The final humiliation of Helen White (until she speaks again): Why Mt Albert result is so bad for Labour

Totally fucking deluded

Labour’s Mt Albert margin shrinks to 18 votes after recount

Labour’s margin in its former stronghold seat Mt Albert has shrunk a further two votes after a judicial recount.

The result of the recount was announced this afternoon through the Auckland District Court.

The seat, held by former Labour prime ministers Michael Joseph Savage, Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern, held a margin of more than 21,000 in 2020 and more than 15,000 in 2017.

On preliminary results, Labour’s Helen White retained the seat for Labour with a 106 vote margin. After special votes were counted, that shrunk to just 20 votes.

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A judicial recount was called by closest rival, National’s Melissa Lee, and the margin between the two is now just 18 votes.

Labour candidates have beaten Melissa Lee by an average margin of more than 12,500 votes since she first began contesting the seat in 2009.


I don’t want to spend much of this blog giving shit to Helen White.

I don’t want to focus on her undeserved smugness and arrogant comments, or her entitlement or her condescendence or her smugness.

So much smugness.

I don’t want to focus on that.

Because at this point it’s just kicking someone who can’t get up, and there is no sport or mana in that, but beyond the schadenfreude of watching an unaware middle class Karen gasp at any suggestion she isn’t Gods gift to voters is the naked reality that this result in Mt Albert is a possible death blow to Labour.

The working classes didn’t bother voting in Auckland (although after Specials, Arena Williams did far better in Manurewa) but neither did the middle class suburbs.

The original middle class Christian based suburbs of Auckland who intellectually argued expressed Christianity required a state that took care of the people generated some of Labour’s greatest leaders.

These middle class voters intellectually walked away from Labour after Chippy’s disastrous Captain’s Call to dump a Capital Gains Tax and a Wealth Tax.

Mt Albert’s disastrous result shows Labour have lost their intellectual muscle and it has been reasoned over to the Greens.

This is a disaster strategy for Labour that could create a terminal blow to Labour’s generator of future leaders with intellectual grunt.

Labour not only kept the working classes at home thanks to their incremental nothings but they convinced the middle classes to vote Green!

Labour’s disastrous campaign managed to expose deep problems for the Party that a once over lightly report from hand picked party mandarins won’t answer.



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          • My partner and I had a beer and a chat with Helen at a pub in Sandringham a couple of years ago. I thought she was funny, intelligent and a good communicator. All and all, I thought she was pretty cool. About five years ago we had dinner in a restaurant in Kingsland, Melissa Lee was there, and she was behaving like a passive aggressive Karen, maybe she was having a bad day, but jesus, what an attitude.

  1. Of course it’s not just the unsuitable candidate. Labour lost more than its intellectual grunt, it lost its moral grunt too. But so too did all the mainstream parties. The interesting ascent of Winston Peters, concerned about issues which Labour, National and the Greens weren’t, is partly due to this, while the Greens are lucky having inherited the environmentalist mantra of their founders.

  2. What’s the problem Martyn? Helen White is a classic 21st century LINO politician: a smug, entitled, middle-class chardonnay-sipper.

      • No, they don’t hate the working class. They care more the employer class…there’s a difference, in as much as it might be indifference.
        At least the working class will still have ‘work’ & the dignity it provides, rather than having to rely on the state teat their entire lives.

        • Gaming the system against half the population is pretty hatful even if we accept your sweet whispered word, “dignity.” That you need corporate overlords to bring about civilisation. I mean a system that produces the worst education in New Zealand’s history. Where do you get off dangling “dignity” in the eyes of poof people? I don’t mind paying a but more taxes because I know that the vast majority of kiwis will receive below market services or go to a well manicured regional park for a swim and some sandwiches but oh no. Dignity must be provided by employers looking for take over opportunities. Fuck off.

        • What utter bollocks. How the hell is specifying a decent wage and not being f’d over by some a’hole employer living of the state? It’s not

  3. Having deserted their supporters and the principles of the Labour Party it’s little wonder they lost so many votes.

  4. Come on Martyn a win’s a win? Do the Springboks & their Supporters complain that they won the RWC 2023 by only one point? NO! It doesn’t matter how much you win by, it’s the fact that you won that counts, not the margin of the win! And it was always going to be a tough act to follow Helen Clark & Jacinda Ardern in Mt Albert, two ex Prime Minister’s especially Ardern’s popularity? Give her some slack, this was a petty, vindictive grudge fuck Election by NZ Voters who wanted to punish Labour for saving them from economic ruin & death during the Covid Pandemic & that’s not Helen White’s fault, that was Labour’s fault for running a pathetic Election campaign & for being a insipid, incrementalist & disappointing Party while in Govt that squandered their unprecedented mandate to change things but did buggar all with that huge mandate!

  5. Increasing taxes is well and good but does anyone still seriously believe that the Ardern/Hipkins government was actually capable of improving things. It was obviously beyond them. The outcomes for health and education are worse across the board. Projects were fanciful. Money disappeared. What has mental health got for its additional $1.9b? What did the country gain from first year uni fees free? The last 6 years of Labour were a boon for the much maligned PMC and cherry picked groups and bust for everyone else. The sad truth us that National and co could scarcely do a worse job.

    • But they will do a worse job Hen because one thing we know for sure is every time the right gets into power the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Inequalities rise, prisons fill up with tangata whenua, assets are hocked off, but many dummies voted for it.

    • “The sad truth us that National and co could scarcely do a worse job.”

      This equivalency thing is really tiresome. Ordinary people have every reason to be appalled at Labour, but not because National are “just as bad”. Politics is a detailed industry; painting the two biggest parties as the same is at best, lazy, at worst dismissive of very dangerous harms.

      “What did the country gain from first year uni fees free?”
      What the country gained is spelled out in your own words: a portion of the country gained a reduction in their debt burden, which makes it easier for them to buy their first home and enables easier decision-making around participating in socially just causes, taking up riskier business startup activities, and overall helps equalise society. So, you can live in a world with very vertical power relations, where everybody’s got to rush to be a financier, CEO or the like, or you can try to oppose that.
      Maybe the paint on your neighbours house appears to look just the same outside your window, but for someone else that first year fees free scheme made a considerable difference.

      If you think that the incoming government’s actually-stated policies in comparison with the previous one’s isn’t going to have any affect on anything, I don’t know what planet you live on.

      • Nurses, teachers, police and all allied health in mental health are now better off in salaries. For mental health paying people a decent salary and keeping them in the country MUST be a great thing, eh Hen?
        And why was that money required to be injected into those services Hen? Because National DID do a worse job. Fact!

      • The effect is marginal. Tinkering on the fringes type of stuff. Neither team wants to upset the apple cart and wean ourselves off the Crowns tit.

  6. “Labour’s disastrous campaign managed to expose deep problems for the Party that a once over lightly report from hand picked party mandarins won’t answer.”
    Let’s be clear for a moment on ‘Labour’s disastrous campaign’. Labour, et al. threw the campaign. They gave it to The Three Stooges. Adern quit, taking her popularity with her and gave the management of it to a small, pink, squeaky thing then I’m sure everybody knew what would happen next. They all flocked to the three rogerclones, Shiny, Stinky and Sleaze AKA Super Deodorant Man, Ol’ Smoky Whinny the Liar and Rogers plaything Sleazemore. Does seymour get more active when he warms up? Most reptiles do that.
    The slow uptake to become a gubbimint was entirely about making sure they got all their most generous lobbyists in a row. How much to you think they got for our Aotearoa/New Zealand?
    In all seriousness, the one we should keep an eye on is old winston peters. He’s going to be trouble. He’s got a lawyers cunning, the experience old age affords him and he’s a devout rogernome so he’ll have powerful secrets which in today’s politically morally corrupt world is priceless currency.

  7. Sounds like your exaggerating Nathan if they are poor people, they need to be more worried by the next government and its policies. The media are bored as they aren’t getting any news from the 3 parties playing marbles in Auckland flying back and forward to Auckland so as to avoid the media when they should be negotiating here in Wellington.

      • They voted for Helen Nathan instead of running down what is left of Labour you should concentrate on why we still don’t have a government when we have such and experienced negotiator in Luxon.

  8. Helen White is a much better MP than both the Greens option or Nationals Melissa Lee.
    In earlier times Labour did not have to compete will the Green Party in these seats.
    It does not make political sense.

  9. Labour has been heading in the wrong direction for years now. Ardern became overly cautious and instead of using her historic majority to push through progressive legislation she got stuck following the Clark template that her and her colleagues were familiar with which was incrementalism and banking it all on winning a third term. Hipkins ‘policy bonfire’ was the icing on the cake, throwing away a load of legislation that had been worked on for years in order to get a quick boost in the polls. Refusing to take on the supermarkets but then offering a measly GST discount on certain produce right before the election sums up the current state of the party, which has essentially given up on offering real change and instead settled on token gestures.

  10. They voted for Helen Nathan instead of running down what is left of Labour you should concentrate on why we still don’t have a government when we have such and experienced negotiator in Luxon.

  11. She still won, though it would seem voters have put her on notice. She’d be wise to work hard for her electorate – VERY HARD.

  12. ” This may fool Labour’s backbench, but it won’t fool voters ”

    ” A compromise was reached within the Labour Party to quell dissent about the leadership of Chris Hipkins and allay concerns the party had abandoned its base.

    Inside last week’s meeting, the dissenters wanted action on tax, saying it would be difficult to survive the next three years in opposition and fight another election campaign if Hipkins’ rule-out meant wealth and capital gains taxes were in deep freeze.

    They wanted them defrosted.

    Hipkins, without putting up much of a fight, agreed to put both back on the table – an olive branch to the dissenters. This doesn’t guarantee either would be included in the party’s 2026 manifesto.

  13. Did you ever talk with such venom about Stuart Nash, an actual right-winger? And by the way, if Helen White is too middle-class for Labour, and so much so that she deserves to be treated with such contempt, are we to believe that the NZ Labour Party resembles a Bolshevik vanguard?

    I have to say the treatment of Helen White is something unlike anything I can remember in 30 years of following New Zealand politics since I was eight years old. I think you should take a good look at what you have said and whether your approach is justified in relation to this MP.

    • ‘Followed politics since 8yrs old’, bet you were a lonely child!?
      So why didn’t you join a party and work your way up and stand for an electorate?
      Genuine enquiry, why didn’t you go into politics?

  14. At least Labour managed to hold on to that seat. Look at New Lynn and Mt Roskill. They got absolutely thrashed by newbies.

  15. Have you noticed how many of Labour affirmative action wimmin appointees have turned out to be totally toxic? Surely it cannot be a coincidence!

    Maybe, just maybe there’s a case for promoting candidates who have attributes such as honesty, talent and a strong work ethic, regardless of the shape of their genitalia and melanin level in their skin.

  16. “Expressed christianity” there’s not much Christianity left in this country which Labour and the Greens perversely see as win.

    Even though the electorate was demanding some big and bold policy for the last three years to show the the government could decisively handle the big problems the country faces the fact they couldnt see that showed incompetence a narrative opposition media promoted.

    The government had some incremental results which could possibly have been sold in their totality if there had been a great salesman and then the last ditch chance of no gst and a change in tax policy to show Labour could actually do something anything about the cost of living crisis…..It was a six year game of two halves a well deserved loss.

  17. I can only assume you’ve had some kind of falling out with Helen White, since my experience of her doesn’t match up with your description at all. In the little I’ve had to do with her she’s seemed to me likeable, attentive and straightforward. I find this tearing down of her odd, not just here but elsewhere, since it all hinges on what this or that person thinks she’s like, rather than anything she’s done or failed to do. Mt Albert was never going to be a walkover for her, given that she lacked the high profile of her recent predecessors and the tide was running against Labour

  18. Alright, so Labour have taken a well deserved whipping – yes well deserved, and we all here know why and how that came about.
    Now what are we socialists going to do next?
    We can do one of three things as I see it.
    1. We can spend the next three years wingeing and whining and crying in our collective beer.
    2. We can get busy and root out all the non-socialists from our Party and take it back. That means all the Karen’s, Woke, lawyers, bean counters and lahdeedah wine sipping managers get pushed out, and replaced by real people who’ve worked real jobs – cleaners, tradies, storemen, warfies, union people, people who’ve worked in social services at the coal face. We put them up as Real Labour candidates. That way we return Labour to its roots.
    3. Dump Labour and switch our support to TPM. Why? Because at the last election they were the only party that had any socialist type policies. We either recognise that fact, and run with it, or try to flog a dead horse if we can’t revive it.
    Those are the options as I see them.

    • OK Mr Caves….
      Give me a country, any country, that has become more prosperous since it introduced Socialism/Marxism….psssst I’ll give you a hint….it’s a number less than 1!

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