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Another poll

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, March 5th, 2011 - 90 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:

Another Roy Morgan poll is out.

Support for the Government is down 1.5% to 53.5%
National Party 49% (down 3.5%)
Maori Party 3% (up 1.5%)
ACT NZ 1.5% (up 1%)
United Future 0% (down 0.5%)

Hmmm – I’d like to see United Future a little lower if possible. Anyway…

Support for Opposition Parties is up 1.5% to 46.5%
Labour Party 35% (up 2%)
Greens 8%, (down 0.5%)
New Zealand First 3% (up 0.5%)
Others 0.5% (down 0.5%)

Even more worrying for the Nats must be the finding that the number saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ has fallen to 49.5% (down 10.5%), compared to 35% (up 10.5%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction.’

The poll was taken over the period February 14-27, so it includes several days after the Christchurch quake. I would have expected to see some evidence of a National Party boost here, the usual consequence of people rallying behind “the leader” in difficult times. But there’s no sign of that. Perhaps it was swamped in the preceding revulsion at the BMW lies and largesse.

All of my posts for March will finish with this note. While life goes on as usual outside Christchurch, let our thoughts be with those who are coping with the aftermath, with the sorrow of so many who were lost, and with the challenges ahead.


90 comments on “Another poll”

  1. Yep the beemers effect and revulsion to the Nat’s privatization proposals are starting to show through.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    In the previous couple of polls that came out with only the last couple of polling days after major events (state of the nation speeches, Key’s loser week) several people here (including lprent) commented that very little polling is actually done in the last couple of days of the window – that time is spent on the analysis and polling the last few individuals to make up their required cohort.

    Using that logic, we can expect that the earthquake won’t be heavily factored in until the next poll. Of course by then we’ll be seeing the judgement of the government’s response (eg ignoring the eastern suburbs, businesses not being supported as much as they should) rather than the immediate disaster’s aftermath.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yep. I think that we are mostly seeing the BMW and the response to the other issues in ae Jan and early to mid Feb (polls are also laggy because people mostly don’t change their minds without thinking itover for a while).

      Think that the earthquake is still to come….. 😈

  3. Zaphod Beeblebrox 3

    Those BMWs realy pissed a lot of people off.

    • Herodotus 3.1

      ZB still trying to find out the real story re BMW’s. On Leighton Sir John commented that they are “free” (hopefully not free as in 20 free hrs). Yet I have not heard anyone from Lab & a denial. I am sure part is strategy not to be involved. But does than mean it will take 3 years in which new cars appear to find out the truth or if they don’t also the truth?
      p.s. Botany my guess turnout 34% it is cats and dog weather –

      • bbfloyd 3.1.1

        you can probably update your (hopeful?) assesment of voter numbers H. it’s stopped raining.

        • Herodotus

          Surprised to see so many immigrants at the voting station, but that was 10:00 I would have a very uneductated guess that voter turnout will dramatically fall off as the day wears on. The cats/dogs may have refrained but it still is a miserable day, even Sat sport is cancelled so less reason to go out of the house.
          Should JLR win I wonder what the turnout will be to replace him in council. the prospective replacement with the largest family and friends circle I guess will be the new Jafa Council rep, of the one that is 1st on the list So for any candiates change your name to Abram Aadvark it could be a winner !!!

  4. lprent 4

    I am less concerned about the popularity figures which seem to be slowly losing the holiday effect. Basically the gap between possible left and right coalitions is narrowing to achievable levels for the time between now and the election. That is fine but it merely means that the election is liable to turn on single electorate MPs in minnow parties like Act which polls don’t estimate.

    I am more interested in the GCR as a effective surrogate for future changes in voting intentions. Some of that could be because of sampling variation (but that seems to top out at 5-6% variation in the past), so the question for me is what level of bounce back happens in the next Morgan poll. If it stays down or gets worse, then the government has taken terrible hit. If it bounces up 5% or so it is sampling error and just damaging. If it rises by significantly more than 5%, then there is probably a favorable earthquake effect and that would be a problem because it is likely to sustain itself.

    As a side issue. It is pretty clear why the right have been actively trying to control the debate on the quake rebuilding.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    “Those BMWs realy pissed a lot of people off.”

    BMWs?? What BMW’s????

    Oh thats right. I have a foggy memory there somewhere. Recent events have pushed the memory into the background somewhat. Perhaps the earthquake was engineered by the Nats as a distraction? 🙂

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      surely you have better things to do than talk utter rubbish on here ts? surely………

      • Jim MacDonald 5.1.1

        Had visitors, including from Christchurch, the past few days – “rallying behind ‘the leader'” was not quite the reaction; some said this PM is a curse (!)

        • Colonial Viper

          Yes. This PM is a curse upon the country, no two ways about it. Interesting isn’t it, when you also consider that he still has so many people under his sway in the personal popularity polls.

          • Jim MacDonald

            Had a certain charm on some. That too will go.
            As some former Merrill Lynch clients would say.

    • I would not put anything past those bastards !

  6. Rosy 6

    It could have been something more substantial than BMWs- like asset sales and welfare reform…. (although being caught out lying is pretty substantial)

    • bbfloyd 6.1

      not just lying rosy…. doing it repeatedly,, changing the story every time, and, in the end,, never actually tell the truth. …… over a non issue like that……. what does that say about what he would say when it’s really important.. that is what scares me, and quite few others i would guess..

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        The irony is that the BMW is a great deal, one that we owners of 21 year old cars could only dream of. But deliciously the Key lot cannot and will not admit that the Labour Goverment made a great deal. Poltics!

  7. Gina 7

    Proposing solo mums go look for work when kids turn 3 will alienate a lot of women voters who at some stage or other have needed the DPB.

    And the crazy idea to make women look for a job when second babe is 14 weeks old well that will turn off more moderate nats who used to vote Labour.

    I imagine people seeing the odd news item with Helen Clark is making some swing voters remeber how much better things actually were under Labour.

    • Steve 7.1

      Agree re your Helen comment Gina.To hear her reasoned comments in the Chch interview with that authoritative voice made me yearn for a better time and a PM who can make a presentation without sounding like he’s reading to a kindergarten class.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Basically another 4% swing would make it a very close election. As in fact was the last one, although most commentators by focussing solely on the gap between Nat and Lab were just revealed nothing but their corporate agendas.

    Policy and achievment wise National should lose this election… but a popular and apparently affable John Key remains their ‘get out of jail free’ card.

    By contrast Labour should be polling in the 40% range, but Phil Goff seems unable to get much traction. Not wholly his fault, event’s have dealt him nothing but a bad hand…but equally he can’t seem to shake his wooden and ‘professional polly’ personality when being interviewed.

    As long as the left continues to buy into the media’s presidential style personality driven politics … it will remain at a disadvantage in this game. Just relying on Key to make a bad mistake or get bored with it all seems a weak strategy, after all no-one is irreplaceable and another Key clone would eventually get manufactured.

    This is not an insoluble problem, you have to think it’s been faced and beaten elsewhere in the world.

    • Jim MacDonald 8.1

      “another Key clone would eventually get manufactured” – has this something to do with Simon Power who looked around and counted the chances?

      • Olwyn 8.1.1

        Yes, C & T have probably already done a little work on Joyce’s “laddish but lovable” image, with the wardrobe etc, very loosely planned, just to be on the safe side.

  9. higherstandard 9


    • Macro 9.1


      • ianmac 9.1.1

        Thats a bit worrying you two, nodding off in mid morning. My neighbour, who suffers from dementia poor old fellow, does that too.

        • higherstandard

          No cricket so back to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        • Mac1

          It’s called “sleepwalking to victory.” Born of “Tory born to rule” beliefs.

          A 7% gap between the two groupings eight months out is very interesting. Just a 3.5% swing.

          Capcha “easy”. Well, not quite, but very achievable.

          • higherstandard

            No it’s called “who gives a fuck about polls 9 months out from an election”

        • lprent

          We have been snoozing or reading (or watching true blood in lyn’s case) most of the day. It is coolish, raining, and we’ve been waking up at odd hours all week because of the weather. Nice relaxing day.

        • Macro

          I fell asleep after reading HS’s scintillating comment.
          But I see there has been even more startling analysis.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    I was talking to a couple of colleagues at work this week – both are family men with new babies and earning around the 55k mark – and even the “not ruling out” changes to WFF from Key and English is enough to, literally, cause them to panic since for them WFF isn’t about discretionary income. But, I think, something bigger is happening in New Zealand right now.

    There was a comment by (I think) A.J.P. Taylor that before Munich in 1938 the British sought desperately to avoid refighting the last war; after Munich, they grimly prepared for the next one. In other words, there was a minset change from a postbellum to an antebellum one – a shift in mindset completely missed by the Germans. I’m picking up a similar sea-change in opinion in New Zealanders after the Canterbury earthquake, a shift away from the angry right wing identity politics so carefully cultivated, fertilized and nutured by the National Party that got them elected and sustains the hate against the beneficiaries and outliers of our country and towards a more nunaced recognition of community and a sense of nationalistic collectiveness.

    Like the Germans, many in the beltway are missing this sea change, which is why I think, for example, John Armstrong has currently completely lost the plot – his persistent belief that the public has any appetite at all for the Victorian morality and draconian suggestions of the Rebstock welfare report betrays someone who has spent far to much time having lunch with right wing lobbyists. Rebstock and co have overplayed their hand. The randomness of the earthquake has reminded all New Zealanders that most poor are unlucky, not undeserving. In turn, this has exposed this government’s harsh and divisive ideology for what it is at exactly the time when a certain spirit of the Blitz is abroad in the land, and no one outside the looney tune charactertures at Kiwiblog feel any desire to punish their fellow citizens anymore.

    National’s stock in trade for the last six years has been a to play on right wingidentity politics and to rule by stoking resentment between New Zealanders of different classes. Paula Bennett, Judith Collins, Anne Tolley, even John Key in his appeal to the mediocrity in us all, are creatures crafted from a publicist’s playbook to appeal to the dark side of the Kiwi soul, more billboards and publicity stunts than real politicians.

    Time will tell if the New Zealand public, in the inclusive (even, dare I say it, pleasant) feeling of oneness that has embraced us all in the aftermath of the Christchurch disaster still has any appetite for the identity politics of the National Party.

    • ianmac 10.1

      Not so sure today Sanctuary :”why I think, for example, John Armstrong has currently completely lost the plot .” A perceptive Armstrong post and a shift in position?

    • Tiger Mountain 10.2

      Not quite sure what you mean by “right wing identity politics”. If you substituted ‘aspirational’ for ‘identity’ perhaps.

      That widespread 08 election feeling- if I just worked a bit harder, dissed the ‘bludgers’ a bit more, I too could be like JFK (John F***ing Key) it was an aspirational hard sell that got people voting ultimately against their own interests.

      The thing is with tax cuts neutralized by GST, childcare up, petrol up, unemployement up, possible cuts to WFF, aspiration is not going to put food on the table for a hell of a lot of people.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Its Right Wing class politics. Attempting to turn the middle and working classes against the underclass of NZ.

        While denying that there is a growing underclass in this country.

        • ianmac

          Mind you, given the down ward slide of the Nation there will have to be a clear easily identified alternative. To the Bridge Horatio!

    • neoleftie 10.3

      i tend to agree here: a heck of a.lot of people are know experiencing what the ‘poor non-class’ of new zealand is actual like. One moment a nice house and an income the next resigned to the dole and maybe if lucky a tent in Keys tent city for what 5 months until the state builds a few thousand houses. Everyone under the elite class is simply one bad outcome from the bread line. How many MSE with house mortgaged etc are now facing financial ruin…

    • Carol 10.4

      Maybe post WW2 in Britain is more apt. It was then that the Brits had a consensus on the need for cradle-to-grave welfare state provisions. This was a result of the feeling that all Britons, of all classes, worked collaboratively together on the war effort. So the feeling was that the state should provide for all, as a reward for that effort.

      • neoleftie 10.4.1

        surely history has proven that both the ideological driven policies of right and left have failed. What we need now is a discourse on what is the ‘next’ way that incorporates the marco and micro policy shifts and outcome that we are inherantly stuck with in both an internal and external globalised sense. We are connected to the capitalistic world so cannot radically change or alter this condition.
        What we can do is popularise throught the grassroot structure the “next’ way framework that will bring about a more balanced and stable marco structure soas to benefit all and not just a few.
        The discouce on the ‘next way’ has just begun….

  11. Adrian 11

    Key’s Achilles heal is that when properly fronted he looks like a possum in the headlights and a hint of panic flicks across his face, you can even see the evidence in what passes for a brain go “Shit, what do I do now”and momentarily appears to go into shutdown mode, while the body goes into the flight response. Last night, on TV3 while on his fleeting visit to the Eastern Suburbs he was fronted about visiting one power station and one short street, while on camera, a Radio NZ questioner about this selectivity left him stranded and looking like he was shitting himself. He really has this desperate, desperate need to be liked. Fronting the bugger is the key ( forgive ) to beating him in November.

    • Tiger Mountain 11.1

      “Fronting the bugger is the key to beating him”
      it is certainly a significant part of any strategy to rock him, I noticed he turned on the journo immediately saying “those are your words” rather than answering the substantive point.

      John Key has a nasty streak in him that should be provoked more often.

      • Alexandra 11.1.1

        TG – Saw that, Key was clearly pissed off. He managed to quickly correct himself with a strained smile. The nasty streak was very evident. Good on that young reporter, hope we see more enquiry of that kind, as the election looms nearer

  12. Leaving aside the Nats for a moment…

    What have the Greens done to deserve losing 1/17 of their support?

    And what has NZF done to deserve a bump of 1/6 in its support?!

    And ACT tripling its support??

    I know the overall numbers are small which makes the swings more severe etc. But that’s still some seismic shifts, specially for ACT.

    [0% for United Future?! Did no one think to ring Peter Dunne’s place, or was he out having his hair re-lacquered?]

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      One thing that is clear about the morgan results is that everything is always rounded off to a nice 0.5%, which actually does them a bit of a disservice because it probably masks shifts for the smaller parties significantly. Eg what might’ve polled as 0.7% is marked at 0.5%, and the next poll they get 0.8% so it is rounded up to 1%.

      Sure, there’s margin of error and they try and massage the numbers nicely to make it fit, but I think they’d be better off just reporting the raw un-rounded numbers (after other sufficient massage is done).

    • RedLogix 12.2

      Basically Rex I regard these variations especially in the smaller parties pretty much as noise.

      If the sample size is 1000 and there are say 30% ‘don’t knows’ then only 700 gave an answer:

      If the Greens polled at 8% this is only 56 people.

      1/17th variation in 56 people is only 3 people. Trying to draw a meaningful conclusion on this is pretty futile.

      • swordfish 12.2.1

        Spot on. Always remember the margin-of-error. Polls should never be taken as indicating absolutely precise measurements, particularly where the minor parties are concerned.

      • Oh, the sample size is about 1,000?! That explains it then. Thanks RL.

        I always remember – in the context of radio ratings – some “expert” explaining things according to “the coffee cup principle”: if you take just half a teaspon of coffee and taste it, then you know what the rest of the cup is like.

        But people aren’t coffee (rather obviously, I thought at the time, but then I wasn’t the “expert”) – they don’t mix homogenously for one thing, so you’ve got to be incredibly careful to sample a representative range of sex, income, etc etc. And to do that in a meningful way requires more than two or three of each category (IMO, I know the pollsters will argue otherwise).

        In fact upon squinting at the fine print (helpfully printed in grey!) on the poll I see a total of 888 people were asked, so not even 3 would be needed to tip the Greens vote.

        More importantly, I can rest easy about the apparent rise of NZF 😀

  13. Oscar 13

    I’m picking 47% for National/Act and 47% for Labour/Greens. NZF with 6%

    Have you not noticed how 50/50 the vox populii is becoming? Once Neptune enters Pisces, it’s all on from there baby.

    Last time that aligment happened, the Communist Manifesto was published.

    • Akldnut 13.1

      lol Been doing a bit of matai-whetu Oscar, am I going to win Lotto tonight? or should I not waste my money.

      • oscar 13.1.1

        Not at all. Science has shown that the magnetic pull of the outer planets does have an effect on earth.
        After all, if the earths magnetism is affected, our brains, that hotbed of magnetic energy, obviously are also.
        Take a look at what else happened last time Neptune was in Pisces.
        As for winning lotto, you’d want a clairvoyant. Not an astrologer.

      • lprent 13.1.2

        Nice gravatar…

  14. Key choppering in to the less affluent areas of Christchurch wearing his bright red BNZ shirt (Friday) would also have lost him a few points. How revolting.

    • logie97 14.1

      … wasn’t a good look either when he said it was not realistic for him to see the whole eastern area, especially given he had spent some important time in the Botany electorate for some photo ops.

      • neoleftie 14.1.1

        surely that the job of a leader to gather valid first hand information so as to make good informed decision or provide the necessary weight or direction of those key decisions.
        On day 2-3 Key should have a clear picture and directed the set-up of centres for the distrubution of food to those effected and cut off from the normal supply chain.

  15. Irascible 15

    Using a totally unscientific process of skim reading the letters to the editor online for the Herald, TV3, DomPost and a few others I detect a swing against the Key led NACT govt with a greater number of letters critical of him as a leader and of his policies over recent weeks, including the earthquake, than those in support of him and his activities.
    Perhaps the Morgan poll is demonstrating what the letters to the editor are beginning to indicate???

  16. tsmithfield 16

    Actually, I don’t think the glee expressed here is warranted yet.

    Firstly, given the fiasco over BMWs, and the controversy whipped up over asset sales, I am surprised the drop for the Nats was only 3.5%. As pointed out above, the tail of the poll caught the Christchurch earthquake. So, I suspect there may well have been a bounce back towards National at the end that accounts for the smallish drop.

    Secondly, National only has to do a half decent job responding to the earthquake to benefit from it. There is all the public exposure, and the argument likely to run in voters minds about not changing captains in the middle of a storm etc. Other than for the blip in Bromley the other day, the response and media exposure has been quite good.

    Thirdly, the earthquake has distracted voters minds from the BMW fiasco that wasn’t looking good for National. I think even ardent National fans would admit that was handled badly. So, National caught a lucky break on this one in terms of distraction. Although I am sure they would rather be dealing with BMWs than earthquakes.

    Fourthly, the Nats are likely to have a much more arguable case for asset sales:- to pay for the earthquake. This is likely to appeal more to voters than having more money taken from them in an earthquake tax, especially given the difficult economic times. Also, National is likely to make a strong case for reducing the size of government so savings can be diverted to the earthquake cost.

    Finally, what ever spending promises Labour makes are likely to be countered by the affordability argument, especially given the earthquake costs that need to be funded. If Labour doesn’t like the idea of asset sales then they may have to promise across-the-board tax increases to pay for the earthquake and their promises. This is likely to go down like a lead balloon with voters.

    On the balance of this, I expect National to do quite well. My prediction is that the next poll will show a 5 point gain from the current position.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Fourthly, the Nats are likely to have a much more arguable case for asset sales:- to pay for the earthquake. This is likely to appeal more to voters than having more money taken from them in an earthquake tax,

      Using the earthquake as the rationale for asset sales now risks sounding false as they will be doing what they originally intended. The earthquake will have changed nothing.

      Key and English will be kicking themselves for putting the asset sales on the table just before the earthquake struck, nullifying their ability to practice Disaster Capitalism.

      • neoleftie 16.1.1

        geeze – some of our large SOE are the first to ‘step into the breech’ and provide a measure of relief or support. e.g Contact supplying free gas refills in chch.
        There is no sense at all to sell off the state economic backbone of performing companies and provide a anchor or ‘actors’ on the private sector and their performance.

        • tsmithfield

          Not attempting to argue the case for asset sales. Rather that National will be able to put forward rationale for asset sales on the basis of funding the earthquake. Whether or not that rationale is sound is a different debate.

    • Rosy 16.2

      I agree with your analysis tsmithfield but Labour can change your expectations of a National rise in the polls by arguing for ‘pulling together’ as Christchurch people have done and arguing that selling state assets, sacking the public sector etc fragments any response to disasters like Christchurch. They can argue that pulling together is how the people of Christchurch have managed to get through a horrendous situation and more of this is needed.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    I agree that they could better exploit the asset sale argument if they had raised it after the earthquake. However, I think they can still argue there is even more reason for asset sales now. Either that or raising taxes. Voters choice.

    • neoleftie 17.1

      without a clear mandate the chance of asset sales is slim i think. The connectiveness of grassroots communities ‘people power’ that coordinated a huge supply response into the shattered communities of the eastern suburbs of CHCH surely is a wake up call to the Tories that given a good cause people and communities given the information can combine to achieve a level of power or outcome that should be downplayed.
      Most people according to the poll agree that selling state assets is a negative thing. Surely a labour counter strategy to the ideological driven asset sale menality is to link the benefits to the communities that such SOE like contact did for the communities of chch. $3M in free gas to chch – what private company would do that now.

    • Colonial Viper 17.2

      I think they can still argue there is even more reason for asset sales now. Either that or raising taxes. Voters choice.

      Other alternatives might be new taxes (a variant of raising taxes I guess), or more borrowing, or cutting spending on services.

      • tsmithfield 17.2.1

        True. But from what I have seen from comments from the left is that the trigger finger is itchy for more taxes.

        • Colonial Viper

          An array of asset or property based taxes is called for I think. There is a huge economic system going on there which is not even touched at the moment e.g. as Sam Morgan pointed out when he sold TradeMe.

          Also, income taxes at the 5x and 20x median income thresholds should go up.

          the left is that the trigger finger is itchy for more taxes.

          I guess its clear to most nowadays that every dollar that the Government cannot raise in taxes, it either has to borrow* (and subsequently pay interest on) or alternatively cut a dollars worth of services and support to the public.

          *Of course I think that the Government could borrow from itself, at 0% interest rate i.e. print money to invest in the productive economy.

    • Marty G 17.3

      Asset sales are only attempts to realise now the present value of future dividends. If we take the money now, we don’t have the money from the dividends in the future to pay for stuff, meaning taxes will have to be raised to cover the hole.

  18. tsmithfield 18

    “$3M in free gas to chch – what private company would do that now.”

    Air NZ have been giving $50 air fares (not fully private but similar to the model the Nats propose).
    Telecom have been giving free telephone calls.

    Just several off the top of my head.

    So generosity is not limited to fully public corporations.

    • neoleftie 18.1

      correct me if im wrong but doesnt the state own 50% share of air new zealand and hasnt the tax payer pumped in billions over the years into air new zealand.
      My point is simply that a state owned / controlled or influenced company has a more civic duty to the state or public stakeholders than a purely private company model that is driven solely by profit concerns to its shareholders.
      Your implied point about the state selling a non controlling share solely to small kiwi investors i believe has some merit and need to be explored further but surely if any company has any state ownership then by defintion or charter they would have an increased civic duty.
      That is why it is so important to retain a function and productive SOE core – they balance out the private sector sole goal of maxamising profits

      • tsmithfield 18.1.1

        So if private/public blended companies that equate to the Nats proposed model can be generous, then your original point doesn’t stand, does it?

        Also I understand that the petrol companies didn’t raise prices in ChCh when they were raising them elsewhere.

        • neoleftie

          they surely are making enought profit from the rest then but yes i give them that – a nice gesture. I just dont have it in me to trust a solely profit driven entity..

          • tsmithfield

            Perhaps you are viewing these entities too much as faceless corporations, and missing the point that they are made up of lots of individuals who may well have had family and friends caught up in the tragedy.

            • neoleftie

              true true true – just wish that we had more connected individuals to offset the corporate greed.

              • tsmithfield

                How do you define “greed”? Profits may seem huge. But on a ROI basis, profits on capital invested are often not that much better than keeping money in the bank at virtually no risk.

                • Colonial Viper

                  But on a ROI basis, profits on capital invested are often not that much better than keeping money in the bank at virtually no risk

                  Edison Energy did very well out of Contact Energy for instance. They sold their stake for something like a 50% ROI, as well as pulling out hundreds of millions in dividends pushing that number even higher.

                  But essentially I agree with you – in this day and age ponzi capitalism often generates better returns than investment in the productive economy e.g. speculators fueling the housing price bubble.

                  “Huge” profits can also be characterised not based on ROI %, but on what a portion of that money can do for a society if it is taxed and subsequently spent on providing services and infrastructure for that society.

  19. Anthony C 19

    National’s problem is that their brand message isn’t equal to brand experience.

    People are feeling the hard truth of a Government asleep at the wheel, it gets harder and harder to spin your way out of that.

    It’s all a question of whether this dissatisfaction peaks before the election or not.

  20. Jenny 20

    Labour limply trails behind the government, (in policy and in the polls). By not putting up alternatives to government policy – Labour risk becoming in the public mind, the do nothing opposition.

    Mortgage Relief Legislation?

    emergency measures taken at times of widespread financial distress arising from economic or natural causes. The alterations were usually to the apparent advantage of the borrower and thus are referred to as relief for mortgage debtors, or, when statutory, simply as mortgage relief legislation.


    This is such a simple and obvious solution.

    Mortgage Relief Legislation would provide immediate relief for landlords and tenants and not cost the government a cent. (And as well would keep tens of millions of dollars in circulation in the Christchurch economy, that would otherwise be repatriated to the Aussie owned banks.)

    Why aren’t the opposition Labour Party calling for this?

    The Christchurch Earthquake has been described as New Zealand’s worst natural disaster.

    Surely the scale of this emergency and the on going problems justify this emergency measure?

    Are Labour, even in opposition, frightened of offending the banks?

    Labour’s founding leaders had no such qualms about putting their constituency’s needs above that of the banks.

    Is the modern Labour Party’s concern for the welfare of the bankers, over riding their concern for the welfare of the people of Christchurch?

    captcha – “solutions”

    • neoleftie 20.1

      that jenny is the multi billion dollar question – has the labour party elites that control the party fallen so far to the right of the party ideological matrix that they by there very nature have forgotten the historical roots of the party and indeed the make up of the ‘catch all party’ that we call labour.
      bring on the trinity and its discourse…
      The wheels within the wheels that strategise for the party should by now coming out in full support and offering meaningful dialogue on practical and ‘big’ solutions to this crisis.
      This is indeed NZ darkest hour – we face the perils of external and now internal chaos.

    • Gina 20.2

      Jenny I have noticed in the past when labour submit a good idea the nats rubbish it as been impractical then they steel it. Usually they steal it pretty quick and the media gives them the credit for it.
      The idea of mortgage relief should be submitted as it is desperately needed but don’t imagine the Labour party will get any credit for it in the media. National will steel it, the media will accuse labour of using the earthquake to get votes, National will adopt it and the media will heap large amounts of praise on John Key.

      The only way Labour has any chance at the next election is bypassing the MSM.

      • Jenny 20.2.1


        Jenny I have noticed in the past when labour submit a good idea the nats rubbish it as been impractical then they steel it.


        Gina, for the welfare of the people of Christchurch I do hope the Nats steal this idea, as you say “it is desperately needed”.

        If you are right, and National steal this policy, then all we have to do to get it implemented, is get Labour to raise it in the house.

        Labour may not get the credit for it, but who cares, at least Labour will have done the right thing for the people of Christchurch. To do nothing because of petty fears of not being able to claim the credit for it, is churlish and party sectarian in the extreme.

  21. Anne 21

    @ Jenny.
    If Labour was releasing policy six times a day, the MSM would be ignoring them. There’s only one story in town, the earthquake. Politics is on hold. Nobody wants to know. Havn’t at this stage seen the final result, but look at the turnout in Botony – be lucky to make a total of 15,000. I can’t be sure of course but my reckoning is: that Labour were planning to reveal new initiatives around now, but have had to delay until political life returns to normal.

    • Jenny 21.1

      “There’s only one story in town, the earthquake.”


      Absolutely Anne. That is why Labour needs to release some cut through policy on this issue. Left wing policy different to the National Government’s projected right wing response, of sacrificing social spending while leaving the profits of the banks and financiers untouched.

      A left political response is needed

      Otherwise the decision will be: We have decided, that the worse off, will be the ones to bear the costs of this earthquake.

      The government will load this crisis onto the shoulders of the less well off. The well off get a free run. (again).

      When will this nonsense stop?

      With no concrete challenges being raised in parliament by the left to this course of action, or any alternative course of action being proposed by Labour, how can we expect a swing away from National in the polls, or even come election time?

      • McFlock 21.1.1

        For at least the next couple of weeks, releasing an integrated “left”(labour) plan for compensation and reconstruction is out because it’s basic gutter politiking.

        And as Anne said, any other issue is irrelevant to the one story in town. And if you release policy anyway, by the time msm are prepared to pay attention to it, it’s old news.

        But the nacts are beginning to shoot themselves in the foot, earthquake-wise. At the very least Brownlee is waving a gun at his toes. And I get the impression people are beginning to tire of the smile&wave beemer visits.

        • neoleftie

          all good points – its my very humble opinion that the labour is biding its time and waiting for nearer the election, one shot, one strategy and that is to provide a meaningful point of difference between the left block and the Tory front. non of this take the centre or swop lite labour / tory confused mess where the electorate picks the pretty boy with a nice wave and smile and centralist gimmick policies.

          But i caution the left bloggers and party activists that without a left block win and the tories get their ‘goldern’ mandate they will create the situation where the left will not be able to recover from…if asset sale on a grand scale goes ahead and the depowering and retrenchment of the state civil sector and other state organs, that create positive change or indeed a brake of radical change ) then it will be nigh on impossible to recover from the short term ideolically Tory inspired dream of a disconnected and disemplowered individual, complete rise of unfetted materalism and the dismantling of the balanced state / private sector mechanism.
          We has the 90’s were H1- H3 created the imbedded ‘actors’ that dictated radicalised and progressive social change now in the darkest time its time for a slugish labour grouping to get the mandate they need to stabalise the nation and its economy in the face of choastic external market forces.

          • Jenny

            Calls by Gina and Anne for Labour to hold back alternative policy that could immediately benefit the people of Christchurch is opportunistic and dishonourable and will be of no credit to Labour.

  22. Anne 22

    Hey Jenny, I’m singing from roughly the same song sheet as you. I’m not saying Labour should hold back on alternative policies – far from it. Parliament sits again this coming week, and I’m hoping Labour and the Greens use the opportunity to push alternative policies as hard as they can. It’s clear what they should be. Reverse the tax-cuts for the rich for starters. What I really meant was: it’s been impossible for the opposition parties to get much traction in the MSM these past two weeks.

    • Herodotus 22.1

      From senior Lab strategist and MP
      “Trevor Mallard says:
      February 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm
      @Herodotus you don’t need to live in electorate to go to a meeting. You’ve asked for information much of which will be available before November. ”
      Labour will not release any policies- Even thos ethat were part of the last election such as what is affordable housing- Helen Clarke made reference to this way back oin 2007. I still donot know what “affordable housing is” and I think Lab also do not know, but it sounds good in a 25 sec sound bite !!!
      So what does that imply ? They haven’t got any, are unsure of them, or they dont stand up to peer review.
      Pity because we need some. And in Jan 11 we were informed this
      “Mr Little said Labour would use the by-election to promote policies, issues and values that he believed were important for Botany and all New Zealand.”
      There was no mention of any except that show stopper of GST off F&V. Whoopppeee $2-$3/week per family.

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