I’ve previously said that, with regard to Labour’s candidate for the seat of Tamaki Makaurau, that:
“I think it’s safe to say that, regardless of whether Labour reopen the selection process or not, Will Flavell won’t be getting the nomination…”
Turns out Will Flavell might just be in with a chance after all! Following the scratching by Labour of Shane Taurima’s nomination, Julian Wilcox has now bowed out too. Maori Television have issued the following statement today, confirming that Mr Wilcox is going nowhere:
“To clarify his position Julian Wilcox has made an unequivocal statement to Maori Television that he is not seeking political office for any political party in the forthcoming elections and remains committed to his job as GM of news and current affairs at Maori Television.”
Labour Tamaki Makaurau electorate committee had previously requested a review of the national council’s decision not to provide Mr Taurima with a waiver. Perhaps Mr Wilcox thought the idea of running in an electorate where the party’s committee didn’t want you might be a touch unpalatable…
It remains to be seen whether any other big names in Maoridom come out of the woodwork and approach Labour, now that both Taurima and Wilcox aren’t in the running. After all, Tamaki Makaurau is likely to fall to Labour, no matter who the candidate, so a fairly safe political future beckons whoever it is that gets the nomination.
Currently, the situation is that nominations have closed, with Mr Flavell being the sole candidate in the running. If Labour reopens nominations, despite knowing Mr Wilcox won’t stand, then Flavell can definitely kiss goodbye to any hope of success – if Labour really wants him, they certainly won’t be calling for any more names to come forward.
Labour’s issue is that although Mr Flavell seems unlikely to set the world on fire, the longer they wait around, the harder it is for their candidate to hit the electorate and make themselves know. The Maori Party candidate, Rangi McLean, already has a two week head start. If nominations are reopened, that head start will likely be a month. Labour’s Tamaki Makaurau electorate committee have already publicly aired their concerns about the length of time the process has taken to date. Labour doesn’t want to annoy the activists any more than they already have…
Further to the issue of Labour upsetting the activists, here’s a quote from Tamaki Makaurau electorate committee member Shane Te Pou, as reported in the NZ Herald this morning:
“Head office has got a lot to answer for here. This whole process has been politically mismanaged. We are now about 100 days away from an election and we don’t have a candidate in … one of the most, if not the most crucial seat in the country.”
He’s also stated that the selection process was not open enough and was too dependent on “shoulder-tapping”.
UPDATE 2 (20/05/14):
And the public attacks on the Labour Party by Shane Te Pou continue: