Mt Albert candidates

I’ve heard of four candidates for the Mt Albert by-election so far.

Penny Bright has indicated she will stand.

‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
2017 Mt Albert by-Election Independent candidate

New Zealand People Party (NZPP), which stood in the Mt Roskill by-election with  disappointing result, has selected Vin Tomar for Mt Albert.

Mt Albert electorate will have some more choices in the forthcoming by-election in February next year with New Zealand People Party (NZPP) also announcing their candidate.

NZPP has shortlisted Vin Tomar, a registered early childhood teacher and real estate agent and a practising licensed immigration adviser as their candidate.

Roshan Nauhriya, the founder President of the Party, who is currently overseas confirmed the news on the phone and reiterated that “we are committed to building our party and fight every by-election before the next year’s general election.”


Labour have selected Jacinda Ardern, and the Greens haver selected Julie Anne Genter who is sort of conceding defeat and claiming joint victory.

RNZ: Labour likely to win by-election – Greens candidate

Green Party candidate Julie Anne Genter has conceded that Labour will probably win next month’s Mt Albert by-election but says she will put her best forward.

She said Ms Ardern was likely to win but was excited to work alongside her.

“Having two positive, young women candidates who are both working to change the government is a real opportunity to get more people excited and interested in the positive potential of politics.”

Genter and Greens need to make an attempt to promote themselves rather than just be a support act for Labour.

This puts one of the best performing Green MPs up against a talked up but under-performing Labour MP.

The by-election will be on 25 February.

Labour on Ardern’s selection

In contrast to the Green media release on Julie Anne Genter’s selection that mentions Labour and Greens together twice,  the Labour announcement is totally focussed on their candidate Jacinda Ardern and Labour.

One nomination received for Labour’s Mt Albert candidate

At the close of nominations at 5pm today, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton.

“In line with our internal process, Jacinda will be confirmed as our Mt Albert candidate by local Labour Party members at a special meeting to be held on Sunday 22 January.

“We’re really looking forward to talking to locals in Mt Albert about the National Party’s dismal record on housing, health, and transport. It’s just a shame that National isn’t prepared to front up to the Mt Albert community and explain their record.

“Labour will be taking nothing for granted and intends to earn a new mandate in Mt Albert by talking to the local community and focusing on how a Labour-led government can build a better New Zealand,” says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton.


Greens on Genter selection

Julie Anne Genter has put out a Green Party a media release on the selection of Julie Anne Genter to stand in the Mt Albert by-election.

It makes some references to “what Labour and the Greens have to offer” and “Labour and Greens share a vision for a fairer New Zealand” which are quite curious given that Genter’s main opponent in the by-election will be Labour’s Jacinda Ardern.

Do Greens and Labour intend to contest the by-election?

Or do they have an understanding where they will use the campaign as a joint promotion exercise but will not actually compete against each other?

That would make it quite a strange by-election.

What if Greens get some traction in the campaign and start to look like Genter could be competitive?

Do they go for as good a result as they can get to bolster their own party? That could embarrass Labour if Genter gets close to Ardern.

Or do the Greens send out signals like “listen to us but don’t vote for us’?

The campaign may be more complicated than both Labour and Greens envisaged.

Genter’s statement:

Julie Anne Genter MP on Friday, January 13, 2017 – 08:05

Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter will be standing in the Mount Albert by-election to be held on 25 February, said the Green Party today.

Well-known for her strong advocacy of the City Rail Link and ways to cut congestion in Auckland, Ms Genter said she was looking forward to a positive campaign with the Labour Party candidate, with a focus on policies that will make Auckland fairer and greener.

“New Zealanders have a big choice to make in 2017, to stick with the status quo, or to change the Government to get real action on things like affordable housing, public transport, and protecting our rivers,” said Ms Genter.

“The by-election will be the first opportunity for voters in Mt Albert to see what Labour and the Greens have to offer in a new, progressive government.

“The Green Party has a reputation for keeping New Zealand politics honest. I think this is an opportunity to show how politics can be done differently – respectfully, positively, and collaboratively.

“Labour and Greens share a vision for a fairer New Zealand – affordable housing and healthy kids. Whichever of us Mt Albert vote for, they will get a competent, experienced MP committed to a fairer New Zealand.

“I’ve spent my career working on transport and urban design. That expertise will be of great value to Mt Albert residents as Auckland grows and changes,” said Ms Genter.

“We have an opportunity to create a happier, healthier city, and I can be the champion for that in central Government. The Greens have a successful track record on advocating for better public transport, safer cycling, and liveable neighbourhoods in Auckland.”

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw is delighted that Julie Anne Genter has been selected.

“She’s provided the strong voice we’ve been looking for, particularly with her focus on public transport and housing, two of the biggest issues faced by Aucklanders today. I also look forward to seeing two dynamic and talented women standing in Mount Albert. This is democracy at its best and how politics should work.”

The decision to stand Ms Genter was made at the candidate selection meeting this evening. Ms Genter is the Green Party spokesperson on Health, Transport, and Auckland Issues, as well as Youth, ACC, Sport and Recreation.

See also Labour on Ardern’s selection

Genter confirmed for Mt Albert

Julie Anne Genter has been selected as the Green candidate to stand in the Mt Albert by-election.

She will contest the seat against Jacinda Ardern (how that goes will be fascinating) and whoever else stands.

Ardern confirmed for Mt Albert


Probably surprising no one, Jacinda Ardern has been as good as confirmed (she is the sole nominee) as the Labour candidate for the Mt Albert by-election.

Opportunity for a voter revolution in Mt Albert

With National choosing to stay out of the Mt Albert by-election the voters have effectively been given a free shot – they could make a massive statement if they wanted to.

Jacinda Ardern is expected to win the Labour nomination, and she is expected to comfortably win the by-election in what has been a safe seat for David Shearer since 2009 and previously for Helen Clark, and Warren Freear going way back to 1947 (Freear thwarted Robert Muldoon’s first shot at Parliament in 1954).

With no National versus Labour contest, which would have been futile for National anyway, and nothing significant at stake for parliament, this gives the voters a chance to make a statement of some sort.

Green MP Julie Anne Genter has expressed an interest in standing if Greens decided to run a candidate. Greens got double their overall party vote in 2014 in Mt Albert – 21.68% (8,005 votes).

So it could be a chance for Greens to test their mettle against Labour without the complication of their Memorandum of Understanding as Greens don’t need to help Labour out.

While Greens need Labour to have a chance of getting into government (unless they get really radical and do a deal with National, very unlikely under Turei’s leadership) their best opportunity for increasing their party vote is taking support off Labour.

Despite the MoU Greens understand MMP and know that the higher their vote is relative to Labour the bigger their bargaining power.

Labour on 38% (they wish) and Greens on 11% would have a very different balance of power to Labour on 28% and Greens on 20%. Of course there may need to be other parties involved such as NZ First and the Maori Party.

Other small parties might fancy their chances, like the People’s Party or Gareth Morgan’s TOP, but they are unlikely to excite the voters into making a big statement against the political system.

Mt Albert voters could get even more radical than giving Labour a fright and Greens a boost, and giving National the finger – they could get in behind an independent candidate. That would really put them in the political spotlight.

Of course this would be dependant on a high profile independent candidate standing. Would anyone be up for the challenge? It would be a brilliant way of stirring up the old parties.

“Democracy is about choice”

One of the stupidest criticisms of Bill English’s decision not to stand a National candidate in the My Albert by-election is that it is undemocratic.

I’ve seen that said in social media, but nonsense is to be expected there.

But veteran journalist Barry Soper also spins that line in Mt Albert byelection waste of money

It’s hard to envisage John Key chucking in the towel in the way English has done on this one. Democracy is about choice and the people of Mt Albert are now being denied it.

Yes, democracy is about choice, and choosing not to stand a candidate is just as valid as choosing to stand a candidate.

Greens chose not to stand a candidate in the Northland by-election last year, and while Labour chose to stand a candidate they also chose to not campaign for votes for her to help Winston Peters win.

Greens chose not to stand a candidate in last month’s Mt Roskill by-election to help Labour’s Michael Wood. NZ First chose not to stand a candidate (I don’t know why).

National choose not to stand candidates in Maori electorates and I haven’t seen Soper condemn them for that.

Democracy is about choice, and an important choice for parties is whether to stand candidates or not.

An un-contested by-election?

It’s possible Jacinda Ardern could win the Mt Albert by-election uncontested, if no other candidates stand.

David Shearer’s resignation from his Mt Albert electorate has precipitated a by-election next February.

Ardern has expressed an interest in standing. If she gets Labour’s nomination it would be very likely she would win the by-election.

National has decided it would be futile to stand a candidate so have chosen not to. That’s a pragmatic decision.

Greens and NZ First chose not to stand candidates in the recent Mt Roskill by-election. It makes sense for them to also stay out of the Mt Albert by-election.

This would make the by-election virtually uncontested. All it would take to avoid the cost and futility would be for no other candidates to stand, so Ardern would win the electorate uncontested.

There is a chance an attention seeking candidate would stand against Ardern, forcing a million dollar farce. All it takes to stand for election is two nominations from voters from the electorate – the candidate themselves don’t have to live in the electorate.

It’s most likely at least one other candidate will put themselves forward, but there would probably be little media interest and little voter interest.

An uncontested by-election would be the logical option but that’s probably a long shot.

It’s also possible Labour’s nomination might be contested.

Would Laila Harre be tempted? Probably not in Mt Albert, she has been linked to New Lynn.

Would Andrew Little bet tempted? Again probably not, he has shown no inclination to relocate from Wellington to Auckland.

By-election or general election?

When news came out that David Shearer was likely to resign from his Mt Albert electorate to take up a UN job Andrew Little suggested an early general election would be more appropriate than a by-election.

One News: Little calls for early election instead of Mt Albert by-election brought by David Shearer’s expected move to UN role

Labour leader Andrew Little says his party is “ready to go” and that a General Election should be held in mid-winter 2017, instead of a by-election that would be triggered if Labour MP David Shearer takes up a new job at the UN.

Labour Leader Andrew Little said today it was his preference for a General Election to be held mid-winter in 2017 instead of later in the year.

General elections are not supposed to be scheduled at the convenience of a party leader.  It would be ludicrous if an Opposition MP resigning before the end of their term justified interfering with the normal 3 year term, which is short enough as it is.

But after new Prime Minister Bill English announced a Mt Albert by-election date (25 February) acting Labour leader Annette King continued asking for an early election. She posted this PR yesterday:

National no-show gutless, but Labour is ready

Labour is ready and keen to talk about the problems facing electors in Mt Albert despite the gutless decision of Bill English not to front a National candidate there, says Labour Deputy Leader Annette King.

“English is running scared from his first test as a leader. He clearly doesn’t want another bloody nose after the Mt Roskill defeat.

“We are more than ready for another contest and relish the chance to talk to people in Mt Albert about how Labour can help them deal with the problems around rising crime, health, public transport and housing affordability.

“We take nothing for granted and will be seeking a mandate for Labour’s new candidate in Mt Albert. As we showed in Mt Roskill, we are ready to fight a by-election and a general election.

“The easiest solution really is for Bill English to do everyone a favour. For tens of thousands of Kiwis a change of government can’t come soon enough so let’s save the cost of a by-election and bring forward the general election,” says Annette King.

The easiest solution would be for Labour to not dump so many leaders who then find better jobs outside Parliament. Already this year Phil Goff has resigned and David Cunliffe has indicated he will resign as soon as he can avoid precipitating a by-election. With David Shearer that’s all three post-Helen Clark ex-leaders jumping ship.

Labour want an early election so they can try to beat Bill English before he can establish himself as Prime Minister.

Or they want a by-election so they can benefit from a taxpayer funded campaign opportunity to kick off their election year.

Someone as experienced as King promoting this pathetic bull is ridiculous. Perhaps her influence is one of the reasons Labour has become a party of whinging and negativity.

It’s a bit rich of King to grizzle about National deciding not to stand a candidate in Mt Albert just after announcing she has decided not to stand in her Rongotai electorate in the general election, giving her leader Little an opportunity to win a safe seat.

General elections should only be called if it becomes impossible for the Government to continue governing effectively. King must know this, yet she barks at a by-election, and barks for a general election.

No National candidate in 25 Feb by-election

Bill English wants to get the Mt Albert by-election over as soon as possible so has set a date of February 25.

And as long as Jacinda Ardern gets the Labour nomination it looks to be a formality because English has said that National won’t stand a candidate.

This may seem surprising but it is very pragmatic – National is very unlikely to stand a chance of winning the fairly safe seat vacated by David Shearer (and was formerly Helen Clark’s seat) so there’s little point in setting themselves up for embarrassment and cost.

It’s also politically smart – Labour will have to spend some time and effort campaigning, but won’t have a decent test of their campaign systems and strategies.