New Zealand Election ’17 | Who Are We Voting For?

I’ve been eligible to vote in the last two New Zealand elections, but I don’t remember ever feeling as engaged as I do this year. In fact, I don’t really remember caring that much. Maybe I give a damn because I’m older now, I’ve lived longer and have more well-rounded opinions – opinions that aren’t as heavily influenced by my family or upbringing and more influenced by my authentic experiences. I know the kind of world I want to live in and I am not ignorant to the kind of world that I live in right now. But even without all of that, this election has been different. There are two passionate front runners who weren’t in the position they are in now six months ago. And that’s not even to say you are necessarily voting for either of them! It all comes down to you and what you want New Zealand to to look in three, five or ten years time. What do you want for your children, and for your children’s children? And what leader will help you get there?

Regardless of who you’re voting for this election, it’s imperative that you do. We must celebrate the democracy we live in and exercise our right to have a voice. Whether you’re scared of the future or excited by it, those are both damn good reasons to tick a box on election day.

Okay. So. Here’s what you said.


L A B O U R

“Jacinda is a modern leader who understands and excites young voters who make up a significant percentage of the “missing million”. She has conviction, is well informed, energetic, passionate and relatable. She’s a forward thinker unlike English who is super conservative and believes in morals of a by gone era. For the first time in 3 terms politics just became EXCITING!”

“I will be using my party vote for Labour because I don’t want to live in a country that holds abortion as a criminal offence. It’s 2017 and I should have rights over my own body.”

“I’m not happy with the circumstances under National. As a primary school teacher I see what life is really like for poor families, I see the effects of poverty and a dire housing market and I believe Labour are determined to make a different in those key areas.”

“I have an amazing job but I’m also living week to week just trying to afford Auckland rent and pay off my student loan. We need affordable education, a steady job market, salaries that reflect living costs and support to get into our first homes.”

“I’m sick of middle-aged, middle-class white men trying to come across as the “average kiwi bloke” and tell me how to live. Having a National government for nine years has meant that New Zealand has lost touch of its strong social values and I believe that Jacinda will help rectify that.”

“I’m voting Labour because Jacinda Arden is passionate about child poverty in New Zealand. I also value Labour’s policy on education, I’m a teacher of secondary school students and although I may not benefit from having a year’s free tertiary education my students will definitely benefit from it.”

“Labour think about the long term rather than just the next three years. They believe in climate change and that our environment is not just a “Greens” issue (!!!) and because I trust the “vision” more than what’s been delivered for the last nine years.”

“National has had nine years to improve housing, child poverty and educational opportunities, and they haven’t. National have neglected the environment and we need a government that is going to invest in these issues, as well as a government which funds business innovation and technology – sectors we need to start taking far more seriously as our economic backbones of farming and dairy weaken.”

“Jacinda. She is such an inspiring leader. I feel genuine optimism for our next generation and country with her as a prospective prime minister.”

“I want New Zealand to give opportunities to all classes and grow our economy as an entirety, rather than bridge a larger gap between the upper and lower classes. I love Jacinda’s approach to equal pay for men and women which is something very near and dear to me after working my way up in the corporate world and getting paid a quarter of my male counterparts.”

“I’m voting for Labour because I have an amazing job but I’m also living week to week trying to pay Auckland rent and my student loan. We need affordable education, a steady job market, salaries that reflect living costs and support to get into our first homes.”

N A T I O N A L

“I’m voting for Bill English because he has years of experience and knowledge on New Zealand’s financial position and sees opportunity for growth, whereas Arden has years of experience sitting on the side line and “a vision”.”

“Over the last nine years they’ve brought us back into financial surplus despite the GFC and the Christchurch Earthquake, and they now have the funds to make a real difference in health and education. Labour’s policies will drive tax too high and put our workplaces back into the unionized days of the 80s and 90s.”

“They have a vision backed by a plan, not hollow platitudes. It’s all well and good to say we want better schools and healthcare, we all want that, but there needs to be a plan in place and a strong economy is key. National is more than just their leader.”

“If it was a popularity contest I would vote for Jacinda but I just don’t see how the numbers work out. A free year of education is only going to increase the number of people studying and then dropping out, why didn’t they make the final year of a person’s degree free instead and thus encourage people to finish?”

“I’m sick of asking my friends who are Labour supporters why they are voting and hearing. “Because Jacinda is representing herself so well in the media!” I’m scared of the number of people casting an uneducated vote based on PR and not policy. I’m 20 and this is my first election and I feel so unprepared and uneducated. The sheer amount of research required to find out anything about the various party policies is insane.”

“110% voting National. Labour is only strengthing the already huge divide between urban and rural communities. As someone who has grown up on a family farm it is so sad to see Labour demonising New Zealand farmers. The proposed water tax and estimated figures means it will no longer be viable for my family to farm. For those who eat seasonal vegetables, certified NZ beef and lamb, make sure you spare a thought for the hard working farmers and the water that is used to help grow fresh food for this country.”

“I actually want to vote for the ACT Party but I feel that National needs my vote so Labour doesn’t get into power.”

“Bill English has put New Zealand in one of the best economic positions since the 2007 market crash. Only in this position can we create visions and succeed with them. If we tear down the strong economy that New Zealand has created, how do we plan on ending poverty and building more houses?”

G R E E N

“Green Party gets my vote because I care about water quality, climate change, inequality and creating better urban environments and I believe that getting the Green Party into government will pave the way for progress on these issues. A Labour/Greens coalition would be my dream.”

“I’m voting for the Greens because they understand the impact of climate change and are willing to do something about it.”

“They are very pro-medicinal marijuana so that people who need help can access it freely with the support of their country. Plus the Greens approach to helping students with more affordable public transport is awesome.”

“I know they are truly campaigning for the resolution of issues that directly impact my life. They are not afraid to be questioned and critiqued – which in my opinion is a defining feature of a government willing to be held accountable for their actions. Also James Shaw is a total honey.”

“Eco friendly, better transport, looking far into the future and making decisions not just for the next five years but for our children’s children.”

“Green Party because even though their leadership is a mess the environment needs a voice.”

U N D E C I D E D

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it because I never 100% agree with any of the candidates so it ends up being a lesser-of-two-evils scenario. I wrote a list of the most important things that matter to me and I thought I was starting to figure it out but then I feel this responsibility to understand everything and make sure I have an opinion on the various issues which puts me back at square one.”

“I really have no idea. I keep changing my mind, sometimes I think that Labour just won’t be able to do everything they want to in the next three years but with National they’ve already had nine years to do it and we still have unacceptable suicide rates and poverty. I have not benefited from a National-led government. I’ll probably vote Labour because I want action on Climate Change.”

“I’m undecided. National need to do more to address child poverty, housing prices and environmental issues but I’m worried that Labour might spend us into a hold trying to fix those issues. I love Jacinda but would have preferred her to have a longer lead in to formulate her own policies, I assume she’s inherited some. Is it time for change?”

“I’m torn because I consider myself a Green-Nat that likes Jacinda Ardern (!). I believe that caring for the environment is the smartest economic and social decision we can make, New Zealand’s largest exports are dairy and tourism and those both leverage off the environment. So I’ll be voting for the government with the strongest environmental policies that will diversify our economy. (P.s. James Shaw is so cute).”