Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fa'afoi chosen for Labour in Mana because he has a brown face and favoured by Goff

Everyone is expecting Kris Fa'afoi to be the MP for Mana. If he is, he won't measure up to either National candidate Hekia Parata or former MP Winnie Laban. Fa'afoi is chairperson of the Pacific branch in Rongotai, and has just recently joined the Labour Party. In fact there are rumours that while he was a political reporter he applied to become press secretary for a National Party Minister. He is currently Goff's chief media advisor, and has said he would campaign on employment, health, education and local issues like the expressway.

Labour obviously wanted a brown face - preferably a Pacific brown face. Fa'afoi is Tokelean.The selection process was a stitch-up right from the start and many are sick of Labour parachuting in head office appointees to win selection in one of the safest Labour seats in the country. Mana community leaders are sick of having their MP imposed upon them. Many in the electorate would vote Labour, even if a cat was the Labour candidate.

Were the local Labour electorate committee to disagree with Goff's appointee they would have been told where to go. In any case they only get three out of the seven votes so even if they all disagreed they have no say if the other four take a contrary opinion. Porirua Deputy Mayor Litea Ah Hoi is on record saying that she feels she wants to see a Pacific Islander as Mana MP. What she really means is that she doesn't want to see a Maori who so happens to have an office in the electorate and wears blue representing Mana. Its obvious that Ah Hoi and Parata cant stand each other, but Ah Hoi tends to get more media exposure than Parata and Laban, meaning the public get more chances to see what she thinks.

Don't be surprised if Ah Hoi - who is running for Porirua Mayor - and Fa'afoi campaign in a tag team. Expect to hear a bit about affluent Whitby and state -housed Cannons Creek. And who knows, if Josie Pagani was not Palagi, she may have got the nod as she may have got Head Office and Winnie Laban backing - after all she is a local and Mana deserves a person as their MP who has a strong connection to the electorate - like Hekia Parata does. Kris Faafoi has less of a connection to the electorate than Josie Pagani does.

Wonder if Josie Pagani's husband John will be Labour's campaign manager, as he was at the Mt Albert by-election, the last time Goff flew in an appointee.

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