Jo de Joux

Joyce and de Joux deliver another win…for the opposition


LOSERS: Parmjeet Parmar, Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett

The dynamic campaigning duo of Steve Joyce and Jo de Joux have delivered yet another loss in a byelection, and the thumping was huge.

National was never going to win the by-election despite silly people making all sorts of claims about the party vote.

I’m glad Andrew Little is claiming this as some sort of endorsement for him, it means he will stay as leader despite his appalling ratings.

Labour leader Andrew Little tells crowd that National threw everything at the campaign and lost badly.

“For a seat where National won the party vote in the last election, this is a real wake up call to them.”

He said next year would be tough and dirt would be thrown at Labour, and took a swipe at some in the media “who just don’t get it”.

Little told a fired up crowd that National would try and spin the result but there was not getting away from its significance – or the effort they put in to try and wrest it from Labour.

“They thought they were going to win. We had the trash talk…but the Prime Minister doesn’t come here for seven days of the campaign, and three days this week without thinking he is going to win.

“They had one thing going for them, and it was the Prime Minister. And they have lost…the result tonight is absolutely outstanding.”

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The knives are out…as they should be

The National party, in the past, has been very effective at cutting out cancer. After the 2002 debacle the board moved very quickly to cut cancer out and Boag and English were knifed.

Now one of those fools is back meddling and it cost Auckland a centre-right council. Michelle Boag is a cancer in National. Maurice Williamson once described her as a boil that needed lancing. That has not changed.

The knives are out in the National Party after the centre-right’s disastrous result at last weekend’s local elections in Auckland.

Mayoral candidate Vic Crone trailed Labour Phil Goff from start to finish.

Goff’s name recognition and political experience were too much of a mountain to climb for Crone in 10 months. Having two other centre-right contenders, John Palino and Mark Thomas, confused voters and made matters worse.

The immediate post mortem is focused on National’s de facto ticket Auckland Future, which bombed horribly.

Auckland Future set out to create a citywide ticket and secure a majority of centre-right councillors on Auckland Council. It stood seven council candidates and endorsed media personality Bill Ralston in Waitemata and Gulf. It came away with one seat. Of the 25 candidates who stood for a Local Board, six were elected.

On the North Shore, where National holds every electorate seat, Auckland Future was taken to the cleaners by four centre-left, liberal candidates. From a base in Parnell, Auckland Future nobbled the sitting centre-right North Shore councillor George Wood, who could have won.

On election day, not a single National MP turned up at Crone’s function at the Cav tavern in Freemans Bay. Act leader David Seymour was the only MP in attendance. Seven National MPs, including junior cabinet ministers Maggie Barry, Paul Goldsmith and Nikki Kaye, were at her campaign launch.

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Richard Harman on National’s Auckland cock-up

Richard Harman gets right down to tin tacks in assessing National’s Auckland debacle.

The centre-left have now won control of the Auckland and Wellington Councils.

This will be a major morale booster for the Labour Party though Andrew Little was quick to say that it did not necessarily translate into improved chances for the party at the next election.

For National the result is more troubling.

There will now be a debate about why the centre right candidates so comprehensively lost.

In short, how did the centre right blow it.

And there will be a debate (again) about whether, like Labour, the party should become more involved in local body elections.

That may be particularly relevant in Wellington where two centre-right candidates with National Party connections stood for Mayor.

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Who is advising Vic Crone? The Muppet Show?


Vic Crone is in hot water after it appears she has breached local electoral laws with her billboards.

Auckland mayoral candidate Vic Crone is in hot water for erecting billboard months before election signs are allowed to go up.

The political newcomer “ramped up her campaign for the Auckland mayoralty” by unveiling two billboards in the CBD and Parnell on March 2.

The billboards, stating “Vic Crone for Auckland” and referring to her website “”, appear to breach the Auckland Transport Election Signs bylaw.

Under the bylaw, political candidates are not allowed to erect ‘election signs’ until August 6, nine weeks out from the local body elections on October 9.

After becoming aware of the issue, Auckland electoral officer Dale Ofsoske visited the CBD billboard in Hobson St and said “in my view it is an election sign”

Ms Crone also erected an election sign in Orewa, according to an Auckland Council spokeswoman.

“Ms Crone’s options are to remove the signs or alter them so that they are not ‘election’ signs,” the spokeswoman said.

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Due to National losing Northland, Unions are getting what they want

Labour thinks they won the debate on zero-hour contracts. They didn’t.

What won the debate on zero-hour contracts was Steve Joyce and Jo de Joux handing Northland to Winston Peters.

Unions have applauded the end of zero-hour contracts in proposed employment legislation, in what many political parties are calling a major back down from the Government.

The controversial contracts — which don’t guarantee hours and kept workers at the beck and call of employers — have been scrapped as a result of amendments to the proposed legislation.

Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff says having seen the final draft of the planned amendments to the Employment Standards Bill released today, he’s confident workers will have more secure hours.

“If the legislation is passed with these amendments, it means zero-hour employment agreements are gone, and working people will be better protected from these kinds of abuse.

“Working people should still negotiate to achieve fair outcomes, and working people are always strongest when we work to negotiate together, in union collectively to get the best results,” he says.

Unite Union says their campaign last year against zero-hours contracts in the fast food industry had been successful.

“We discovered that probably hundreds of thousands of New Zealand workers were on these contracts. Virtually every family in the country could count one of their members suffering under these contracts. Everyone understood immediately what we were talking about,” national director Mike Treen says.

The union is pleased the Government has backed down from implementing the law which “seemed to legalise these contracts”.

The proposition didn’t gain support from National’s normal partners the Maori Party and United Future, so forced it to compromise with Labour to get the legislation through. Read more »

Lots of swiping left for the Tinder candidate


Vic Crone launched her campaign 10 days before Christmas last year.

The basic premise in politics about launching early, and why Phil Goff did as well, is to try to blow other contenders out of the water. In Goff’s case it was so they could fake out Len Brown, but he already had the message…almost all of his staff and his former campaign team are all working for Phil Goff.

So what was Vic Crone trying to achieve? Knocking out other centre-right candidates? Well Mark Thomas, Stephen Berry and John Palino didn’t get that memo.

Was it about getting her policy out early? Nope, not that either…she isn’t releasing any policy until April.

How about filling the dead air in media over the holidays with her amazing thoughts over what she could do to solve the ills of Auckland? Nope, failed on that one. Instead she decamped from New Zealand and went on an overseas holiday, then returned to sit at her beach house at Muriwai and remained utterly silent.

In February she quietly recruited the genius National party strategist who oversaw the stunning win in the Northland by-election…oh hang on…Jo de Joux lost that race. ?This is the woman who de-friended every single National party contact on Facebook…disliked?by most, and friends only with Steven Joyce.

All brilliant stuff for someone launching early. ? Read more »

Northland, polls and polling vs final results

Arts, Lifestyle & Travel blogger David ?Pinko? Farrar has a very brief post on the Northland polls.

  • Winston Peters NZF 16,089 54.5%
  • Mark Osborne NAT 11,648 39.4%
  • Willow-Jean Prime LAB 1,380 4.7%

Those polls were pretty accurate.

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Brent Edwards: the beginning of the end for the Government

Apparently time is up for the Prime Minister, John Key, too.

It seems one by-election is enough to override the general election result of just six months earlier when National won a third term with a greater proportion of the vote than it got in the two previous elections.

Certainly the loss is a blow to National. This is a seat it has held for decades and its previous MP Mike Sabin, who resigned in January, had a 9,300 vote majority.

On any count this was a by-election National should not have lost. But Northland voters told the Government they were not happy with its performance and elected New Zealand First leader Winston Peters as their MP.

It is the by-election National lost because it did everything wrong. ? Everything.

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Northland is not feeling neglected at all. It is angry

Prime Minister John Key has vowed to do all he can over the next two and a-half years to win Northland back after voters dealt his party a humiliating defeat.

Mr Key acknowledged the party had work to do in Northland — a contrast to his stance when he gave Mr Peters “zero chance” of winning.

“The region has been struggling for decades and although we have been making progress, Northlanders have clearly told us they are not satisfied with the rate of progress and we understand that,” Mr Key said from Melbourne, where he had gone to watch the Cricket World Cup final rather than spend Saturday with his Northland candidate.

“I’d like to assure Northlanders we’re going to continue to work hard to deliver more progress. We plan to work hard to win the seat back in the general election in two and a-half years.” Read more »

‘Tis but a scratch

John Key seems to have a happy knack?these days of treating his supporters with disdain.

He is apparently “philosophical” about losing a safe National seat to Winston Peters. He sounds remarkably like the Black Knight in Monty Python.

Prime Minister John Key says losing Northland in yesterday’s byelection was disappointing but he was “pretty philosophical” about it.

It was effectively a two-candidate contest between National’s Mark Osborne and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters who won with a 4012 majority and that could not be translated to a general election.

“Once you back to a normalized scenario where there are a great many more candidates, then the dynamics change dramatically because obviously you get vote splitting and we are by far the biggest party and our candidate will come through,” he said today from Melbourne, before the cricket final.

Mr Key said he would take the loss on board.

“The voters are never wrong like, frankly, in my view, the polls are very infrequently wrong.

“We’re not dismissing it. We’re saying the rational explanation is that you’ve got a collection of parties up against National rather than droves of National voters deserting us.”

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