Wonder what Ken Mair is up to this morning.
He’s the co vice-president of the Maori Party.
He’s also the tosser who was enthusing just the other day about a three-horse race in Te Tai Tokerau.
The Maori Party was right up there with the others, he reckoned.
Alf’s advice is that if Mair gives you advice – more particularly, advice of the sort that amounts to a hot tip in the third race at Trentham next time out – then ignore it.
If he was tipping winners for a living he wouldn’t earn enough to buy a stale marmite sandwich.
“It’s all on,” declares Ken Mair, Co Vice-President of the Maori Party as news of the latest polling reveals the Te Tai Tokerau by-election is very definitely a three-horse race.
Not quite so, as things turned out.
Mana, driven by Hone Harawira, scored 5611; Labour, with Kelvin Davis at the reins, scored 4744 – and the Maori Party?
Yep. it needed a bit of a whipping from Solomon Tipene but it’s coming up the straight now and will cross the line with 1026.
What we punters call a distant third.
This morning we are hearing a lot of nonsense from the triumphant Hone.
For example –
The MP says his former Maori Party colleagues tried to stop him campaigning, but his victory shows they were wrong.
The exhiliration must have addled his brain.
Less surprisingly he says he is still very angry at the party. He is angry at most everything, the way Alf sees it, but
…he will set aside those feelings and try to work with the co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia. When they retire he plans to make a Mana Maori Party, he says.
This is very strange way to build a strong and united party.
You join up, you kick up a fuss whenever you see the opportunity, you break away and set up your own party, thereby splitting the Maori Party vote, and then you say you will bide your time and bring the fractured bits of the party back together.
And presumably you think the party will be all the stronger for this treatment.
We don’t do it that way in the National Party.
So what about Ken Mair?
Today he is reported as saying
…he is disappointed by the result, but proud of the way Mr Tipene conducted himself against some formidable opponents.
He says the challenge for the party now is to rebuild and strengthen in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate ahead of November’s general election, when he says “the real fight” will happen.
But hark back to June 16 and the aforementioned Maori Party statement.
“Our polling of 914 voters reveals the by-election campaign has become a three-horse race” said Mr Mair.
• 35.2% (322) will vote will Solomon Tipene, Maori Party candidate
• 23.0% (210) will not vote for him.
• 29.7% (272) are undecided
• 12% (110) refused to say
“We are delighted – and not surprised – at these results which we believe represent confidence in the honesty, the integrity and the solid work ethic of Mr Tipene, while also conveying the strength of support the people of Te Tai Tokerau uphold in the Maori Party”.
“What has been coming through clearly is that come the 25th June, voters can retain Kelvin Davis as list member, but also send a strong statement of support for the Maori Party to continue to represent the voice of Maori at the table of Government”.
“The three horse race narrows down quite considerably when they realize there is only one candidate – Solomon Tipene – who will be in a position to work with Government, either red or blue – to advance the aspirations of Maori in Te Tai Tokerau”.
Alf did not take the tip and did not back the Maori Party.
Mind you, he didn’t put money on Hone either, or on Kelvin, because he had earmarked his discretionary spending this weekend for a pleasant session in the Eketahuna Club.