Now I have spoken to someone who was at the meeting yesterday. Labour's Local Electorate Committee is controlled by Winnie Laban. She wanted Fa'afoi, so her committee voted for Fa'afoi, even though some may have not supported him. Goff's office wanted Fa'afoi, and his three votes got him. The other vote was decided by the community. That vote was made up of 52 locals and 60 unionists. The locals wanted Pagani. The unionists wanted Fa'afoi.
NoneAlthough apparently some of the unionists were locals, there were more unionists than other community members, so they had sway, and they were roped in as union members to represent Goffice and vote Fa'afoi, not to reflect the electorate's Labour membership.
This meant that the community vote was stacked with unionists to make sure Fa'afoi got the nod, meaning that the Local Electorate Committee actually voted against the wishes of the local voters, and stacked the floor so that the community vote also went against the wishes of the community.
No honest person is denying privately that this was a stitch up.Every union vote went to Fa'afoi and about twice as many voting locals wanted Pagani than Fa'afoi.
Big News has been given some very interesting information. Of the 52 local Labour Party members who voted in the selection process, 34 supported Josie Pagani as the candidate; more than twice the 16 local votes that Kri Fa'afoi received. But then the "unique" democracy that is the Labour Party kicked in; 60 union members voted, and to a comrade supported Fa'afoi. The unity of mind and of purpose is commendable, but is entirely to be expected when the president of the Labour Party still wears the hat of general secreatry of New Zealand's largest union.
There can be no doubt whatsoever that Labour's head office and leader's office engineered the Mana selection, against the will of Labour Party members in the electorate. We will treat any future protestations by the Labour Party over perceived abuses of the democratic process with the contempt that they deserve.