Peters wants Auckland port moved to Whangarei

In May Auckland mayor Phil Goff said he favoured moving the Port of Auckland, and suggested the Firth of Thames as a new location.

A council-commissioned Port Future Study released last year said that the port could absorb freight growth for several decades, but in the longer-term would likely need to be relocated. It recommended the Manukau Harbour and Firth of Thames be investigated as relocation sites.

Winston Peters has made a commitment to move port operations by 2027 if he is in a position of power after the election.

NZH: Winston’s pledge: ‘The days of the Ports of Auckland as a container port and car yard are numbered’

Winston Peters is set to give a “cast iron commitment” to move container operations from the Ports of Auckland if his party is in a position of influence after the election.

The New Zealand First leader wants the relocation completed by the end of 2027 – opening up 77-hectares of prime waterfront land for public use and the development of a new cruise ship terminal.

His plan would stop vehicle deliveries by the end of 2019 and free up Captain Cook Wharf ahead of the America’s Cup.

Peters wants legislation to move all container operations to Northport at Marsden Point near Whangarei by the end of 2027.

“The days of the Ports of Auckland as a container port and as a car yard are numbered,” the Northland MP said.

“Aucklanders want their harbour back while Northlanders want the jobs and opportunity that would come from Northport’s transformation.

“This is a cast iron commitment from New Zealand First but it needs New Zealand First to be in a pivotal position to demand it,” Peters said. “That requires people in Northland and Auckland to seriously adjust how they plan to vote.”

Peters said the benefits of opening up waterfront land in Auckland were “incalculable”, and expanding the port in Northland would spark an “economic renaissance”.

His party’s plan would create a “special economic area” near Northport, which would be duty-free, GST-free and tax-free. Peters said another such area could later be established in Southland.

It would require the immediate upgrade of the Auckland-to-Northland rail line, including a new rail spur to Northport. KiwiRail has put the cost of doing so in the billions of dollars – a cost that doesn’t include any upgrade of Northport.

Peters said he would stop public money going on efforts for a new port in the Firth of Thames, saying it was expensive and “highly problematic” environmentally.

The legislation NZ First wants to be introduced would put a deadline on transferring vehicle deliveries from Auckland to Northport by the end of 2019, which Peters said would free up Captain Cook Wharf ahead of the next America’s Cup. Container operations at the Port of Auckland would be stopped no later than December 31, 2027.

Peters has long campaigned for a rail link to Northport and previously indicated it would be one of his top demands, telling The Nation in July, “this is going to happen”.

I don’t know what the feelings are about the port being located in Auckland.

Tony Savage (Labour) – Whangarei

Tony Savage, Labour candidate for Whangarei, has supplied answers to the questions that Stuff asked the two Shanes – (see Shane v Shane Anor (Whangarei).

What’s the most important issue to you?

My singled most important issue is that everyone gets a fair stab at prosperity.
Not every one is able to take up that chance, but we all deserve opportunity.

Tell us something about yourself people might not know.

I used to Divemaster boats out to the Knights.

I have a mircolight pilot license.

Is the Jacinda effect real?

Is that still a Question?

Why should people vote for you?

I don’t owe anyone any favours.
If we keep doing the same things, with the same people,recycled, then  we will get the same results.
Whangarei and Northland will be ignored. Again.
It is in my DNA to question “why”?
Why can’t we do better?
That can be a pain when you want everything to stay the same.
But is this the NZ you want?
Our campaign is about change.

What do you think of the other Shane?

A very good and decent doctor, I believe. May wish to go back to that when in opposition?

The other Shane – likely List MP

Q+A: poll on Whangarei

Q+A look at the Whangarei electorate contest including a poll result between National MP Shane Reti and NZ First’s Shane Jones (see yesterday’s post Shane v Shane Anor (Whangarei).

Colmar Brunton poll for Whangarei:

  • Shane Reti (National) 42%
  • Shane Jones (NZ First) 24%
  • Tony Savage (Labour) 22%
  • Ash Holwell (Greens) 10%
  • Chris Leitch (Democrats for Social Credit)1.7%
  • Robin Grieve (ACT) 0.1%

So a big gap for Jones to close.

Party vote:

  • National 41% (2014 in Whangarei: 50.08%)
  • Labour 37% (17.79%)
  • NZ First 16% (13.36%)
  • Greens 3.6%  (9.77%)
  • Maori 1.3% (0.53%)
  • ACT 1.0% (0.55%)
  • The Opportunities Party 0.4%
  • Other 0.3%

Polled 504 people, margin of error +/- 4.4

That is a worrying result for National in a safe seat, and a very good result for Labour.

Jones has lifted NZ First a bit – and his presence in Whangarei may distort the party support a bit.

Greens have crashed – and with reports of both National and Labour internal polls having Greens around 3-4% they look to have a major problem.



Robin Grieve ACT – Whangarei

Robin Grieve, ACT candidate for Whangarei, has supplied answers to the questions that Stuff asked the two Shanes – see Shane v Shane Anor (Whangarei).

What is the most important issue for you.

As a regional centre connectivity to markets and services is vital. The motorway extension that will see a four lane highway from Auckland to Whangarei is vital for our primary industry, our tourism, our lifestyle and our prosperity. Labour, Greens and NZ First all opposed this extension and even insulted us by calling it the holiday highway. Those three parties have a cheek to even stand in this electorate for that reason.

Tell us something about yourself

I am a petrol head. I love motor racing having raced a production saloon at Whangarei speedway for seventeen years. I own a 1971 Mustang 429 Cobrajet and love driving it.

Is the Jacinda effect real?

Jacinda or Taxinda as I prefer to call her has a personality that has certainly created more interest in the election. In that sense the Jacinda effect is real. In terms of the election I don’t believe it will do any more than change the seating arrangements around the opposition table. There are enough thinking voters out there who require more depth of thought in their PM.  They will vote for Bill.

Why should people vote for me

They shouldn’t, I only want the party vote. They should vote for Reti because he has achieved a lot for our electorate and he actually lives here too, which is very important.

What do you think of the Shane’s?

Reti is a quiet achiever who works hard for the electorate. I respect him and thank him.

Jones is a pretender, he doesn’t live in Whangarei and he is just treating us like a meal ticket. Anyone who has so little respect for taxpayer’s hard earned money that they abuse it by buying motel porn with it, does not deserve our vote. Yes he apologized and paid it back but the fact that it never occurred to him in the first place that an MP should respect the taxpayers of New Zealand is enough reason to keep him out of Parliament. He has got a cheek standing again in my opinion.

Shane v Shane Anor (Whangarei)

Poorly balanced coverage of the Whangarei electorate from Stuff, promoting one Shane, tacking another on the end (who is likely to win despite media efforts to swing it), and ignoring any other candidates.


The dog just happened to be in the (bloody!) pop up advertising, but it aptly represents the blanket coverage of selected pugs of candidates with the rest ignored.

These are the known candidates for Whangarei (not that Stuff gives a stuff):

  • Robin Grieve (ACT)
  • Ash Howell (Greens)
  • Chris Leitch (Democrats)
  • Tony Savage (Labour)
  • Jim Taylor (Conservative)
  • Shane Reti (National)
  • Shane Jones (NZ First)

Media have a bad habit of excluding candidates they don’t think have a chance so the voters never get a balanced view of what’s on offer.

National MP  Shane Reti would have to do very badly not to get back in. he got 20,111 votes in 2014, with Kelly Ellis (Labour) next with 6,942.

The NZ First candidate Pita Paraone got 4th with 2,944 votes but he has been shunted aside by Winston Peters because Jones, like Peters, gets preferential media attention.

That’s unlikely to be enough to result in a win in Whangarei  for Jones but Peters will probably ensure he gets back into through a favourable list placing.


What’s the most important issue to you?

Jones: “Winning Whangarei and losing weight so that in my victory speech I look svelte and quite agreeable.”

Reti: “Serving the people of Whangarei, listening and meeting their needs.”

Tell us something about yourself people might not know.

Jones: “I fell off a motorbike…in 2005 in Raratonga. TV1 saw me limp through Auckland airport with a great big gash on my leg. When I got to the caucus Helen [Clark] let rip. That was before she learnt diplomacy at the UN.”

Reti: “I drummed for 20 years and then got tired of being the guy who arrived first to set up…when the bass player is standing beside me looking cool. So when I went to Harvard I played bass guitar in an indie band.”

Is the Jacinda effect real?

Jones: “Without a doubt in metropolitan New Zealand. I have not encountered major evidence that it’s sweeping across the voting families of Whangarei.”

Reti: “I’m not seeing it here in Whangarei, people are more interested in talking to me about the economy.”

That’s an interesting double observation.

Why should people vote for you?

Jones: “If you want to have a candidate who will be a minister and who will be at the centre of forming the next government, because without a doubt change is on the way, then they should vote for someone who’s a proven negotiator.”

Reti: “Because Whangarei deserves a hardworking MP who lives in the electorate and has already demonstrated a track record.”

What do you think of the other Shane?

Jones: “He probably would have done better if he’d stayed in the medical field, I don’t think he’s got the stuffing to be a knife fighter sort of politician.”

Reti: “I respect every opponent, and he’ll have my respect as well.”

Whangarei voters can make of that what they like.

Police recently visited Whangarei killer

In a new development in the Whangarei shooting, in which two female property inspectors were shot dead and a maintenance man injured, the police have revealed that they visited the property last month.

RNZ:  Whangarei shooting: Police recently visited killer

Quinn Patterson killed property manager Wendy Campbell, 60, and her 37-year-old daughter Natanya on Wednesday morning when they visited his home with a contractor to install smoke alarms. The contractor was also shot, but managed to escape and raise the alarm.

Northland District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou said police investigated a structure being built there last month, and were told it was to be used for target practice.

Police decided it was a tenancy matter, rather than one for them.

Police said the visit to the property formed part of the ongoing investigation into Patterson’s background.

There have been reports that Patterson, aged in his 50s, had multiple guns and other weapons, including grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

People using firearms in rural areas is common. There can be many legitimate and innocent reasons for using them.

I wouldn’t mind if police asked to see my firearms license just as a check.

Perhaps if there are any checks on rural properties it should include a check of whether firearms are present and whether there are firearms licenses.

Jones put in his place – Whangarei

One of the biggest talking points after Shane Jones joined NZ First officially was whether there would be a clash of egos between Jones and Winston Peters.

NZ First has long been seen as Winston First, and any attention seeking competitors a distant second if they are able to survive a Peters excommunication.

Tracey Watkins asks: Does NZ First need Shane Jones? Can he and Winston Peters get along?

Jones is back from the political dead after what must be one of the longest political courtships ever. When Jones quit Labour in 2014 he was seething with unfulfilled political ambition and he only left because he knew he had hit the ceiling. Even before he left there was talk of him hooking up with Peters.

Jones is back with NZ First for the same reason he left Labour – unfulfilled ambition. Like Peters, Jones has long harboured a dream to be the first Maori Prime Minister. Both of them can’t make it.

They both can’t be first but it’s possible both of them could make it to Prime Minister, Peters next term and after he retires Jones could get there a term or two later if he successfully takes over the leadership of NZ First.

It’s also the first serious move by Peters to give NZ First a future beyond his own political lifespan. It’s always been assumed that NZ First would die with Peters. That never looked to worry the NZ First leader. Tapping Jones, with his obvious ambition, is a shot at keeping the legacy alive.

But it’s risky because Peters is not used to sharing a stage. He’s never had to. Peters’ personality has always been big enough to carry the party on its own. He’s shed more MPs than some people have lost socks – some of them big personalities like Tau Henare – and never missed a beat because NZ First has always been Winston First.

If Peters retires but stays involved he may anoint Jones as successor, but his power in the party will diminish over time.

And Jones has been given the hard word by Peters that he’s not living the diplomatic high life any more. Don’t wait for people to knock on your door, get out and knock on their door, is the message that’s been delivered to Jones. Time for some hard graft, in other words.

Peters also did some legwork himself before naming Jones. There is understood to have been a dinner with local business people and Whangarei leaders to sound them out before he made up his mind to stand Jones in the seat. Those business leaders made it clear Jones would have to pull out all the stops to be taken seriously.

That message has been delivered down the line to Jones. The clear inference is that Jones should stay in his neck of the woods, in Whangarei, and leave the national stage to Peters.

Peters has made sure, in other words, that Jones has got something to prove in Whangarei, where there is a clear expectation he do well.

So it looks like Peters is trying to ring fence Jones in Whangarei.

Hard slog in an electorate and succeeding in an electorate campaign are not things Jones has managed in his political life with Labour.

Peters is giving Jones an opportunity to take over NZ First, but it seems that Jones first has to prove his mettle, confined within one electorate.

How Jones will cope with curbing his ambitions, both behind the scenes and publicly, will be an interesting aspect of the campaign.

Promotion of Jones a pox on democracy

Shane Jones is expected to announce he will stand for NZ First in the Whangarei electorate today. Media have been predicting and promoting this month, but they seem to have gone into a frenzy.

If Jones fails to win the electorate it won’t be for lack of a huge amount of free publicity.

This picking and promoting of preferred candidates by media is a pox on democracy.

Top pox at the moment is Patrick Gower: 12 reasons why Shane Jones can win Whangarei

He left of reason 13: Paddy power. Or that should be Paddy’s abuse of the power of the media.

The media have a dirty habit of picking winners in elections based on who they think will make good stories. Jones had a lacklustre reputation as an MP when he was in the Labour party, but media seem to think he makes good headlines, and that seems to be their priority.

This selective promotion is a pox on a fair democratic system.

There are actually other candidates who have been announced to contest Whangarei, not that most people would know based on media coverage (next to none).

  • Shane Reti (National) – current MP
  • Tony Savage (Labour)
  • Ash Howell (Greens)
  • Chris Leitch (Democrats)

In 2014 Reti had a majority of 13,169 votes, getting 20,111 votes.

The NZ First candidate Pita Paraone got 2,944 votes. Did anyone know he is a current MP? He is actually in his 9th year as a NZ First MP, getting in on the list from 2002-2008 and returning in 2014.

Paraone seems to attract about zero media interest. Try doing a Google news search on him. The ring in Jones looks like bumping him further to the sideline, if that’s possible.

The media will give Jones every chance of getting elected in Whangarei, far more than most candidates. And if he loses he is likely to get in easily on the NZ First list anyway.

He will have successfully attracted a disproportionate amount of media attention. He already has. Such is the lack of balance in election coverage.

It’s an abuse of media power and a pox on our democracy.

If Shane Jones stands in Whangarei

A senior National MP has told that Shane Jones will beat its MP Shane Reti in Whangarei (if Jones stands).

I can’t find any other details on this.

Jones joining NZ First has been talked about since before he left Labour. If he stood he would may have a good chance of winning Whangarei. Or not.

If he joins NZ First. If he stands in Whangarei.

2014 result in Whangerei:

  • Shane Reti (National) 20,111
  • Kelly Ellis (Labour) 6,942
  • Paul Doherty (Greens) 3,163
  • Pita Paraone (NZ First) 2,944
  • Others about 2,500

National would have to bleed from their jugular to lose from those sort of numbers.

Shane Jones and NZ First

It’s long been rumoured that Shane Jones was destined to join Winston Peters at NZ First and take over as leader (I’m not sure what Ron Mark thinks of that).

The rumours are currently swirling again according to One News.

Rumours swirl about comeback for former MP Shane Jones

Former Labour MP Shane Jones is reported to be planning to jump ship to New Zealand First as the party opens the fourth of what will be five electorate offices in the expansive electorate.

Winston Peters stormed to victory in a by-election in the Northland electorate last March after the seat was vacated following the resignation of National’s Mike Sabin.

Mr Peters is confident he can hold the seat at next year’s general election and now local rumours say current Pacific Fisheries ambassador Shane Jones will stand with him for the party in the neighbouring Whangarei electorate.

Whangarei is currently held by National’s Shane Reti.

If rumours are swirling I wouldn’t rule out Peters as being the source of them.

If National aren’t careful they could lose their last hold in Northland.

Labour could also be out manoeuvred again by Peters and may also be shut out of Northland.