25 Sep 2017

Five stories to help you make sense of WTF is going on in NZ politics

1:40 pm on 25 September 2017

While the country waits, the pundits write.



Labour leader Jacinda Ardern on Election Night.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern on Election Night. Photo: AFP


Laura O’Connell Rapira has been trying to get young New Zealanders out vote for the past two elections. She says the questions being asked this time around were better - “More nuanced, more specific, more space for complexity”  - but the enrollment numbers look to be the same or lower than last election.

What needs to change?

Civics education in schools, automatic enrollment, more funding for the Electoral Commission, lowering the voting age to 16, more public debate involving young people.  

But there’s no easy fix.

READ MORE: Triggering the youth landslide vote



Former National minister Wayne Mapp tells the cautionary tale of his former party’s dalliance with Winston ‘Gone Fishing’ Peters 20 years ago and gives four points on why Labour should have a hard think about waiting out this round in opposition.

“So why might Labour conclude that waiting three years to 2020 will be to its advantage?

First, it is highly unlikely that National could win a fifth term. Not impossible, but it has not been done for over 100 years. So Labour could reasonably expect to win in 2020,” Mapp writes on The Spinoff.

READ MORE: Four reasons why Labour could be better off in opposition



Winston Peters may have been burned badly enough by going into power with National in ‘96 that he might, just maybe, go into power with Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party, writes Branko Marcetic on The Spinoff.

Winston had spent the campaign lambasting National and it’s leader at the time, Jim Bolger.  But when it came time to cut a deal, they formed a coalition.  

“ ... that coalition was largely disastrous for both the party and Peters, as NZ First failed to get most of its policy wish-list enacted, and the cynical betrayal of voters sent both the party and its leader’s popularity plummeting,” writes Marcetic.

The more inexperienced Ardern could be a softer touch than old mate Bill.

READ MORE:  What will Winston do? The lessons of ’96 tell us he might go with Ardern



Kahu Kutia is a first-time voter. Since Election Night, she’s wondering who’s going to represent her values and views in Parliament with the Māori or Mana parties no longer holding seats, their futures uncertain.  

The 2007 Tūhoe Terror Raids, Helen Clark’s failure on Foreshore and Seabed Bill, the treatment of Māori children in the foster system, Tohunga Suppression Act, historical education failures to uphold te reo Māori, urban planning that facilitated Māori assimilation into Te Ao Pākehā etc. All these things were influenced by decisions in government. So I voted, because I hoped we would see change in our government and I hoped Māori would be a part of that.

READ MORE: What is a government without the Māori or Mana parties?



Former Labour staffer Phil Quin goes for a deep dive into the election results for Newsroom.

What he finds is not necessarily as expected. He sees Labour increasing its share of the vote in regional electorates like Nelson and West Coast-Tasman, while the Nats are winning a huge chunk of the votes from Asian New Zealanders in Auckland.

“National’s strength among recent immigrants has emerged as a key advantage that, bedded down, could spell long term trouble for Labour. More than one in three New Lynn residents identifies as Asian, and about the same proportion of Te Atatu’s voters were born outside New Zealand.”

He also has some advice for Jacinda Ardern.

READ MORE: Inside the National-Labour chasm