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Northland - when do the people win?

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Northland - when do the people win?
10 MARCH 2015


Northland has been an electorate taken for granted by National since it was created in 1996. Bled white by most Maori choosing to be on the Maori roll, it's only turned left once in 1972 when Labour won Whangarei.

It seems like a terrible tactical blunder by Labour to have not talked with Winston prior to his running to save their talented candidate Willow-Jean Prime from the ignominy of Little's U-turn once the polls suggested Northland was a two way horse race between NZ First and National. Labour come across as still not managing to understand how MMP works.

Poverty and lack of investment has seen one of NZs jewel regions become a cracked stone that has only gained attention because of the by-election caused by the sudden resignation of National Party MP Mike Sabin for 'personal reasons'.

The rumours of when Key's Government knew of Sabin's 'personal reasons' have caused resentment amongst Northland voters with 71% in the latest TV3 Poll saying that they should have been told about Sabin's 'personal issues' before the election.

This in part explains why Winston Peters is so far out in front of the opinion polls, locals furious at the deception. This anger will only build when the full story of Sabin's 'personal issues' emerges. The grinding poverty however is the other reason for disillusionment.

The extraordinary lack of investment into Northland has been highlighted by Key's promise this week to build 10 new bridges in the region. It seems the only way National will seriously commit to infrastructure is if one of their MPs is forced to resign under a cloud of controversy.

Trying to openly bribe the electorate gives some insight into how important this by-election is for National. If Winston wins and steps off the list into an electorate seat, NZ First gain another MP off their Party list and make Key's ability to push through National's agenda with only support from ACT impossible as Key would need support from United Future or the Maori Party to push through controversial legislation.

These national shaping considerations however mean little to the hungry child, the stressed nurse, the over worked under paid staff assistants, the struggling labourer or the beneficiary. Regardless of who wins, NZ First or National, the people of Northland will need to wait until a change of Government in 2017 for real solutions to their problems right now.

10 shiny new bridges are only part of the answer.


Martyn Bradbury

Editor -


Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

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