Campaign signs in New Zealand

(Installment 1 of likely many…)

The two largest parties in New Zealand, Labour and National, are using subtly different strategies to advertise themselves ahead of the 26 November election.

All of the National signs that I have seen so far (on the South Island) show John Key, the party leader and incumbent Prime Minister. They either contain some numbered point out of the party’s policy platform (e.g. “3. Rebuild Christchurch”), or they show the electorate (district) candidate along with Key–such as this one on the road between Christchurch and Dunedin.


All of the signs for Labour district candidates that I have seen so far are like the upper one here on this corner in Christchurch. They show only the local candidate; no image of the party leader (and PM candidate), Phil Goff, is present.


Other signs have policy issues indicated, such as the lower sign in the same photo, or the following other example.


Of course, the reason for these differences is that Key is very popular–more than his party. Goff, on the other hand, is unpopular, and the party has made an explicit point that its campaign is about “issues”.

4 thoughts on “Campaign signs in New Zealand

  1. All the signs in Auckland that I’ve seen (inner suburbs mainly) have the same pattern. Also, the National signs have the electorate name (if they have the candidate), while Labour signs don’t. I have actually seen Goff on a billboard – when driving through his electorate.
    Labour’s ‘issues’ approach would be more convincing if they hadn’t spent the last 5 years attacking Key’s trustworthiness.

  2. Looking again, some Auckland Labour electorate signs do. Epsom (which I was treating as a special case), Mt Albert (Labour safe seat, was Helen Clark’s), Maori seats (again a special case) all do. Maungakiekie and Auckland Central don’t. I’ll be in Mt Roskill (Goff) tonight to check my impression there.

  3. Mt Roskill has name, New Lynn doesn’t. I wonder if it is related to the length of the candidate’s and electorate names?

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