Ikaroa-Rawhiti update: Labour are worried


Ikaroa Rawhiti-need-to-know-2The tipline is running hot from inside the Labour camp and the message is simple – Labour are worried. Really worried. Their candidate has been very difficult on the electoral trail and lacks any of the charisma necessary to enthuse turn out. Other factions view her win using her Brothers vote as shonky and have taken their toys home pulling any real support beyond lip service. Their internal polling is gloomy and Labour have sent their entire caucus into the electorate this week in a last minute attempt to pull the election around.

Labour are rolling in the heavy armor of sitting MPs but have very few foot soldiers. With Shearer proclaiming he wants to ‘terrorize’ his opponents alongside his recent Corporate Sky City Box self mutilation, one would think the hiding Shearer is a smarter move to boost votes.

Compounding Labour’s problem has been the rise of the Greens amazing candidate, Marama Davidson, who has managed to resonate with female Labour Party voters blunting their possible winning margin.

With Na bleeding conservative voters and Marama taking female voters, Labour, with their distant candidate face a perfect storm that could see them limp home with a decimated margin – OR Labour could lose the seat by a tiny fraction.

Labour need a strong win in Ikaroa-Rawhiti that has enough of a winning margin as to dent any threat by MANA or the Greens in the other Maori electorates come the 2014 election. At this point I think Labour have lost that and are in a battle to just hold on by their fingernails.

What MANA don’t have in resources they have made up for in volunteers on the ground. To date they have door knocked over 3000 homes directly and with a large push will complete their goal of 6000 homes. Labour insiders believe Te Hamua has the momentum. This has been borne out with every online Poll seeing Te Hamua beat Meka convincingly. Te Hamua leads in The Radio Waatea poll, the Radio Ngati poll, the Gisborne Herald poll.

Most worryingly for Labour is the Marae Investigates Poll. To counter Te Hamua leading that Poll, Labour put out a group email to all their supporters urging them to go online and vote for Meka…

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…despite that mass email, Te Hamua still leads the Marae Poll.

Labour have every reason to be worried.




  1. To be fair, you can’t be critical of Labour urging their supporters to vote on an online poll, when both Marama and Te Hamua have been doing that from the get go. Anyone can vote on those polls (I have, and I don’t live in the electorate), getting people to vote on the day however is a different story.

    • Online polls are also easy to rig by simply disabling the browser cookie for the host site so it doesn’t remember you and allows someone to sit there voting over and over again. Based on the ridiculous stats in the Marae Investigate poll it suggests this may be case.

  2. I think it’s important that the Māori Party are punished and publicly humilitated by limping in to last place in this bi-election. They rose to power on the back of a huge grassroots movement against the foreshore and seabed raupatu, and then what do they do? Join up with a vicious, hyper-capitalist regime whose main strategy for keeping their majority is using both the budget and their well-oiled propaganda machine to put the boot into struggling families, particularly Māori ones (I’m talking about the NatACTs, although you could be forgiven for thinking I meant unreformed neo-liberal David Shearer’s Labour).

    What do the Māori Party claim as the trade-offs for propping up the NatACTs? Sharples says:
    “the establishment of Whanau Ora, education and the retention of the Maori electorates.”

    Whānau Ora fits with the NatACT ideology of devolving state functions to the “private sector”, and could easily have been wrangled in exchange for something much less than coalition support. Not sure what Sharples means by education, charter schools? Corporate-sponsored breakfast? If it’s true that Māori Party coalition support for National was required to save the Māori seats, what use are they if the threat of abolishing them can be used to whip the MPs sitting in them into supporting the sort of racist government that would threaten to abolish them?

    The Māori Party have been a complete betrayal of the whānau, and hapū who put them in parliament. Harawira was right to leave, and I look forward to seeing their waka sink without a trace in 2014.

  3. Ana to kai Labour!!! When you ignore the votes of people during your sham of a Labour candidacy selection, what makes you think they will support you now??

  4. Te Hamua might have the populist vote, be adept at galvanising voters because of his celebrity profile, even joining in with the other candidates in chorusing the issues. But after listening to his dialogue on Waatea, I didnt hear any evidence that he has any solutions, ie ones that are realistic and practical.

  5. First thing’s first, I’m a Maori Party supporter. There aren’t that many of us who jump up and down, shout down crowds, let an angry attitude get the better of us, or think it’s worthwhile voting in an online poll, a lot of us don’t have the internet.. :). We’re also a Party whose membership is made up of mostly Maori, with some ‘non-Maori’ in the mix; it isn’t the other way around for our Party, unlike the others (Labour, Mana, Greens). We may not be the most vocal, but we’re there, quietly listening and taking note of what the loud mouths do.
    “Bleeding conservative voters…” where’s your proof? If I was a supporter of the other political parties in this by-election, I’d be weary of the supporters that whanaunga and stand behind Hekia.
    What I see is that there are 3 lefties versus a Maori Party candidate whose Party aligns with Maori; perhaps conservative Maori. And because of the relationship agreement with the National Party, any support they may have in Ikaroa Rawhiti will by default be handed to the Maori Party.
    If Na Raihania can pick up voters who supported the Honorable Parekura Horomia but not the Labour Party, which is probable, he could make it across the line first by the slightest of margins. If I was the other two candidates on the Left I’d be worried.
    There are 4 on to it Maori going for this one seat. I think what amount of Left vote there is, it’s going to be split among Greens, Labour, Mana, and Maori. I think the female vote will then again be split between Meka and Marama (and that’s assuming that wahine in Ikaroa Rawhiti are going to vote for either one). If there are conservative Maori who supported Parekura, they will vote for Na.
    However, it all remains to be seen. General elections are difficult enough to predict let alone a by-election, particularly a by-election in a Maori electorate.

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