GUEST BLOG: Shirin Brown – The quick guide to voter profiles in the 2023 General Election


With overseas voting already open, and early voting starting on Monday 2nd of October and open until election day on the 14th of October, here’s a quick guide to how to vote based on personality, values and what the weather is like on the day.  You want to vote … it’s a reflection of being a good citizen … but honestly … all the parties are the same (or are they) and who’s got the time anyway?  Here’s a tongue in cheek look at voter profiles based on talking to people about their election preferences and listening to the candidates talk about policy.  

ACT – We believe that trickle down economics works, greater housing investment will lead to at least one affordable house being built in New Zealand over the next three years. If we’re lucky our mate can buy it and flip it, making a huge profit.  We feel that the only good government is no government, and that the economy should be completely market driven with no regulation.  Foreign ownership is good because …it just is …  and immigration is good as it will force wages down. In the environment we’re happy to fish out the last fish and will replace them with fish substitute.  

Freedom – We want freedom, particularly if it involves partying on the steps of parliament. We’re going to be the biggest losers because we’re not going to reach 5% so a vote for us is a vote for ACT/National.  Ironic as many of us benefit from Labour initiatives such as subsidised transport, health policies and subsidised medicine.  We feel we’re being left behind, which you probably are if you have mental health issues and don’t own your own home. 

Green – We think pronouns are important, believe more should be done for the environment and to prepare for climate change. We appreciate the vibrant youthfulness within the party and that candidates say what they think.  Fish and sheep are people too and should be treated with respect. We also like Green events which have the best food and the most fun. 

Labour – We appreciated the Covid payout, think Jacinda was an amazing prime minister and believe that Labour policy is on the right track in addressing equity issues.  We worry that without support more people will fall into poverty and feel Labour understands this the best – well better than other parties anyway.  

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National – We like what Labour does but won’t admit to it and will carry out the same housing policy, and do it cheaper even though we’re not clear on the modelling. We have always voted National, our pronouns are he or she and the secret to success is working harder. We consider ourselves the squeezed middle and can’t help noticing that we have less disposable income than we used to.  We liked getting a Covid payout but now it’s time for a change so we’ll probably repaint the living room during the election period, it’s been three years since we did that too.  

New Zealand First – Ha ha ha ha ha.  You didn’t expect to see us but here we are again picking up the grumpy vote. We’re an odd collection of antivaxxers still waiting for Jacinda to speak to us on the steps of parliament, older people who have landlines but struggle with the internet, New Zealand European men who just feel … well … left behind actually, and older women who are secretly in love with Winston.   

TOP – Like Trekkies we like to go where no man (or woman) has been before.  We’re convinced that technology will solve most of our problems and we have exciting but incomprehensible policies to solve housing issues.  We hate cats and love New Zealand but think it’s a bit boring.  Also polling lower than five percent, we’ll probably all just vote Green and then go on an OE.  

All the other parties … we want the freedom of a protest vote but because our favourite party will poll less than 5%, we’re really just supporting ACT and National who are favoured by low voter turnout.  

Shirin Brown is a teacher,  film-maker and playwright and enjoys looking at the funny side of life.  She is currently finishing a PhD about local government in Auckland focused on the experience of local board members inspired by being elected to the Waiheke Local Board for six years. 


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