The Northland By-Election

The Beginning Of The End For A Racist National Party?

Prime Minister John Key, second left, and National candidate Mark Osborne in Northland on 26 March 2015. Photo: RNZ / Benedict Collins

The much touted electoral appeal of John Key – or, to be more precise, that contrived perma-smile of John Key – has carried National to three undeserved election victories. But, as was so spectacularly shown in the Northland by-election, the Key train is now falling off the rails.

Despite the nakedly pork barrel politics of offering ten new bridges and Key rushing back from Korea to imprint his own so-called invincible personality on the contest, Winston Peters won this long held, safe National seat by more than 4,000 votes.

At long last, perhaps the voters have seen through the fraud of Key? From here on, it will all be downhill because John Key, like Tony Blair in Britain, is not and never was anything other than a PR/media creation. This man will fly from Dargaville to Invercargill just to oblige the press by wearing a funny hat for a photo opportunity. But when has he ever put in a full day’s work in Wellington on serious matters that affect the country?

When Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, paid a brief (about 24 hours) visit to New Zealand on her way to a recent conference in Brisbane, she was whisked off to some island in the Hauraki Gulf so that she could have her photo taken holding a kiwi with a smiling John Key looking on, as well as other inane photo opportunities. And she doesn’t even like touching animals! This was at the height of the Ukraine crisis and Merkel was the Western leader who had the most contact with Putin.

Besides having one of the world’s strongest and most influential economies, Germany is at the heart of Europe. Any hosting Prime Minister with a work ethic, or any substance or patriotism, would have utilised the small amount of time that this important and useful person had in New Zealand to extract the maximum from the visit. Briefing Cabinet, officials and even the Opposition instead of swanning off to islands for contrived and staged photo ops would have been a so much more productive and wiser thing to do.

Like Tony Blair, John Key is lacking in character, substance or even patriotism (e.g. his expensive attempt to destroy our nation’s flag). When the PR bubble finally bursts, there is nothing else for such types to fall back on with the result that their descent becomes almost vertical. It happened with Blair in Britain – propped up by the media for so long because he was young and smiling but, when that image snapped, there was nothing else to hold him up and today he is one of the most widely reviled men in England.

So, the Key bubble has been popped and even the unflappable Steven Joyce, whose candidate management skills were thought to be infallible, has now been exposed as a tin god. What other campaign manager would have allowed a candidate to appear in such scruffy clothes as Mark Osborne?

With as little as Tony Blair had to prop him up, from now on Key will be battling as the mask of invincibility has so effectively been wiped off his face by Winston Peters. And, with Key’s unpatriotic and ham fisted attempt to change the nation’s flag, he is in for some pretty rough times.

However delighted one might be to see National’s defeat in Northland, one should not expect too much from Peters’ victory. That old and largely empty warhorse spent about five weeks making speeches every day in every town square and kauri grove and yet never once was it reported that he spoke out in support of the principle of One Law For All despite that issue currently being terribly important in Northland.

This is in line with New Zealand First’s retreat on this important policy that it once had, but seems to have dropped. About a year ago New Zealand First distributed a brochure to Tauranga letter boxes entitled “15 Fundamental Principles.” The principle of One Law For All was neither mentioned nor even implied. This shows how vital it is for 1Law4All to succeed, as we can not rely on any of the other parties to drive this all-important issue.

27 thoughts on “The Northland By-Election – The Beginning Of The End For A Racist National Party

  1. As pleasing as it was to see Winston knocking National off its pedestal there is a darker side to the result. The Maori Party has now regained a position to manipulate Key into re-activating the Maori push to incorporate the Treaty of Waitangi into a re-hashed apartheid constitution. One can only hope that Mr Key has got the message from those who wish to see NZ re-united by abolishing the Maori seats once and for all – but don’t hold your breath. Maori Party = power retention = Sir John Key in all his glory.

    1. The Maori party = Winnie the Pooh? I suspect that would be news to both.

      Maybe the result will actually change nothing, really? Except it may take longer for key concepts to get rammed through as the gnats will have to massage Winnie’s ego. And that’s not hard to do, is it? Remember the tin treasurer cum o’seas roaming ambassador liability?

    2. I entirely agree with Mitch. Nice to see the arrogant grin wiped off John Key’s face for a few minutes at least – but now the Maori party has more power than ever and Key will be giving in to them even more readily than he was before. How is 1Law4All going to make an impact? We got close to zero publicity in the last general election. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the Conservative Party as an ally – they got a respectable number of votes with very little publicity, and 99% of that publicity was bad!

      1. It’s not just that National will be ‘giving in’ to the Maori party -it means that the Maori Party and Peter Dunne will have much more influence over policy than they did previously and this has to be a bad thing-just examine what racist policies Dunne advocates. From your comments you obviously detest John Key and you have the right to do that but just consider the alternatives for a moment and as an example consider the comments that Andrew Little made about separate Maori enclaves after the last Waitangi tribunal decision. They were far more extreme that Key’s comments.

  2. You are absolutely right. At least I hope so – with regard to Key’s bubble finally bursting. About time as he’s done enormous damage. The trouble is that the expectation from those of Maori descent is so huge now that I really wonder how we are going to undue it. It seems the politicians are frightened there will be fighting in the streets if the clamps are put on, so they won’t take and risk and just keep on giving and giving.

    1. Helen, perhaps there’ll be fighting in the streets if Key DOESN’T put the clamps on – as NZers take their country back from the part-maoris who are being given it in a massive con job.

      1. If we have to fight in the streets, then so be it, awful as it might sound. Of course there will be those who will be furious that they are being taken off the mighty dollar teat and could become ‘aggressive’ as a result, but surely there are enough of us to let them know quickly that violence won’t be tolerated. I imagine that this is what the Government is afraid of and partly why they keep on giving, giving, giving. How weak and lily-livered is that? Well the Government is supposed to do our bidding and run a democracy, so they need to grow a spine and call a halt to everything that is based on race. It is easy enough if they would only finally admit how they got it so wrong, citing the final draft which was found in 1989 and all the mistakes ever since. I’m sure the Government would earn the respect of the majority if they finally came clean. The longer they leave it, the worse it will be to bring equality under the law for everyone and nothing based on race. I have absolutely no doubt that eventually it will happen but it will/could be quite nasty getting there.

        1. It MUST happen but the longer it takes then the harder it will be if for no other reason than the sense of entitlement amongst those who believe that they are special and entitled grows stronger by the day. So many spineless politicians.

  3. As much as I’d like to think this was true, I think it’s more just wishful thinking and the analogy with Blair is quite different!

  4. Will you get anything better from a Labour/Greens government? The first thing Cunnliffe said when he became leader was that he believed in the Treaty! I certainly agree about National but what would be better?

    1. Exactly. They would all pander to Maori for their votes. We need a strong leader to emerge who would vow to get rid of everything divisively racist and let us all be equal under the law.

      1. I totally agree but nothing and no-one is yet obvious. Labour have the added incentive to pander to Maori so that they can get all of the Maori seats back. They had them once and now they see the possibility that they will get them all back again. Just look at what Kelvin Davis said about the Tribunal decision on sovereignty and you will get some idea of how scary their (Labour) ideas for Maori will be. National might even be worse than Labour was but Labour in the future looks even worse than National!

  5. The reason that Key has stayed in power for so long is that there has been no viable opposition. The thought of a Labour/Greens coalition would make most people throw up.
    The obvious answer is for NZ First and the Conservatives to merge, but would Winston’s ego allow it? He seems to think that he has sole rights to any democratic principles in accusing the Conservatives of stealing his thunder but lacks the one policy that is NZ’s only hope of salvation – binding referenda. Both parties want to see the end of any race-based legislation, so it is a matter of whether Winston is capable of really putting NZ first ahead of any personal ego trips. I’m sure that Colin Craig would see the wisdom of such a merger. I voted for Winston in the Kaipara by-election but will support Colin in a general election because of his stand on binding referenda.
    Someone has to restore sanity to extract us from the horrific racist debacle that our previous two major parties have created between them.

    1. Mitch is likely right. The spectre of any possible kaos koalition of Watermelon / Capital Gains / Horriblewera / Dot Bomb was too frightening to even contemplate for too many, so it seemed a matter of preferring the devil known rather than the potential perdition of the other polyglot lot.

      That 1Law4All can pull the racist irons from the fire is probably optimistic, to say the least. But Winnie would never make the grade, in any case. He’s consistently shown that he’s all huff and puff and no action on this critical matter.

      1. I agree with everything ‘Mitch’ and ‘Beach Lover’ have said. The fact is that unless we start to undo some of this madness we are likely to be saddled with it for a long time and it will get worse before it gets better. Such a terrible legacy to leave to my grandchildren.

        1. Never mind the grandchildren! Speaking Maori will be compulsory then and taxes would have doubled so that those who are too lazy to work can live the life of Reilly! I’m more concerned about what’s happening now in my lifetime!

          1. Ray I am not disagreeing with you in anyway, just trying to emphasise that so many of these divisive policies are deliberately being cemented in so as to make them difficult-they hope impossible, to roll back. Our local regional council is an example and is setting aside extra money this year to consult with iwi and printing their newsletter partly in Maori. They have separate Maori seats which they bought in without a vote. Every year I protest but increasingly local government are saying that they have to do these things because central government requires it of them.

          2. Thanks Roger! I absolutely concur! Sorry, I interpreted your last comment as “let’s worry about this later!” It seems clear that we’re all of a like mind here but what action can we take about this? Apart from the personalities of the political parties, do any of these have similar values to the ones we espouse here? I originally thought ACT did and have been supporting them for many years but what about the Conservatives or even, heaven forbid, NZ First? It seems like we missed an opportunity at the last election?

          3. It worries me as well-what can we do? I think the important thing is to stay informed and to inform others as and when we get the chance. Let’s face it there is a huge ignorance out there and the Maori propaganda machine has created a whole generation of very bitter people. I bring up the subject when I can in company of others and it always amazes me how you can inform people quite easily. Work on national voters who are often very puzzled at what has happened to their party which as you will recall, was at one stage the only party to advocate the abolition of the Maori seats. How they have changed and its time to use every chance we get to remind their supports of that fact.

    2. I totally agree Mitch. If only they would consider such a move, I rather feel the ground is shifting to where people would give them their vote as more and more are starting to see for themselves exactly where these racist policies are going.

  6. Here is an interesting side issue for consideration: One statistic from the 2013 census that has gone under the radar is the ‘Ethnic identity’ result. A resounding 11.1% of the population answered with “New Zealander”. The tide appears to be slowly turning against divisive racist policies. About bloody time.

    1. If you went further into those statistics I think that you will find that they re-classify those people who answer ‘New Zealanders’ and classify them as pakeha.

  7. We certainly did miss an opportunity in the last election. I gave my Party vote to the Conservatives in the absence of 1Law4All getting off the ground properly. I’m not that rapt about Colin Craig as a leader but at least his Party was saying the ‘right things’ racially. I’m only sorry more didn’t feel as I did and took the risk of giving them the Party vote. I’m sure the Conservatives could have made a difference. Too many thought it could be a wasted vote and it was in the end but if more had had the courage of their convictions it could have been a different story. As it is Key’s government is destroying our country and so would Labour and the Greens. We need a completely different Party with a strong Leader. Colin Craig didn’t give the impression of being strong enough and I accept that, but we have to start somewhere.

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