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Latest Colmar Brunton poll result

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, February 22nd, 2016 - 202 comments
Categories: john key, national, Politics - Tags:

political poll

Last night the latest Colmar Brunton poll results were released.  One news chose to follow the line that it was good for National because the TPPA has caused no damage to its support.  Such simplistic analysis is par for the course and very frustrating.  It is the economy stupid that matters and most people are still feeling optimistic.  I believe the optimism is misplaced and the feel good aspect of the economy is based on burgeoning Government debt and the sugar rush caused by the Christchurch earthquake but a feel good aspect there is.

National remained on 47%, basically where it was after the last election.  But the Conservative vote is disappearing and this suggests that the right is slowly bleeding support.

Labour is up 1% to 32%, New Zealand First is on 10% and the Greens dropped 4 points to 8%.  The Green result is clearly an anomaly and they have done nothing to justify this drop.  The 14.5% result recorded in the recent Roy Morgan poll may be closer to its true level of support.

National’s support parties are dwindling.  The Maori Party is at 1%.  The others are less than that.

The combined Labour/Green/NZFirst vote is 4850%.  The gifted seats of Epsom and Ohariu will continue to be critical.

Things are finely balanced.  If the economy heads south, and the disastrous current milk price is going to hurt rural New Zealand hard, then I expect that the polls will switch quickly.  Kiwis will tolerate all sorts of things as long as they perceive that generally the country is going in the right direction.  But all the Crosby Textor designed good will is going to be destroyed quickly if the economy is shown to be reliant on foundations placed in quick sand.

Of course in the next month there will be another poll and no doubt a completely different scenario drawn from the tea leaves.

202 comments on “Latest Colmar Brunton poll result”

  1. paaparakauta 1

    Micky, how am I supposed to read the tea leaves with most tea drinkers using tea bags ?


  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Rural NZ is unlikely to change their vote despite the collapse in milk prices as they know that Labour cannot do anything about that.

    The boom in dairy debt was strong under Labour.

    Also I believe that we are in a Political Economic Inverse currently where worsening economic uncertainty is going to lead people to hold on tighter to National.

    (I understand this goes against the conventional political wisdom where worse economic conditions cause people to switch away from the incumbents.)

    • Bill 2.1

      I think it was Helen Clark who suggested that people ought not to change horses mid-stream. People changed horses that time. Maybe they (we) didn’t see ourselves as being in mid-stream at that point in time? Now we’ve had a few years of various turmoils…

      Of course, a Corbyn, a Sanders, a Sturgeon….they essentially said/say “We’re getting the fuck outta this stream – set the nag free and jump aboard” (this boat, this raft, this amphibious vehicle heading for high roads)

    • savenz 2.2

      @CV – they could vote Winston Peters.

      Labour should try not to get in the way of that. Labour voters are probably educated, urban people. Like Northland they should leave disgruntled rural older farm vote for Winston.

      If all the opposition pitches for the same voters it will scare them and they will swing back to National.

      • Chooky 2.2.1


        • greywarshark

          Interesting strategy savenz. Prebble wrote one or two books called I’ve been thinking but you could trump that! Donald Trump that, as in this is totally new stuff, even hair-raising. We so need something totally new, I’m sick of this chicken mash we get from Labour Chooky. Can’t we get better rations, we might be able to lay a few eggs, golden ones?

          • Chooky

            yes chicken mash is very boring…and I wouldn’t mind a golden egg…but at least Labour is not the corporate ferrets and stoats waiting to rip your throat out like of jonkey and mates

    • Murray Simmonds 2.3

      “I believe that we are in a Political Economic Inverse . . . ”

      There is some local historical precedent for that approach, CV.

      Bob Parker was goneburger according to the polls in the run-up to his last election as Chch mayor. Jim Anderton was tipped to win by a sizeable majority according to the polls.

      Then the Chch earthquake hit and all the pollsters’ predictions went out the window. The unexpected re-election of Parker was put down to some kind of effect (I forget the term for it) whereby in times of great uncertainty, people tend to opt for the status quo – a sort of ‘Better the devil you know . . . ” kind of effect.

      Much the same may happen to the damned gnatz if the economy goes seriously belly-up just before the next election. Alas.

  3. Bill 3

    The thing is that the current government should be riding on down atop slashed and burned poll numbers. Why isn’t it? Well, no-one is offering anything different to what government has provided to us these past 10 years…these past 20 years…more.

    I can sit here and say that government performances have been crap and wrong headed. I believe that’s a reasonable view.

    But when all society has been offered for 20 or 30 years is cabbage (more salt? less salt? a little pepper on that?)…then people come to expect nothing but cabbage. And while the current government can keep successfully dishing cabbage and opposition parties are incapable of imagining anything other than cabbage re-dux (reheated?) or whatever…..

    • Ennui 3.1

      Bill, a few weeks ago Greer commented on the Trump phenomenon on http://www.thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com. Its worth a read because he notes that Trumps core electorate is the “wages class” as opposed to the “salaried classes”. If you read Tariq Ali he uses the term “extreme centre” to describe the position of western politics where there is no choice and the key to retaining power is to appeal to the “centrist” voters, Greers “salaried” class.

      In NZ we all wonder who Keys core constituency is: it is really simple. It is the salaried class, those who dont count the hours they work. These people live a life free of the anxiety of low hourly rates and rental increases. They can plan their lives free of worry so long as the mortgage on the apparently increasingly valuable house can be met. New IPhone, holiday in Phuket this year whilst John is in Hawaii, its all so nice. They will vote for Key until they become the formerly salaried class (which incidentally may happen sooner than later, lets hope before the election).

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Which brings up a good point. If no opposition is going to offer up something worthwhile or hopeful, will they take responsibility should a Trump type step into the vacuum they’ve helped to create and taps into the ‘missing million’ who, I’d suggest, contain only a small number from that “salaried class”?

        I’m picking they’ll wring their hands and implore us to try more cabbage.

        • Puddleglum

          I think in a lot of ways Key was an early exploiter of the Trump wave. He’s our Trump in the sense that he is believed by many not to be a politician, ordinary and straightforward in his views, ‘what you see is what you get’, etc.

          Of course he doesn’t ride the anti-immigrant parts of the Trump wave but he does appeal to the waged class, especially male and white – hence his omnipresence on Radio Sport, going to the nines on Waitangi Day, being OTT about ‘the silver fern’ and all things All Black, etc..

          I suppose if we assume that a pure Trump clone-led government would be worse than a Key government then we could be thankful hat Key has attracted – and so dissipated to some extent – a potentially even more reactionary, right-wing swing by the disillusioned white working class.

          Maybe that’s why, in Northland, NZF did so well when the electorate wanted to send Key a message?

          • Bill

            And so, positively, the way is cleared for only a more progressive message to garner support. Which brings me right on back to ‘cabbage’ and, despairingly, the dearth of imagination and resolve in NZ’s statist parliamentary camps.

          • Olwyn

            Key differs from Trump in that Key is and always was the establishment’s man. There has never been a single instance of Key pitting himself against the establishment – he is far more interesting in winning the people you list over to the belief that their interests and the establishment’s coincide. Trump, in comparison, is telling the same set of people, “The establishment is letting you down, and I am here to change that.”

      • Mosa 3.1.2

        They are also inept and beleive everything they read and hear
        And John is such a nice man who smiles and stops for selfies
        The farmers who no matter how bad it is will vote National
        Small business people
        Tradesmen and their employees
        The average 30 to 50 year old white male waged or salary
        Aucklanders who own a house and feel rich
        People for whom celebrity is everything
        People still waiting for the brighter future
        Red neck anti Maori
        Anti benefit bashers and union haters
        And people who want a kiwi Royal family.

        • greywarshark

          They all must have atrophied brains in your list. What we need is smart people of sense and sensibility.

      • Ben 3.1.3

        “They will vote for Key until they become the formerly salaried class (which incidentally may happen sooner than later, lets hope before the election).”

        How nice of you to wish misery upon others just so your beloved can get in to power. I suggest that Little needs to think a bit harder and work out a way to appeal to (or at least not repel) the salaried voters, and not wait for them to join Labour via the dole queue.

        • Ennui

          Ben I stand admonished. Maybe you might wish to consider the need for a change for those who suffer because of the greed of the better off wealthier NZERS. Thone who pay inflated rent because the housing market is inflated, or those who suffer cuts to benefits, health and education in order for Key to sustain tax cuts for the wealthy. Maybe the pain from their mindless me firstism is overdue. Let’s face it voting is class warfare which causes pain.

          • greywarshark

            Ben how nice of you to pay attention to the trends amongst the populace of most of NZ, even if in passing. Hurry on by so you don’t have to watch inferior people to you falling over or worse. Don’t look at them, it is so unpleasant. How dare they show their concerns and future worries in public.

        • North

          Fuck off Ben Key Sucker. Those cargo-cultists who lick The Gauche positively hate those they’re told to hate…..the beneficiaries and others. I don’t wish the weak, dumb snobs and wannabes any good at all. You neither since you seem to be one of them. Who the fuck are you to talk morals darling ? Key Sucker.

      • Rosie 3.1.4

        Hello Ennui.

        I’m not so sure about these salaried workers.

        Personal example. We have one good salary coming into our household, but it is barely enough to cover our expenses each week. Even with the money honey we wouldn’t be into a consumerist lifestyle, as promoted by by Key govt aligned media (see recent post on TS re media bias as determined my Massey uni research) BUT as it happens we couldn’t live that life even if we wanted to.

        I think your salaried workers might be in the middle to upper middle classes. There would be two good incomes coming in or one good income but with lower debt due to having owned a house for a few decades and/or maybe living outside of the main cities, and their wouldn’t be an ongoing grinding anxiety about finances or the future.

        Salaries are also paid in what we would view as traditional working class jobs too.
        For instance retail managers in some supermarkets and big box retailers are on salaries. This can be a fairly paltry salary around the 40, 45K mark, 50K if you’re lucky. Same for sales reps – they are generally not on wages and get about the same pay as the retail group. These incomes have been stagnant for the last ten years or so, and in some cases have dropped.

        These earners are salary slaves, in my view. I know far too many of these earners who work well above their contracted hours each week, technically dropping their hourly rate.

        Once upon a time earning a salary used to be seen as a bit of a status thing but now it’s foisted on to the working class as a form of cheap labour for employers.

        • Ennui

          Rosie I suspect you have a good take on how NZ is. Greer was writing specifically about the USA but like all theory exceptions break the rules. I found his idea quite useful in explaining where the focus of class warfare is, the salaried classes backing the investing classes against the rest for diminishing scraps from the table.

        • Tautuhi

          I know people working on salaries doing 55-65 hours per week on $40-$50k in middle management who would be better off on wages, employers are trying to drive costs out of the business, one of which is labour costs.

          Once robotics come in a lot of labour in manufacturing will be redundant.

      • David 3.1.5

        Winston has been ‘Trump’ for 30 years.

    • plumington 3.2


  4. weka 4

    When we were talking about the Roy Morgan the other day, I pointed out that the ‘don’t knows’ weren’t being reported (it was 7%), and that the ‘fuck off, I’m not answering your questions’ etc aren’t even being acknowledged.

    The only clue I have about the non-respondents is a West Wing episode where they say that only 1 in 4 people called will answer the questions. It’s likely to be different in NZ, but do we have any idea of the figures for each pollster?

    Both those groups seem important in a close election, and I still think that polls leading up to an election, and how they are covered, can influence how people vote.

    We probably need expert analysis on margins of error and how to take that into account, and I’d like to know what the deal with with the medium sized parties when the numbers move so much (I assume the GP on 8% is a rogue poll, does that mean the whole poll is a rogue poll?).

    etc. In other words, how useful are the polls/tea leaves, and could they be misrepresenting the situation in ways that undermine democracy?

    • Karen 4.1

      Colmar Brunton had an 11% don’t know/won’t answer.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Which is in the ball park seeing that ~25% of Kiwis don’t vote.

        • paaparakauta

          Appalling. It is compulsory by law in Australia – a bit like a street fair on voting day.
          NZ elections seem funereal by comparison.
          Is Aotearoan democracy on life support ?

          • Tautuhi

            Time to bring in compulsory voting even if you abstain at the voting booth?

            • Lanthanide

              I’d be in favour of that. Have a write in option, along with a No Confidence (not just ‘abstain’) option.

            • greywarshark

              I reckon compulsory voting – make people take some responsibility for our government. Small fines for not voting, and I mean small, say $20 per person, (that would be $40 for a couple, which would buy a good few beers) and followed up through credit collection. There are far too many drifters through life, apathetic. Compulsory can bring problems, but not voting as a behavioural approach in life, is a bigger problem to democracy.

          • David

            Why compulsory? Freedom to choose is also freedom not to choose.

      • weka 4.1.2

        Thanks Karen! Is that accounted for in the reporting?

        • Karen

          What they all do is round all the other figures up so that the total preferences get to 100%.

          Single polls aren’t much use – trends are what matter. Personally I wouldn’t expect much change at this time of year – people aren’t interested in politics in February. The high Green percentage in the Roy Morgan and low % in Colmar Brunton are just an indication of their particular samples at that time. NZ First has probably picked up the Conservatives but 10% seems too high just as 8% for the Greens seems to low so maybe just a bit of an outlier.

    • Enough is Enough 4.2

      Has there been any research or analysis done as to how the ‘don’t knows’ and ‘can’t be fuckeds’ would vote if pushed?

      There is a lot of people assuming that the missing million would swing the election in our favour. However is there any real science behind that?

      • weka 4.2.1

        Yep, and I think it’s even more complex than that because refusing to answer a poll questionaire by phone can’t be equated to not voting. Nor can answering a poll be equated to definitely going to vote. They’d had to be doing research at the same time on all those things. Far too costly for NZ I would guess.

        • swordfish

          Colmar Brunton asks an initial question on likelihood to vote. Those who say they’re unlikely to vote at the next general election – or who are certain they won’t – are excluded from the Party Support figures.

      • swordfish 4.2.2

        Opinion Poll Don’t Knows disproportionately Don’t Vote on Election Day.

        For those who answer “Don’t Know” to the Party Support question, Colmar Brunton asks a follow-up question: “Which one (ie party) would you be most likely to vote for ?”

    • alwyn 4.3

      “I assume the GP on 8% is a rogue poll”.
      Ah the approach that says anything I don’t like is a “rogue” result.
      I suppose we can all play that game, can’t we?

      There are rogue results, at least in my opinion, in both the Roy Morgan and Colmar-Brunton results.
      The true numbers are the National, Labour and New Zealand First results in the Roy Morgan poll and the Green Party in the Colmar Brunton.
      The real results are therefore National 48.5, Labour 27, Green 8 and New Zealand First 6.
      I’m sure my interpretation has at least as much validity as yours.

      • weka 4.3.1

        No, it really doesn’t. Because despite your smeary assertion that my analysis is based on my personal likes/dislikes rather than evidence, it’s in fact based on the analyses of people who are experts in the field. And they say that the most accurate way to understand polls is to look at them in the context of trends over time. And if we do that we see the the GP hasn’t been under 10% in quite a while. See my comment elsewhere for links to poll of polls.

        Whereas your analysis does appear to have been pulled out of nowhere other than your own head.

        • alwyn

          I would have accepted your comment about the Green Party if you had said the same thing about Labour and New Zealand First. The are both well above the Poll of Polls you are quoting. National are near enough to that value.
          Instead you only pick out the one you wish was higher but not the two that are very flattering to your cause.
          I merely ask for consistency in analysis. Personally I think the whole poll looks rather odd.

  5. She'll be right 5

    Why would the economy head south?

    Unemployment is falling.
    Inflation is non existent.
    Mortgage Interest rates are at all time lows.
    Business confidence has increased.
    Low NZ Dollar has prompted a spike in tourism.
    Petrol prices are the lowest in ages

    Milk Prices have been low for two years – lots of sympathy for dairy cockies however this does not seem to have affected general business confidence.

    Your best hope for a downturn in the economy MS is from the likes of China etc. – however if this occurs you may find the voters cling to John Key and Bill English rather than run to the unknowns on the left.

    I am not sure if the constant doom/gloom predictions by the left relating to the NZ economy is actually helping your cause. It just comes across as being a bunch of negative naysayers which can put people off.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      We will run out of the ability to borrow soon. And Immigration is a huge contributor. If this flow changed for any reason then we would feel it. Although to be honest with climate change I suspect that immigration will generally continue with the same sorts of figures.

      • Nic the NZer 5.1.1

        “We will run out of the ability to borrow soon”

        No we won’t, we really won’t. You can keep predicting this till the cows come home and it just won’t happen.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep. No signs that overseas investors are demanding higher interest from NZ or that CDS yields are spiking.

    • North 5.2

      Lots of names haven’t ever seen. All sucking on Key. Is this mass trolling ?

  6. weka 6

    The last time that NZ voted in a fourth term govt was 1969. The time before that was the first Labout govt from 1935 – 1949. Not saying it can’t happen again, but I suspect that it’s unlikely unless there is a good reason to do so. We might get really unlucky and have another big earthquake.

    Why did Clark’s govt become unpopular? Looking at the 2008 results it wasn’t a huge loss.


    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Clark’s government lost direction, lost vision and its caucus got tired.

      • OneTrack 6.1.1

        And Little’s rag tag team of anti-Key activists have no direction, have no vision and it’s members are looking very tired.

    • savenz 6.2

      @Weka “Why did Clark’s govt become unpopular?”

      they appear to have done nothing since!
      they can’t agree a position.
      they are Nat Lite with xtra taxes
      they support unfettered immigration but in a Nat Lite way
      the conditionally support the TPPA and will not pull out or some other unknown position.
      they have not been able to put together a strategy and communicate it that makes sense.
      They do not answer questions on their Facebook pages
      they do polls that look like they made them up themselves to get their own outcome (i.e. the future of work where they come to the conclusion that technology is the issue not rogernomics)
      They appear to be power pointing on everything and no details on anything (or too many details like TPPA)
      They still appear hopelessly neoliberal and that worked for Clark, BUT move on, we are in different times, National have that voter covered – it is the going away in a stable way from neoliberalism and putting people first not companies that needs addressing!
      They appear to endorse the Natz on surveillance, war and other unpopular directions.
      Nash publically proclaims how he has to give up principals to win and then starts abusing people who disagree with him on line.
      Nothing happens to Nash regarding the above so it appears that is acceptable behaviour for Labour MP’s
      Cunliffe the left favourite is out in the cold while hawkish blairite neoliberals are promoted.
      No sense of unity with the opposition.
      No strategy in place to beat dirty politics.
      They show more action on prisoners on Christmas Island than for any other issue apart form defeating Hone again making them seem another form of National.
      They behave like National in Labours Clothing.
      The abuse their own ex members and supporters for not liking them or supporting them but do not want to listen to what they have to say.
      We hear nothing about corporate taxation and why so many million dollar companies are paying below or even zero taxes in this country.

      And the reason I point this out, because if they do not change they will be defeated again and again.

      • weka 6.2.1

        I asked why Clark’s govt lost their last election, not what Labour have done since. It relates to my point about fourth term govts and when NZ will vote them in.

        • BM

          John Key.

          • weka

            On the slight chance that you are being sincere, I was more meaning why their popularity was declining in their last few years. I don’t think Key explains that.

            • BM

              A combination of John Key and the feeling that Labour was getting far too involved in peoples lives, eg: the smacking bill.

              They were finished off by the light bulbs and shower heads discussion.

              Without Key, I reckon they could have got a 4th term but due to Keys likability and background, people could see there was actually another option and were willing to give National another go.

              Currently I don’t see Little being Labours John Key, I think that position belongs to Stuart Nash.

              • weka

                “Without Key I reckon they could have got a 4th term but due to Keys likability and background, people were willing to give National another go.”

                That makes sense.

                “Currently I don’t see Little being Labours John Key, I think that position belongs to Stuart Nash.”

                Yeah but only because you want the centre to move further right.

                I do agree it’s down to Labour presenting as something people want. I think Little can get the party into that position without himself being a charismatic leader like Key was. Charisma is not the only option. Working with the GP and NZF is going to be critical, but nothing matters if Labour itself don’t look competent.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  National got people who used to vote Labour to vote for them.

                  Labour is not trying to do the same thing.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    National got people who used to vote Labour to vote for them.

                    Blabbermouth Lusk let the cat out of the bag: the National Party got people to stop voting.

                    The Hollow Men and Dirty Politics material adds substance and detail to Blabbermouth’s confessions.

                    People aren’t stupid, though, and some of them are getting very angry. The usual right wing response to this is death squads. Are you sure you know what you’re playing with?

          • b waghorn

            John key and his filthy muckrakers nobbling Winston. Fify

      • Tautuhi 6.2.2

        They started concentrating on bullsh*t issues like anti smacking legislation and lightbulbs rather than concentrating on the main issues such as economic growth, housing, health, and education.

        Labour and National are more interested in getting re-elected rather than getting together a comprehensive plan to grow the NZ Economy?

        Its like a fashion parade and a media popularity contest, however most New Zealanders are that thick they will believe what MSM tells them ie Mike Hoskins and Paul Henry?

        NZF and the Greens are the only parties with sound policy?

      • plumington 6.2.3


      • greywarshark 6.2.4

        I liked your list savenz even if it wasn’t the correct reply to weka’s comment. And that is quite a mouthful to chew on that you have given us.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    “If the economy heads south, and the disastrous current milk price is going to hurt rural New Zealand hard, then I expect that the polls will switch quickly. ”


    Are we relying on everything turning to shit in order for the polls to turn? Its like a wait and hope game. We have been waiting and hoping for way to long

    • maui 7.1

      Yep, we are relying on things turning to shit. Considering the amount of bad stuff that has happened under this government and the polls have been unaffected. What would also help is our major media organisations all keeling over overnight.

  8. Ennui 8

    Anybody who doubts pain is close have a look at the state of the world markets:
    * demand for oil has collapsed and supply is up: nice as cheap fuel is it hides the specter of industrial demand being low because commodity and manufacturing demand is collapsing. In a nutshell the rich have captured the profits so well that the ability of the markets to absorb supply has collapsed under the relative impoverishment of the consumers.
    * the commodity prices for NZ exports are falling through the floor….check the dairy returns. Our currency loses value, the tourist receipts go down too……going to Oz not an option either, our trade with them will suffer as the Pilbara has pretty much shut down as the Chinese are not importing iron ore this year.
    * Wall St is in steep decline as the stock bubble slowly deflates, mirrored by the Chinese markets. The main stream media has managed to disguise a fall that makes the 1929 Crash small change, my God we are so brainwashed we don’t even see it.

    So what does it mean to the NZ election……there is already pain amongst those who dont vote for Key, but not enough. That could change quickly if the economy struggles a bit more. But so long a Joe Salaryman and Judy Salarywoman can make the mortgage payment on a house that they think is increasing in value, and John Tradesman can charge them a bit for the reno all is fine in Shonkeyland. But if the bubble bursts and it all stops, then bets are off.

    The real question is “who will the formerly Im alright Jack classes turn their anger against?” Watch out for the MSM blaming it all on the Left.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      I predict in the coming economic crisis, National will be underlining the inexperience of the Labour Leader and finance spokesperson vis a vis John Key and Bill English.

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 8.1.2

        Probably correct. The Great Depression began in 1929, the bottom was hit in 1932 and still the voters preferred the ‘safe pair of hands’ of Forbes and Coates. It wasn’t until it became patently obvious that the right had no earthly clue how to get the country out of the depression that the voters turned in despair to Labour in 1935.
        The same will probably happen again.

      • weka 8.1.3

        “I predict in the coming economic crisis, National will be underlining the inexperience of the Labour Leader and finance spokesperson vis a vis John Key and Bill English.”

        I predict that you will be a willing helper of that meme.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.4

        Yes, English has plenty of experience – an eight year run without a single positive result. Labour just need a pragmatism line to counter that bullshit:

        “$150 billion in debt” (will be unless there’s an early election) “$150 billion in debt and this unspeakable idiot claims to have some kind of economic expertise… NZ needs a better performance than that … we can’t afford to retain NZ’s biggest loser a moment longer.”

        • Tautuhi

          Plus most of the family silver has been sold?

        • Tautuhi

          Labour is the party that really has to get its sh*t together and they need to be talking constructively with NZF and the Greens, at the the last Election Labour didn’t know whether it was Arthur or Martha and Cunliffe didn’t know whether he wanted a sh*t or a haircut?

          NZF and the Greens have options if they want to cut a deal with National, that’s what MMP is all about?

          • Stuart Munro

            I’m inclined to agree – they don’t even seem to be able to take a consistent position on the TPPA for example – Goff needs to wake up and recognise that this is not the TPPA he would have negotiated.

            But I also think that CV rags them unnecessarily for irrelevancies and that this is not constructive. Labour will never have a perfect leader – but Cunliffe and Little are of more than adequate quality when you consider the dregs and sweepings that comprise the current government.

            I expect in the near term the international recession will worsen, and the NZ left should have a clear and unified program to mitigate its ill effects. For my own part I’d like to see that include prosecution of corrupt members of the current government.

  9. Good to see Mana still in there… that will cause palpitations for the righties 🙂

  10. savenz 10

    +100 – Yep I still feel that one of the issues is also that the left are not sending any sort of united message about what they can offer and what the Natz are doing wrong.

    There is coerced and strategic messages Pro Natz in every direction (Now even Richie wants a new flag!) and I guess this is propping them up and MSM is proven to be biased.

    All I can think of, is that people know that the Natz are wrong but the thought of a sharp turn in the economy with more taxes (in particular property taxes) under the opposition when people are quite precariously positioned mortgage wise and job wise is making people just go with the Natz rout. Both Labour and Greens seem to target renters a lot but not home owners which 65% are still clinging on. In fact there seems (to me) a subtle vibe against home owners from both Greens and Labour. It used to be lets get NZ into a home! Now it is, rent forever with xtra standards! Of course the right loves the idea of everyone renting forever, especially in retirement like corporations routs! But Labour and the Greens – what is going on, it is like they have given up on the idea. In short the Greens and Labour are not inspiring at all. It is like a chore to even find out what they are up too and most of the time it appears quite trite. I actually feel better when someone posts a link to a speech as sometimes the speeches give a lot more hope they are on the right track.

    It has never been clear to me that Labour are against TPP so for some voters (eagerly endorsed by the Natz) it may appear Labour and Natz both support TPPA. MSM talk about Labour conditionally endorsing TPP.

    With the Greens vote decline, a new co- leader, the suggestion they will have a coalition with the Natz floating about (turning any Green voter vitriolic), capital gains taxes for home owners, and helping Natz put the flag through (or appearance thereof) has probably lost them support in the short term. They never capitalised on being against the TPPA – I used to get a lot of emails from them but nothing comes to mind about TPPA – last one on 6 October 2015 from Shaw. Gareth Hughes about Solar on 15 Oct 2015, climate change Shaw 28 Oct 2015, submission for questions time from Metiria on 5 Dec 2015, nothing from the Greens since. I would not call that capitalising on being against the TPPA from the Greens!

    Like Labour the Greens seem too keen to press on with personal issues they are fond of, but big issues to focus on seem to scare them. Again not a united feeling as a voter what they stand for, and being interested enough to sign up for emails from both parties I would expect more.

    If they can inspire more and actually do concrete things they talk about in their speeches they would look like they can bring about change instead of talking about it.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Just remember that most Labour and Green MPs are landlords themselves.

      • savenz 10.1.1

        @CV the left has to give up being against landlords and property. Even Maori are landowners and landlords!

        Kiwis love property and hold property as their retirement – that is because wages are too low to retire on and many people think that some unscrupulous government will have stolen their Kiwisaver by the time they retire! That is left with
        a) relying on a government pension (good luck)
        B) having nothing saved at all
        c) having a Kiwisaver and it is not bankrupted by share traders or the government
        d) owning tangible assets that government (for now) can’t get their hands on that can be sold or rented out.

    • weka 10.2

      The GP vote hasn’t declined. This is a rogue poll. You have to look at the trends of polls over time.


      Dim-Post tracking poll


      Like Labour the Greens seem too keen to press on with personal issues they are fond of, but big issues to focus on seem to scare them.

      Can you give some examples? Because I’ve seen the Greens doing work on climate change, child poverty, clean water and the TPPA. Those are big issues.

      • BM 10.2.1

        I agree, labour should be around 28% and the Greens 12%

      • savenz 10.2.2

        @Weka – maybe they are – my point is are they getting to the average Green voter?

        That is why I point out the emails I received from the Greens – most voters are not politically active but do want to participate – from the emails I got from the Greens I was not inspired and that is all I got from them since October.

        That is not to say they are not doing good work – more not being inspiring enough or clear enough to the AVERAGE voter.

        They know they get biased coverage on MSM so the Greens need to do better on personal communications – likewise Labour. Hughes did a great speech recently apparently and the link was on the Standard. If I did not read the Standard I would not know about the speech.

        Winston gets coverage because he is always making jokes at National’s expense and it makes the MSM. He is also old fashioned in campaigning and goes out to the people.

        But the Green voter are probably more into social media, Facebook, video and email.

    • The Chairman 10.3

      “They never capitalised on being against the TPPA…”

      Labour’s bob each way position presented the Greens or NZF with an opportunity to capitalise opposing the TPP.

      All they had to do was commit to walking away if a better deal couldn’t be secured.

      Their failure to do so speaks volumes.

      • weka 10.3.1

        I’ve yet to see an in depth analysis of what would happen to NZ internationally if a left wing govt here pulled us out of the TPPA post Nov 2017 if it were already ratified. Please link if you have seen any.

        When this came up last year on the standard, the idea that pulling out was an option was either ignored or rebutted on the basis that pulling out would put NZ at such risk economically (and presumably in terms of its allies) that no govt would contemplate it (ie they would see it as electoral suicide).

        Personally I think we should pull out. But I also think that means things for NZ that most of NZ isn’t prepared to even think about yet, let alone accept. We can’t blame the GP for that.

        If the left wants pulling out to be seriously considered then it needs to spearhead extra-parliamentary debate about how we could do that and what it would mean.

        • The Chairman

          Any party genuinely opposed would have done the analysis. Again, speaking volumes.

          Opposition parties should have moved swiftly on this, informing effected international partners, hence, lowering exceptions (thus future fallout) from the get go.

          The way I see it is the TPP will open us to more foreign ownership, therefore the choice is simple.

          Either we become tenants in our own land or we own our own future and face the international consequences of that.

          • weka

            They probably have done the analysis, which is why they’re being cautious. And Labour at least have been telling the signatories what Labour’s intentions are. I agree that the parties could have taken a strong stance and mitigated any possible effect by being open about it to the signatories. But that presumes they believe that this would be a viable political position to take.

            You can blame the opposition parties for this all you like, but that still doesn’t address the issue of how they would commit NZ to possible serious international backlash and expect to surive electorally. That you and I have serious concerns about sovereignty doesn’t change that.

            • The Chairman

              Their cautiousness (thus their fear to commit to walking away) will unwittingly be seen as weakness, thus weakening their leverage (as like Labour) in renegotiating the deal.

              While it is good Labour took the initiative to talk to some of our international partners they also let it known that they would not pull out of the deal, thus severely weakening their leverage.

              Did the Greens or NZF take the initiative to talk to signatories? And if not can we blame them for this? We sure can. Especially as they claim to be against the deal. As they say, actions speak louder than words. And if this is the case, they come off looking incompetent and disingenuous.

              With the Greens taking a cautious position exposing their fear to pull out (and the same could be said for NZF) coupled with Labour totally giving their position away (not willing to put out) the chances of significantly improving the deal has become extremely less.

              And for this, of course the opposition parties are to blame.

              As for pulling out being a viable position, even if they were only bluffing a harder stance would have put them in a far better bargaining position going forward.

              Moreover, when considering the outcome (becoming tenants in our own land) pulling out becomes a very viable position they can sell to the electorate

              Hoping for crumbs off our new international owners is not what service personnel fought and died for and is not the brighter future the majority would want (IMO).


    • scary mary 10.4

      I’ve had five GP emails this year: TPP, Climate Change, Te Reo, Rent law and something about enabling politicians policies to be independently costed. They must’ve unfriended you.

    • Nic the NZer 10.5

      Still have not seen any reason to believe Labours issues are not policy related. National lite and wanted to raise the retirement age and introduce capital gains tax. Very hard sell on NZ (and who believes the measures promised would have deflated a housing bubble anyway).

      Obviously if your waiting for the impacts of NZs on going govt deficit to kick in and win the election for you, then your barking, cause it aint going to happen. The best chance the left has there is to convince the govt they need to really clamp down on the deficit and get them to own goal and actually smash the economy. But its clear English knows well enough not to follow his natural Tory instincts there already.

  11. Wayne 11

    As indicated by many polls over the last year, Winston Peters will decide the next government. In fact he only just missed out having this role in 2014.

    In the last election National did a little better than expected, most probably due to the ill-stared intervention into New Zealand politics by Kim Dotcom, so that meant Winston was not the kingmaker.

    It is a mistake to include Winston in the centre-left bloc. The reality is that he can go either way, and you will not know which way he will choose until after the election. Both sides can mount plausible arguments why he should go with them.

    In essence for National the proposition is they they will be near a majority (assuming the polls are near the 2017 result) and a two party coalition will be around 60 % of all voters.

    For Labour the argument is that after 9 years it will be time for a new government. Winston may be able extract a lot more from Labour, maybe even the Premiership for the first 18 months. But at least from my point of view with the cost of a much worse policy mix.

    In short Winston truly holds the centre. In the current context, he is neither centre-left or center-right. And based on, for instance what he has said on RMA, he is making it very clear he is prepared to negotiate with both the left and the right.

    • Enough is Enough 11.1

      I think it will be the Greens who decide for the following reason:

      NZF will hold the balance of power. They will present Labour and the Greens with the following offer. A Labour/NZF government with Greens providing confidence and supply from outside of cabinet, or A National/NZF government.

      The Greens will be left with the option of refusing that support, and therefore handing Key a fourth term; or

      giving the support and ending National, but at the same time spending another term out of government.

      NZF holds the cards.

      • weka 11.1.1

        Interesting. I’ll add to that mix the degree to which Labour publicly works with the GP and/or NZF before the election to present as a govt in waiting. I don’t think we will have to wait until after the next election to see which way things are likely to fall (although I agree with Wayne that we will have no idea pre-election of what Peters will do).

        • Skinny

          A smart move as he sucks votes from both Natcorp & Workers Party. The slippage if he declares his hand either way would keep NZF under the Greens and that is not at all what he wants!

          • swordfish

            Spot on, young man. We Leftie types may not like the perpetual coyness / chaste modesty but it’s smart politics from Cyclone Winnie. And not only for its impact on NZF’s nationwide support but also specifically in Northland, where he owes his win to both Opposition voters and a minority of (softly-aligned ? or usually-committed-but-just-fed-up ?) Tories.

            • BM

              Why would people who normally vote National want to vote for Winston Peters, if he’s going to side with Labour and the Greens?

              • swordfish

                And visa versa.

                Which is, of course, why it’s wise of him to keep stum.

                • BM

                  Yeah, but if the voters first choice is normally National, it would be a fairly safe bet to assume the voter would prefer a National-NZ first coalition then a NZ first-Labour-Greens-Maori Party coalition.

                  The only reason a NZ first National coalition isn’t a formality is due to Key and Peters having a personality clash.

                  Maybe next time around they’ll both put on their big boy pants and reach an agreement.

                  • Macro

                    Swing voters by definition do not have a first choice. They will go with whichever party they think offers them the best deal.
                    At the present time property values in Auckland are strong – so the swing voter will stay with the status quo – that is the fact of the matter. When the bubble bursts – they will change their mind.

                  • Skinny

                    Yes and with Key retiring to Hawaii for a year break before he takes up a financial role with one of the Wall St traders win or lose the next election, who better to take the helm than the elder statesman of Kiwi politics.

                  • Tautuhi

                    And both start pulling pony tails?

            • Skinny

              Do we see the return of the ministerial limousines to Northland at the upcoming Northland Feildays in Dargaville?

              Or a more modest approach of their sole MP Shane Reti’s humble Natcorp car.

              I can just see Joycie stick, Nathan Guy, big hitter Gerry Brownlee and Reti driving along the broken dusty roads of Northland, bottoming out in pot holes as they crawl towards a Peters bushwhacking in Dargy! Wonder if they will be selling popcorn there? If not someone would make a killing!

          • weka

            “A smart move as he sucks votes from both Natcorp & Workers Party. The slippage if he declares his hand either way would keep NZF under the Greens and that is not at all what he wants!”

            Because it’s all about Peters. He really has singlehandedly fucked MMP in NZ.

            • Tautuhi

              Weka is suffering from SPS?

            • Lanthanide

              “Because it’s all about Peters. He really has singlehandedly fucked MMP in NZ.”

              Er, no. Winston is the hall-mark of MMP. A small party that is able to form a coalition government based on a small share of the nationwide vote. In doing so, they moderate the policies of the larger party in their own favour. We owe Kiwibank to Jim Anderton, remember.

              They didn’t win any electorate seats in 2011 or 2014 and yet are in Parliament. Under FPP, they would have been out, and even before that would have had far fewers seats than they did.

              • weka

                “Winston is the hall-mark of MMP”

                That’s right. MMP in NZ is branded with his manipulative, anti-democratic, powermongering style of politics. That’s not a good thing and it didn’t have to be like that apart from the fact that Peters was in parliament at the time.

                The true potential of MMP lies in broad representation, not consolidating it in the mainstream (we already had that). Peters actively works to deny that broad representation, far beyond the needs of his own party and constituents. Sure, what we have is an improvement on FPP, but it’s nowhere near as good as it could be.

                Note, I’m not talking about NZF policy at all.

                • Lanthanide

                  I don’t agree.

                  It sounds like what you’re talking about is a parliamentary system where party members aren’t whipped, and are free to vote as their conscience / representatives directs them.

                  It’s axiomatically true that a government that must form a coalition with another party will have a broader set of policies than one that did not need to form a coalition.

                  I think expecting MMP to achieve anything beyond that is a fallacy.

                  • weka

                    No, I’m not talking about that Lanth. I’m talking about MMP allowing for representation across all of society via parties who present the electorate with principles and policies. Peters openly works to prevent that, he thinks that the centre should run NZ. I don’t. I think everyone deserves representation.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Peters is reflecting the values of those that vote for him. He doesn’t have any responsibility to reflect the values of people that don’t vote for him.

                      Every party plays their part in the political spectrum. Logically those that are in the center of whatever society’s prevailing political attitudes are will end up in a more commanding position than those who aren’t in the center.

                      Once again, you’re acting like NZFirst is somehow being mean and undermining MMP, when actually the outcomes we are seeing are purely because of how democratic elections work.

                    • weka

                      “Peters is reflecting the values of those that vote for him.”

                      I’m not convinced that’s completely true. I think it’s likely he imposes a fair bit on the party.

                      “He doesn’t have any responsibility to reflect the values of people that don’t vote for him.”

                      In terms of party policy sure. But in terms of democracy as a whole, I disagree. We all have a responsibility to to be inclusive. Otherwise we end up with a dog eat dog parliament and a dog eat dog world. Which is what we have currently on both counts.

                      “Logically those that are in the center of whatever society’s prevailing political attitudes are will end up in a more commanding position than those who aren’t in the center.

                      Once again, you’re acting like NZFirst is somehow being mean and undermining MMP, when actually the outcomes we are seeing are purely because of how democratic elections work”

                      Do you think that’s how it was designed? Or do you think that it turned out that way because of the people in positions of power at the time?

                    • Lanthanide

                      “I’m not convinced that’s completely true. I think it’s likely he imposes a fair bit on the party.”

                      Well they’re still pulling in a good size chunk of votes, so either people agree with him or don’t mind what he’s doing. Now it may be possible that if Winston’s involvement were different they would be getting even more votes than they are at the moment. But we’re not really in a position to know that for sure (NZFirst or other interested parties could do polling in the electorate to get a very rough idea, but the proof is in the pudding).

                      “But in terms of democracy as a whole, I disagree. We all have a responsibility to to be inclusive. Otherwise we end up with a dog eat dog parliament and a dog eat dog world. Which is what we have currently on both counts.”

                      Then I don’t think you should be picking on Winston and NZFirst. National are much worse perpetrators.

                      “Do you think that’s how it was designed? Or do you think that it turned out that way because of the people in positions of power at the time?”

                      It was designed to give porportional representation. That’s what it’s done. MMP cares not for the consequences of that. Other particular outcomes require other particular policy to implement, for example the ‘waka jumping’ legislation.

                      I really think what you’re wanting is something that MMP could never deliver by itself. A 2nd house of Parliament, or non-whipped party voting, or another constitutional framework seem to be steps towards solving your problem. MMP might be one step along the way, but it is hardly sufficient by itself.

                    • weka

                      There’s plenty that the GP does and doesn’t do that I don’t like. Wouldn’t stop me voting for them or being a member.

                      I’m not sure that what you say about the intentions of the MMP designers is true.

                      Is there any reason that parties couldn’t be required to declare before the election who potential coalition partners are?

                    • Lanthanide

                      “Is there any reason that parties couldn’t be required to declare before the election who potential coalition partners are?”

                      No, I don’t see why a law couldn’t be written that way.

                      But what is the punishment for failing to do so, or for changing your mind after the election? What if you say you will definitely go with party X, but after the election it becomes clear you simply can’t work with party X, or that the government won’t be stable if you went with them? What if current events over-take the election, and a new crisis emerges and you don’t think party X is up to the job of tackling it?

                      Nice idea in theory, but I don’t know how you’d police it in practice.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because it’s all about Peters. He really has singlehandedly fucked MMP in NZ.

                      Some really simple context here.

                      More and more voters are sick to the back teeth of the two major parties aping each other.

                      Winston and NZF get this, and benefit from this increasing trend, more than any other party.

                      Hate his political nous all you like, but if this trend continues NZF will be one of the few real winners come 2017.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What if you say you will definitely go with party X, but after the election it becomes clear you simply can’t work with party X, or that the government won’t be stable if you went with them?


                      And there are many other scenarios where a pre-determined coalition menu might work badly.

                      Further, passing legislation pretty much designed to take care of one person, say Winston, is a pretty fucked throwback to the old days.

                    • weka

                      I don’t hate his political nous, I object to his manipulation, his pushing macho politics and his antidemocratic approach.

                      I also don’t have a problem with people voting NZF because they are sick of Labour and National, that makes sense. I’m saying that Peters could say before the election, I will go with either party, or I’m ruling out National (or Labour) this time round because of x, y, z, etc.

                    • weka

                      Lanth, I’m saying declare potential partners, not who one will definitely go with.

                      “Further, passing legislation pretty much designed to take care of one person, say Winston, is a pretty fucked throwback to the old days.”

                      That’s daft, and is not what I am suggesting.

                    • Lanthanide

                      But why does him declaring who he’ll partner with make any difference to you?

                      You’re almost certainly going to vote Greens anyway.

                      Obviously people who are happy to let Winston make up his mind for them will vote for him. Those that are unhappy with him doing that will vote for whatever other party they prefer.

                      “Lanth, I’m saying declare potential partners, not who one will definitely go with.”

                      And so if he declares that he can work with either Labour or National, depending how the seat counts end up and what policy concessions they make, what exactly have you gained?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      weka, NZF and Winston is appealing to voters who see the world quite differently to you.

                      That’s what should be happening. Not another ‘me too’ party.

                      Also, legislation shouldn’t be created unless it is absolutely required.

                    • weka

                      Obviously people who are happy to let Winston make up his mind for them will vote for him. Those that are unhappy with him doing that will vote for whatever other party they prefer.

                      Lots of people in NZ don’t feel that degree of choice Lanth. Many people are voting out of protest or the lesser of evils. Peters has contributed to that culture.

                      And so if he declares that he can work with either Labour or National, depending how the seat counts end up and what policy concessions they make, what exactly have you gained?

                      Honesty. I think that would change the political culture for the better. And an end to lefties claiming that Peters won’t work with National.

                      weka, NZF and Winston is appealing to voters who see the world quite differently to you.

                      That’s what should be happening. Not another ‘me too’ party.

                      CV, I’ve already said very clearly that I don’t have a problem with NZF, or with people choosing to vote for them for policy or protest reasons. Stop misrepresenting my view, and if you still don’t understand what I am talking about, then ask for clarification.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because it’s all about Peters. He really has singlehandedly fucked MMP in NZ.

                      Don’t get so precious weka. The above is what you said. It seems like you really do have a problem with Winston and NZF.

                      Then you said

                      I’m talking about MMP allowing for representation across all of society via parties who present the electorate with principles and policies. Peters openly works to prevent that, he thinks that the centre should run NZ. I don’t. I think everyone deserves representation.

                      So don’t vote for him and don’t vote for NZF. Don’t try and constrain how NZF plays politics with legislation and tut tuts.

                      And don’t try and claim that you don’t have a problem with Winston and with NZF when you clearly do.

                • Stuart Munro

                  It’s not just Peters – it’s lawyers – the fictional Saul Goodman is straighter than most of them.

        • Colonial Viper

          “I’ll add to that mix the degree to which Labour publicly works with the GP and/or NZF before the election to present as a govt in waiting.”

          I reckon it is now 18 months or less until the next election. I hope we aren’t kept waiting for this too much longer.

          • weka

            I’d prefer they went public now, but my reading of it is that they will wait until election year.

            • Tautuhi

              Key stated publicly before the last two Elections he would not work with Winston Peters, so that answers your question doesn’t it. Winston aint going to show his hand before the Election results are in, you don’t do it when you are playing Poker and you don’t do it in Politics?

              • weka

                John Key is a liar so why would I believe him on that particular point, which is especially prone to be lied about? It’s also possible that John Key won’t be PM by Nov 2017.

                “Winston aint going to show his hand before the Election results are in, you don’t do it when you are playing Poker and you don’t do it in Politics?”

                Powermongers don’t do it before an election unless it serves them to. Politicians who value democracy do tell the electorate their intentions before the election. It’s basic egalitarian vs dominator dynamics.

                I don’t really see what that has to do with anything CV and I were talking about.

              • Lanthanide

                No, he only said in 2008 he wouldn’t work with Winston, because apparently Winston was a big liar and couldn’t be trusted after his stint in government with Labour in 2005.

                Winston got back in at the 2011 election, pulling off the Lazarus on the back of the ‘teapot tapes’.

      • BM 11.1.2

        It’s fairly obvious Littles preference would be Labour/NZ First coalition with the Greens making up the numbers.

        Brides maids once again

      • Wayne 11.1.3

        Enough is Enough,

        You seem to have assumed the two way deal he will offer Labour will be enough to automatically knock out National. While the specifics of a NZF/Labour deal as you have suggested may be correct, you should not ignore the fact that he also will have a potential deal with National that he has to seriously consider.

        In short Winston can choose between left and right, and is likely to have credible offers from both main parties that he can choose from. And as the negotiations became more fraught, no doubt the offers will be sweetened.

        Just as in 1996, it might be a few weeks after the election before we know what his choice will be.

        So your concluding sentence “NZF holds the cards.” is correct.

        • Enough is Enough

          I agree Wayne.

          And will come down to a trade off between National and Labour as to who can offer Winston more.

          The problem is the Greens. They will in my opinion be left out of those negotiations and told to support Lab/NZF or watch Key make history. They need to work on a strategy now for ensuring they are not locked out by Labour again in this scenario.

          • Lanthanide

            “They need to work on a strategy now for ensuring they are not locked out by Labour again in this scenario.”

            The only way they’re going to do that is to get themselves to 15%+ and Labour to 33%+

            Given recent polling, it just doesn’t seem likely.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      “maybe even the Premiership for the first 18 months”

      There you go with that stupid line again.

      Deputy? I could believe.

  12. swordfish 12

    The combined Labour/Green/NZFirst vote is 48%

    50%, surely Mickey ? (32+8+10)

    Worth repeating what I said on Open Mike …
    Colmar Brunton (Feb 2016)
    Oppo Bloc 50.0%
    Govt Bloc 48.3%

    Once again, like every TV News poll (Colmar Brunton / Reid Research) since May 2015, the Opposition are leading.
    (In stark contrast, incidentally, to the Roy Morgans and Herald-DigiPolls – a major gap has opened up between the two sets of pollsters, seemingly unrecognised by the media and blogosphere. Results from Labour’s pollster UMR largely agree with the TV News polls)

    On this poll, Cyclone Winnie is Kingmaker …

    … and, in his own irrepressible way, he’s sure to cause havoc.

    [Oops. Right you are. Now fixed – MS]

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      On these numbers then wouldn’t it be:

      61 Oppo Bloc MPs vs
      59 Govt Bloc MPs

      However there would be an overhang because UF will get a seat despite getting 0.0% of the vote so:

      61 Oppo Bloc MPs vs 60 Govt Bloc MPs

      There’s not going to be any stability there for an Oppo Bloc Gov.

      • Macro 12.1.1

        The Maori Party are also a factor – do you include them in the Govt Block MPs?
        Marama Fox has stated quite recently (at the Auckland Anti-TPPA event) that they want to sit on the govt Benches no matter who is in Govt so if a coalition of Lab/Greens/NZF have the tiniest of majorities the 2 or 3 say Maori Party MPs would also want to be there as well.

        • Skinny

          At this stage it is 1 MP going on 1% it recent polling and it isn’t the shifty Fox. The only votes they are pulling is from both whanau of the pair and commited members plus Tory Maori elite, though they appear to be drifting back to Natcorp. Labour have grabbed the rest from the Maori party and near defuncted Mana.

          So of course Fox will serve Flavells head on a platter to Labour and they will take crumbs if Labour is feeling generous to take them in. But don’t count on it Winston will have his say on that, yes and he got his share of their fade to.

          • Macro

            Skinny – many on the anti-TPPA march and at the meeting in the Auckland Town Hall were Maori Party supporters. I don’t think the opinion polls accurately reflect Maori demographics, they are structured more towards white middle-class voters if anything. (perhaps swordfish can enlighten us here) but If I recall correctly many (including myself) were predicting the demise of the Maori Party at the last election. And yes I can see that they may be a Party too far for Winston, who appears to be king maker at this stage. But the political reality may also be that a 2- 3 seat majority is far superior to 1 seat.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Winston won’t want to dilute the power sharing any more then he needs to but it would give him even more bargaining power with National…

          It looks like interesting times for a few weeks after the next election no matter what happens

          • Skinny

            Actually on the face of it as things stand at present none of the political party’s offer stability. Let’s see who can answer why?

            I will give it an hour then reply back why I say this. Let’s hope Hooton puts in a cameo, after slightly getting the better of his Left opponent on RNZ this morning! Can he continue the roll or will he be a one trick pony today?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Well if National win then John Key will retire sometime around 2018-2019 so that’ll cause a bit of fight over the leadership mantle so theres that and and of course if National do win then Little gets turfed so there’ll be more bloodshed between the left and right factions

              • Skinny

                A very poor blinkered 2 dimensional view. Back to head scratching. Actually off to ape management for retraining you go!

                Comeback to complete the answer when you have been reprogrammed?

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Well why don’t you enlighten us all with your wisdom as to why none of the political parties can offer stability?

                  • Skinny

                    Shame I have been asked not to go down this road. Not by the admin here, just a reader friend. Guess you will have to keep guessing. Sorry dude.

      • Tautuhi 12.1.2

        UF and ACT will be resigned to the history books.

        • Lanthanide

          UF, probably. I think there’s still a few more puffs of gas left in the ACT corpse for another election.

    • marty mars 12.2

      “Cyclone Winnie is Kingmaker”

      too soon mate imo

      “The storm was the worst cyclone ever to hit the Southern Hemisphere, with winds reaching speeds of 325 kilometres an hour.

      Up to 10 people are believed dead and hundreds have have been sheltering in evacuation centres.

      The death toll could continue to rise as Fiji works desperately to repair severed communications with badly affected areas.”


  13. Skinny 13

    One could be cynical and say it was a lost opportunity for Labour to gain a better start to their political year by taking a strong anti multi national corporations stand. Unfortunately playing the cautious ‘read the fine print approach’ to the 6,000 pages of the TPPA document didn’t work. Not helped by being broadsided, first Goff then Shearer, stopping Labour in it’s tracks and preventing Natcorp taking a bath in the polls, a double whammy!

    This would have been music to Natcorp’s ears. So Labour are accused of both actually supporting Natcorp’s stance and still having unity problems, just when the sceptical public thought Little had it sorted and Labour were ticking away nicely. Splash  ..a big belly flop off the high board. Then rather than trying to impress all the onlookers (the whole country is watching) by climbing  the high tower and producing a triple back fip full twist dive, and stealing the show with real leadership.

    Meaning giving Shearer the ultimatum resign immediately or go to the people in your seat as an indie and we will turf you out in a by election. Never happened so a net loss. Pity!

  14. Brutus Iscariot 14

    “The Green result is clearly an anomaly and they have done nothing to justify this drop. The 14.5% result recorded in the recent Roy Morgan poll may be closer to its true level of support.”

    Cherry picker.

    • Macro 14.1

      Do you understand what cherry picking is?

      • Brutus Iscariot 14.1.1

        Well he’s asserted that the RM is more accurate re: the Greens vote without any backing whatsoever. Then on the other hand has said that this CB poll is a good result for the opposition?

        • Macro

          That is not what cherry picking is!
          Cherry picking is to pick an outlier from a set of data and to then assert that this score represents the reality.
          Much like Climate deniers took 1998 (the last major el nino year) as their base line and ad nassium repeated (quite falsely) “no warming for x years”.
          If you want to pick 8% as the true representation of Green Support – then you are cherry picking.

          • Brutus Iscariot

            I don’t – i’d say it’s more like 10%. 14.5% could be said to be another outlier, but he just embraced it as fact.

            • Macro

              Well the long term trend has the Greens at around 11.5% – 12.0% – which is around the actual % age of the vote they have picked up at the last two elections – so I don't know where you get the 10% from either. The 14.5% is more likely an outlier but less than the 8% which is an obvious rogue , and probably indicative of the anger within the community over the TPPA, where both the Greens and NZ First have been particularly staunch in their opposition to the "deal".

              • Colonial Viper

                Just remember that on Election Day the Greens will always come in 1% to 2% under what the opinion polls say.

              • Nic the NZer

                4% seems a pretty extreme outlier. CVs recent post discussed a result mostly around 1% shifts eg strong chance of no change from previous poll. But 4% seems like it must be statistically significant. No hint of a cause of course. Maybe they changed the sampling in some significant way?

                • Macro

                  An outlier does not have any statistical significance – it is simply what it is.
                  In general Colmar Brunton tends to be optimistic of right wing parties support and pessimistic of left wing. I gather they only use landline, which tends to favour those who are more “settled” in their circumstances. I’m not sure how much weighting they apply to correct this bias, but on the one hand (R M) we have a score of 14.5%; and on the other (C B) we have a score of 8%. Right wing commentators will take the latter, left wing commentators will take the former. That’s called confirmation bias.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Well there are many reasons you could be right and its an outlier but the prior CB polls said 12%. If the samples of the two were homogeneous then the shift is a bit beyond the 3% 95% confidence interval. I guess this is still expected to happen roughly 2 weeks per year though. Maybe i am just over estimating poll stability.

                    Yes comparing CB and RM its obvious one or both doesnt sample evenly voters because they consistently disagree.

  15. Observer (Tokoroa) 15

    One recent Green’s Leader, Russell Norman, has said their party would seek alliances with National.

    The Current Leader has said much the same, in order to get some of their cherished policies through. The change of flag has been a special interest of the Greens and they have promoted a strange red triangle, but also a wink wink at National.

    NZ First, being naturally from the successful end of town, does not seem to have much interest in the Greens. Nor in Labour.

    But Winston Peters has spoken of immigration saturation; oversees rampant speculators; wealth transference; seniors; and health. Policies that are very similar to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump USA.

    For that reason, it is likely that Winston will draw lots of support. If he should make an alliance with National, he would demand that ALL of his policies get through. The things Winston talk about are the very things the population is very interested in.

    Not that that would be a bad thing. He and the Greens could have a good affect on hardened wealthy greed merchants that occupy Key’s caucus.

    That would mean that Labour would have time to listen to both the Greens and NZ First. They would get a feel for Kiwi’s wants. Including Housing, Fair rentals and non criminal Corporations, manufacturing.

    Pity the Greens and NZFirst as they toil through Billy English’ massive debt and his avowed promise of worthwhile Tax breaks for you know who. An empty purse. This fourth term is one to avoid. And Labour will emerge from their strange musings into the real world.

    • Macro 15.1

      One recent Green’s Leader, Russell Norman, has said their party would seek alliances with National.

      The Current Leader has said much the same, in order to get some of their cherished policies through. The change of flag has been a special interest of the Greens and they have promoted a strange red triangle, but also a wink wink at National.

      Utter nonsense!

  16. savenz 16

    Extract from Daily Blog which is pretty scary – why are the banks forcing out the farmers?? Obviously have some buyers waiting in the wings for some cheap farms! Someone name and shame the bank!

    “The reality for most farmers now is that when they get out of bed they are losing money. They are better to just stay in bed.

    When they are in bed they aren’t using power or fuel , so they aren’t losing as much”.
    Kerry Adams from DAA chartered accountants states “Down south we’ve got a bank that’s actually taking a lot of action against farmers, telling them they’ve got to sell at the end of the season because they are pulling the funding. “

    Predictions are that because of this, in calf heifers will be worth 250 to 400 (current price 1250 to 1500) .

    We know at least 35 farms that have been told and they carry 500 to 1000 cows each. These farmers are going to be left with huge debt and their only prospect is bankruptcy. (this one bank ) has effectively taken over farms, they have said, we want to know what bills you have got, and we will decide who gets paid or not, effectively freezing their accounts.

    One farmer was told his wife who has a 4 week old baby that she is to get someone to look after her baby and go and get a full time job.

    “The banks are now running the farms, they’ve taken over

    ” If one bank has taken this stance it is only going to be a matter of time before they all start.”

    They have wiped the value of herds down so farmers equity has disappeared over night. with a flick of a pen , they have made decisions to reduce heard values from 400 to 500 thousand to 200 thousand, and will no longer extend the funding.”

    They have just hit the Southland area. for some reason and we don’t know why”.
    Currently on seek there have been 4 positions listed for senior relationship managers agri in the past week alone, all for different financial businesses. , what will the potential flow on for the region be, and who is next?”

    First they came for residential property
    Then they came for the farms
    Then they came for our assets
    And soon they are coming for our sovereignty!

    But what is the opposition doing about it?

    • Nic the NZer 16.1

      What do you expect banks to do. It sounds like these are expected to be non performing loans by these banks. In this situation the first banks to crack down get the most value before the whole sector starts running for the exit door. It would probably be imprudent not to act sooner if the decided it was going to collapse.

      • savenz 16.1.1

        @Nic the NZer Thanks Neolib! sarc.

        Or in a decent society, banks take responsibility for lending too much money in the first place and wait and try to help their ‘clients’ keep their farms. Fonterra execs do not get paid millions to run Fonterra into the ground and the Fed farmers grow a brain and start working for the good of the industry instead making things worse by regurgitating government ideology that got them into this hole.

        But instead, oh my God, bank might lose the obsene 1.25 billion in profits each quarter – Yes, quick bankrupt the farmers and make their kids homeless, the banks might lose $1 by waiting – get in quick to put the boot in!!

        And sign up to TPPA, because we can see that these trade deals are so beneficial to the end producer (not)!

        Not to mention all the financial scandals and ponzi scheme rubbish the banks were selling the farmers which became worthless a few years later. And we all saw what happened in the USA where everyone started loosing their houses due to the banks financial mismanagement and fraudulent loans.

        Your statement shows what is wrong with neoliberalism. It creates a dysfunctional society that has no heart or quality of life.

        I feel sorry for people that think like that.

        • Nic the NZer

          The issue is the problems created by the overlending in the first place.

          You can demand that they benevolently dont foreclose and keep lending but thats is just a description of insisting they should be keeping the bubble going.

          If the businesses lose income due to falling payouts then thats not exactly to banks fault anyway (though they might have been expected to forecast this). Lending (even because of benevolence) while knowing that the business is unable to pay its debts is fraudulent lending.

      • greywarshark 16.1.2

        That is a very damning report. It’s the end of the golden weather, and farmers who have not been offered financial management and planning workshops by their beloved trade union Federated Farmers should be getting really angry. The wisdom of dairy planning and financing has obviously been sorely lacking for years producing the Crafars etc.

  17. Ovid 17

    Labour is up 1% to 32%, New Zealand First is on 10% and the Greens dropped 4 points to 8%. The Green result is clearly an anomaly and they have done nothing to justify this drop. The 14.5% result recorded in the recent Roy Morgan poll may be closer to its true level of support.

    I’m doubtful about picking and choosing the good bits from different polls. It seems inconsistent. I think if Labour continues to roll out policy that appeals to soft National voters, they’ll see a greater rise. Until I see results for Labour in the 34-36% range and the broader opposition (Labour, Green, NZ First) consistently at better than 50%, I won’t be holding my breath for a change in government.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      I think if Labour continues to roll out policy that appeals to soft National voters, they’ll see a greater rise.

      Labour has spent years swapping loyal Labour voters votes with those from swinging soft National voters.

      A bad trade, if you ask me.

      • Lanthanide 17.1.1

        I thought the Best Start policy was a really nice one to lure over soft National voters.

        Not entirely sure it still exists though, giving the costings for how it was funded.

        • Colonial Viper

          I really like that policy and am guessing that it would literally halve overnight the number of under 1’s in child poverty.

      • savenz 17.1.2

        +1 CV

        In business everyone knows, it costs less to keep existing customers than to create new ones.

        The problem is, Labour no longer wants to keep it’s existing customers because a large dose of their MP’s should be in National not Labour but don’t have the balls to move.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    In the 2017 General Election, the lesson learned, in my view. from the Northland by-election is simple.

    DROP the ‘two ticks’ campaigning for both party and electorate vote.

    Parties campaign hard for the party vote.

    If you want to change the Government – on an electorate by electorate basis, strategically vote for the candidate which has the best chance of defeating the incumbent, or Government MP / Coalition partner MP.

    It worked in Northland!

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      That would work if 60%+ of voters followed your strategy.

      Unfortunately they don’t (and, a lot of them favour the government anyway, hence why ACT keeps getting a seat).

  19. upnorth 19

    Andrew Little is unelectable
    Winston has taken down the Greens and now he will target Labour
    Labour has no policies and as I said before G Robertson will be the death kneel on the Future Work – whatever

    Do all the numbers but the numbers are clear – NZ likes a majority party in a coalition not a 3 way split – all you who sit there doing numbers trying to get 48%

    forget it

    Labour and Andrew Little are unelectable just like the Greens are

    Please smell the roses

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1


      32 + 10 + 8 = 50

      Not 48.


      • savenz 19.1.1

        @O A B – excellent reply!

        So collaboration, collaboration is the way for the left!

        And if you negotiated all the policies of all three parties (Labour, NZ First, Greens) , I think I would be happy with that!

        It would be a lot better than the National dictatorship!

  20. lurgee 20

    I remember the Good Old Days when Micky only had to count the Labour and Greens vote to get a bloc that balanced National …

  21. Observer (Tokoroa) 21


    “NZ likes a majority party in a coalition not a 3 way split – ”

    National is virtually a single Party. Internal discipline is strong. The policy is simple:

    Give increasingly more money to the wealthy; make education mainly accessible to the wealthy; make all non wealthy people beholden as rent payers; keep health services as limited as possible; manipulate Stats wherever possible; encourage overseas people to buy New Zealand (whilst giving sweeteners to National coffers).

    Such a unified and simple plan looks strong. It is also undemocratic. Foreign banks here syphon off $billions. Corrupt Corporations charge excess for running prisons badly. Similar Corporations charge very excessive prices for ordinary building materials. The dispossession of new Zealand goes on and on.

    The first past the post system is streets ahead of mpp – which merely results in numerous parties getting nowhere near government.

  22. greywarshark 22

    Chris Trotter has a close look at the Greens downward movement in the last poll, and provides an interesting scenario dating back to the decline of the Values Party. I think it holds water.


    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      His rationale doesn’t really make sense. He says that voters realised that wasted votes with the Values party would keep Muldoon in charge. OK, that may have been true under FPP.

      But it’s MMP now and that wasted votes concern that the electorate may have held no longer applies.

      Trotter tacitly admits as much by saying that the concern now is a Labour that can garner a “credible” amount of the vote.

      However, a 40% LAB 10% GR split is just as effective for getting rid of Key as a 35% LAB, 15% GR split.

      • greywarshark 22.1.1

        I don’t get your point Colonial. There have been a number of comments here over the last few years where Labour have been criticised for trying to go it alone with an FPP approach.

        There was talk about angling the votes so that party votes went to one and electorate votes went to the preferred politician but that also boosted party profile. That is very MMP strategic but Labour didn’t appear ready to use all its available tactics and instead seemed fixed on mid 20th century strategies.

        • Nic the NZer

          I found the shift in Green party support significant and alarming. That was till i found a previous poll result including Greens 11 up 3. Seems the CB polls regularly shift about this much there is no exlanation and its no big deal really.

  23. savenz 23

    What about Mana and Maori party joining forces? What do people think of that idea? They had similar amounts of party voters last election.

    Maori party are dead if they still keep on propping up the Natz so a deal with Mana might give them some street cred again. Can’t see Hone hongi,ing John in a deal with the Natz.

    Maybe even Labour could come to the party for the greater good of getting the Natz out.

    • greywarshark 23.1

      save nz
      That would be a sensible practical move, Mana and Maori combining, but where does sense come in politics? Seems often last lagging behind the field of higher priorities, like immediate advancement, tainted promises and perhaps some glittering baubles.

      Someone earlier referred to Maori’s Marama Fox sounding more like Parata, and I think this could be a valid comparison. and indication of Maori Party leanings. That might cause a division between Maori Party and Mana that is a bridge too far to cross.

      and Nic the NZer
      I agree that the speculation about the Greens is more of an exercise in possibility and the situation is fluid. The scepticism of the first comments about foretelling using tea leaves and tea bags is the guide for considerations of political positions at the present think.

  24. savenz 24

    “Marama Fox sounding more like Parata” – scary stuff!

    Voters need to get rid of Dunne! He’s a useless piece of crap, even worse in my eyes than Act as they are just young idiot ideologists who actually believe the crap they spout. Dunne knows he’s doing wrong and does it anyway.

    If NZ First start splitting Natz votes and Greens do a deal with Labour then maybe Labour can win Dunne’s seat and do the country a favour!!

    Labour can return the favour in Northland.

    And Labour can bother to do something nice to the Greens for a change in return!

    Voters don’t want to waste their votes, it needs to be vote X to get the Natz out, not vote splitting!

    • greywarshark 24.1

      Yes let Labour do some real strategising, coming at their goal from practical considerations not some ideological, boastful wish fulfilment stuff, so they need to think what coalition can do FOR US. They need to stop viewing all ideas first to see if they will interfere with their attachment to the relative stability of their political employment.

      If they were a business, they would have folded by now. In real life outside gummint there is instability, despair and a precariat amongst the peoples, which is Labour’s own legacy that they hesitate to expose themselves to.

      Let Labour be a lot of flashers, expose body parts not seen before in certain areas, like bare arms working at building sites, either carrying concrete, or bringing tea and scones at lunchtime for those who like to be less brawny, weaker members. Get connected, in nice ways, to the ordinary man and woman in the street, and show they can be charismatic like John Key, but more, really care about doing a better job for their constituents, and also for those on the fringes all over NZ. Let’s see some intelligent, strategic state run projects that will provide employment and living wages, and the extra business that comes from the multiplier effect. Let’s see that Labour has a soul, or whether it sold that off too.

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    4 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
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    4 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
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    4 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
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    5 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
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    5 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
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    5 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
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    6 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
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    6 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
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    6 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
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    6 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
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    6 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
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    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
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    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
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    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
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    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
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    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
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    2 weeks ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
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    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
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