Poll shock for government in Ohariu

Jacinda Ardern at a pay equity rally in Auckland

Should National stand down its candidate in Ohariu?

Yes
50%
No
29%
No, but English should have a cup of tea with Dunne
21%
Total votes: 208

United First leader Peter Dunne is at risk of losing Ohariu, according to a Colmar Brunton poll of 500 people for TVNZ's Q+A.

The poll has:

  • Ex-Police union boss and Labour candidate Greg O'Connor: 48%
  • Peter Dunne: 34% 
  • National's Brett Hudson (already a list MP): 14%
  • The Opportunities Party's: Jessica Hammond Doube: 2% 
  • ACT's Andi Moore: 1%
  • Don't know: 9%
  • Refused: 1%

Colmar Brunton tells NBR the margin of error is +/- 4%.

Mr Dunne – a key member of the National-lead government who effectively gives Bill Egnlish's party a bonus vote in Parliament – won the electorate by just 710 votes in 2014. 

This year, under the Labour-Green MoU, the Greens are not putting up a candidate. 

Dunne, who has been in the Beehive since he came in with the 1984 landslide as a Labour MP, is Parliament's longest-serving member. 

Going by this poll, his fate on September 23 will hinge on strategic voting (or not) by National supporters.

Bootcamp for young offenders
National promises to send up to 50 young offenders to a new training facility at Waiouru military camp each year, to train alongside soldiers.

The teenagers sent there would be 14- to 17-year-olds who had committed offences carrying adult jail sentences of up to 14 years - serious assault, sexual assaults, aggravated robbery and murder.

Those who failed to complete their time at the military academy would have to serve out their sentence in an adult prison.

At a campaign event in Auckland, Justice Minister Amy Adam said National would also introduce $200 spot fines police could issue to the parents of under-14 year-olds found walking the streets between midnight and 5am .

The Sensible Sentencing Trust backed the policy.

But ACT leader David Seymour called it sloganeering and a retread of a policy originally promised by John Key in 2008. And JustSpeak''s Katie Bruce said it assumed the teenagers involved were lacking in discipline, "but most have been failed by our society".

Commentator Matthew Hooton asked "Will a whole lot of social workers and addiction experts also have to move to Waiouru? Are there houses and flats?"

Bill hearts EVs
National wants one in three cars in the government's fleet to be electric by 2021.

Prime Minister Bill English announced the new policy at a rally in Lower Hutt.

It could be seen as a play for the blue-green vote at a time when the Greens are wobbling.

The Crown owns around 15,500 vehicles. Procurement guidelines are already in place for public sector agencies to choose an electric model when replacing a vehicle.

Mr English said he had a "light bulb moment" when he first got into an electric car on a visit to Australia. 

"One thing that struck me is how quiet they are but also how powerful they are," the PM said.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are certainly no slouches on the acceleration front  (Tesla's Model X can zoom from 0 to 100km in 3.1 seconds, for example). However, they don't pack the same power. The plug-in hybrid version of Mitsubishi's Outlander SUV has a towing capacity of 750kg, for example, vs the petrol version's1600kg.

The new policy builds on a series of government initiatives to increase the number of electric vehicles on New Zealand's roads from its current 3700 to 64,000 (or around 2% of total vehicles on the road) by 2021.

Measures already in existence include no road-user charges for EV owners under the 64,000 target is reached, and a law change allowing EV owners to drive in bus and high-occupancy lanes (although the latter has been derailed by Auckland Transport).

Ardern won't rest until there is pay equity
Jacinda Ardern told a rally in Auckland that her party "will not rest" until pay equity is achieved in New Zealand.

The Labour leader said the government's recent $2 billion settlement to boost pay in the female-dominated sector of rest home work was not good enough. 

Her plan is to include mental health workers and others left out of the settlement. 

"The pay equity legislation the government introduced this week will also be scrapped and redrafted when we are in office," she said.

James talks up TOP
Ignoring NBR's helpful advice, Green Party leader James Shaw appeared on The Nation, where he talked up Gareth Morgan's TOP.

“The level of policy alignment between The Opportunities Party and the Green Party is extremely high," he said, adding he could certainly work with TOP if it makes it to Parliament.

TOP is polling at 2% after doubling its support in the past month or so.

The latest polls notwithstanding, Shaw said he expects the Greens will get 11% or better in the election.

He said he won’t need a deal in Wellington Central to help his party get back into Parliment via winning an electorate, and he hasn’t discussed doing one.

This weekend’s campaign relaunch will include new billboards and pamphlets and a new TV ad, he said [UPDATE: The Green's new 2017 slogan will be a revival of the one they used in 2014: "Love New Zealand." James Shaw got a laugh at the relaunch by quipping that the party was "into recycling." More seriously, it implies a focus on the party's environmental roots after its recent social justice campaign gone awry.]

There will also be a new face for welfare issues, replacing Metiria Turei.


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37 Comments & Questions

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Before every election the polls say Dunne behind, and at risk of not getting back in, then after the election he gets back in again. Just saying.

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Time that great opportunist went. Goodbye to Dunne. Hurray.

All the same, have voters properly woken up to the fact that Labour's destructive policies are going to punish ordinary, hardworking people?

For heaven's sak.e ..An added 10% tax on Aucklander to "fix" the roading problem when Auckland has also become too expensive for teachers, nurses and other vital workers who live there. This will *really* help - NOT..

And now poor farmers- the ones not yet pushed of the land by the Chinese, etc influx. Labour intends to punish then with a water tax.

Labour's solution is to make it worse for those who are already finding it hardest..

Ardern is immature - these are not smart or pro-NZer policies. Nor is her deputy's stupid plan to lock in the racist Maori seats.

As for Gareth Morgan's weird proposal for those who have saved for many years, years to finally own their own home. Gareth wants them punished- by paying taxes on the family home! So utterly unfair.

A plague on all those trying to inflict even more taxes on NZers.

Wake up, Winston! And where on earth is your List team?

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Some really weird comments there.
The only destructive policies for the last 9 years for ordinary hardworking NZ's have been Nationals. With the pro property "investors" and overseas buyers ponzi property and immigration schemes shutting many hardworking NZ's out of owning their own home, and driving rents up.
Immigration of 3rd world cheap labour keeping wages below rising costs.
Yes those teachers, nurses and others have been locked out by this, not some future 10c per litre (not 10% tax), to help with Auckland's diabolical infrastructure shortage due to National opening the immigration floodgates.
The "poor" farmers who have been selling out to the Chinese have been making massive tax free capital gains and not having to pay anything for all the pollution and damage they have been causing by ramping up the number of cows on their farms.
I agree with Dunne the political opportunist has had his time.

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Don't worry about any of that, Cassandra. Saint Jacinda the Just and Labour has a cunning plan for that too. It's called tax. They are going to increase the top tax rate back up to 39c in the dollar on all incomes over 100K, and they will also introduce a capital gains tax, including on the family home. So with that extra money that they will raise by taxing the people more, they will be able to pay the people higher benefits and wage subsidies to compensate them for paying more in tax. It's genius! It's the Labour way!

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Please present where what you are spieling has been presented as Labour policy for this election, in writing, including a capital gains tax on the family home.
I'm calling you're making up BS, just like Cassandra's 10% tax, to try to counter the utter disastrous policies of National for ordinary hardworking NZ's of the past 9 years.
National delivering for property investors, big business and non NZ's.

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Grant Robertson said himself that Labour will introduce a capital gains tax, but they won't say so before the election. They will establish a tax policy group after the election stacked with those in favour of a capital gains tax. They will report back that NZ should have a CGT and Labour will throw it's hands up in the air and say, let's do this. This is what is recommended by the 'experts' so let's do this. It's so dishonest but then that's the Left and the Labour party for you. You just can't trust them.

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So let's fact check your scaremongering Stephen.
1. Robertson has not said Labour will introduce a CGT but won't say so before the election.
2. Labour has said they will establish a tax study group after the election.
3. No-one except you has said it will be stacked with those in favour of a CGT.
4. No-one except you has said it will report back that NZ should have a CGT and that Labour will throw it's hands in the air and say let's do this.
So let's see. 3 wrong 1 right. So I throw your comment back at you. "It's so dishonest" and clearly we just can't trust what you say and should treat it simply as what it is -.scaremongering.

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Robertson said on weekend TV that the CGT bright line test will be extended from 2 years to 5 years, and that there will be a tax working group. So it is a fact that there will be more taxing of capital gains.

Of course that measure doesn't put off the capital gain farming property investors - we really need a land tax that counts as a credit against income tax to make the tax system fairer and bring down bubble property prices.

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Your first sentence is correct. Your second is a huge leap in logic and more than a little exaggeration.

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A simple CGT has not worked anywhere else in the world to damp down property bubbles - not surprising because a tax you might expect to pay in 20 years time will hardly influence your behaviour now!

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I will always remember your words about this CGT, just to throw them back at you when Labour introduce it. But I suspect that I won't get the chance to, as you traditional Labour supporter types usually sleek back to where you come from when the shite hits the fan, as it always does after a Labour govt makes a mess of things.

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So do we have some real panic here from National Party supporters that's resulting in lies being spread as rumours, to try to scare the electorate?

Interesting times.

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I used to trust and vote for Labour, right up to the time me and all my fellow workmates at General motors got told that thanks to Roger Douglas there's no job for you tomorrow. Thousands of us around the country were thrown our of work. Your last sentence is right on the money.

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Well Steve

If National had of had a more equitable model over the last 9 years then these measures might not be needed.
Maybe National could have managed the housing market better etc. Your free market philosophy has actually failed and screwed our fine country.

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Your allegation that Labour will introduce a capital gains tax on the family home is such a lot of politically inspired rubbish that we now have to wonder what your mates are trying to distract people from in their plans is it true that they will reduce the top tax rate to just 1%? Is it true overseas buyers of our farms will receive a 50% subsidy to do so? Is it true the Commerce Comission will be abolished? Is it true the RMA will be repealed and not replaced? Is it true funding of private scchools will be increased 500% Will private medical insurance premiums receive a 100% tax break?

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Granted and agreed. From Labour more tax, more killjoy taxes on liquor and more low calibre police. What Wellington actually needs is to become what it was becoming ten years a 24/7 hetrosexual playground for the beautiful and ambitious, a city with high quality trolley bus and street tram transport and with use of roads restricted by severe congestion charging and the airport moved to Paraparamu to take advantage of the new rail units and transmission gully running in the other direction. As with Christchurch clearance of many of the economically and earthquake effected and still high risk areas would be desirable, ie half of the former Chrstchurch CBD, East Christchurch and East Wellingto should be turned into parkland which might might have involved moving the Christchurch botantical gardens east and using Hagley park as a new CBD. Downtown Wellington was until recently at extraordinarily safe place, by world standards and even NZ ones. Of course we now have more militant police trying to close down bars restrict licenses and move on the supposed homeless and useless, the recent article by police relative, Martin Van Beyen expressing the police view that the so called homeless were the' usual collection of homeless modeycoddled losers' the labels your average constables apply to anything beyond their minimal comprehension, they see. Apparently the small number of derelicts on the streets ruin business in Wellington. What has actually ruined and effected business in WEllington other than the earthquake is the ruthless and usually poorly judged door control now demanded by the police and the draconian restrictions on licensing hours combined with the , outrageous view of your average cop ( somebody with zero qualifications to express a legal or political opinion) that they have no public interest in keeping bars open late and night so beautiful people, german freedom campers and the variety of personalities they categorise as wastrels, can enjoy themselves. Its apparently offensive if low grade workers, usually in government or council created subsidised workers see others enjoying themselves, if they didnt. The cop view is that of the catholic proletariat of a hundred years ago, and better not heard. FRankly I would not vote for either O'Connor or Dunne who like Bill English inlaw who flired on the WEllington Mayoral campaign with the voters ( she had no platorm other than being sister in law to the PM, daughter of an AllBlack, former PR to Don McKinnon- you realised instantly the extraordinary lack of rigour in any Nat assesment of the safety of nuclear power and 'science' means any predjudice the lowest denominator voter agrees with, particularly any cargo cult they can feed on, she like Dunne played to the working class catholic secterian vote- 'those gorgeous boys in the Marist brothers bars and rugby club'- who actually are anything but glorious and in attitude define the cultureal backwards and working class male values that cause the rural backwardness and abuse that limits New Zealand and its men and women being the unlimited people they should be.
I would of course agree with O'Connor that the boot camps are bandaid and a pathetic gesture ( apparently his replacement at police HQ agrees with the bootcamps and were going even lower in the barel for high level police positons, although admittedly he had been dressed better than O'Connors local backcountry priest look) and that David Bain is massively guilt. But by the law of averages they will sometimes be right and so degree JUstice Binne high intelligent vist and contribution could also be viewed as a Dotcom/ Greenwald and et al mistimed intrusion in the election and a bit of a tragedy arriving here at this inappropriate time.

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Every problem is solved by tax, when in fact the answer is the opposite.
Loading more on the long suffering individual, Labours honey moon will be short lived! Single people should run from labour in fear!

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I TOO HAVE READ AYN RAND

Will still be expecting a hand out when I'm old obviously, just like Ayn Rand.

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Yes, but:

1. Dunne's once-comfortable majority has been steadily falling, to the razor-thin 710 at the last election.

2. This time, the Greens aren't standing a candidate this time. Quite a few people, across the spectrum, don't understand MMP, so not standing a candidate is the only way to guarantee strategic voting.

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I for one wouldn't like to see O'Connor get it. He'll only push for the cops to be carrying guns around on them, and do we really want to see that. If that happens it'll end up being like America where the cops start shooting anybody for next to nothing. Do we really want to see young police recruits roaming the place with guns?

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Ohariu voters are very savvy. When they find out O'connors Party are virtually looking for voters bank account numbers,when they vote blindly ,not knowing how much extra money they will be gazumped,to pay the water tax,as the formula is a secret,until after the election.

Of course the Ohariu voters will also realise that a winning vote for National and Peter Dunne will make sure on September 24 that the furtive water tax, and many,many other tax nasties,will not see the light of day,and the Green /Labour Party MOU, wont make the cut.

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You forgot to include the "stalinist" buzzword, John. Might want to add that into the next post.

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The times, they are a'changing
All small parties, inc Greens, to disappear from poll post election

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The Greens will not disappear, there will always be a place for a party that has the environment at heart. What the Greens have to do is stick to their knitting.

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Greens? Environment at heart? Yeah nah.

Forget chardonnay socialism (Nat's n Labour)...crocodile communism. If they had authentic concern for the environment, the political instruments used would not be punitive, wealth redistribution and or involve taxation.

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Chardonnay socialism vs. Diet Capitalism...where you're capitalist at tax time but socialist when it comes your turn to grab the pension.

(Let alone investment bankers who want to privatise the profits and socialise the losses.)

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Pete has had more than his fair suck on the sav. Needs to be put out to pasture where he can think about all his non-achievements.

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Add up the combined labour / green electorate vote for Ohariu in the 2014 election, and compare to National. The only reason Peter Dunne got back in then, was the greens being silly enough to stand a candidate.

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I suspect the Ohariu poll result is not that big a shock to the government. It's bad news for National and United, but not really a shock. Dunne was always going to find it hard to hold his seat after he only scraped in last time. Now he has a stronger, fresher, opponent and the winds of change are blowing harder against a 33 year incumbent.

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Is it too late for the National candidate in Ohairu to withdraw? That's a big strategic mistake by National to run a candidate there.

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Good question as given the Greens have dropped out it will just be seen as playing the same game now.

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I just looked it up. They can still withdraw, until noon on 29 August in fact. I hope National has the guts to do it!

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National will typically retain a candidate and get them to promote the party vote with the clear message to vote tactically..... National run a candidate in Epsom on the same basis. A cup of tea to signal all this to the electorate wouldn't go amiss though.

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Yes they do that in Epsom historically but there are three key differences in Ohairu this time around:

- the voters are not as used to gaming the system as in Epsom;
- the race is much closer than Epsom has ever been; and
- the Greens have already withdrawn their candidate in Ohairu, so no issues with the cynicism of it

It's a no brainer for National to withdraw, can't see the dowside.

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Not since the Muldoon versus Sir Bob Jones NZ party days have I enjoyed such a lead up to an election this far out.
Prime entertainment if you are in the main into fiction...

After 50 years of elections and having been a member of the NZ Party purely to help rid us of Muldoon and have some fun at his expense I am of the view that in the main I wouldn't trust many MP's to deliver on their so called promises or even believe them.
A fair comparison of their performance would be like a blind pick pocket in a nudist camp.

Individually we have had and still do so in my view have some outstanding individuals elected and standing as MP's across all parties. Dunne is certainly not one and he has for some time fallen into my "has been and show pony bucket."
The circus has arrived in town and I have a excellent front row seat in my lounge as i am fully entertained by the numerous acts as they unwind.
Bring it on I say.

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David Lange on Peter Dunne:

"A man whose life is so boring that if it flashed past he wouldn't be in it."

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My all time favorite was when Muldoon described Bill Rowling "as a shiver looking for a spine to run up"... classic stuff.

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