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July 15, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Meanwhile, Over the Mid-Spillmester Break…

Politics was pretty eventful over the mid-trimester break, as if to spite Salient. Here in New Zealand, political leaders were rolled like there was a fever for it.

Pita Sharples has chucked in the Māori Party co-leadership. Leadership rumblings in a party of three MPs were clearly too much for him. Te Ururoa Flavell will become the male co-leader. Both Sharples and Tariana Turia, the founding MPs of the Māori Party, will retire at the next election in 2014. Given the drive of both Mana and Labour to recapture the Māori seats, Flavell may be the only Māori Party MP left after the next election.

Peter Dunne found himself no longer the leader of United Future, due to the fact that United Future no longer technically exists. In New Zealand, a party must have 500 members to exist. An audit by the Electoral Commission revealed that this was no longer the case for United Future. Dunne was clearly too busy coming up with new taxes to keep an eye on party membership. As if to add insult to injury, he lost his ministerial warrant because he refused to divulge the content of emails to Fairfax journalist, Andrea Vance. A sad time for bow ties.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the ongoing rumbles in the New Zealand Labour Party. With the passing of the great Parekura Horomia, his seat of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti lay vacant. It was rumoured that if Labour lost the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election to Mana or the Māori Party, Shearer would be rolled. Luckily for him, Labour won handsomely, with the added bonus of the Greens being pushed into fourth place. That did not halt nonstop rumours and whispers of a coup in the works. A policy of reserving selections for winnable electorate seats for women, came to light due to the work of right-wing blogger, Whale Oil. His hashtag #manban proved devastating, though it gave license to some pretty awful misogyny on Twitter which this author does not endorse. Shearer refused to speak to the media about the GCSB bill, if they intended to raise the #manban, an appalling failure of leadership.

Duncan Garner and O’Paddy O’Gower claimed last week that they had seen a letter circulating the Labour caucus demanding Shearer step down, but could not produce a copy. This is a textbook COUP 101 game plan, exhaust the prey until they can’t fight back anymore, and then roll them. Do not be surprised if in the weeks to come more leaks are released to the media, and more MPs brief anonymously to journalists. Someone has a concrete plan to wreck Shearer’s leadership.

Shearer’s days are numbered. Tick tock.

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