Sex, Lies and Poll Results: Is Labour going to dump the Greens for trophy wife Winston Peters in the 2017 election.

datePosted on 14:53, August 10th, 2016 by E.A.

Again I find myself wondering if the media are really doing their job?

Latest poll results from Reid Research show both Labour and the Greens up in polls while National is down and the media declare it “neck and neck”.

But before we break out the bubbles let’s have a bit more of a look at the numbers and consider the reality of the situation.

Currently the polling is: National at 45.2%, Labour at 32.7%, Green at 11.5% and NZ First at 8.1%.

Therefore under current polling a Green/Labour coalition comes close but only with NZ First added could they beat National but a Labour/NZ First pairing only is not enough to beat National.

So the total as it now stands is a Labour/Greens coalition is close to making the nut over National, except for one small thing, Winston Peters! This is hardly “neck and neck” except in the very literal sense and that’s not what this headline is implying.

And the poll numbers can only shift so much at this time giving that the only realistic thing which could degrade Nationals poll lead enough to make Labour strong enough to pair with NZ First for a government would be the housing hernia rupturing.

So I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that while one part of Andrew Little does not want the hernia to blow (think stabilization) another part is hoping that the hernia does cause a few painful moments, enough to drive down Nationals poll advantage while bringing Labours (and possibly NZ Firsts also) up.

Now this is not news to anyone who reads the media but the significance of John Keys statement that he did not need Winston before so he won’t need him in 2017 rings a little hollow (actually it positively peels with hollow but why quibble at a time like this) given these numbers.

And it’s seems that both sides in this (Labour/Greens and National) have been rather coy about this little factoid when looking at the numbers.

The recent movement in political polls and the usual nine year itch of NZ politics means that National is likely to be down to the wire in the coming year and election. Every seat and vote will count and the housing hernia remains the ongoing bugbear issue in the minds of many Kiwis which has nothing but negative potential for any government (in the form of bad media about rising house prices, speculators, homelessness etc) even if it does not rupture.

If it ruptures before the election then Key will have Winston on speed dial for sure and so will Andrew Little for that matter.

Therefore if John Key and his merry band of reptiles want to make a fourth term they can’t rely on their usual margin of Key’s popularity (now more like a tired worn out comedic routine of an actor like Adam Sandler (the first few films were funny but after that it was just the same old things again and again and again and again!) or the zombie parties (Maori and United Future) to prop up any bare bones margin in the house.

In fact I am now 50/50 that the hernia will rupture sooner rather than later and if it does there will be an extremely high correlation between the damage and the drop in Nationals popularity (and the subsequent rise in that of Greens/Labour) because as we have already seen any drop in house prices will hit those whose mortgages are now bigger than the home’s value hardest and those are the very people that have been backing Key all this time on the housing market fun ride*.

Loyalty will only go so far and the fickle “middle ground NZ” voter will switch vote once their homes value is heading down as that’s what middle ground voters do.

And if that happens and a Greens/Labour coalition gets close to National or even more than National there is only one thing which will save Key and National and it won’t be a series of humorous interviews with assorted brain dead morning radio hosts or a last minute cult of personality blitz with John Key out on the hustings hustling for blue votes (which we all know National is planning).

No, what will be required will be a straight out injection of New Zealand First life into the veins of the blue bloods, there is no other option and no other way and Key can twist the words all he likes but the inescapable fact is that he will have to do a deal with Winston if the results go against him in 2017.

Of course the same applies of Labour and the Greens if they get close but simply are short by one or two seats BUT they also have the options of trying to cage a seat from Peter Dunne (if Labour doesn’t try to outright take his seat from him) or the Maori Party (if they are amenable). For National the numbers are too close now and relying of near dead political parties is a risky strategy at best and positively suicidal at worst.

So I am wondering if any of these parties has an actual plan for dealing with NZ’s very own populist politician, Winston Peters?

And what kind of form would such a policy take?

Winston does not advertise his price and as we have seen before he can be as much of a liability to a government as his vote block is an advantage. Getting into bed with him is a risky proposition.

Sure he looks all alluring laying there, shirt open, soft music playing, his big brown eyes giving that “come hither” look that makes one go weak at the knees and those sweet words he whispers.

But there is no protection and the morning after who knows what the incoming government will wake up to find sleeping beside them. Even worse as the days drag on and the magic fades, the harsh reality of that one crazy moment will come crashing in like a truck full of expensive crystal wares through your living room wall; a government may find itself wondering if it was really worth it.

Therefore any policy for dealing with Winston will have to have some built in risk mitigation, some provisions to prevent any ugliness, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if things get desperate and the wheeling dealing starts (a definite possibility if the results are close) then those rational provisions will get thrown out the window in favor of all manner of  libidinous promises made by those with the drooling lust for power that infects all politicians.

Like dogs circling a bitches box (I remember as a kid watching the males circling, howling and generally going crazy in their frenzy to get what they could clearly smell but could not reach) both Little and Key will promise the earth to secure Winston if NZ Firsts seats are needed.

For me this is more shades of 96 than 05, Winston’s deadly deal with National turned out to be far worse than good and in part helped put National into the deadly slump in faced in the early 2000s (and which it will likely return to again when Key abandons ship).

But let’s not be coy here, this is not a level playing field, this is not some dating game with two hopeful contestants behind the curtain trying to woo Mr Right and who both have the same chances to get that coveted rose. In fact both contestants already have a history with Mr Right and the man himself is not such a catch as he might seem.

The turgid reality in 2017 will be that Mr Right may in fact turn out to be Mr “Rightwing” and go with his natural and preferred choice (as he has made it clear he is no fan of the Greens) and we get to see Keys lizard like visage on our TV screens for another three years.

And it’s at this point that it becomes clear why the Greens/Labour marriage only goes up until the election itself, afterwards each party is free to go the way it wants, as Labour is hedging its bets on how the seat numbers break down.

If Labour can form a government with just itself and the Greens then that will happen but the odds are that won’t happen and in that case the next (and probably the preferred) option is that if Labour can form a government with just itself and NZ First then the Greens will be out in the cold. This is the probable rational for the Green/Labour alliance only lasting until the election.

The least preferred option for Labour is a Labour/Greens/NZ First style government with Little in bed with the other two and not enough duvet to go round.

It’s somewhat cynical no matter how people try to spin it as “political pragmatism” as it potentially means a rather nasty situation if the Greens are left at the altar come the day after the election as it finds that Labour is now shacking up with smirking NZ First as they have the numbers. This is because Labour and Little are banking on the Greens supporting them no matter what which as I have noted before may be one assumption too many for the Greens to stomach.

It also defeats the purpose of having a MOU in the first place as by cementing the Labour/Greens brands together now and  common campaigning purposes (ie common goals and messages) means a rather nasty unpicking later if they don’t stay together post-election.

I would be less cynical about this if the friction between Labour and the Greens (both current and historical) was less but it’s not and this is the environment they operate in.

Come 2017 Winston is likely to go with National if his anti-Green stance does not change and Labour knows this which is why it is desperately trying to get its numbers up to a level (by trying to differentiate itself from National but still giving the same safe/clean/neat message under the label of “stabilization”) where it does not need the Greens and can rely on NZ First to get it across the line and why its marriage of convenience with the Greens ends the day after the election.

The flip side to this is John Key knows this also but in reverse. Key knows that he is likely to have to deal with Winston to stay in power and the price will be high. Nationals only chance is to sweep the polls as it has previously done but the odds of that in 2017 is next to none and Winston pulled no punches in Northland when taking National to task so the horrible reality is that Key will be making sure Winston is in the blue corner as much as possible (and as much as Winston is willing to give away) before polling starts.

Finally the horrible reality for Labour and the Greens is that they might get enough seats come the 2017 election to beat National but then NZ First goes with John Key and its 1996 all over again.

So there is nothing “neck and neck” about the current situation between National vrs Greens/Labour unless the Andrew Little is a giraffe.

 

*To be fair those voters will also turn on Little and Co quick smart if a Greens/Labour government can’t actually do anything about the hernia rupturing, and with the two minds of $350,000 houses (the possible Greens position if Turei is to be taken at her word) and “stabilization” at god knows whatever still painful house price Labour consider “stable” there is potential ahoy for a first term Greens/Labour government crisis of major proportions.

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14 Responses to “Sex, Lies and Poll Results: Is Labour going to dump the Greens for trophy wife Winston Peters in the 2017 election.”

  1. Dennis Frank on August 10th, 2016 at 20:22

    My theory is that the evolution of NZ First into a centrist party reflects the evolution of its leader. Twenty years of pragmatism & going with the flow of centrist voters has created this political reality, tempting as it is to see the renegade Nat as a right-winger for life.

    So, presuming support for the Nats continues to ebb, and the left continues to lack enterprise & initiative, he will be mandated by voters to create the next government. The conceptual challenge Labour & the Greens must rise to is designing a center-left government in waiting. They must create a three-way power-sharing arrangement to get the result. Following the MoU, the next substantial step for them to take is to enter into negotiations on this basis.

    My prediction is that the left will prove too stupid to grasp that this is essential to their electoral success next year, and they will fail to do what the situation requires. Having observed their political behaviour for 45 years, I reckon I’ve got them well & truly sussed. If they prove me wrong, I’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  2. Hardly on August 10th, 2016 at 20:40

    If the housing market does rupture, Labour/Greens will win in a landslide. By landslide I mean they will have over 60 seats between them.

    If its a choice between National and Labour/Greens, then Winston will choose National. He is pretty transparent in this. However, it will be interesting to see what he demands and how much trouble he makes in the process. I’m confident Key will give him whatever he wants or resign or both.

    Anyone who thinks voting for Winston should relook at all the times voting for Winston hasn’t changed the government. I believe he has a 100% record of supporting the governing party to stay in power when able to.

  3. E.A on August 11th, 2016 at 14:53

    Dennis: I fully agree with you here except for Winstons previous statements about the Greens. Maybe he has something personal with them that has made him hard to their message but he has been clear that the Greens will get no favor from him, which leaves Labour having to concoct some sort of alchemists marriage from opposing elements.

    I do agree that Labour could mangle any manna from Heaven they get from the hernia rupturing simply by not having the mettle to do what is needed in its aftermath, god help us all if they do screw it up. Also I see this as where they and the Greens will part ways, as the Greens will want action.

    Hardly: Its true that in a post rupture election there will be a lot of votes going away from National and to the other parties.

    What worries me, as I noted above, is that Labour will try and get all bossy britches on this and not realize that they are in a coalition govt leading to dissension and breakup as the needed measures to fix the situation get postponed in endless bickering about who is in charge.

    If that occurs I see no good coming form any of it as National trying to fix this problem is beyond them and Winston bound by his vote base to protect their assesses (houses).

    At this this pointy someone should be shouting “Iceberg ahead!” but no one in government is.

    If Key gives Winston what he wants we are all in trouble simply by 3 more years of National and by the sheer unpredictability of Winston.

    I voted for Winston in 96 and got so badly burnt that I will never vote for him again, no matter what he says or does (this explains my bitterness about him).

  4. Dennis Frank on August 11th, 2016 at 20:24

    Remember that the Ak bubble only subsided 10-15% when the gfc hit, then plateaued three years before re-inflating. As owner of several books detailing historical financial bubbles, I’m aware of the pattern. Expecting a collapse is sensible.

    However, consider that Ak may be an anomaly. As long as JK persists in importing so many people, upward pressure on house prices is unlikely to ease – unless a sufficiently-powerful countervailing force emerges. Latest news is that Ak prices lifted only 1% last month: crest of the bubble? Possibly. But that need not imply any rapid deflation!

    Most likely trend is a soft landing for the housing market in Auckland. Exactly what Metiria suggested the as-yet unreleased GP policy will be designed to achieve!

    Under this scenario, there will be no dramatic slide of votes away from Nats. We’ve had a 2% shift earlier in the year, another mid-year, and a further small shift by the end of the year would not surprise me. Those shifting are centrists made uneasy by the market imbalance.

    I suspect Peters learnt from his ’96 experience & I’d be surprised if he repeated it. The key point is that a center-left government is currently only feasible via a three-way power-sharing agreement. It will require a level of political sophistication that none of the three may possess. Both/and logic rather than zero-sum. Competing, yet also collaborating. Rather like walking and chewing gum simultaneously (to recycle the old slur against Gerald Ford).

  5. E.A. on August 12th, 2016 at 07:41

    Dennis:

    I don’t think AKL is going to be an anomaly, I can imagine a lot of people there will want it to be be but I just don’t think its going to keep on the up.

    The flip side is that I don’t expect it to crash and burn but a come down has to happen or more likely a slow down will happen and things will simply stabilize.

    BUT that is only one side of the coin here, the other is that if things “stabilize” as Andrew Little would like them that does not fix the problem for renters or for those wanting to get into a house market with prohibitively high house prices.

    Watching a Labour/Greens/NZ First government disintegrate would be painful and I am sure National would love to sit and watch such a show. That said I don’t think Labour and the Greens could actually form a government for long either given the differing positions.

    I would love to trust Winston to play the game but in his 40 years in politics he has been his own person time and again, what his agenda is at this phase of his career is possibly legacy related but old habits die hard.

  6. Hardly on August 12th, 2016 at 10:00

    What you miss E.A. is that if the market crashes there will be nothing left for anyone to do but cry. The reserve bank will cut interest rates, the govt might borrow and undertake fiscal stimulus, and some banks might need to be bailed out. But really there is no policy response to be made, you don’t fix a market correction like that, you just wait for confidence to return.

  7. E.A. on August 12th, 2016 at 10:49

    Hardly: I think this is where the definition of “crash” hits the same problems as the definition of “crisis” before we changed them to “hernia” and “rupture” respectively.

    I will admit this is not my area of specialty but I don’t really know what a market crash would look like as does a drop in hose prices constitute a crash, or does it have to be a major drop in house prices meet that criteria?

    I suppose this situation looks very different depending if you own a home or not. As a renter I don’t view any any potential reduction in my rent due to a price reduction as a crisis. It might look different from the other side.

    And I think this is where I at least could use some more info but having previously looked there is little to actually go on as to what constitutes this situation. The closest I can get is the issues in the US (and my brother there ended up in just such a situation but at the end of the day he still has a nice home).

    Maybe for home owners this will never constitute an actual crisis (as they still have homes) and this is not like the US with crazy lending practices.

    Perhaps the real crisis is the longer/larger picture of declining home ownership and all that it portends. I see two very distinct classes of people arising in NZ and future questions along the lines of “do you rent?” being some sort of determiner of social status.

  8. paul scott on August 12th, 2016 at 19:50

    There is good circumstantial evidence that NZF will gain 15% of votes next election, and compelling common sense recognises that Peters will form a collaboration with New Zealand’s preferred Prime Minister.
    Expect to see Nanny making policy closer to NZF policy over the next year.
    It would actually be quite a straightforward matter for labour / Green to become Government.
    Advance policy which is specifically designed to collapse the race based privilege, and that priority intrusion of race appointments over egalitarian equality within Councils.
    NZ First would eliminate the racist Waitangi tribunal, and the ludicrous tribal requirements within the RMA.
    Immigration policy will change.
    There will be a more Nationalist outlook if you like. But you collectivists don’t like. Good show, too. Nationalism is a reality showing up all over the world.
    The Green /Labour alliance makes the chance of NZF becoming associated as likely as a kune kune pig flying.
    Labour party is dying, and will die. You socialists live in a world which now does not exist for most Westerners.
    References to Orwell philosophy are as relevant as Einstein’s flirtation with socialism.. It was all before we knew about Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Europe East, Venezuela, the totalitarians that the mad State collective always gives.
    The idea that State organisation is superior to the individual is simply stupid, wrong, and pathetically sad. It rests in your hearts to our advantage.
    You will lose the election like this.
    Lab 28% Green 12% Nat 43% NZF 14% other 3%.
    There will be a Government of Nanny Nat with Conservative NZF

  9. E.A. on August 13th, 2016 at 15:11

    Paul:

    That’s was one of the most amazing messages I have ever read because I honestly cannot figure out if you are being serious or trolling, so for that alone you have my respect.

    Apart from that you may be right on Peters backing National but that was the point of my post anyway so no points there as we are already in agreement.

    Unfortunately after that you took a rather strange turn and again I am unable to figure out if your trolling or not with your references to racism, collectivism, “Orwellian philosophy” and weird style of writing which makes it look as if English is not your native language.

    So, you sir, have my respect for completely stumping me on a Saturday afternoon. Well done.

    I will keep your vote percentages in mind come the 2017 election though, and if your correct I will acknowledge that.

  10. paul scott on August 13th, 2016 at 16:32

    OK.
    Nice simple syntax for the collective.
    Lets say we drop NZF to 10%, and Lab/Green 45%, Nat 45%.
    We still win and you lose.
    Here is your choice
    1/ Winston Peters for PM with a Green Minister for possum hunting in the Rimutaka range.

    2/ Nat NZF Government PM Key.
    Restructure of the RMA / Immigration policy with affirmative restrictions / Race based appointments out/ Reserve Bank changes / Waitangi tribunal out / Export led economy

    In fact lots of good stuff to look forward to.
    New Zealand for New Zealanders.
    Social conservatism.
    Progressives invent dialect and can’t understand the ordinary word. You’ll catch on to reality soon enough dudes.

  11. Dennis Frank on August 13th, 2016 at 17:51

    Not many politicos are referring to JK as a socialist PM, eh? Perhaps they’d concede centrist. But yeah, the Nats have been trending toward the nanny-state style somewhat. Key learnt it from seeing how Helen Clark captured the center and maintained control.

    If you view society as a vehicle, progressives are fixated on the destination (utopia) & conservatives are fixated on that view in the rear-vision mirror. Neither bunch is much good when it comes to driving the road we’re actually on. Neoliberalism has failed globally, but reluctance to face that fact is widespread. Key’s growth addiction requires flooding the country with foreigners, which Peters hates, so I can’t see him tolerating the addict let alone working under him.

    Both sets of election outcomes Paul has projected are realistic (see recent TV3 Reid Research poll). However social conservatism in Aotearoa has always resided as much in the left as in the right – many leftists aren’t progressive in their outlook & values.

  12. E.A. on August 14th, 2016 at 17:26

    Paul: Unless you are someone who wants both NZ First AND National in power I would not be categorizing a NZ First/National government as a win.

    Win for who?

    National gets shackled with NZ first calling more shots than they would ever want and NZ first frustrated at being close to power but ultimately being thwarted by National.

    Keep in mind that its likely to be knife edge election results with Labour and the Greens either ahead of National of very very close. In that environment Winston will have the deciding vote and if he supports National but then pulls that support its the end of National, that’s being held hostage Winston Peters Style.

    We have previously seen how toxic Peters is to those he supports because his agenda is not ever theirs.

    Its a “win” in that National remain in power but that may be all as Winston’s laundry list of demands may be too much for National to stomach (as Dennis points out) for Key and Co.

    Keep in mind Winston’s time in politics is limited now, his age is going to preclude him sooner or later and her may not have another decade to wait for another shot at the top spot so this is likely to be his last chance, what would he want enacted in that time? Is it going to be compatible with National? Odds not.

    So if National are only in at Winston’s behest then its uneasy bedfellows for the rest of that term as anything could happen.

    I noted in my Winston Peters Post a few months back that in some ways Labour dodged a bullet in 96 when Winston backed Boldger/National. It could be the same this time round if John Key is forced to give Winnie the number two job or worse have to kowtow to him.

    Unlike the rest of the sycophants in National, Winston will not hesitate to criticize a bad policy or position which is not to his liking and Key will have to suck it up.

    That’s not a win, that’s more a Pyrrhic victory.

    Dennis: I would agree about the conservative streak in NZ, its both sides of the line.

  13. paul scott on August 15th, 2016 at 16:46

    New Zealand First
    We can assume that NZ First will hold the balance of power, in late 2017. Forgoing the obligatory histrionics which people like Farrarpropaganda blog like to indulge in and heading straight to Policy.
    Lets take say Reserve Bank policy .
    Yes there it goes, under NZF policy // NZ dollar overvalued, export economy, and non inflationary priority. New RBNZ rules
    National // nothing to be seen at Nat, except about Don Brash, [who died politically for us , so that we might live ]
    Labour // good going , Reserve Bank needs overhaul.
    If you do want to hit NZF, the best way is to remind the elderly that NZF Reserve Bank and Dollar policy, will see their savings drain, that is a 20% devaluation, by one means or another. That polciy does not help many of NZF voters but at least policy is stated and firm.
    NZF have had private members Bill in the list for about 5 years. If you watch, you will find NZF do stick to stated policy.
    Immigration policy >/b>.
    If we go across to Immigration, we can see 70,000 net Immigration , likely 40,000 to Auckland and maybe 10,000 homes in Auckland last year.
    Not to difficult, to see the difficulty. See Mum, no need for hysteria at all.
    Tony Alexander [ Economist in the mist] says in his weekly reports that we need a massive increase in Immigration of builders
    to build homes for the massive number of Immigrants.
    NZ First says, // what about John Smith , 35ears old, Aucklander, without any show of buying a house.
    National policy // everything is fine and immigration is good, we don’t need to think about anything. Michael Woodhouse doesn’t like to think.
    Labour and Marxist policy // Probably get as many Islam peace terrorists here as possible. Anything is better than white.
    So, you know what you are going to get, all you have to do is sign up.
    Green disaster .
    What is real, is that Green Politics is ludicrously anti capital. Anti science. Anti progress. Anti people.
    Most New Zealanders will actively vote against green. As I said in last letter, you can probably count of a Green Minister of Possum control in the Tararuas.
    Nat NZF Government .
    I do not think this is a good idea, for the personality reasons. But it is likely.
    Nanny is opposed to NZF policy on reflex principle, and Peters will be reluctant to let them take credit for long standing NZF policy.
    What needs to happen .
    Labour announce unilaterally a policy of ending all race based privilege, removal of special RMA tribal concessions, tax privilege, and appointments to democratic bodies. Labour in effect dump Green, because it is not a viable course forward.
    Result Labour Green 48% [some internal loss to Maori, wasted votes, and transfer to Green, NZF 12% on the coat tails of anti race policy.
    Goodbye Nanny, oh look, she’s still asleep.

  14. Geoff Fischer on August 18th, 2016 at 20:51

    Dennis Franks writes “Key’s growth addiction requires flooding the country with foreigners”.

    Actually, the colonial authorities’ immigration policy, which has been remarkably consistent since 1850, has had multiple objectives which are not limited to expanding the size of the domestic economy.

    One objective is to lower the price of labour. Achieving that objective goes beyond merely providing greater numbers of wage workers and a surplus of labour. From the early nineteenth century the New Zealand labour market was an unusual one. There were few individual wage workers. Maori chiefs contracted with European traders to supply labour (or agricultural commodities – timber, flax, pork, potatoes and so on) and thus all labour contracts were one-to-one (chief to trader) rather than one-to-many (capitalist to workers) as in the standard European model of wage labour. That put Maori labour in a strong position vis-a-vis the trader capitalists, and the relatively small number of working class European immigrants who arrived in the country prior to the wars saw the advantages of the Maori system which they quickly adopted themselves, organising into relatively well-paid contract gangs rather than working as individual labourers. The wars of the 1860s were designed to break that Maori labour model, to seize Maori land, and to turn back the rising tide of nationalist sentiment. However it was only by means of a new wave of British immigrants following the end of the wars that all the British war goals were finally achieved, and the Maori (and Pakeha) labour model was shattered in the early twentieth century. Unlike their predecessors, the post-war British immigrants had little if any exposure to Maori culture, and therefore by default they continued to follow the capitalist economic and cultural relations of nineteenth century Britain. The situation today is very similar. It is not just that very large numbers of immigrants are being brought in to work in the dairy industry, local government, the food and service industry, transport and distribution and so on. More important is that these immigrants do not have the attitudes or expectations that New Zealand workers have retained even in a post-union era. For example throughout the twentieth century New Zealand dairy farm workers (whether share-milkers or wage workers) expected to become farmers in their own right at some stage in their lives. The new industry model however requires labour to be employed at minimum legal wage rates (or below) which completely rules out the possibility that a dairy farm worker can acquire sufficient capital to buy a farm. In fact, as farm labour becomes cheaper, the value of a farm has risen to stratospheric levels, and the possibility of transition from farm worker to farmer becomes even more remote. New Zealanders are, by and large, unwilling to do farm work under such conditions. Consequently their places are taken by Filipono, south Asian and Middle Eastern workers who are willing to accept those terms because they have never known any better and because as foreigners they do not expect anything more. The same pattern is repeated in horticulture, transport and a whole range of other industries. Key and English might think that when the New Zealand working class has been exposed to the attitudes and expectations of the third world labour force, they will adopt those attitudes and submit to those lower expectations. They may be right, but before that happens, there will also have to be a painful re-adjustment for capital. Migrant workers come from countries where wages are low and housing and staple foods are either external to the cash economy or very cheap, while in New Zealand the property market, and to a lesser degree the market in staple foods, is fitted to a high wage market economy. So there will be a degree of pain for the property market at least before New Zealand can evolve into an economy with truly competitive third world labour rates.

    A second aim of immigration, has been to maintain and increase property values. This was an integral element in the original New Zealand Company colonization plan, and it has remained a consistent feature of the colonial economy for the past 175 years. Before anything else, a vast mass of European New Zealanders have either been, or aspired to be, property speculators and immigration has been the main means to the end of profitable speculation.

    A third aim is political. Immigration has been the colonial regime’s main defence against the rise of New Zealand nationalism, in the form of rangitiratanga, kingitanga, pakeha republicanism and the “native New Zealander” movement of the nineteenth century (that is the movement that represented the interests of people of European descent born in New Zealand). The colonial state’s response to every sign of the emergence of a true national identity in New Zealand has been to bring in a new wave of immigrants to overwhelm indigenous cultures.

    However the problem with the colonial strategy of mass immigration is that it is unsustainable in all its aspects. When there were 100,000 Maori living in New Zealand, it was not too difficult to bring in 200,000 British settlers. With 4 million second, third or fourth generation New Zealanders living in the land, it will be a major challenge to bring in even two or three million new immigrants, whether destitute or moneyed, from Asia, Europe or North America. Yet Key and English are compelled to do that, not just to grow the economy, but more importantly to preserve the colonial political order.

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