Home / Uncategorized / Political Update



There have been two public polls post budget. These are largely in line with what we understand the internal party-political polls are saying. National remains the largest party with around 45% support. Labour is not far behind. Both NZ First and the Green Party are struggling to meet the 5% threshold. This struggle is greatest for NZ First who are below 3% in some polls. The polls also show that the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is very popular with close to 45% support as preferred Prime Minister.

While we are a long way from the next election these polls tell us a few things. National has survived the change of leader well and is polling better than most would expect this close to losing power. Labour is gobbling up Green and NZ First supporters from the last election. Almost 66% of the people who voted NZ First at the last election would not vote for them if an election were held soon.

If there was an election in the next few weeks the polls suggest that Labour would still be leading a Government but it might not contain NZ First. National continues to suffer from a lack of political friends at the Centre or to the Right.

Over the next year or so we expect considerable activity behind the scenes. National will be testing its ability to reach out to NZ First and the Greens post next election. Labour will be wanting to shore up these relationships. National is best positioned to throw NZ First a lifeline and gift an electorate seat (e.g. Whangarei) to NZ First. Labour is best placed to gift a seat to the Greens (e.g. Wellington Central). Is it worth National continuing to prop up the increasingly sad looking ACT Party? Can the Maori Party be revived and would it risk supporting National post the next election? Can a new swing Party be established at the Centre? What about a new Party to the Right appealing to former ACT and Conservative Party supporters (maybe some NZ First supporters also)? And what about those baby-boomers? Are they really ready to step back and leave all political decision making to the next generations? Might there be a political force worth exploiting from the 60+ generations?

The formation of a new Government and a Budget would normally see a sizeable shift of support to the governing parties. This has not happened and suggests some disquiet out there in middle New Zealand. What is working for the Labour Party is their Leader who is resonating and who is particularly popular with women of all ages. The visit to Europe was very helpful and the forthcoming childbirth will have even bigger impact. We can’t see Winston Peters misbehaving as acting PM but this period will have to be carefully managed. We expect the Prime Minister’s honeymoon with the New Zealand public to continue for the rest of the year.

Government is not going fantastically well. A ‘big city – provincial’ divide is becoming increasingly apparent. Shane Jones is seeking to address this and benefit from provincial discontent through his $1 billion a year of largess but he is being thwarted by a lack of worthwhile projects to invest in, and by expenditure rules. There are good projects out there, but they need to be worked up and properly justified. As road and rail projects are already on the planning boards they can expect to benefit most from this money in the near term.

A further problem for the Government and Shane Jones, is the decision taken in the first few days of this Government to allocate responsibility for Land Information NZ (LINZ) to the same Minister responsible for Conservation. LINZ has responsibility for both the Overseas Investment Office and a number of other important functions relating to land use. There is a clear disconnect emerging between the Labour/NZ First view that there should be more ‘green fields’ industrial development and increasing processing capacity in New Zealand and the vision of the current Minister. Watch this space.



Lost your password?