One News/Colmar Brunton poll – February 2020

The first One News/Colmar Brunton poll of the year hasn’t moved much, but on these numbers National+ACT could probably form a government.

Greens have moved towards the danger zone and NZ First slips further under the threshold.

  • National 46% (no change)
  • Labour 41% (up 1)
  • Greens 5% (down 1)
  • NZ First 3% (down 1)
  • ACT 2% (no change)
  • Maori Party 1% (no change)
  • New Conservatives 1% (no change)

Those are rounded to whole numbers so the small party results in particular are very approximate.

Polling ran through last week which included Simon Bridges ruling out doing anything with NZ First this election, and the Waitangi Day/week political manouvering.

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Jacinda Ardern 42% (up 6)
  • Simon Bridges 11% (up 1)
  • Judith Collins 3% (down 1)
  • Winston Peters 3% (no change)
  • Don’t know 30%

Economic outlook

  • Optimism 40% (Up 4%)
  • Pessimism 34% (Down 1%)

Between February 8 to 12, 1004 eligible voters were polled by landline (402) and mobile phone (602). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level.

For party support, percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers.

The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, ethnic identification and mobile or landline access.

1 News and media re-branding

Re-branding a media organisation is a major and complex task, so careful thought presumably has to go in to decisions to change brands.

3 News changed to Newshub in February this year and that seems to have worked successfully enough, although I don’t know whether many people care or not. I doubt that it helps improve the number of viewers much if at all.

TVNZ has gradually been re-branding TV1 to TVNZ 1 and One News as 1 News over the past few days. This must be a major exercise, complicated by social media where many people now access news.

They have changed all their own on-screen graphics, and I see that Sky now uses their new names.

While online they have changed their logos their URLs seem to be more complicated. Their website still uses


This is what you get when you try or


On Twitter they have changed their name and graphics but still use their old handled:


But if you try you get so they mustn’t have rights to that handle (our doubt that a new account has been suspended). doesn’t exist.

They have been able to switch their handle on Facebook:


That’s half of an awful mess of a graphic.

Does any of this matter?

How do you access news websites? Via Favourites? Via Twitter or Facebook? Or by Google?

We used to have easy access to two TV news sites, one or two newspapers (when they were only paper) and a few radio stations.

Now via satellite TV and especially via the Internet we have access to a huge number of news options. Does the name of the media organisation matter much if at all?

I have become far more content orientated rather than source driven. I don’t care much who delivers the news as long as it’s the type and quality of news I want.

I specifically seek TVNZ content sometimes, mainly for Q & A, but that doesn’t use the 1 news branding.

All I care about on broadcast TV is ‘1’ or ‘3’ or ‘4’ or whatever channel I want, but also commonly just browse the channels.

Branding is pretty much irrelevant to me, I’m looking for content and quality.

While TVNZ has changed their number 1 channel branding the One-News (1 News) website looks much the same – very messy. I don’t choose to use it based on it’s presentation, and their news is often lacking in detail, they seem to want you to view their video, presumably so you view their video advertising.

I don’t care about 1 News versus One News. If they come up with some decent news coverage I might be interested.

Incidentally having just researched all their website content no news items attracted my attention enough to get me to look further.

On bogus polls

The biggest talking points from the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll is that Labour are languishing on 26%, down from 29% from their 28 May-2 June poll, and that Andrew Little has called the poll bogus.

One News: National rides high, Labour slips to lowest since election

Labour has been quick to attack the poll, leader Andrew Little saying the poll is “bogus” and he doesn’t accept it. He says he has seen other polls that tell a completely different story.

But he doesn’t say what that “completely different story” isUnless Little provides alternative poll details from the same polling period (3-7 September) then I call bullshit on his claim.

‘Sigh’ commented at The Standard:

Sure enough CV can’t wait more than a few minutes to put up a bullshit poll attacking Labour. Do you think he put up the recent Reid Research poll as quickly which showed Labour on 33?

As someone who has access to UMR polls this Colmar poll strikes me as completely out of whack.

That will be the better polling that Little is referring to, but it is not published so can’t be corroborated or compared.

UMR got closest to the last two election results. Colmar Brunton had National on something like 52%.

The last polls for Labour before the last election:

  • Colmar Brunton: 25.2%
  • UMR (Labour’s internal poll) 26.3%

Labour got 25.1%.


The last three Colmar Brunton polls this year:

  • Labour: 28, 29, 26
  • National: 50, 48, 48
  • Greens: 10, 12, 13
  • NZ First: 9, 9, 11

That looks quite consistent. Without having the details of UMR polls over the last six months it is impossible to compare.

The last published polls for Labour:

  • Colmar Brunton 3-7 September: 26%
  • Roy Morgan mid August: 25.5%
  • Reid Research 22 July – 3 August: 32.7%

Another of Labour’s Little helpers (Anne) at The Standard:

I haven’t seen the item yet but Little needs to constantly show disdain for these polls – especially those involving TV1 and TV3. There is an inbuilt bias favouring National and it goes back decades. He needs to openly treat them with the contempt they deserve.

He should also point out that the media generally is a disgrace by constantly giving the govt a free pass for their disastrous governance on many fronts while, at the same time, over-egging minor alleged indiscretions against Labour personnel.

Sock it to em Andrew. The masses perceive politeness as a weakness.

The masses perceive bullshit as bullshit.

Andrew Little is talking about this right now on Breakfast. He is citing Labour’s internal poll (no numbers or details given) and ‘another poll’.

Little then goes into Government bashing spiel, claiming that because National have done so poorly since the election he just doesn’t believe they would still be polling about the same now.

On National: “Is it conceivable that they would shed an ounce of popularity? I reject the poll”

“There is a range of polls going on you have to look at everything, I know we have had more support than previously”.

“I just think there is something wrong with that poll… it doesn’t stack up with any other polling I have seen”

He is ignoring the Roy Morgan poll?

He just doesn’t accept the Colmar Brunton poll result and he doesn’t it is credible.

He says you have to go with “the instinctual thing”, he talks to a lot of people and says he knows how it feels when the polls are 25-26% and it feels different to that now.

Ranting about unfavourable poll results is probably not an election winning strategy. It risks making one look out of touch and in denial.


One News poll – September

The latest One News Colmar Brunton poll is worst for Labour, down 3 to 26%, around the same level of support for their poor 2014 election. The other bigger parties will be happy.

  • National 48% (no change)
  • Labour 26% (down from 29%)
  • Greens 13% (up from 12)
  • NZ First 11% (up from 9%)
  • Maori Party 2% (up from 1)

Refuse to answer 3%, undecided 10%

NZ First probably benefited from publicity from their annual conference.

Preferred Prime Minister:

  • John Key 38% (down from 39)
  • Winston Peters 11% (down from 12)
  • Andrew Little 10% (up from 7)

Fieldwork conducted 3-7 September, just over 1000 voters with a margin of error of 3.1%

One News: National rides high, Labour slips to lowest since election

Labour has been quick to attack the poll, leader Andrew Little saying the poll is “bogus” and he doesn’t accept it. He says he has seen other polls that tell a completely different story.

Mr Key says the poll is good for National and partly reflects the fact Kiwis are becoming increasingly optimistic about the strong economy.

Immigration poll – One News

Deciding immigration numbers and policy by public opinion is a bit crazy but One News Colmar Brunton have a poll on it.

Despite all the adverse publicity about immigration and a move against it a majority still think that immigration numbers are about right or we should have more.

Do you think the Government should let fewer immigrants in, let more in or is the number about right?

  • Fewer migrants in 38% (up from 27%)
  • Numbers about right 44% (down from 51%
  • More migrants in 13% (down from 18%)

As immigration and related issues like housing, employment, work visas and international students is quite complex and most people are unlikely to know much about how they interrelate in detail this poll is quite simplistic.

I don’t think the Government will be very worried about the result.

For some as yet unexplained reason One News are holding back the party part of their poll back for tomorrow night.

Changed headline on failing students

A screen shot of a post at Whale Oil yesterday:


An obvious faux pas. It was actually posted as two separate images.

SB commented:

Heaven forbid the government try to help failing students. The teacher unions can’t be having that. Failing students is their job!

But the headline doesn’t reflect what the unions said, going by the article.

The latest increase – $12 million – will be targeted to 150,000 students who have been identified as being most at-risk of under achievement.

“We absolutely appreciate that’s a good thing to do but not at the expense of the operations grant which actually provides support for all children,” NZEI national president Louise Green says.

So it would appear to be both the One News headline writer and SB who have failed here. Perhaps neither read the article properly.

One News have since changed the headline.


The original headline text is still on the photo but at least the headline is now more appropriate.

No correction from SB though.

And why are WO screen shots in pieces?  One aim seems to be to remove ‘Source One News’ and replace it with ‘’.


Proof of poll movement

With the latest One News poll Colmar Brunton revealed evidence of how much opinion – or the polled measure of opinion – can move over a short time.

One aspect that is usually ignored is that voters may think quite differently during an election campaign as they consider the governing possibilities and they decide how they want to vote – strategic voting has become more common – than how they might think in a spur of the moment poll mid-term.

The main poll question asked was “If a general election was held today, would you be eligible to vote?”

As usual One News show how the seats in Parliament would look if an election ‘was held today’.

But the polling in this week’s poll was done over 6 days, from Saturday 28 May to Thursday 2 June. And the poll was reported on Tuesday 7 June, 10 days after the first day of polling and 5 days after the last day day of polling.

How much could opinion change in that short a time? Quite a lot going by poll numbers split pre-MoU announcement and post-MoU announcement provided by Colmar Brunton:


The Memorandum of Understanding was announced by the Greens on Tuesday 31 May at 3.30 pm.

There is no indication of when people who were polled heard about the MoU, how much they heard about the MoU or whether they heard about the MoU at all before being polled.

There was quite a bit of ongoing discussion and news about the MoU after the polling was complete, especially over the following weekend with coverage of the Green AGM where Green leaders and Andrew Little spoke about the MoU.

And Labour and Green leaders, as well as Winston Peters,  were interviewed about the MoU on Saturday on The Nation and on Sunday on Q+A.

So people who were polled in the last two and a half  days of the polling period, as opposed to the first three and a half days days of the polling, would at best have only based their poll decisions on very preliminary consideration of the implications  of the MoU, if at all.

It should also be noted that the MoU was not the only news over the polling period. Other news may have affected people’s opinions other than the MoU. Assuming that the MoU was the sole cause of a shift in opinion is baseless.

So as far as the MoU goes the before and after poll results should be viewed with a lot of caution.

As well as this single polls in general should be viewed with caution. Trends of one pollster over several months and aggregation of multiple pollsters are generally regarded as much better indicators of public opinion.

And another point – the before and after results show how much opinion measured by a poll can change in a short space of time, a matter of a few days.

NZ First support dropped from about 11% to about 7%, by about a third, a big variation.

Greens support increased by about a quarter, despite it being stated this wasn’t statistically significant I think it is notable.

And Labour support moved over 5%, from 26.1% to 31.3%. We don’t know whether support moved up a further 5% in the next 3 days, or dropped back again, or if the poll was an outlier poll.

All we know from this with any certainty is that polled opinion can change significantly over a short period of time.

Therefore the precise seating arrangements displayed by One News and others, and the ‘analysis’ of what a poll result might mean and why it might mean whatever they claim should be viewed with a lot of scepticism.

Reporting on polls by the mainstream media is usually awful and ignores the realities of political polling.

Single polls are no more than a rough indicator of opinion averaged over a few days.

One last point – a sample size of 1500 is unusual, 900-1000 is far more common.

As far as I understand it most polling results are usually obtained in the initial days of a polling period with the rest of the period used to fill the gaps in their demographic quotas.

So was a mid-poll decision made to increase the number of people being polled by 50%? Polling 628 people in two days seems unusual to me and may make polling variances more likely.

This latest Colmar Brunton poll demonstrates about how much opinion, or the measurement of opinion, can change over time, even over a very short time.

Russell and Hooton on trusts

An exchange on Twitter between Deborah Russell (@beefaerie)and Matthew Hooton (MatthewHootonNZ) on trusts.

Deborah Russell: I’m going to be on Breakfast on TV One tomorrow morning, shortly after the 7am news, talking about the

Matthew Hooton: Would you mind explaining that there are no such thing as ‘foreign’ or ‘family’ trusts in NZ law, but only ‘trusts’?

Deborah Russell: I’ll do my best. I have found that most people don’t quite get what’s going on. “Foreign trust” is only for tax purposes.

But the problem is “foreign trusts” and what gets shunted into them, and the lack of information about them.

Matthew Hooton: Also don’t dividends get taxed where paid? So a NZ trust owning e.g. Rio Tinto shares doesn’t get off tax on dividends?

Deborah Russell: They would get taxed in Australia, and in NZ, with our Double Tax Agreement sorting out how much tax is paid in each place.

So the NZ trust *would* pay tax on the Rio Tinto dividends. But the problem is “foreign trusts” and what gets shunted into them, and the lack of information about them.

I think it’s a moral issue, not a tax issue wrt “foreign trusts”. Happy to discuss at length sometime.

Matthew Hooton: Then should get an ethicist on not a tax expert

Deborah Russell: As my PhD is in Philosophy, and I’ve lectured in Ethics, Political Theory, AND Tax, I guess I fit the bill. And Business Ethics, Professional Ethics, Applied Ethics. And more.

Matthew Hooton: Excellent. You’ll be able to talk about the ethics of publishing 240,000 names & addresses, many who have done nothing wrong.

Deborah Russell: Many of whom *may* have done nothing immoral. People may have interesting reasons for consulting a Panamanian firm.

Matthew Hooton: The itself says being on The List does not mean the person has done anything wrong. So why issue the list if not to smear?

Deborah Russell: To crowd source knowledge.

So it could be interesting, just after 7 am on Breakfast, TV One.

The PM/lawyer/trust story

NZ Herald and One News are making a big thing of a story about John Key, his lawyer (who  is apparently is not a lawyer any more), the Antipodes trust company and lobbying.

One News: John Key’s lawyer’s involvement in lobbying government over tax laws revealed

John Key’s personal lawyer lobbied the Government not to change the controversial tax laws.

This is the latest twist in the Panama Papers saga – and it’s raising more questions for the Prime Minister and the role of his lawyer Ken Whitney.

Earlier this month Mr Key shrugged off the revelation that he had a cash deposit with Antipodes Trust, a company that specialises in foreign trusts. His office explained this away by saying the deposit was lodged with Mr Whitney, who had recently moved firms to the Antipodes Trust.

However, Companies House documents show that Mr Whitney has been involved with the firm since its inception more than 20 years ago.

And Official Information Act document also reveals that Mr Whitney and the Antipodes Trust were heavily involved in lobbying the Government not to change the controversial tax rules.

NZ Herald: The Antipodes email: The PM, his lawyer and foreign trusts

John Key’s personal lawyer cited a conversation with the Prime Minister when lobbying a Minister about a potential crackdown on the lucrative foreign trust industry.

Time and analysis will show whether there is anything significant or damaging to Key in this story.

There’s another interesting aspect to the story – it appears to have been provided to selected news outlets, One News, the Herald and Radio NZ, and not given to Newshub or Stuff, at least not initially.

Giving one or some media outlets news, in this case one print, one television and one radio outlet, is a technique used to get those outlets to give the news more prominence as an ‘exclusive’ .

The story came from the Greens, who clearly decided to share w tvnz, rnz & herald.

Clearly from Greens – are you saying that was shut out?

Anybody there from Greens – was shut out from story?

it seems fairly obviously it was provided first to Tvnz over tv3 like it was to Herald over stuff

So its just a queue waiting for a press release? Sad.

Media beatup over Key pecuniary interest

Media have run an alarming beat up out of a declaration by John Key revealed in the latest register of pecuniary interests.

Stuff: Prime Minister John Key linked to company specialising in foreign trusts

Prime Minister John Key has declared a financial link to a company specialising in foreign trusts.

The latest register of MPs’ pecuniary interests, released on Tuesday, listed the Antipodes Trust Group Limited as a debtor in Key’s entry.

On its website, the Antipodes Trust calls itself a specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice.

It lists lawyer Ken Whitney as an executive director.

A spokeswoman for Key said Whitney had been his lawyer for a long time.

“The difference between this year’s pecuniary interests and last year’s is that he has changed firms.

“The short term deposit is used to pay for any costs incurred from the Prime Minister’s family trusts. The surplus funds are reinvested short term with New Zealand trading banks.”

So it seems to be a non-story.

One News was worse, making a big deal of the ‘perception’ of something being questionable but conceding that there was no problem revealed at all.

John Key left red-faced over trust deposit disclosure

The Prime Minister is at the centre of an embarrassing disclosure in the midst of the Panama Papers leak.

Parliament’s latest register of MPs’ financial interests show John Key has a short term deposit with a company called Antipodes Trust Group.

The company advertises on its website that it is “a specialist provider of trustee and associated services for foreign trusts using New Zealand as their jurisdiction of choice.”

Documents in the Panama leaks have made references to foreign trusts set-up here and Mr Key’s political opponents say the trusts are shrouded in too much secrecy and effectively makes New Zealand a tax haven.

Mr Key says the deposit with Antipodes Trust Group has shown up in this year’s register of his pecuniary interests because, in the past 12 months, his long-time personal lawyer went to work for the Trust Group.

Mr Key says the deposit is to cover any costs incurred by a family trust administered by his lawyer, Ken Whitney, and any surplus from the deposit is invested with New Zealand trading banks.

There is no evidence that either Mr Key, Mr Key’s lawyer, or the Antipodes Trust Group have done anything illegal or are in any way linked to issues raised in the leaks of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossat Fonseca.

They have left out the repeated suggestions of their being ‘perception’ of a problem, but have linked the Panama papers and Mossat Fonseca to the story even though they have nothing to do with it.

This is an appalling story.

It’s nearly as bad as some at The Standard trying to make something out of Key’s deposit with company specialising in foreign trusts.

Key’s statement:


Perhaps we should have an inquiry into media beat ups and perception mongering.