BREAKING: Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election: Labour limp home


Let us not underestimate the political shock wave Labour’s weak win will create.

The youngest Political Party in Parliament has taken the Labour Party machine on and has decimated their majority.

In 2011, Labour got 60% of the vote, Maori Party 23% and MANA had 14%.

Labour limp home with 40% while MANA jump to 24%.

For an electorate that was supposed to be a cake walk, MANA have robbed Labour of any momentum in the Maori electorates for 2014.

This was always going to be a fight for second place, and the Maori Party being beaten into 3rd position is a major movement in Maori politics.

This poor result can not help Shearer’s leadership chances, Labour’s attempt to parachute in a candidate, his decision to say he wanted to ‘terrorize’ his opponents and his SkyCity corporate box hopping have all contributed to a leadership that has enthused no one.

MANAs rise show a real political break caused by the yawning chasm of inequality that has widened under National. Those on the bottom are no longer looking to Labour for political leadership, they are looking for something far more radical.

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Peter Dunne’s demise is symbolic of the death of the Political middle ground. 2014 will be decided by the radical edges of the political spectrum as inequality generates a hunger for something far more than is being offered by Labour or National. 2014 will be decided by either MANA or ACT/Conservative Party.

If the universality of what MANA is putting forward as policy is able to be championed, watch as other NZers push their party vote MANAs way. If progressive voters want a Green/Labour Party that doesn’t need NZ First, then MANA is the Party that puts the Greens & Labour over the majority line with their sub 5% strategy.

Imagine Hone, Annette Sykes, Te Hamua and John Minto in Parliament next year to keep Labour from drifting right.


  1. Youth are looking for a new social order. Mana Movement speaks their language and values. Time will reveal the desire for a fairer society based on the principles of the Mana Movement. Today’s results are the start of this new beginning. Roll on 2014,next time this seats going to Mana.

  2. Too much I wish and not enough political surprise Maori and Mana parties swap places. No surpise low turnout in by election. Labour or National will lead the next Govt. Attacking Labour all the time is counter productive. Working to ensure Labour policy delivers is far more constructive

    • Which policy, have they got some. They haven’t even said they will renege down the dirty deal with Sky city casino, what is more two of their experience MPs sat in the Sky City box at he rugby. The real problem with Labour is they don’t encompass the left and haven’t for years despite sucking up all the votes in South Auckland.

  3. Martin, agreed this is a staggering kick to Labour, and Farrar was told by his masters say nothing limp your wrist, and limp he does on command.
    Of course if this result was repeated outside a Maori electorate the boy would be crowing at 4am in the morning
    paul scott

    • I think thats a bit unrealistic. How will you push policy through? Even with 4-5 MPs (which is possible, if not likely) Mana will need the support of Labour and the Greens to get anything done in Parliament, and as a result would probably be expected to at least abstain on confidence and supply.

  4. It went according to script didn’t it? Low turnout, Mana-Maori Party split, credible Green performance and after the dust settled, Labour still standing.

    What does it all mean though? Probably a real disillusionment amongst Maori Roll voters with Maori political leadership. There isn’t any. Maori voters want kotahitanga, not division. But it’s not happening anytime soon. Come 2014 election expect an even lower turnout. People will opt out.

  5. Hmm, this is my favourite NZ blog, yet I fear Martyn is beginning to let his relationship with Mana impair the quality of political analysis.

    He kept hinting that Mana would upset Labour, then as the results became clear stated that this was ‘always a race for second place’.

    A fairer analysis of yesterdays results would be that Mana are clearly the future of Maori politics and is pushing the Maori party into political oblivion. Labours majority was always going to be reduced, and with half the turnout the numbers would be smaller. But this is hardly a ‘decimation’ or a ‘limp home’.

    I would love Mana to win all the Maori seats and pull Labour left. I think this blog is a vital part of interacting with those who feel detached from the process, but to do that we must keep the analysis fair and realistic if it is to be taken seriously.

  6. It was really sad to see IR support the Labour the party that confiscated the foreshore. Meka looks like a brown Helen Clark and Labour never gave Horomia the power to pour any money into Gisborne unlike Sth Canterbury got $1.7 Billion for the failure of a finance company. Parekura was once 2nd on the labour list and its hard to see what he achieved in economic contribution towards IR. The first tweet Mr Shearer sent to Meka was “Welcome to the Backbenches”. If the people want an insignificant Brown Helen Clark in predominantly Pakeha Labour Party machine that is not designed to cater for Maori aspirations you will remain poor and impoverished for another decade while government pours billions into Pakeha towns like Timaru. Secondly Maori party need to get on the phone to Mana party and stop splitting our vote and empowering labour. IR you let the rest of Maoridom down.

  7. Since 2004 the Maori electorates have been a battleground. A decade of warfare has turned the landscape into a wasteland. No wonder the majority of Maori voters refuse to head to the ballot box?

  8. I’ve been saying for some time that the “middle ground” doesn’t exist anymore. Not just in New Zealand but around the world. The biggest reason for this is because the planet is on the verge of environmental catastrophe which has divided the planet into those who know change is vital for the future of mankind (including social change) and those who want to deny the need for change for any number of reasons (pecuniary self interest, religious fundamentalism, lack of political courage, pure ignorance etc). Labour will inevitably have to move to the left. At the moment it is like someone standing on two blocks of ice in the ocean which are drifting apart. They have to hop on to one block or the other before it is too late.

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