NZ political parties in 2016

Brief reviews of the mid term political year for New Zealand parties.

The main issues have been:

  • Continued shortages of new house building and an escalation of housing prices, especially in Auckland, and an increased focus on homelessness
  • Growing attention given to ‘poverty’ as it is in New Zealand, and the income gap  despite the first increase in benefits in forty years.
  • The Trans Pacific Partnership got a lot of attention early in the year but that fizzled as it became evident that the US was unlikely to ratify it.


The National Party would probably have thought they had survived the year quite well, chugging away without doing anything radical, and staying  extraordinarily high in the polls most of the time for  a third term government.

An improving economy along with improving dairy prices have helped.

But Key resigned in December. National selected the Key anointed Bill English to take over, but how a new look National will be seen by the public won’t be known until next year.


Andrew Little consolidated his leadership, kept the Labour caucus under control and appears he is safe until next year’s election, but he failed to lift his appeal to the public, and Labour must be worried to be stuck in the twenties in the polls.

Labour entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Green Party and they tried to rebrand as a two-party alternative government but that didn’t change the polls much and may have created as many problems as it solved.

Labour finished the year buoyant after successful local body and Mt Roskill by-election campaigns, and noticeably raised in confidence when John Key resigned, but they have failed to impress as a potential lead party in government.

They survived the year and hope to benefit from a Key-less National but haven’t done enough to make a positive impression.


New co-leader James Shaw settled in without standing out, but Greens have lost one of their most respected MPS, Kevin Hague.

Their big play was the Memorandum of Understanding with Labour but that doesn’t seem to have  been the game changer they hoped for.

Metiria Turei seems to be dominant, and that probably limits the Greens’ electability, but they have at least stayed in a 10-15% support band in the polls so have a base to work from next year.

NZ First

Following Winston Peters’ big win in Northland NZ First have benefited from unusually good poll support for most of the year (it tailed off towards the end).

But it looks like Winston is catching his breath before election year. The party has done little of note apart from Peters occasionally trying to appear as the anti-politician, even though he’s one of the longest serving members of Parliament. He tried to capitalise on the Trump success in the US but that doesn’t seem to have done much.

Maori Party

The Maori Party has been working towards more complementary campaigning with the Mana Party in an attempt to create a stronger Maori bloc in Parliament. They are targeting the Maori seats held by Labour.

Maori tend to do politics quite differently to the rest. The Maori party has been the best of the rest in the polls but will want to pick that up more next year as well as pick up some electorates.

ACT Party

David Seymour has done fairly well at getting attention for a one person party and has had some small successes but his party has struggled to get anywhere. It has been Seymour rather than ACT.

United Future

Peter Dunne has had a quiet year apart from bearing the brunt of medical cannabis and recreational drug criticism, even though he is severely limited by National who don’t want to change anything on drug laws. Dunne’s party remains pretty much anonymous.

Conservative Party

An awful year for Colin Craig in the courts and an awful year for his party. Neither are credible and neither look likely to make a comeback.

Mana Party

Hone Harawira and the Mana movement are trying to make a comeback by working together with the Maori Party, so have established some possibilities this year without proving they can get back into Parliament.

Internet Party

Kim Dotcom seems to see his political influence in other ways than expensive and ineffective parties, and ex leader Laila Harre has joined Labour and wants to stand for them, so the Internet party looks a short blip in political history.

Cannabis Party

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has simplified it’s name and has tried to benefit from increasing changes on cannabis laws overseas but haven’t found the formula required to become a significant political force yet.

The Opportunities Party

Gareth Morgan launched his own party this year and gets media attention – money speaks – and has announced a couple of policies but so far it looks like him and no one else.

NZ Peoples Party

The Peoples’ Party launched as a representative of immigrants and stood a candidate in the Mt Roskill by-election but will have been disappointed by their result, despite a weak National campaign.

Leave a comment


  1. Klik Bate

     /  22nd December 2016

    And in case you were wondering what our new Deputy PM’s up to over Xmas…..

  2. Corky

     /  22nd December 2016

    Mikey Hoskings has opined the Auckland housing market is stabilising. No need to panic.
    This man has huge insight into our problems.

  3. Gezza

     /  22nd December 2016

    ” the Internet party looks a short blip in political history”.
    More of a blimp I would’ve thought?

  4. “Growing attention given to ‘poverty’ as it is in New Zealand, and the income gap despite the first increase in benefits in forty years”

    I think the core central vote is pretty much sick of this meme. Labour and the Greens with their exaggerated claims about “poverty” have done people genuinely struggling a disservice by creating a bit of a backlash against this repetitive beat up.

    When you consider the assistance available to Nzers from the government the poverty claim doesn’t stack up – we don’t have hordes of people living on dump sites scavenging for food or sale-able scrap, like you see in say Asia or South America or Africa….

    And what assistance is available:

    State Housing
    Income related rents
    Accommodation supplements
    Working for Families
    Unemployment and Sickness and Disability benefits
    Emergency Food and Housing grants
    Free Education up to end of secondary school
    Healthcare – subsidised and for children free
    Tertiary Education – heavily subsidised with Interest free loans for the balance while you study

    NZers spend the best part of 60 Billion dollars a year in income redistribution via the tax and welfare systems, healthcare and education. Its a huge amount of dollars…

    Yip!!! In NZ poverty is rife /sarc

    Are there genuine cases of hardship? Yes. Material deprivation? Yes. Is it a huge widespread problem? No.

    I would love to see a quality reliable statistical breakdown of family size by annual household income.

    In a modern society were child mortality rates are very low there is no need for more than 2-3 children per household. If you are on a low income and have 4 plus children then its not poverty but stupidity and lack of personal discipline that is the problem if you run into financial problems.

    Income gaps have always existed – but the way the gap is presented is disingenuous with no allowance for age or family state given. Just the harping call of its not fair…

    Opportunity abounds in NZ if you are willing to sacrifice, plan and work hard….

  5. Dave you talk much common sense about the real situation. The collaboration between the ultra left and their cohort in Academic Sociological and Legal Fraternities (or is it a conspiracy?) to create extreme views on the true situation as far as “Poverty” and “Homelessness” is reprehensible. The reality is the claims have no merit, especially from a global perspective. The tactic is classic disinformation where dishonest “new information” is created and publicised and then generalised to paint a different picture of reality. What merit is there in research of 105 migrant employees conditions being applied to all migrant worker conditions, and the use of the emotive words “slaves” and “slavery” which implies ownership of another person? Yes, NZ has its share of evil persons ready to rip off their less better off neighbours like any other part of the world, and we have laws and standards of treatment to ensure minimum wages and conditions are enforced. Instead of claiming immigrant slavery, as a result of interviewing 105 people over a year, why was the research not focussed on the gap in information as to their rights and employer obligations to the immigrant workers? If they are not taking action against evil employers to obtain fair wages and conditions, why not? That is something we can fix. To claim that “Slavery” exists in New Zealand is an emotive lie, no person is a slave in New Zealand. If any one thinks they are, they should report to the nearest Police station as Slavery is a crime in NZ since 1840.

    • The Media have the prime role in all of this as a principal channel for information dissemination – but they have bought into the tabloid view of a headline to generate advertising revenue is what its all about.

      And hence the Media are not trusted and their businesses are slowly dying….

      I am looking forward to the new news operation that is being started up. Will be interesting to see if its really News and not just another Scoop with its big editorial slant

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  23rd December 2016

      Did you not hear about the recent conviction of 2 men for human trafficking that was brought by the government? Or all the other convictions for exploiting foreign workers, who were paid so little they were as good as slaves? I don’t know what survey you are talking about, but some research of the court cases brought against employers in NZ would show you these terms are not emotive lies.

  6. I don’t understand the Downticks Dave. Perhaps it is because you are telling some unpalatable truths to the ostriches of the MSM. I too am curious about what will take on the auditing role that the media used to be so good at. Time to close all Journalism Schools.

    • Gezza

       /  23rd December 2016

      Seems a bit drastic Bj. Wouldn’t it be better just to have them constantly & closely monitored & jail those lecturers & students who don’t show an inclination to report things properly?

    • Downticks – meh. Someone has multiple IP addresses and runs around multiple down ticking comments that don’t suit their personal politics…

      Anyone who thinks NZ is some sort of hell hole, as per normal Leftie rhetoric on the NZ political scene, is pretty divorced from reality. We live in a land of milk and honey, where reward is a plan and effort away. But NZ Lefties like Labour and the Greens want “Equality of Outcome” – which is just arrant nonsense. Always has been and always will be

  7. No thanks, I would rather spend more time integrating our too large immigrant population into the NZ way of life, and encouraging NZers into Journalism and as academics rather than the has beens from the US and UK.


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