After much messing about (see here, and here, and here, and here), Labour has finally got around to selecting a candidate for the Tamaki Makaurau seat. It’s Peeni Henare, an MSD business advisor and former sports commentator for Maori Television. (Given the history of Labour’s selection process this year, it was perhaps inevitable that the chosen candidate would have some sort of prior attachment to Maori programming…)
Labour party president, Moira Coatsworth, has described Mr Henare as an “impressive” candidate, but I guess she would say that. However, as an independent observer, it’s a little difficult to get excited about the eventual selection of Labour’s third-string candidate. Candidate #1, Shane Taurima, imploded after the critical TVNZ report into his Machiavellian escapades at the state broadcaster; candidate #2, Julian Wilcox, decided to pass on the position, presumably after watching the local electorate committee turn feral against the national committee; and now, on the third attempt, Labour finally has a candidate who isn’t Will Flavell.
Regardless of Labour’s apparent desire to lose the seat, it seems likely to return to Labour. The Maori Party candidate, Rangi McLean, despite having had a head start of almost a month, doesn’t appear to have been making many waves; while the Green Party candidate, Marama Davidson, has confirmed that she’ll be seeking only the party vote, despite initially hinting that she might mount a tilt for the electorate vote.