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Armstrong: The tide going out on National

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, August 24th, 2017 - 189 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour, national - Tags: , , , ,

John Armstrong writes on 1 News:

Opinion: Dunne’s departure adds to the feeling of the tide going out on National

[Dunne’s] exit from politics has added grist to the impression that the electoral tide is going out on National.

The departure from Parliament of someone who was very much part of the post-1984 generational shift in politics has heightened the view that another such shift is currently underway — one that is not being driven by National.

The feeling that National is heading for loser status has been reinforced by the increasing likelihood of the party’s friends evaporating into thin air.

Dunne has gone. The Maori Party may well go the same way. …


When Ohariu voters were asked which party would be getting their party vote, around 46 per cent backed National, while some 35 per cent opted for Labour.

When placed alongside the actual party vote recorded at the last election in 2014, the gap between National’s and Labour’s share of the vote has narrowed to the former party’s disadvantage from 27 percentage points to just 11.

Of course, drawing such conclusions by comparing two very different sets of figures taken from just one electorate would horrify statisticians.

But the figures are stark. The scale of the shift in Labour’s support would have sent a cold shiver up and down the National Party’s spine as well as Dunne’s.

Well well!

Read on in the full piece for plenty more. And in a similar vein:

Ardern vs English: Is this the time of transformation?
Audrey Young: Peter Dunne abandoning the centre-right ship
The political drama is real this time as National faces stiff challenge for power
Bombshell poll puts change of Government at even odds

Ah but Tracy Watkins – why did you weaken this one?

189 comments on “Armstrong: The tide going out on National ”

  1. garibaldi 1

    It’s not just a feeling of the tide going out on National, it is a feeling of euphoria.

  2. The decrypter 2

    Steady as we go. Not a good time to be caught out rooting a sheep. Careful- tories praying for dirt!

    • CLEANGREEN 2.1

      “Careful- tories praying for dirt!”

      Shit ‘The decrypter’ – Bloody National are so deep in dirt they cant get out from under it now, so throwing dirt may just bury them!!!

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.1

        They may be crap at government – but they wrote the book on dirty politics, their real field of expertise.

        • Saccharomyces

          I thought it was the left that wrote the book “Dirty Politics”?

          They are the pros though, that labour hit on the greens was executed amazingly!

  3. Al 3

    It willl be more a feeling of relief … but due to the damage this government has done over the last 9 years, it will take a lot of work to get things back in some sort of order. The health, education and welfare systems need massive input to redress the systematic underfunding they have received under National. There may be no income tax increases, but you can bet that a progressive system in being planned along with the big concern for most of National’s supporters – CGT.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.1

      Correction…the damage done since Labour succumbed to neoliberalism in 1984.

      Unfortunately anything a centrist Labour will do when it gets into parliament (which seems likely) will only be a softer neoliberalism to the one we suffer in today, they are, after all dictated to by their own economic ideology…still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick I guess.

      • ianmac 3.1.1

        Goodness now its Labour’s fault for today even though they did “it” 33 years ago.

        • Greg

          You do realize jacinda was only 4 yo in 1964

        • Adrian Thornton

          Yes it is, when Labour was taken over by the third way neoliberal ideology with the election of Lange in 1984, the Labour party ceased to the primary political tool that could be used to defend workers, the poor and disenfranchised and became first and foremost a political tool for free market capitalism, as their current self imposed budget responsibility rules , and their ridiculous statements that NZ worker productivity needs to improve, make very very clear.



          So you can think that Labour is a progressive alternative all you like, however they are, in my view, just a softer neoliberal light version of National, which may well help to ease the conscience of many Kiwis in light of the destruction neoliberalism has wrought upon so many of their fellow citizens, but I do not believe they want to bring about any real fundamental change to this free market project…because they are after all the primary architects of this form of economic ideology in New Zealand, it could be said that it is their baby.

          • red-blooded

            How long do you intend to keep punishing and blaming Labour, AT? How many current Labour MPS or party organisers were part of that 80s government?

            Do you believe the children of criminals should be punished for their parents’ crimes? ‘Cos that’s the equivalent to your attitude as expressed so often here.

            Plenty of people (like me) walked away from Labour when they felt betrayed by Douglas et al, but walked back in and decided to right the house when we could see that this set of individuals had moved on and that there was push-back against their attitudes within the party. We also recognised that there was plenty of good done by that generation (and no, I’m not saying it outweighed the bad, but simply that we need a more nuanced view than I see you expressing). We also have to remember the context of the time – Muldoon had pretty much bankrupted the country , his ridiculous wage-price freeze had frozen wages for two years without constraining prices… there was a definite need to try something different. Yes, they went to quickly and too far, but remember too that the response of the Nats at the time was “Let us have a go – we’ll do it even more, and with much less protection for those suffering the effects!”

            Time to move on and consider the people and policies being offered now, not 30+ years ago.

            • Stuart Munro

              We’ll stop complaining about Labour when they do their job. If they do it.

              • red-blooded

                Nobody said you had to “stop complaining about Labour”; just that you should focus on now rather than endlessly recycling complaints about people and policies that are long gone.

                As for “when they do their job” – how about giving them a chance to actually do this? Of course, this means a chance to govern…

                Being realistic, you are looking at a Nat-led government, or a Labour-led government. If you can honestly see no difference, then you’re too far gone for me to bother arguing with. If you can see a difference, then get on with making the preferable outcome a reality. If for you that means voting Green, go for it – nobody’s trying to stop you. Just remember that these parties are political allies. The Greens will be sidelined again if Labour doesn’t get to lead the next government. Talk up your own party as much as you like, but stop talking down its only possible partner.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Excuse me – this is a democracy, even if the incumbents have debased it out of all recognition. That means, as a citizen, that it is accountable to me, and that it doesn’t get to water down my expectations of good governance without criticism.

                  This generation of Labour have an inkling of the magnitude of the great betrayal – but we don’t want them to be sorry, we want them to damned well fix things. Every time they fall short of the fixing things standard they erode their right to govern.

                  As for ‘my party’ I voted Labour for nearly thirty years – I didn’t change my principles. They need to move left, back to their core support. Now, maybe you don’t want things fixed – you’ve got that right. And we have the right to want them. You don’t get to shut us down.

                  You are confused:

                  “…stop talking down its only possible partner.”

                  “Nobody said you had to “stop complaining about Labour”

                  You just did.

                  • McFlock

                    People like you are the reason I don’t go to swimming pools. Too much piss in the water.

                    Of the parties that currently exist, which ones do you want to be in government? That’s all you’re asked. None of them are personally “accountable” to you. So, given all the manifestos and personalities vying for election, which party do you want in power, and why?

                  • red-blooded

                    Stuart Munro, if you’re going to quote my words, please don’t quote them out of context. I said, “Nobody said you have to stop complaining about Labour; just that you should focus on now rather than endlessly recycling complaints about people and policy long gone”. I still don’t see you getting the second part of that message. Perhaps you are confused?

                    And, BTW, Labour doesn’t get to damn well fix things unless it gets to govern.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      No, I’m not confused.

                      I’m not blaming Labour for nursing the neo-liberal vipers, but for contemporary policy that falls short of resolving the problems they created.

                      If I were blaming Labour they would get unremitting vitriol day in and day out until the party broke up, which is some peoples’ prescription for reforming the ‘third way’ rot to allow an uncompromised left to come through. I’m not sure they don’t deserve it, but the pragmatic consideration of displacing a worse government rules. For the moment.

                • patricia bremner

                  Well said red-blooded. We need to project a different future as we work towards it.

                  That is one of Jacinda and Andrew’s strengths. They both work towards a goal, setting the scene, picking the players and having a unified game.

                  We could see that on the Auckland stage. To some they just hugged in the moment, but to we who have waited a lifetime for unity of purpose, it was wonderful.

                  It shouted to those tuned in, ” this is bigger than any of us”, and whatever it takes ” Let’s do this” symbolised in Jacinda and Andrew’s hug.

                  Touchy feely stuff makes some uncomfortable, but others see it as the beginning of valuing people above material things.

                  There is a tide in the affairs of men (and women) …..

            • Adrian Thornton

              This has as much to do with Labour today as Labour 30 years ago to .

              Now I am not sure where you come from, but here in the Hawkes bay where I have lived for over 15 years, under both National and Labour, I have witnessed first hand what these free market ideals that both parties are tied to, has done and is still doing to my communities.

              For example -Apple pickers, no increase in bin rates for over 15 years, most now in fact work for below minium wage.
              This used to be a well paid and respectable job that many local citizens made a career out of ( including thinning and pruning), and if they worked hard, ( and it is extremely hard work) it would lead to social mobility within their communities, if so desired.
              No more, gone.
              The RSE workers scheme, brought in by Clarke, is used ruthlessly by Orchard owners to suppress wages growth, and this is still supported by Labour today, even as the industry is making record profits.


              So my point still stands. yes Labour is better than National, of course they are, but are Labour still tied to their neoliberal economic ideology that they introduced over 30 years ago? yes they are, and that is the fundamental problem I have with them, they are still a party for business and economic growth before citizen and worker welfare.

              • red-blooded

                Great – so you (finally) admit that Labour are better than National. This is the first even half-hearted positive comment I have ever read from you about Labour, Adrian.

                If they’re better than National, how about pulling back on the attacks? The only way you are going to make a positive difference to the lives of the people you care about is to support a better government.

                As for apple picking, I live in Otago. There’s a longstanding tradition of university and school students picking apples, and that still happens. I don’t know how many people make a permanent living out of it, I imagine it’s not many, but that’s as much because of mechanisation as the RSE scheme (which, BTW, is very important to the communities of the Pacific). Fruit picking has never been highly paid – I used to pick fruit as a teenager and I don’t recall any adults who worked full time as pickers at the place I worked.

                Regarding your “business and economic growth before citizen and worker welfare” cant, have you actually looked at Labour’s employment policy? Industry-wide minimum wages and conditions – sounds to me like a party that cares about workers.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  For a start I have always said that Labour is of course better than National, as this is a left leaning forum, I just naturally assumed that this would be taken as a common understanding.

                  Now I don’t know what happens in Otago, but I can assure you of two things.

                  1. As I have already explained, apple picking in the Hawkes Bay was a very respectable way for non trade, and undereducated citizens to make good money 15-20 years ago when the bin rate was $30-35 per bin. I knew of whole families who used to work as picking/pruning/thinning crews, the older woman would bring them cooked lunches etc.
                  However as that bin rate/thinning rate is about the same today, and couple that with the much more stringent requirements for apple quality (ie less apples can be picked on each pass through the trees) means that this (what can be) well paid job no longer exists.

                  BTW, I am of partial Island decent myself, so get the benefit to the Islands, but surely you can’t support this RSE that is so obviously being used to suppress wages?

                  2. The $1.00 per hour increase in minimum wage is good of course, but as you well know (or should if you don’t) that this increase was already taken out of the wallets of minimum wage workers long ago just by rent/housing inflation alone.

                  Lastly, as this is mainly a left leaning forum, this is the exact place where anyone who is interested should feel free to critique and unpack the Left political parties their policies and their history.

            • gsays

              hi red blooded,
              i cautiously enter this debate as i agree with at’s sentiments and most of yours. both are articulated far more succintly than i would.

              labour seem(ed) keen on the tppa, in a different form. not a trade agreement, more an enshrining of the corporatocracy.
              on pike river and body recovery, we need an enquiry, chin stroking, experts… before a postion is taken.
              last election, manual workers were facing another few years wait, if indeed they were to get there, to get superannuation.
              working for families was acknowledging and categorizing the ‘working poor’ as opposed to moving wages up.

              far removed from the ‘party for the worker’ pre 1984.

              i get most of what i have listed can be debated/explained/negated, but the point is ‘the vibe’ (thanks dennis denuto).

              for me the system is broken, only works well for very few, and ok for some (i am looking at those with a property port folio).
              it is crap for most of us.
              i am a tradesman, 20 years experience and i can not get to the living wage in hospitality.

              is labour the party to change the system, or just put some needed sticking plasters on?

            • adam

              As I’ve said to you over and over red-blooded, the policy of the labour party in relation to economics, is liberalism. It’s there in black and white right on their own web page.

              So if you can’t connect the dots, that’s your failing to understand basic politics, not anyone else.

              Adrian Thornton, can you stop calling it neoliberlism, it’s the old enemy of working and poor people. It’s just called liberalism. The can add all the shiny bobbles, and neon signs they like. It’s still the same failed economic model, that left millions of Irish and Indians dead in the 19th century. It’s still the same economic model, that destroyed the third world in the 20th century to keep the first world in jam. And now in the 21st century it’s still the same tired worn out economics, that enriches the rich at the expense of the poor – every hour, of every day, year after year.

              • red-blooded

                adam, can you point to a country that runs its economy in a way you approve of? Maybe that would help poor thickos like me (that MA in Political Science must have been a fluke, because clearly I’m incapable of understanding the subtlety and brilliance of your economic insights).

                • adam

                  Should I do what you did to me, and say google it?

                  But once again you will find some way to play word games, and find some loophole through which to jump.

                  Odd I would have though with a MA, in political science – Mill, Ricardo and the other founders of liberalism would have been taught to you.

                  So let me guess. you’re being obtuse because that is how you roll?

                  Or are you just so use to gotcha politics, that’s all you know?

                  • red-blooded

                    adam, I note you’re avoiding the question. Is there a country that actually runs its economy and society in a way you approve of? Rather hard for me to google, as I’m still trying to figure out what would earn your approval.

                    And no, I’m not being obtuse or trying to getcha – I’m trying to understand how broad or narrow your definition of liberalism is and what you think of as the viable, successful alternatives. Because it’s not at all clear from your comments.

                    • adam

                      So mentioning Mill or Ricardo was not enough of a hint. Odd for someone with a degree/masters/somthing. Makes me wonder at your education, hope you didn’t pay to much…

                      As for viable alternatives, that was not my argument but yours, go google that if you want. There are many. Tina is not an option, unless you have given up.

                      My point was economic wise the labour party are fully in bed with liberalism. And liberalism is the enemy, the old enemy of working people. But with a masters in politics you not really working people are you…

              • Adrian Thornton

                Adam, while I completely agree with your statement that it is the same old liberalism that is the enemy of workers and the poor, I do believe that the distinction between classic liberalism and neoliberalism is important.

                Where as traditional liberalism was delivered by the expected political class, neo liberalism has been delivered by the co-opted institutions of liberalisms traditional enemies, ie NZ Labour, Labour UK and to a lesser extent The Democrats, a genius move on their part, and one that only Labour UK has thus far managed to break free of date.

                Although I am sure you know all that.

                Turn Labour Left!

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              The shift (betrayal) in the 1980’s defines NZ politics, the current NZ Overton window and Labour policy to this day. In the long run Labour will do better if they admit that.

              The way to “move on” is to decisively reverse neoliberal policies and ideology – not to try to forget it ever happened.

              (disclaimer – I am 100% hoping for a Labour-led government this election!)

          • Tony Veitch (not etc)

            Unquestionably, Labour/Greens will be better for the overall welfare of this country rather than the extreme neolibs in power now! That is why I am working to secure the Labour candidate in my electorate.

            But – and it’s a big but – I’m under no illusions that Labour, even with the Greens dragging them left, will implement any fundamental changes. It’ll still be neoliberalism, but with a smiling face!

            Better than the abortion we’ve had for 9 years, but far short of an ideal, more’s the pity.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    And David ~Farrar/Curia have stopped sharing their poll data with Colin James for the poll of polls.

    Now, why would he do that, I wonder?

    • CLEANGREEN 4.1


      Yes watch the signs is the mirror to it all now, as National’s consant reliance on draconianism styles are now rejected as unacceptable and that is why National are now in free fall now as Jacinda effect has truly taken hold now.

      People want a change and be involved in our future when they hear words from Jacinda like “caring” & “fairness” & “transparent” & “everyone will the a voice” voters feel as though they finally will be respected now.

      Long live Jacinda for a return to a “Kinder gentler caring inclusive government” that Helen Clark won her first term with in 1999.

    • katipo 4.2

      I see he still has the old July poll graphs up on his kiwiblog website too, wonder when or if they will be updated?

    • Greg 4.3

      Really hehe hehe I wonder why????

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.4

      Goes to show how much they use polling as a tool for manipulation, rather than as a measurement.

  5. Keith 5

    And yet in Ohariu the Green Party’s strategists are at work again, this time to split the vote and ensure National represent the electorate.

    The Nats must be laughing!

    • Devo 5.1

      The only reason Ohariu mattered was because Dunne was his own party and gave national another partner to form a majority with. With Dunne out of the way, the Greens standing a candidate will have no affect on the number of seats each part will receive, and may even increase their party vote in that electorate with the increased presence.
      FYI, I live in Ohariu and am glad the greens are standing so I don’t have to vote for O’Connor anymore. His views on arming the police don’t sit well with me.

      • Ethica 5.1.1

        Have you asked him that this is what he thinks now? My understanding was that was in the context of another time and another job.

        • Muttonbird

          Exactly. It shows me Greg O’Connor is committed to the people he represents and would do a spectacular job as MP for Ohariu.

          I get the feeling some people think his work for the Police Association means he wants to arm all the people of Ohariu too!

        • Anne

          Correct Ethica. He was doing his job and representing the majority decision of the police. My understanding is he was personally against arming the police at that time.

        • Devo

          No I haven’t, and that may be so, but I’d still rather vote for the green candidate. Too hard to ignore his past position even if as he claims, it has changed.

          • red-blooded

            I think you’ll find that his personal position hasn’t changed, Devo. That’s the point. He previously represented a group who voted for a policy that he had to espouse. He no longer represents that group.

        • Rosie

          +1 Ethica.

          I went from a place where I once shared Devo’s view to whole heartedly supporting O Connor, even having a massive campaign poster of his on my fence. Why? Because, Big Picture.

          If Devo had been at the public meeting O Connor hosted to discuss how to go about reviving our dilapidated town centre, they would have found O Connor surprisingly engaging and determined to deal with the issue, which he has been doing behind the scenes. No one else over the years has bothered or cared.

          This is the kind of person we need representing us here in Ohariu. O Connor’s previous viewpoints in a former role are not relevant to this campaign or his potential role as an MP.

      • garibaldi 5.1.2

        The Greens are wise to chase the Party vote in Ohariu. Now that Dunne has gone it is a different dynamic and the Greens need to be there.

        • ScottGN

          Presumably they always were chasing the Party Vote. It’s hard to see what they’re going to achieve by deciding at the 11th hour to re-enter the candidate race, since they’ve no chance of winning. Coming a day after 2 senior party strategists resigned it all looks chaotic and messy.

          • weka

            You are simply ignorant on this. It’s been explained many times. Standing in electorates and campaigning on the party vote increases the party vote. Not standing in electorates decreases party vote.

            So before Dunne resigned the Greens decided to give up some of their party vote by not standing in Ōhāriu in order to increase the chances of changing the government. That’s no longer necessary, and their best move now in terms of changing the government is to increase their party vote.

            • Eco maori

              +100 Weka

            • ScottGN

              If what you say is true Weka then such a stupid strategy from the Greens will surely reap the reward it deserves.

              • weka

                And yet the Greens have been increasing their vote over the time they’ve been in parliament. It’s not just the Greens that do this, it’s pretty well known that campaigning in the seats increases the party vote. You can call it stupid, everyone else understands that it’s how parties get votes.

          • Robert Guyton

            ” It’s hard to see what they’re going to achieve”
            No, Scott, seeing what the Greens are going to achieve is not at all hard, especially given weka’s patient explanations. Increase the Party vote, get into Government, save the whales </strike country.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s hard to see what they’re going to achieve by deciding at the 11th hour to re-enter the candidate race, since they’ve no chance of winning.

            Putting up a candidate gives the Greens another $25000 advertising budget.

            Coming a day after 2 senior party strategists resigned it all looks chaotic and messy.

            No it doesn’t. It looks like a rapid and confident action on the part of the Greens.

      • KJT 5.1.3

        O Conner was a paid representative of the police union.
        He was putting forward their veiws.

        I understand his personal vieeeiws are different.

      • KJT 5.1.4

        O Conner was a paid representative of the police union.
        He was putting forward their veiws.

        I understand his personal views are different.

        • tracey

          I couldnt work that long for an Organisation that asked me to express views so starkly opposite my own.

          It was never called a Union, always an Association… unlike the PSA and teachers union…

          • red-blooded

            Actually, my union – the Post Primary Teachers’ Association – also carries that label. So what?

            • tracey

              Just observing that yours gets called a union, with a sneer but police association got called an association.

              • red-blooded

                OK..? I’m not sure that’s particularly meaningful – after all, the primary teachers’ union is called an “institute”. Besides, I’ve heard the Police Association described as the police officers’ union.

                • tracey

                  Wasnt trying to help you. Was observing that the media tend to talk of heads of teachers organisations as “head of the union” and of the head of police equivalent as a “association”. And union is said with its begative coonotations. Nothing mire nothing less.

          • alwyn

            “It was never called a Union, always an Association… unlike the PSA …”

            That is a truly amazing revelation Tracey. Please enlighten me. What does the “A” in “PSA” stand for?


            • tracey

              Oh FFS. Go search through old media audio. I am observing that Greg got respected and Heads of other unions didnt/dont. I am referring to how media paint the different organisations.

              Sorry to have hurt so many heads with the simple distinction

      • popexplosion 5.1.5

        Police are armed, sure, it’s hidden in the car… …party voting Green gets them into government, constituency vote Labour gets Greens into government. Hold your nose while voting it might help.

        • Devo

          Except my constituency vote has no bearing on whether labour or the greens get into government. And I don’t want O’Connor representing me. So I won’t vote for him.

          • Darth smith

            I think of O’Connor would do a great job he used representing people whether there police or ordinary citizen he has the skills

      • swordfish 5.1.6

        Reeks of desperation according to Green-leaning veteran Journo Gordon Campbell

        Hard to treat the Greens’ belated decision to stand a candidate in Ohariu as being anything other than a desperation move, by a party whose own leadership is evidently concerned about its chances of survival …

        Evidently, Greens leader James Shaw has decided the party can no longer afford to forego the few hundred party votes that a local candidate (Tane Woodley) and a “two ticks” message might make possible. The downside of this tactical change is that it readily looks like panic and could be self defeating: in that hey, if they’re deciding to throw the strategy into reverse in Ohariu things must be looking really, really bad …

        So bad in fact that the party vote pittance the Greens stand to gain in Ohariu could well be cancelled out nationwide. Quite a few centre-left voters may now conclude that voting for the Greens could be a wasted vote, given the risk of the Greens not making the 5 % MMP threshold – a risk that even the party leadership evidently feels is palpable. Validly or not, the Ohariu decision conveys a sense of impending disaster, at the very time when the party is trying to climb back off the canvas, post Metiria.


        • popexplosion

          Greens removed their candidate to help against Dunne, Dunne gone, success. So biased media want it to look like failure in standing a candidate. Labour get it, Dunne gone, Greens withdrew to help them remove Dunne. Why can’t the media. Perplexed.

    • ScottGN 5.2

      The Greens are in disarray. There doesn’t seem to be any strategic thinking going on at all.

      • Sanctuary 5.2.1

        +100. Passive-aggressive muddled thinking from middle class eco-warriors at it’s best.

        There was no need to pointlessly antagonise Labour with a forlorn hope where the only possible altered outcome will be a National electorate win instead of a Labour one.

        • ScottGN

          I think it’s fairly obvious James Shaw no longer has control of his party. Fortunately their core vote will most likely see them survive after Sept 23 but they’ll be hugely relieved to get this clusterfuck of an election over with.

          • Psycho Milt

            The fact that you imagine James Shaw ought to “control” his party says you have no idea what you’re talking about.

            • ScottGN

              OK I give up. You’re right. The Greens are headed for a stupendous victory on Sept 23rd. Happy now?

              • I’d be happier if I didn’t need to explain to a grown man that “The Green Party doesn’t put a high value on heirarchical authority” != “The Green Party will win a stupendous victory next month.”

                • tracey

                  Why is this concept so difficult for otherwise intelligent people?

                  But who is in charge? I need to know tge one person in charge. Hold me, I am scared.

                  • weka


                    After 19 years some people still think that the Green Party should think and act like them. Weird.

          • KJT

            It is obvious you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

            James, and the team were well in control and on message when i spoke to them last week.

            Don’t believe all the wishful thinking in the media.

            • Kevin

              Problem is KJT that they think standing a candidate in Ohariu now, is a good decision.

              To the electorate, after the events of the last month, it smacks of desperation. And that is what matters.

              All they will do is reduce Greg O’Connors lead by a few points. I do not see them doing enough in the time remaining to have a major effect on his lead.

              • weka

                The reason for standing in Ōhāriu has nothing to do with O’Connor. It’s to increase their party vote. This is a long standing practice of the Greens and other parties. Labour don’t need to win the seat to change the government, and the Greens have no reason to give up party votes so that a new comer to Labour can get into parliament.

                • UncookedSelachimorpha

                  Exactly – it is all about the party vote I expect. Why wouldn’t the greens try to chase it?

                • Ross

                  The reason for standing in Ōhāriu has nothing to do with O’Connor. It’s to increase their party vote.

                  I guess. But then the Greens don’t have to stand a candidate in every electorate to chase the party vote.

                  • weka

                    But they get more party votes if they do. How many times does this have to be explained?

              • tracey

                National will now win Ohariu. Labour winning is now redundant if the party vote keeps climbing. Greens can get party vote expisure. Remind me which seat Labour are standing aside for the Greens?

                • weka

                  Yes, waiting now for the calls for Labour to stand aside in Nelson. Which of course won’t happen because the narrative being pushed here is anti-Green.

                  • prickles

                    I’m pleased Labour are standing someone in Nelson – would like to give two ticks to the Greens but think they have made a mistake in their choice of candidate. They’ll still get my party vote though.

                  • tracey

                    Yes… Greens are misguided and selfish is the biggest Labour NZF ACT NAT projectuion of all time

                  • ScottGN

                    I’m not anti Green Weka. In fact if you’d asked me 6 months ago I would have said my preferred outcome at the election was a Labour/Green Coalition government.

                    • weka

                      You certainly sound anti-Green now. But it was a general observation from me and by all means make some comments about how Labour should be giving concessions to the Greens in Nelson.

                  • ScottGN

                    Ain’t gonna happen Weka. Even if Labour did stand aside in Nelson it’s far from certain the Greens would pick up the seat.
                    If the Greens go below 5% on Sept 23rd – they’ll have only themselves to blame.

              • KJT

                Greens have always had electorate candidates, wherever possible. Ohariu is no different.

                It not only increases the party vote. It also means we have a connection, and ears on the ground, for local community concerns.

          • tracey

            Yes cos having one person in control… silencing others … that is what we need more of. The Greens clearly unsettle people cos they work by consensus and collaboration.

            • KJT

              Working as a team is a foreign concept to “authoritarian followers”.

              They have to have a “boss” to tell them what to think.

              Probably why we have so many right wing wannabees, (sorry, “centrists” LOL) here slavishly regurgitating the same old crap.

              • tracey

                Well they can be centrist cos since 1984 the centre has moved so far….

                Love how you put it

        • Muttonbird

          It’s self preservation. The Greens are desperate for headlines and desperate for the party vote.

          It’s not right to say it doesn’t matter who wins Ohariu because it’s about perception of momentum and further examples of supposed coalition partners losing sight of a common goal.

          These have an effect on the party vote which is important even if electorate seats are less so.

          Cynical of The Greens but they are fighting for their very (short term) survival.

          • Bearded Git

            Labour cannot form a Left of Centre government without the Greens getting 5%. Repeat, Labour cannot form a Left of Centre government without the Greens getting 5%. Luckily they are polling 8-9% at the moment and have polled over ten percent for the last 6 year.

            In Ohariu the Greens are now treating the seat like all of the others in the country. It is a MSM beat-up that the Greens now standing in Ohariu is some kind of Labour/Green rift. It is not.

            The Greens have already done Labour and the Left a massive favour by getting rid of Dunne. The 48-34 poll against Dunne, which caused him to resign, only came out that way because the Greens were not standing at that stage.

            Well done the Greens-keep up the good work. Genter was excellent, and far more impressive than Kelvin Davis, on Backbenches last night.

            • Muttonbird

              Not picking a fight but the demise of Dunne had zero to do with The Greens. Perhaps less than zero.

              The Greens, while still important to a change in government have shown in the last few weeks to be what they are, principled but amateur.

              Perhaps a time in government will help with the amateurism.

              Or, perhaps a time out of parliament altogether will help more…

              • KJT


                Greens have more depth of competence, and grasp of the issues, in their candidates than any other party.

                The advantage of democratic selection of candidates.

                Greens do not select party hacks, back stabbing experts, and incompetent apparatchiks.

                • Muttonbird

                  Apart from Kennedy Graham of the Doug Graham and Carrick Graham family, and that other guy who pretended he was from a poor background.

                • weka

                  It is very odd to see people saying the Greens are amateurs. They’re a solid mainstream party that’s been in parliament a long time. And as you say, they have huge competency in their MPs. People might not like what the Greens do, but saying they’re amateur suggests a misunderstanding of what the GP are about.

              • Macro

                Your reading of the effect of the Greens not standing a candidate and Dunne’s subsequent withdrawl, is seriously flawed. The Greens were willing to give up some of their party vote in Ohario in order to change the govt. As you will know Dunne was an necessary to prop up a minority National govt. So now he has gone the highly professional Green Party understood, whereas many amateurs (such as yourself) fail to understand, withholding a candidate in the electorate, and thereby foregoing some of the Party vote, was no longer necessary.
                Indeed this entirely consistent with the MOU between Labour and the Greens designed to change the government.

            • red-blooded

              I think you’ll find Labour has played quite a part in getting Dunne out the door!

              • weka

                true, and it’s hard to know what the exact pressures were that led to Dunne leaving. But O’Connor’s polling and the lack of vote splitting from the Greens must be significant factors.

                • ScottGN

                  It’s no that hard to figure out really – Peter Dunne is a sore loser who not only dreaded the prospect of losing his seat but also couldn’t bear an ignominious return to the backbenches which was to be his fate regardless of which way the winds blow on election day.

        • Macro

          FFS! The reason the Greens are now fielding a “candidate” is simply to win back the Party vote that they were willing to give up whilst Dunne was standing in order to help bring down the govt. Now he has gone it is a completely different ball-game.
          Whether or not O’Connor wins is now neither here nor there in the formation of the Parliament after 23 Sept. However, each Party whether Labour, Green, or what ever, will be determined by the percentage of Party votes they win nationwide. The political facts are that having someone on the ground – door knocking, and at “meet the candidates”, and leaflet dropping, and house meetings, and all the other ways of meeting the people and hearing their concerns are the primary ways of getting out the vote for your Party. JF has said she was devastated when she heard people say to her after an election “I voted for you”. What she wanted was to hear “I voted for your Party”.
          This is not panic – it is a sound and practical way to get out the Party vote for the Greens

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            Exactly – sounds like both the pre-Dunne and post-Dunne strategy makes excellent sense – for both the Greens and for changing the government.

        • DoublePlusGood

          The relevant outcome for the Greens is that having an electoral candidate on the ballet for them in Ōhariu is likely to be worth some increased number of party votes. Before they were willing to forgo that as a result of the importance of turfing Dunne out of the electorate. Now there is no reason at all of them to forgo those increased party votes – because the National candidate winning the electorate has zero impact on the seat division in parliament, while the Greens getting more party votes does.

      • tracey 5.2.2

        Nice regurgitation of media headlines. I didnt see a crisis being called in the recent poll where NZF support plummetted.

        • lurgee

          Is NZ1st polling below the 5% threshold? Do the Greens have an electorate lifeboat?

          Totally different situations.

          • tracey

            Not all… that first post jacinda poll halved them. I have seen polls where Greens are above 5. Not totally different. Different Media situation

      • Craig H 5.2.3

        I thought it was good strategy – circumstances have changed, so they changed their plan.

    • And yet in Ohariu the Green Party’s strategists are at work again, this time to split the vote and ensure National represent the electorate.

      The Green Party doesn’t owe you an electorate. It’s a memorandum of understanding, not a surrender agreement. If O’Connor can’t win the electorate on his own merits, that’s for Labour to wear – don’t try and blame it on third parties, it just makes you look weak and self-centred.

      • xanthe 5.3.1

        anything that will reduce O’Connors influence in next govt is a good thing IMHO

        • Keith

          Best to have Paula’s influence and Judith’s then?

          • Psycho Milt

            If you think that Labour failing to win this electorate would affect the question of who forms the government, you should maybe go and study MMP a little.

        • tracey

          He hardly represents a move to the Left

          • Ad

            Compared to Hudson or Dunne he does.

            • tracey

              Not on his record at the Police Ass.

              • Ad

                Seriously, more “just not left enough for me” contests?

                Greg O’Connor himself responds to your kind of suspicion in his own post at The Standard here:

                Greg O’Connor responds

                Do your own suspicion a favour, read it, maybe even contact him directly as he is pretty open – open enough to front up here and face his critics with good evidence.

                Even Bryce Edwards – who went through his commentary in the Police Association journal – was surprised at the socially-focused nature of O’Connor’s writing.

                Plus, four decades service to New Zealand in the Police Force.

                Plus, intimate knowledge of the disability sector.

                That’s Greg O’Connor’s record.

                • tracey

                  I hope he is high up the List then

                  • alwyn

                    If he doesn’t win the seat he will be sweating pretty hard on Election Night.
                    He is, unless the Labour Party has done some dramatic alterations to their list since their initial announcement, in position 41.
                    There are half a dozen people in the Maori electorates who aren’t on the list but who have a pretty good chance of winning in their electorates. They will get in ahead of Greg.
                    Labour will therefore need about 40% of the vote for O’Conner to get in. They might get that much but I doubt it. If they do, of course, it will probably mean that the Green Party will be MIA after the election.

    • I get the feeling The Nats and chortling are divorced just now.

    • tracey 5.5

      Nats have 45% of the party vote in Ohariu. That will now swing in behing their candidate. Which seat are Labour standing aside for Greens? Some folks love compromise until they have to do it

    • Rosie 5.6

      Exactly Keith. My first thoughts too.

      I’m quite disappointed with this development. Just when we were finally getting somewhere in the conservative, socially regressive electorate we have a new challenge to deal with. This will only serve to divide the left vote and strengthen Egg Head Hudson’s position.

      This is not a regular electorate, even with Dunne gone. The Greens should have hung back until the next election, once we (hopefully) have established a Labour Green government. I’m a two ricks Labour girl, but I’m also a fan of the Greens. However, I think they’ve ballsed this one up.

  6. eco Maori/kiwi 6

    Go Greg He will clean up the mess that National have made of our Justice Systems

  7. Ad 7

    Too soon.
    Hold on.

    • swordfish 7.1

      Too late, Adrick

      It’s pre-Election Euphoria for us !!!

      We’re basically going to count ’our chickens before they’ve hatched, break open the doors of Parliament & start assigning out.Cabinet portfolios with wild abandon

      But rest assured – we’ll descend into the throes of dashed hopes, anguished remorse & deep depression the moment an unpleasant Poll result turns up – quickly followed by a return to unbridled Euphoria if the next Poll’s Jacinda-friendly

      The casual assumptions are all very Dr Evil

      Dr. Evil: Scott, I want you to meet daddy’s nemesis, Austin Powers

      Scott Evil: What? Are you feeding him? Why don’t you just kill him?

      Dr. Evil: I have an even better idea. I’m going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death.

      All right guard, begin the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism.
      [guard starts dipping mechanism] …

      Close the tank! …

      Scott Evil: Wait, aren’t you even going to watch them? They could get away!

      Dr. Evil: No no no, I’m going to leave them alone and not actually witness them dying, I’m just gonna assume it all went to plan. … What?

      Scott Evil: I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I’ll get it, I’ll come back down here, BOOM, I’ll blow their brains out!

      Dr. Evil: Scott, you just don’t get it, do ya? You don’t.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    I swear there are two different people posting as ‘Ad’. There are two different thumbnails associated with the comments and there are two very distinct ideologies expressed. One is reasonably passionate and socially conscious, and the other is a borderline troll disinterested in anything but winners and losers.

    • Ad 8.1

      So fun being a complex 🙂

      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        So fun being a complex centrist 🙂

        • Ad

          The different thumbnails are from using different instruments.

          Let’s have a look at what “centrist” means in terms of the proposed Labour-led government:

          Labour has just ruled out raising income taxes, and will stick within agreed budgetary limits, and now seems pretty unlikely on CGT in the first term, since they have plenty of money in the forecasts.

          Labour has also proposed a stupendously large expenditure programme on whole bunches of social deficits.

          So those two balance out.

          Now, I’m sure there are plenty who want more budgetary stringency, or more social spending, but so far Jacinda Ardern is spectacularly popular because she is striking a balance.

          A centrist.

          • KJT

            Fence sitters get splinters in their balls.

            • Ad

              Neither I nor Jacinda Ardern are sitting on any fence. But cheers for the anatomical reference anyway.

              Until the day I cast my vote I will be delivering pamphlets, knocking on doors, putting up hoardings, and donating.

              For the Labour Party.

              • tracey

                Except Arden centre is still to the Right of a genuine political centre.

                Nice stealth steal of Green tag lines tho.

                • Ad

                  You can decide whether Ardent is left or right. Knock yourself out determining that. So fruitful.

                  I am voting Labour and encouraging everyone I talk to , to do the same.

                  • tracey

                    Good on you. I hope Labour get to 40 or more too but unlike you I dont crave the two party bully system of yore

                    • Ad

                      I am sure in your own way you will also encourage people to change the government by voting.

                    • tracey

                      Not on his record at the Police Ass.I am sure in your own way you can let someone else have the last word

              • KJT

                Well. you fooled me on that. I thought you were an ACTiod,

                • Ad

                  People worry too much about how others define them.
                  So I got you the singalong version:

                  • Dspare

                    Except this is how your advice to GP supporters sounds to others, Ad (song itself starts at 47s mark):

          • KJT

            Adern is popular, because people are hoping for a change from the destructive radical experiment, which New Zealand Governments have inflicted on us for the past 30 years.

            Unfortunately Labour is likely to disappoint us. Going on their past record.

            But. Carry on fooling yourself, that you are a “centrist”.

            • Psycho Milt

              Wishful thinking. She’s popular because she’s good-looking and is relaxed with the media – not saying that’s a bad thing, just that political leaders aren’t popular for their policies.

              • Ad

                Or maybe because Ardern is competent in policy, coherent in thought and enunciation, and a good leader.

                • tracey

                  She is all those things but the sudden rise cannot be for that since most being polled have no way of knowing that.

                  • Ad

                    Your knowledge of the intent and knowledge of those polled is impressive. What’s your bet for the quinella at Ellerslie this week?

                  • McFlock

                    Well, they can see how well she answers questions, how she has policy and the issues to hand, and her genuine enthusiasm. That’s part of being relaxed with the media.

                    Basically, here’s what I was expecting: Little had lost his spark, and when I heard about the substitution I figured we’d see Lab in low 20s, Ardern doing everything and looking confident, but with that forced smile and defeat in her eyes that pollies get when they know they’re fucked, and an emphasis on rebuild for 2020 (maybe with a tilt back to the right).

                    Whatever happens, I was totally wrong: she came out swinging like Rocky crossed with the energiser bunny, and thoroughly disrupted the election.

                • KJT

                  So was Andrew Little.

                  • tracey

                    And David Cunliffe.

                    • Ad

                      Neither Cunliffe nor Little had all three qualities.
                      Ardern does.

                      Whatever her detractors on the hard left and right, she stands the best chance in a decade of being a Labour Prime Minister.

                    • tracey

                      Cunliffe has all three

                      competent in policy, coherent in thought and enunciation, and a good leader.

                      Ardern had been leader about 7 days when first poll came. I agree she is all those things but there is no way the first poll was about that, except on your Planet

                      You realise what you consider isthe hard left was just left of centre in 1990

                  • Na, Little was pathetic with the media and he came across as wishy-washy on policy and because of that he didn’t come across as a good leader even if he was.

                    Cunliffe was ok but he had too much white-anting going on which, again, is not a sign of a good leader.

                    And I don’t believe in leaders.

              • Stuart Munro

                At the risk of drawing a bit of fire I’d say it’s a little more than that: she’s party royalty, a Labour princess. As it happens I think she’s largely free of aristocratic vices and likely to do a pretty good job within the constraints that Labour chooses to operate.

  9. KJT 9

    The media have decided that National have petered out, on the amount of our wealth they can steal.

    So. It is time to let Labour back in, to replenish the kitty.

  10. Adrian 10

    Hoskings interviewing Jacinda this morning introduced her as the ..”leader of the opposition for the next few weeks..”” Fruedian slip or even he has seen the graffiti on the wall and has given up.

  11. Macro 11

    At the GBD in Thames “Meet the Candidates” meeting last night of the 4 candidates, Scott Simpson (the sitting National candidate) got the least enthusiastic response – except when he spouted the obvious party bullshit of delivering to NZ – which was met with howls of ironic laughter.
    Many thanks to the hosts who have opened up their premisses and even provided fantastic nourishment. An historic pub in an historic town and next to an equally historic church, (Cat 1) – behind which the homeless bed down for the night Scott if you are interested.

  12. Sable 12

    Hmmmm I’d like to think so but my pick is a National/NZFirst government.

  13. tracey 13

    More crystal ball gazing and no analysis of policies and needs of the people. All those links show precious time and money spent telling us what to think about which horse is in front.


    Sable said;
    “my pick is a National/NZFirst government.”


    [second moderation warning. Please stop using capitals, it’s considered shouting and is rude. In moderation until I see an acknowledgement and that you will stop – weka]

  15. gsays 15

    what i wouldn’t give to have one prominent journalist then another to ask bill english something along the lines of:
    “since you have taken leadership of the national party, historically high poll support has slumped to margin of error size, you are neck and neck with a novice as preferred prime minister, and all polling has the party trending the wrong way. have you considered stepping down as leader?”

    then follow with a headline “bill english refusues to consider leadership change”.

  16. SpaceMonkey 16

    We knew the tide was going out on National the moment the John Key stood down. This is icing on the cake.

    • tc 16.1

      They knew it was over so JK slung his hook in time for a patsy knighthood.

      Curia dont release their data as you would probably see why if they did.

  17. mosa 17

    If the tide is going out for National then someone needs to tell TVNZ news because English is getting 80% of election coverage that is positive.

    Negative , negative for the Greens and Labour.

    Old habits die hard.

  18. Sans Cle 18

    This may be a silly question, but here it goes! Why was Ohariu considered the overhang seat, and not Epsom?

  19. eco Maori/kiwi 19

    Me thinks that Labour are the best of the two Ubels my opinion is from Analyzing most of the post on this site and others and considering the way western society works all illusions. Now people wake up and see it for yourselves
    We need a strong Green Party to keep Labour on the right track.

  20. patricia bremner 20

    First we need to change the Government. Then the jockeying will begin.

    Or should I say Horse Trading???????

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