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Damn close election. Now the coalition fun starts

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 am, November 9th, 2008 - 141 comments
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Lynn Prentice

Lynn Prentice

That was incredibly close. National plus Act plus probably Peter Dunne have scraped a small majority.

How close is shown in the election results table.

59 (nat) + 5 (act) + 1 (dunne) = 65. Less one for the speaker is 64 in a parliament of 122. That would mean that they have extra seats in hand for passing legislation after they get a majority. But because the number of seats are limited, it looks like a ‘waka’ jumping paradise because every MP is important. This feels to me like the scenario like the National/NZF coalition of the 1990’s.

The question is if a newbie politician has the skills required to maintain a coalition. Imagine if they do anything that Act objects to and will vote against. That is a hamstrung coalition because National would have to seek external support. Of course they can seek support outside of those two support parties, but there aren’t that many parties that they could work with on the ‘left’. Helen at least had parties within working distance on both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ of themselves.

It should make for an ‘interesting’ coalition agreement because Act has their own agenda. It will be a case of the “tail wagging the dog” as various right commentators have described this type of coalition. But without a alternative partner on particular legislation as Helen managed to do.

It is no wonder that the National politicians are trying to hammer the message of people moving in the same direction – they need the help. It is going to be quite amusing watching the National politicians contorting themselves to inoculate themselves against the dead embrace of Act. They need another party with enough votes to work with on the left of them – there really isn’t one that they can easily work with.

In the meantime it is time for the ‘left’ to start working on being the most effective opposition (in their unique ways) that they can be. I’ll probably blog on Helen standing down tommorrow after I get over the shock.

[Update: The speaker does get a vote.]

141 comments on “Damn close election. Now the coalition fun starts ”

  1. Ari 1

    Hey Lynn- or anyone else who’s knowledgeable on matters relating to the Speaker- quick question:

    When the speaker is appointed, is one seat removed from parliament, does someone from the bottom of that party’s list take the vacated seat, or does something else happen? I was running the numbers as if NZF had won an electorate seat and noticed National + ACT + UF had a 1 seat majority.

  2. lprent 2

    Nope. It has to be a sitting MP, who is then not allowed to vote. At least that is what my recollection is. Very close election isn’t it. Not exactly a mandate for change.

    Damn I’m having real hassles trying to write a post about Helen standing down. Time for bed.

  3. zANavAShi 3

    Oooh yay, a new post! I have nothing to say, just needed a break from the live thread for a while 😀

    Hey Lynn, are you feeling (like me) an agonising desire to rush down to the 24hr gas station to buy a pack of smokes? Lucky you that you have a cold right now, eh.

  4. F’in Douglas aye?

    I wonder if the average National Party supporter has any idea what has been unleashed. I’m reasonably well-off and voted Green. I’m just imagining being less well-off having and voted National; that must be the case for a whole heap of voters.

    It’s sad

    Let the 1000 day count down begin…

  5. sean 5

    Even after all this, you still can’t be gracious enough to say well done. Sore loser.

  6. lprent 6

    z: I fell off the wagon while getting some code written for the election. Turned out that I’d managed to forget to condition myself to work on code at home without cigarettes. So I had some really screwy code to do with a very limited time frame, a irritating set of conditioned behavior, and no ability to concentrate… damn..

    However, the election is over, I have other code to write at home and no time constraints. My partner is off for 6 weeks in PNG (ie no-one to get irritable with), and I haven’t allowed the other conditioning to relapse. It is give up smoking again for the second time.

  7. Jared 7

    Hahahaha, a mandate for change? How about a maximum of 57 seats under a Labour coalition, thats a 2 vote majority without even taking into account a coalition, and under a coalition with act/uf you are looking at 66 votes. It was well known that Helen would stand down, hardly a surprise there.

  8. lprent 8

    sean: Well I don’t operate that way. I don’t get excited when we win, nor do I get upset when we lose. That is the route to burnout.

    They are just battles in a long struggle. My advice to people who think that they can change the world is to ask what do they think about a 30 year campaign they’re embarking on. That is the average time for most major social and economic change to happen.

    Of course thinking that way, I don’t get too concerned about temporary setbacks or advances, and I don’t really expect others to do so either. I prefer to save my congratulations for something significant and this isn’t it.

    I’d suggest that you look at various peoples expectations of what the Nat’s were going to be able to do, and compare it with the actual results.

    They can’t govern alone. They have to govern with a party that has never been in government. They have no natural balancing party to compensate. They’re doing this with an untried leader who also hasn’t been in government and is a newbie to politics. They’re doing it in a position without a padding of MP’s if they lose one or two for any number of reasons.

    That looks distinctly unstable to me. If I was in the Nat’s, I’d be unsure if this was a victory or a setback. Meanwhile Labour has largely managed its internal rejuve.

  9. Ari 9

    Lynn- so essentially there are then 121 votes in the House?

    That would still have given the Nats a majority had NZF won an electorate- although it would be a very slim one.

  10. Jared 10

    Labour has lost stalwarts such as Tizard, Burton, Duynhoven, O’Conner and you are trying to tell me that Labour has maintained its integrity?

    Last election Labour led National by only 2 seats without a majority, this time around National lead Labour by over 16 without coalition partners. that is what I would call close, not a 16 seat margin

  11. lprent 11

    I screwed up the calcs (I blame beer). I’ve adjusted the text, but the effect is the same.

    It is 57 vs 65. Drop one for the speaker = 57 vs 64. If Act doesn’t like legislation and votes against it then 64 vs 59 assuming dunne votes with the Nat’s or is the speaker and Act doesn’t provide the speaker.

    That is a tail wagging problem for the Nat’s, because it is hard to see the Nat’s getting an alternative party to help overcome the Act dislike of a particular bill. Act doesn’t support a lot of centrist positions, so the Nat’s will be pulled right policy wise. Not good if they want to hold the centre. Also not good if they want to hold their few moderate centrist MP’s.

    Range wise the best party for National to override Act with would be Labour because the moderate centre-left of Labour has a lot in common with the moderate centre-right of National. But Labour is the effective opposition party and cooperation isn’t the role of the opposition party. Their alternatives are Greens or Maori party. Now have a look at this at NRT. There is hell of difference in voting patterns, and the greens and maori party tend to vote similar.

    Essentially this isn’t good for the Nat’s. As I said it is no wonder that they are talking ‘unity’. That is the only way that they can stop getting hauled rightwards

  12. Rocket Boy 12

    Um, how about ‘congratulations National & ACT, hard fought election – well done’?

    How is this going to be difficult for a ‘newbie’ politician to maintain this ‘interesting’ coalition?

    Are there two parties in parliament that are closer than ACT and National? You could easily swap most of the ACT MP’s into National and no one would notice, hell Rodney is in a safe National seat and they happily vote to keep him there.

    I also don’t see how it was ‘damn close’? Nearly 46% for National against 34% for Labour, it was a hiding.

  13. lprent 13

    RB: I explained further up. But essentially the only way that the Nats got the vote was to move closer to the centre. However there are no real centre parties to keep them there policy wise because of the alternative support that the main party needs when their bills conflict with the smaller coalition partner. For instance to keep them at the centre.

    Also while a number of the right wing MP’s are interchangeable with Act ones. There is a grouping of relative moderates in the Nat’s who aren’t. If the party goes too far right, then it will cause the waka jumping syndrome.

  14. Paul Robeson 14

    Lynn- nice band aid.

    But it was a pants down hiding.

    Though I would love to have seen each person who voted forced to choose on the basis of ACC- yes I want to pay for a lawyer to fight for my money while I’m in hospital having broken my leg at work, or having had a car accident.

    and other things.

    Labour doesn’t do media that well, the last two campaigns in the media have been a bit weak, or not quite sure of who they are talking to I think.

    Their on the ground organisation is great, but nothing with the sizzle of the Roses chocolate campaign, or those Ansell billboards. The negative angle was overplayed.

    ahh well. Love your work and your democracy in getting information out there.

  15. gingercrush 15

    Sorry but the result is not close. A close result is when the opposition has a chance to form a government. In that case Labour. But Labour-Green-Progressives-Maori CANNOT form a government whatsoever. Thus under MMP it can not be called a close result.

  16. Vinsin 16

    To all these people complaining that the election wasn’t close please remember that in fact we run a MMP system. This means it isn’t who gets the most votes on the day – remembering no-one party has yet to get over 50% – it’s who can form a coalition. This is why it was damn close. Anyways hopefully the country can survive a National led government, Mr Key has a lot of work ahead of him and I hope he and his National party do well and prove themselves to be the right choice – pardon the pun.

  17. Paul Robeson 17

    It would be interesting to start a reasons for and against a grand coalition thread.

    Because if most National party members (it is claimed) don’t support an ACT policy that gets included for the sake of a coalition agreement (and I wonder if we might see a few of ‘oh it was the condition of their support’ type deals) surely it makes more sense for Labour and National to vote together to pass centerist policy that both agree on.

    Why is this flawed?

    Or is it necessary for the MMP party vote to be valid that parties release a much more thorough policy manifesto prior to the election? Thus allowing pundits questionaire to be perfectable.

  18. gingercrush 18

    It is not damn close. Labour can’t form coalition partners and govern. Unless you put Act in their lot which can hardly be called possible in any way.

  19. lprent 19

    Jared:What a particular party gets is irrelevant. The only thing that counts, and what the party wanting to form the government has to do is that they have the votes to pass legislation. In this case they do, but only if Act allows then to do so.

    Not good if the major party wishes to maintain its integrity and position at the next election. It is a very bad position for the Nat’s to get themselves into as it carries a high risk of losing what allowed them to get into power – perceived moderation.

    As for the Labour MP’s. The actual drop was from 49 MP’s to 44 MP’s the losses wer because the party at all levels wanted to rejuve without bloodletting or massive defeat (like the Nat’s had in 1999 and even worse in 2002). There is a big difference between planned change and imposed change.

  20. lprent 20

    gingercrush: It is obvious you’re young. I’m not, and I think strategically rather than tactically. I’m considering if the Nat’s will be able to survive the 2011 election with the current configuration. The subtext is if the coalition will be able to survive waka jumping if the Nat’s get pulled to far right by Act.

    The right won a battle not a campaign. The battle may cost them the campaign

  21. gingercrush 21

    You think strategically absurd ideas that are largely unwarranted and are not in any way factual.

    The subtext is that the National party is in a strong position because it holds a huge size in comparison to other partners. By bringing in United Future and the Maori Party this allows National to be more moderate and not to go too far to the right. On more moderate policies National can use the Maori Party and United Future and possibly Labour (who are likely to vote for moderate ideas) and not be reliant on Act for votes. That is clearly a strength in National’s favour.

    National will not lose party members even if they swing to the right. Simply because you have dedicated National members who are dedicated to the party and the ideas.

    National is in ideal shape because it use its centrist parties and its right party Act to pass legislation.

  22. lprent 22

    Paul: The main reason why is that both major parties themselves are coalitions. The ends of each party detest the other party, in particular the activists. Unity governments tend to get creepy and embedded in stasis fast, and their activists leave, usually to form an opposition. Both parties usually implode.

    Besides you need the contention to examine all proposals deeply. That is why loyal oppositions formed in the first place.

  23. lprent 23

    gingercrush: absurd – nope – you just don’t want to think on them. I do…

    If they get Maori Party. That is why I said that the coalition forming would be interesting. I can’t see how that could happen. I can see why the Nat’s would want it to happen. In the current circumstances I suspect that Act would actively not want it to happen.

    I also can’t see how that would help much, except on the override Act voting. The Maori party generally vote like the Greens. Both the National and Act supporters here have shown how they like any green style social policies. The Maori party are also actively aware of how opposed both their members and their voters would be to that.

    Every maori electorate voted massively for Labour in their party vote this election, typically with Maori party having about half the labour vote. Both national and NZF combined are usually about half of the maori party vote. Tell me what would the maori party voters say to being in an alliance or coalition with the Nat’s in 2011. I don’t think that the MP wish to commit suicide this early.

  24. lprent 24

    Anyway off to bed. Just a gentle warning – I’m not exactly tolerant of trolling right now. Some kind of cold, lack of sleep, and a bit of shock. Don’t be stupid because I’m in a ban permanently mood if people disrupt discussion.

  25. gingercrush 25

    Well we’ll see. The thing is they’re not dependent on Maori Party support. It can and will be useful and I am positive some type of arrangement will be made but its not essential.

    Rather than wanting the National-led government to fall apart in hope of forming the government in 2011. The left needs to rebuild. The Greens need to work out why they tend to poll far higher than their actual results are. Labour needs to properly engage the Green voters. In several electorates they lost their MPs because of the Green candidate. The electorates do still play a role in MMP. It is far easier to build party support when you have an Electorate MP. Thus some agreement should be made so that Green voters vote for Labour electorate candidates but still vote Green. That way you shore up electorate support and that can help when building governments.

    The Greens I think are in a predicament. They poll high but results are consistently lower. Why is that? In every other way the polls were largely accurate. Maori would split their votes. National was in the 45-48% range. Labour was in the low-mid 30s. Greens were 9% and yet they are what 6.4. That is a worry. Clearly people like their message but something happens where that message doesn’t end up reflected in results. Greens need to come to terms with that.

    Labour has a clear job they need to do. Get even more South Auckland voters out. They are your future, they can win you elections. But also Labour can’t afford to forget about the provinces.

    National-Act won this election because in 2005 they grabbed a number of provinces back in the party and electorate vote. 2008 they built on that and also got more votes in the big cities. For Labour to return, they need to shore-up their advantage in the big cities BUT also regain voters from the provinces who use to be Labour.

    Most importantly, stop abusing the Greens and treating them as a party you use only if you have to. They are your natural ally. 2008 National moved towards the center while Labour also tried to stay in the future. But its a message for both the left and right. You must be centrist but you also need a clear right or left message. For Labour they lost their left ideals, National needs to be more careful in circulating the right. But in areas such as Law and Order a more right policy works.

    Also I don’t want to think about racial lines. But I would be rather interesting to see where Asian and Indian voters went in this election. Maori are clearly still voting left, Pacific Island is left. But I think this election, perhaps Asians and Indians voted right.

    So for the left to regain power. They need to consolidate, build, have a clear agenda and work with natural allies.

    And I need sleep.

  26. Ari 26

    You think strategically absurd ideas that are largely unwarranted and are not in any way factual.

    The subtext is that the National party is in a strong position because it holds a huge size in comparison to other partners. By bringing in United Future and the Maori Party this allows National to be more moderate and not to go too far to the right. On more moderate policies National can use the Maori Party and United Future and possibly Labour (who are likely to vote for moderate ideas) and not be reliant on Act for votes. That is clearly a strength in National’s favour.

    National will not lose party members even if they swing to the right. Simply because you have dedicated National members who are dedicated to the party and the ideas.

    National is in ideal shape because it use its centrist parties and its right party Act to pass legislation.

    National has two parties signed on right now- UF is roughly where National is, Act is far to the right. If they can agree to get the Maori Party to swing on issues Act is not keen on, (WITHOUT having to agree to anything that will fracture their already very divided party) then they are no longer paralysed by Act. However, as lprent points out to you, if the Maori Party were to form a natural “bloc” with the Party that votes closest to it the most often, it would end up with the Greens. National is going to have a hard time coming to a compromise with a Party that thinks like the Greens when Peter Dunne throws his appeals to “common sense” out the window almost every time the Greens are involved.

    That’s not to say National can’t do it- but I’d not be optimistic about their chances with John Key in charge, and a prominent National MP caught making very racially offensive remarks.

  27. Ari 27

    The Greens I think are in a predicament. They poll high but results are consistently lower. Why is that? In every other way the polls were largely accurate. Maori would split their votes. National was in the 45-48% range. Labour was in the low-mid 30s. Greens were 9% and yet they are what 6.4. That is a worry. Clearly people like their message but something happens where that message doesn’t end up reflected in results. Greens need to come to terms with that.

    National was polling above 50% for a long time. Labour polling higher 30s than they got. NZ First actually bumped the threshold in one poll.

    Firstly: The Greens always poll a lot higher than we get. I imagine this is because Greens are far more likely to answer polls when they get the chance because, much like Labour supporters, we are very active. However, unlike Labour, we don’t have such a large base, so this translates into volatility in polling trends.

    I think it’s also because we do incredibly well on special votes- it’s entirely possible we’ll be up a bit more by the time those are counted.

    Secondly: I think National stole more votes from Labour and NZ First than we gave them credit for.

    Finally, I think you’re right that Labour “losing their ideals” to an extent is what’s hurt them.

  28. adrian 28

    Watch this space. Winston was smiling too much, what’s the bet that on monday morning he files a 2million defamation case against the Yellow Dog who gets bankrupted, can’t hold a seat in Parliament and Act is dog tucker. We still live in interesting times.

  29. F*&kin hell,

    Everywhere in the world everybody hates the banksters and here they vote one in.
    New Zealand, New Zealand I fear for you big time.


    Sweety, you send me your email address in a comment (not to published) on my blog and I’ll send you a couple of timelines to give to your JK voting friends.

    When all their jobs start to disappear and their medical bills start to rise and the banks start to gobble up our savings and the farmers loose their farms and exporting business start to go belly up you can show them that without a shadow of a doubt JK was one of the assholes on Wall street setting this up with his banking scum mates. It will be fun watching National voters turning on JK when they find out.

    Ari and Iprent,

    Judging by remarks Angelina Greensill (Maori party) made when I spoke with her yesterday I don’t give a National/Maori cooperation much of a chance, they’re on to him big time.

  30. higherstandard 30

    Congrats to National

    Lynn you could take a leaf out of Helen’s book and at least wish the new government well.

    Eve grow up.

    [lprent: Why? Just another skirmish. It is going to be interesting being able to take cheap shots in the way that the right have been doing for the last 6 years. Especially at Act]

  31. RedLogix 31

    If NZ1 had achieved 0.7% more and gotten over the 5% threshold then the result would have probably looked like this:

    Nat = 57

    Labour = 43

    Greens = 9 (I’ll include the extra likely from specials)

    NZ1 = 6

    MP = 5

    ACT = 5

    UF = 1

    JAP = 1

    Total Seats = 127

    Majority required = 64.

    Right Bloc (wo/MP) = 57 + 5 + 1 = 63

    Left Bloc(wo/MP) = 43 + 9 + 6 + 1 = 59

    All of a sudden a very different kettle of fish indeed, and would have placed the Maori party in a much stronger position,

    I’ll congratulate ACT on the most filthy, malicious campaign of sustained lies and smears this country has ever seen. Every accusation they made has been proven false, yet with a complicit media running interference for you it has been a spectacular success. Well done.

    Already this is the most morally corrupt govt this country has ever seen, and hell it hasn’t even taken the Benches yet.

    Also congratulations must go to every Green voter in Ohariu who split the electorate vote. If even half the votes that were wasted on Gareth Hughes had gone to Charles Chaveau then Peter Dunne would have been finally tipped out.

    In the meantime I take satisfaction in the secure knowledge that the right has no idea what is about to hit them.

  32. GNZ 32

    National doesn’t need congratulations – they sleepwalked to victory.
    As to the Maori Party National just wants a counter balance to ACT, that could be a pretty loose arrangement. I suggest everyone except ACT voters should be in favour of that.

    BTW 43 + 9 + 6 + 1 = 56 ???
    try 59

    [lprent: Middle of the night typo..]

  33. GNZ 33

    If Maori party were the king maker (59 seats for the left block) that would have been a win for Helen. the problem is that .7 would have to have come from somewhere and it would presumably have been more strategic voting by Labour greens – so it would have been a toss up. One more Maori seat would have sealed the deal.

  34. Adam 34

    Nice to see you guys in complete denial it only makes this victory all the more sweeter. Ding Dong the witch is dead.

  35. Carol 35

    Congratulations to National & Key for succeeding in a hard fought campaign. It was smart of you to realise that the only way to get the support of a big enough proportion of the vote was to campaign as Labour-Lite. I hope you keep to that position, for the good of us all.

    However, I have concerns that, in fact, this government will do a lot of damage to NZ and its people.

    I think that the section of Nat/right wingers who have supported this campaign through visciously articulating mysogynistic, homophobic misinformation about lies and corruption and demonisation of Clark/Labour, have done themselves and their cause no credit.

    It was a close election. It is only the 5 ACT MPs that have carried National across the line. And, when they got a smaller percentage of the party vote than at least one other party who got no MPs, that is a big distortion of democracy, and needs to be fixed ASAP. It is also a distortion that ACT has 5 MPs and Greens only 3 more with a much higher proportion of the party vote.

    As Iprent has said, the left loses this battle, but the long campaign goes on.

    As an aging leftie dyke, I’m strongly heartened to see all the young lefties, here and elsewhere, with their fresh ideas, perspectives and ways of doing things, and who have the energy and smartness to keep on with the struggle over the long term.

    I hope to be there supporting the on-going campaigns against undemocratic corporate power, and for a fair, prosperous, liveable and sustainable society – I hope to be out there on the streets and cyberways over the next 3 years, where we hold the government to account for their claims to represent all New Zealanders.

    To Helen Clark – one of the best PMs I’ve had the privilege to experience, and I’m sure there are other important jobs in the future that will benefit us all through her vast skills and committment to the left. She will go down in history as a great PM.

  36. Janet 36

    It is quite good that the Nats have won more electorate seats, including city seats. They will find out how much work they are and what constituents expect of them, especially as economic times worsen, and the policy changes of the new government create problems locally.

    Brent Edwards on Radio NZ is suggesting Rodney Hide gets the portfolio of ACC. Now that is asking for trouble.

    I look forward to The Standard keeping the new government honest by measuring achievements against the promises – and they have made a lot.

  37. Dale 37

    Its great to have ACT with the numbers they have it will pull National back to the right where they belong.With any luck that destructive ETS act will get turffed out. Now we can all look forward to a brighter future.

  38. Carol 38

    Well, Janet, Nikki Kaye has Auckland Central. She claims to be in the liberal centre-right mold of Katherine Rich and Marilyn Waring. She seems quite intelligent and capable. At the moment she gets criticised for just parotting the party line. But she’s young and inexperienced. It’ll be interesting if she becomes someone who stands up against the more socially conservative elements in National &/or its coalition partners, or if she just moves away from the centre as she gets older.

  39. Janet 39

    It’s not in my nature to be nasty but I observed some unethical behaviour by the Nats in Wgtn Central in the campaign so I am pleased that Stephen Franks lost. Irony is that if he had stayed with Act he would have got back in to parliament. 60 on the Nat list showed he wasn’t that popular with them either.

  40. RedLogix 40

    Nice to see you guys in complete denial it only makes this victory all the more sweeter. Ding Dong the witch is dead.

    No one is denying the effect of the result. John Key gets to form a government … we know that.

    But neither was it a landslide and as Lynn accurately points out, Mr Key has relatively few palatable options to turn to when the going gets rougher in the upcoming months.

    Anyone can be a nice person while things are going well; but it is when things start going wrong that a person’s real character is revealed. While Mr Key did his level best to grin and slouch his way into power, we have already seen glimpses of his petulant, vindictive side. I think middle New Zealand is going to be rather surprised at the slippery and ruthless Mr Key who is going to emerge once the realities of power are sheeted home.

    National have successfully banked the electorate’s vapid and predictable “time for a change” sentiments with an on message, disciplined and well run campaign, by pretending to be more center than Labour. It’s not hard to do when you are in Opposition, after all you do not have to match the platitudes and rhetoric with actual action.

    But Mr Key is only one man. His Cabinet is stacked with men who have a life-time record of hard right politics. They may be able to fudge it for a while, but sooner or later their group instincts will overrule the deliberately vague and mostly forgotten centrist promises they made on the campaign trail. At that point they will need all the luck they can get, because this election was no landslide. We also returned to Parliament a strong, vibrant and deeply committed left wing that will have no hesitation to come after them given the slightest opportunity. Then we will see some real Ding Dong.

    And yes I’m more than a little peeved that ACT has done so well despite the concrete fact that it’s leader is a proven false allegator and liar. I’m not going to apologise for being pissed to see the little troll so well fed.

  41. Janet 41

    Anyone want to make bets on Tariana Turia becoming the Alamein Kopu of this government? She is sounding very cosy with National this morning and I can’t see the Maori Party being happy about this for very long.

  42. TimeWarp 42

    Following your comments Redlogix:

    10% of list votes were ‘wasted’ discards. (That’s not a ballpark number, I’ve confirmed it in calculation.)

    Astoundingly something like a quarter of Maori electorate voters gave their list vote to The Maori Party – a choice that given the overhang I find very hard to fathom.

    The Right voted well tactically, the Left did not.

    So lprent – while it is a close result in terms of working majority, it could have been an even closer race.

    I’m generally a fan of MMP (although voted my referendum preference to STV), but I am starting to question that. A foundation principle of a robust voting system should be a transparent process, and effectively this is not the case with MMP. That’s not a reflection of the MMP system within itself, but of some widespread misunderstanding of the process IMHO. I have thought since the introduction of MMP the threshold should be as low as 3%, and I feel even more strongly now that would be appropriate given the high proportion of voters without current list representation.

  43. Christopher Nimmo 43

    Hey, check out the Wellington Central booth details on electionresults.govt.nz now. The Greens may have scraped 20% of the party vote there, but I think it could have been considerably better. I would have though that Newtown would have been a strong Green area, but there are only 400 total votes between four boothes. No idea what it was last time, but hmmmmmm… And although one Aro booth had 1600 votes, the other only had 180.

    I think this probably looks more like a general failure to GOTV for the Greens than a massive polling screwup. We’ll see. I would have hoped that we’d easily get 10-15% of specials for the extra seat anyway.

    Also, why are my word verifications “lost” and “alleged”? WP reference?

  44. CMR 44

    Well done to labour Lite it was an emphatic victory.If it is a close result, I can’t see it. It was good to see both Clark and Peters behave with dignity.Lets hope the most regular participants in this blog can emulate that.

    New Labour leader? I pick Cunliffe.

  45. Dom 45

    Congratulations to National for gaining power.

    Now lets see them keep it…

  46. heather 46

    My congratulations go to Tony O’reilly of NZ’s news media monopoly.

    Mr O’reilly ran a very strong campaign to influence the outcome of the 08 elections.

    Mr O’reilly it has to be said, worked tirelessly to support candidates from the right-wing spectrum particularly with regard to harassing and defaming a certain politician who has been known in the past to challenge corporate and political malfeasance.

    Mr O’reilly also engaged in an entirely new form of budget journalism which ensured the general population were kept remarkably well-informed regarding National’s radically innovative policies to deal with the global financial crises, “change,” stamping out crime, and cutting taxes. 😉

  47. giggles 47

    Jeeez Eve, you gonna spend the next three years sulking? The country has spoken and they certainly don’t agree with you.

  48. Someone else may have said this but the Speaker (since MMP) does get a vote and it is exercised by the Party’s Whip.

    So you need 62 votes to pass laws and for now they have 65. I suspect special may reduce that to 64.

    It does mean Peter Dunne is not essential – he will be a Minister (or Speaker) but that Nat/ACT can pass laws without him. Also Nat/Maori can pass laws without ACT if necessary – an intriguing possibility on some issues.

    [lprent: Thanks – I wasn’t quite sure. Been a long time since I did constitutional law]

  49. coge 49

    The worst thing to happen to Labour last night was Helen steeping down . It would have been better for Labour if she at least remained leader of the opposition through Keys honeymoon period. As such it will be one hell of a honeymoon!

    Also, here is a great opportunity for the greens to substantially increase their polling, at Labour expense.
    If they can lose the marxist faction.

  50. Magnus 51

    CMR: Cunliffe isn’t ready. His family is too young and the party vote in his electorate was too low for a Party Leader. He still has some work to do. Give him a few years though and the country will love him. He has talent, ambition and he works hard. His star is definitely ascending.
    Goff is the obvious choice for now. He’ll be a very good caretaker opposition leader while the left finds itself again, but he’s no Prime Minister. He’s a nice guy, but no appeal to the public, or the party for that matter 😉

  51. james 52

    I am pleased Helen stepped down. For far too long has she been the target of a particularly nasty and personal media campaign.
    She is by far the very best, most gifted, hardworking parliamentarian the country has ever known so why should she continue to subject herself to daily snipes and sneers.

    I hope she has a decent rest, recovers her self-esteem and feels rejuventated enough to return to parliament but lets some bloke take the heat for a while.

    Cunniliffe looks particularly promising as being able to both deal with the media and the blokeiness from the right. Goff has too much of a right wing history for my part.

  52. Julian Garrett 53

    Lots of angry Lefties here.


    I am usually a bit of a fence sitter, however there were a couple of things in this election campaign that made me sit up and take notice. Firstly was the unbelievably negativity of the Labour party. There was no “There is a way out of this mess”, it was more a matter or slandering the opposition leader with lies and the “neutron bomb” of the H-fee which turned out to be a total fizzer. Full credit to Key in that at no time did he take the bait. He stayed on message, and more importantly, he stayed positive. Maybe he took a leaf out of the Obama campaign there.

    Secondly was “This one is about trust” which I assumed to be a joke when I first read it. We trust Helen to rule with an iron fist and thats about it. I had thought about printing the “yeah right” off one of the Tui beer ads and plastering that all over the billboards (No, I didn’t, it was just a thought, but hey, the colours even match!), if you consider the scandals Ms Clark has been involved in:

    Electoral Finance Act
    That grubby little shit Peters – I dont care what the cops have cleared him of, the evidence stinks, and she knew about it all along
    Kiwisaver – I’m sorry but spending the surplus on a ridiculously generous super scheme is a bit silly dont you think
    And last and most entertaining of all, her motorcade breaking all the rules cos she wanted to get home in a hurry so she didn’t miss the footy.

    Actually I like the last one – if I were PM, I would have done the same.

    And as for the election being close – 13 points isn’t close. Its a kicking.

    [lprent: It is interesting that you complain about a dirty politics and the importance of staying positive. Then you immediately start sprouting a list of dirty and negative politics from the right. But of course that is the signature of the right – do as I say, not do as I do. Just another hypocrite of the right. ]

  53. mike 54

    Excellent result. A big swing from left to right – who would have thought Act would get 5 seats!

    Labour strategists must be kicking themselves for going with the negative attack style on Key.

    Be ready for a long stint in opposition as I think the end of MMP is just around the corner.

  54. RedLogix 55

    Lots of angry Lefties here.

    So what. Lots of ugly gloating righties too. I can live with National doing well… but the ACT result is just plain perverse.

    It’s leader is a proven liar.

    It’s flagship campaign policy “Dump the ETS scam” is nothing more than a naked transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to big business.

    It’s “Zero tolerance of Crime” rhetoric is flat out evil vindictiveness.

    Roger Douglas.

    Virtually everything I loath about NZ politics is captured by the ACT party.

    So yes I’m going to be angry about it. It is perfectly possible to be dignified and expresss anger at something I believe is wrong at the same time.

    Amusing that you accuse Labour of a dirty negative campaign, and then immediately in the next paras regurgitate a mindless list of smears and lies yourself. Go away and have a long hard think about it.

  55. ghostwhowalks 56

    Last thing I would have expected to have national along with ACT to get an actual majority even with a overhang.

    Their real secret is they have run a dirty campaign, but have used others like Wishart to do it for them.
    I suppose Wisharts funding will dry up now there is no need for his “investigations”

    And Hide was used as part of the attack machine on Peters, but all of his formal allegations were rejected , yet none of the mud stuck to the yellow canary.

    Never mind we shall be watching him and his well funded rackets club with interest

  56. rave 57

    This is realpolitic. National didnt quite buy the last election but they bought this one because they own the media.

    Let’s not buy the bullshit about congratulations for well fought campaigns. The Nats lied and lied and lied, and Labour was too entrapped in managing capitalism to see it needed to return to its big majority class roots and take the fight to National. It fought for the centre and ironically lost it to the new middle class migrants that it has backed for years.

    This is not a Labour lite government. Key’s concerns expressed over jobs and incomes are fake and will be blown away by the crisis. Either you are for the workers or you are for Lord Ashcroft.

    National and Act are there because of the MSM, the demonisation of Peters, the moral panic about crime in middle class migrant communities, and the Greens ‘politically correct’ idealism.

    If you include NZF in the broad left then there was only 5000 party votes separating the left and right blocs.

    Having got Peters out of the way the road is clear to push to the right with Rogernomics part 2. Douglas did this in 1984 when he got the Treasury documents.
    This means plundering the piggy banks to siphon off profits for the private sector.

    Having got the middle class on side with law and order the road is clear to go strong on Rodney’s three strikes, privatising prisons, and stealing NZF immigration policy. Small businesses will get more freedom to hire and fire and keep the unions out of workplaces.

    Having quarantined the Greens Key will role back the ETS to please the farmers and the big polluters. He’ll roll out the roads and fibre with PPPs funded by the Cullen fund and bank insurance guarantees.

    In other words there is no way this government can rule in the interests of defending profits in NZ without openly attacking those who create the profits, the working class. As the crisis begins to hit the mass of workers whose interests are not represented by the new government will start looking for a party that is strong enough to stand up for the workers, defend union rights, and oppose the criminalisation of dissent.

  57. Mary-Ann 58

    Lew: The ‘ Election Campaign Media Analysis’ you refer to completely ignores the well-oiled, strategically orchestrated media attacks on Winston Peters in the many months leading up to the election campaign in order to knock NZ First out of the running before the election campaign proper started.

  58. DIDDUMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [lprent: as articulate as ever I see.]

  59. RedLogix 60

    Ah yes Clint, very dignified.

  60. National reaching out to the Maori party is a very sensible idea especially in regard to the next election and if the Maori party really believe they have the solutions to intergenerational problems that afflict Maori perhaps its time to see if their abilities can match their rhetoric.
    Best result of the election (apart from National winning! hate me if you like) was Winston and his gang of gray yes men being booted out forever. The most destructive and random element in New Zealand MMP politics has been removed much to everyone’s relief I’m sure.

  61. Nasi_Lemak 62

    This is my 1st time posting on the standard. I’ve been keeping up with the blog now & then during the campaign, largely because some of the comments just crack me up. These are my thoughts re the last few months and last night’s result:

    1. I think that National deserves to be congratulated. It was a tough campaign and ultimately they did well, taking several former Labour stronghold electorates. Personally I don’t believe that the race was close, with TV3 making predictions very early on during the night. I was very happy to see a little more multiculturalism at the Nat’s Party at Sky City too. Sikhs dancing and pacific drums in the background… The National Party today is at least somewhat different to the National Party we remember from the early 90’s…yay!

    2. Both Helen Clark and John Key made very gracious speeches last night. It would have been very difficult for Helen to step down, knowing that losing this election would mean losing her place at the helm of the Labour Party. While it is a loss to Labour, I think she made the right decision. She has had a decent time in charge and now it is time for somebody new to take over leading the party. No doubt she will still continue to benefit NZ in whatever role she takes on.

    3. Some bloggers have commented that the Maori Party are more similar in policy to the Greens saying such things as:
    “The Maori party generally vote like the Greens”

    Interesting that this has been mentioned. One of the TV3 panelists (I think..?) said that traditionally Maori tend to be more conservative and believe in the right to decide things for themselves…or something to that effect… In any case the panelist concluded that this aligns them with Act quite well. Who knows? Only time will tell.

    4. I am ELATED that Winston has left the building. No place for him in Parliament anymore…way too dodgy for my liking.

    5. I’m optimistic about the next few months and years. If John Key and the National led govt don’t take this country to new heights, then we all have a chance to make our dissatisfaction known in 3 years time (and beforehand as I’m sure many will do… 🙂 ). Till then, I say congrats to the Nats – hard battle fought and won. Hopefully they make good on their promise to help ALL NZ’ers.

  62. RedLogix 63

    National reaching out to the Maori party is a very sensible idea especially in regard to the next election and if the Maori party really believe they have the solutions to intergenerational problems that afflict Maori perhaps its time to see if their abilities can match their rhetoric

    Not unreasonable on the surface. It is a sensible tactic from Key, especially given that it is probably his worst nightmare to be totally beholden to ACT.

    But the MP option is not a simple one for three reasons:

    1. While ACT and National have a close voting record, there is a considerable distance between those two and the MP voting record. Any accomodation between the Nats and MP has some very large and fundamental stressors builtin.

    2. The MP will not be content to simply prop up the Nats for nothing. Already they have deftly extracted a deal to maintain the Maori seats at no cost. And some of the things that are dear to their hearts (such as the privatising of the S&F into tribal hands) will be very hard to sell to the middle NZ who just voted for National in such numbers.

    3. Equally the MP cannot cosy up to the Nats without alienating their largely Labour afflialiated support base… without extracting something pretty major in return.

    So yes I agree that it is a smart tactical move from Mr Key; strategically it is fraught with risk.

  63. Not close, and you’ve misunderstood how the Speaker works.

    Under FPP, the speaker didn’t have a vote, unless it was tied, then they casted the deciding vote. In otherwords, they did have a vote, they just didn’t use it when not neccersary.

    Under MMP, the parties vote in blocks and the Speaker’s vote IS included in that.
    For concience issues, the speaker votes in the same way as they did for FPP.

  64. Santi 65

    The right won a battle not a campaign. The battle may cost them the campaign

    You can only laugh at ridiculous statements like this by lprent. A genius in the making, no doubt!

  65. J Mex 66

    Mary-Ann – Peters bought it all on himself by his lying, obfuscation and by treating the media with contempt. Every time he said something along the lines of “I can clear that up in three minutes” and then spent three weeks doing anything but.

    The most recent example is Winnie saying something along the lines of, “That is rubbish, I never campaigned from a helicopter” and when shown pictures of him campaigning around the country in a black and white helicopter said something like “That’s right, I flew around the country in a helicopter but I never stood at the door with a megaphone yelling for people to give me votes. That would be ridiculous!”

    It’s that type of absurdness toward the media that got them hounding him.

    You and Redlogix seem to be confused between being found innocent and not being prosecuted. Helen Clark has intentionally done the same thing. She said last night that all the investigations had found that NZF did nothing wrong. That is patently not true. ALL of them found that he had broken the rules or lied, but nobody was prosecuted for a variety of reasons. The entire Privledges committee (except Labour and NZF) found that Peters had lied to the public and parliament.

    It amazed me how willing the Left were (except the Green to their credit) to ignore the zenophobia and downright scumminess of parts of NZF and bizarrely cuddle them as forming part of the left church.

    NZ politics is all the better for the removal of that circus sideshow.

  66. J Mex 67

    Oh Mary Anne and Redlogix, let’s not forget the complete hypocrisy of NZF with Peters campaigns against secret trust and big business backing and pretending that it was all old ladies and cake stalls.

    Nope. NZF – Clean as a whistle*

    * Whistles are often filthy items.

  67. lprent 68

    JMex: I don’t like NZF. I’m glad that they’re gone. However the means by which the right did it was both cynical and completely hypocritical.

    We saw the Nats and Act running far more money through anonymous trusts to conceal the identity of the donors (and their influence) at the same period. I found it difficult to distinguish what the right was braying about with what they were doing themselves. The only real difference was that the Nat’s had better bookwork.

    The greens have a policy about political donor transparency. I suspect that the greens would have happily censured both Act and National for the same thing if it’d come up in front of the privileges committee. However both Act and National acted in their usual way about the whole things – as hypocrites, in the usual ‘do as I say, not do as I do’ manner.

    It was one of the most unedifying and disgusting things I’ve seen political parties doing.

  68. Piggy 69

    Funny thought – had half the people who voted for the green candidate in Öhariu given their vote to the labour guy, Peter Dunne wouldn’t be an MP right now. He’s not going to be happy with barely winning his home seat by only 1,000!

  69. Julian Garrett 70

    [lprent: It is interesting that you complain about a dirty politics and the importance of staying positive. Then you immediately start sprouting a list of dirty and negative politics from the right. But of course that is the signature of the right – do as I say, not do as I do. Just another hypocrite of the right. ]

    Did I miss something?

    Did Key stay on message. Yup

    Did Key stay positive? Yup

    Did Key devote his campaign soley to muckraking and mudslinging? No

    And Winston – does anyone believe that he is squeaky clean? Hahahaha

    Come on, be serious – politics is a dirty game, but if you look at the two parties, one said “we can do something positive here”, and the other said “Can you trust him?” Personally, yes, I think I can trust him. And its that simple.

  70. J Mex 71


    “The only real difference was that the Nat’s had better bookwork.”

    Correct – Um, in a way. The Nat’s admitted, and recorded, they were doing it. NZF said, they weren’t, and signed documents that said they had none of these donations.

    Another way of paraphrasing your innocuously sounding statement is:

    “The only real difference was that the Nat’s didn’t lie about it.”

  71. lprent 72

    Julian: Campaigns are not just 6 weeks or 3 months (which is what you are referring to). They now pretty much run the course of the parliamentary term, increasing in the election year. Look at the whole period.

    Plus of course the wingnuts also campaign. They keep running the lines you just did and have done for a long time now. Given the concerted nature of it over time, I’d add that to the rights dirty campaign tactics.

  72. “Piggy
    Funny thought – had half the people who voted for the green candidate in Öhariu given their voted to the labour guy, Peter Dunne wouldn’t be an MP right now. He’s not going to be happy with barely winning his home seat by only 1,000!”

    Yes, Ohariu is a big area for improvement next time around.

  73. lprent 74

    JMex: Correct – except that the Nats and Act lie by omission. They say that they don’t know who the donors are. I don’t believe that because the whole process prior to the EFA was completely open to abuse. All it takes is a word in someones ear to make the difference between anonymous and influence peddling. If a system has no effective safeguards, then you have to assume the worst.

    I’m with the greens on this – full transparency on political donations. It gets rid of the corruption issue, or at least makes it open to public scrutiny. The EFA did not go far enough in this area

  74. Lew 75

    Mary-Ann: Yes, it does, but that issue shows very strongly indeed during the research period. The fact that we don’t have any data for the period beforehand doesn’t lead to a conclusion at direct odds with what data we DO have.

    My essential point is that all the complaints that the media have been fawning over John Key and National are not upheld by this preliminary research. If anything National succeeded in spite of hostile media coverage. The final results may be different, however – and it’d be unwise to (as the KBR want to do) try to parlay this into a general `media conspiracy against the right’ argument.


  75. Julian Garrett 76

    Iprent – like I said – politics is a dirty game.

    Now get over it and get ready for a few years in opposition!

  76. Jennifer 77

    Act’s claims were NOT false, but the time to prosecute had expired. So Winston was guilty in past years which you ignore making him seem innocent of any misbehaviour in relation to his returns. Get over it, the man was guilty and Helen knew it. TRUST – I don’t think so. The rest of NZ has wised up, why don’t you.

  77. J Mex 78

    And therein lies the crux of the issue Lynn.

    You are unwilling to believe that National don’t know who their anonymous donors are, but you are willing to believe that Winston didn’t even know that he had a massive anonymous donor even though it was proven that he spoke to him on the phone and two minutes later his lawyer rang up and said “further to your discussion with my client, here are the bank details…” Oh, and the donor did say that Winston asked him for it.

    It wouldn’t matter what the electoral law had said about full transparency around political donations, Winston would not have adhered to it. According to winston, he never even received a donation. His lawyer got some money, for a bill that was never seen, and provided some free work and… well, you all know the drill.

    But hey, I forget myself here. National = bad. Winston = media and vast right wing and big money conspiracy victim. And valuable member of the broad left church.

  78. Ianmac 79

    I think that the National/Act campaign was the dirtiest in my lifetime. They knew that they had to get rid of NZF. The campaign to undermine him was unrelenting, full of innuendo, hypocrisy and half truths, and supported by MSM, and some bloggers.
    I am not a NZF voter but I do despise the manner in which National/Act “won”. All the more sad given that Key was calling foul, and “dirt digging Labour” at the same time his lot were doing just that.

  79. Christopher Nimmo 80

    Ohariu was pretty unfortunate. I heard somebody on TV1 last night saying that Dunne was going to win it for sure because Shanks hadn’t done much campaigning.

    WHAT? Shanks had at least three different campaign vehicles that I saw, was doing roaming megaphone campaigning, had billboards that outnumbered everyone else’s 10-1, and had elderly men holding placards on every street corner. I nearly voted for her because she seemed to have the best chance of victory (voted Chauvel in the end).

    I think that if Chauvel had had a greater electorate presence (beyond the occasional mailer), or even if he just lived in the electorate, he would have taken it easily. Maybe Hughes split the left vote a little, but hey- he was a great candidate, and he absolutely deserved every one of those votes.

    Next time.

    But what was up with all those progressive, ALCP voters?

  80. Julian Garrett 81

    Ianmac, are you prepared to say that Winston did nothing wrong?

  81. KJ 82

    lanmac’s Comment
    “I think that the National/Act campaign was the dirtiest in my lifetime.”

    Are you kidding? Campaigning on policy and promises is dirty? You must have your head up your arse or you completely missed Labour’s campaign on “We must attack John Key, We Must Attack JOHN KEY, WE MUST ATTACK JOHN KEY”.

    If you want dirty politics, try paying your party president to go overseas (in the middle of your campaign) and trawl through thousands of documents trying to link John Key to a scandal that happened 20 years ago.

    Now pull your head out of your arse.

  82. TimeWarp 83

    Nice KJ… got the result you wanted, and still an angry little man by all appearances.

  83. Felix 84


    What do you think about ACT being found in breach by the electoral commission? I assume you feel just as strongly about that as you do about Winston.

  84. KJ 85

    No I just think it’s rather a shame that people like lanmac, after losing an election to go and say something so obscenely untrue. You cannot deny that in comparison to Labour’s campaign, National’s was squeaky clean.

  85. KJ 86

    Felix, Act’s “breach” was as ridiculous as the jacket itself.
    Winston’s breach was several hundred thousand dollars of undeclared donations.

  86. Julian Garrett 87

    Maybe that was the responsibility of Labour to push that one a little more clearly – I do remember reading something about Act being in breach of the electoral commission, was in the paper for maybe a day. I would have thought if it was such a big issue then Labour would have treated it as such.

    Instead they chose to attack Key.

    And with regards to Winston, he’s been at it for years. I cant remember where I read it, the herald perhaps, but “he’s the sort of guy who would try and convince you that night is day and day is night, and you would walk outside on fine day and find lo, a total eclipse of the sun”. We all know what he’s like, and hey, many of us admire him for that – he’s a consumate politician. I actually think he will sorely missed. There are very few who can debate a point as well as he can.

  87. Mary-Ann said “Lew: The ‘ Election Campaign Media Analysis’ you refer to completely ignores the well-oiled, strategically orchestrated media attacks on Winston Peters in the many months leading up to the election campaign in order to knock NZ First out of the running before the election campaign proper started.”

    Mary-Ann – a good theory, but lacking in substance. Who said his party did not receive donations from big business when they did? Who denied receiving money from Owen Glenn when he had? Who filed false returns of funding for each of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 years (and remember the reason for late filing of the 2007 return – Peters was overseas, and had to sign it off)? Who denied using a helicopter? Who denied lobbying for Owen Glenn when patently, he had?

    The answer to all those questions is Winston Raymond Peters. The man who came into politics with the slogan “Keeping them honest” was revealed to have clay feet. Peters is the author of his own demise – all the media had to do was to join the dots. The 49th Parliament may be less lively for his absence, but it will be a better place.

  88. Julian Garrett 89

    And the breach of the elctoral act in question was to do with pointing fingers at Winston for breaking every other act…

  89. Ianmac 90

    KJ: Ridiculous comment from you.Do you remember what Williams actually said about his trip to anyone? Bet you can’t because it was a Herald story publicised not Williams.
    Is it dirty to check on the credentials of a potential PM? Remember the fuss over the Immigration woman Thompson whose credentials had not been checked properly when she was appointed by the Nats in 1993?
    How come that Nat + Hide managed to call for an inquiry re Winston’s crimes yet the result was Not Guilty?
    As for failing to disclose donations- a crime is it? How come this year the Nats have apparently only had a few thousand donated by the Transport Forum(?) Not disclosed the rest? Crime ! Accuse. Accuse!
    The point is that Nat Act acted with electoral malice to take out an opponent. Historically the hypocrisy will come back to haunt Key.

  90. j 91

    “The right won a battle not a campaign. The battle may cost them the campaign

    You can only laugh at ridiculous statements like this by lprent. A genius in the making, no doubt!”

    For god’s sake give Lynn a break, you’ve got to give him some thin thread of hope to hang on to.

    We owe them a noblesse oblige to be gracious even if has not been reciprocated.

    Hey Randel, hope you took my advice and got a good single malt to ease the pain.

  91. Joanna 92

    Of course the campaign was dirty from both sides (in my opinion, the NACTs ran a much dirtier campaign), BUT I think this strategy lost the election for the left (that and “aw, gee, maybe its time for a change” thing).

    What the left needs to remember is the right is VERY VERY VERY good at dirty campaigns – the left – not so much so – the HFee fiasco was a good example of this.
    Is it fair, nope, does that matter, nope.

  92. gingercrush 93

    Hmm some food for thought. South Auckland most certainly did not go out and vote. You can compare Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Hamilton and Provincial numbers and turnout between 2005 and 2008 is close. But in South Auckland the turnout is significantly lower. Even taking into account special votes and the like the story still is that South Auckland voters didn’t go to the ballot box. I think one of the big stories that I haven’t seen so far in the post election analysis is that South Auckland voters on election day in 2008 simply did not turn up. And this further hurt Labour this year.


    2005 31, 070 votes
    2008 22, 447 votes
    LAB 2005 18, 254
    NAT 2005 7, 938
    NZF 2005 1, 714
    GRN 2005 603
    LAB 2008 11, 386
    NAT 2008 7, 018
    NZF 2008 1, 078
    GRN 2008 506


    2005 28, 967 votes
    2008 21, 688 votes
    LAB 2005 20, 900
    NAT 2005 3, 894
    NZF 2005 1, 189
    GRN 2005 503
    LAB 2008 13, 162
    NAT 2008 3, 641
    NZPP 2008 2, 212
    NZF 2008 767
    GRN 2008 452

    Manukau East

    2005 33, 193 votes
    2008 23, 322 votes
    LAB 2005 18, 100
    NAT 2005 10, 219
    NZF 2005 1, 434
    GRN 2005 583
    LAB 2008 13, 433
    NAT 2008 5, 770
    NZPP 2008 964
    NZF 2008 918
    GRN 2008 420

    [lprent: Excellent work. I was meaning to look at a few issues like this myself. But this cold, and a bit of hangover are stifling my cognation. There is an adage in the NZLP, “it isn’t that national wins elections, it is that Labour loses them”.

    It looks like you’ve pointed out three instances. The total vote dropped in all three. There was a small impact from NZPP, but no gained vote to anyone else. The Manakau East vote was particularly interesting – people just didn’t vote for the two main parties.]

    [lprent: except you forgot the specials
    2002 – 25,022
    2005 – 28,967
    2008 – 21,688+6,429=28,117
    forgot the specials!

    Manakau East
    2002 – 27,276
    2005 – 33,193
    2008 – 23,322+4,435=27,757
    That is a significant drop from 2005 numbers. But dropped back to 2002

  93. KJ 94

    lanmac: Are you denying Williams role in the H-fee smear?
    Who is Batman?
    It is not dirty to check the credentials, trying desperately to implicate someone who was not involved is dirty.
    Winston was found Not-Guilty of criminal activity and fraud, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t lying through his teeth the entire time (is lying a crime?).
    Donation returns are not due in yet I believe.
    Winston Peters had a long political career with a scandal around every corner, and he was voted out this year, get over it.

    Good luck next election.

  94. Ianmac said “As for failing to disclose donations- a crime is it?”

    Actually Ianmac, it is. But that’s not the worst part. Receiving donations from big business interests when you say you don’t, won’t, never have and never will is quite simply dishonest, not to mention hypocritical. Peters has been very quick to hang those kind of labels on everyone else, normally with the shelter of Parliamentary privilege. There’s a certain karmic aspect to his fall from grace.

  95. gingercrush, that’s v interesting about the South Auckland seats, I wonder what it looked like in the other major Auckland urban seats where Labour lost (Waitakere) or lost the party vote (Mt Roskill, New Lynn, no doubt others).

    Having watched the Mt Roskill campaign quite closely, I have to say Labour did work very hard in the seat (disclosure: my partner has been running their campaign) and focused a lot of effort on turnout.

    But at the end of the day you have to give people a reason to vote for you; a vision thing, if you will. And imho the decision to go with a largely negative campaign, rather than communicate their policy vision for a fourth term (which I think could have been quite inspiring, pre-the collapse of global capitalism), was the main mistake Labour made. Winning a fourth term was always going to be hard, which meant the campaign strategy needed to be extra smart.

  96. KJ 97

    I2: Thank you for defending me from this rabid-lefty. =)

    Today was my first time posting on the sub-standard, and reading posts from lefty’s who are angry that they didn’t win makes me sick in my gut, so quite happily I will never visit this despicable website ever again.

    [lprent: Well you have made your mark as a only as a probable troll. They don’t seem to like interacting much in case it makes their viewpoint look daft – ie they can’t defend themselves. So it is probably a good thing you’re departing. I don’t think that you measure up to the standard]

  97. gingercrush 98

    2005 32, 254 votes
    2008 27,543 votes

    Mt. Roskill
    2005 33, 393 votes
    2008 29, 624 votes

    New Lynn
    2005 33, 202 votes
    2008 31, 073 votes

    Mt. Albert
    2005 32, 343 votes
    2008 29, 543 votes

    All seem to have had slightly lower turnout but significantly its nothing like the drop in South Auckland. And it doesn’t factor in special/advance votes.

  98. Thanks gc. So the 2005 figures are final finals (after specials etc) and the 2008 figures are not?

  99. gingercrush 100

    I think so but not entirely sure.

    I also look forward to future Standard blog posts in regard to what Labour has to do next to bring back voters. Should make for interesting reading. Also will be awaiting right blog posts on how they can keep the voters they got yesterday.

  100. KJ 101

    IrishBill: You said you were never visiting this “despicable” website again. Like so many right wingers you seem incapable of keeping your word without a little help. Consider yourself helped. Goodbye.

  101. lprent 102

    I know that in Mt Albert the special pre-votes (which may or may not be in that total – probably not) were about 2500. I think the roskill ones were about 1500. That doesn’t include votes from places outside of the local area.

  102. rave 103

    Special votes will not change the proportions I would think.
    So the approx 7,000 missing Labour voters in each those three electorates will take some explaining.
    I see that in Waitakere, Auck Central and Maungakiekie the Labour turnout was also down.
    Lyn Pillays vote was halved, Nation won with 1000 more votes and the Greens went down. That’s another 7,000 approx abstentions.
    In Auckland Central Tizards vote went down from 15k to 10 k and Nat won with about 200 approx more than they got in 2005 and the Greens went down.
    Maungakiekie is more difficult, as it had changed boundaries that favoured National and while Labour went down over 3k National went up by 4 k and the Greens by 400.

    So it looks like the more solid working class suburbs in Auckland did not come out as they did last time. How do we explain this?

  103. RedLogix 104

    So it looks like the more solid working class suburbs in Auckland did not come out as they did last time. How do we explain this?

    Chris Trotter predicted exactly this a year ago. They like hitting their children.

  104. rave 105

    The rough difference between the total right bloc party vote (Nat/Act) and total Left bloc (LPGMPNZ1) is approx 50,000 (not 5,000 as I said above – hurried maths).
    From a comparison with 2005 it looks like a good part of this difference may be accounted for by Labour abstentions rather than a swing of Labour voters to National.

  105. GNZ 106

    the two people (so far) I have asked who didn’t vote said something like “there was no one good to vote for this year.” If labour had had more positive ads at least one of their votes would probably have been in the bag maybe both.

    to be fair national’s billboards were terrible. you’d have to crash your car to finish reading all their fine print.

    The Winston peters campaign damage was done by Owen Glen rather than by ACT or National, and that was because Labour was interpreted as being indiscreet with its comments about him. A little more tact and it would not have been a problem and Winston would still be in and you’d have a Labour coalition.

  106. Brian Smaller 107

    What planet are you guys on? It was a disaster. Better brish up your CVs. Oh yeah, not much call for lapdogs in the real world.

    [lprent: Note – probable troll. Definitely hasn’t read the About or Policy]

  107. RedLogix 108

    Oh and in case you have forgotten, Key now has to face up to a CIR on the S59 Repeal sometime soon. Wonder how much he is looking forward to opening up that can of worms?

  108. KJ 109

    You lost.

    I asked a question and i was censored, great democratic action, reminds me of the Labour party’s electoral finance act.

    [lprent: we took you at your word (that you’d never be back). Are you saying that your word isn’t worth anything? Perhaps you should read the About and Policy. It could save you from aggravation if you wish to comment here]

  109. RedLogix 110


    You promised to leave. Now you are back. Your actions are the 180deg opposite of your words.

    I wonder if you voted National because you recognised a Party of kindred spirits?

    PS Yes we know we lost. Why did you feel the need to point that out?

  110. It’s closer than some of the National / ACT folk care to accept.

    The 6% or 7% who went to National this time, backed Labour for 3 elections. If National hurts these people they will go back to Labour. I’m betting these voters aren’t captains of industry….but rather employees of one sort or another.

    Also interesting in a down economy would be sacking thousands of “bureaucrats”….

    That would make one wonder……..

  111. Ianmac 112

    Steve said:”The 6% or 7% who went to National this time, backed Labour for 3 elections. If National hurts these people they will go back to Labour. I’m betting these voters aren’t captains of industry .but rather employees of one sort or another.”
    Very true. I wonder what will happen when they find out that the so-called Anti-smacking Referendum changes nothing?
    When crime stays the same or rises?
    When they tell Parnell that the new prison will be built in their back yard?
    When the unemployed numbers rocket?
    When they realize that their Kiwisaver is only half as big?
    When they have to employ a lawyer to get their ACC entitlement?
    “Oy John Key. You over-promised us!”

  112. TimeWarp 113

    Promises? I didn’t see many.

    “I’m ambitious for a better NZ” and “It’s time for a change” don’t count.

  113. Julian Garrett 114

    “Promises? I didn’t see many.

    “I’m ambitious for a better NZ’ and “It’s time for a change’ don’t count.”

    And he STILL got in! How good is THAT!

  114. Felix 115

    Nonsense, there were lots of promises. The question is, will he be held to them?

    Julian, are you hoping Key keeps his centrist promises or are you hoping for a big shift to the right?

  115. Julian Garrett 116

    Time will tell. I hope he stays relatively honest and can carry some of his stallar business credentials over to his new job.

    Centrist is good by me. In this climate a step too far to the right is pretty dicey I’ll admit…

  116. Julian Garrett 117

    Oh and by the way, after Cullens tax cut promises, I wonder what the mini-budget he was going to deliver in December was all about.


    I’ll bet the farm on that one…

  117. RedLogix 118

    I’ll bet the farm on that one and loose it.

    The tax cuts had already been embedded in legislation. Undoing them would have required a new bill in Parliament, and this could not have been justified unless some extraordinary new information comes to hand over the next month or so.

    In which case both Cullen and Key would have been hypothetically in the same boat, and faced with the same unpalatable options.

    Besides the bad old Muldoon days when govts could hide bad Treasury data from an incoming govt (and the nation) are long gone. These days we have PREFU’s and mandatory updates on a very regular basis.

    Hell you could even check the Treasury website for yourself. It really does contain all sorts of hard information anyone with pretensions to being a political tragic should know.

  118. Julian Garrett 119

    Care to quote that piece of legislation?

  119. Julian Garrett 120

    Actually, go one better.

    Convince me that he wont “defer” these cuts, just like he did in 2007.

    Then I’ll believe you.

    [lprent: Convince me that he would. Convince me that National won’t leave the country in government debt paying additional taxcuts that we cannot afford. That is a extremely stupid style of argument – specifically it is a Act troll technique. Convince me that the world is round – I bet you don’t know the arguments in any of these cases]

  120. RedLogix 121

    Taxation (Personal Tax Cuts, Annual Rates, and Remedial Matters) Act 2008

    A few minutes google monkeying. In future you will do your own homework.

    Now about that farm; I trust it’s a decent milking herd we are talking here, and not some loss making flock of hill-maggots you’re trying to offload onto me.

    [lprent: fixed: extra single quote in the href]

  121. RedLogix 122

    Can someone fix the link please? I tried four times to get it right but it keeps changing it’s format on me.

  122. Julian Garrett 123

    Hahahaha, yes and if you have the majority in Parliament, you just pass another piece of legislation deferring it.

    Thats dead easy… something similar to last time around. Cullen is as cunning as a shithouse rat and meaner than my Scottish flatmate.

    Plus they are bloody stingey tax cuts, he might as well not have even bothered.

    (Yes I do earn a lot of money, I’m one of the “rich pricks” that Cullen despises)

    [lprent: Also a characteristic of the breed of act troll. Unable to argue coherently, has no actual content, does maniacal laughing, and claims to be rich – probably a wannabee. All pretty boring. ]

  123. RedLogix 124

    Changing or introducing new legislation in the manner and circumstances you suggest would not be a trivial matter. The political cost would have been immense, and would have been completely unthinkable, unless some absolutely compelling external circumstances dictated it.

    Of course such hypothetical circumstances would have applied equally to a Key led govt.

    Cullen is as cunning as a shithouse rat and meaner than my Scottish flatmate.

    Now you reveal your true lack of character. You clearly have never met the man, know nothing about him, or his values. If you ever do have the pleasure of spending some time with him, and I hope that maybe you will one day, then don’t feel too bad about what you just said… you didn’t know any better.

    PS This ‘flatmate’ of yours. Still living with your mum eh?

  124. Felix 125

    Of course Labour never had a majority in parliament so it’s a bit of a moot point.

    What do you think about English’s tax cuts? Do you think they’re too stingy as well? Do you think he’ll stick to them?

  125. TimeWarp 126

    Good grief JG. He’s gone… get over it LOL. You’ll have to find someone else to bag. Speculating what his mini-budget would have been?

    The only then thing that is certain is the likelihood of something more prudent than the new borrow, spend and give approach promised.

    Funniest thing about this election was the supposedly purist ACT supporters creaming themselves about an incoming government that has every indication of limited fiscal discipline.

  126. Julian Garrett 127

    Changing or introducing new legislation in the manner and circumstances you suggest would not be a trivial matter. The political cost would have been immense, and would have been completely unthinkable, unless some absolutely compelling external circumstances dictated it.

    Like the worst global financial meltdown since the 1930’s perhaps?? That would probably do it. I hear in the USA the government is stumping $700 billion to bail out a few banks. Deferring tax cuts is small fry.

    Not to mention he has done it before. And most media sites were suggesting thats what it was all about.

    Not having met Cullen does not do anything to my character. Not having any desire to meet Cullen however probably means I have a certain amount of taste.

  127. Felix 128

    What name were you trolling under before the election Julian?

  128. NeillR 129

    but it is when things start going wrong that a person’s real character is revealed.

    Oh, the irony. You’re entirely right of course – like as the polls turned against Labour they spent all their time in Melbourne on a fishing expedition.

    As for “not a landslide” – dood, Labour lost 20% of it’s support this election. National has more seats than Labour/Greens combined. It was a rout and will take Labour a hell of a long time to rebuild from this for the following reason:

    Voters have roundly rejected the Left bloc (in two elections now). If Labour elects Cunliffe it will show that they’ve learnt nothing from their defeat. If they elect Goff then the Left of the party will start to plot his downfall.

    Labour is in a very precarious position – if National remains in the centre then Labour will be out in the cold for a very long time.

  129. Makes me chuckle that you all get worried about Sir Roger, who is without question, our best ever finance minister and popular overseas. My Slovak friends love him for saving their economy and for giving them flat tax which took Slovakia ahead of us in growth and on the OECD tables. But if you like playing the evil baby eating fear thing then be my guest.

    Labour got slaughtered – but I am sure you’ll dust yourselves off and be back. Whether or not you guys will do it nicely or in another nasty campaign is still to be seen.

  130. lprent 131

    Didn’t exactly get slaughtered. The right (Nat+Act+UF) has a bare majority, and National will have to get a left party to vote with them if they want to keep it.

  131. TimeWarp 132

    Clint, you’ve completely avoided my point. Regardless of the merits of Douglas, his philosophical position is poles apart from the National policy articulated during the election. Which is to massively increase spending, including investing in broadband, when Douglas very clearly believes in reduced government spending and not have a stake in infrastructure.

    The only solid common ground between the two is the law-and-order get-tough verbage.

  132. lprent – it was a bloodbath. Consider the fact that if the Maori Party get involved you’re looking at 70 MPs all on the same page. That is remarkable and not at all a “bare majority”.

  133. exbrethren 134

    “My Slovak friends love him for saving their economy and for giving them flat tax which took Slovakia ahead of us in growth and on the OECD tables.”

    So nothing to do with the EU money then?

    Nice unemployment rate there as well.

  134. rave 135

    Roger Douglas is a zombie. Those who suffered his shock horror 1980s will soon be chasing him with pitchforks.

    The rich white folks of Epsom now run the country. Rodney is the new Winston.

    National’s win was quite modest given the huge power concentrated in their backers.
    The election was lost by Labour in the cities where their heartland stayed home or went to the beach in their thousands. The non turnout for Labour in Auckland was spectacular, averaging 7000 missing votes in each of the South Auckland electorates.

    In every Labour or swing electorate in the cities for every new party vote that National got, 2, 3 or more former party votes for Labour didnt turn out.

    That’s not rejection, but it is demoralisation, and the cause of it I would say is the right’s control of the media which sets the agenda and which shapes public discourse in the absence of any strong political labour organisation firmly rooted in the localities.

    My hunch is that many Labour voters were simply inundated by the flood of rightwing crap laid down as authoritative by the media barons and the rightwing power brokers ‘time for a change’ and went with the current.

    The lesson for Labour is to rebuild its roots in the working class neighbourhoods with local and union based memberships that can motivate, mobilise and moralise the heartland from below. Fortunately many of the uppity middle class that have tried to escape the working class will get unceremoniously dumped back into it.

    They will find common cause and get plenty of opportunity to build solidarity as this rightwing government unloads shit upon their heads over the next three years.

  135. northpaw 136

    lprent, how come ‘author-change’ doesn’t figure..? jo had to leave, so I’m here – ‘northpaw’. This text to explain.

    Election over. One winner, one loser. OR maybe many of either.

    But the issue of governnace remains. Governance in a crisis. In need of cohesion. Did the folks who “spoke” Saturday deliver that! I doubt it.

    So the crap-callers like Clint Heine – yeah sure a pov is okay, but leaning on it is irresponsible! – better get sorted. Themselves. Tubetime cometh.

    Public responsibility movement anyone..? More on this later; suffice to say how the so-called western economic model of corporate responsibility is bust big time.. skills from that past experience amount to PM-lite. At best. At worst…

  136. northpaw 137

    Can anyone help with this question: how many voters in the total votes cast DID NOT party vote?

    Tks to the guy above for where to look re govt.nz site, but I don’t see indicators of this kind of data.

    Why do I want it..? To try separate out personaility factors from broader-based voting. As several folks have pointed out the Labour vote dipped some in a number of electorates.. and in the booth my friend attended. His wife saying how he wouldn’t vote, whereas last time in the city you couldn’t keep him out of the place!

  137. Ben R 138

    “The rich white folks of Epsom now run the country.”

    Rave, are whites morally inferior to other groups? I take it that you don’t like the ‘rich’, does the fact that some of them are white add to your dislike of them? Why else would you feel the need to mention their ethnicity?

  138. TimeWarp 139

    exbrethren – seems your words are wasted on Craig. As I posit, the supposedly highly principled ACT supporters are not so when it comes to grabbing a share of power. He wants to avoid that point altogether. Others do not though:

    “John Key is sometimes to the left of Helen Clark – and that worries me for the future of NZ” – Rodney Hide, Newstalk ZB today (may not be verbatim, but close)

    Seems the theory that there will be some inevitable tensions in this coalition are not just “Roger eats children” fearmongering after all, but based on reality.

    Craig – if you’re still with us – doesn’t it worry you that your party will be propping up a government supporting some extremely “socialist” (specifically anti-capitalist) policies?

    All that furore over Labour’s intervention on the Canadian Pension Fund involvement in AIAL, and I haven’t seen a single negative comment on the much larger issues of the Key fibre plan effectively nationalising Telecom’s copper infrastructure (and that is not the greatest of that particular policy’s weaknesses).

    captcha: extortions is…

  139. rave 140

    Ben R:

    Why not? Rich white folks always ruled. Epsom is key because it allows National to rule with Wodney. Other wise they would have to rely on the MP which might prove a bit tough since they are not rich white folks.

    I wouldnt call bailing out the banks “socialist” except in the sense of “socialising” the losses of the bosses. Its certainly not “anti-capitalist” as its designed to save the system.
    I think Key will live with the Telecom monopoly after all most of the big transnationals are monopolies or oligopolies. He could spin off some contracts for other players to spread the dough around his mates.

  140. TimeWarp 141

    rave: If you read my post clearly, I’m absolutely not referring to the banks. (Not that a guarantee scheme is bailing them out, it’s just stopping a run.)

    My point re Telecom is that a government-funded scheme for fiber to every building makes Telecom’s copper redundant – which therefore makes it valueless (beyond resale value of the actual raw metal) – which in effect is nationalising it and removing the property rights of Telecom shareholders. The removal of AIAL shareholder rights to sell and the Queens Chain property rights issue, both that ACT supporters screamed blue murder on, are small change by comparison, but they are stunningly silent.

    captcha: present going…. yes, it is

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