Q+A: Ohariu electorate

Q+A: Is Ohariu a safe seat for Peter Dunne? We have the results our Q+A Colmar Brunton Snap Poll on the Ohariu electorate

NZ Herald pre-empt this:  Jacinda effect’ erodes Peter Dunne’s support in Ohariu but he hopes it will be temporary

United Future leader Peter Dunne believes his support in Ohariu has been eroded because of the Jacinda Ardern effect but he questions how long that will last.

The Q + A show has a snap poll tomorrow (TV1 – 9am, Sunday) which is expected to show Dunne trailing Labour candidate Greg O’Connor.

“The question is, and it is something everyone is trying to figure out at the moment, is how deep-seated that factor is,” Dunne told the Herald on Sunday.

“Is it a phenomenon that will pass by as quickly as it arose or is it something more substantial?

Dunne has held the west-Wellington seat since 1984, originally as a Labour MP, but held it in the 2014 election by only 710 votes. He has been a support partner of the National-led Government since 2008.

In the past National has campaigned for only the party vote but this time it is explicitly asking National supporters to give Dunne their electorate vote to keep him in Parliament.

Labour and the Greens have done an electorate deal in which the Greens are not standing in order to give O’Connor, the former police union boss, a stronger chance of rolling Dunne. The Greens had 2764 electorate votes last time.

It’s not surprising to see that Peter Dunne’s hold on the Ohariu electorate is at serious risk (it has been before but so far he has survived).

A resurgent Labour under Ardern’s leadership was always going to help O’Connor against Dunne, but that may or may not hold up as we get into the business end of the campaign.

If Dunne loses it will make National’s chances a little bit harder.


  • Greg O’Connor (Labour) 48%
  • Peter Dunne (United Future) 34%
  • Brett Hudson (National) 14%
  • Jessica Hammond (TOP) 2%

Party support in Ohariu:

  • National 46% (50.23% in the 2014 election, 49.60 in 2011)
  • Labour 35% (23.42%, 26.53%)
  • Greens 12% (15.01%, 14,42%)
  • NZ First 4% (4.76%, 3.91%)

501 voters, +/- 4%

That’s a big lead to O’Connor and it looks very difficult for Dunne, but there have been big poll swings lately so it’s difficult to know how this will end up.

However I think this looks ominous for Dunne.

Another part of the poll:

  • Staying with Dunne 63%
  • Switching to O’Connor/Labour 27%
  • Switching to someone else 10%


Q+A – Shaw speaking for the Greens

This will be interesting on Q+A this morning (it turned out not to be very interesting).

So far Shaw has supported Turei’s actions and stance on the beneficiary issue. Will Mutch give that much of an examination?

Shaw fully backed Turei and the Green stance. He said a bunch of other stuff but I drifted off. A couple of impressions.

The Greens have made a big thing about how upfront and honest and transparent Turei had been, but she didn’t front up on Q+A (she is on Marae instead). So Shaw had to answer for her and defend her, which he did.

On Shaw overall – like Andrew Little he has been very disappointing and has failed to measure up as a leader.

To me Shaw looks like a political wimp. Alongside a lame duck co-leader this doesn’t auger well for the Greens’ election prospects and beyond.


Q+A – Ardern and Davis

Jacinda Ardern and Labour continue their media blitz on Q+A this morning.

Ardern won’t be making her Sunday policy announcement until later today but she and Labour are grabbing every promotional opportunity on offer. She tag teams again with Kelvin Davis (a repeat of The Nation yesterday).

Ardern and Davis are being interviewed separately.

Ardern first:

How is the Labour Party of last week different now? Leadership is now a major part of politics and campaigning.

Talking about a regional fuel tax in Auckland to fund transport infrastructure.

She won’t be campaigning on a Capital Gains tax this election, but it will be considered post-election.

Retirement age (actually age of eligibility for super) – not campaigning on that.

Taking votes from the Greens? She will appeal to voters from anywhere and won’t mention specific blocs.

‘Relentlessly positive’ again, and she wants to grow a vision for New Zealand.

She mentions those who ‘sit in the middle’ – a key voting bloc.

Then Kelvin Davis joins in.

Davis just went through a list of disses of other politicians, which means that the attacks on Paula Bennett for dissing Ardern are just that, one sided attacks. I’ll post more on this when I get the transcript.

Post on this: Comparing deputy attacks


Q+A: Bridges on transport and economic development

On Q+A this morning:

Political Editor Corin Dann talks transport and economic development with Simon Bridges. With the America’s Cup confirmed, will the Government bring forward spending on Auckland?

Bridges is supposed to be a National up and comer. He is MP for Tauranga and:

  • Minister for Economic Development
  • Minister of Transport
  • Minister for Communications
  • Associate Minister of Finance

Q+A – Metiria Turei

Metiria Turei scored a lot of media attention, but was it an own goal? She will be interviewed on Q+A this morning.

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Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei has divided public opinion over her admission of benefit fraud. What was her real message to voters?



Q+A – Mike King on youth suicide

This should be a good interview on Q+A this morning:

Mental health campaigner Mike King talks to Jessica Mutch about our shocking rate of youth suicide. And why not everyone agrees on how to address it.

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“The first thing that has to change is public attitude” and starting to value young people.

“My generation is the problem”.

I’ll quote more of King’s final panel comment, it needs to be looked at more.

Q+A – Winston Peters

Winston Peters today on Q+A:

Will he be informative or cantankerous?

Is his aim to change the Government or change the economic system.

He says he wants economics that works for the majority, as opposed to what he says has happened over the last 33 years – the ‘neo-liberal experiment’. Sounds like he is targeting Labour votes.

Buy back assets? Sort of, vaguely answered.

Subsidies dairy farms? Sort of, vaguely answered, “we will clean up this country”.

Noticeable in the procession of members entering the NZ First congress is the number of walking sticks and zimmer frames.

He says he will give farmers tax breaks.

Managing the currency? “Never mentioned it at all”. “We’re going to stop this mass information and mismanagement of our currency”.

Capital controls? Back to the failed 33 year experiment. He prefers the marvels of Singapore economics.

It’s completely different? “You’re talking balderdash”.

He wants to see the country independent of a reliance on foreign investment. No indication how.

Linking the “neo-liberal experiment” to National, Labour and Greens again.

What NZ First intends to do is take public spending towards productivity and exports.

Would you run deficits? He won’t be constrained by other party’s spending limits.

“It’s the battle for new Zealand and we intend to win it”.

Changing economic performance  with “incentivisation”.

Talk of a new ‘gold card’ for disable people.

“Fake news is what I see on the 6 o’clock news”.

Peters is trying to push every populist button he can think of.

But there’s one glaring contradiction. He is promoting himself as the anti-establishment option, but wants to become the new establishment by going back to Muldoon-era interventionist over-management.


Q+A: Labour women in politics


When Q+A tweeted this yesterday I questioned talking about “women in politics” with just two women from one party featuring.

That’s ridiculous. One on one interviews with politicians of different genders from different parties is usually about specific issues.

I think a general sounding issue about women in politics should include different women and different politics. Annette responded “You are far too sensitive Pete!”

If Q+A called it “Labour women in politics” then featuring King and Ardern would be appropriate. But not a general “women in politics’.

I can only guess, but it looks to me like Labour have been given a spot on Q+A and chose to feature the ‘women’ theme with King (out with the old) and Ardern (in with the been around for a while).

This week Labour revealed that their election advertising would feature both Ardern and Little.

It will be interesting to see if the interview amounts to a probing look at Labour women in politics, or if it is a soft campaign promo.

What has changed since king has been in Parliament? “More women”. It is a much more representative place. It is now much easier for women to be heard.

Ardern says she has been well supported in the Labour caucus, but the external commentary is questionable.


Q+A: growing the Green vote



Are both green leaders going to be on? It looks like Turei has replaced Shaw.

Re North & South cover – rebranding and a new look is important, reaching out to a broader constituency. She wants to keep broadening the green ‘movement’.

Is Metiria having to change her image? That question stumped her, she didn’t know how to answer. She said she is proud of her radical background. She says outside pressures have caused her to moderate her style sometimes.

She is proud of “speaking truth to power”. The words of someone in opposition. What if she gets into power? That will change.

How many seats” She says she hasn’t got a number but mentions Matt Lowrey at 21 on the list.

“When we are in power with Labour” – can she trust them?  She doesn’t answer that, she just talks about joint efforts to change the government, backing a progressive governnment.

She categorically says Greens are not prepared to “prop up” a National government. I thought that decision was up to party members.

Winston Peters? Shaw has spoken with him but Metiria is obviously at odds, referring to his racist stance on immigration.

She sighs when Shane Jones is mentioned, she says she doesn’t think he will make much of a difference.

She says it is absolutely feasible for the Greens to win the Nelson electorate, defeating Nick Smith’s large majority.

Why Nelson? She says the large donation had very little to do with the decision. She says they are targeting Smith. They haven’t targeted an electorate for years.

Greens and Labour decided not to do a deal in Nelson, so that won’t help their chances. Curious why they are targeting Nelson.

Not much about how Greens will grow their vote.

On Demand: Metiria Turei talks about the Green Party’s campaign launch

Q+A: tool to keep drug users safe

Q+A will look at issues about treating drug users this morning:

In a controversial move, the New Zealand Drug Foundation is choosing to break the law in a bid to enable drug users to get high safely.

The Drug Foundation has purchased a radical new machine that is capable of testing exactly what is in recreational drugs such as MDMA.

They have been taking the spectroscopy machine around summer music festivals in New Zealand.

Over the course of the summer 11 percent of the drugs tested were what they said, but contained at least one other substance, while 20 percent of the drugs tested ended up being something completely different.

The Drug Foundation’s Executive Director Ross Bell told TVNZ’s Q+A “what we’ve seen around the world is that people are dying.

“There’s all these new chemicals out there and people are dying because of those, we want to look at how we can prevent that happening in New Zealand.”

Those behind the testing won’t say what festivals they’ve been to because festival organisers could be charged for allowing their premises to be used for drugs.

Police say that the testing is illegal under the misuse of drugs act.

The Drug foundation hopes they can move drugs from a criminal issue into a health one, making people think twice before taking a substance which they don’t know the contents of.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne told Q+A:

“I think it’s inevitable that when the misuse of drugs act is reviewed in the next couple of years that using these testing kits will be considered.”

He went on to say his own personal view is that he is in favour of the testing, as anything which can be used as a preventative measure and is the interest of public safety is a positive thing.

Dunne showed (again) that his preference is similar to the Drug Foundation’s, to deal with cannabis and other drug law quite differently, especially treating drug abuse and addiction as a health problem, not a law problem, little is likely to change under a National led government.

Watch: Q+A investigates a drug testing kit keeping drug users safe from harm

Also: Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne – does the drug testing kit win his support?