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Gap roughly unchanged in Morgan poll

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, December 5th, 2007 - 89 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:


From RoyMorgan.com:

In the second half of November support for the New Zealand Labour Government was up 1% to 35% while support for the Nationals remained unchanged at 48%, the New Zealand Morgan Poll finds.

The poll also shows the Greens above the threshold on 6.5%, down 1%, and NZ First hanging on at 5%.

89 comments on “Gap roughly unchanged in Morgan poll ”

  1. Lampie 1

    still a bit of work to do

  2. Patrick 2

    I really think the most significant point to take from this poll is NZ First polling at 5%! It looks like even with National polling at 48% Labour would be able to form a government. Of course, it would also be very easy for Winston to align with the Tories and form a government that way, and we all know how easily he can be persuaded by the baubles of office.

    Boy is it going to be an interesting year.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    121 seats in Parliament.

    Greens 8
    Jim Anderton 1
    Labour 42
    Maori Party 4
    National 57
    Act 2
    NZ First 6
    United Future 1

    (Assuming Maori Party win only 4 electorates, which is less than recent polling suggests)

    So National cannot govern without either Winston or Maori Party.

    So either the Electoral Finance law stays, or the Foreshore & Seabed law goes.

    And this is with a THIRTEEN point lead to National.

  4. The Double Standard 4

    It is an interesting point as to what the outcome would be if those were the actual seats. Putting aside the fact that it is a mid term poll, etc etc, and even the left vs right thing…

    How legitimate would a government be considered where the highest polling party by a significant margin, that got over half the votes cast, would not be leading the government? I don’t think it would be a good look. Any international comparisons valid?

  5. Camryn 5

    gobsmacked – Or you use each small supporter as per the needs of each vote, as Labour has done so well with the smaller parties in recent terms. As long as each small party can stand for/against on their core issues, they don’t seem to mind whether they’re actually successful… so you get the votes from the other small party that’s neutral on the issue.

    Patrick – I’d personally advise National not to work any kind of deal with Winston, even if it means losing out. He was poison for them in the late 1990s. It has taken multiple terms just to get the taint off from last time. I’m hoping his polling continues to *average* below 5% so it doesn’t become a choice they even have to make.

  6. dave 6

    ow legitimate would a government be considered where the highest polling party by a significant margin, that got over half the votes cast, would not be leading the government? I don’t think it would be a good look. Any international comparisons valid
    About as legitimate as several New Zealand Govts in the past. There are natinal comparisons. In both the 1978 and 1981 elections, Labour got more votes than National, but fewer seats. In 1981 National governed with an 11-seat majority

  7. dave 7

    that first paragraph should havebeen in italix as it is asubstandard quote

  8. the sprout 8

    “Putting aside the fact that it is a mid term poll…. ”

    oh right tds, you think National’s vote is still climbing? riiiight. or do you think that commercial polls over-represent the left vote so National’s actual support is higher? uh huh.

    “legitimate would a government be considered where the highest polling party by a significant margin, that got over half the votes cast”

    yes exactly dave, sounds like most of the national governments prior to MMP.

    the Maori party won’t coalese with National if they want to remain a long-term party – Harawera wouldn’t let it happen. as for Winston, he hates Key more than Labour does.
    thank goodness National is all about not sharing your toys.

  9. gobsmacked 9


    I agree with you, on some legislation. But there are core policies that parties won’t accept. I can’t see Winston or the Maori Party voting for right-wing economic policies. This (hypothetical) parliament would, after some tough negotiations, let John Key become PM, but only to preside over mildly conservative centrism, and to leave most of Labour’s gains in place. I don’t know how long the right would put up with that.

  10. gobsmacked 10


    There would be a problem if National got (say) 51% and the Maori Party won 7 electorates, creating a blocking overhang in a parliament of 125/126.

    That is an extremely unlikely scenario though. If National get less than a majority of the popular vote, then they need support from others, and rightly so.

  11. The Double Standard 11

    Typical fuckwit commentors that can’t have an actual discussion – Yes spout I’m referring to you.

    No doubt you would have complained about National winning in the pre-MMP days. Are you saying that it is OK if the same thing happens under Labour?

    Dave – yes, but we are not under an FPP system now.a

    Gobsmacked – wouldn’t 57% be considered a “majority of the popular vote”?

  12. insider 12

    rogue poll anyone?

  13. Tane 13

    insider – no, I think people here have accepted it’s probably reasonably accurate. The point is that National’s lead is incredibly soft and that even with a 13 point lead over Labour they’d struggle to form a viable government, let alone progress their policy agenda.

  14. Patrick 14

    Camryn, I agree with you that it would be very unwise for Winston to work with National, the level of acrimony between the two parties is astonishing. However I do question your assertion that “He was poison for them in the late 1990s”. Now, my understanding of this period of New Zealand’s political history may be flawed, (and if so, please feel free to correct me!) but I seem to remember National and NZ First working together quite well *until* Shipley took over and destroyed the relationship. I think Jim Bolger *and* Helen Clark have proven that it is possible to work constructively with NZ First, and that Winston can even (shock! horror!) be an effective cabinet minister.

    How do you think Winston would take National’s privatization policies?

    The thing is, while I don’t doubt John Key’s ability to get a significant amount of votes, I really do doubt his ability to form a workable government, and then hold it together. This is something that must really be significantly more difficult in the MMP era.

  15. dave 15

    Hey double standard – what relevance does an electoral system have on legitimcy of a government that has fewer seats than the main opposition party? Duh.

    57 percent is the majority of a “popular vote”, provided the majority of that vote is a vote for that party because it likes them, hather than because it doesnt like the alternative.

  16. Phil 16


    The elections results in ’78 and ’81 are tainted by the Social Credit whackjobs. Thank god MMP wasn’t in NZ then!

    FPP produced some bizzare results for both sides of the house… for instance, labours vote FELL slightly between 1990 and 1993, yet they picked up an extra 16 seats!

  17. gobsmacked 17


    57 seats. Not percentage of votes. Read the results more carefully.

  18. Phil 18

    “57 percent is the majority of a “popular vote”, provided the majority of that vote is a vote for that party because it likes them, rather than because it doesnt like the alternative.”

    What planet are you on Dave? That’s one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever seen on here

  19. Santi 19

    “..National’s lead is incredibly soft and that even with a 13 point lead over Labour they’d struggle to form a viable government..”

    More dribble from Tane.

    You wouldn’t be saying the same if your party were in the lead, wouldn’t you? Why don’t you take a big breath and think before making this non-sensical comments.

  20. gobsmacked 20


    Why is that non-sensical? What would the government be, based on these results? What policies would they enact?

  21. IrishBill 21

    You wouldn’t be saying the same if your party were in the lead, wouldn’t you?

    I suspect that’s because if Labour (I’m assuming you don’t mean teh greens) was that far ahead the left’s position would be virtually unassailable. The point is National has no mates – they’ve eaten up the right vote and have a very soft swing vote on top.

  22. all_your_base 22

    Santi what about actually discussing the issues?

    I can’t speak for Tane but I think he’s right that the support is “soft”. Just look how the polls bounced around in 2005 – numbers around 50% are unlikely to be sustainable in an MMP environment.

    Furthermore, he’s spot on that it’s not so much the gap between the two major parties that’s important (within reason) but ability of each of them to form a government by coalition-building. Clark has a record there, Key doesn’t – not to mention the fact that the possible partners for her look stronger at present.

    That’s not to say that the Nats don’t have a pretty decent lead. Just that it’s rather early for National to be celebrating – borne out by Key’s usual comments on polls like this.

  23. Camryn 23

    Patrick – Good points. I’ve just wikied Winston to flesh out my memories.

  24. Billy 24

    I agree with Tane. National is becoming the home of just about everyone who is disaffected with this government. National just will not be able to keep them all happy.

  25. insider 25

    Hang on Tane, you dismissed the last almost exactly the same result as a rogue poll. Why the change?

  26. The Double Standard 26

    “57 seats. Not percentage of votes. Read the results more carefully.”

    Oops, my bad.

    Still, I think it is a fair issue to discuss. Last election Dunne and Winston had a “largest first” approach to coalition talks, as a way of signalling to the electorate. There is likely to be similar pressure on the Green and particular the Maori Party to disclose their preferences prior to the election.

  27. TomS 27

    Do you really think Family Thrashed, Maxim, Nonsencicle Sentencing, etc etc etc were planning to campaign against Labour per se in 2008? The EFB is not about saving Labour – thats a FPP paradigm that our media are STLL obsessed with – its about saving Labour’s coalition partners from a blitzkrieg designed to get rid of them and with them, Labour’s hope of governing. Remember, the Exclusive Bretheren targetted the Greens not Labour and with Sue Bradford being the sponsor of the repeal of section 59 the likes of the Christian loonies and bring back the chain gang brigade were clearly planning on spending mega-bucks to make sure them and NZ First didn’t make the threshold.

    By curbing the ability of cashed up lobby groups to run vociferous parallel campaigns the EFB has made things easier for the left in 08 – but only because it has leveled the playing field, not tilted it in there favour.

    I think that given some clear political air, some unreconstructed new-right policy releases from the Nats and some decent policy initiatives from Labour the centre left can still easily win power in 2008.

  28. Tane 28

    Insider, what I said was:

    To my mind the fact that this result is so far out of whack with other recent polls suggests it’s a rogue, but we’ll have to wait for the next few polls to see if this is the case. Either way, it will certainly give Labour pause for thought and will give NZ First a welcome glimmer of hope.

    I’m flattered you’re paying such close attention to my commentary, but trying to paint this as some kind of contradiction looks a little desperate on your part.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    TDS – back to your first comment.

    I do not completely disagree with this, at face value. I can imagine that domestically there would be a strong reaction to it (I think a very likely outcome for the election is a coalition around Labour, with National having more seats on their own).

    However if the shoe was on the other foot, looking at objectively, under MMP that party would have a mandate. If the right-wing parties had over 50% of the vote, even with National substantially less that Labour, the electorate has dictated in broad trerms that it wants a government formed around right wing parties.

    It’s a different paradigm to FPP, as I see it, that your vote is no longer a party vote but an alignment vote – ‘where would you like your government?’

    So in response, I can’t put aside the left wing vs right wing thing, as you mentioned. To me, that’s the very crux of the dabate and defines how the system works – I believe legitimacy would be given in the situation at hand due to this.

    This relates to what you said later (11:15) – this ‘largest first’ thing is a strange concept! It’s a tacit admission that a smaller party would do whatever it takes to get into power.

    Fine for NZF maybe, but I’m not sure that works with the Greens, and to a lesser extent the Maori party – they have more of an ideological alignment (well maybe not ‘ideological’ with the Maori Party, I see them as a glorified pressure group but that also gives them an alignment, which is incompatible with working with just ‘any’ party. As an aside, if they get the seat votes but their voters choose Labour for Party vote as happened last time, it’s clear where the people who voted them in would want them to align…).

  30. Outofbed 30

    The key to this Election will be the Maori Vote
    There is no point whatsoever for any Maori voter to Party vote Maori. Who then are they likely to vote for?
    2005 73% who voted Maori Party did not split the vote

  31. Lampie 31

    Would it be fair to say that the period this poll covers also have shown the impact the EFB has had on the public and with a 1% climb that maybe the controversy was just hype hence why no withdrawal of the bill?


  32. Patrick 32

    Sorry Lampie, that was a quite confusing sentance, but if I understand what you’re asking, my answer is yes.

    Yes in that the majority of the controversy was just hype, despite how worked up some people feel about it, and despite how much they spend phone spamming people to show up to marches. I simply think that:

    a) Most New Zealanders simply do not care. I hope this isn’t the case, but I suspect it may be.
    b) Most New Zealanders feel that the general aims of the bill, no matter how flawed the execution, are worth supporting.

    Of course, no one really seems to have done much research into what the public actually think about it (and don’t give me any of that Herald comments page or web polls – those are so unscientific they aren’t even worth mentioning).

  33. The Double Standard 33

    So in response, I can’t put aside the left wing vs right wing thing, as you mentioned. To me, that’s the very crux of the dabate and defines how the system works – I believe legitimacy would be given in the situation at hand due to this.

    This relates to what you said later (11:15) – this ‘largest first’ thing is a strange concept! It’s a tacit admission that a smaller party would do whatever it takes to get into power.

    Fine for NZF maybe, but I’m not sure that works with the Greens, and to a lesser extent the Maori party – they have more of an ideological alignment (well maybe not ‘ideological’ with the Maori Party, I see them as a glorified pressure group but that also gives them an alignment, which is incompatible with working with just ‘any’ party. As an aside, if they get the seat votes but their voters choose Labour for Party vote as happened last time, it’s clear where the pe them in would want them to align.).

    For the left vs right, I really mean who was in the leading position on a hypothetical basis. In NZ in 2008 it will be Labour vs National, but how about in 2017?

    I wouldn’t necessarily expect the Green and Maori Party to go with the “largest first” model, but there will be pressure on them to define somehow what they will do. I was listing to some commentator claiming that the United Future “No coalition with the Greens” stance had some impact on voting at the last election.

  34. Lampie 34

    Sorry Lampie, that was a quite confusing sentance, but if I understand what you’re asking, my answer is yes.

    sorry was a bit rushed. 1% rise might indicate the effect of the EFB on the public, i.e. hype was a bag of wind

    Hows that?

  35. Policy Parrot 35

    [i]”I can’t see Winston or the Maori Party voting for right-wing economic policies. This (hypothetical) parliament would, after some tough negotiations, let John Key become PM, but only to preside over mildly conservative centrism, and to leave most of Labour’s gains in place. I don’t know how long the right would put up with that.”[/i]

    That’s exactly it. There will never be a majority of votes allowing a return to neo-liberalism, there has never been a majority for it in the past. The only way neo-liberals have achieved power is through deception, and the public are relatively wise to it. Perhaps they will elect John Key as PM, but he will not be able deliver to the cravings of his far-right supporters, and his inadvertent comment about a “Labour government I lead” may well in practice be borne out.

  36. Matthew,

    I agree that the issue is Left versus Right. I think we can both agree that National and Act are on the Right, and Labour and the Greens are on the Left. Act is never going to coalesce with Labour, and the Greens are never going to coalesce with National.

    Could the Maori Party go into coalition with Labour? Quite probably. They aren’t in coalition right now, and do have a lot of disagreements with Labour, but I don’t think the difference is any broader than that between Labour and NZF.

    Winston will work with anybody who gives him his baubles, as will Peter Dunne.

    The next issue is the relative skills at coalition-building of Helen Clark and John Key. Yes, Clark has experience at this, and Key doesn’t. But how important is that? Until 1999, Helen Clark was a failed coalition-builder. Until 1999, her caucus was fairly divided. She has subsequently developed skills to work with people and build relationships.

    John Key hasn’t built a coalition before, but he has a twenty year career in stitching deals together. He managed to build what was considered an unlikely partnership with Bill English, to the extent that Bill English has renounced any further ambition to become leader. That takes a lot of relationship-building skills. I haven’t heard Phil Goff ever pronounce likewise, despite Goff being quite a lot older than English.

    Can John Key work with Winston? That’s assuming Winston is still there–which isn’t certain. But if he is, I don’t have any doubts that it’s more than likely. Many people have said that Winston dislikes John Key. I haven’t seen any evidence of any deep-seated, long-lasting vitriol between either, towards each other. The most vitriolic relationship I’ve seen in politics, apart from the one between Moore and Anderton, was between Winston and Jim Bolger. Yet they built a coalition together. Power makes strange bed-fellows. Equally, Helen Clark has hardly been a lifelong fan of Winston. Yet they built a coalition together, as well.

    Throw that into the mix with the fact that both Winston, and Peter Dunne, take the position that their duty is to negotiate first with the party with the most seats.

    With that in mind, I think Labour’s got a long, long way to go to get even within a whisper of retaining power after the election.

  37. Matthew Pilott 37

    TDS, you’re definitely right about parties having to define their intentions. As I recall it was a big issue in 2005, for the likes of Winston and Dunne, and the Maori party.

    As for 2017, elsewhere someone mentioned that having one National Party might not be working to well! While their polling might make this look contradictory, their lack of partners lends the concept some credence. Not sure how they would go about it though.

    However on a hypothetical basis, this time it is Labour/National, but the comcept can be applied to any MMP election. You can have a minority party in power as long as more than 50% of the vote is on their side of the spectrum; as I see it anyway, that’s how the goalposts have shifted.

    Say in 2017 Labour had shrunk in the face of other parties on the left, and three left-leaning parties got 60% of the vote among them, 20% each. On the other side, National was on 40%. In this case, the single biggest party can’t exactly claim a legitimate right to power over the othes, despite having double their respective voting percentages.

    While the situation would not be so clearcut here at the end of the day it boils down to the side of the spectrum, not the individual party.

  38. Matthew Pilott 38

    To quote me “While the situation would not be so clearcut here at the end of the day it boils down to the side of the spectrum, not the individual party.

    Although as IP pointed out, there are centrist parties to be factored in.

    I have to say though, Winston has got a good deal as of late and if he gets back in, he could negotiate a btter deal with a weaker Labour than a stronger National, as he seems to be happy to work with both.

    Definitely something to consider, I don’t think that’s really been touched upon before.

    Would National, with 48%, give him Foreign Affairs?

    Labour would when they’re on 35%, judging by experience.

  39. Matthew,

    I think you should ask the question of yourself: if National got to 48%, do you really think they would miss out on Government by not giving him foreign affairs?

  40. Matthew Pilott 40

    IP РTouch̬.

    Wow – cpaitalism in democracy! Bidding for his services, basically.

    Still, I think there are limits that the party with the greatest minority would offer, could they be exceeded by a lesser minority? I don’t think this is something we can really answer though!

  41. Pascal's bookie 41


    I’m not sure that foreign affairs is all he would ask for. With labour he got his goldcard, for what that is worth. What else did he get?

    I suppose that part of the deal, from his point of view, was that neither the Greens nor the Maori Party got a Cabinet seat. This would of course not be a problem for the Nats, (unless of course they needed the MP, and the MP demanded a seat in return for confidence and supply).

    What would Winnie demand policy wise from National? Off the top of my head I’d say it would be something like what he wanted from Shipley, ie no privatisation (acc?), cut back on foreign sales, cautiousness about deregulation, warriness of foreign banker types etc. He didn’t need to talk about this with Labour because Labour isn’t a threat to his base on a lot of this stuff, but there are some pretty big rats there for the Nats to swallow.

    And as mentioned upthread it’s not about making a deal, it’s about making that deal stick while holding on to your own support base. This is where the Labour/Green parties are managing things so well. By not being formally bound to each other the Greens have a lot of slack with their base, Labour can cou nt on them in a pinch and every now and then throw them a bone.That may sound condescending to the greens, but most of them are smart enough to know that those bones actually exist, they count, and that piecemeal is better than no meal.

  42. Gruela 42

    So, Pascal’s bookie, if Winston doesn’t want the Greenies or the Brownies invited to the table, wouldn’t that make it pretty difficult for Labour to form a Govt., based on current polling?

    Winston may turn out to be the fly in the ointment for everyone.

  43. Yes, of course it’s bidding for his services. Again, that’s assuming he’s there to bid services from. If he isn’t, then 48% may well be enough to get an absolute majority.

    In 1996 Helen Clark learned the folly of holding out for too much. Winston got, from memory, four or five ministerial posts from National, and the Treasurer spot. There’s no way Labour would have signed up to any of that, despite being smaller than National, and despite being in Opposition for six years. Winston went into a coalition with a party he had walked out on just a few years previously, after having campaigned during the 1996 election to get rid of National. He rolled over because National offered him more.

    That’s the nature of deal-making. You present a more attractive proposition than your competitor. Bolger was very good at it, Shipley wasn’t. Clark was initially very poor at it, but has developed the skills to make it her own. John Key has made a career of it.

    I simply don’t think it’s credible to write off the Maori Party as a coalition partner for National. The Maori Party aren’t in Government, oppose the Government on some pretty fundamental issues, and are totally at ease with National. They’re also very pragmatic. The further point is that National doesn’t sacrifice anything by going into coalition with them: National could very comfortably appoint Pita Sharples Minister of Maori Affairs, without ruffling any feathers in the caucus.

    Conversely, for Pita Sharples to become Maori Affairs minister in a Labour-led government, Labour would have to subjugate its own Maori caucus. The Maori caucus is already feeling threatened by the Labour Party. Giving Sharples the Maori Affairs portfolio could potentially see the Maori Party entrenched in Parliament, and the Maori vote permanently lost to Labour.

    National doesn’t have anybody on its flanks that would make relationships with centre parties difficult. Yes, you say, but what about Act? Well, they’re not going anywhere. They’re not going to make demands about Cabinet positions, and are not going to insist on policy concessions. At best Rodney is to National what Jim Anderton is to Labour.

    Conversely, Winston and Peter Dunne have always had grave reservations about being in any government that includes the Greens. So, for a Labour-led government to work, on anything closely resembling current polling numbers, Helen Clark has to stitch together a coalition involving Labour, Jim Anderton, Winston (if he’s there), Peter Dunne, the Greens, and the Maori Party.

    There isn’t enough dislike of John Key among the minor parties to allow that to happen. National merely needs to get more votes than Labour and the Greens combined to be the clear favourite to lead the government. You would have to say, with the way the public is expressing its opinion, and has been consistently for the last year, Labour have to pull out some massive rabbits to change that.

  44. Benodic 44

    Just saw this on the Herald’s Your Views section:

    “Brian: John Key is on track to fix up al ot of this countrys problems. First one is immigration and he needs to get that under control. Next one is the smacking law needs throwing out. Next one is the dole bludgers who are mostly you know who. Next one is proper prison sentances and even bringing back the death penelty. John Key has got my vote!”

    I’m amazed this guy can operate a keyboard, let alone form a political opinion. Do you think he got lost on his way to Kiwiblog?

  45. r0b 45

    That was a thoughtful post IP, and I don’t disagree with much of it. My main disagreement would be with the final conclusion: “Labour have to pull out some massive rabbits to change that”. The reason I disagree is the same reason that I can’t get excited by polls. Its the old adage that a week is a long time in politics. It truly is. Almost anything can happen between now and the election. We won’t know the makeup of the next parliament until after the election. Hence all this speculation is jolly good fun and so on, but that’s all it is…

  46. BeShakey 46

    Insolent: I agree with some of what you say. However, I think it would be tougher than you suggest for National to put Sharples into Maori Affairs. Either you have to let him put through some policies that are anathema to much of the National voting base, or you only let him put through a small number of irrelevant policies and (maybe) one big one. Would that be enough to keep his party onside for 3 years?

    I think that one of Nationals biggest advantages (seldom alluded to) is that it has been out of power for a long time. Much of the voting base hates Labour with a passion (Kiwiblog anyone?) and I suspect would put up with a hell of a lot to get National in, perhaps including some substantive progress on issues supported by the Maori party (but the Forshore and Seabed Bill??)

  47. r0b 47

    “I think that one of Nationals biggest advantages (seldom alluded to) is that it has been out of power for a long time. Much of the voting base hates Labour with a passion”

    Spot on. The source of another one of those old adages, that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. Governments do stuff, hence they make some enemies. Oppositions do nothing, and people gradually forget their true colours. As time goes by it becomes enough to swing elections.

    So, one day we’ll have a National led government again. It’ll hurt, but it’s life. We lefties shouldn’t let that depressing fact stop us from fighting hard every election!

  48. Pascal's bookie 48

    if Winston doesn’t want the Greenies or the Brownies invited to the table, wouldn’t that make it pretty difficult for Labour to form a Govt., based on current polling?

    They offer the greens and the Maori some policy titbits in return for confidence and supply. Same as now. The G&M’s supporters will take it ’cause they don’t like National, Labours will take it cause they aren’t terribly afraid of the G&M’s.

    The advantage I see for the left is that the more ideological sections broke away from Labour, leaving Labour with room on the left. Sure, every now and then a few handbags get thrown but they’re stuffed with feathers.

    The Nats set out to make sure that they had no ‘enemies ‘to the right. They absorbed their nutters, who are amoungst their most passionate supporters. Piss them off by hoping in to bed with a bunch of tree hugging, BDS afflicted, Hippies and Apartheid Seeking Mari Activists and see what happens.

    I’m not saying that all Nationals support is like this, but maybe 5-10% is. They should have let them go, and then they too would have parties on their outward flank that they could get C&S agreements from while giving cabinet seats to parties that they have more substantive differences with. But they didn’t, because they are stupid authoritarians.

    Honest opinion, all caveats apply, as always.

  49. Outofbed 49

    Nice to have so much opinion from IP
    However his record is not that great
    (the day Bradh resigned)
    # Insolent Prick Says:
    November 22nd, 2006 at 11:36 am

    Sonic, phillip, james, etc:

    You pinko shits have been predicting Don Brash’s demise ever since he became leader. Fact is he has survived every one of the personal attacks and dirty tactics that the Labour Party has thrown at him; from personal shit-throwing about his private life, to allegations of misdeeds, to the most preposterous&the bald claim that he is not fit to be Prime Minister because Pete Hodgson says so.

    Every time you have tried to demonise Don Brash, he has bounced back higher in the polls. He doubled National’s vote at the last election. He leads National at a time when the Nats are continuing to thump Labour in the polls, by even wider margins every week.

    Look out for Orewa III. Brash’s next speech will make you toast. As much as Labour wants to collude with nut-jobs like Nicky Hager&who blamed Brash for Rod Donald’s death just last year&Brash will be our next Prime Minister.

  50. r0b:

    I’m not saying that the Maori Party would be the “first cab off the rank” for National. But they weren’t for Labour, either. In fact, Helen Clark used those very words.

    My point is that it would be extremely dangerous for Labour to assume that National has no coalition options. On the contrary, it does. John Key has very considerable skills is making deals happen, and stick.

    You might have said in 1996 that a coalition with Winston would have been anathema to National. For many of us involved in the National Party at that time, it was totally anathema. But we swallowed it. Jim Bolger subsequently got thrown out, largely as a result of Winston’s party’s ill-discipline. But that was MMP and coalition-building in its early days, with most people unused to sacrificing policies to form viable coalitions.

    When in 1996 National and New Zealand First’s negotiators sat down, the first action was to put together an analysis of all of the policies of the respective parties, and then to compare them. From there you get a view of differences, can work through them, and then you start talking about baubles to achieve them.

    I can’t actually say that I know what the Maori Party policy position is on many issues. On many of their declared positions, they’re relatively conservative. Yes, there’s a world of difference between Hone Harawira and Wayne Mapp on international relations. But there’s also a world of difference between Hone Harawira and Pita Sharples on international relations. So far, there’s no evidence that those differences are going to cause a split in the Maori Party.

    I suspect the issue for the Maori Party, if they’re given an opportunity to be part of a government, is whether they can deal with their larger partner on a respectful basis, and what they can achieve for their constituents. Given that the Maori Party already have a very good relationship with National, that they do deal with each other respectfully, that there’s no ill will between Maori Party MPs and National MPs, I tend to think there’s a very good possibility of a National-led government supported by the Maori Party.

    I agree that National is very hungry to form a government. I also am wary of the relevance of a 13 point lead a year away from an election. But it is relevant that 13 points is a massive lead, and Labour has an enormous gap to make up. I can’t see them achieving it.

  51. Gruela 51

    Is there some sort of prize for the most words written on a thread?

  52. Pascal's bookie 52

    A free years subscription!

  53. The Double Standard 53


    Nice to have your productive contribution. Why don’t you sod off and troll on KB or something?

  54. Santi 54

    Gruela I award you a one-way ticket to your beloved North Korea.

  55. Outofbed 55

    I didn’t think it was unproductive
    At the time it annoyed me that people who were taking a contrary position were described as “Pinko Shits” I took offence to that at the time
    I note that he is being accorded the respect here that he didn’t give to others at the bog.

    And may I suggest TDS you are not in a great position to talk about trolling

    anyway as you were

  56. Gruela 56

    Congratulations, Oh Insolent and Angry One, you’ve just won a year’s free subscription to the Standard. I know just how valuable this will be to you.

    “Brevity aids clarity.”
    George W. Bush. 2003.

  57. Gruela,

    I know you can do a better job at addressing my debating points than that.

  58. Gruela 58


    You have points?
    Seriously, I can’t get excited about which party might join with which other party, since ANYTHING might happen in a year.

    Certainly not excited enough to read a 80,000 word post.

  59. Luke 59

    Key’s deal making skills in the financial sector are very different to those needed for negotiations around coalition deals, and Labour have shown they have very good skills in this area.
    Looking at Hone Harawiras comments it seems that he would be unlikely to like to go along with very many of the Nats real policies at all.
    I’m not as sure with the other Maori MP’s, although I don’t think any in the Maori Party are fans of unrestricted free markets.
    Watching the Nats deal with any partners other than ACT would be great fun though, as the Nats try to push through privatizations etc and the
    other parties trying to resist.

  60. The Double Standard 60


    Isn’t interesting how you put words into the Nats policies that aren’t there:

    “unrestricted free markets”
    “push through privatizations”

    Do you have a shred of evidence for your claims?

    By the same approach I could describe Labour’s policies

    “Rape the taxpayer over 8 years”
    “Interfere in Kiwi’s private lives and homes”
    “Partisan re-write of critical electoral laws”
    “Remove access to the courts for Maori claimants”
    “Reward violence in Parliament buildings”

    Now, I could see the Green’s going along with some of those policies, but the Maori Party, or Winston, or Dunne?

    Knowing where Labour has taken them of the last 3 years might make them wary of signing up with H1 again….

  61. DS 61

    There are tons of historical precedents for a party getting the most seats under proportional representation, but missing out on office because the other side had the coalition partners. Just look at Sweden in 1991: the Social Democrats win 138 seats, but lose to a combination of the Christian Democrats (36 seats), Moderate (Conservative) (80 seats), Centre Party (31 seats), and Liberal Party (33 seats).

  62. DS 62

    [i]Isn’t interesting how you put words into the Nats policies that aren’t there:

    “unrestricted free markets”
    “push through privatizations”

    Do you have a shred of evidence for your claims?[/i]

    Perhaps Luke is paying attention to what the Nats did the last time they were in power? You know, like Jim Bolger in 1990 running on his “Decent Society” platform, only to inflict Ruth Richardson on us without any warning?

  63. gobsmacked 63


    Good example. And Sweden is the most democratic country in the world:


    (I used Wiki because the original source is PDF)

    If you don’t believe the Economist Intelligence Unit, have a word with John Key, because this is the source he used for his speech to the National Press Club a while back, in which he attacked the Electoral Finance Bill and said that NZ must remain one of the 27 “full democracies” in the world.

    He conveniently forgot to add that NZ ranks higher than the USA, or to mention that Scandinavian democracies are at the top of the list.

  64. Luke 64

    Do you have a shred of evidence for your claims?

    Those are policies followed by many of the former National MP’s in their previous lives as ministers.
    They obviously haven’t said what they want to do because there support would plummet. Also the Hollow Men made it clear what they wanted to do.
    Remember it is only the leader that has changed since 2005, everyone else is the same. And who would have been finance minister in that govt? The national parties sudden turn around is very suspicious indeed, and this is especially true for Key.

  65. AncientGeek 65

    Almost any democracy would rate higher as being better than the US.

    What was their voting percentage last presidential? I think that they had a good election and it was above 50% of the franchise. I’ve heard from friends voting there of the horror stories about the city block long queues to simply get into a booth to vote. Then of course there are the rather interesting geographies of the most gerrymandered electorates in the world – 10 times as long as they are wide, and twisted like a snake.

    The US isn’t a democracy – it is a rather strange 18th century elected monarchy, where they also elect dogcatchers, police officers, and judges.

    Mind you – you can understand why – just finished reading a book on early american conservatism – nothing seems to have changed much.

  66. Luke,

    I’m not sure who you’re addressing, but I am puzzled that the Hollow Men appears to be your bible. Given that Nicky Hager had, in his possession, some six thousand emails, it is astonishing that only a couple of them related to the Exclusive Brethren, yet he managed to drag it out into an entire book.

    But apart from that, I would be very careful about criticising National’s policy detail, if I were you. Being a Labour supporter, you might well face allegations of hypocrisy.

    National has very extensive policy information on its website, much of it since the 2005 election. Go and look there if you want to find out what their updated policy is.

    Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Labour Party policy. THere is no new policy documentation since the 2005 election on Labour’s website.

  67. Tane 67

    Prick, if you’d read the Hollow Men rather than relying on media reports you’d know the Brethren are only one chapter of the book.

    As for policies, you’ll find most of the policy on National’s website is from 2005. When called on it they’ll deny it’s current policy. No one is in doubt what Labour stands for.

  68. the sprout 68

    “No one is in doubt what Labour stands for”

    unlike the Jonkey Party.

  69. I have read significant excerpts of the book, Tane. I haven’t read it in its entirety. Suffice to say I was pretty underwhelmed, and didn’t feel it justified throwing more money at an already very wealthy Nicky Hager, at what was scandal-mongering and supposition on his part.

    Simply not true that most of National’s policy is from 2005. Name five contentious policy areas for which there isn’t any policy detail.

    On the contrary, a lot of people are in doubt about what Labour stands for. Are they in favour of tax cuts, or not? Are they in favour of improving productivity in the public sector, or not? Are they concerned about ensuring we have a neutral public service, or not? Is Labour concerned about improving transparency and participation in the electoral system, or not? Is Labour interested in creating clear and coherent legislation, or not?

  70. the sprout 70

    IP there’s so much ‘detail’ about Key’s position it makes people’s brains hurt:

    climate change – for, and against
    Iraq – for, and against
    privatisation – for, and against
    s59 – for, and against
    leading the Labour party – for, and against
    Maori seats – for, and against
    ToW – for, and against
    attacking politicians’ families – for, and against

    Springbok tour – for, and against
    religion – for, and against

  71. Tane 71

    Prick, off the top of my head:

    KiwiSaver Mark II
    Working For Families
    Work Rights
    Maori seats

    That’s five.

  72. burt 72

    Cut up to 50 docs – hospital’s secret report

    So will you guys here at the standard be reminding people that when Helen Clark was minister of Health in 1989 that she was responsible for massive slashes in the health budget then as well.

    Surely if you were at all interested in the welfare of NZ people rather than the welfare of the Labour party you would be pointing this out.

    Leopards don’t change their spots.

    captcha: morgan smiles 🙂

  73. Matthew Pilott 73

    Burt, I don’t know enought about their budget (CCDHB), but my understanding is that construction of a new Hospital is going to be an expensive exercise.

    Now unless you can direct me somewhere, perhaps http://www.buildahospitalonashoestring.com, I’m going to ask you how this isn’t a blatant trolling lie (emphasis added):

    that she was responsible for massive slashes in the health budget then as well

    Don’t you guys whinge there’s far too much spent on health? And yet now, despite a hospital being built, Helen is massively slashing the Health budget.

    Few holes to patch up there Burt. Leopards don’t change their spots indeed.

  74. burt 74

    Matthew Pilott

    Recent news of drastic blow outs in the bureaucratic spending of the health department and the secret report plans to sack Dr’s….

    50 sacked policy analysts wouldn’t upset many heat service users but 50 Dr’s….

    Wonder what the Dr’s union has to say about this? They are already over worked, Dr’s are the people splitting the country for better pay – not policy analysts.

    This is the health system bought to us by the Labour led govt!

  75. burt 75

    Matthey Pilot

    From that link.

    cutting up to 50 doctors and outsourcing some specialties to solve Capital and Coast’s financial woes…

    Sounds like National party policy to me, support it if you like, I thought with an $8b surplus the building overrun costs would impact the govt surplus rather than the hospital staff levels. And you call me right wing!

  76. the sprout 76

    umm, burk think that’s got something to do with the DHB governance structure requiring the DHB to be responsible for their own budgets.
    i thought you’d like that sort of thing.

  77. Matthew Pilott 77

    Burt, is that an admission that you just lied then when you implied that Helen Clark was slashing the health budget?

    I wasn’t writing in support of the plan to cut doctors at all, nor outsourcing specialties. As said, I don’t know enough about CCDHB to comment. I would suggest that they need more funding, and that wouldn’t be delivered by cutting taxes.

    I can comment on the fact that health spending is increasing, and you lied in an attempt to score political points.

    The state of the hospital is indeed problematic by our standards. However there is an element of a beat-up about it. The 23 cases in the papers and news yesterday were grevious errors and ones that should not have happened. Given they were out of 80,000 admissions and 420,000 visits I don’t think it would be fair to say it is systemic, or there would be more that 23 cases (0.0003% of admissions) mentioned in the paper.

    Just to clarify, you said that the spending blow-put was bureaucratic. Are you lying again, Burt, or do you consider the construction of a hospital to be bureaucratic?

    What is clear is that construction of the new hospital has not been handled well. I don’t know how it is budgeted or funded. As has begun, the board is likely to resign over this, if they have mis-managed the situation.

  78. burt 78

    the sprout

    It’s got nothing to do with what I might or might not like. It’s got everything to do with how the health budget is spent.

    I didn’t notice any mention in that article of cutting bureaucratic budgets, I did notice that it suggests Capital and Coast has between 30 and 100 too many doctors. Given waiting lists times – this is a interesting claim.

    The report goes on….

    Mr Powell said the report was a kick in the teeth for senior medical staff, whose patience, loyalty and hard work had held fragile services together.

    A “crude calculation” of doctors per head of population took no account of the complexity of services Capital and Coast offered, or the population’s needs. “It’s shonky analysis.”

    Outsourcing services, which included privatisation, increased the risk of fragmentation and disintegration of service delivery.

    It’s National party policy by stealth…

  79. ak 79

    “This is the health system bought to us by the Labour led govt!”

    That’s right burto – the same one that one of the most eminent research bodies in the wold rated second best in the world last year, and which costs roughly one third per capita of the US system – which rates last. Here’s the link again burt:

    But you know all this my little friend. Just as you know that National’s latest shiny document says
    “New Zealand’s level of health spending is about what is expected for our income level”.

    But keep it up burt – and more on the EFB please: you and your hard-working cobbers are doing an excellent job of cementing in the public psyche an image for National of negative, whining, Big Money-backed kiwi-bashers and obsessed fruitcakes that will serve the country well next year.

  80. Matthew Pilott 80

    Well Burt at least we can agree that National Party policy (if it exists) is compete and utter shite!

    And by implication, you’re saying that Labour would be opposed to these moves, and that their policies are good.

    Maybe there is hope for you – just stick to the facts, eh?

  81. burt 81

    Matthew Pilott

    There is no “by implication” in what I said. It’s not about me, it’s about plans that Labour have to do exactly what avid Labour supporters attack National for.

    So the “by implication” is that supporting Labour in this move is supporting the broader policy initiatives of National. Only I guess because it’s coming from Labour you are compelled to defend it.

  82. Billy 82

    ak: “you and your hard-working cobbers are doing an excellent job of cementing in the public psyche an image for National of negative, whining, Big Money-backed kiwi-bashers and obsessed fruitcakes that will serve the country well next year.”

    Read the post. This run of record leads suggests that this is not the view in the public psyche.

  83. Matthew Pilott 83

    Burt, that last post was a bit of a piss-take.

    However, I see you’re still lying.

    about plans that Labour have

    Labour is not the CCDHB!

    Only I guess because it’s coming from Labour you are compelled to defend it.

    I just said I don’t support those moves. I am not defending them.

    It’s getting very tiresome arguing with you Burt, because you’re continually lying and making things up, in every single post you make.

    Why do you do it? Lie continuously I mean. I have called you on every one of them, and you just look stupid, make no useful contibutions to the discussion, and waste everyone’s time.

    Hate to think of what your idea of fun is…

  84. Matthew,

    Annette King approved the hospital building programme, despite many, many concerns at the time that the hospital location was badly positioned, that the construction of a new hospital on an existing site presented very grave risks to patient safety in the transition period, and that the risks of budget blow-outs and construction delays were extreme. Annette King, and the Labour Government, must take responsibility for the shambles that has resulted.

    Annette King further appointed the board of CCDHB. It is simply not acceptable to say that the Health Minister is not responsible for their incompetence.

    David Cunliffe, as new Health Minister, famously said in Parliament that he was in charge of this show, now. Well, he should bloody well take responsibility for the Board, for the previous actions of the Minister, and for once be accountable for ministerial actions.

  85. Mark 85

    So in simple terms, you guys support a party that only 35% of the New Zealand voting public support? Is there any clue there that Labour are not particularly well liked or do the voting public need “education”?

  86. Matthew Pilott 86

    IP, what were the alternatives to the current construction plan, different locations, and ideas that would have precluded a budget blow-out?

    It is simply not acceptable to say that the Health Minister is not responsible for their incompetence.

    That’s great IP, I didn’t. Spare the half-truths and lecturing please.

  87. the sprout 87

    “Spare the half-truths and lecturing please”

    oh that’s not fair MP, you know full well there’d be nothing left to IP’s comments if he left out the half-truths and lecturing.

  88. DS 88

    So in simple terms, you guys support a party that only 35% of the New Zealand voting public support? Is there any clue there that Labour are not particularly well liked or do the voting public need “education”?

    For the 26,875th time: what matters is not Labour vs National, but Labour-supporting parties vs National-supporting parties.


  89. Lampie 89

    nice link there ak

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