Dan Bidois on his Northcote win

New MP Dan Bidois has a lot to learn now he has won the Northcote by-election. He will have that chance on the National back bench for at least two years.

Simon Bridges says he will give Bidois some minor responsibilities – his biggest task initially will be coming to grips with being an electorate MP and setting himself up in Northcote.

1 News interviewed Bidois before his win: ‘I have been a fighter my entire life’ – New Zealand’s newest MP Dan Bidois takes out Northcote by-election

“I have been a fighter my entire life. I dropped out of school at 15, found out I had cancer and beat it, completed my butchery apprenticeship, eventually getting mentored to go to University and falling in love with education. Ultimately I went on to win a scholarship and complete my Masters at Harvard.”

“I have had to fight for everything I have achieved in life, and so I want to bring that determination to Northcote and fight for the things that matter locally – improving transport, stopping the fuel tax increases, and getting more investment in local services like health and education.”

He said prior to his victory when asked what issues he would pursue in Parliament, that he was “passionate about education and making sure we’re getting more kids learning good trades. I would like to see more done around apprenticeships”.

The economy has been doing well the last few years, which has lifted incomes and meant the Government can afford to invest more in public services, but we can’t take it for granted. The new Labour-NZ First Government is making a range of changes that will slow that growth down, which is really bad for families. We can’t take good economic management for granted.

There is currently no scheduled vote on abortion or cannabis, but I haven’t seen evidence the current systems aren’t working properly. I would want to study the issues more before I made a decision on these two.

I haven’t read the proposed euthanasia legislation yet. I do have some concerns around it though, in that we have to make sure that there appropriate safeguards so our sick and elderly aren’t abused.

Sounds like he has been well indoctrinated with standard National responses in preparation for the by-election.

Time will tell whether he fights for his own voice and his own views.

 

Michael Wood talks up Labour’s Northcote result

Michael Wood won the Mt Roskill by-election in 2016 after Phil Goff resigned so he could take over as mayor of Auckland.

He has tweeted his thoughts on the Northcote by-election (@michaelwoodnz):

What can we say the morning after the Northcote by-election? The first is to congratulate new MP . He seems like a nice guy, ran a clean campaign, and should be proud of his result.

The second is to acknowledge @shananhalbert for a superb campaign. I had the pleasure of being his Campaign Chair and saw 1st hand the huge effort he put in and the qualities of the man. Built up an incredible team. Will be a great MP one day.

Then to the numbers. Labour’s vote increased by 10% from 34% to 44%. This is a significant result in a seat Labour has not held in 13 years.

This represents a swing to Labour of 4%. Swings *to the government* hardly ever happen in by-elections.

What he doesn’t say is that Bidois got 50.98% of the votes (on election night numbers), just 1.29% less than MP for 12 years and Minister in Cabinet for 7 years Jonathan Coleman in last year’s general election.

While National was in government they faced 6 general electorate by-elections:

  • In Roskill 2016 a 24.5% swing to the oppstn
  • In Albert 2017 no govt candidate
  • In Chch East 12 a 25 % swing to oppstn
  • In Mana 2010 a .5% swing to govt
  • In Botany 11 a 5% swing to oppstn
  • In Albert 09 a 19.5% swing to oppstn

And while I have not checked the numbers I am pretty sure that all by-elections in the 1990s and 1980s saw swings to the opposition.

So, the swing of 4% to the government candidate in the Northcote by-election is unprecedented in recent electoral history.

Politicians are good at picking statistics that suit their narrative.

The ‘swing’ to Labour was mostly due to a slump in the Green candidate support (6.73% to 2.9%), and no NZ First candidate who got 3.73% in 2017 (they stood as an independent getting 0.47%).

The ‘swing’ from Government parties to National was negligible.

Finally, here is what John Key said when National reduced the Mana Labour majority from around 6000 to around 1400 (very similar to Northcote) in that by-election:

“John Key said “I never thought coming second in politics would feel so good….Sometimes losing is winning and this is one of them where we have had a tremendous result here. In all probability, the swing should have gone against National because that’s what happens when you are the Government campaigning in a very safe Labour seat and he has been thrashed. When this campaign began, Phil Goff said this by-election would be referendum on the Government’s policies. Well he was right!”

Jacinda Ardern seems to have a good feeling about coming second in Northcote.

Newshub: ‘Very good outcome’ in Northcote despite the loss – Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she’s proud of the party’s efforts in the Northcote by-election, despite coming up slightly short of victory.

“There was a lot of eyes on this, and you did us proud, Shanan,” she told the runner-up. “You were an excellent candidate, you spoke about the things that mattered.”

She said it was a “very good outcome” for a sitting Government’s candidate to improve on his vote so much.

“We’re really proud of that. We certainly expected it to be close, and of course you go into every election race hoping for a win. We couldn’t have had better in Shanan and the team that ran the campaign here.”

She said it alarm bells would be ringing for National, despite their win.

“When you compare other by-elections when you’ve been in Government, this is a very good outcome for us.”

She doesn’t mention the collapse in the Green candidate Rebekah Jaung’s vote, despite her seeking votes for herself, and there was no attempt by Greens to promote tactical voting for the Labour candidate.

Labour without the Greens would be a problem for Ardern, especially with National’s support overall support (like their support in Northcote) remaining above Labour’s.

 

Northcote by-election candidates

Greens have announced their candidate for the Northcote by-election – Rebekah Jaung selected as candidate for Northcote

Jaung wasn’t on the Green list in 2017 but stood in the Northcote electorate. She got 6.73% of the vote, almost the same as the party vote for the electorate which was 6.75%. This is slightly better than the 6.27% overall Green party vote.

Greens have been criticised for standing a candidate as it makes it much harder for the Labour candidate Shanan Halbert, but an upset was unlikely anyway (he lost by 6210 votes in the general election), and Greens need to be showing they are not just a party supporting Labour’s interests.

Candidates announced so far (Wikipedia):

  • Stephen Berry (ACT) – 2017 candidate for East Coast Bays, 5th on party list
  • Dan Bidois (National) – economist, 72nd on National’s 2017 party list
  • Tricia Cheel (Democrats) – social justice campaigner, 22nd on Democrats 2017 party list
  • Shanan Halbert (Labour) – head of Relationships at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, 2017 candidate
  • Rebekah Jaung (Greens) – doctor, Greens 2017 candidate for Northcote

Winston Peters has said the by-election is a waste of money and NZ First won’t stand a candidate, which will only save money for the party, and may be aimed at saving face (not putting NZ First to the test in an election).

Nominations close next Tuesday 15 May.

The by-election is in four weeks, on Saturday 9 June.

Nation: Northcote by-election

Is anyone interested in the Northcote by-election?

As usual media select their preferred candidates and ignore the rest – poor democracy.

With a by-election looming, National’s Dan Bidois and Labour’s Shanan Halbert join Lisa Owen to discuss why they should be Northcote’s next MP.

One of them is almost certainly going to become an MP after the 9 June by-election.

Both are pushing themselves as a local electorate MP. That’s the nature of by-elections, but most of the country is likely to have little interest.

Auckland traffic problems is not the a particularly riveting topic.

I don’t really care who wins. It’s up to the Northcote voters who take the time to vote.

‘Future qualification’ on Northcote by-election candidate’s profile

Three candidates have been announced for the Northcote by-election (to be held on 9 June) – National selected Dan Bidois and Labour selected their general election candidate Shanan Halbert, and Peter Wakeman seems to have selected himself. Brief details (some from Wikipedia):

  • Dan Bidois – Economist, 72nd on National’s 2017 party list
  • Shanan Halbert – Head of Recruitment & Relationships at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, 51st on Labour’s 2017 party list
  • Peter Wakeman – Perennial candidate

National Party announcement: Bidois selected as National’s Northcote candidate

Mr Bidois is currently Strategy Manager for Foodstuffs. He was raised and educated in Auckland, leaving school at 15 to complete a butchery apprenticeship with Woolworth’s New Zealand. Aspirational for his future, he went on to study at the University of Auckland, and attended Harvard University on a Fulbright Scholarship. He has worked as a strategist and economist in New Zealand, the United States, and Malaysia.

Labour party announcement: Shanan Halbert selected as Labour’s candidate for Northcote

Shanan is an education professional with experience across the sector including secondary, tertiary and with the education unions. Locally he has been in leadership and governance roles at Northcote’s Hato Petera College. Currently he is head of Relationships and Recruitment at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

“I look forward to campaigning in Northcote on the issues that matter locally – transport, decent housing, health and education,” says Shanan Halbert.

(Oddly that can’t be found on Labour’s website,  had to go to Scoop for it).

I don’t recall hearing of Bidois or Wakeman before, but Halbert featured in the Labour intern issue last June – see Little and Labour MPs with interns.

Earlier in the week Labour party secretary Andrew Kirton promoted Halbert’s selection:

And David Farrar dissed Halbert’s chances and promoted all National candidates in  It’s Bidois vs Halbert for Northcote.

Yesterday Farrar tweeted on a Kiwiblog post What happened to Shanan’s MBA?:

He saw a MBA from AUT listed for Shanan Halbert (the Labour candidate). He checked out the AUT graduate page and they do not have Halbert as a graduate.

He then checked back Halbert’s Linked In page the next day, and the MBA mention was gone.

Stating unearned qualifications on your CV looks bad, and more so if you are a head of the Recruitment & Relationships department at an educational institute.

And the misrepresentation has been confirmed by Kirton in a response to Farrar on twitter:

That’s a remarkable explanation. The LinkedIn  page says nothing about ‘a timeframe of 2016-2020’, and it is extraordinary to list under Education courses you are enrolled in and are nowhere near completing. If Halbert wins the by-election he will have less time still to study.

And Kirton  goes further:

It’s not a dirty trick pointing out a candidate falsely claiming a qualification, it is holding to account, something some who are new to Government don’t seem to comprehend.

I don’t know enough about any of the candidates to rate them as potential MPs, but Halbert and Labour have not started their campaign very well.

UPDATE: I have just found Halbert’s profile on the Labour website. It includes:

As a senior manager in the education field, Shanan knows that life-long learning must be made available in our fast-changing world.

Changing so fast he got ahead of himself in claiming to have an MBA.