NZ government update

Problems in the two main governing partners to the National Party of New Zealand PM John Key.

The right-wing ACT party has had a leadership change. The new leader is the former National Party leader, Don Brash.

The Maori Party is unhappy about the shift in ACT (largely because when Brash headed the Nats, the latter party wanted to abolish the separate Maori constituencies. Meanwhile, the Maori Party has suffered a split, and may face competition in Maori electorates.

New Zealand has a general election, as well as a referendum on the electoral system, ((Which will not, however, affect the Maori seats directly.)) on 26 November.

9 thoughts on “NZ government update

  1. the Maori Party … may face competition in Maori electorates.

    That would be more competition. If there is a by-election in the splitting MP’s electorate (not confirmed as yet), it’s plausible that Labour will win it in the face of vote-splitting between the Maori and Mana parties.

    Note there is no suggestion that National will not be able to pass the up-coming budget. Neither ACT or Maori have suggested breaking their confidence-and-supply agreements, and ACT alone would be enough.

  2. It looks like the ACT is becoming a Tea Party or taking the position of New Zealand First did.

    It seems like all the New Zealand small parties implode at the end of the first term. The only stable small parties are the Greens and United Future.

    I hope this is not the end of MMP. I hope these small parties don’t ruin it for everyone.

    It is also quite possible for the National Party to win an absolute majority under MMP if the voters want it.

    How often does it happen that a party wins a majority under a system of Proportional Representation?

    ACT Party gotten in Parliament simply because it won one seat.

    I think that some change to MMP has merit. The first change should be to require a party to win 5% of the vote or 2 seats.

    I think some the posts prohibiting list mps from running in ridings, and vice versa would make things worse. It would entrenched the divided between district and list MPs and create even more distinct classes which is the main con of MMP.

    A Best Loser System, or an Open Party List option would be an improvement over the close party list system. Is having an MMP system with a best loser or open party list system problematic?

    Should the Maori seats be abolished?

    What would NZ last election been like if the Maori seats were abolished, and that the threshold was 2 seats, or 5% to win seats in Parliament?

  3. It looks like the ACT is becoming a Tea Party or taking the position of New Zealand First did.

    It the risk of starting a political discussion, while media/Labour etc often describe ACT as ‘far right’ or ‘extreme right’, they are probably best described as ‘right’, while National is ‘centre-right’.

    It seems like all the New Zealand small parties implode at the end of the first term.
    This statement makes more sense if you meant first term in Government.

  4. Doesn’t New Zealand have the same population as Ireland? It would seem that this is a situation tailor made for STV -small but diverse country, with tradition of local representation, a unicameral parliament, and too much of a recent history of party machine tricks to make closed lists a good idea.

  5. (1) Wasn’t ACT started by a former Labour treasurer? Now headed by an ex-leader of National.

    Not unlike the Australian Greens – home to both Andrew Bartlett (formerly a Senator for the Australian Democrats, a party started by Don Chipp, who joined the Liberals when Menzies was leader) and now a home for former Communist Party members like Lee Rhiannon.

    Very ecumenical!

    (2) First Campbell Newman in Queensland, now Don Brash in NZ… this makes two antipodean jurisdictions where a significant parliamentary party has a leader who is not (yet) an MP.

    • Roger Douglas, of Rogernomics fame, was a founder of ACT. He will always be associated with the neo-liberal reforms of the Labour government after 1984.

      Some of the other smaller parties post-MMP also were started by Labour defectors. I suppose somewhere there must exist a “flow chart” of party formation and re-formation in the 1990-99 (or so) period. Maybe Errol knows one?

  6. I find the Wikipedia articles on the NZ parties useful (good place to start). I’m not that familar with 1990-1999 myself, as I was the the UK 1996-2000 (and not paying attention before that).

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