Lynchpin electorates 2014: Te Tai Tokerau, Epsom, Ōhariu & Waiariki



If Labour has any chance of leading the next Government, 4 electorates have to tactically fall the right way.

Te Tai Tokerau
Despite the recent bluster that Kelvin Davis intends to take this electorate for Labour, the leadership appreciate how important it is for Hone to win and keep MANA in the running. Davis is a very good candidate and he will be promoted high into the Labour Party list so that his entry into Parliament is assured and will provide the best argument during the election for Te Tai Tokerau voters to vote for Hone safe in the knowledge Kelvin will become an MP via the Labour list.

John Banks won this seat last time by a small majority of 2300, the combined total of MANA, Labour and Green candidate vote was almost 6000. That vote was totally wasted and if combined to the National candidate, would have meant the end of ACT. This election the Green and Labour candidate (I don’t think there will be a MANA candidate) must clearly state they are only after the Party vote while progressives online push a ‘hold your nose and vote for the National MP’ tactical campaign. If Labour and Green Party voters in Epsom vote for the National Party candidate with their electorate vote, they will kill off ACT and eliminate a possible coalition partner for the Government.

Peter Dunne beat Charles Chauvel by 1500 odd votes last time. With Katrina Shanks bowing out the race is wide open and with Gareth Hughes stepping away to stop the candidate wasted vote, Labour could surprise the electorate with a shock return of Chauvel from the UN to run again. Expect some surprises. If Labour can win this seat, they rob Key of another possible ally.

This is one of the most crucial electorates. Based on current polling, if Te Ururoa Flavell wins he will bring in two other MPs. Seeing as the Maori Party look set to lose every single other Maori electorate they currently represent, Flavell’s win here is crucial for the National Party. In 2008 Flavell won with a massive 7000 majority, in 2011 with only a couple of months campaigning, Annette Sykes had slashed his margin down to 1883. The Greens are considering not standing a candidate and Labour understand the importance of Annette winning the seat.

If these electorates fall the right way, MANA wins Te Tai Tokerau, National wins Epsom, Labour win Ōhariu & MANA win Waiariki, Labour and the Greens have a chance to be the next Government.


  1. Labour has already announced its candidate for Ohariu. It is Virginia Andersen, former campaign manager for Chris Hipkins.

  2. It is laughable you believe the left can influence the result in Epsom. As soon as people cottoned on to the strategy more National voters would jump to support ACT.

    • “As soon as people cottoned on to the strategy more National voters would jump to support ACT.”


      I wouldn’t be so sure of that Gosman.

      The people of Epsom are not as Right Wing as you might think.

      To their credit, the majority of people in Epsom still don’t vote ACT.

      And the rest wouldn’t vote ACT if they weren’t directed to.

      I imagine that by now even those who do, must be getting sick of these manipulative electoral antics that are played out in their electorate and paraded on TV to the bemusement of the rest of the country.

      After being represented on the national stage by a succession of misfits, weirdos, egotists, and reprobates, that no one in their right mind would vote for without being directed too, and after being manipulated like cattle into the voting pens, election, after election, and told how to cast their vote for some out of control nutter who inevitably makes a fool of himself and his supposed supporters.

      I bet that many of those in Epsom who do vote ACT wouldn’t admit it to a stranger, or even their friends and colleagues.

      In the last election, polls showed John Banks trailing Paul Goldsmith all through the campaign. A desperate John Banks had to virtually beg John Key to give him his traditional public Tea Party blessing.

      John Key has said he won’t be doing that this time around. (Even John Key can’t abide these fruitcakes.)

      Maybe, just maybe, this time around, many of those who have obediently voted ACT against their better judgement, election after election, might want to feel the sense of empowerment that comes from exercising their franchise to vote for a candidate they feel more properly represents them.

        • “Do you realize that Mr Bradbury’s cunning plan for Epsom is more of that manipulation?”

          Of course

          The purpose of National and ACT’s manipulation of Epsom gerrymander provided by MMP is to undermine the democratic wish of majority.

          Martyn’s plan as laid out here, is an attempt to redress the balance. Until the current conditions under which we fight elections changes, we have to use the weapons at hand. Of course Right wingers will always demand that the Left not use the weapons that the Right embrace so willingly.

          • If the left win in November they should move to implement the recommendations of the Electoral Commission. The convention that such changes need a consensus of all parties is pointless, unless those parties vote in a disinterested manner on the changes, and should be disregarded.

  3. When you say “fall the right way” Martyn I hope you are just being figurative because seats do not fall, they are earned with hard work. The Nats will be putting their resources and huge sums of money into these seats as well. It will be game on here with all the usual National Party tactics, cheesy photo ops, baby kissing and the once-every-three years visit to the local factory pretending to be interested in how the workers are doing. Hope the other parties have planned well how to counter that.

    • In those four electorates mentioned National is unlikely to be doing anything like that in terms of trying to win the electoral as opposed to the party vote.

      In the only electorate that they have a show of winning (which is Mr Bradbury’s cunning plan to help them win it) they wouldn’t want to be having cheesy photo ops etc.

  4. The chances of Peter Dunne not winning Ohariu are as great as the winner of the Spelling Bee not being able to spell ‘GCSB’ or ‘leak’. Unfortunately

  5. “John Banks won this seat last time by a small majority of 2300, the combined total of MANA, Labour and Green candidate vote was almost 6000….

    ….(I don’t think there will be a MANA candidate)”

    Martyn Bradbury

    You might be wrong on that last bit Martyn.

    I have it on good authority that the Mana candidate will only step down if both the Labour and Green candidates also step down.

    At the Last election the Labour and Green Party Epsom candidates both actively sought candidate votes. The Mana Epsom candidate was the only one of the three to campaign on getting the people of Epsom not to vote ACT. According to the Herald, at one candidate meeting, the Mana candidate, appealing to the people of Epsom not to vote ACT, said he was not seeking their vote anyway because, he ‘wouldn’t know how to represent rich people’.*

    In contrast both the Labour and Green **
    candidates actively campaigned for the electorate candidate vote.

    If the Labour and Green Parties insist on putting up their candidates in Epsom, then the Mana candidate will also stand to protest against the Green and in particular the Labour candidate for “scabbing” on the Maori and working people of this country in assisting the Nact’s use of the Epsom gerrymander to cling to power against the democratic wishes of the majority of voters.

    *(Despite The Mana candidate asking people not to vote for him he still go 66 votes, but compare this to the Labour and Green candidates who actively sort candidate votes)

    **The Green candidate, David Hay, reportedly, went against his party’s direct instructions not to campaign for the electorate candidate vote. This is is another reason why they should all stand down.

    ACT New Zealand BANKS, John 15,835

    National Party GOLDSMITH, Paul 13,574

    Labour Party PARKER, David 3,751

    Green Party HAY, David 2,160

    Mana O’DEA, Pat 66

  6. I’m not sure what conversations you have had with Labour Party insiders Martyn, but I find it to be hopeful thinking that Labour will not put pressure on MANA in the Maori electorates. Labour is a capitalist party, and remains dedicated to the neo-liberal capitalism of the past 30 years, regardless of the rhetoric coming from David Cunliffe. MANA therefore is not just a competitor for votes (like the other shades-of-grey political parties) but also a clear opponent in terms of social principles.

    If Labour can eliminate MANA this election they will jump at the chance. MANA will only grow in strength and build a wider movement by earning it, not through opportunistic deals with class enemies. This doesn’t mean there cannot be a ‘Popular Front’-esque government post-election (the devil will be in the details), but that MANA should recognise that Labour (and the Greens for that matter) is only the lesser of two evils, and we should be trying to win votes off them too.

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