Polity: Turnout in the referendum

Written By: - Date published: 3:57 pm, December 16th, 2013 - 72 comments
Categories: democratic participation, Maori Issues, Maori seats, pasifika, referendum - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnRob Salmond at Polity has had a look at the effectiveness of National’s deliberate strategy to discriminate against Maori and Pasifika in the asset sales referendum.

National chose a postal ballot for the referendum knowing it would disproportionately disenfranchise Maori and Pasifika communities. I hope they’re proud of themselves.

Here is a chart of turnout rates in the asset sales referendum, graphed against the National vote in the 2011 election:

asset sales turnout

What stands out? Well, first of all it contradicts the complete nonsense various people have been spreading about the turnout being just a bunch of lefties1 and also Matthew Hooten’s misinformation about turnout being pretty even around the country.

But more importantly we also see a deepening of the disturbing trend where heavily Maori and Pacific electorates have less of a voice than other areas. These communities have always had lower turnout than the rest of the country, but that trend was even more pronounced in the referendum. In the 2011 election the ten highlighted electorates turned out at about five-sixths the rate of the entire country. In this referendum, their turnout rate fell to only two thirds the nationwide average.

The dirty secret here is that National knew in advance this would happen, and that is exactly why they chose the postal ballot. Study after study has shown that postal ballots cause a wider turnout gap between the haves and the have nots.2 This is because people in low income communities (and especially low income ethnic minority communities) are:

  • Less likely to stay at one address for a long time, so less likely to receive their ballot paper.
  • Less likely to live somewhere NZ Post delivers to, so less likely to receive any mail at all.
  • Less likely to use the post office in any other part of their lives.
  • And so on.

National chose the postal ballot knowing all this full well. They wanted to make it comparatively harder – even harder than normal – for Labour’s strongest supporters in disadvantaged areas to cast their ballot’s than for National’s strong support bases in white-as-snow retirement communities.

It worked, of course. Yuck.

1.Even when you exclude the ten highlighted electorates, there, is still no relationship between National support and turnout rates. Even bearing in mind the limits of ecological inference, this pattern is highly inconsistent with the right-leaning spin.

2.An excellent example, from New Zealand-connected researchers Jeff Karp and Susan Banducci, shows that postal voting in Oregon causes increased turnout, but only really among high-turnout communities, thus expanding the turnout gap between the haves and the have nots.

72 comments on “Polity: Turnout in the referendum”

  1. Arfamo 1

    There’s a poll on stuff.co asking what support there is for the assets to be bought back. The numbers at the moment look like this:

    Should Labour buy back shares in state assets if elected?

    Yes, they should do whatever they can to get them back
    148 votes, 11.9%

    Yes – but only if it’s affordable
    328 votes, 26.3%

    No – not needed, we retained a controlling stake
    685 votes, 54.9%

    No, we should have sold all of our shares in them
    87 votes, 7.0%

    I’ve given up on polls debates. The only one that’s important to me now is the next general election.

  2. Thomas 2

    This is silly. CIRs are normally postal ballots (unless they coincide with a general election).
    The reason is simple: postal ballots are much cheaper than having in-person voting. $9 million is expensive enough.

    • lprent 2.1

      That may be the case. However the objective with voting is not to attempt to deny voters from voting – right?

      In this case it’d have been preferable to have had this referendum at the next general election. But for some obscure reason National chose to expend more money, even though they’d already sold most of the viable assets, to have a postal election away from the general election.

      I wonder why? Possibly because they damn well knew that the asset sales program was deeply unpopular amongst their own voters? And more Labour, Green, Maori and Pasifika voters would vote in a general election.

      Deeply undemocratic. Such a pity that National will probably lose a lot of provincial NZ over this “mandate” that they didn’t have. 😈

      • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1

        But by the next election, even the Genesis deal would have been done. I really don’t think there was anything sinister in the decision to go for a postal ballot rather than a polling booth ballot. I did some analysis on this. See post below.

        • Paul 2.1.1.1

          Why did you claim voting was equal across electorates when it clearly was not?

          • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1.1.1

            I thought it was a bit narrower than this, but it’s all between about 30 and 50%, with the high 40s most dominant. The one good point Rob’s graph points out is that either Maori electorate and South Auckland voters tend not to vote as regularly as other voters, or that the electoral rolls in those electorates are less accurate than elsewhere.

        • greywarbler 2.1.1.2

          But Key is saying that so much has already happened with the asset sales already, there have been sales, plural, so now or at election time, would be little different.

          If it was supposed to be such a waste of money why have it now? Could it be that Shonkey had a little taunting song worked out, a childish sneering one about the Greens being dreebs, and forcing expensive, meaningless referendum on the public?

          In other words putting the referendum through now was a propaganda ploy that Key would turn to his advantage whatever the it indicated.

          • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1.2.1

            I don’t think that delaying a CIR for more than a year, even if that were lawful, would be more democratic than holding it soon after the petition was accepted and before the final sale had gone ahead.

            • greywarbler 2.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s a good point – does anyone know offhand whether it would have been lawful to
              delay the referendum until election time? Is there a time limit?

            • lprent 2.1.1.2.1.2

              I don’t think that delaying a CIR for more than a year, even if that were lawful,

              Just requires 75% of parliament to vote for it. That only required National to want to do it.

              National preferred holding it in a postal vote in December immediately after selling large chunks of two more assets to their mates.

              It has been interesting seeing how much that decision about when the referendum has been help has been pissing off family and friends out of the urban areas. They’re irritated.

            • Puddleglum 2.1.1.2.1.3

              I think it’s clear that National did not want the asset sales issue to have any official oxygen in an election year – hence rushing it through just before Christmas.

              On the broader issue of the post, polls consistently have shown that Maori are more opposed to asset sales than any other part of the electorate. Low turnout in those electorates compared with Pakeha dominated electorates reduces the proportion likely to be opposed to asset sales (and it’s not ‘MOM’, it’s ‘asset sales’ – shares have always been classed as assets in their own right),

          • lurgee 2.1.1.2.2

            Crikey, people demanded a referendum and now they are complaining about it being held!

            I really find being a leftie dispiriting at times.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.3

          I agree that waiting til the election would have been even more invalidating because all the jewels would be gone to the pawn broker by then.

      • Thomas 2.1.2

        The CIR act stipulates that the referendum must be held within a year. Ergo holding it at the next general election would not have been possible. See http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/about-parliament/get-involved/referendum/summary/00CLOOC_ReferendumProposals_1/citizens-initiated-referenda

        • lprent 2.1.2.1

          Ah no you silly clown. You should read your own references

          The Governor-General sets a date for the referendum within one month from the date of presentation. The referendum must be held within a year of the date of presentation unless 75% of all members of the House vote to defer it.

          Labour, Greens, NZ First, Mana, and I think even the Maori party were all happy to have it at the next election and even put up a remit for that. The 12 months was only a few months out from the next general election.

          National wasn’t interested in that. ergo National are responsible for having the postal vote for the referendum costing $9 million held at the very end of the year. Just designed to limit the types of people who’d vote..

          Pity it pissed off so many people in provincial NZ eh!

          • Thomas 2.1.2.1.1

            Oh good grief. That’s an entrenchment clause not a “or like whatever” clause.

            Your argument is really “well National could have amended the CIR act”. There is no good reason to overturn entrenched legislation to hold the CIR at the next election.

            Besides, I’m sure that, if National had moved the referendum to the next election, the Standard would be attacking them for delaying it and disregarding the rules of the CIR act.

            This is a conspiracy theory of the most ridiculous nature.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Wow dude is everything a “conspiracy theory” nowadays? Seems like you’ve just hit peak conspiracy theory.

      • Wayne 2.1.3

        You are being ridiculous about postal voting. Not really an evil right wing conspiracy. Unless you think all local elections are such.

        Actually postal voting was first introduced to increase participation, not reduce it.

        • lprent 2.1.3.1

          Actually postal voting was first introduced to increase participation, not reduce it.

          It may have even done that when snail mail was popular. However I don’t think that it has succeeded for many years. At least for the last two decades it has been failing to achieve its goals at an accelerating rate.

          I didn’t do it at this years Auckland local body elections, but I have been working the intermediates at every other Auckland local body postal vote since 1995. What has been most noticeable is that the percentages in each 5 years age bracket who have voted has been steadily drifting downward. It remains high in the oldest brackets, but voters in 25-29 age bracket was down by a third since about 1995 in 2010 The other younger (ie <45) age brackets all show the same effect. Moreover it is doing it with at least double the acceleration of the general election votes.

          Living in an apartment block is quite interesting. We two moved back into my apartment in september after 3 years of renting it. But we got got about 7 voting forms at the local body elections, 6 for the referendum, and I was only able to forward 2. We only had two sets of tenants while we were in a larger place.

          Who uses snail mail any more? I haven’t for at least 6 years. But about the only mail I get is from the city council and the electoral commission.

          Basically postal voting works in the provincial areas and even in some settled urban areas. But the local body results and the referendum show that it has become essentially useless in urban areas. In those areas the voting is nearly twice as effective using polling stations for people who are < 35.

  3. Ad 3

    Look, conspiracy is daft.

    But the graph strongly supports Cunliffe’s tactical direction of focussing the general election effort on mobilising the 800,000 Enrolled Non-Vote.

    The south of Auckland won it for Labour last time, and this time the Maori Party is going to fold like origami, so concentrating effort on mobilising effort there will reap rich electoral rewards.

    • Matthew Hooton 3.1

      That’s true from Labour’s perspective if you believe that the integrity of the electoral rolls is the same in all electorates but there are reasons not to believe that.

      • Yeah, let’s get into that whole voter fraud morass because Hooton says so, even though individuals fake-enrolling has never been demonstrated to be a problem in any developed country. Whoops.

        Labour could do well focusing there, and on voters who haven’t enrolled but would like something to vote for.

      • rhinocrates 3.1.2

        So apparently the massive opposition to asset sales is do to huuuge voter fraud. That’s a serious allegation Hoots – would care to substantiate it and better still, take your damning evidence to the Electoral Commission or is it more desperate spin and insinuation from a slimeball? Oh, let me guess, the latter…

        • lurgee 3.1.2.1

          It’s a ‘Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander’ situation. The arguments put forward against a postal ballot also apply to a polling statino ballot, and also impugn the electoral roll.

          Nice to see you passing up another opportunity to hurl abuse and tilt at strawmen. Oh, wait a minute. You managed both, in about 30 words. Well done!

  4. DS 4

    By this same logic, in person voting is discriminatory because that also requires a properly registered address. Alleging conspiracy is utterly daft, and I’m hardly pro-Tory.

  5. DS 5

    And for what it’s worth, the likes of Dunedin South achieved solid turnout, and was very anti-asset sales too. If it was a conspiracy, it was an incompetent conspiracy.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Dunedin South actually remains a very strong and politically active Labour supporting seat as evidenced by the referendum results. Just needs to get over a few constraints.

      • swordfish 5.1.1

        True enough, CV. But there has certainly been a significant swing to the Right in the seat over recent elections (well above the nationwide average, from memory). The hefty size of the Lab-to-Nat swings in the far south-west of Dunedin in particular (Green Island, Burnside, Concord and, above all, Abbotsford) have been something to behold. I do de-Clare !

  6. Matthew Hooton 6

    Rob Salmond is obviously angry about the result. The allegation that the government made a decision to use a postal ballot instead of making people go to the polling booth is absurd. Turnout in South Auckland and the Maori electorates is always lower than the average under either system.

    For example, in the 1995 firefighters referendum, where everyone had to go to the polling booths, turnout in the Maori electorates was between 11% and 16%, by far the lowest in the country, which had an average of 27%. The turnout in Mangere was below 20%. In Manukau East it was 21% and in Manurewa 23%. See http://electionresults.govt.nz/1995_citizens_referenda/7.1%20Return%20of%20Citizens%20Initiated%20Referendum%20Poll%20Votes.pdf

    However, in 2009, with the smacking referendum, a postal ballot, the turnout in the Maori electorates was in the 30s, compared with a national average of 56%. See http://electionresults.govt.nz/2009_citizens_referendum/2009_referendum_results.html

    This means that in the previous two CIRs conducted outside a general election, the percentage turnout in the Maori electorates and South Auckland, compared with the overall turnout, was HIGHER in the postal ballot than in the polling booth model (roughly 50% to 60%).

    In other words, the actual data suggests Maori and South Aucklanders tend to have higher representation in postal ballots than in polling booth ballots.

    Which means that, if Rob Salmond is right that National choose a postal ballot for the MON referendum in order to disenfranchise Maori and South Aucklanders, then that was the wrong strategy for National. Which seems improbable given John Key is quite an astute politician. (In fact, had it been a polling booth ballot the turn out would probably have been much lower so National could have rubbished the result even more than they have.)

    Which suggests that Rob Salmond’s post is a load of shit.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.1

      “then that was the wrong strategy for National. Which seems improbable given John Key is quite an astute politician. “

      lolz …I think you draw the wrong conclusion here, given that everything this government touches falls to bits, they seem to specialize in taking the wrong strategy – their hallmark, if you will.

      Or is getting away with messing up the entire country in numerous areas what being ‘quite an astute politician’ means these days?

    • QoT 6.2

      Rob Salmond is obviously angry about the result.

      Ah yes, undermine people by implying they’re emotional about something. And this from the dude who screamed “HE’S LYING! HE’S LYING!” on Radio NZ?

      • Paul 6.2.1

        Honestly Hooton is quite pathetic.
        He pretends to debate rationally but same as many others on this site, reverts to insults and tricks like the one you noticed to attempt to weaken the other person’s viewpoint.
        If you haven’t got an argument, I guess you have to use dishonest tricks.

        • rhinocrates 6.2.1.1

          His advantage is that he gets paid to do it. I wish I had a gig like that.

          Hoots is quite funny though – he’s incredibly pompous, but push him and you can seem him barely restraining the tantrums that he so often throws on Nine to Noon.

    • swordfish 6.3

      @ Young Master Hooton – “This means that in the previous two CIRs conducted outside a general election, the percentage turnout in the Maori electorates and South Auckland, compared with overall turnout, was HIGHER in the postal ballot than in the polling booth model (roughly 50% to 60%). In other words, the actual data suggests Maori and South Aucklanders tend to have higher representation in postal ballots than in polling booth ballots.”

      Utterly wrong on South Auckland, Big Fella.

      1995 (Polling Booth) Referendum on Firefighters.

      South Auckland Seat turnout as % of Nationwide turnout…

      Mangere 73%, Manukau East 78%, Manurewa 86%

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      2009 (Postal Ballot) Referendum on Smacking

      South Auckland Seat turnout as % of Nationwide turnout…

      Mangere 68%, Manukau East 72%, Manurewa 79%

      So, the data suggests the opposite to what you imply, you amusingly disingenuous young scamp. (Which is probably, incidently, why you very carefully left out the 2009 Referendum figures for South Auckland – hoping no one would notice your little bit of intellectual sleight-of-hand).

      • lurgee 6.3.1

        I think you are trying to fudge the figures by expressing them as percentages of the nationwide turnout.

        Viewed simply as percentages of voters participating by electorate, the figures tell a very different story.

        In the 1995 referendum (Polling booth) 19.3% of the electors of Mangere voted, 21.08% of the people of Manukau East voted, and 23.21 of the good burghers of Manurewa voted.

        (Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_firefighter_referendum,_1995)

        In the 2008 Smacking referendum (postal), in Mangere 38.49% of the electorate voted, in Manukau East it was 40.47 and in Manurewa 44.25.

        (Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_corporal_punishment_referendum,_2009#By_electorate)

        I’d say that was pretty decisive in favour of postal ballots.

        • swordfish 6.3.1.1

          Nah, I was responding to Hooton – who, of course, was the one who focussed on comparing percentage turnout in the Maori seats and South Auckland with percentage turnout Nationwide. Do please try to keep up.

          • lurgee 6.3.1.1.1

            It’s a fair cop.

            But he is rightish in that participation almost doubled with the postal ballot. Dunno why he opted for some spurious and made up measurement concerning the national vote, when the path to victory was open in front of him.

            • lurgee 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Actually, re-reading the exchange, I was right – you’re aren’t playing fair with the numbers.

              Hooton is quite clearly looking at participation across several electorates (Maori seats plus Mangere, Manurewa and Manukau East) while you focused on one (Manukau East) so I don’t think you’re making a fair comparison.

              Manuakau East might have experienced a slump in participation from 1995 to 2009, but the participation across the selected electorates would have been up overall (unless Matthew is simply Making Stuff Up – I can’t be bothered wonking the figures). And expressing participation as a percentage of the national participation is still odd, but only made up a small part of his post, which you focused on exclusively – and selectively.

              • swordfish

                Nyet, Comrade, Nyet !!!

                I think you’re gonna have to re-read both my and Hooton’s comments again.

                Let’s go through your points one by one:

                (1) Turnout as % of nationwide turnout “only made up a small part of (Hooton’s) post, which you focussed on exclusively – and selectively.”

                No way. Hooton predicates his ENTIRE argument on this methodology.

                To purportedly prove that Rob’s allegation is “absurd”, Hooton begins (para one) by suggesting that “turnout in South Auckland and the Maori electorates is always lower than the average under either system.” And (para two) provides 1995 Referendum figures for these seats to partially back that claim up. But, his core aim in para two is to compare Maori/South Auckland turnout with Nationwide turnout. He then goes on to do the same for the 2009 Referendum in para three. (albeit, as I’ve shown (in my earlier comment), very carefully “forgetting” to mention the inconvenient South Auckland figures).

                That leads to his conclusion in para four that “percentage turnout in the Maori electorates and South Auckland compared with the overall turnout, was HIGHER in the postal ballot than in the polling booth model.” His “roughly 50% to 60%” figures (mistaken as they, in fact, are) represents Hooton’s attempt to compare the 1995 with 2009 Maori/South Auckland turnout as % of nationwide turnout percentages.

                Para five re-states this conclusion.

                Paras six and seven build on that conclusion.

                So, it forms the entire basis of his argument.

                (more to follow)…….

              • swordfish

                (2) Hooton’s looking at participation across Maori seats and Mangere, Manurewa and Manukau East, “while you focussed on one (Manukau East) so I don’t think you’re making a fair comparison.”

                First up, the whole point of my reply to Hooton was to challenge his argument SPECIFICALLY regarding his claims about the South Auckland seat turnout (hence my: “Utterly wrong on South Auckland, Big Fella”). I would have thought it was fairly bleeding obvious that I wasn’t challenging the claims about Maori turnout (or, at least, not his broad claims – some of his specifics were off).

                Second, I can’t even begin to understand why you would claim that I focussed only on Manukau East !!! Quite bizarre. Have another look at my comment. What do I do there ?: show that Hooton is completely wrong to suggest that “the percentage turnout in…South Auckland, compared with the overall turnout, was HIGHER in the (2009) postal ballot than in the (1995) polling booth model.”

                I show that, in fact, turnout in Mangere, Manurewa and Manukau East (Please note: NOT just the latter seat !!!), was – as % of overall turnout – higher in 1995 than 2009. (Mangere 73% (1995) / 68% (2009); Manurewa 86% (1995) / 79% (2009); Manukau East 78% (1995) / 72% (2009)).

                (Possibly more to follow – but only if I have time)

                • lurgee

                  Second, I can’t even begin to understand why you would claim that I focussed only on Manukau East !!!

                  Obviously, when I said, Manakau East, I meant all the non-Maori electorates.

                  *Embarrassed face*

                  Still, my under-caffeinated blundering aside, by pointing to the three non-Maori electorates, while Hooton was basing his figures on them plus Maori electorates, you are comparing apples with wildebeest.

                  I may review the whole discussion and respond to your other points later on, before proclaiming myself correct again.

    • [Cross-posted comment from Polity]@Matthew: Welcome along. I agree that the Maori / Pacific communities almost always have lower turnout. The question is always: “how much lower?”

      The comparison you have of the 1995 firefighters CIR and the 2009 anti-smacking CIR is flawed. You cannot directly compare the two referenda because the questions are of vastly different relevance in the Maori / Pacific communities. Cultural practice arguments around family discipline have particular salience for these communities in a way that arguments about how much to pay firefighters do not.

      The evidence on my side of the argument, however, is put together by social scientists specifically to make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. *Their* pretty consistent conclusion is that the postal ballot further disadvantages already marginalised communities. Consult the Karp / Banducci paper on Oregon for an especially good example, and a good discussion of how this effect comes about.

      I’ll take the scientific evidence over two compromised observations any time.

      PS – I also endorse what Swordfish says above. If you’re going to make with the data, do it properly, huh.

    • Gotta love attempting to “normalise” the postal ballot with the general election- have you considered that rather than there being a higher proportional turnout in the postal referendum, that potentially as an electorate becomes disenfranchised, it becomes harder to suppress the vote for each additional point? Diminishing returns isn’t a hard concept to grasp.

      That said, I do disagree that this was a tactic to disenfranchise people too. That would imply that the Government actually cares about referendum results. No, they ran a postal ballot because attaching the referendum to the election would have hurt their election results.

    • Tracey 6.6

      And if you had done your analysis before shooting from the lip, you would have known that it wasn’t all fairly even as you said, so that means, by your logic, your post was full of shit.

      So now you and Rob have crappy nappies. How clever you must feel.

    • Crunchtime 6.7

      1995 was a long time ago when the internet was barely used by anyone, a cellphone was for a tiny minority of rich folks (and the size of a large brick) and everyone still sent letters to each other. Also, that CIR barely registered on the public consciousness and turnout was just flat-out low across the board.

      Also, you’re desperately looking for trends here but you have a tiny sample size. Put that tiny sample size away Hooton, nobody wants to see that.

      • lprent 6.7.1

        You also forgot that the net was clunky and largely restricted to a few enthusiastic vaguely crazy people like myself.

        http://downtothewire.co.nz/1995/

        That was the year that I finally dropped my 6 year connection of getting e-mail and usenet on uucp running over some expensive ISDN lines. I also stopped going to BBS’es.

        Unfortunately the year that microsoft released internet explorer version 1. What a pile of junk that was (and remained). I really wish I hadn’t remembered that. I was still writing code for the switches at Clear.

        • Crunchtime 6.7.1.1

          I thought I covered that off with “the internet was barely used by anyone”. 🙂

          John Key and his strategists lined this all up so that they could say the turnout was “too low to matter”.

          However, the point missed by Mr Hooton AND by the original author of this article is this: nearly 900,000 people voted no to asset sales. In the last general election, where of course turnout is far higher because it’s a general election, just over a million voted for National. Those numbers are pretty damn close.

          In other words, if the turnout was too low to matter in this CIR, it was pretty much too low to matter last election too.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    discussion may get heated further-on.

    • Matthew Hooton 7.1

      Why’s that?

      • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1

        you have taken the time to submit a more comprehensive (than usual ) alternative analysis? Anyway, I’ve got to go in from play now. See ya tomorrow (school holidays).

        ps. regardless, the referendum results are far from a suave look.

        • Matthew Hooton 7.1.1.1

          I was just interested to see what the real data showed, so I looked it up. Internet age and all. Doesn’t take long.

          • Paul 7.1.1.1.1

            You’re spinning Matthew. Who’s paying you to spend so much time trying to diffuse all this bad news for the government?

            • Matthew Hooton 7.1.1.1.1.1

              John Key pays me through Crosby Texter for every word I write here. (Or I could just be sitting here at work, bored, waiting for a 7pm conference call with a foreign client on something unrelated to NZ politics, surfing the blogs to fill in time. You choose which is more likely.)

          • Tracey 7.1.1.1.2

            you were interested in the real data after you made your fairly even comment, why not before? It seems you, like many from all sides of the political spectrum are interested in facts when they support your view and like making them up when they don’t. How does that serve the electorate?

  8. Ian 8

    you guys are just miffed cos KFC doesn’t travel through the post ,that well. You should have used vouchers.

    [lprent: Stupid troll – read the policy and pull your arse out of 2008. Otherwise I ban you (again). Can’t really be bothered with trolls who are so thick they can’t learn new lines to run. ]

  9. tricledrown 9

    Ian and mathew are having a titford moment.

  10. Dumrse 10

    No fucking wonder the blog is written by a non descript entity, it’s full of shit or lacks some very important references. Show the evidence that National deliberately chose a postal ballot to disenfranchise people who have no fucking letter box or, don’t know where it is. And, explain to us how the disenfranchised can walk to WINZ blindfolded but wouldn’t have a clue what a big red post box looks like. Grasping at straws. How about some detailed analysis on the votes. IE, percentage of eligible voters who voted. Compare and contrast with the last general election…… Some real meaningful numbers, oh! hang on a minute, that won’t look good will it.

  11. lurgee 11

    Less likely to stay at one address for a long time, so less likely to receive their ballot paper.
    Less likely to live somewhere NZ Post delivers to, so less likely to receive any mail at all.
    Less likely to use the post office in any other part of their lives.
    And so on.

    I think you are drawing a very long bow by claiming this is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise a segment of the population, and the reasons that you offered above, while valid, over look the problem that they will apply almost equally to every method of holding a referendum.

    Surely these voters are less likely to be on the electoral roll, full stop, so no form of referendum will effect them? And less likely to go along to a polling station to vote, as they didn’t bother showing up in 2008 or 2011? And unlikely register for any dubious online referendum?

    What did you have in mind as an alternative to a postal ballot?

    I’d really like it to be a Massive CONSPIRACY but I think you;re just being silly.

  12. Papa Tuanuku 12

    while y’all are debating the numbers that voted in the broke areas, you miss the larger, more fundamental point. we voted in the 90%’s against asset sales. now that is news. why are brown people more anti sales than whites?

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 12.1

      Good question Papa Tuanuku – ‘less brainwashed’ comes to mind.

      • swordfish 12.1.1

        Confirms the only ethnic breakdown I’ve seen in polls on partial privatisation.

        A February 2011 Research New Zealand Poll found Maori/Pasifikas (they lumped them in together) opposing National’s plans by 57 to 34%, compared with European/Pakehas who were evenly split 46/46 %.

        It’s the ONLY Poll I’ve ever seen where the Oppose/Support options were close (Total Sample: Oppose 47 / Support 45 %). So, small sample size (and possibly faulty methodology) leads to questionable overall findings (given it’s clearly an outlier). But, the ethnic differences appear to have been sound.

        Here (scroll down to near-bottom of page – http://www.researchnz.com/media_releases_2011.html )

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  • Public support keeps Healthy Homes Bill on track
    The strong call from the public for warm, dry, healthy rentals has helped the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill to pass its second reading, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 hours ago
  • More proof National not delivering for New Zealanders
    The Ministry of Social Development’s latest Household Incomes Report is more hard evidence of the growing poverty in New Zealand, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National claims to be delivering for New Zealanders. This report puts the lie ...
    2 days ago
  • Strong support from medical community for Healthy Homes Bill
    More than a thousand medical professionals, medical students, and other New Zealanders have shown their support for Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will fund Buller Health Centre
    A Labour Government will fully fund the Buller Integrated Family Health Centre in Westport, confirming its commitment to the people of the West Coast and the role of central government to fund essential public services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s affordable promise for Auckland more smoke and mirrors
    The 26,000 additional houses National plans to build in Auckland on public land over the next decade include fewer than 5,000 affordable homes, while more than 60 per cent will be available for speculators to buy, says Leader of the ...
    2 days ago
  • National out of touch over immigration
    National’s abrupt backflip on their recently-announced changes to immigration shows they never understood the problem and just came up with a confused knee jerk response, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Regional communities and businesses were quite right to ...
    3 days ago
  • English out of touch on homelessness
    Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, ...
    3 days ago
  • All Kiwis to have same standard of cancer care
    Labour is promising that all New Zealanders will have access to the same level of cancer care no matter where they live in the country, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “As someone who has survived cancer I ...
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure announcement too long coming
    “What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle. Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to invest $4 billion in education
    Labour’s Education Manifesto will bring positive change across the education sector and is backed by a massive investment, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Labour’s plan will see an extra $4 billion invested over the next four years. It’s organised ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD
    National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour taking action on school donations
    Labour will end so-called voluntary school donations for the majority of parents across the country under its $4 billion plan to revitalise the education sector, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to work with Queenstown to build more houses
    Labour will work with Queenstown-Lakes District Council, iwi, and the Community Housing Trust to build the modern, affordable housing Queenstown desperately needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    7 days ago
  • Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses
    National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    7 days ago
  • New revelations in Joanne Harrison report
    The State Services Commission’s report into the treatment of whistle-blowers by Joanne Harrison has revealed new accusations against the convicted fraudster, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.  “The report found that four staff inside the Ministry of Transport who had raised ...
    7 days ago
  • Snafu at Princess Margaret
    Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “The Government must accept that Christchurch is still recovering ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s fiscal plan to build a fairer New Zealand
    Labour will re-build our housing, health and education while responsibly managing New Zealand’s finances, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “Under Labour’s Fiscal Plan we will deliver big investments in the services we all need and care about, invest ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats show they’re the tax dodgers’ best friends
    The government is taking the knife to IRD at a time when we need a highly skilled department to ensure that multinationals and speculators don’t get away with dodging tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour secures the future for NZ Super
    A Labour Government will secure the future for New Zealand Superannuation so we can continue to provide superannuation to those retiring at age 65, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “One of the first things a Labour-led Government will ...
    1 week ago
  • Multinationals must pay fair share of tax
    A Labour Government will crack down on multinational companies that are dodging paying their fair share of tax, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealanders are missing out by hundreds of millions according to the IRD because multinational companies can ...
    1 week ago
  • ACT’s approach to children backward and ill informed
    Act’s new deputy leader’s claim that Labour’s support for families could “extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse” is ill informed and offensive, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Canterbury hatchet job a disgrace
    The Government’s glib acceptance of advice that the Canterbury District Health Board doesn’t need more money is a hatchet job and a disgrace, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “To claim that the DHB was using tactics to leverage more ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Quality for Kiwi kids at ECE
    After more than a decade of rapid growth in the number of children participating in Early Childhood Education (ECE), it’s time to take stock and map out a clear plan for the future, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to boost ECE quality
    Labour will ensure kids get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will stump up a million dollars for Maniototo Hospital
    A Labour led Government will make a million dollars available to rebuild the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “This will be a much needed boost for a long overdue rebuild that has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No vision for the West Coast
    The West Coast welcomes any Government investment in our region but the lack of any real alternative vision for the West Coast’s economy is disappointing, says Damien O’Connor Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP.  “The establishment of a Mining Research Unit will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s youth work scheme too little too late
    After nine years, National’s belated attempt to provide work opportunities for unemployed youth should be seen for what it is, a half-hearted, election gimmick from a party that’s ignored the problem till now, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis won’t fall for Joyce’s spin
    Steven Joyce’s embarrassingly obvious spin on Labour’s Families Package won’t fool anyone, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour prioritises families and public services
    Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick
    The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour helps older New Zealanders and low income families with winter heating bills
    Labour will further boost its commitment to warm, healthy housing with a Winter Energy Payment for superannuitants and people receiving main benefits, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Everyone deserves a warm, healthy home to live in. But that’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must rule out retrospective override for Ruataniwha
    National must categorically rule out using retrospective legislation to override the Supreme Court’s decision that the land swap of conservation land flooded by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was illegal, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney General David Parker. “Having not got their ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s failure a win for Māori landowners
    The Māori Development Minister’s admission that his unpopular Ture Whenua Māori Bill won’t pass into law prior to the election is a victory for Māori landowners, but only a change of government will keep the Bill gone for good, says ...
    3 weeks ago