New Zealand General Election Preview

Published on 8 October 2020 at 13:29

On Sunday October 17th the People New Zealand will vote in the general election. The system in New Zealand for voting is mixed member proportional which gives Kiwi voters the option to vote for one candidate in their single seat constituency and one for a political party. Kiwis voted to maintain their voting system in November 2011. On October 17th the people of New Zealand will vote to elect all 120Mps in their parliament. This piece will give a description of all the main political parties contesting the election.

National Party

A liberal-conservative party, founded in 1936 following the merging of the United and Reform parties, it has traditionally been Labour's main opponent. It supports both a market economy, and lower taxation particularly as a stimulus for private enterprise. The New Zealand National Party shortened to National or the Nat’s, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. National has governed for five periods during the 20th and 21st centuries, and as of 2015 has spent more time in government than any other party. After the 1949 general election, Sidney Holland became the first prime minister from the National Party. Keith Holyoake succeeded Holland, and was defeated some months later at a general election by the New Zealand Labour Party in 1957. MR. Holyoake returned to office for a second period from 1960.

Sixty years on the National Party believe that New Zealand is in the “midst of the biggest economic challenge in 160 years” according to their website. With a recession looming, large budget deficits, extensive job losses, and the threat of continued hardship, Kiwis need a team with real world experience that can deliver results and the National Party will be expected to either implement their fiscal policy in government or oppose how the Labour party plan the financial recovery of New Zealand depending on results.  National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan will put more money into Kiwis’ pockets but it raises the question of how heavy taxation will be.


Labour Party (New Zealand)

A social-democratic party, founded in 1916, it is the oldest extant party in New Zealand, and has traditionally been National's main opponent. Labour supports a mixed economy, with taxation levied to fund particularly its social programmes.

Labour have been the party in government in New Zealand since 2017 and their leader Jacinda Adhern has arguably become one of the most well-known prime ministers to come out of Aotearoa after giving labour in power, dealing with a terrorist attack and eliminating covid 19 twice.

NZ First

A nationalist, Populist Party that aims "To put New Zealand and New Zealanders First", and has advanced restrictive immigration policies.  NZ First supports benefits for senior citizens.  NZ First has formed coalition governments with both major political parties in New Zealand, first with the National Party from 1996 to 1998 and then with the Labour Party from 2005 to 2008 and from 2017  to present.

Green Party (New Zealand)

Like many Green parties including Ireland around the world it has four pillars of ecology, social responsibility, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence. The green party has an environmentalist platform, and also promotes progressive social policies. The green movement is driven by people who value environmentalist policies.


A classical-liberal party, it promotes free market economics, low taxation, reduced government expenditure, and increased punishments for crime. ACT sees their party as promoting "accountability and transparency in government".  According to the former party leader Rodney Hide, ACT stands for "individual freedom, personal responsibility, doing the best for our natural environment and for smaller, smarter government in its goals of a prosperous economy, a strong society, and a quality of life that is the envy of the world". The name comes from the initials of the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, founded in 1993 by Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley.

Advance New Zealand

The party was founded by former National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross. The Advance New Zealand Party is a political party in New Zealand led by Jami-Lee Ross and Billy Te Kahika. The idea was first unveiled in a newsletter from Ross released in April 2020 and has grown since. . Jami-Lee Ross claims the party is a centrist and anti-corruption movement designed to appeal to voters "in the middle”.

The opportunities party

The opportunities party supports an evidence-based policy, of "a prosperous, fair and equitable society", and environmental sustainability. All of TOP's policies are evidence-based, and pass through their expert Policy Committee.

The Máori Party

It is a party that addresses the concerns of New Zealand's indigenous Māori people. It crystallised in 2004 around Tariana Turia, a former minister for the Labour Party. South Taranaki iwi leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer could be the Māori Party's best chance of getting back into Parliament. While she is polling behind Labour's Adrian Rurawhe in Te Tai Hauāuru, a third of voters in the electorate remain undecided about who to vote for. She said the seat was absolutely winnable speaking to RNZ.

New Conservative

They are a fiscally and socially conservative party advocating stricter law and order policies, repeal of the Emissions Trading Scheme, and the use of binding referenda. They are the highest party in the polls that want abortion to become a criminal offence in New Zealand again and the practice of same sex marriage to be banned. They describe themselves as a “Family focused party that believes in hand ups not hand downs”.  70% of their candidates are small business owners in the upcoming general election. Their leader Leighton Baker is a Christian but has selected candidates from a variety of faiths and no faith to represent New Conservative in the election.  Leighton Baker has had a remarkable rise from leaving school at 15 to establishing a party which according to some polls has a chance of having at least one representative in the Kiwi Parliament. With only being on 2% of the vote in most polls, the New Conservative party will be hoping to gain from the 14% of New Zealanders that are undecided.  The New Conservative party are also the only political party apart from Labour who have a candidate standing in every single electoral constituency. Leighton Baker has not ruled out the New Conservative party forming with other right wing political parties sometime in the future.





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