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Chris Trotter suggests New Zealand may be set for a period of heightened political divisiveness

Chris Trotter suggests New Zealand may be set for a period of heightened political divisiveness
Judith Collins.

By Chris Trotter*

Judith Collins' sentimental journey into National’s Waikato heartland sent voters an unequivocal political message: she expects to lose. Why else would she expend so much time and energy appealing to the 5.66% of the New Zealand workforce involved in the agricultural sector? Especially when the votes of those workers are already – and overwhelmingly – in National’s column? How else are we to interpret the Leader of the Opposition’s choice of campaign locations, other than as a desperate attempt to shore up her electoral base?

Liam Hehir, the young National Party-supporting political columnist currently making a name for himself across multiple media platforms, offered an explanation to the viewers of TVNZ’s “Q+A” current affairs show. Collins, he asserted, was doing something more than simply shoring up her base. The farming community, he said, was liked and admired by a broad cross-section of the New Zealand public. If they can be persuaded that “Jacinda” and Labour are anti-farmer, then National’s currently parlous position in the polls may be improved.

Hehir’s claim has a superficial plausibility. As anybody who has ever watched a Steinlager television commercial knows: building brand loyalty by invoking New Zealand’s quintessential “rurality” pays handsome dividends. From high-country musterers doubling as relationship counsellors, to small-town mechanics moonlighting as dance instructors, the message is always the same: New Zealand’s heart is in the Heartland.

But, wait a minute. If Kiwis love cockies, why is Judith Collins describing dairy farmers as beaten-up and down-hearted? Why have their lobbyists spent millions of dollars on television ads presenting their members as the stalwart, salt-of-the-earth guarantors of New Zealand’s prosperity? Would it really be necessary to contract the services of the former All-Black captain, Ritchie McCaw, to help repair the reputation of this country’s dairy farmers if it wasn’t actually in tatters? Judith and Liam can’t have it both ways.

Herein lies the true irony of National’s shameless misquotation of the Prime Minister’s quip about Collins’ rhetoric relating to “a time that has passed”. Because, it would seem that the person upon whom all that dairy industry propaganda has left the deepest impression is the leader of the Labour Party. It is Ardern who is saying that the days of “dirty dairying” are behind us: and that the cow-cockies of today are actually well-ahead of the Leader of the Opposition when it comes to cleaning up New Zealand’s waterways and fighting climate change.

“Poor wee thing” – to be so easily gulled. Dirty dairying is still very much a “thing” – no matter how many carefully chosen “Potemkin” dairy farms the Prime Minister is invited to tour. Just how sensitive the industry remains to the true state of affairs on the nation’s dairy farms was illustrated with chilling force in Southland. Like something out of a Hollywood movie, an environmentalist photographer, identified as the person responsible for securing images of cows up to their haunches in supposedly non-existent mud, found himself looking out his front window at a pick-up truck-load of good ‘ole boys enjoying a “barbecue” outside his front gate. Intimidation? Nah, just a few mates having a few beers.

Now, who do you think those good ‘ole boys feel more comfortable with as National’s leader? Simon Bridges, who, bravely swung his caucus in behind the Zero Carbon Bill? Todd Muller, the guy who worked tirelessly to make that crucial cross-party consensus on climate change a reality? Or, Judith Collins, who has run her party’s colours back up the flagpole of “predatory delay” which has constituted the core tactic of Federated Farmers’ climate change strategy for three decades? The next time those good ‘ole boys from the heartland feel the need to fire up the barbee, they can use the pages and pages of National Party environmental policy that Collins has spent the past week discarding, to get it started.

Voters should (but most probably won’t) ask themselves how Collins could get away with such a stunning reversal. What has happened to enable this sudden and dramatic shift to the right on climate change and water quality? The explanation is brutally simple. In the wake of Todd Muller’s personal meltdown, and the abrupt departure of his discredited liberal allies, the balance of power in the National Party caucus has shifted to the evangelical right.

In this context, the word “evangelical” is doing (to borrow the Prime Minister’s curious phrase) “double duty”. It not only denotes the cluster of deeply conservative evangelical Christians who now comprise the hard-core of the National Party’s emerging conservative majority, but also those fervent communicators of the “good news” concerning what they see as the indisputable superiority of neoliberal capitalism over “socialism” in all its guises. This shift away from the highly saleable political moderation of the Key-English era, towards the hard-line, socially-conservative and climate-change-denying policies of the Australian Centre-Right, will likely usher-in a period of heightened political divisiveness in New Zealand.

Those who are confidently predicting the rapid casting-aside of Judith Collins in the event of a resounding National Party defeat (still the most likely outcome of next month’s election) may be in for a surprise. If a decisive ideological shift is on, then Collins is the person most likely to succeed in consolidating the new orthodoxy inside her caucus and the broader National Party. She is also, temperamentally-speaking, the National politician best suited to fronting the uncompromising policies such a shift will elicit.

National’s emerging conservative majority is well aware that, prior to Covid, Jacinda Ardern and her Labour Party were facing a very hard electoral sell. The pandemic was a God-sent diversion from the Coalition Government’s multiple failures on multiple fronts. Covid-19 may give the Prime Minister another three years, but the economic challenges which her successful fight against the virus have created promise to be greater than anything Jacinda and her colleagues have yet faced.

Collins and her allies will be comforting themselves with the thought that if Labour couldn’t give us KiwiBuild, then overseeing a successful bounce-back from the most serious economic disaster in more than 80 years is pretty-near-certain to exceed their capacities by a wide margin. Those 200,000 women over 45 years-of-age who are getting ready to reward Jacinda for her handling of the Covid pandemic, may not be feeling so generous in 2023 about her handling of the Covid economic depression.

In retreating to her rural heartland, Collins is, in military terms, prudently shortening her defensive line. She is betting that, although stoutly besieged, the National Party heartland will not fall. Yes, the 2020 General Election looks certain to bring a sharp tactical reversal for the New Zealand Centre-Right – and quite possibly a costly and humiliating defeat. That said, however, Judith Collins is well aware of the difference between losing a battle, and losing a war.

An awful lot can happen in three years.

*Chris Trotter has been writing and commenting professionally about New Zealand politics for more than 30 years. He writes a weekly column for His work may also be found at

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Maybe if Collins renounced some of the John Key labour-lite years she might bring back more of the conservative vote (which is fragmenting across New Conservative, NZF, etc). Act probably benefitting from the economically-conservative but socially-liberal vote.


The only thing John Key can be remembered for in 9 years is massive, virtually uncontrolled immigration and house prices going up 25% a year. Having said that, Labour did little to rectify it.

Haha, FAKE NEWS! Median house prices have appreciated by <8%pa over the last 10yrs. Interestingly the largest lift (24.9%in 2003) was under the last Labour Govt (1999 - 2008) Don't throw stones when living in a glasshouse.

Yes but it was as if his preference was to sell houses to foreigners than NZ citizens.

No it was not .. there was no rule against when he came to power .
Helen Clark had not introduced one either before him - so following your "logic" it is all her fault.

aahh, an inconvenient truth methinks. Also Clark mentioned during her tenure that NZ needed at least 5mil population to be a "viable" economy, so would seem to have been quite pro immigration - something not often examined or admitted by the left or the anti immigration brigade

Around 2003 the interest rate was being dropped .25 basis points each time they reviewed it.

I don't think that you're seriously advocating that as a reason for the 25% rise are you??


I strongly dislike innumeracy. In the nine years of the prior National government, house prices in NZ increased on average by 7.3% per year. Reference the data found here: with the NZ housing index in Dec 2008 at 568.3 and Dec 2017 at 1067.4. That is an 88% growth over 9 nears, which annualizes at 7.3% per year. Compare that to the current government, which if one believes David Chaston of, the house price index has increased by 28% to date for the current government. If one assumes that the house prices go dead flat until the end of the year, this results in an annualized gain of 8.5% per year. The current Labour government has a similar poor record in uncontrolled immigration, and an even worse record in house price gains than the prior government.

Labour not only did little to rectify these serious issues, but appears to have exacerbated these problems, despite campaign promises.

I've issues with both of the major parties, I'm certainly no Nat bot... Just hate to see blind partisan fact-free commentary.

Well said. Unfortunately whilst there are many informed commentators here there is also a lot of blind fact-free commentary, partisan or otherwise

To me, the wild part is the amount of upvoting on the wildly false comment. This shows me just how partisan and uncaring for the facts that so many people are nowadays.

edit to add: Then again, these are comments on a Chris Trotter article. If one wanted a read rational analysis, you would not likely be clicking on any of his opinion pieces. Well, at least, not after the first time one did so.

Look again at the numbers in the site Yankiwi and Hook
The HPI indices are:
2008-12 1394.8
2017-12 2448.9
2020-03 2704.5 (latest available in sequence)

This yields an annualized rate of 20.6% over the Key years, and 4.5% over the last 2 and quarter years of the current govt. Now, the GFC, Covid and high immigration have definitely had a strong influence, but your quoted numbers are way off and highly misleading.

Do you understand what you are claiming???

20.6% annualized gains for 9 years requires that house prices would need to change by over 500% in that time period. That means that if the median house price was $500k in 2008 then in 2017 it would be more than $2,500k.... (edited maths error here, feel free to pillory me for the error!).

Your numbers show an increase of 176% (a 76% increase in 9 years, that is 2448.9/1394.8 = 1.76). Using your numbers results in an annualized gain for the 9 years of 6.5% (1.065^9 = 1.76).

I really hate innumeracy. I especially dislike stupidity. I can work with ignorance, as ignorance can be removed via teaching.

Show me your maths, I've shown mine.

Just to show the numbers in detail, assuming a 20.6% growth per year...
Year 0 $500k
Year 1 $603k (500 *1.206)
Year 2 $727k
Year 3 $877k
Year 4 1058k
Year 5 1276k
Year 6 1538k
Year 7 1855k
Year 8 2237k
Year 9 2698k

From 500k to 2698k in 9 years if one assumes 20.6$ annualized growth. That is more than 500% growth.

Inane claim...

One more comment for you teabagger.

Thank you for showing me the error of my intial calculation, as I had pulled my numbers stupidly and erroneously from the housing stock value column instead of the HPI column. The total housing stock value had increased over the prior National govt by 7.3% annualized, and the HPI increased by 6.4% annualized. Compare that to the 8.4% annualized for the current Labour government (assuming that house prices do not increase anymore this year, which is a rather unlikely assumption as based on the current rate of increase per month).

You are right Yankiwi, I made an egregious error, I should have made an elementary check when I copied across my numbers, but I didn't, and accept the shame. But my original point is unchanged, that it is misleading to say that annualized house prices under the current govt (4.5%) increased at at greater rate than the Key govt (6.5%) There is some mismatch in David's figures compared to the RB's as house prices would have to rise by nearly 22% in the last 9 months of the year (march - Dec 2020) to get a 28% 3 year increase. But I don't know where the 28% came from, so can't comment.

It is interesting about real estate price increases. We rented for a decade after we arrived in NZ (2007 arrival) as it was clearly cheaper to rent than to own, at least where we lived (initially in Christchurch, then Hawkes Bay). For that decade, the net capital gains for the locations where we lived was less than 10% in total (definitely less than 1% annualized). We made far more than our landlords, putting the equivalent of the home price into term deposits and paying the rent from a portion of the returns from the term deposits.

Around five years ago, the financial benefits of renting waned and we decided to once again own our home (we owned our house in the US for 20 years prior to moving to NZ). We bought at the end of 2016 in Hawkes Bay, which turned out to be at the knee in the curve for house prices in this area. From 2017, the home prices in this area have increased by around 40%. Silly, stupid, ridiculous returns that have no rational reason other than the lowering of interest rates. Going to ZIRP will have many unfortunate consequences, one of which is escalating house prices.

A challenge with the HPI values is that the latest data point is from March, when things were rather ugly. In the past few months, house sales have gone "stupid" in my opinion. A portion of this is likely due to the removal of LVR, and a portion is certainly due to the push towards ZIRP. I would far rather see higher interest rates, and a strong reduction in house prices. Then again, I would also wish for a complete capital gains tax, with very limited exceptions (sorry, the primary home should not be exempt unless owned for on the order of five years).

I just checked, and realized that I am responding to someone making inane comments. This teabagger has been on the site for about a half month... yes, a lack of tenure doesn't necessarily mean a lack of cognition. Well, based on the maths, the odds on correlation evidently is accurate.

Silly me.

Well yes:) A number of long term members like me who also have Press Patron subs had their subs wiped/reset recently and replaced with a new PressPatron/Interest sub, starting from scratch. I think the correlation is now reversed, and implies in my case that longer subs have a greater chance of senility setting in, alas.

Sorry to hear that...

Must be more than a little bit frustrating.


So, am I right in thinking Chris doesn't like Judith? Or has he a sneaky suspicion that a slowly building pushback against his beloved ideas is spreading, not just in New Zealand but throughout the world?

Have people had enough of the virtue signalling, the suppression of free speech, the snitch culture and the groupthink that are so strong these days? The left have always sought to create divisions in society, then paint a utopian picture that takes power from the individual and puts it in their hands. Has another generation begun to see through the leftist lies?

How was your free speech been suppressed Roger?

Wait until the hate speech law comes in

How long should we wait for this?

After the election, before the end of the year is my bet

Ok, so when it doesn't happen, can I say "told you so"?

Sure can, champ

Ask Stefan Molyneux & Lauren Southern how they got on when they came over here.

Let me see - these the people whose free speech was suppressed to the extent that they got interviewed on TV 3? Plus other publicity on radio and in print?

Unite around the lord and master
Left divide eh?

Chris has a decades-long career as an opinion writer coming unashamedly from the (old) Left. It would be odd if he approved highly of Judith Collins.
I also agree with his observations here. Collins will shore up her support within National, and her power base is the less-compromising members of the party. It makes the party internally stronger but less electable. So his prediction that the situation come the *next* election will probably be a Labour Party having presided over three years of economic recession, or stagnation at best, vs a more militant National Party, rings true to me.

'The left have always sought to create divisions in society'

Any bias in this view?

The right are the ones who want to separate the haves from the have-nots.

And the left want to make society more equal - everyone is a have-not. Problem solved. Heard a great quote the other day - Socialism is great until you run out of someone else's money - couldn't agree more

Bollocks. The poor (typically workers or less-incomed than workers since the IR) wanted some of what the fat cats essentially screwed them out of - slavery at one end of the scale, foxhunts at the other. They wanted everyone to be a 'have'; themselves included. The 'someone else's money' was only ' someone else's' because the 'someone else' had paid them stuff-all for working long hours in shitty conditions. And lobbied for the likes of the Enclosures.

That might have worked if we'd kept below 1 billion (hadn't used the energy surplus to grow our population exponentially). But we did, and it didn't. So there isn't enough to go around now, and demonstrably hasn't been, increasingly, since the mid-70's. That is why the need for the rise of Thatcherism and all the other 'isms'.

But it only bought time, and less than a lifetime at that.

Jim Knox from the Federation of Labour wanted all workers to be earning more than the average wage.

That sounds more like landlord'ism. The 'haves' (landlords) who run out of the 'have nots' (rent) money.

Isn't landlord'ism backed by our capitalist loving class who are taking other peoples money, generated by working in the productive sector of the economy for an income?

Want to double check who is taking money from who?

Aahh how do you think the evil capitalist got his money to invest in the first place?? Got his arse out of bed, worked, saved and invested. Every capitalist started as a worker - they just made better decisions and took bigger risks.


Almost every one of them levered off the family or inherited.

And they didn't 'work'. You really have trouble with that word. Also with 'better'. You wouldn't get me 'investing' in anything - that's parasiting. And your mate here today showed no moral discernment whatever - Philip Morris etc - you call that 'better'? I just call it greed. Almost every word you use, tells me you swallowed the guff; hook, line and stinker.

Double bollocks,

Most house owners worked hard and saved to buy their houses. Invested wisely and took risk. Some failed some did not. Sounds like you would like to round up the landlords and re-educate them for the new utopia huh? I wonder what the idealogy is similar to?

Labour are largely a centrist party, in a rather centrist nation. The lack of willingness to commit to a CGT has certified that, in my mind. National is trying to play to centrism with some of their spending promises and doesn't look overly to the "right" to me. Plus, despite some commentators rating Collins, the fact is she'll never have enough appeal to win an election ever. National should just clean out the front benches after the election and start again.

Throughout MMP no party has got sufficient return to govern on their own. Labour though might just do it this time but not National. The re-emergence of ACT does offer more hope now for National, but not enough. We will though see with Collins a much more adversarial opposition. She has the skill of a barrister to construct and articulate a hard hitting line of questioning. NZ has had too often weak parliamentary opposition which has allowed the then government far too much rope. As well if ACT has selected their incoming MPs wisely, they can present a compact and concise hit squad. Seymour on his own has managed to generate much notice, more of the same will be interesting because if Labour has the Greens in government there will soon be a something of shooting range on offer. Labour will not be able to control the Greens anymore than the Greens can control themselves. In truth the shambolic breaking down of a coalition will strengthen National and weaken Labour long term, think Jim Bolger’s last term.

Collins was pretty weak in the parliamentary session just past. Why should she be any different in the future?

Disagree with you there. First time this term saw the PM shuffling papers, ducking and pouting, and the Speaker having to come to the rescue.

Agreed, Collins is used to waiting. Plus 3 more years of Opposition gives time for some of the newer MPs to gain some experience in their roles. Given the lack of delivery displayed by Labour so far, another 3 years of muddling through and expanding debt will provide the Nats (and probably ACT) with ample opportunity for point scoring. The Greens (if they make it) will be interesting coalition partners now given Labours more overt attempts to sideline them. I think Labour is betting the "house" (pun intended) on removing the Greens this term, it's about the only interesting thing happening this election - will they succeed or not?

Exactly. A Labour/Greens coalition will undoubtedly be a shambles. We have already witnessed the internal division in the Greens pre the 2017 election and now between Shaw & his Eco School faux pas & Gender shrilling out the wealth tax bottom line. A more abrasive National opposition with the support of an energised ACT may well mean the next parliament falls short of three years.

I agree, certainly the Greens have some serious internal ructions going on. There's also the issue of Genter meddling in the Wellington transport saga and her crazy idea of running median barriers down the length of our state highways. Watch for a Green implosion if they miss out on the 5%. If they get in and form a Govt, all the Nats and ACT will need to do is sit there and fan the flames while listening to "Midnight Oil's Burning Down The House" lol

Music Correction - Talking Heads - Burning Down the House. Midnight Oil - Beds are Burning.

Haha.. thnx, BIG difference

labour/greens are really one party just a split on the old labour party, same with national/act, ACT is now the right wing of national always have been otherwise why gift them epsom every election especially this one
so if you vote for either of the four you are voting for their partner as well and most people now know that

Yeah sure a shambles, you mean just like the shambles of Covid management recognised by world leaders and top journalists as being the best in the world? Sure, a real shambles. I find that the problem with National supporters is their stark blindness. It doesn’t matter how well Labour manages a crisis it’ll never be good enough. But I sure bet you’re thankful to be living in NZ right now, huh. You’ve got the Labour Party to thank for that. You know the one that puts people’s well-being ahead of the economy.
And one other thing, National is the party that creates policy to support business owners, high income earners, property speculators and investors and farmers. Oh and polluters. Clearly that’s a minority of the NZ population that will shrink more and more as inequality grows. Good luck with the next one. Everything coming out of Judith’s mouth is so out of touch with everyone that’s not in the above bracket it’s not even funny. Some sorely missing relevance will be required next time round

Whether you like it or not a coalition of Labour/Greens will be entirely different to the present governments set up in terms of agenda, performance and stability. For NZ’s sake I sincerely hope Labour returns sufficient to govern alone and does so. Will probably throw my vote in to help that along the way in fact.

Yes Foxglove thars where I am going.Vote Labour and hopefully they will govern alone. In honesty I have been a long time Nat voter, even voted ACT years ago. I believe now is not the time for tax cuts or austerity and I am a high income earner.

Any half competent nerk could have achieved what Ardern achieved given NZs isolation, and BTW we're not the best in the world - we did well but we're certainly not the best, and when you add in the economic and social damage we may well slip further down the rankings. The minority you seem to have an issue with are the same ones that employ people and ultimately contribute the most to paying this countries bills. You may not like it but that is the reality.

If she thought she has a chance of winning, she would have done a epsom deal with nzf and the conservative christian parties. Endorsed the maori party and attacked the greens. That would have given her a narrow, albeit unholy path to the balance of power.


"evangelical right" should be sounding more alarm bells for human rights than so called Socialism.

Agreed. The evangelists are pinning their hopes on the born-again Chris Luxon if Collins gets rolled after the election and he gets Botany, which is assured.

'when' Collins gets rolled - I think even Judith would agree is the more accurate prediction.

The Maori Party is under new leadership and is effectively a different party from the old one.

They've said they could not work with National because they're racist.

Agreed, given the MP's current leadership there's no way they'd go with the Nats. I find it vaguely concerning Tamihere and co seem to be advocating a form of quasi-separatism. NZF, even in the unlikely event of them getting back, are unlikely to be accepted by the Nats after Peters' treatment of them but I guess never say never in politics. The NCs I think might still be carrying a taint of "cooky Colin" with their name.

"They've said they could not work with National because they're racist"

Racism - the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.

Perhaps a party name change is needed to be taken seriously.

I don't think you're in any position to be opining on who should be taken seriously or not.


by Te Kooti | 25th Mar 20, 1:54pm
I'm thinking a few hundred angry pakeha with term depo's isn't going to frighten too many people.

by Te Kooti | 2nd Jun 20, 1:56pm
In a nutshell, education and opportunity. How many Maori and Pacifica are on NZX Boards, Crown Boards, Councils?? There are talented Maori & Pacifica but they are locked out. I know several with phd's who just can't break through. Why shouldn't there be quota's for us like there is for white women?

by Te Kooti | 14th Sep 20, 12:50pm
You could just give us our land back and bugger off?

by Te Kooti | 9th Jul 20, 11:05am
Speaking of the cosy pakeha directors club, what happened to Jenny Shipley in the end?

You have gone to an almost disturbing amount effort to try and make a point that bears no relation whatsoever to that which I was making.

The obvious conclusion then is you're a bit of a loser.

No effort but given those comments don't you think lecturing others about being taken seriously seems a little ironic.

Thank you Computer for sharing TKs ugly comments as it needs to be called out

Agreed, I've always found TK's comments to be ugly and it's great to see a handful together for perspective.

While I have enjoyed and respected TK's views in this forum, I feel here he is making an all too common mistake. He is attributing to racism something that is more complicated and simple at the same time.

Speaking from experience and observation many people don't break through when applying for jobs because of their failure to sell themselves and understand that most people are hired on presentation and personality in the final wash and qualifications only in the initial filter. Attitude and presentation are really important.

It is my experience is that most people will treat you with respect, irrespective of where you come from if you present well and are respectful yourself. If your attitude sucks, then that is what you get in return. So if you walk into any situation with a chip on your shoulder, with an expectation that you will be treated badly, refused or ignored then this will come through in your attitude, and you will reap what you sow. I have observed these behaviours on a number of occasions, and many that involved a Maori elicited a complaint of racism. I have equally observed the opposite. Some organisations have a dominating clientele with attitude problems and have a high risk of an entrenched culture which is disrespectful towards their clientele, but with the right approach even this can be overcome.

If calling out discrimination, under-representation in mainstream NZ and Treaty rights is confronting for you, I really couldn't care less. In fact, it would concern me if I agreed with anything you had to say which has invariably consisted of moaning about housing and generally reeks of failure and mediocrity (not you M86)

Computer referenced Lauren Southern earlier, a well documented white nationalist - not they you needed to be so up front about it as it's obvious.

I'm all for calling out discrimination in any guise. Yours included.

hahaha.. you should wait till heavyG gets going! Unless he's been banned or on the campaign trail.. lol

Do you really believe the NZX50 isn't a cosy Pakeha directors club and how is that statement in any way discriminatory? I can tell you right now, it's not talent based - so what are the criteria?

Maybe it is a cosy director's club or an old boys network - contacts matter a lot when it comes to the job interview. Citation needed though.

What I don't understand is how you see this as intentional discrimination by race; I'm pale as they come and the boardroom door is firmly closed - should I take it as hating on gingers?

Contacts are by far and away the most important factor in Board appointments - which is why Maori and Pasifika are all but locked out. Didn't go to the right schools, golf or yacht clubs.... Discrimination can be institutional, you understand I'm not accusing you of racism right? If you are born brown into a low decile area in NZ, you see few role models in corporate NZ and it's not a talent issue.

Most Kiwis (including most of the 16.5% European/Polynesian mixed race) get on with it, and get ahead from hard work and determination and good attitudes - put there heads down and dont moan or look for hand outs. It takes decades of dedication to rise up ladders. Sometimes 2 or 3 generations of dedication.
Many recent immigrants (all kinds of races and colours, even with poor English language ) come here with little more than a suitcase, go on to become very successful in good positions and home ownership.
There are plenty of opportunities in this country for hard working people who have a bit of drive and get up and go and who don't feel sorry for themselves and look to blame other.

TK - Carpe Diem

Moaning and looking for handouts, are you Don Brash? All you had to do was honour the Treaty No Moa, it's that simple. But no, we had to fight tooth and nail for the land that was stolen etc etc. I am actually really optimistic, our time is coming

As for me, you'd be surprised.

TK the world has shown us that divided nations fail, and civil unrest ensues. Nothing to be optimistic about. In fact no one wins in the end.
European blood also runs in you veins - You are mixed race like most people on the country.

You want special treatment for Pasifika and Mixed race European/Polynesian people.

There are lots of other people in the country outside of this group who also need a leg up.

We are stronger as one.

As for the treaty, its states all should be equal.

TK Treaty rights are very misrepresented in many areas - but starting with the Government - Maori have been treated atrociously by the colonial Governments which represented the English Government of their time. But lets be clear, the sassenachs did it to the Scots and Irish long before they came to NZ and Aussie, so Maori are not unique. The big question is how to move forward? I think being rooted in the past will hobble us all, but looking at the present what hobbles us is the legacy damage from the past combined with present Governments consistent failure to ensure that opportunity is share equally across all of society. In the last 30 and more years under the free market, jobs have been exported and wages and working conditions seriously eroded. The constrains the lower (more than half) the working population to declining living standards and the bottom to outright poverty. Governments must commit to ensuring that there are jobs for everyone everywhere with a reasonable wage.

Maori on the other hand should be realistic in their expectations. Realistically there is not enough money in the world to compensate Maori for the ills done to them, or other minorities, but they should be demanding that the Government should have in it's policies a plan to ensure that every school leaver, irrespective of qualifications, should be able to expect to find a job with decent conditions and pay, and that there is an expectation to get a job. An over generous social welfare system cripples Maori more than helps them.

M86, when have I ever suggested or requested financial compensation? It's not about money - it's education and opportunity. A poster above selected 4 of my quotes from several hundred - one of which was obtuse and I admit a bit inflammatory. I know exactly what is needed as I support a number of education initiatives for Maori/Pasifika youth - role models and mentors. I don't need to prove anything as the numbers say it all. In the the US 63% of S&P 500 companies have a black director, in NZ < 5% have a Maori/Pasifika director. Maori and Pasifika youth need to see their people in corporate roles.

Education is great TK, but opportunity is even greater. Some people just don't do well at school. When I was a teenager you could leave school before you got School C (showing my age) and walk down to the local industrial suburb and get a job that paid good wages, 40 hours a week and usually overtime. I know more than a few who did this (some Maori, some not), had good work ethics and did well. Many worked their way up in the companies they worked for to eventually become managers, and good ones at that. The lack of qualifications didn't really hinder them, their attitudes and the opportunities are what did it for them. That is the kind of environment and society we should be aiming for, and asking our pollies to take us to.

P.S I didn't mean to imply that you wanted a handout, but let's face it there are many in society who want just that, Maori and non-Maori and are using what ever tools they can to get them.

You sound an entirely decent and reasonable person. Whenever I raise this topic, which isn't often, it's never in criticism of individuals but the system. Ka kite ano.

Great comment m86. I remember those days too.

they made a massive mistake at going with national in 2014 election if they had split and sat in opposition they may have survived.
until they find a leader with a massive name in maoridom that can get a seat they will not be back any time soon
i will be very surprised if peeni loses to john


We're definitely already in a period of heightened political divisiveness. Just look on social media, the Labour/National fangroups are full of gutter trash toxicity. Collins in a way reinforced that mentality in the leaders debate, with her persistent eye rolling, harrumphing and contemptuous snorts.


Did anyone else notice a piggy-muldoon type 'smile' (sneer) from the leader of the opposition during the debate?

I saw some sort of resemblance. It was after Jacinda said now's not the time for tax cuts and that she certainly didn't need one. Collins retorted by saying "well give it back then", followed by glancing around the studio in search of somebody else to laugh with before she resigned herself with the camera.

Robert Muldoon was the greatest Prime Minister New Zealand ever had.


I observed that toxicity at it's worst from labour supporters when Jacinda was at peak kindness. So no, it does not correlate with the behaviour of the leaders.

It would be interesting to see some investigation into the social media commenters, and where they come from. How many are genuine individuals, how many are organised groups and how many are bots?

I can't believe people have such short memories: Collins should be forever tainted by the Orivida exposure which in my book was tantamount to corruption, just as Jenny Shipley is forever doomed by the Mainzeal financial disaster although that was more downright naivety and sheer stupidity more than corruption. And add National's Ruth Richardson to the mix (remember she more than any other individual is responsible for our low-wage economy) and you have National's total female contribution to political leadership in NZ.

Everyone should acknowledge the international kudos that Jacinda has acquired during the Covid plague and that this kudos could and should be parlayed to the benefit of New Zealand's international status, which in turn would benefit our trade. Her record wasn't perfect, only because she was let down by the Mt Roskill voodoo-Christianity group. But, most importantly, Jacinda hasn't besmirched her standing with political CORRUPTION, that scourge which most other countries' citizens have to live with.

And the farmers should be playing their part by cleaning up their act with the recent news that our rivers are as polluted as ever. They are short-sighted and should realize that sooner or later publicity over our filthy rivers will damage our ability to sell our agricultural products overseas let alone trash our future tourism industry. I'm dumbfounded the Federated Farmers aren't organising some approach to this problem.

Toxicity gets social media clicks = advertising.
Lowest common denominator
And what is its root: free market many worship so much

Tribalism existed long before the "free market" was dreamed up

Of course, but conducting our political conversations on media platforms designed to profit from viral advertising has fuelled tribalism on steroids.

I see and acknowledge your point. So what is the solution? replacing existing media platforms with ones that have no agenda? who is in 1) a position to do that and 2) capable of doing it? the state? concerned citizens?

Yes it's a thorny problem, but not insurmountable. Greater public awareness would be a good start, via a media literacy education programme in schools similar to what happens in countries like Finland.

All year sadly I have expected Labour to be the next government. And Judith will pull them apart on their incompetence. It will be a bloodbath.
But the Nats still have no positive alternatives, and lack an ideology that makes them a useful alternative.
Me, I'm looking for the party that promotes us as a high income country (ie. Slash immigration) and stops the wave of woke. (that would be popular, but parties aren't offering it)

You should know better, The times, they have a'changed already.

High income is a comment which misses the point, the same way Child Poverty does. Collins hints at the problem (but can't tell the truth about it; it's contra to the neolib narrative) when she says 'material hardship'. What that is, is Resource Poverty - and it's that which makes any kind of 'income' pointless from now on. There isn't enough to go around and either you further the elite/rest divide (with repercussions as we see all over the planet) or you address the resource descent in an egalitarian manner. The latter is socially preferable but the reduction in consumption needed, is orders of magnitude adrift from BAU.

Housing ponzi will crumble without immigration - how do we become high income if our economy collapses?

That’s for certain yet it doesn’t stop westpac predicting 8% rise in house prices even with the borders closed and no idea when they’ll open again or even what immigration will look like!

The 'economy' you want to protect depends on an underpaid underclass. So we need a different one.
As for the 'housing ponzi' I for one have benefited hugely. That does not prevent me from recognising it has multipled poverty and led to a great divide in our social fabric.

What's the grand plan then to generate higher incomes/improve real GDP? (honest question)

Honest it may be, but it's not the right one.

Incomes are expectations that more stuff can be bought. Processed parts of the planet, is stuff.

So up until the peak rate of extraction (of planetary parts) you could have argued that more extraction per time, was a way to 'generate higher incomes (jeez, but it's a clumsy way of looking at it, eh?)

But now, at or near max extraction, that card is off the table. Which leaves two to play. One is to have less people, resulting in more resource options per head. The other is th repress others and commandeer to options for ourselves. Oh wait, we've been doing that since Cecil Rhodes, via two World Wars. And the Elite have been doing it to our lower echelons since 1980-ish. So that just leaves population reduction.

Sure you want to get richer?

Some of the grand plan. Very hardarse line on immigration. Employers have to "meet the market" and employ New Zealanders. Wages up.
Enterprises that rely on underpaying low skill imports leave the business, automation and efficiency up. Productivity up. GDP per capita up.
Well paid NZers pay more tax. Also spend more encouraging business.
Higher incomes mean less cost for benefits.
Stable population means less demand for infrastructure, thus less costs. (Auckland can't afford itself now.)
Housing supply catches up, rents and prices stabilise, putting further spend power in citizens pockets.
Good businesses happy.

To much cow poop, to much property speculation, to much to fast immigration, all fueled by to wayyyy to much debt. The four pillars of National and a hang over of the Key mantra.

NZ has moved on.

No we haven't? We're still running the same model, just a different tribe

You forgot the mass tourism.

I agree with you. But I do not see how you attribute this model to National. Has it not been the Model of the existing Labour Government as well as the 1999-2007 Labour Government?
Where NZ has moved on exactly? its economy at both present and foreseeable future are dependent on the export performance of primary products, its domestics financial stability on avoiding a housing market collapse, both of which would require more people, which means immigration will need to continue and the new immigrants will take on new, fresh debt to feed the loop.

Having been installed by NZ First, Labour have kept their powder dry and thanks to unforeseen events (Christchurch massacre, Covid) have built their political base to where it is now. I predict that if they get elected without being shackled by Winston, they'll bring in an agenda closer to Peter Fraser than Roger Douglas. Ardern mentioned Fraser more than once pre-2017.

Social media certainly does have a lot to answer for when it comes to toxic discourse. Although there has always been a degree of political tribalism in New Zealand, there did exist in the past a basic consensus about how the country should be governed. This consensus has now disappeared, and social media toxicity may be the symptom rather than the cause. While Trotter does come from a particular political perspective, his warnings about the deliberate promotion of nasty tribal discourse should not be discounted. Some of us with memories of Muldoonist nastiness do not want to see its return under another National leader. One might have thought that National’s predilection for dirty politics in the last 10 years might be part of the reason for their current decline. Doubling down on this in the future might not be the most successful strategy for them. Heaven help us if we import more Trumpism into our country.

The problem which such warning are that they are actually from promotors of tribalism, just pointing fingers at actions of other tribes that they also commit on a regular basis.

Over the last week I have listened with interest many of the politicians spoutings while on the election trail. As a result I am more than a little dismayed with National. CT mentions Collins (I struggle to refer to her as JC) 'misquotation, and i noted in the media that Harete Hipango was also challenged by the media for misquoting JA. The response that "it wasn't a misquote, not a quote at all, but a construction of key words attributed to Jacinda Adern", surprised me as a blatant piece of obfuscation to cloud a lie. It just shows the character of the Nats at the moment, utterly lacking in integrity.

"It just shows the character of the Nats at the moment, utterly lacking in integrity." - I think it shows a lack of parliamentary experience personally. You would think that during any campaign especially (and more so just generally) MPs in the opposition would engage their brains before their keyboard or their lips. Given the number of "misconstructions" of late, Collins probably needs to call in all her MPs and lay down a few basic comms guidelines regarding public and online outbursts. Of all her caucus only Reti seems to actually have it "sussed"

It's their character, for sure.

But that just reflects (what's left of) their support base. Folk so fearful they shoot the messenger, folk so fearful they have to believe the construct they hung their projected persona on, no matter how far that construct is past it's use-by date. Thus the fearful horse-set forced a law into existence, requiring a man on foot with a flag, preceding every car. The same types laugh at that now, while not seeing the irony of their advocating exactly the same procrastination

More likely, we are looking at the end of Left/Right, Boss/Worker, White/Blue collar. Polarisation and societal changes (factories offshored, for one). social media for two, the ebb of religion for three) are rendering the old obsolete, expect the ends to outweigh the centre. No surprise, that just reflects the 'income' polarisation trend too. So we see Act getting stronger at the expense of the Nats, Winnie (popularist/centrist) gone, Labour having to go Green (whichc is not the same as Left) to keep current. Funny old world.

" Thus the fearful horse-set forced a law into existence, requiring a man on foot with a flag, preceding every car. " - YOU IDIOT. the law was passed to warn horsedrawn carriages and riders due to the horses stampeding and killing and injuring passengers, riders and pedestrians and it was passed due to public health concerns.
The rest of your post isn't worth commenting on. You really should just move to Outer Mongolia

"Folk so fearful they shoot the messenger"


Those 'concerns' were from folk ensconced in, and unable to see beyond, the status-quo. And that was a slow morph. What is breaking on us now is bigger and faster - but the pace of mass cranial adaption is still what it was then. As we see.

I'm far from fearful of you PDK, I'm just sick of your constant unproven carping. Everything you post is pure conjecture. You really are in the league of epic crackpots

You've done it again.


It's not me you are fearful of. It's what I point out. And I don't need to prove that extraction of a finite resource, ends. Or that overshot populations (always done on a food surplus, more properly thought of as an energy surplus) always collapse. Where we differ is that I think we're just another species, you seem to think we're above all that.

Go well, go - oops, forgot, since Ken Saro-Wiwa I don't finish that jingle.

"It's not me you are fearful of. It's what I point out. " What you post is, as I said, pure unproven conjecture. Your constant carping about deintensification is unrealistic fantasy. At this point there are no "overshot populations" anywhere in the world nor are there likely to be in the foreseeable future. In the modern day, populations invariably self regulate albeit slowly, this is happening now in most developed countries but certainly not caused by food shortages. Homo Sapiens is not "just" another species - we are the apex species and the apex predator. We have no natural competitors other than ourselves. We are the only species that can alter its environment to suit our needs. And we are the only species to invent technology

What arrogance! The evidence of human overshoot is all around you. You are simply not looking, or in denial.

Why 'or'?


Got some facts? And don't rabbit on about AGW if you can provide them.

Really? Perhaps you’ve heard of some of the following .....

Depleting fish stocks.
Chemical pollution.
Topsoil loss.

Do some reading for Christ’s sake!

Plenty of fish in NZ EZ waters, we have low levels of chemical pollution and topsoil loss is an issue in NZ mostly relevant to logging in steep country. Maybe if you and PDK stopped trying to visit the world's problems on NZ you'd be a bit more credible

I can cope with my level of cred, ta. Your opinion is based on so many flawed assumptions it's hard to know where to start.

NZ going it alone, without resource drawdown and degradation? We've had that debate on this site, long before you turned up and the math hasn't changed. 2 million is the mid-point consensus - but it depends on your desired level of consumption. You have this problem that you fail to factor in energy, and depletion. So you really don't account properly, at all. Not even close.

You said above there were no overshot populations in the world.

Simply calling you out before you changed the goalpost.

There's not plenty of yellowfin like there used to be. Tarakihi, crayfish, snapper etc are under massive pressure also

Hopefully Hook we will have not only the technology but the competence of leadership to take us to the next level. And I mean World leadership.

Yep a likely Green voter, says it all.

National is quickly losing the rural vote actually.
I am in the new Port Waikato electorate and there is a lot of talk that relative newcomer Mark Ball of Heartland NZ could roll Nationals Andrew Bayly. Mark Ball is the former mayor of the electorate and was very well regarded in the former Franklin region.
A lot of farmers I know also prefer ACT over National now, for a range of reasons including ACT pushing back harder against the new firearm laws and environmental issues.

Are there any polls from that electorate farmer?

Not that I have seen sorry,
That comment I made was based purely on my own experience based on people I have talked to, who seems to be getting talked about favourably on community facebook groups, and who community leaders seem to be backing.
I very well may be wrong!

JAF thats me too just a farmer. I don't know the answers, but I am sure they do not lie in the past. We all as farmers have to step up and think out another way. Each will have their own solution depending on the type of land you have. there are in fact many new options .

I'm hearing the same things Just a Farmer, especially among the younger farmers - especially ACT for party vote. Lots of folks who voted NZF are still smarting that NZF went with Labour and are shifting their vote to ACT.
The new electorates are going to be be very interesting to watch. The new one near here is Taieri - incumbant for old seat, Dunedin South, not standing. I saw a social media comment suggesting an 'Epsom' style deal between 2 parties neither of whom were Act. I don't think it will happen but stranger things have happened.


Why would she really want to win ? The economy is a poison chalice, just sit on the back benches and watch the train wreck unfold and then get in with a landslide on the following election.

That is a good point to consider.
Though not fun if your business is one of those that Jacinda and her Labour/Green train wreck are looking to destroy.

JAF - download and read The Limits to Growth. I'm guessing the original is just about your age :) There are ten and 30-year updates.

You'll realise that the planet is at a crux-point. Doesn't matter who is in power, who in opposition, the train-wreck is inevitable and inexorable.

The only question is: Who would you want in charge during the unfolding? And the answer for me is: Someone I can trust to do the best by EVERYONE in NZ. That rules out Collins and Brownlee. National lost the best they had when Adams and Kaye walked. That was the way to the future, these two are from the Jurassic.

I hope in time that business will come to see Jacinda for the visionary she is and get in behind the move to a just society.

A politician once said something along these lines. "If you have a vision go and see your doctor" Visions and hallucinations are not far apart.

A lot of people are probably listening to what epidemiologists are saying, watching what's going on in Sweden and seeing the freedoms that the rest of Europe has. They're wondering why NZ is destroying its economy, and why no political parties offering any alternative to Labour's disastrous approach. By staying safe quiet and quiescent National and NZF have become irrelevant. I expect ACT will do well this election.

hold on they have tougher restrictions than most of NZ alert level 1 (apart from auckland) and are even considering a lockdown in stockholm
Ensure that guests can keep at least one meter's distance from other people.
Only serve food and drink to guests who are seated at a table or a bar counter.
Ban on public gatherings of 50 people or more
Public gatherings and events may have a maximum of 50 participants. The police can cancel or disband a public gathering or event with more than 50 participants. Anyone who organises an event that violates the ban can face a fine or prison sentence of a maximum of six months.

From what I read today, things aren’t going too well in Sweden. Their case count has doubled In a week and Anders Tegnell is considering closing schools and imposing lockdowns. Their death rate per capita is about the same as that of the UK now.

The case rate (not count, but rate as in how many cases this week) is rather subject to testing vagaries.

The statistic that I consider to be most important is the death rate. Sweden peaked about about 100 deaths per day way back in april (7 day moving average to gloss over momentary peaks that were higher). At the beginning of July this number was 18, for August, this value was 3. Beginning of September, 1 to 2. Now, 1 to 2. That looks rather promising to me in terms of improvement and resolution. Considering that on an average day, 250 people would die in Sweden from all cause prior to Covid19, it appears to me that it is essentially finished in Sweden.

I think equating low current death rate with the " .. it is essentially finished in Sweden" is far too simplistic.

They are considering lock downs for a reason - if their caseload spins out of control it will no longer be feasible to protect the old/vulnerable and to properly care for everyone ( regardless of the age ) who gets seriously sick.

Yes the death rate is meaningless. Particularly in the UK where doctors are incentivised to blame covid. If a patient in a rest home tests positive, then recovers, but then dies months later of something else then the official cause of death will be listed as covid. It's disgraceful. Only excess deaths are relevant. Here's professor Carl Henegan from Oxford University talking about it

You can argue with the way official death count is calculated - but not with the excess death rates which are actually higher in the UK than their published Covid death count.

Could be true according to the economist article which is a few months old now. Bear in mind a lot of the deaths were over 85s with complications. A lot of the deaths could be "displaced mortality".

If you look at the latest data in the UK on excess deaths the situation looks pretty benign


Sadly, Sweden has already flunked the protect the old/vulnerable population issue. In very large part, those people have already set sail, just as they have in New York and New Jersey although the latter occurred due to explicit failures rather than implicit failures.

The question is about the most appropriate move forward from their current position. If CV19 has already made its way through their vulnerable population, then what is the best way forward?

What you are saying is correct - except the implication that whatever oldies remain must have immunity by now ; this is not what the antibody tests
show. They did fail their old people - but there are still plenty that may die if they just let Covid rip - my understanding is that this is why they are considering locking down ..

Yes , basically most of my family is in Sweden and it does not sound like fun over there. We are their envy.

Watching Judith's speech on TV, she has left me with an impression that she's right about NZ, we are centred too much on socialism.

I don’t understand National’s strategy. Their headline policies are: tax cuts for the rich, dirtier rivers, climate change denial. Yes, I know that’s not really true, but that’s the 10-second takeaway, which is what 90 per cent of us absorb. Arden sounds and acts like a leader, which she may or may not be, Collins has hissy fits and smiles inappropriately. Absolutely no hint of any ability to be a statesman. Then there’s Goldsmith... if I had to choose between him and Chloe Swarbrick as Finance Minister, I’d have to give it serious thought.
Then there’s National’s Act problem. Whereas the Greens conceivably can attract a wide spectrum of voters because of their ecological/climate credentials, Act simply cannibalises the right. And Seymour is a much more attractive proposition as a leader than Collins.

to me you have labour greens on 56% and national act on 36% that leaves 8% of wasted votes that could swing the election.
but most of those people are like me and not interested in either block so would rather vote and waste my vote than for either of these sides that have no NEW big ideas and just spend the time trying to bribe there way in.
even barforts (big supporter of national) have come out against nationals plan to scrap healthy homes just to appease a few votes, as for labour nothing to see here, ACT just stealing disgruntled national voters and counting there chickens, they will all go back next election.
the greens are so far left
it is a shame NZ first will disappear this time as we need a fifth party in parliament and i have always advocated lowering the threshold to 3% and doing away with the BS vote an MP in and he can drag a MP in below 3%

to me you have labour greens on 56% and national act on 36% that leaves 8% of wasted votes that could swing the election.

Might want to check your maths. 36% + 8% = 44% and L+G still have 56% between them.

"Swing the election" means cause one party to win and another to lose. Even if 100% went to National it would not "swing the election".

Winston first has shot his bolt with me, a swing voter. Other than the referendums I wasn't going to vote for anyone. Am considering to vote for Labour to keep the Green's out. Problem is any party doesn't care about your reasons for voting for them as long as they get your vote so if there are others like me and vote for Labour to make sure Labour doesn't need the Greens, it'll merely confirm in Labours mind look how well we've done.

There's plenty of other to vote for

I always find it interesting how much New Zealands politicians try to appeal to rural electorates, 87% of Kiwis live in urban areas. That's actually higher than many developed European countries or the US. By enlarge New Zealand is becoming a few cities with a great deal of flyover country in between. Our legislation and planning should reflect this.

The fly over country you refer to has real people in it who know how to run (and mind) their own business; they are not interested in telling you how to run your life; all they want from you is the same courtesy.

Are you sure thats all they want winkie?
Why no mention of using and polluting other peoples water winkie.
We are but one of the hundreds of households in your area who has had to spend thousands making our water supply safe from neighboring dairy farms - whos business is that ?

My wife and I have lived in, on and around dairy and cattle farms for more than fifty years and the only time we have had problems with water purity was when we were using rainwater - it was full of birdish with decomposing birds in the tank. I am curious to know, what is the nature of the pollution you have been protecting yourself against? what makes you so sure it comes from neighbouring dairy farms?

I sometimes wish I could be so unequivocal in my support for the Right or the Left, as so many are here. It can be both uncomfortable and tiring trying to see both sides of an argument-so much easier to have one fixed worldview and stick to it. No serious thought is then required.
I have thought poorly of Collins ever since the Whale Oil scandal and have found Goldsmith to be very disappointing. The National party, as Rod Oram wrote in his Newsroom article just seem to want to look backwards, while more enlightened companies know that the world is changing.
As for Labour, none of their key pre-election promises have been met and the talent base is thin, to say the least. I could not be persuaded to vote for ACT, the Greens have been captured by their left-wing, so with little or no enthusiasism, I will give labour the chance to show what they are capable of without the anchor chain of Peters. If they cannot engage more constructively with business, then I will happily vote to turf them out in 2023.

Excepting the phrase "I could not be persuaded"... I would agree with your viewpoint.

At present, I most certainly can be persuaded. I am somewhat likely to give the nod to ACT at present, if nothing more than to recognize the work done for the euthanasia act. A year ago, I would have not even considered ACT and Seymour. I had thought he was an immature puppet. What a difference a year makes in terms of viewpoint. Sadly, the primary shift in viewpoint is in terms of relativism...