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New Zealand Politics:

The latest election is Sept. 2014

Politicians in NZ tend to answer questions from interviewers directly without going round the houses or putting across their agenda, quite refreshing from UK politics.

The election is over for 3 years. National almost got an outright majority, just 2 short, but ACT and United Future (with 1 seat each) will help them out. The Maori party will probably join up. Labours leader resigns on Dec. 13, so still a lot of politics to go. There was also a referendum on the voting system, looks like MMP will stay.

New Labour Leader

David Shearer is the new Labour Party leader, he like John Key (Prime Minister) is not a career politician, having served with the UN with humanitarian roles. John Key was a commodity trader. SEE:

NZ Herald summary of the 2011 election

National has enough seats to form a government despite losing a list MP, but will still be smarting after Cabinet minister Paula Bennett lost her Waitakere seat by 11 votes. Chief electoral officer Robert Peden today released the official results of the November 26 election, taking into account the special votes not counted on election night.

National's share of the party vote fell to 47.31 per cent, down from 47.99 on election night, bumping off list MP Aaron Gilmore and bringing its total number of seats to 59. With the support of the Act and United Future parties' sole MPs, National still has the numbers to form a Government in the 121-seat Parliament. It is also likely to sign an agreement with the Maori Party, which met today to discuss a confidence and supply agreement that would also give it the freedom to oppose the Government on certain issues. But despite National securing the ability to govern, Ms Bennett's narrow loss to Labour's Carmel Sepuloni in the Waitakere electorate will come as a blow to the party. She remains in Parliament as a list MP, but opponents are likely to use the loss of her seat as a chance to question her credibility. National still has reason to be buoyed by the results, after an election night dead heat in the Christchurch Central electorate was broken by a 45 vote majority to National's Nicky Wagner. The win in the traditionally left-leaning seat means one-term Labour MP Brendon Burns will not be returning to Parliament. Also gone is Labour list MP Raymond Huo, who gets bumped out by Ms Sepuloni's win in Waitakere.

The Green Party's best-ever election result made it the only party to make a gain, with one extra MP bringing their total to 14. Mojo Mathers will be New Zealand's first profoundly deaf MP, and the fifth in the world. The Greens got 11.06 per cent of the party vote, up from 10.62 per cent on the night, repeating the party's pattern in recent elections of gains in the special votes. It has gained an extra MP in four of the last five elections.

In the closely-won Waitakere and Christchurch Central seats, candidates are likely to call for judicial recounts. They must apply to district courts by Wednesday, with the results of a recount due by the end of next week. The gains and losses came after 263,469 special votes were taken into account.

Labour got 27.48 per cent of the party vote, up from 27.13 per cent on election night, while New Zealand first got 6.59 per cent, down from 6.81 per cent on the night. The Maori Party made a modest gain, while Act's 1.07 per cent share of the party vote remained unchanged _ making the party less popular than Mana, which got 1.08 per cent of the party vote, up from 1.00 per cent on the night.

In the referendum, 57.77 per cent of voters chose to keep the MMP electoral system, while 42.23 per cent voted for change. Voter turnout was 74.21 per cent, down from 79.46 per cent at the 2008 election. Special votes including overseas votes, out-of-electorate votes and late enrolments accounted for 11.6 per cent of the total.


There are parallels between the UK and NZ in Politics. At present NZ has a National government(suedo conservatives), with Labour as the main opposition . The National party has a leader called John Keys a definite Cameron parallel, after National got rid of its old guard leader who had the same sort of charisma as Michael Howard of the Tories. Because of a sort of P.R. the minor parties have a say, mainly the Maori and Act. The next election is due around Nov. 2011. National are way ahead in the polls at present.

The ex leader of National, Don Brash organised a coup of the Act party even though he was not even a member. The Act party got into such a mess they were facing annihilation, and Mr Brash came across as their saviour!!!

Maori Party have suffered a smaller but significant revolt, one of their most vocal members, Hone Harawera, threw his toys out the window and set up his own Mana party. He forced a bye election and saw his majority drop from 6000 plus to 800.

Local Elections

Sept. / Oct. 2010 We have the local and Auckland mayoral elections going on at the moment. These elections differ from the UK in that the major parties do not get involved directly. We do have parties though such as “Citizens and Ratepayers, or Residents and Ratepayers” etc. The postal voting form has four different categories for which we can vote, 3 are “first past the post” and one a sort of preferential vote. Len Brown won the contest for Mayor of all Auckland (supercity). In the past 3 there were 3 areas and 3 mayors, each with different agendas. Len Brown is a centre left politician as are most of the council. Excellent!

New Zealand has a form of proportional voting system.

How are MPs elected?

Under current MMP rules, a political party is entitled to a share of MPs that’s about the same as its share of the party vote if it reaches one of two thresholds (sometimes called clearing one of two “hurdles”).

To meet these thresholds or hurdles, a political party must win:

  EITHER at least 5% of the nation-wide party vote;
  OR at least one electorate seat.

A formula – called the Sainte-Laguё formula – is used to determine the total number of seats each party is entitled to in Parliament.

A political party’s total number of seats in Parliament is filled with a mix of Electorate MPs and List MPs.

The Electorate MPs are elected using the First Past the Post voting system (FPP). The candidate who gets the most votes wins. The winning candidate does not have to get more than half the votes.

The rest of a party’s MPs are elected from the party’s list. The number of List MPs each party receives is the difference between a party’s total allocation of seats in Parliament and its number of Electorate MPs.

For example, if a party gets 30% of the party vote it will get about 36 MPs in Parliament (being 30% of 120 seats). So if that party wins 20 electorate seats it will have 16 List MPs in addition to its 20 Electorate MPs.

If a party crosses the 5% party vote threshold but, at the same time, wins no electorate seats, it is still entitled to a share of all the seats in Parliament. For example, if a party wins 10% of the party votes and no electorate seats, all its 12 MPs (10% of 120) will be List MPs elected from the party list in the order they are ranked by the party.

Sometimes a party's share of the party vote entitles it to a number of seats in Parliament that is smaller than the number of its Electorate MPs. When this happens that party will neither have electorate seats taken away from it, nor be allocated any List MPs. Instead, for the life of the Parliament concerned there will be more than 120 MPs in Parliament. This is called an overhang and has happened three times: from 2005-08 there were 121 MPs, in the 2008-11 Parliament there were 122 MPs, and in the current Parliament there are 121 MPs.

Websites of the main Parties in New Zealand

I must admit to liking the design of the Maori Party site the best.
We also have in government

  • The Act party who are slightly to the right of Gengis Khan and are presently doing their best to self destruct (Oct 2010)

May 2012: John Banks is ACT's sole MP, another really dodgy politician, where does ACT get them from. SEE:

The other party is United Future with one MP

New Zealand National Party

New Zealand Labour Party

New Zealand green Party

New Zealand Maori Party

living_in_new_zealand/politics.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/17 14:29 by art
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