as a finance minister. Steven Joyce is another senior MP who is list only.

It would be embarrassing for the Labour leader to lose in an electorate, so switching to a safer seat could be attractive for Little.

New Plymouth was won by 105 votes in 2008 by National from Labour’s Harry Duynhoven, after Duynhoven won by 5,434 in 2005 and by 11,533 in 2002.

  • 2005: Labour 37.64%, Duynhoven 53.20%
  • 2008: Labour 31.42%, Duynhoven 47.88%
  • 2011: Labour 25.82%, Little 40.41%
  • 2014: Labour 21.10%, Little 31.56%

Not surprising that Little doesn’t want to stand in New Plymouth again. He only just made it back into Parliament last election, he was the last on Labour’s list to make it.

At least as leader he would be number 1 on the Labour list – if he remains leader.

King has won easily against National’s Chris Finlayson and Green’s Russel Norman for the last three elections, by a consistent margin of about 9,000 each time, but the Labour vote has been much lower.


  • 2008: Labour 42.69%, King 52.45%
  • 2011: Labour 34.18%, King 50.52%
  • 2014: Labour 30.35%, King 49.43%

King gets much higher personal support than Labour gets.

2014 party results:

  • National 32.55%
  • Labour 30.35%
  • Green 26.27%


Now Norman has resigned the Green vote may or may not hold up, but Little may struggle to get the same electorate vote that King maintained. King is one of Labour’s most respected MPs.

Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  10th February 2016

    Slater has used the term “scum” when referring to list MP’s and I think that’s appropriate. The list is an inherently undemocratic concept.

    • I think it’s scummy calling list MPs scum. But that’s Slater – quite hypocritical, isn’t it.

      At least list MPs put themselves up for election in the democratic system that we have and don’t try paid for dirty manipulation.

      • alloytoo

         /  10th February 2016

        You don’t believe that the entire Internet/Mana debacle, to which Labour were complicit, to the extent that Kelvin Davis won despite Cunliffe et al, constituted “paid for dirty Manipulation?”

        It is my view that constituent MP’s are directly accountable while list MP’s are not.

        NZfirst is a great example, their list MP’s serve largely at Winston’s whim, no one else’s

    • Timoti

       /  10th February 2016

      Kiwis voted for MMP believing it was a far more equitable system of voting and governmental representation. So out went FPTP with its sometimes minority representation. In came MMP with minority representation, which still created minority representation…and as an added bonus we got List MPs….lol. Many thought Peter Shirtcliffe was wrong at the time. But it seems he may have been vindicated to some degree.

  2. Blazer

     /  10th February 2016

    Shirtcliffe was lobbying for the National Party.To their credit the Natz have embraced MMP ,and the electoral strategies are proving very successful.

  3. Pete Kane

     /  10th February 2016

    Porirua (and Labour) Mayor Nick Legget, on either The Nation or Q & A, was adamant Little should take Goff’s seat. One thing for sure, one hundred years on, there are still a number of agenda’s at play.

  4. Patzcuaro

     /  10th February 2016

    MMP has given us a long period of stable consensus government. The fact that the dominant party has had to negotiate with the smaller parties has provided a brake on any more extreme policies. Some might say that the smaller parties have too much influence but I prefer to look at as keeping the larger party honest.

    I don’t have problem with list MPs, I’m sure it has increased the diversity in parliament. I don’t think that is a good idea for MPs to be just tossed out at the whim of voters, as with all jobs, on the job experience is important. So allowing them to come back on the list allows parties to retain experience & talent.

    Under FPP two good candidates might be competing for a marginal electorate with only one getting in. Now under MMP potentially both can get in and represent the electorate. Seems a bonus to me.

    Under MMP every bodies vote counts equally, so there is every incentive to vote. Compare this to FPP where the election was won or lost in a few marginal electorates. If you were in a safe seat your vote was less important than votes in the marginal seats.

  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  10th February 2016

    Its Rongotai…. not Rongatai
    It means “sound of the sea”

    Maggy W. (Rongotai College old boy)

  6. Iceberg

     /  10th February 2016

    Little is a dead cert loser for Labour. The fact that he’s not automatically seen as the obvious choice for Rongatai is the giveaway. The Candidate from Union Casting would lose Rongatai for Labour.

  7. Zedd

     /  10th February 2016

    This notion that List MPs are somehow ‘lower’ than electorate MPs is really just a ‘hangover’ from FPP. The country voted to maintain MMP & should embrace it.. (democracy at work) 🙂

    BUT ‘Team Key’ were pushing to dump it, because its harder to manipulate MMP (gerrymander).. as they did in Epsom & Ohariu ! 😦

    Some people may support the ‘two party system’ but I think the parlament IS more representative & better with : Greens, NZ1st & Maori party (majority are List MPs) there

    Little is the Leader & whether he is a List or Electorate MP.. really makes no difference (to I&I).. SO, get over it y’all :/


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