Dr Bryce Edward’s Political Roundup: Ten reasons Labour’s support has halved


The Labour Government was elected with 50 per cent of the vote three years ago, but current opinion polls show their vote could halve in this year’s election, which would be one of the biggest plunges in political history.

Most polls have Labour on about 26 per cent. And the downward trajectory is clear – 1News has reported Labour dropping seven times in a row in their poll. And it’s not just the polls showing Labour is in serious trouble. The Australian TAB takes bets on the New Zealand election, and for each $1 dollar bet they are currently paying out $4.50 for a Labour win, and only $1.18 for a National win.

Newshub political editor Jenna Lynch has predicted “absolute carnage and political armageddon” for Labour – pointing out the party risks losing senior MPs like David Parker, Willie Jackson, Adrian Rurawhe, and Ayesha Verrall. And if things go really badly, even Finance Minister Grant Robertson could be chucked out.

Labour could be headed for an even bigger defeat than in 1931 when Gordon Coates’ governing Reform Party plunged to just 26.6 per cent.

So why has Labour gone from such highs to such lows so quickly? The answer to this question will be discussed for a long time after 14 October, but we are already seeing some early explanations for why Labour has become so unpopular.

1) Labour’s handling of Covid

Labour won its 50 per cent vote in 2020 in response to its successful handling of the first wave of Covid. The public was extremely grateful that Jacinda Ardern’s government prioritised protecting public health until vaccines became widely available, and ensured workers and businesses were supported. But subsequent Covid waves made it into the country, and various aspects of Labour’s management of Covid were found wanting.

Last week former Cabinet Minister Peter Dunne said the main damage to Labour’s re-election prospects can be traced back to the middle of 2021 when Covid hit the country: “the government’s perceived slowness in winding back pandemic restrictions, alongside the mounting cost-of-living crisis brought about rising levels of public discontent. Compounding that was the second Auckland lockdown, which Ardern promised would be ‘short and sharp’, but which went on for over four months.”

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Labour’s Covid story is now seen by many as negative rather than positive, and the Government is barely mentioning it in their re-election campaign. As Stuff political editor Luke Malpass has reported, “Voters just don’t seem to want to hear about it any more. They don’t want the Government crowing about how good it was – because it doesn’t feel that way now. And all the privations and disruption seem best forgotten.”

2) Failure to deliver the promised transformation, or even the basics

Labour came to power in 2017 promising transformational reform. They were largely judged to have failed to deliver on their promises after their first term, and it was only their handling of Covid in 2020 that saved Labour from being turfed out that year. Since then, the narrative that Labour hasn’t delivered has only grown stronger.

Labour’s flagship KiwiBuild programme, with its promise of 100,000 affordable new houses, still exists but has become something of a joke. Auckland’s Light Rail project was supposed to be complete by 2021, but hasn’t even begun, typifying Labour’s general weakness on infrastructure.

In the Listener last week, Duncan Garner argued Labour over-promised and leaned on slogans and gimmicks such as KiwiBuild and, as a result, the Government’s record of achievement is very slight.

Unsurprisingly, Labour is not running its election campaign based on what it has achieved. Malpass notes: “It’s remarkable that a Government of six years doesn’t appear to be running much on its record.”

Crucially, it also means the public are far less inclined to believe Labour’s latest promises. As TVNZ’s Jack Tame says: “what good are new promises if a government didn’t deliver on its previous ones?”

He has pointed to all the areas Labour has failed to deliver on – especially housing, mental health, and child poverty. In all these areas, Labour can point to progress, but there’s too much evidence of things going backwards. Even on climate change, some progress has been made, but ultimately “the most difficult emission reductions decisions have been deferred to future governments”, including how to deal with New Zealand’s largest gas-emitting industry.

Billions have been poured into the mental health system, but there’s a lack of clarity on where it’s all gone and why it hasn’t fixed the crisis. As the Mental Health Foundation says, the promised transformation hasn’t occurred, and “Things are overall getting worse, not better.”

Tame says, “there is no escaping the transformational void” under Labour, and its current campaign is a pale version of what got them into government in 2017.

In September, the research company Ipsos asked the public to rate the Government’s performance out of ten – with the result being 4.5/10, down from 7.2/10 three years ago. On all the issues voters consider most important at the moment, survey respondents rate Labour as inferior to National in terms of competence. This includes Health, Education and Housing – areas which Labour have traditionally dominated.

3) It’s the economy, stupid

Many voters will essentially ask themselves whether life has materially improved or worsened since Labour took power in 2017. Unfortunately for the Government, on many measures it seems to have worsened, particularly with record high inflation and interests rates. The housing crisis, in particular, has worsened significantly since Labour came to power, meaning people are struggling more than ever to pay skyrocketing rent or buy their first home.

Political journalist Henry Cooke sums it up like this: “New Zealanders are rightly upset about their falling real incomes, with high food costs in our uncompetitive grocery sector, high rents in major cities, and high interest rates for those who bought houses while they were severely overvalued… In New Zealand the government is not so squarely seen as the source of everyone’s economic pain, but it is hardly seen as the solution either”.

A common complaint is Labour has spent too much money, and has too little to show for it. Duncan Garner writes in last week’s Listener that “$48b more is spent annually than in 2017. What do we have to show for it? New motorways, trains, light rail and hospitals? No chance.”

Even on the left there is a feeling that the $48b extra spend per year under Labour – and especially the extra $60bn that was spent due to Covid – could have been targeted at transformational change, but has been frittered away on pet projects and more bureaucracy.

Some of this money has been put into expensive structural changes – centralising healthcare (Te Whatu Ora) and polytechnics (Te Pūkenga), but these have become lightning rods for discontent.

4) Broken New Zealand

For the last fourteen years polling companies have asked the public about whether New Zealand is headed in the right or wrong direction, and until recently the majority have always given a positive response. According to polling in 2020 over two-thirds of the population thought the country was headed in the right direction, with few dissenting. By 2023 this has entirely reversed – the vast majority of those polled believe New Zealand is on the wrong track.

A big part of this discontent is with key public services, which are increasingly criticised as dysfunctional, overly-bureaucratic, and under-performing. Stuff’s Luke Malpass reported that dissatisfaction with government services appears to be skyrocketing. According to a Curia survey, voters say public services have got worse since 2020 in the following key areas: Health (70 per cent say it’s worse), Criminal Justice (64 per cent), Education (57 per cent), Transport (47 per cent), and Welfare (37 per cent).

The term “polycrisis” is being used to describe the inter-connected nature of the various crises in the country. It all adds to a sense of anger and frustration with the status quo, creating a mood for change that Chris Hipkins’ government is struggling to turn around.

According to the Listener’s Danyl McLauchlan, Hipkins hasn’t been able to connect with voter dissatisfaction: “he never spoke to the very sour mood of the nation after three years of post-covid disappointment, high prices and political failure.” McLauchlan says that when this year’s Budget came out, voters could see that Labour had no plan or vision for how to fix all the problems in New Zealand: “I suspect they wanted Hipkins to signal that he had a plan to send it in the right direction. A diagnosis of our problems and a plan to solve them. The budget and now the campaign have revealed that there’s no such scheme.”

5) Failure on tax reform

New Zealanders are particularly dissatisfied with the tax system. Experts and the wider public are in agreement about the need for change – it’s only the Labour Government that seems wedded to the status quo, ruling out change. Survey after survey shows the public is open to significant reform of taxes, including introducing capital gains and particularly wealth taxes.

The Labour Government came to power promising tax reform and especially to investigate a capital gains tax. However, Jacinda Ardern went on to rule out a capital gains tax from being implemented under her watch. Under Chris Hipkins, Labour once again ruled out any new progressive taxes.

Some in the Labour Party wanted a wealth tax brought in, and Revenue Minister David Parker worked on a tax that could’ve been implemented this year, only to be overruled by the more conservative Hipkins. A Newshub Reid-Research poll recently asked voters whether he was right to rule this out – with 47 per cent disagreeing with Hipkins’ decision, and only 39 per cent agreeing.

6) Perception that Labour is arrogant and out-of-touch

Winning 50 per cent of the vote in 2020 was both a blessing and a curse for Labour. It meant that Labour had the largest number of MPs any party has ever had, and the ability to push through reform. Labour has been judged to have squandered that historic opportunity, falling into complacency and arrogance.

Labour ministers felt they could implement unsignalled projects – from Three Waters to a social insurance scheme – without the pressure to take the public along with them. As Duncan Garner said last week, “The majority vote meant no one was acting as a gatekeeper.”

Labour is perceived as out of touch with the public, which always leads to electoral death. Recently, Newshub’s Reid-Research poll asked voters whether they thought the Government was concerned with the issues that matter to Kiwis, and only 29.8 per cent thought they were, with the majority – 62.1 per cent – saying the Government isn’t.

7) Lack of clarity about what Labour believe in

Labour’s popularity declined significantly while Ardern was leader, which led her to hand over to Hipkins. Hipkins was initially able to restore a strong degree of public support, mostly through jettisoning many of the pet projects of the Ardern era. He took the party back up to about 38 per cent support after his “policy bonfire”, which signalled to the public that Labour was re-orientating to more traditional concerns.

The problem was Hipkins wasn’t willing or able to replace the jettisoned policies with anything, and it made it look like the party had no vision or plan for fixing the big problems in New Zealand. Instead, it started to look opportunistic. Leftwing political commentator Chris Trotter reflected: “My view is that Hipkins ‘policy bonfire’ was a mistake for Labour as it’s looking now like the Party has burnt down its own house by abandoning its principles. Hipkins has deserted the party’s core support base in his lust for power.”

Peter Dunne explained last week that: “when it became clear that the bonfire was simply about getting unpopular policies off the table, without replacing them with more popular alternatives, the freefall in Labour’s support resumed. The various policy announcements Hipkins has made during the election campaign have simply raised the retort that why is Labour only promoting these policies now, when it has had the best part of six years in office to have implemented them.”

Policies like GST off fresh fruit and vegetables looked cynical, which was reflected in opinion polls showing the public was largely unmoved by the new policy. As Herald political editor Claire Trevett explained, “the GST policy was seen as an attempt to offer something that looked more generous than it was, purely for the sake of votes.”

Labour’s justice policy announcements show how the party has swung between two radically different approaches in a way that lacks authenticity. In the campaign Labour has been banging the law and order drum – something political commentator Janet Wilson describes as “hypocritical” because they are shedding “what they stand for in a hasty grab for the centre vote.” By promising a crackdown on youth offenders and ram-raiders, Labour has simply appeared to be “National-lite” – and failing to convince liberals or conservatives.

In emulating National on many policies, Labour has allowed its opponents to set the agenda. Financial journalist Bernard Hickey has characterised Chris Hipkins’ pitch to voters as: “Labour’s version of tweaking the status quo in Aotearoa’s political economy is better than National’s.”

8) Labour’s focus on woke politics instead of working class politics

Under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership, Labour morphed more into a more middle-class-orientated party than ever before. Instead of focusing on the issues that working class voters care most about – such as living standards and public services, Labour became more associated with social issues, gender, ethnicity, and what some call “woke” politics. Social justice rather than economic justice became the characteristic of this Labour Government.

On taking over, Hipkins promised to ditch the more liberal focus and go with a “bread and butter” agenda. But despite the rhetoric, Hipkins was never able to deliver on this.

Josie Pagani argued this week that Labour has continued to pander to higher socio-economic voters with many of its policies. The example she uses is Labour’s environmental policies: “You see the symptoms in Labour’s priorities designed to please wealthier, urban, middle classes more than their working-class supporters, from subsidising heat pumps and EVs to planetary-scale ‘light rail’.”

This shift away from policies that might help Labour’s traditional working class constituency went hand in hand with enabling the “professional managerial class”, especially within the state sector. A big part of Labour’s approach has been to grow the bureaucracy and give more power to consultants. As Duncan Garner has explained, “The recession was biting, cost of living had already increased and yet still Labour insisted on setting up the hugely costly Health NZ and Māori Health Authority. We employed consultants not nurses.”

Others in the professional managerial class, from lobbyists to law firms, have been looked after well by Labour. Transport projects were entrusted to consultants to carry out. For example, Michael Wood sunk $50m into an Auckland Harbour cycle bridge that was never built. Likewise, $140m was spent on consultants for the Auckland Light Rail project, which still isn’t anywhere near getting off the ground.

A number of controversial government department scandals also created a perception of extravagance and profligacy. Most recently, spending by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples hit the headlines with its $40,000 farewell for its outgoing chief executive who was shifting to another government department.

9) Labour’s radical reinterpretation of the Treaty

Labour’s most radical and unpopular agenda during the last three years has been its adoption of co-governance in public services and especially the Three Waters reforms. The Treaty of Waitangi has been radically reinterpreted, and new bi-cultural governance policies have been advanced as a result, which have been perceived as separatist.

This approach was very different to that taken in Labour’s first term. Back in 2018 both Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson stated an intention to work with a traditional social democratic orientation that would deliver to Māori as part of a universalistic strategy to lift the fortunes of everyone in need, rather than specifically targeting Māori. Ardern strongly emphasised the need to deal with the long list of social ills that have disproportionately impacted Māori, but said that race-based methods were not the best way of doing so.

However this universal approach was out of favour with Labour’s Māori caucus. After the 2020 election when it came to the much-needed reform of water infrastructure, an attempt was made to do so in a way that would empower iwi leaders.

Chris Trotter has recently explained how Three Waters prevailed within the Government: “The Māori Caucus wanted it because Iwi leaders wanted it, and if they didn’t get it, they might start knocking on Te Pāti Māori’s door. No one else in the Labour caucus proper felt strongly enough about the issue to organise any kind of serious resistance. So, Hipkins allowed Three Waters to be tweaked and re-named, and hoped that the public would be satisfied with a ludicrous name change. They weren’t.”

Very little of this approach has been debated or communicated with the public, leading to suspicions that it’s being implemented by fiat in an elitist and undemocratic way because the public won’t agree with it. And ultimately the public hasn’t felt convinced by it all.

Public surveys show unhappiness with co-governance. Stuff reports that the recent Freshwater poll has 48 per cent of people agreeing with the statement that there “should be a referendum on Māori co-governance, to end the confusion and let every New Zealander have a say”. Only 17 per cent disagreed with the referendum.

Similarly, when asked if there should be more co-governance with Māori in government decision-making, 45 per cent disagreed, and only 28 per cent agreed. And in terms of the state’s use of te reo Māori, 49 per cent said that government departments should be known by their English, not their Māori name (and only 26 per cent disagreed).

10) Integrity scandals

When the history of Labour’s 2023 poll dive is written in the future, much is likely to be made of the fact that four Cabinet ministers were lost in controversial circumstances in quick succession after Hipkins took over as PM. The loss of Stuart Nash, Michael Wood, Meka Whaitiri and Kiri Allan will be seen as the final nail in the coffin of the Sixth Labour Government.

Three out of the four ministers left due to integrity failures. Nash went after he committed a string of integrity violations, the last being breaking Cabinet Responsibility rules by passing on confidential information to political donors. Wood left after his continued inability to deal with conflicts of interest over his share portfolio ownership. And Allan spectacularly resigned when she was charged after crashing her ministerial car into a parked ute. Being the first Cabinet minister to be arrested in New Zealand history, was a damning indictment, especially for a Minister of Justice during a period of heightened concern about law and order.

After these scandals Labour’s popularity fell decisively, pushing the party below 30 per cent in the polls. Earlier scandals didn’t cause too much damage, but according to Danyl McLauchlan, once Wood and Allen left in spectacular disgrace, it was “a slow decline that turned into a dramatic loss of public support.”

Taken together, the departure of five ministers in the same number of months, gave the impression of a government in crisis. Nothing in the election campaign has turned around that reputation.

Labour needs honest soul-searching about its defeat

The Labour government of 2017 to 2023 have achieved plenty of good things, and during this election campaign they’ve had a chance to highlight their achievements. There will still be at least a quarter of the electorate who will vote for them. But half of Labour’s 2020 supporters are obviously less than impressed. For too many, Labour’s achievements are overshadowed by the factors raised above.

After 14 October there must be some honest soul-searching about what went wrong. There will be some temptation to put the blame on Covid or ill economic winds. Those factors are part of the story of Labour’s decline, but if Labour doesn’t look at some of the more difficult factors in their fall from favour, they could face a very long road back to power.


  1. Bang on.
    A clusterfuck of incompetence, misguided ideology, arrogance, identity politics and neglect of their core constituency which they have now lost. Possibly forever. Good riddance.

    • Jack OK, but perhaps not as much as a clusterfuck as you suggest.The identity politics scenarios, damaging gender ID ideology in the school curriculum, dreadful dumbing down of the education system, determination to stifle freedom of speech, and even the deterioration of the Public Health Service, can also been seen as social engineering.

      Blazer queries who are the Labour Party strategists, which is a pertinent question to be asking. And don’t forget that the Nats went along with much of this; only 8 of them voted against the Conversion Practices Bill; I think that they all supported gender change being accomplished by a simple annotation on a certificate, and I think that Bill English did his damndest to privatise our once world-leading free public health system.

      • I dont expect National to be any better, only worse, but this is the Labour Party, a party I have, past tense, voted for for 40 years.
        It is an ideological shell of its former self, a cynical, populist bunch of former academics and party bureaucrats with no grip on reality and who have mistaken identity for progressiveness.

        • Jack. OK, except that identity politics, as pioneered overtly by the Greens in particular, is based upon categorising great chunks of the population according to their own screwball perceptions, and not upon reality, facts, science or sociological research, and as such, inherently flawed.

          There is nothing progressive about reverting to the mentality of medieval inquisitors or the witch hunters of Salem. This is the grouping chipping away at freedom of speech, controlling much of the media, and too practically ignorant to be effective politicians. The Nats are just as bad insofar as they all depend upon armies of pr people and advisors to tell them how to think and what to say.

    • Honest to God, I could write this while stoned, I’ve done it so often.
      Look, dumbasses, for those of you who don’t read, watch or listen. For those of you who think people-movers are cool, for those of you who prefer to own ( Rather then be owned by.) cats, for all of you who still watch rugby and think money has nothing to do with it, for those of you who wear two tone shorts then turn up the collars on your blue and white check shirts and shout ” W-leggo Bruce! Ya fuckin’ mongrel! Get in b’hind! ” in your sleep, for those of you who refuse to believe there were actual days, months and years before 1984.
      Roger douglas was a parasitic traitor hidden up Old Labour as a two term finance minister and it was that pig farming fuck, or that pig fucking farmer, which ever suits, who de railed old Labour to hand our taxes paid for national assets over to privateers to liquidate. Just ask graeme hart for fucks sake? He’s got 14 multiples of billions of money that was ours! That! Dipshits was NOT OLD LABOUR. It wasn’t. Nope siree. This labor? This neo-liberal labor ? It’s far more ACT. It’s entirely Old National, it’s just wearing different tights and high heels. If I were to write anything negative about Neo Labor I’d write that it’s a Natzo / ACT clone having a four-way with Wee Jimmy Shaw and Winnie. Surely, I mean really, you don’t actually believe you have real choices in political parties, do you? You do don’t you! Oh my God.
      Look. People. Let me be clear. If you do? You’re fucked. I swear to Christ, if you keep going down this potholed road while steadfastly refusing to dodge the potholes? You will lose your country, if that’s not already happened. Actually, do you know who’s most to blame for this fucking nightmare? We are. For allowing our politics come to this. When roger started on, we should have locked him up. We should have recognised that he was going to be a grave threat to our future on our beautiful AO/NZ. User-pays. Trickle-down. Jesus! I can’t believe many of you fell for that bullshit and you’ve still not figured [it] out.
      You were ripped off by a crook to make other crooks rich and you’re still at it.

    • @ Jack, I suspect there ARE core constituency voters who have lost the faith but let’s not forget it was the swing voters who guaranteed a Labour victory in 2020, and going back 3 years before that a Labour ‘victory’ was only made possible by a controversial coalition. Yes, the polls are against them this time, and increasingly the narrative and on the face of it Labour have fucked up big time. But come the day it may be a bit closer than many think. I have a gut feeling there are still many undecided voters, who come the day will party vote for Labour as they have in the past, simply because they dont trust the right and feel the Greens are now too divided. But that won’t get Labour the numbers and we’ll likely have the Nats looking towards Act and possibly the Greens to form a government. But it’s all crystal ball gazing until the count comes in. Shaw and Peters have it correct in saying as much – but in my crystal ball I dont really see NZF getting above 5%.

  2. Bryce never mentioned the relentless negative publicity churned out by the media including this site coupled with the huge amount of anti government press releases funded by the top end of town.
    I am sitting outside a cafe in Whanganui right now and it is packed to the extent that even on a shit day like today the outside tables are full.
    The economy is just fine but the media have either been seduced or paid to put out the opposite story and the likes of Bryce have been sucked in as well.
    Another example of a booming economy is my wife having to wait 10 days to have a windscreen chip repaired as the glass company is so busy.
    Another example is that both my apprentice tradie grandchildren one an electrician and the other a builder have both been shoulder tapped in the last month by employers who are booked up for at least a year.

    • With the majority of the media self identify as left or hard left , as shown by many studies, it’s hard to blame them for the Governments situation.

      • Name me one Herald reporter or opinion writer other than Simon Wilson or Shane The Pou that you consider left of centre. I can exclude Hooten, Hoskins, due Plessis, Young,
        Woodham, Soper, Dann, Trevitt, Chen , and most of the day to day hacks from your possible list. Similarly Stuff is laden with right winger, starting with Malpass, Vance, Wilson, and don’t forget Bishops dad John.

      • That tired old overused line…

        What studies are you referring to…..?
        Sound like a load of hogwash..

        The ditzy Mike Hosking & his ditzy wife Kate Hawkesbury

        Heather du P A & her old soak of a husband Barry Soper

        Ryan Bridges

        Duncan Garner

        Mathew Hooton

        Audrey Young

        Claire Trevitt

        Jessica Mutch

        Tova Obrien

        Kathryn Ryan.

        Guyon Espiner….

        …to name but a few that hold key positions reporting to high listen/ viewership organisations who are clearly biased towards favouring the right…

        Name your left leaning ones..

      • “The story of John Key, Richie McCaw and enduring popularity” NZ Herald
        “Audrey Young: Chicken stunt leaves egg on Hipkins’ face” NZ Herald

        “Political Round-up: Ten reasons support for Labour is in freefall” NZ Herald

        This study shows pro right wing media, hell even one of the political Journalists is the sister of former National MP Jonathon Young.

        The Herald is traditionally a centre-right newspaper, and was given the nickname “Granny Herald” into the 1990s.
        In 2007, an editorial strongly disapproved of some legislation introduced by the Labour-led government, the Electoral Finance Act, to the point of overtly campaigning against the legislation.

        Then we have Newsshite ZB and Hosking hard right attacks on the government.

      • Really, what is media? 1ZB has huge numbers and its New Zealand answer to Fox News. How is the Herald regarded as left leaning? It’s a property mag with more than its fair share of centrists at best.

      • Absolute rubbish RB. Take the NZ Herald. Dont usually read it but on the long train trip Ak to Well Monday there were a few copies floating around. Cant remember the journalists but the two biggest stories were about the credibility of Nicola Willis as a future finance minister and CEO confidence in Luxton as a future PM.

        Left leaning @ PB? Are you for real?

    • Same in Nelson on the weekend, cafes jammed, car parks chokka, more gas guzzling ute’s than ants. Yeah the economies in strife!
      The issue is the mindless parroting by the boomer generation of the tripe they’ve been fed by the likes of, one minute Mike, his blow up doll, the ChildBride, barely Sober, Kerre Whatever, Jenna, mal y pence, ad nauseam.
      I note “ arrogance” as a perjorative descriptor for the Labour Party has been introduced to the narrative. Heh heh you old copies of your parents wait till you see Colin’s back in full flight!

    • Tom, that could be interpreted as a skilled labour shortage, while there’s 60k more on the dole.
      And the Labour government’s answer to a worker shortage was to let in record number of unskilled immigrants, right?

  3. Squandered their mandate is an understatement.
    Who are the Labour party strategists?
    Surely not just the P.M. Hopekins.

  4. This is as close to the complete report summing up the train wreck that this government is. Late last year I concluded Labour as a political entity in central government was finished. But with Hipkins becoming leader that prospect backed off. But I now think he was fully wedded to the Ardern philosophy and his subsequent rhetoric was for show. The thing is, will anyone in Labour acknowledge this, much less do something about it?

  5. I still wouldn’t vote for the right, they’ll gonna make things worst and a pending race-war is evident if this maori-hating doesn’t stop!! Maori are fucken sick of being the blame for all the ills in this country.

    • Stephen. Marama Davidson, Elizabeth Kerekere et al blame white “ colonialists” for all the ills in this country. Kelvin Davis even told the Parliamentary opposition that their ancestors were land thieves, which is a lie, and a bit grim coming from a primary school teacher. Davidson said heterosexual Pakeha males are responsible for all the violence, and Kerekere used her maiden speech as a Green MP to complain about her ancestors’ sexual orientations being messed up by “colonialists”. All socially divisive nonsense.

      • Gentle Annie, If what you claim is true? it doesn’t have the same impact as it does on a dispossessed people. Pakeha are so comfortable with their superior position that name calling can be brushed off as infantile behaviour, however Maori aren’t so fortunate and this breeds contempt.

  6. This is the best analysis I have read right on the button. How can anybody refute what this blog is saying .Oct 15th will be a sad day for Labour

  7. You do not need to be a political genius to work out this list. But Dr Bryce, where do you stand? Anywhere or nowhere–perhaps just ensconced in pundit land and academia.

    I put a similar question to an old colleague of mine–Chris Trotter, re this piece…

    “The question remains Chris…as a long time pundit with cachet among many politics followers…who are you recommending we vote for then? This column almost hints at some sort of abstain position…Greens and NZ Labour have displayed many flaws for decades…but…cough…ACT?

    You even manage to dismiss your old mate Jim. Mr Anderton was a problem for many lefties because he was anti communist, but definitely old school social democrat imo.

    Voting in bourgeois Parliamentary elections is always fraught, because so many forces are in action to maintain status quo–which in AO/NZ just happens to be 39 years of a neo liberal state and monetarism.

    That is why, ultimately new gens and boomers alike have to rediscover collectivism, community and working class organisation. Politics is a lot more than elections as we know by anti apartheid struggles, Māori renaissance, Gay Rights, Nuke Free NZ–built house by house, street by street, Council by Council, march and vigil etc…

    Groundswell has a toxic agenda but they are using the tactics the left should. And to cheer you up there is a general apology to be made on behalf of all the old commos from the 70s and 80s that regularly spent more time in sectarian shadow boxing than fighting the class enemy.“

    Do you have the balls to answer?

    • Well he had the balls to write all this. Would you have the balls to admit that Labour squandered a full majority for three long years and all you got was 8 grand subsidy for a car that is a fucking environmental nightmare but allows to virtue gloat and signal?

    • “That is why, ultimately new gens and boomers alike have to rediscover collectivism………………”
      It’s going to take a while tho’ @TM. We’re going to have to go thru’ the motions.
      I’m interested: How much do you think the population of this lil ‘ole nayshun that punches above its weight has oversized egos; a loss of the concept of humility; an acceptance of a neo-liberal agenda; a yea/nah laziness and a que sera sera attitude; and as a result, a blind faith in bullshit artists – be they politicians or public servant muddle and upper management PMC’s.
      (Asking for a friend because I’m about to go for a walk that’ll go past the Mt Vic Chippery, a New World where the proprieters have a penchant for Ayshun boise; and then probably Dixon Street where our current Mayor has to ask any plebian that passes if they know who It is}
      It uzz what it uzz

    • Ohhh Tiger stopped reading after ‘Voting in bourgeois Parliamentary elections’ lol
      You really are stuck in the 1950s aren’t you, the world has moved in and the old communistic Russia is no more!
      Seems you wept when the wall came down eh?

    • Summery?…

      It’s not even a summary..

      More like a diatribe full of inaccurate
      statements and plumped out with worthless ‘opinions’ by people who envagle their way into positions whereby they can make money out of pushing their own agendas…

      This is not University level writing!

  8. Bryce says
    “The Labour government of 2017 to 2023 have achieved plenty of good things, and during this election campaign they’ve had a chance to highlight their achievements.”

    If there were any then they would have campaigned on them.

    • No one can produce a surplus large enough. You have to borrow. Accumulativeley it’s got to be near a trillion dollars for whatever has got to be done in the next 5 to 10 years. Y’all got this right?

    • Bob/ Bob the first/John the Labour party have achieved more in 6 years than the 9 years it took National to destroy it.

  9. Quoting the benign beige Peter Dunne and the bland ‘shock jock’ Duncan Garner to try and reinforce a point of view is no endorsment of anything…

    You might as well quote Mike Hosking as well as another .
    worthless opinion.

    I note whenever ‘Kiwibuild’ is mentioned, the 100,000 homes bit is quoted, but never the 2nd part which is ‘over a period of 10 years’.

    You can’t leave bits out when it suits….there’s another 5 years to run on that policy and with the rapidly changing technology in house building going on the target number might not be too far out!

    As far as the economy is concerned it’s stupid to argue that somehow N.Z should somehow majically have not been affected with high inflation and high interest rates, like ever other country in the world has been.
    However we are one of the fastest to bring inflation down and yet have maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world.

    The article just highlights that N.Z ers don’t really know what they want, and as some form of masochism, like to listen to worthless opinions
    from people who don’t know how, or don’t want to, look at the big picture.

    There’s big money in whining!

    • If National/NZFirst/ACT were an incoming Labour government, the media would be bollocking them into outerspace for being nowhere near government-ready. But because they represent the monied classes, it literally doesn’t matter what they say, ‘all is forgiven’.

      I despise Labour, but at least they’re not going to throw disabled people out onto the bloody curbs! -and the rest!

    • ” The article just highlights that N.Z ers don’t really know what they want, and as some form of masochism, like to listen to worthless opinions ”

      My late father in law always said that since 1984 New Zealanders can’t make up their mind to be socialist or capitalist.

      The current NZLP can not and will not ever deliver for working class people ever again while they support the free market and other anti working people policies. This is ” NEW ” Labour that is a political rump that promises ” transformation ” but not for all those hurting from mega profiteering and are not paid a six figure salary with benefits who are insulated from unregulated market policies as are the many who support NACT.

      The most harshest outcome will be for those who always bear the brunt of National governments that are elected when the hated Labour government falls and that’s the working class and their children.

      This could have been a government led by a leader who empathised and had the mood of the nation when dealing with so many disasters that shook our country and its sense of wellbeing and safety could have led by making significant changes that they had a mandate for that would have gone some way to alleviate the cost of living and a secure plan for affordable home ownership and provide the all important security and a plan to implement it and have the economy work for the many instead of vested interests.

      Instead they have been captured and trapped by forces that had their own agenda that when it comes to real life economic and personal security of the many who look to Labour or anyone who is not the National party and not the small vested groups they have governed for for six years.

      The legacy of the sixth LINO government will be how they have failed again to protect people like me and so many silent free market casualties from the coming hell of the NACT and its leadership of Willis , Luxon and Seymour as they implement the final neo liberal austerity polices as they make legacies for themselves and their place in the honours system when they have completed their blitzkrieg against all those who are just mere stats and impoverished and happen to be excluded based on their financial economic class.

      And providing no opposition in the next parliament for all those who they don’t recognise but their party was formed to protect in 1916 and those enimes are still here in even more stronger than ever before thanks to the capitulation of the NZLP of 2017-2023.

    • Well lets get back to basic tribal justice and raids for land, food, women and slaves. That was so much better then democracy with a say for all.

      • You can go back to that if you want. The rest of us can move forward to a more enlightened society, except we’re not going to get there under the westminster system.

        Breaking the shackles that tie us to the Crown by becoming some form of republic will necessitate an assessment of our parliamentary and justice system as defined by the Westminster model.

        It is already found wanting so let’s at least have a conversation about what might be a better replacement and how that happens. Doing nothing but swapping blue teams for red teams and vice versa isn’t cutting the mustard.

        I get that as a white cis male, an enabler or facsimile of, you’d want to keep the current system because it has always served your interests and always will, but surely you can see that’s a very blinkered and obsolete 19th century take you’re still holding on to to remain the dominant demographic wielding power over the great unwashed.

        Liberal democracies are getting hi jacked and usurped the world over. The courts are powerless to stop them. Our parliamentary system and judicial system are broken and because of it everything other sector related to it is also breaking down, health, education, infrastructure…

        The Crown and it’s elected agent’s in Aotearoa/NZ have failed us. They keep failing while the world burns and greed multiplies.

        Doing the same thing expecting different results is insane. Watching from the sidelines as the political class call the 3 yearly muster and all the sheeple line up to vote for the best shit-talking team on offer in support of the broken system has lost its novelty entertainment value.

        Time for a change. Deep, real meaningful, structural, systemic change that analyses going on 200 years of data on our system of governance and thousands of years data on global indigenous governance practises and traditions.

        By syncretism and synthesis and through critical analysis we can create a better model than the Crown instituted one we’ve had for 180 years. An outmoded model that no one alive now voted for and is no longer fit for purpose.

    • Its been here since 1840 & in addition to voting, many people Maori and European and other ethnicities have died to protect it since.

      • Let’s have a referendum where no one dies and decide if, after close to 200 years of a parliamentary and judicial system, it’s still fit for purpose.

        Look around at what we’ve become under the westminster system and tell me we can’t do better.

  10. Was it not back in the time of the great depression when farmers in N.Z. were reputed to rather than feed the hungry drove their sheep stock of cliffs rather than feed the poor, and was not Coates, reputed to say when asked about the hungerd poor, let them eat grass.

  11. Never forget:

    It could have been much, much, much worse,

    We could have had a National party led team in charge, a few more thousand deaths from COVID, greater destruction of Government services, even wider disparity in wealth, an even worse housing market and higher level of homelessness, even more pressure put on infrastructure due to immigration pressures, next to no action on climate at all, continued fire-sales of state assets, erosion of public education and of course easy access to machine guns.

    Count one’s blessings for the escape.

    • Yes …Richard+ Christie…i agree

      That is known as a counterfactual to the long winded one sided rant that was the article …

      The counterfactuals, that were non- existent, give context, and that is why the article is not worth the paper that it’s written on….

      …And the glib dismissal of 2 years of Covid, the affect of that on World economics, the Russia Ukraine War and the continuous unprecendented catastophic weather events in N.Z are yet another example of how poor the article rates..

  12. Excellent summary. Very thorough. It seems weird that Chris Hipkins has achieved very little of what he aimed to do in the previous six years, but he’s somehow come alive in the last 10 days and he’s firing on all cylinders. All Luxon has to do is point this fact out and the ensuing debates are essentially a waste of time. The public has already voted Labour out in their minds and their hearts. I don’t know anyone voting for Labour. Even teachers I know have lost confidence in them. Arden was a bit like the head girl of a school who gave impassioned speeches that rallied the kids, the teachers the parents, and stirred people into a new way of thinking. She became so charismatic and inspiring that the school board offered for her to be the new principal. Then she was in charge of the school – but it just didn’t work out and then she left and did something else. That’s how it feels, to be honest. The ‘Be Kind’ mantra of 2017-2022 will be remembered in the future on par with the slogans ‘Nek minit’ or ‘Yeah nah’. Kiwi slogans that only make sense to kiwis and aren’t to be taken that seriously.

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