National & the Green’s worst nightmare – NZ First becoming the voice of the provinces


Bryce Edwards seems to have missed The Daily Blogs excellent analysis (and one of our most popular blogs) on the by-election result in Northland.

Seeing as we were one of the first to point out Winston standing, our pick as to what plays out next is a nightmare for the Greens and National.

If NZ First brings on board Shane Jones and John Tamihere for 2017 under the banner of being the voice of the provinces, then the shock result we saw in Northland could spread.

What is lacking in the analysis of our corporate news pundits is an explanation as to why National were beaten so badly. Yes National ran one of the worst campaigns ever, but this kind of se change is deeper than that.

From our excellent analysis…

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Most of the time we have the media telling everyone we have a Rock Star economy with big private yachts parked in the harbour, John Key’s son DJing at exclusive clubs and Auckland property valuation news headlines that border on the pornographic.

The reality of poverty in NZ is utterly ignored. It’s somewhere far, far, far away from the CEO’s of Mediaworks, Sky TV, ZB, NZ Herald and TVNZ’s plush homes in expensive burbs.

Their bubble world makes gated communities look enlightened and broad minded.

Reality popped that bubble perception with the result of this by election. The poverty is so intense in Northland, that they voted against John Key. It’s an earthquake that fractures the illusion of success that Key brandishes. The reality is that poverty in NZ has generated a political change of tide even amongst one of the most southern electorates in the North Island. These people elected a thick necked cop as their political representative by a majority of 9000. They like their politics hard right, banjos twanging and books burnt crisp in Northland.

If Key’s aspiration of wealth has been seen as an illusion from those who get the least from it, then people’s desperation forces them to act and that action creates a political reverberation that could shape the 2017 election.

…this is about shattered dreams. This is about grinding poverty. This is about the spell of aspiration National weave being broken.



Remove the lightening rod of Kim Dotcom, and the public get to see National dirty politics for what it is – self-interested sophistry that doesn’t benefit their lives at all.

If NZ First take up this voice of the provinces mantel with a couple of blue collar redneck blokes like Tamihere and Jones, then it spells real danger for National and that danger has already seen Bridges, Bennett and Collins manoeuvring for a leadership challenge the moment Key trips up in a big way next.

It also impacts the Greens. Seeing as Labour seemed to have no actual plan for the by-election (despite knowing last year that Sabin had ‘personal issues’ that would see him stand down) they fluffed this and didn’t return the favour Winston had given them by killing off MANA in Te Tai Tokerau. This means NZ First’s price for coalition in 2017 just tripled. That price will be a minority Government that simply forces the Greens to support it or else.

In terms of progressive politics, a Labour-NZ First minority Government would be a groan rather than anything to cheer. However a slightly less worse version of National in 2017 looks about as good as it gets.

How terribly disappointing for those on the bottom of the heap.


  1. The bottom of the heap would be Bridges, Bennet and Collins, getting the leadership of National, all three self interested power hungry types.

    • Bridges is too tainted by mining permits and deep-sea exploration to hold any traction with the voting public, especially after Astrolabe Reef and Anadarko oil-spills. And he’s a lot smarmy.

      Bennett has risen up the ranks and has the added benefit of an “up-from-the-boostraps” back-story popularised by the Conservative John Major in England and John Key here. However, she has done little to endear herself with voters by failing to address the poverty that is blighting and tarnishing the “Rock-Star economy”.

      Judith Collins would be the ideal next PM. The vitriole that was aimed at her during the Oravida affair was monumental and just washed off her teflon-coated-blue-suit, like milk off a duck’s back. She acted with dignity when kicked to the kerb by JFK. She has done her penance and deserves another chance.

      National has never had an elected woman PM (Jenny Shipley doesn’t count because she rolled her predecessor between elections.)

      Hang on – I have just re-read what I have written and I’m in the wrong blog. I’m off to the psychiatrist. I’ve gone mad between “Bridges” and “elections.)” Forgive me Bomber.

      • Collins is too tainted now,mate. People won’t forget.

        And Bennet?!!
        Tap her forehead and you’ll get a hollow sound.

        But lets hope any 3 to cement 2017 or before.


  2. winston’s ‘ win ‘ in Northland means nothing . Sure, the gubbamint can’t ram through legislation as before but then they’ve rammed all that needed to rammed haven’t they ? What’s left to ram ? Compulsory military training for ten year olds ? A legal right to road-side strip-search young women passengers of cars being driven by their Left wing mothers ?

    It’s winston’s job to maintain the status quo . And the status quo is a cadre of swine spending our money . Nothing has changed . Nothing will change . winston peters is like steroid creams . Not a curative in their own right but will settle down the symptoms of the disease . He’s like dreaded prednisone . It’ll make you sicker then it’ll kill you while your Dr makes you think it’s the only option .

    The thing that worries me is the weak and feeble minds which have no capacity for remembering the late 1980’s and early 1990’s . peters was a worthless wind bag then and nothing has changed .

    We Kiwis are like big dumb fuckin’ chickens waiting eagerly for the axe .

    Oh . One last thing . Mike Sabin ? Does anyone know why he quit Northland ? Was it to allow winston a go ? A psychological move against the dissent that yankee doodle jonky-stien’s gubbamint’s ramming has generated ? Throw them a crumb by making sabin fall in his sword , install winny , make the public think Woo Hoo ! Change , improvement , better , etc etc ?
    ( I admit . Stretching the imagination a little but then isn’t that what yankee doodle jonky-stien must fear the most ? )
    People who refuse to see the Swindle behind the farce that is our politics will always miss the point and the above, dreary sham that is winston peters will keep playing out like the tune that was once catchy but is now just annoying .

  3. A “slightly less worse” version of NACTS in 2017?

    I can’t see much difference really.

    This would be the rightwing of Labour joining forces with NZF to take the conservative middle from the NACTS at the expense of the left and the interests of most NZ workers.

    That’s because they will be ruled by an right wing populism that throws us back on reactionary national chauvinism to rally opposition to our colonial masters. A return to Muldoonism with a nasty isolationist racist backlash.

    Cuppa tea party anyone?

    This is a dead end that only leads to fascism and the blaming of militant workers and non-white minorities for NZ’s economic woes which are going to get worse.

    We can do much better than that. The left inside Labour needs to read its history, break away from this rightwing populism and join forces with Mana/Internet and the left Greens to form a real Green Labour Party.

    Against the return to a reactionary nationalism, we need to ally ourselves with the masses struggling around the world against the common class enemy of the 99% — the giant banks and monopolies of the 1%.

  4. Any way, away from national is good. New Zealanders are really having to think about what they value, especially those in the forgotten provinces. If New Zealand first makes them step in a different direction over the present one, then all well and good. Small steps, as they say. I am hoping between them, the left, can agree to disagree, but do what’s right for the country as a whole ( at the end of the day! )
    Surely anythings got to be better than ‘the present mob’.

  5. While the basics of your arguments are valid, we need to remember one thing: most of New Zealand First supporters are actually former National Party supporters. In a sense they are the old style Muldoonist conservative National Party – not the neo-liberal corporatists that control National now. And this leads to the next question: who is New Zealand First most likely to go with in a coalition government? The answer is: National. A lot of the problems between Winston and National are personal: Winston left National due to policy and personal issues and took the old-style tories with him. He has survived because of his charisma and mastery of populist politics. But when you get down to the nitty gritty he actually has a lot more in common with National than he has with Labour and a hell of a lot more than he has with the Greens. Any Labour-NZ First co-operation is likely to be temporary and fraught with difficulties – they are not natural allies, however much they may appear to be at odd times.
    As for NZ First becoming the voice of the provinces, it is entirely likely that this could happen – conservative farming provincial regions would sooner die than vote Labour, so the NZ First alternative is starting to look rather attractive to them, especially since the Northland by-election has shown National’s interest in the provinces to be extremely short-lived every 3 years.

    • @ Mike the Lefty
      … ” conservative farming provincial regions would sooner die than vote Labour, … ”
      And after years of being head-fucked by National I’d agree with you . There’s a very good reason why provincial Farming NZ is Nat’ . That reason is called ‘ money ‘ and easy money for the Nat swindlers at that .
      Nothing , and I mean nothing , would freak out Yankee doodle Jonky-Stien more than if Farming NZ sided with Labour in it’s purest form . ( Not in its current state of trim / lite / low fat / low salt / low self esteem / low cholesterol / no flavour / no spirit / no guts / no glory . )

      If you really , really want to fuck Yankee doodle Jonky-Stien and his quislings off lure the farmer over to the security of urban unionism and weld urban unions ( What’s left of them anyway , and funny that . ) to Farming . Imagine a united urban work force functioning in unison with the primary industry who earn our foreign exchange ? If that wouldn’t freak out the 1 % ‘er traitor-parasites who suck at our money flow nothing would . pig muldoon would spin so fast in his little coffin there’d be smoke coming out of what ever dark swamp he’s buried in .

      • Trouble is countryboy more and more farms are owned by the 1% who use cheap imported labour (who don’t/can’t vote here).

    • dont think NZF is likely to go with John Key Nactional at all!…they would be digging their own grave!…Winston’s reputation would be trashed once and for all!…who has been best in opposition against Key?…Winston and Norman

      ….the non Labour , non Nact vote is fairly fluid imo ….and they vote NZF, Greens and Mana/Int…they juggle between these three parties..dependent largely on who is perceived as most effective against John key and anti Nactional

      …and I know NZF voters who help the Greens in their campaign

      • 1000% chooky, “strategic voting”

        Time to become street smart with voting strategically now as we learned in Northland.

        Keyster has been making so many shoddy shady back room deals for all time doing his reign while no one looked, as he had cups of tea, so either beat them at their own game or join them and I would just barf every time I see anyone joining the crims at Keys world.

        Winston has mellowed and is now left of where he was 20 yrs ago, because we have seen him in Napier and Gisborne and personally talked to him and as he was expressing his social policies that he was discussing seemed to be more fitting coming out at the public meetings was stuff only someone like Mickey Savage would have said, back in 1937, but I heard Winston talking this way now, as he regards we have moved to far to the right and this is harming everyone so I guess he had seen the damage and is ready to fight for a reversal of social decay permeating our society during Key’s watch. .

        • CLEANGREEN;

          “Time to become street smart with voting strategically as we learned in Northland.”

          Bang on the mark! Words straight out of my own mouth.

          Excellent to hear, with personal contact, just what is
          Winston’s thoughts in regard to the future direction NZ
          has to take in order to regain our health and strength
          of old.
          I have suspected this for some time now and your
          confirmation has spurred me to say this to the many
          readers (and others) that seem to still have some niggleing doubt’s about his trustworthiness and intentions.
          Put there, may I suggest, by the ‘Right’s very own
          mouthpiece. The spin of the MSM.
          They seem to be repeating the word ‘age’ a lot.
          Subtly chipping away already. Is that all they’ve got?
          Don’t fall for it.

          1. Winston was the man who went against his own party
          (nats at the time) to expose the tax haven in the Cook
          Islands that was bleeding NZ of much needed revenue.
          This took great courage knowing the damage it would
          cause to his own reputation and expense. ie the wine box.

          2. He helped set up NZ’s own Kiwibank with Anderton.
          Much to all the squeals from the foreign banks and

          3. He helped to facilitate the breaking of Telecom’s
          monopoly that was overcharging both NZ business and
          citizens. 15 bloody years of it!
          It took only 10mths in Europe for proper competitive prices to be achieved.

          4. He fought for the Gold Card for pensioners that many countries had already. (benefits much more overseas)
          This is meant to be a small recognition of the contribution these people have made to the welfare of NZ, especially after a depression and two world wars.

          5. He is the only one pointing out the damage endless
          immigration does to, not only our housing market,but the
          driving down of wages and conditions to an already low
          wage economy.
          Christchurch rebuild is a classic example. International
          Corporations mostly bringing in their own cheap labour when we have unemployment here.

          6. And he is the only one ever talking about our own
          Sovereignty, economic or otherwise.

          Does this look like the actions of a man that is just worried about himself ahead of his Nation?
          Of course not.

          And now he is talking about proper funding of Railway,
          started by Clarke Gvt but trashed by Key and co.

          In his interviews after the by-election I thought we saw
          a very composed man. His outrage at why the board of
          a natural port, with plenty of empty supporting land, would say they don’t want a railway link.
          This is in league with the closing of the obviously vital
          link between Gisborne and Napier.

          I thought we saw a ‘Statesman in Waiting’ !

          Before some may start hollering, please ponder this;
          If Winston keeps cool and proves himself in Northland
          and, has Martyn has suggested, becomes the voice of the provinces he could also become much more leading
          into the 2017 elections. (or before?)

          I believe that,at this moment in time, there is no other
          politician in the house capable of taking Key and co down.
          Crucially, he needs ALL of our support. Nats included.
          Shout down the MSM when they start their antics.
          Don’t believe a word of it.
          We would be all be fighting to take back our country.

          He has Foreign Affairs experience and contacts that
          would come because of it.
          He has Treasury experience.

          And here is the important bit;
          Syriza came to power in Greece in a very short space of time. They are turning back the EU’s programs!
          This is what can happen when citizens are that feed up
          with austerity programs that they know are completely
          They know they are being asset stripped,raped and pillaged by the few.(> 1% actually).
          Looks like the BRICKS Bank will come to their aid.
          No need for the IMF with their predatory policies.
          And China has just launched a Development Bank for Asia that will work in tandem with above.

          The Europeans are rushing to join too,much to USA’s
          protest and warnings. On Aljazeera today.
          The IMF is about to come to it’s demise.
          Australia is already in on it.
          And Winston has the ability to negotiate for NZ through all this as well.

          All that needs to happen is enough of NZ to swing in
          behind NZfirst.
          What an appropriate name for our mission.

          Enough support to out poll Labour so Winston becomes
          Prime Minister. (hands over mouth please)
          With Little in full control of his caucus (Goff gone) I am
          sure he would make a great Deputy.
          Purge all the ‘advisers’ working for the ‘right.’

          30% NZF, 25% Labour, perfect result.
          We could take back our country in short time.
          It is not a pipedream.
          It is already happening in Europe.

          We have to give Winnie any benefit of the doubt (not mine) if we are to end this nightmare soon.
          Think of our children and grandchildren.

          I believe CLEANGREEN and have sensed it for a long time.
          Good post Martyn and Cleangreen.


  6. We don’t have shattered dreams or grinding poverty in NZ. We have one of the strongest economies in the OECD, a redistributive tax system, and a welfare system, in all it’s various forms, that assists those genuinely in need.

    Peters’ win in Northland is a good result for the country. It will give Key and National a much needed wake up call, gives greater power to a genuinely centrist party, and continues to consign Labour to the political dustbin.

    • Wake up, poverty in nz is real. We may live in houses and have power (electric, not the money kind) but 3rd world countries werent built in a day. Parts of nz that you obviously dont know about do exist. Denying that, is denying us a voice, denying us a voice is allowing poverty to continue. FYI my daughter in Australia pays for my phone and internet. Shattered dreams!!!!! dont even go there, just cos yours havent been shattered dosent mean other peoples havent.

      • The word ‘poverty’ simply means ‘scarcity’. Poverty is, therefore, a relative, and highly emotive term. If you are referring to poverty in the sense of the essentials of life, I stand by my comment. And I do not consider internet access an essential of life. After all, we lived without for most of human existence.

        • You know what the real poverty in nz is? Its poverty of spirit. I really dont care that you dont think internet access is an essential, I do. My daughters education is vitally impotant to her and I. What do you consider the essentials of life? Mine like everyone else in this position consider 3 things, rent, food, power, sometimes we are lucky and can do all 3 in a fortnight, and really lucky if a month goes by without needing something unexpected. My child and i would be seriously f#$#ked if anything happened to our rental home, cause we dont even have a car to live in. Im not telling you these things because i hope youll understand that some people do not have enough money to live on with dignity, i am telling you this because i am sick of seeing cop out statements like yours.

    • “a redistributive tax system, and a welfare system, in all it’s various forms, that assists those genuinely in need.”

      Either you’re having a laugh, or failed to annotate with *sarc*.

      Unless….are you serious????!!!!

      • I am serious. Do you not think a tax system that taxes higher income earners a greater % than lower income earners redistributive? What about the fact that WFF means a large number of working people in this country pay no tax at all? Or the fact that the vast majority of tax is paid by a small number of tax payers?

    • We don’t have shattered dreams or grinding poverty in NZ.

      EB, your ACT-inspired fantasising comes undone when, in October 2011, even Dear Leader Key admitted that poverty is increasing in this country;

      Prime Minister John Key has acknowledged that the “growing underclass” he promised to tackle in 2008 has probably grown further – rather than decreased – during his first term in government.

      Mr Key made the concession yesterday when asked about progress with the underclass, saying it depended what measures were used but recessions tended to disproportionately affect low income earners and young people.

      He said he had visited a number of budgeting services and food banks “and I think it’s fair to say they’ve seen an increase in people accessing their services. So that situation is there.”

      He did not believe the government had not acted on its promise to tackle the issue.

      “It’s a long, slow job and there’s a lot more to be done. I don’t accept there’s nothing that can be done, but it will take a long time to make those changes.”

      The only thing you demonstrate with your ignorance is just that – ignorance. But we’ve come to expect nothing less from (some?many? most?) National/ACT supporters.

      • I’m not really interested in what John Key says or said. A 4 year old comment is of little use to us today. I would refer you to my comments above about poverty and it’s definition(s). This is a highly subjective affair, one that the left exaggerate and the right ignore. Somewhere in between is the need to balance our concern for those genuinely in need with the requirement to not lock even more people into institutionalised and intergenerational welfare dependency.

        In my opinion we don’t have ‘grinding’ poverty (Martyn’s words) in NZ. We have hardship and difficulty, and as a collective we do a hell of a lot about it, including spending a lot of money addressing it. If you want to witness ‘grinding’ poverty, go visit India or Bangladesh.

        • Hardship and difficulty…..hmmm India or Bangladesh thats not poverty, thats an obscenity. So by your definition we would have to be lepers living in streets pimp out our children, etc. What do you call the mentally ill homeless? Would your definition of their life style be, ‘lacking in relevant qualifications to gain employment’? With attitudes like yours we may very well end up like India or Bangladesh.

          • Did you read what I was referring to? “Gringing poverty”. Yes we have people who struggle, but we have a social welfare infrastructure that does everything it can to help. In the end people in long term difficulty are invariably in that position because of their own bad choices, not just a few, but many. Our society is well willing and able to help.

            • In the end people in long term difficulty are invariably in that position because of their own bad choices

              That is right-wing nonsense; victim-blaming so that people like you, EB, can avoid any responsibility for governmental policies that’ve led to “long term difficulties”. Policies such as de-regulating the economy; leading to privincial decline; high unemployment; and further downward spiral of economic stagnation.

              Many small town were once thriving centres ofeconomic activity. But since 1984, so-called “reforms” have seen that ecoinomic activity decline through neo-liberalism.

              And then people like you, cloaked in anonymity so you bear no responsibility for the cliched stereotypes you parrot, come along and blame the victims of “reforms”.

              All so you can wash your hands of complicity in an economic ideology that places peoples’ lives secondary to your dogma of the “free market”.

              You don’t convince anyone.

  7. Now Selwyn Manning has gone off to start his own blog/website, you can say what you really think, Martyn.

    I’m still not sure if the sleepy moronic rednecks bigots of the provinces will flock to you, though. I can’t think why not.

    • The Green spctrum seems to be Urban-Suburban-Wilderness. They sproing over Provincial and Rural.

      I miss Jeanette. No one has filled that eco-niche and it shows.

  8. What a loser Steven Joyce is !, the failure of the by election is in the same ilk as his business resume ; clapped out businesses’ ; Jasons Travel Media and Media works.
    I always laugh when I see failed business men working for the National party and neo liberalism. They go on about how productive business is but would rather work for government because they can’t hack the real world.

  9. Really good analysis Martyn, although I’m not so certain National will be as worried as the Greens. If NZF are getting support from upset centrist farming Nats, Winston would find it difficult to take the party in to coalition with anything but the most centrist Labour Party (any hint of ‘nanny state’ and he will be stuffed!). Also, Shane Jones and John Tamihere propping up a government led by the party that they both feel they were compelled to quit? Not so sure… especially once Winston finally retires.

    As you rightly say though, this will make it much more difficult for the Greens to get in. It will be a lot more interesting to see how this plays out after John Key retires and that personal dynamic finishes.

  10. As Andrew Little indicated, there will be more cooperation between NZ First and Labour, and it is already showing in Parliament, during Question Time, favours here to there, and in reverse.

    The Greens are now being side lined, and this is a shame.

    I can be critical of the Greens re their stand on some issues, but they come with the important environmental policies and with their principled approach.

    It would be a pity if the Greens get so marginalised that they will be shut out of any future government. I certainly cannot see a National and Greens government, it would be a perversion of principles and policy, really.

    Winston and NZ First must avoid becoming too arrogant, and realise, they should work as partners in opposition. The win that they deserved in Northland did not come from votes for NZ First only, there were Labour voters, Green voters, and even National Party voters that gave him the vote, as an expression of dissatisfaction and dissent.

    Now if Winston wants to remain to be seen as the “statesman” he seems to like to be seen, his skills will be asked for, to not exploit the situation just for NZ First and his and their goals.

    This is now new territory in NZ politics, it will be very interesting what will happen in the next one to two years. We need to protect our environment, all in opposition need to realise this and take appropriate action.

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