Labour most to lose

Claire Trevett has an article about the looming by-election in Ikaroa-Rawhiti. It is a reasonable?article?spoiled by inept graphics work.

See if you can work out what they are on about where they get the name of Labour candidate wrong, and the sequence cocked up.


There are two good reasons elections are usually held in the warmer months. Voters are more likely to wander to the polling booth and campaigning is a more pleasant experience for the candidates.

Things are not so easy for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti byelection candidates, although Labour’s campaign team took advantage of the stormy weather on Friday and Saturday by door knocking, knowing voters were likely to be at home.

It appears inevitable Labour’s candidate, Meka Whaitiri, will win the seat. The bigger question is how the Mana and Maori parties will go against each other.

Turnout is likely to be very low…like the Mana by-election the actual result will not be reflective on long term prospects in the seat.

Much has been made of the byelection coinciding with the Maori Party’s own existential crisis in the form of Tariana Turia’s looming leadership handover and Te Ururoa Flavell’s challenge of Pita Sharples.

None have denied that the uncertainty has handicapped its candidate Na Raihania. Many see the byelection as an indicator of who is winning the power struggle between the Maori Party and Mana Party, although the candidates are like chalk and cheese.

Mana’s Te Hamua Nikora has a showbiz background from hosting the?Homai Te Pakipaki?karaoke show on Maori TV and appeals to the younger voters.

Raihania is a steady figure who has spent his life working in the community and is more likely to appeal to older voters.

But some commentators have claimed that a resounding defeat in the byelection will effectively spell the end of the Maori Party as a whole.

Such conclusions have to be treated with caution, especially given the traditionally low turnout in byelections. The true test will be at the general election in 2014 and whether it will hold on to its three electorates rather than achieving a mission impossible in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.

Despite the expected result, Labour has a lot at stake in this byelection as well. It has to win well.

Claire is right…the only party that has anything at stake is Labour…they must win well, perhaps with a slight discount on account of Parekura Horomia’s personal popularity..but that is all. If it is a close run thing then opponents will claim Labour has lost mana.

Labour can’t be happy with the their pals in the Green party either.