The Dim-Post

October 3, 2013

What are they thinking?

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:57 am

I’ve updated the tracking poll. Interactive version here

nzpolls20131003Labour’s Cunliffe bounce appears to be real; this (partly) explains the desperate weirdness of the right-wing blogs over the past few weeks.

(We went through a lot of this weirdness when Clark was PM. Did she know her motorcade went over the speed limit? Was her husband arrested overseas?? Did something happen when Winston Peters went to Las Vegas??? National’s bloggers wrote hundreds of thousands of words about these non-issues and the press gallery spent years chasing various conspiracy theories and rumours, and nothing ever came of any of it. Labour tried to copy National’s tactics when it beat up a story about John Key’s (non) involvement in faked foreign transactions – the so-called ‘H-Bomb’ that blew up in Labour’s face. It seems significant to me that the smears and conspiracy theories are instantly back in play after five years of dormancy under the Goff and Shearer interregnums.)

Anyway, back to the poll: The next government could be a Labour-Green coalition. But it could also easily be a National-New Zealand First coalition. Peters is unpredictable though. I kind of suspect that if Labour and the Greens can govern alone he’ll go into government with them. It’ll let him retire from politics with a knighthood and diplomatic posting to London.

In the twenty-two months since the last election roughly 150,000 people have changed their vote from National to Labour. I’d be really curious to know why. Asset sales? Power policy? House prices? Something else? If any swing voters are reading this I’d like to know why you’ve switched support.

59 Comments »

  1. My view is blinkered because I tend to talk to people about a limited range of topics… but I’ve definitely spoken to a few people who have said variations of “I’ve always voted National but I won’t any more because of GCSB/spying/etc.”

    I’d already noticed that a large part of the geeky set I hang out with had switched support to the Greens (often from Labour), but National’s moves seems to have finished off alienating the rest of them.

    Comment by Thomas Beagle (@thomasbeagle) — October 3, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  2. I kind of suspect that if Labour and the Greens can govern alone he’ll go into government with them.

    If Labour and the Greens can govern alone, then why would they want NZ First in the mix at all?

    As for why National’s support is slipping … is the basic trajectory that different from what happened to Labour in 2004? If you’re in Government, you get the blame for everything that goes wrong and little credit for anything that goes right, while all your opponents have to do is look half-way competent (which, admittedly, has been a challenge up till recently). So trying to find “the thing” that’s turning people off National is likely to be a fruitless task.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 3, 2013 @ 9:20 am

  3. It’d be useful to Labour to be able to pass legislation without the Greens.

    Comment by danylmc — October 3, 2013 @ 9:34 am

  4. If Labour and the Greens can govern alone, then why would they want NZ First in the mix at all?

    If National and ACT (2008) or National and Banks+Dunne (2011) can govern alone, then why would they want the Maori Party in the mix at all?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — October 3, 2013 @ 9:36 am

  5. @danyl/Graeme,

    It’s kind of hard to imagine a scenario where you can have Labour and the Greens able to “govern alone”, but yet NZ First with enough MPs in the House to allow Labour pass legislation without the Greens. How would that work … Labour on 42%, the Greens on 10%, and NZ First at 7%? Meaning National’s vote would have to drop to somewhere in the mid-low 30’s?

    Also, if we were in such a world, wouldn’t Labour just do what it did under Clark and go into Government with NZ First, confident that the Greens will have to give them their votes when needed? That’s a simpler situation than trying to keep Peters and Norman/Turei happy.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 3, 2013 @ 9:48 am

  6. The Shearer interegnum! Ah, that sweet, sweet hindsight.

    I think if you asked a bunch of these voters who changed their minds they’d probably quote a lot of things – asset sales, GCSB, Kim Dotcom, Cunliffe, etc etc. The real answer is none of these, I think – it’s just the inevitable decay of an incumbent government’s support. Well, OK, not inevitable, but it’s what tends to happen outside of the occasional game changer. Few people will admit to themselves (let alone someone else) ‘Oh, I just got sick of them’ but that’s generally what it is – the rest is a rationalisation.

    However, this post strikes me as a bit optimistic from the p.o.v. of a Green supporter. Is this bounce in the polls possibly just a result of Labour’s increased visibility due to the leadership contest? I would be cautious about assuming these numbers will carry through. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in a month’s time, this blog is tutt-tutting about the easily avoidable presentation mistakes Cunliffe is making, and wishing fervently that Labour would finally elect a leader with some presence and media savvy!

    Comment by Hugh — October 3, 2013 @ 9:51 am

  7. Labour’s Cunliffe bounce appears to be real

    It wasn’t long ago that Kevin Rudd received a ‘bounce’ too… Jus’ sayin’.

    Comment by Phil — October 3, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  8. “…If Labour and the Greens can govern alone, then why would they want NZ First in the mix at all..?”

    Because it would give them a crushing majority, it would allow Labour to play the Green’s and NZ First off against each other over legislation and it would keep Winston in the tent pissing out.

    The desperate weirdness of the right wing blogs has always been there you only have to look at how they idolise Judith Collins – a woman who if she ever attains leadership of National will polarise them into permanent opposition.

    National is John Key, and without him they are basically unelectable. Key previously impregnable popularity has been getting a serious bashing though. John Key has forgotten the lesson of Caesar’s wife (assuming of course his corporate philistinism ever had time for the history nonsense), namely that the PM’s loyalty to New Zealand needs to be above suspicion. The GCSB issue annoyed a lot of his fans in the middle class “the law is only relevant to the lower class” brigade, who don’t want to be spied on, and feeds into a wider narrative that he isn’t looking after the interests of Joe and Jane Sixpack, that he is excessively obsequious to foreign masters whilst being arrogant and favouring of his crony mates at home.

    I guess that what we are seeing are signs his strengths are becoming his weaknesses. Where he was once thought a good matey guy, he is now thought to be extending matey favours to a gilded few. Where his wealth was once a positive aspirational thing, it is now evidence of his detachment from the struggles of normal Kiwis. Where his internationalism was once seen as a glamorous thing which brought great experience in a globalised world, it now raises suspicions in people minds as to where his real loyalties lie.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  9. My guess is that Labour are looking more credible and less like a rolling cluster-fuck. Polling has generally shown that people prefer Labour’s policies but disliked the leadership. If there’s someone in Labour at the top who looks like they could win, then voters will start switching.

    Comment by Alexis Randell — October 3, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  10. “…If Labour and the Greens can govern alone, then why would they want NZ First in the mix at all..?”

    Because it would give them a crushing majority, it would allow Labour to play the Green’s and NZ First off against each other over legislation and it would keep Winston in the tent pissing out.

    So people keep saying. But, to repeat, I’m yet to see anyone outline a scenario in which (a) Labour and the Greens can “govern alone”, and (b) NZ First has enough votes to replace the Greens support on any given measure Labour wants to pass, and (c) the laws of real world politics apply.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 3, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  11. If Labour and the Greens can govern alone, then why would they want NZ First in the mix at all?

    AG – it’s better to have Winston in the tent, pissing out &c.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 3, 2013 @ 11:50 am

  12. AG – it’s better to have Winston in the tent, pissing out &c.

    That’s a fair call. But if I were the Greens and Labour needed me to form Government, I’d be pretty leery of sharing any of the spotlight with another actor … especially one who likes hogging it a lot.

    We’re discussing this as if Labour can dictate the terms of a future governing arrangement to its satisfaction. But if it can’t govern without the Greens, then they may have some things to say about who else gets invited under the covers.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 3, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  13. I’m yet to see anyone outline a scenario in which (a) Labour and the Greens can “govern alone”, and (b) NZ First has enough votes to replace the Greens support on any given measure Labour wants to pass…

    You’re right, I can’t see Labour and Greens getting enough seats to govern alone unless NZF fails to make the threshold.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 3, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

  14. But if I were the Greens and Labour needed me to form Government, I’d be pretty leery of sharing any of the spotlight with another actor … especially one who likes hogging it a lot.

    Does Winston take more of the spotlight while working in Government or while in Opposition?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — October 3, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

  15. I think the general assumption is Winston Peters is approaching the end of his political career – his personal energy has long gone, he can only operate for very short bursts now and I imagine would jump at the chance to go out in a blaze of establishment approval.

    I would say the political logic of having, say, 69 seats in the governing coalition instead of 62 is that it means the opposition, with a combined total of only 51 seats instead of say 58, is rendered much more politically irrelevant. Not even a scrap of a chance of passing a private members bill. And if you are irrelevant, then you are squeezed out of the debate – the media reports on the horse trading between the parties of the governing coalition, with the leader of the opposition left to jumping up and down outside the media huddle saying “notice me! Notice me!”

    But much of this is based on Labour continuing to prefer centrist partners in government. David Cunliffe is not stupid, and he will have observed how National use the miniscule ACT party as the stalking horse for policies it wouldn’t dare introduce under it’s own name. Thus, if Labour really does wish to give the cronyist neo-liberal business establishment they would go into government with the Greens. Then Cunliffe might piously acknowledge with a furrowed brow the treaties of the trucking lobby, shake his head, raise his hands palms up and sigh “Well, you see, this scrapping of the RoNs is all the Greens idea, what can I do?”

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

  16. …Thus, if Labour really does wish to give the cronyist neo-liberal business establishment A SHAKE UP…

    I wish Danyl had an edit function.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

  17. The major headache for Labour would be if Winston drops dead, leaving a gaggle of rudderless flinkies in situ.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 3, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

  18. To answer your question, as a true swing voter it is National’s crony capitalism and corporate welfare that has done it for me.

    The absolute waste of huge amounts of money on the Roads of National Significance and the UFB along with the proposal to make broadband consumers gift $600m to Chorus will likely switch my vote from centre right to centre left next time. Haven’t followed the GCSB issue at all but National’s more conservative instincts are likely to go against my more liberal ones.

    By dropping some of their more loopy leftie policies (fiddling with GST and the man-ban) Labour have a real chance of winning my vote, especially if they retain their Capital Gains Tax proposal.

    Asset sales are only a big issue for those who are illiterate with regards to economics. Both the costs and the benefits are typically massively overstated by ideologues on both sides.

    Comment by Vanilla Thrilla (@Vanilla_Thrilla) — October 3, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

  19. “Does Winston take more of the spotlight while working in Government or while in Opposition?”

    Depends whether you make him Foreign Affairs Minister or not.

    Comment by MeToo — October 3, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

  20. Yeah – that Chorus thing is a real doozy of a sleeper issue, if feedback from my the collection of anecdotes that passes as my friends is any guide.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

  21. I have switched from Act back to National. Mainly because shit is tarting to get serious and whilst I am still keen to protest vote against National, they are certainly the lesser of two evils. National have stayed in the centre but Labour have swung left. Ironic given the mess Europe.

    Comment by Swan — October 3, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

  22. “National have stayed in the centre but Labour have swung left. ”

    Suggesting that one party is better than another because it is on a arbitrary central position on an poorly defined one-dimensional axis isn’t actually much of an argument. A better approach would be to point out various policies positions of the different parties and why these are good or bad.

    Comment by wtl — October 3, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  23. “Labour tried to copy National’s tactics when it beat up a story about John Key’s (non) involvement in faked foreign transactions – the so-called ‘H-Bomb’ that blew up in Labour’s face.”

    Except a little digging by our media types in 2008 would have seriously called into question the May 1991 statement John Key gave to the Serious Fraud Office, who were investigating his ex colleague Paul Richard’s who was facing fraud charges for his part in the ‘H-Fee’ transactions.

    The ‘H-Bomb’ spin did exactly what Crosby/Texture needed, it allowed them to attack Labour and it’s attack dogs, allowed Key to talk up his role in seeing the ‘fraudsters’ being charged, and lastly, most importantly, deflected scrutiny from the real problem with Key’s 1991 statement surfacing, which was the date he gave for his resignation from Elders being a lie. http://politicallycorrected.webs.com

    Comment by sleepdepriveddiva — October 3, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

  24. OK wtl, fair enough.

    The energy policy – ripping up our market framework for electricity generation. I consider that to be utterly reckless.

    GST off fresh fruit and veges. Again reckless. Not really a left policy though I would grant as it is a middle class transfer. Bizarre is the word I would use.

    The housing announcement. I dont even consider this a policy as they havent articulated what on earth they are going to do. Compulsorily aquire land? Override district plans? Nationalise supply chains? Subsidise buyers? Either way it is not good.

    The recent announcements around kneecapping the RBNZ. Not great.

    The vague pronouncements by Cunliffe about neoliberalism. What is his agenda?

    Comment by swan — October 3, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

  25. Ha ha, trying to explain the weirdness of any political blogs is well kinda weird in itself!

    Comment by bart — October 3, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

  26. The electricity market is not self-organizing and was imposed on a collection of existing plant that was originally state-built. There is little-to-no competition and it is performing dismally from a household consumer point of view.

    Reckless would be to continue with a badly-designed system that has only seen ever-increasing prices for close to 15 years. If you ask me the single-purchaser model should only be a stepping-stone on the path to full renationalisation, corporatisation has totally failed to deliver on it’s promises and it’s about time the country took back what generations of taxpayers paid for.

    I’m not sure how GST off fresh fruit and veges is reckless, from what I’ve seen it only bothers beancounter accountant-types who cry because it messes up their simplistic economic models and their rudimentary minds struggle when they are unable to rely on counting their fingers and toes.

    It is also quite possible that the move to exempt fruit&veg would not be viable if Key actually did something about the pathetic payrates that people at the bottom are expected to live on. Also his decision to increase GST to 15% has not helped (he is on record saying that if he had to increase GST it would mean his government had failed).

    It seems you don’t know anything about “the housing announcement”, but you’ve decided you don’t like it regardless. Top work! That’s just the sort of evidence-based approach I’ve come to expect from your ilk.

    Kneecapping the Reserve Bank? sorry you’ll have to explain. No copying generic paragraphs from your 6th form economics textbook please.

    You worried that the failed economic approach that you’ve nailed your dick to is being questioned? I thought you denied the existence of neoliberalism anyway? Lulz.

    Comment by Rob — October 3, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

  27. GST off fresh fruit and veges. Again reckless.

    swan – GST of fruit and veg was a dog whistle rather than a policy.
    No-one (except maybe Clare Curran/David Clark?) took it seriously beyond the election cycle.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 3, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

  28. “their more loopy leftie policies (fiddling with GST and the man-ban)”

    Just to be clear, the idea of women-only candidate slates was a) an internal selection policy, not something to be imposed on other parties b) only to happen on request of an electorate committee and c) not actually an approved policy, but a proposal to be voted on at conference and hence d) in total not likely to affect much in practice if at all compared to other measures which no one has made a fuss about. The entire thing was a massive beatup from start to finish and a poor issue on which to base ones vote I would have said. It was a major triumph for the WhaleOil/Kiwiblog distraction machine though.

    Comment by Stephen J — October 3, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

  29. (Also, having said that, is it really so loopy to allow the possibility for an electorate to volunteer to do some affirmative action in its selection? Doesn’t seem super-nutty to me, you can’t tell me that there’s such a shortage of female talent it would lead to worse outcomes than the predominantly male talent we currently have in parliament.)

    Comment by Stephen J — October 3, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

  30. Gregor,

    That is good to hear if correct.

    Rob,

    Oh hi again. I have only read the Labour Part ‘Kiwibuild’ policy statement on their website. It gives no details as to what they are planning. Do you have more information? Id be very interested.

    Comment by swan — October 3, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

  31. Nope, don’t really pay much attention to the Labour party. I was just entertained by your description of a plan that you admit to knowing nothing about as “reckless”.

    What’s so bad about exempting fruit and veges from GST? Can’t say its a policy that really bothers me either way, but anything that reduces the barriers to New Zealand’s underpaid workers eating healthily sounds good to me.

    Speaking of reckless.. I would have said that ignoring the advice of your paid-for financial advice department and floating 49% of company that operates in an industry that is already over-represented on the stock market, while everyone is still suffering from a GFC-induced hangover is far more reckless and economically irresponsible than any of the minor beefs you have with Labour party policy.

    Comment by Rob — October 3, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

  32. Rob,

    Ok so you are making shit up. The point is there is no detail. They have to do one of a number of things to make their policy work. They haven’t told us what.

    I can’t be bothered arguing with you about GST exemptions. You are keen on nationalization of the electricity industry so we will just be talking past each other.

    Comment by Swan — October 3, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

  33. Speaking of weird muck raking, I quite enjoy what I call the “Kiwiblog Pause”.

    I hang around with a few political types, but despite strong opinions of my own, i’m more of a listener than a talker and I don’t let on that I read most of Kiwiblog.

    Occasionally you will get an avid Kiwiblogger starting on a rant, listing off all the things they are enraged about (last time I got the Kiwiblog Pause was in regards to Celia Wade-Brown and her supposed sins), they start reeling them off, then half way though they stop and pause for a second.

    Hypothesis is when they actually say these alleged sins out loud, they pause and think to themselves for a moment when they realise how petty most of them are.

    Comment by Michael — October 3, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

  34. I know a number of young National voters who are in Australia, or have recently returned, who have been outraged about John Key’s weak stance on NZ rights in Australia. These are relatively a-political people in their mid 20’s to early 30’s who thought John Key was a good bloke, and on their side as hard working Kiwi’s, and genuinely feel let down or betrayed. None of them are going to man the barricades anytime soon, but they will post on facebook and may well remember it come election time.

    Comment by Ben — October 3, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  35. Seeing you asked Mr J, the manban seems totally nutty to me on 2 important counts:

    1 – it fails the “how would this look on the front page of the paper/will our political opponents be able to make massive mileage out of this?” test. it really plays to every negative stereotype of the left for very little gain. i would’ve thought a “political” party would have these sorts of things in mind.

    2 – IMO it’s an intellectually flawed policy that, although well meaning repeats the same sexist thinking it seeks to overturn. To borrow a well known phrase, to stop discrimination on the basis of gender, we need to stop discriminating on the basis of gender. or in my less eloquent words, i don’t give a sh!t if someone has a vajayjay and ovs, a cock and balls, both, or neither. I just want the best person for the job to be selected.

    Comment by Vanilla Thrilla (@Vanilla_Thrilla) — October 3, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

  36. And while I’ve got my rant on, if labour is halfway competent (not something they could be accused of in recent years) it seems there’s a real opportunity to create a really strong negative narrative against the Govt at the moment. It can point to Sky City backroom deals, Chorus and more expensive broadband, RoNS and holiday highways, etc and say this Govt is guilty of crony capitalism and corporate welfare. they can point to the GCSB and the govt’s use of urgency and say, this govt is not transparent.

    Cunliffe can stand up and say (rightly or wrongly) Labour will get you cheaper electricty (NZ Power), Labour will give you cheaper broadband (no Chorus subsidy) and Labour will give you …., well they need another hip-pocket policy because these lists really need 3 items.

    Comment by Vanilla Thrilla (@Vanilla_Thrilla) — October 3, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

  37. Re point one, a democratic party doesn’t have a mechanism to kill member initiatives. Re point two, o ho ho ho, every organisation claims it selects on merit alone, and yet mysteriously without quotas, men predominate, many of whom don’t seem to have made it on merit.

    Agree on the opportunities. Target rich environment right now.

    Comment by Stephen J — October 3, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  38. Post Muldoon, people tend to vote Labour when the economy is on an up cycle because they think, well fuck it, we’ve gotta bit more cash to spend on the stuff that makes us feel guilty. Then they vote National when the shit needs sorting out. So this seems about right.

    Comment by grant — October 3, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

  39. “…Post Muldoon, people tend to vote Labour when the economy is on an up cycle…”

    Clearly you are 12 years old, because it is obvious you weren’t born in in time for the 1999 Labour win. National was in power courtesy of the tight five and Alamein Kopu, Shipley was dispised, the dull treasury tea boy Bill English was minister of finance and his spiritual master Don Brash had had his jackboot firmly stamping out anything as inflationary as economic growth for the better part of a decade.

    Helen Clarks victory came with a massive sense of relief and a massive sense of release from the ‘lost decade’ of economic stagnation inflicted on the population by Richardson, Birch, English and Brash. The relative good times of the 2000s were not built on any solid foundation created by the previousdecade of National governments – it was simply the result of some (slightly more) common sense economic policy and having a leadership group in Labour that wasn’t made up of economic sadists.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

  40. “The relative good times of the 2000s were not built on any solid foundation created by the previousdecade of National governments”

    Dont rewrite history. Growth over much of the 90’s was around 4% and NZ government debt decreased steadily. And this growth was not associated with massive rises in household debt. What the hell are you talking about Sanc? NZ did better in the 90’s than the naughties.

    Comment by swan — October 3, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

  41. “every organisation claims it selects on merit alone, and yet mysteriously without quotas, men predominate, many of whom don’t seem to have made it on merit.”

    It seems to me like you’re having a go at Gerry Brownlee and Murray McCully. To be fair to them though, they have merit; in the way that psychopathic whales and ferrets have merit (whatever that is).

    Comment by Judge Holden — October 3, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

  42. What’s so bad about exempting fruit and veges from GST? Can’t say its a policy that really bothers me either way, but anything that reduces the barriers to New Zealand’s underpaid workers eating healthily sounds good to me.

    I’m not an expert on the mechanics of this area so I’d be keen to know of more qualified opinions on this, but my anecdotal impression from 2.5 years in Australia, and then returning to NZ, is that the types of food that are exempt are largely sold on demand-driven prices, and that removing GST merely allows the supermarkets to increase their margins and charge the same amounts that shoppers are prepared to pay anyway.

    The junk food is certainly cheaper in New Zealand, and that’s with GST applied on both sides of the ditch, but margins on junk food are probably such that some very large levies and taxes would probably be absorbed by distributors and retailers before they had any effect on actual price..

    It’s still a vote winner, though. The Australians I know are generally proud of their non-GST on fresh food…. and it’s completely true that on a $200 shop we’d frequently come out with a receipt showing about $2 of GST, which was on things like washing powder.

    Comment by izogi — October 3, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  43. In the twenty-two months since the last election roughly 150,000 people have changed their vote from National to Labour. I’d be really curious to know why.

    Is it clear from the polls that it’s all swinging voters, as opposed to something like 200,000 non-voters deciding to get up and state a preference for Labour, swaying the percentages?

    Comment by izogi — October 3, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

  44. (Sorry if this comment dupes. I’m not sure if it’s gone through the first time or not.)

    What’s so bad about exempting fruit and veges from GST? Can’t say its a policy that really bothers me either way, but anything that reduces the barriers to New Zealand’s underpaid workers eating healthily sounds good to me.

    I’m not an expert on the mechanics of this area so I’d be keen to know of more qualified opinions on this, but my anecdotal impression from 2.5 years in Australia, and then returning to NZ, is that the types of food that are exempt are largely sold on demand-driven prices, and that removing GST merely allows the supermarkets to increase their margins and charge the same amounts that shoppers are prepared to pay anyway.

    The junk food is certainly cheaper in New Zealand, and that’s with GST applied on both sides of the ditch, but margins on junk food are probably such that some very large levies and taxes would probably be absorbed by distributors and retailers before they had any effect on actual price..

    It’s still a vote winner, though. The Australians I know are generally proud of their non-GST on fresh food…. and it’s completely true that on a $200 shop we’d frequently come out with a receipt showing about $2 of GST, which was on things like washing powder.

    Comment by izogi — October 3, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

  45. izogi – your anecdotal impression is correct.
    A reduction in GST will have no impact on price, being that is is a function of demand (and to an extent, supply, given the scale of the NZ market and the cosy, unregulated duopoly that exists).

    Comment by Gregor W — October 4, 2013 @ 10:36 am

  46. The page at https://dimpost.wordpress.com/tracking-poll/ is not updated

    Comment by simian — October 4, 2013 @ 10:57 am

  47. A reduction in GST will have no impact on price, being that is is a function of demand (and to an extent, supply, given the scale of the NZ market and the cosy, unregulated duopoly that exists).

    Half right. The price of fresh fruit and vegetables is predominantly driven by the seasons. Most stuff doesn’t grow year-round, so you have to pay a bucket load for Florida and California oranges (for example) when the local and australian ones aren’t available.

    Also, my impression is that, on average, the price of most fruit and vege from road-side independent operators and the like is generally higher than the supermarket chains. That said, I don’t get to the markets much for a third price comparison, I value my weekend sleep-in more than discount avocados.

    Comment by Phil — October 4, 2013 @ 11:19 am

  48. Half right. The price of fresh fruit and vegetables is predominantly driven by the seasons.

    Quite right – or at least from a consumer perspective, the ‘impression’ of seasons to create price signals (if you know what I mean).

    Comment by Gregor W — October 4, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  49. I’d be interested to know how many Aucklanders rightly blame National for the ‘poisoned chalice’ mayoralty won by Len Brown in 2010. Fairfax and APN have wasted huge column-inches over the past couple of years blaming Len Brown for outcomes pre-ordained by the amalgamation legislation requiring rates to be harmonised.

    As an aside…..Aucklanders’ rates are about 1/4 to 1/3 of the property taxes paid in Canada and the US…..mainly because they fund schools out of property taxes whereas we do it out of income tax.

    Comment by Steve W — October 4, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

  50. You know that out of season vegetables are either (a) imported from far flung corners of the globe or (b) grown in hothouses and other more capital intensive ways, right?
    Costs of production and transportation do matter.

    Comment by Phil — October 4, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

  51. No Phil, I had no idea that ‘out of season’ meant ‘must be artifically grown / transported from somewhere else’. Thank the Baby Jeebus you are here to point out the obvious.

    While of course the costs of supported production / transport do matter to an extent, they do not make up the vast component of the supermarket ticket price.
    It all comes down to demand and consumer preference. Otherwise, the price per kilo of oranges from from California would be the same as the price as grapes from California if the good was fully substitutable in the mind of the consumer.

    From a cost perspective, waste is the biggest component of cost in fruit and veg pricing, regardless of source.
    From a pricing perspective, given the massive markups of perishable goods (typically several hundred % even on the most basic items), the proportion of sourcing costs is marginal given the volumes being shifted.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 4, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

  52. Ok, you don’t need to get dickish about it. Your previous comment was… unclear.

    It all comes down to demand and consumer preference. Otherwise, the price per kilo of oranges from from California would be the same as the price as grapes from California if the good was fully substitutable in the mind of the consumer.

    This is, quite frankly, silly. The “production process” for the two fruits is different, they respond to the same climactic conditions is different ways, and they face different makets in their substitutions (eg, wine vs orange juice alternatives). Even if the shipping costs were exactly the same for the two (that’s not unreasonable) you’d still see substantial supply-driven price differences.

    From a cost perspective, waste is the biggest component of cost in fruit and veg pricing, regardless of source.
    I agree that it’s a large cost, but it’s pretty much a fixed cost per unit regardless of the growing source, and mainly because of poor handling and storage at the 2nd to last destination (i.e, the supermarket). So it’s not going to be a substantial driver of seasonal variation in price.

    Comment by Phil — October 4, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

  53. Phil – waste can’t possibly be a major fixed price per unit at source as it is a factor of something not being consumed. It might be a small factor of cost to the supermarket, but it is borne, with markup, by the consumer.

    For most perishables, seansonal price variation is a factor of marketing, particularly with massively distributed industrial scale production, rather than supply.

    Also in terms of “fresh fruit” as a segment ( which is what I understood we were talking about in terms of the GST discussion) grapes and oranges are obviously substitute goods, where wine and fruit juice clearly aren’t given that they are a finished good.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 4, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

  54. Ahem, nice that some nat voters appear to be crossing over. More important is where are the non voters that did not show up at the last two general elections?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — October 4, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

  55. >It’d be useful to Labour to be able to pass legislation without the Greens.

    It would also be useful to the Greens for them not to be able to, so they could refuse that coalition, just as NZ First did to them under a Labour government. As the party that could generate the coalition, they would have that power. Indeed, I think they would want to use that power.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 5, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  56. My gut feeling is that the mortgage rule change is pissing a lot of people off. You’ll have middle class, middle aged people annoyed that their kids can’t get a mortgage any more, plus young wannabe property developers whose investment plans have been ruined (like the guy Cunliffe trotted out last week instead of some young family which would have played better, imho). I’m told there’s sound economic arguments for not exempting first home buyers, but I think most people affected by this (and their immediate families) will be thinking ‘everyone acknowledges it’s really hard to buy your first home, and what does the government do? They make it even harder for first home buyers, while property investors are largely unaffected’.

    Re: the manban, I’m opposed to it because it seems to be addressing the wrong problem. Yes, women are under-represented in parliament, but I don’t think it’s because they can’t hack it in the selection process – and if it is, the solution is to train promising women to be better candidates, not to remove the competition. It’s likely to be because a lot of capable women have decided they’re not interested (the insane hours? the third form-like name calling culture of the house? something else?). The real solution is to ask women who would make good MPs why they haven’t put themselves forward, then try and fix the problems they state.

    Comment by helenalex — October 7, 2013 @ 9:38 am

  57. “It’s likely to be because a lot of capable women have decided they’re not interested (the insane hours? the third form-like name calling culture of the house? something else?).”

    I’m sceptical about the no-man methodology for addressing this, but I think there’s still a significant element of sexism in the voting population which female candidates need to cope with, much more than males, as soon as there’s a sophisticated competition.

    Just look at how many sewer-dwellers justified themselves’ voting out Labour in 2008, on the face of it because Helen Clark looked like an ugly horse, and other rationales that never would have flown if the PM were male. They could have cited rational arguments, probably easily considering how bad 3rd term Labour was at handling many things, but I don’t think everyone actually knew why they didn’t like Labour. So much of that sentiment was a marketing campaign by the opposition which was so effective that voters often didn’t understand what was so bad about the government, so they developed their own justifications instead, and the ‘nanny state’ phrase brought the sexism right out.

    The mining cartel families had a similar voter pattern going in Australia against Julia Gillard (ugly red-head, silly accent), before zombie-Rudd arose and ate her brain.

    Comment by izogi — October 7, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

  58. I’m not convinced that Helen Clark’s appearance was a significant issue in 2008, given that she wasn’t any more attractive in 1999. I’m not going to claim that voter sexism isn’t an issue any more, but I’m not convinced it’s a major one. Besides which, I was under the impression the problem is that women weren’t putting themselves forward, not that they were being defeated in the elections. If the latter *is* the problem, then the man ban is about the worst possible way to deal with it, since women chosen that way will then have to deal with suggestions that they only got picked for gender over ability, in addition to any other crap which female candidates get generally.

    Comment by helenalex — October 7, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

  59. “I’m not convinced that Helen Clark’s appearance was a significant issue in 2008, given that she wasn’t any more attractive in 1999.”

    I was more meaning that being female becomes more of a handicap when there’s a viciously effective opposition marketing machine that’s not afraid to pull dirty tricks, because that machine can then appeal to the ambient sexism which (imho) still exists in much of the voting population. It wasn’t an issue in ’99 or 2002 because the opposition wasn’t up to it, but by 2008 there was quite a lot of informal sexist banter and joking being used as justification for why Helen Clark sucked (and therefore why Labour sucked), basically making it un-cool to be a Labour supporter, which would have made no sense if it’d been a man leading the Labour Party at the time.

    You might be right that it’s less of an issue now, however, and it’s probably still decreasing over time. I tend to agree with you about the man-ban being a bad idea. Time may tell.

    Comment by izogi — October 7, 2013 @ 3:54 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: