“They don’t have much respect for the democratic process”

Standing in an election is optional. Same for a by-election. So this claim from Green candidate Julie Anne Genter is odd, and also a tad hypocritical.

1 News: Julie Anne Genter labels National’s Mt Albert by-election no show lacking ‘respect for the democratic process’

Speaking last night Julie Anne Genter told 1 NEWS National’s no show in the contest for the Auckland seat shows a lack of “respect” for the “democratic process”.

“The fact National didn’t put up a candidate shows that they don’t have much respect for the democratic process and they were trying to make very light of this election,” Ms Genter said.

Ms Genter said her performance in the by-election was expected and went on to congratulate Ms Adern for her win.

“It’s pretty typical for a Green Party result in a by-election,” she said.

“Because we campaign on the party vote many Green Party voters are used to giving their CV to other candidates especially candidates as strong as Jacinda Ardern.”

So Genter stood with no expectation of winning and making no attempt to get votes. She used the by-election as a PR exercise. As she can choose to do, but it could be seen as a cynical use of the democratic process.

Is it better to stand in an election and encourage votes for another candidate, or to not stand at all?

Green candidates have stood in electorates for a number of elections making no attempt to win the electorate. They openly campaign for the party vote, but suggest to varying degrees that the electorate vote should go elsewhere.

That is their choice. They are using the democratic process to suit their goals. As National did in the Mt Albert by-election.

Greens chose not to stand a candidate in the recent Mt Roskill by-election to help the Labour candidate. Did that show no respect for the democratic process?

Greens chose not to stand a candidate in the Northland by-election to help Winston Peters. Did that show no respect for the democratic process? Labour stood a candidate but campaigned for votes to not go to her but instead to Peters.

Genter is trying to diss National for making their own choices on what they do in electorates, but she and Greens play the democratic system to suit their own purposes as much as any party.



National MP stands down from challenge

In November it was announced that someone would challenge list MP Paul Foster-Bell to be the National candidate in the Wellington Central electorate – see National MP challenge in Wellington Central.

National list MP Paul Foster-Bell, who stood in Wellington Central last election against Grant Robertson and James Shaw, is being challenged by Nicola Willis, who appears to be backed by John Key.

Foster-Bell has just announced that he will stand down from selection and won’t contest the election.

It sounds like he may be jumping before he was shoved aside.

Foster-Bell was ranked 46th on the National party list in the 2014 election. He is currently ranked at that same 46 on National’s website.

Candidate votes in Wellington Central in 2014:

  • Grant Robertson 19,807 (Labour 9,306)
  • Paul Foster-Bell 11,540 (National 14,689)
  • James Shaw 5,077 (Greens 11,545)

Will a better National candidate convert more party support into electorate votes? With a higher profile Shaw may split  more votes with Robertson.


National’s Smith risk

How big a risk to National’s election chances is Nick Smith?

Some of the criticism of Smith’s water announcement was ill informed, over the top or disingenuous, but did a poor job of both announcing and explaining. Getting cranky makes things worse.

This is on top of multiple stuff ups over housing and also over the Kermadecs sanctuary, which should have been all good publicity.

May cost National the election, it’s far from certain it will but it won’t help.

The national boat has a dirty water leak – can English deal with this? Or hope the sinking can be ignored?

RNZ poll of polls

‘Poll of polls’ average out poll results but with the small number of polls in New Zealand they can fluctuate nearly as much as the two polls being done, Colmar Brunton and Roy Morgan. CB is polling every three months, RM monthly.

RNZ: Poll of Polls: Labour regains support, National strong

RNZ’s latest Poll of Polls up to mid-February gave Labour an average of 28.5% through January and the first half of February, with just seven months to run until the election. This was 2 points up on its late-2016 average of 26.4%.

But it is well below its 32.5% average at this time in the 2014 election year, from which it dropped to 25.1% in the election.

Any rise will be welcomed by Labour (and Greens) but Labour are still in poor shape…

The Greens latest average is 11.5%. That gives a combined Labour and Greens score of 40%.

…and Greens appear to have hit a support ceiling.

Set that against National’s latest average of 46.7%, close to where it was in November before a 2-point boost after the smooth changeover in December from John Key to Bill English – and very close to its 2014 election score.

The switch to English has had a negligible effect on polls so far.

The trends give an overall picture.


It’s still seven months until the election in September and a lot can and no doubt will happen.

Roy Morgan should be due to release their February poll which will add a bit more to the poll picture.

English on Peters


Seems to be a thing in media today to check out Bill English’s views on how National might work with Winston Peters after the election.

In the latest Colmar Brunton poll National were on 46% and NZ First remain high for them this far out from the election on 11%.

That’s a pragmatic position to take at this stage of election year.

1 News: ‘No’ – Bill English stands firm on chances of a pre-election deal with Winston

Prime Minister Bill English says there is no chance of pre-election talks with Winston Peters, but if New Zealanders want Mr Peters in Parliament, National will work with him.

There’s very likely to be no chance Peters would have pre-election talks with any other party, at least not that the public would find out about.

New Zealanders get to say who they want in Parliament but they don’t get to say who they want in Government. That is left to party wheeling and dealing after the election.

Mr English, speaking this morning to TVNZ’s Breakfast programme, said there had been speculation around Mr Peters’ role at the last few elections, but National is not looking to make a deal if he becomes kingmaker.

“He’s signalled it’s unlikely with him either,” Mr English said.

That’s confusing (from 1 News).

However, should voters put him into Parliament, Mr English said National is quite capable of working with him.

“If you needed to, you can work with anyone if that’s what the voters tell you is needed for stable government, and the way the world is, I think that’s what is needed here,” Mr English said.

So English is leaving his options open, as he needs to do.

I think that English may be more likely to try to do a coalition deal with Peters if that is what is required to form the next government.

Key would have more easily walked away from an unpalatable arrangement – perhaps this is what he has done.

But English will presumably be keen to be Prime Minister with an election mandate. He is currently a party appointed mid term replacement.

Whale Oil slump

Whale Oil has been trying to trash Bill English since he became Prime Minister and they have been trying to trash National since New Zealand along with all other countries in the security voted in December to censure Israel, except the US who abstained.

This morning ‘Cameron Slater’ tries to connect the poll result to their anti-English and anti-National agenda: First poll of year sees Nats slump 4 points, thanks Murray

National has slumped 4 points int he latest 1News/Colmar Brunton poll.

Winston Peters is in the box seat, but Bill English must be regretting letting Murray McCully run rogue at the UN Security Council. This is the cost.

National has started the slide to a number starting with 3.

Bill English better get well acquainted with Winston Peters…and he better sort out Murray McCully or this drop will be just the start.

That’s nonsensical analysis, it’s just trying to justify WO’s doom and gloom predictions with what is actually a fairly consistent poll result. National results since October 2015: 47, 47, 50, 48, 48, 50, 46 so 46% is nothing like a slump.

In fact National have been polling consistently within a fairly narrow band since 2012 with low points 4-5 years ago.

Slater is demonstrating again that he uses Whale Oil for political activism rather than as credible media alternative.

Notably Slater’s slant is largely unsupported in comments so far.

Wilson: Some in the media were saying the first poll will have a 3 in front of it. So 46% is great.

Curly1952: I believe the drop to 46% for National was to be expected as JK was the glue to the party.

As far as the McCully factor goes I would suggest that large swathes of the electorate won’t even consider the UN resolution as part of the political barometer in NZ.

Most of the electorate are unlikely to be aware of the UN vote, or won’t care about it.

Omlete:I think the broad electorate have enough native smarts to not want the wreckers/ haters and unionist thugs on the treasury benches. It will be a National led government.

Ross:On what evidence exactly do you blame Murray?

Korerorero: I don’t thinks it’s that bad. National was on 50% in the last colmar poll.
So this is probably a correction to be in line with the other polls which had Nats around 46%. I think you’ll see nats stay around this number (or possible rise again) after their budget surprise that will leave labour shell shocked and the voters happy.

The only one supporting Slater’s agenda was ‘Positan’:

It’s not a correction. Within my many circles there was utter disbelief at the Christmas Eve announcement of NZ’s position on Res:2334 – and then anger bordering on outrage at English’s failure to front during the holidays and explain. The anger grew with the continued failure of any senior Nat to front – especially, with the empty silly letters issued by pressured Nat MPs.

Next, there were the circulating stories as to how English & Co had believed the whole matter would be blown over by the end of the holidays – the reason for the deafening silence – which has wrought the real damage of “my party vote will go elsewhere,” and “sorry, no extra donation this year.”

If National’s members are saying those sorts of things out loud now – that’s why the 46% figure has happened. English has completely misread his party’s membership’s feelings and he’s blown it. I think National’s poll figures could get very much worse.

That sounds very similar to some of the anti-National posts over the last two months.

Of course National’s poll figures could get worse, but there is no discernible effect on them from the UN vote against Israel, and this poll result is only being called a slump by Slater and some desperadoes at The Standard.

The only slump shown here is in Whale Oil credibility as a political analyst.

National launches, Labour squabbles

Tracy Watkins compares the National and Labour starts to election year in National takes the inside running as Labour hobbles election-year start.

Two things happened after Bill English named the election date that should worry his opponents.

National used its advantage to hit the ground running – promising more cops, whacking petrol companies about the head with an inquiry into pricing, and wiping historic homosexuality convictions.

Meanwhile, Labour squandered its good start to the year.

Leader Andrew Little read his MPs the riot act over caucus discipline, after MPs and the party were at odds over Little’s promise of a seat for broadcaster Willie Jackson.

Only one of these parties looks like it’s ready for an election.

National has shown it will be ruthless about neutralising contentious issues between now and September 23. Business as usual, in other words.

Labour, despite claiming it’s ready to fight an election any time, is doing a good job of looking as if it’s still got other stuff on its mind, like settling internal power struggles.

National didn’t have a good start to the year. They handled the US immigration restrictions poorly. However they have reacted to that by setting up MBIE to monitor events in the US so they are better prepared for anything that may effect New Zealand.

But then the contrasts between National and Labour began.

English quietly impressed at Ratana while Labour squabbled with NZ First and the Maori Party.

Little’s ‘state of the nation’ speech symbolically accentuated their marriage to and reliance on the Greens but was absent any new policy and ignored Maori issues that a week earlier Little claimed were very important to Labour at Ratana.

English used his ‘state of the nation’ speech to set up National’s election year and included a major policy (actually it was more than just policy as the Government will start implementing it this year), a substantial increase in police numbers.

Labour responded by claiming National stole their policy and it was being implemented too late. The were left playing the lame card.

Then Little tried to score points over English’s decision not to attend Waitangi on Waitangi Day but I think many people will have agreed with English’s stand against the Te Tii nonsense (which was effectively supported by Winston Peters and others).

English quietly impressed in Auckland instead – see Two remarkable speeches almost ignored.

And Labour’s year turned to custard. Little used Waitangi to announce his recruitment of Willie Jackson, with a promise of a high list placing, and Labour and the left went to war. The so called unity in the Labour caucus was very publicly discredited.

And the biggest left wing blogs, The Standard and The Daily Blog, also went to war, against Labour and against each other.

In the meantime the Greens stoically continued their strategy of promoting Labour and Greens as a reason to ‘change the government’.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the Mt Albert by-election, with the main contenders being Labour’s Jacinda Ardern versus Green’s Julie Anne Genter.

While Ardern plays the celebrity circuit she looks shallow as a politician and lacking in ambition, she seems to be there for the ride with no intention of driving.

In contrast Genter is solid on policy, especially on transport which is a big issue in Auckland.

So while Labour and the Greens claimed the campaign would be good publicity for their joint general election strategy it may end up highlighting a show pony versus a work horse.

While National struts it’s thoroughbred ability to last the distance, which could easily be another three years.

A lot could happen between now and September’s election. English or National could really stuff something up, but so far their election strategy looks smart and sound.

Little could finally find a formula that shows him as a capable leader, and Labour could sack all their strategists and speech writers and start again with a credible and stable campaign.

But they plus Greens don’t just have to look better than National now, they have quite a bit of damage to undo. Quickly.

Bill English to actually speak today

Bill English has had an inauspicious start to election year. He has been hammered this week for his tardiness and lack of response to Donald Trump’s immigration orders. As Prime Minister he needed to be careful, but he needed to be seen to say something, much faster.

Yesterday he got some attention when he announced the election date – September 23. He also gave some hints about his approach to the election and it’s aftermath.

Vernon Small:

Meanwhile some of the themes – and be prepared to be bored by them before too long – have started to emerge.

English’s one word summary was “growth”. But he also hammered the leftward drift and policy-free plans of Labour and the Greens … and seemed to love the suggestion that they were all about the “vibe” – though that was one reporter’s commentary on the Labour-Green state of the nation speeches, not something the parties themselves were saying.

On the other side, Labour and the Greens are hammering English’s lack of “leadership” – on anything from his limp response to Donald Trump’s immigration announcements to not going to Waitangi and not standing a candidate in Mt Albert.

It’s a two-pronged message; to make English look weak and remind voters that the leader they liked so well – Key – is no longer there.

Sam Sachdeva at Stuff: Economy to take centre stage at September 23 election, PM Bill English says

Prime Minister Bill English saying the economy will be at the heart of National’s bid for a fourth term.

That’s very unsurprising.

“New Zealand is well placed compared to many other countries. That’s down to the hard work of households and businesses across the country, backed by the National-led Government’s clear and successful plan for our future.

“The challenge for our country now is to sustain that growth and build on it to deliver more again for all New Zealanders.”

Asked to sum up the election in one word, English replied, “Growth”.

He believed it was unlikely immigration would be a major issue at the election, with all forecasts indicating there would be a slowdown in the number of immigrants arriving.

English said National’s preference was to work with its current partners – UnitedFuture, ACT, and the Maori Party.

While describing Winston Peters’ party as “an inward-looking party who believe in a closed-up New Zealand”, English would not “rule in or out” choosing Peters as deputy prime minister.

Today English will give his ‘State of the Nation’ speech, and he promises a contrast with Labour and the Greens, saying he will actually announce major policy.

Tune into Prime Minister Bill English‘s Facebook page from 12.30pm today as he live streams his first speech of the year.

This is Bill’s first big test as a lead campaigner. Expectations are that he will be competing with Andrew Little on boredom.

Pot calls kettle empty

Neither the Greens nor Labour announced any new policies in their joint ‘State of the Nation’ event yesterday.

National’s Finance Minister and campaign organiser Steven Joyce commented on Twitter:

It did seem like a wasted opportunity. I suspect that Labour and Greens are holding back with major policy announcements until they see what National do in the budget in May to try and avoid being outmanoeuvred again.

And perhaps they waiting to see if National announce any new policies.

It’s unbelievable that at the beginning of election year the 1 largest party has no new policy to announce.

Or maybe not, National have tended to not announce much policy throughout their tenure in Government.

On the home page of National’s website they say what they are doing, not what they intend to do.  Defensive about their record rather than anything new.

Supporting safer families

We’re making changes to our family violence laws to prevent the abuse, keep victims safe, and stop perpetrators.

National’s comprehensive housing plan

National is committed to addressing the challenge of housing and we have a comprehensive plan to achieve that.

Helping more Kiwis buy their first home

Nearly 12,000 New Zealanders have received government grants to help them buy their first home in the first 12 months of National’s KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme.

An open and prosperous New Zealand

New Zealand has a strong, growing economy under National. That’s delivering more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders, and trade is a vital part of continuing this success.

Helping rural communities

When our primary sector succeeds, New Zealand succeeds. A successful primary sector is part of National’s plan to create more jobs, lift incomes, and build a more productive and competitive economy.

Better healthcare

National believes New Zealanders deserve high-quality health services and delivering better services remains our top priority. In 2016/17, a record $16.1 billion will be invested into health.

That’s in the past pot, not in the future pot. Business as usual and no indication of new policy proposals.

English and National come up with any new policies to take into the election campaign. That would differentiate his leadership from John Key’s.

Or is that pot empty?

Labour-Green down in Roy Morgan

In the first poll since Bill English took over from John Key National have barely changed (up 1 to 46%) and Labour+Greens are down 3.5 to 39.5%.

It’s early days yet for time post-Key but the change of Prime Minister is showing no sign of being the game changer that some on the left had hoped.

And the campaign since late last year on Whale Oil to attack National and Bill English hasn’t nudged things down at all let alone by the 10% Cameron Slater has suggested might happen.

  • National 46% (up from 45)
  • Labour 27% (down from 28.5)
  • Greens 12.5% (down from 14.5)
  • NZ First 9% (up from 7.5)
  • Maori Party 2% (up from 1)
  • ACT 0.5% (no change)
  • United Future 0.5% (no change)
  • Conservative Party 0.5% (no change)
  • Mana Party 0% (no change)
  • Internet Party 0% (down from 0.5)
  • Other 2% (up from 1.5)

Polling was done from a very quiet time, from 3-16 January 2017.

The movements for Labour wouldn’t look so bad if quoted separately, but some on the left are very keen to combine the two.


It’s very early in election year but this will have disappointed a few on the far right and many on the left.


The poll has been mentioned at The Standard but no post as yet. No mention that I can see at Whale Oil but they are often slow with fresh news there, unless it is favourable to one of their agendas.