Ngaro continues as National list MP while ‘talking’ about new party – farcical

It is really an extraordinary situation  now where Alfred Ngaro is still working as a National list MP, while talking to people about whether to set up a new party.  It’s surprising that Simon Bridges tolerates the situation.

Ngaro was interviewed on Newshub Nation, where he suggested that if he starts a party he would consider a coalition with the Tamaki/destiny party.

It is remarkable that he agreed to be interviewed when he would have known a possible party would be a major topic he would be questioned about (why else would Newshub invite him?)

So has Coalition New Zealand jumped in ahead of you? Have they stolen your limelight?

Look, I’m not about race. This is not a race, and I think people will know that any form of politics — it’s a long game not a short game.

An odd comment.

Although yesterday Hannah Tamaki said, ‘Alfred Ngaro, come and join us.’ They extended an olive branch. Do you want to join them??

Okay, well, will you rule that out then?

Well, the thing is that I’m focusing on those, and there will be opportunities where lots of people are coming to talk to me, and, like I said, people— I’ve got invitations now to talk. I’ve had no phone calls and that. That just happened yesterday, so for my mind, stick to the task. I’m performing my role as a National list MP and at the same time having lots of conversations.

They want you to come along and say that you’re looking for a home, but do you think there’s enough space for two faith-based parties in parliament — or even to run at the election?

Yeah, well, if you think about the history of New Zealand, as far as faith-based or values-based organisations or parties that have been there, they’ve often formed coalitions if they’re to make it there. You can think about in 1996 — you’ve got the Christian Democrats with Graeme Lee and then you also have Christian Heritage,—

But they’ve been—

…so the way forward is to— actually, you would have to form a form of a coalition collectively together.

Right, so that’s a possibility, say with the Coalition New Zealand, then? You’re not ruling that off the table?

Well, the only two parties that are here on the table that we know of is the New Conservatives and this now Coalition Party. I don’t have a party, as I said. Last Friday there were conversations, so hand on heart, I don’t have a constitution. I haven’t been planning a party. What I’ve been having is people coming to me, and I’ve been humbled, Simon, by the conversations that people have said. That actually this is something that maybe we should consider.

Yes. Well, obviously you have to be considering it, otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting here talking to me. You must be quite serious about this.

I’ve gone on the record, and I’ve said that I am considering it.

Yeah, so what’s the time frame?

Well, I think it’s something— I want to be really clear and careful that I don’t— I’m loyal to the party, and I think that’s really important. I don’t disrupt the direction of what they’re doing as well. So that time frame’s going to have to be fairly soon.

I think he has to decide very quickly. He can’t be talking with people about forming another party and remain loyal to National.

Unless National are supporting what he is doing – which would be another remarkable situation.

What makes you think that there’s a place for a faith-based party in government — where everything seems to be based on evidence, in terms of decision-making?

Well, faith is evidence as well. It’s the value system that people have, and so when people act out of it, you can’t say their faith doesn’t have evidence. It’s actually the evidence of the values that people have in the way they exercise them.

Faith is not evidence based.

But faith is belief. It’s not a scientific evidence.

That’s right. That’s right, and so you and I would say that, for instance, when we say that we show love, care and compassion — well, that’s faith that you and I have, right? We believe in each other. We believe in the people around us that they would act justly, kindly and caringly. Those things are really important.

So he has now contradicted himself on faith being evidence.

Well, that’s values-based decision-making, isn’t it?

But here’s the evidence, right? If you don’t have a principle to act on, then the actions that you take is the evidence of those beliefs. You and I know that when we see people who don’t act with kindness, who don’t act justly, then that’s the evidence that there’s a lack of principles. So you can’t divorce them. You can’t just say that, ‘Well, here’s evidence, and here’s faith or here’s some values.’ You and I act every day, in this nation, around this country, everybody acts with a set of principles. That’s what drives us.

Good grief. he doesn’t seem to have anything of substance to say.

So you believe out there on issues like end of life, abortion law reform, maybe even cannabis, there is a wave to ride into power?

Well, Simon, I don’t need to believe that’s out there; it is out there.

There’s certainly opposition to those issues being reformed, but but it would take more than Ngaro’s vagueness to ride a wave to power. It will be difficult enough for Ngaro to win an electorate leading a new party, and very difficult to make the 5% threshold.

You say that you’ve got people approaching you, there’s all these issues that this is riding on, but is it more a political thing where Simon Bridges says he’s giving you space to consider your options — National didn’t have a coalition partner to get into power last time. Has that party, has National, asked you openly or quietly, to do this?

So the long answer is no.

That’s the short answer.

Well, the thing is that it is no. This has not come out of the National Party. There is no one in the leadership that’s turned around and said, ‘Hey, we should consider this.’

So they’re happy for you to do this though?

Well, put it this way — they’ve asked me, and— Look, I’m really thankful. I’m grateful for the fact that they’ve given me space, and I’ve been to Simon, and Simon — as he declared — that I went to see him. In fact, I went to go and see him two months ago, just to say to him, ‘Look, people are coming to see me and talk.’ I want to be respectful to his role of leadership—

Ngaro has been talking about the new party idea for two months, including talking with Bridges about it. And he is still being ‘given space’ to continue while still supposedly working as a National list MP.

If you do this, are you going to take other National MPs with you?

No.

Just going to be you?

Well, put it this way — I’m not going to go and actually take people away from what their roles are. People are free to choose, to make their choices. I’m not seeking to divide the party. I’m not seeking to distract from the party, and if it means that, for instance, even when I was speaking down at the LNI Conference last Sunday, I withdrew myself. Why? Because no one person is bigger than the party.

So it is affecting his job as a National list MP.

And while he says he is not going to poach other MPs from National he sees it as up to them to choose if they want to split with him.

Okay, well, let’s see if you own this. Will you confirm right now that at the next election you’re going to be leading a faith-based party?

I can’t confirm that.

Why can’t you do that? Now is the time to do that.

Well, Simon, when you say you’re considering, that’s what consideration means. If you say you’re planning, then that’s different.

So what are you doing here right now? If it wasn’t serious, you wouldn’t be sitting here talking to me.

I tell you what I’m serious about. I want to clarify things. Okay, that’s really important. I want to clarify the fact is that where my position is. Okay? People have been coming in, and I chose to come here, as opposed to some of the other programmes by the way, because I wanted to have a conversation like this, so we could actually talk through what those issues are. They’re coming to me and saying, ‘Where are we going to have a voice for our values in the House of Representatives?’

And when are you going to answer them?

Well, Simon, here’s the thing — I’ve got a political career that I’ve been a part of for eight years, I’ve got a family, also I’ve got a party that I’ve been hugely grateful and thankful for. That’s not something that you make lightly. I did not make that announcement last Friday, by the way. These were just conversations that people were having—

So the ball’s in your court now, and you’re not giving us an answer—

The ball is in my court. No, what I’m telling you is, ‘Watch this space.’ Rest assured, I’m not going to leave people hanging. I think that’s really important.

This is looking more and more like a farce. Ngaro looks to be way out of his depth. And this looks increasingly like it could be quite damaging for National.

I don’t see any chance that this Ngaro party will fly. It is barely flapping on the ground.

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12 Comments

  1. Reply
  2. Corky

     /  26th May 2019

    ”But faith is belief. It’s not a scientific evidence.”

    Neither is politics..that survives by people having ”FAITH” that what they voted for is what they will get. Even though we have a 100 years plus of experience to show supporting a political party in many incidences is a matter of faith that doesn’t deliver..

    That’s why I don’t vote..politics is a ”faith based religion.”

    I am picking a win for Labour at next years election. But as Australia has shown, it’s not over until it’s over. Liberals would be very unwise to think this train wreck with National and Ngaro
    means National is out of the running. Sometimes you just have to have faith.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  26th May 2019

      “faith based voters’ voting for a new Christian party ?
      Where do you think those votes will come from- why National of course.
      Its the old story – ACT goes down , national goes up. Greens go down labour goes up.

      Wacky Christian party goes UP, national comes down.
      Forget faith , what is missing is simple arithmetic

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  26th May 2019

        ”Where do you think those votes will come from- why National of course.
        Its the old story – ACT goes down , national goes up. Greens go down labour goes up.”

        Really? Island Labour supporters. Christians who don’t vote. Labour supporters who are over Labour as a party for workers. The equation is not as straight forwards you would like. Plus, the days when any pundit could predict what will happen at election time is over. Anything is now possible.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  26th May 2019

          island labour supporters? They have been saying that for years and each time the ‘christian party’ or the church going national candidate dont make a breakthrough in seats where pasifika predominate.
          Do you think the labour Mps arent active in the local churches?

          Anything is now possible ? Pleeese. Its all been tried before and the reason it wasnt a sucess was ?

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  26th May 2019

            President Trumpy.
            Australian election.
            Our last election.

            Yep, anything is possible. That said, do you read? This from my first post.

            ”I am picking a win for Labour at next years election.”

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  26th May 2019

              As it will be either them or National, that’s like predicting the baby’s sex.

  3. Zedd

     /  26th May 2019

    sounds more like.. ‘Im thinking about the alternatives, but I’ll keep ’em guessing.. just in case its not viable & I change my mind.. & dont want to piss Natl off.. or get booted out’

    As has been already mentioned, most of Ngaro’s potential voters (in a ‘christian’ party) would probably come from Natl/right anyway.. so it would likely, split the right.. not take many from the left ! :/

    this is why, such parties are often labeled ‘Christian-RIGHT’

    Reply
    • Kimbo

       /  26th May 2019

      No, it would be worse. Urban liberal voters who could and do vote National (someone puts Nicky Kaye back into Auckland Central every election!) will be horrified at the possibility of National forming a coalition government with religious conservatives holding the balance of power

      …so to ensure that doesn’t happen they will gravitate to Labour. So Ngaro may very well end up perpetuating the existing socially-liberal administration his proposed Christian party is being formed to replace.

      Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  26th May 2019

    Ngaro is the atypical right wing pollie …thick as a ..brick.
    Then again maybe Bridges descriptor is better…’fucking useless’.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  26th May 2019

      Thats because we arent Christians…. they will ignore his inconsistencies and blather if he sticks to his faith based stories and says God and hallelujah enough

      Whats next for national Mps ? – a ‘cafe -national’ party that appeals to young urban liberals. Could Bishop, who backed the wrong horse in the leadership Bridges won and now is so far on the backbench he keeps the door draft excluder on his desk, be the one to wave that flag around

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  26th May 2019

      You mean like Phil Twyford and Iain Lees-Galloway and Jacinda?🙄✔

      Reply

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