More depth to Jackson and O’Connor

The recruitment and selection of Greg O’Connor to stand for Labour in Ohariu and Willie Jackson to stand on Labour’s list, both promoted by Andrew Little, have been controversial.

O’Connor has been strongly criticised on the left for his backing of things like arming the police (as head of the Police union).

Jackson has copped resurrected flak for the part he played in the radio ‘roast busters’ controversy.

Moana Maniapoto: The Willie Jackson I know

Willie Jackson can be really annoying. In fact, that was one of the reasons we divorced about 16 years ago.

On the Roastbusters:

Like many overpaid talkback hosts, they often crossed the line themselves. When their mouths ran away from them during the “Roast Busters” saga, genuine offence was exacerbated by everyone else with a historical beef piling in. You need a whiteboard to work out the various agendas.

Similar comments that week by Sean Plunket and Andrew Fagan barely rated a mention, but I guess there’s only one thing more offensive than “a cheeky darkie” (to quote Paul Holmes): it’s two. Instead of creating a golden opportunity in a follow-up show to explore sexist attitudes among all blokes, an unforgiving and highly vocal lynch mob demanded Willie and JT be fired.

I thought the comments in their interview were unacceptable, and I told Willie that. He took all the criticism on board, apologised then, and is still apologising three years later. There are still those who frame him now as less a devil’s advocate and more the devil incarnate.

But given the failure of Willie’s most vocal critics to deal to star Pākehā broadcasters with a history of consistently spouting crap stuff about women, and Māori in particular — I’m putting racism near the top of my whiteboard, next to power plays.

Or maybe the left are much harder on their own if they stray outside political correctness.

And Greg O’Connor responds at The Standard after being on the receiving end of a lot of criticism.

Some of the comments on the blogs about me and my candidacy for Labour in Ōhāriu have made for interesting reading. The theme running through much of the discussion seems to be that I’m a right-wing fascist who makes Kim Jong-un look like some sort of pinko liberal pacifist.

Having been highly visible in the media for a few years discussing a pretty narrow topic, namely frontline policing, it’s understandable people have judged me on that segment of my life and views. I’m taking up this invitation to show you there is another side to me – which will come as no surprise to those who know me well, and regard me as a bit of a lefty.

Labour was the natural choice for me as a political party.

On arming the police:

I have previously advocated for police to be armed, the result of a remit being passed to that effect in 2010 at the Police Association conference. That happened because police and government took no action, no review or enquiry even, following the shooting of 9 officers in 2008/09. The resulting build-up of frustration was inevitable, hence the motion.

It likely could have been avoided if the Police had done then what they did subsequently, which was to make firearms available in the Norwegian style: locked in the car instead of back at the station.

My position is that arming is inevitable unless we, New Zealand, get on top of the illegal gun situation. The decision will be a consequence of a serious and preventable public loss of life in a shooting situation.

My personal priority is to use any influence I have to make sure that we stop the flow of firearms to those who should never have them, while at the same time protecting the rights of legitimate users . That would negate the need for arming. I know this is a very long winded explanation, but it’s one those who are judging me deserve to have.

Most people’s perceptions of prospective political candidates is based on headlines (often sensationalised) and social media banter and argey bargey.

There is more depth to both candidates at the respective links.


  1. Conspiratoor

     /  February 19, 2017

    Chalk and cheese. Jackson’s a lightweight whose extreme views will appeal to the fringe element in the party while alienating many more. O’Conner has a good handle on the issues facing the police and has been an effective advocate for the frontline. If he talks as much sense in other areas of policy, he could bring the disillusioned home. At least until hacienda pops into the frame and shatters the illusion

    • Blazer

       /  February 19, 2017


      • Gezza

         /  February 20, 2017

        I’m with Blazer here c. Scratching me noggin over that one?

        • Conspiratoor

           /  February 20, 2017

          G, this the byproduct of a union between android and silly first name syndrome (SFNS). Try it yourself. Type the offending sentence above and insert the word jacinda where you currently see hacienda. Tell me what android did.
          Very funny by the way ac

          • Gezza

             /  February 20, 2017

            I only gots me a FiP & a semi-intelligent samsung cellphone of limited memory capacity c. I take it that an android smartphone auto wordcheck proffers amusing suggested corrections for Jacinda.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  February 20, 2017

              It’s early and I’m easily confused G. Let’s just call this a mexican standoff. Cheers,c

            • Gezza

               /  February 20, 2017

              Righto. It’s hard to confuse Al, but I usually manage somehow.

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  February 20, 2017

        Gerry Browmlee?

        • Gezza

           /  February 20, 2017

          No man is an island. With one possible exception. 🤔

  2. There are 46,041 people enrolled in Ohariu. That is an enrolment rate of 97.53% and is quite high by NZ averages. The 18 to 30 year old group are letting the side down with significantly less enrolled than are eligible. In the critical party vote for 2014 some 18,810 voted for National, 8,771 for Labour, Greens 5,623, United Future 273. Even if Labour is able to capture all Labour and Green Voters, they need to find another 5,000 to make up the difference. Turning to the Candidates, I sense a growing feeling that Dunne has done his dash, and should not be standing. That leaves a decision to National as to whether they give full support to Brett Hudson and withdraw their support for Dunne. Dunne’s personal vote was 13,569 in 2014, Hudson got 6120, and Virginia Anderson 12,859. The Greens did not field a candidate. Brett Hudson has a continuing relationship with Ohariu whose boundaries contain a mixture of rich suburbs, homes for civil servants and rural areas like Makara.

    Looking at the numbers, I predict National to win the majority of party votes in 2017, and even if O’Connor is not opposed by the Greens, he has a hell of a big mountain to climb to beat Hudson – if he is the candidate. Still it is very early days, but the numbers give us an idea of where things start from!

    • Gezza

       /  February 20, 2017

      Thanks for that Bj. Good analysis, imo. Bit of a reality check numbers-wise. Personally I would still like to see Greg O’Connor do well because I think there is substance, achievement, sense, guts & principle to the man. Their caucus would benefit from his presence in my opinion.

      I have also reevaluated Willie Jackson in the light of someone posting his wikipedia link a few days back, & I think there is more substance to him than I first gave him credit for, though I think his candidacy will be more vulnerable to ongoing criticism & white-anting from disgruntled Labourites.