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Peter Williams Hosts Taxpayer Talk (excerpt): The state of local government with retiring councillor Chris Milne

This is an excerpt from our long-form podcast released weekly by host Peter Williams. You can listen to the full podcast here

In this episode of Taxpayer Talk, host Peter Williams sits down with retiring Hutt City Councillor Chris Milne to discuss the state of local government in New Zealand. Chris reflects on how the role of a councillor has changed over his 18 years in office and the role the Local Government Act has had in these changes. 

To get in touch with Peter, email [email protected]

You can subscribe to Taxpayer Talk via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio and all good podcast apps.

 

Peter Williams hosts Taxpayer Talk: Economist Eric Crampton on Three Waters and the ETS + Retiring Councillor Chris Milne

On this week's episode of Taxpayer Talk, host Peter Williams is joined by Eric Crampton, Chief Economist at the New Zealand Initiative, to discuss the Government's Three Waters reforms and his alternative proposal for how local councils can finance long-term infrastructure investment more effectively. Peter and Eric also discuss the Emissions Trading Scheme and outline why additional emissions reduction measures beyond the ETS are costly regulations that will not reduce emissions any faster.

Also this week, Peter sits down with fellow Taxpayers' Union board member and retiring Hutt City Councillor, Chris Milne, to discuss the state of local government in New Zealand.

To get in touch with Peter, email [email protected]

You can subscribe to Taxpayer Talk via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio and all good podcast apps.

Peter Williams hosts Taxpayer Talk: Professor James Allan + Analysis of latest Taxpayers' Union Curia Poll


In the wake of the Queen’s passing, the latest edition of Taxpayer Talk focuses on the British Monarchy. Host Peter Williams is joined by Canadian-born, Australian domiciled law Professor James Allan who reflects on why the British Monarchy is the most successful anywhere and why having a queen or king on the other side of the world as our Head of State is still the best system for New Zealand - and other Commonwealth countries.

Also in this edition, Taxpayers' Union co-founders David Farrar and Jordan Williams reflect on the political week and discuss the results of the latest Taxpayers' Union Curia poll. Is luck finally running out for the government? Or will the poll prove disheartening for the opposition? 

You can subscribe to Taxpayer Talk via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio and all good podcast apps.

Taxpayer Update: Mourning Elizabeth the Great | NEW POLL | $95K on a logo

To view this newsletter online, click here. To share it on Facebook, click here.

Dear Supporter,

Elizabeth the Great

This week's newsletter is a bit longer than usual. We were set to release the September Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll (see below) on Friday, but hit pause when we woke up to the news that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, had passed away. 

Queen Elizabeth personified leadership through action and demonstrated remarkable grace and dignity in her service to the Commonwealth. The outpouring of grief from all over the globe is testimony to the high esteem in which she was held. We join the whole nation in thanking her for a life of exemplary service.

As with other taxpayer groups around the Commonwealth, the Taxpayers’ Union suspended its campaign activities during a period of mourning (you can read our public comments here: Taxpayers’ Union Pays Tribute To Her Majesty The Queen Of New Zealand, Suspends Campaign)

Queen Elizabeth II

Public holiday yes, but who should pay?

Here at the Taxpayers' Union, sometimes our role is to be "Scrooge McDuck" – after all, who else will push back against politicians giving away other people's money?

I'm a stanch royalist (my co-founder David Farrar is a republican) but was pleased to support Chris Milne's take that no public holiday is "free":

The Taxpayers’ Union supports the principle of a day where New Zealanders can come together to pay their respects. However, taxpayers are being told by the Government to foot the huge bill for another day of leave in the public sector.

For small businesses—who are still trying to recover after the pandemic—this is yet another cost loaded on. The owners of these businesses, many small family enterprises, are being told to pay not only for their own respect for the Queen, but also for all the respect shown by their staff. This is inequitable. The Queen was the queen of us all and the cost should fall on all of us.

Rather than rejecting the idea of an observance to recognise the Queen, the Taxpayers’ Union believes that New Zealanders should, if they wish to do so, take a day of annual leave to mark this historic occasion and an extraordinary life.

ACT follows our lead

Less than 24 hours later, ACT was on board with the idea with David Seymour saying that workers should have a right to take a day of either annual or unpaid leave on the public holiday, but without costing our businesses another day of wages. See Day of recognition without the costs is the answer – David Seymour 

NEW POLL: Centre-Right would govern alone 📊

decide vote sept 2022

National has leapt forward from 34% last month to 37% in September while Labour has dropped 2 points to 33%. ACT is up 1 point to 12% and the Greens are static on 10%.

The poll was taken in the nine days up to last Thursday evening (thus the Queen's death delayed the publishing of the results).

The smaller parties are the Maori Party at 1.5%, NZ First at 1.6%, New Conservatives 1.5%, and TOP 0.7%.

seats poll sept 2022

Unlike last month, the centre-right could govern alone with these numbers (and not need the Maori Party). The centre-right crosses the 61 seat victory threshold going from 58 seats to 63 and the centre-left drops from 57 seats to 55.

preferred PM Sept 2022

On preferred Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern drops 3 points to 37% while Luxon bounces up from 20% to 26%. David Seymour is on 6.6%

Chloe Swarbrick is in fourth place as Preferred PM on a respectable 3.2%. Notably, that is higher than both Green co-leaders combined with Marama Davidson on 1.4% and James Shaw on 1.0%.

Head over to our website for more.

$95,450 up in smoke for brand tweak 😮‍💨 

If ever you needed an example of the good life contracting for the Government, our research team have uncovered a doozy. Tatou NZ - a well-connected marketing agency - was paid $95,450 to “rebrand” the Government's "2025 Smokefree Action Plan".

We asked what the Government received for nearly nine years of income tax for the average worker. All officials could point to was a few pages of logos and instructions on how to use it. This isn't a new government agency: it's for what officials call a 'plan'. And taxpayers have paid for branding already! 🤦

Tatou Smokefree

An invoice dated 21 February 2022 from Tatou NZ Ltd breaks down the costs as:

  • Discovery: Te Wāhanga Whakapapa – we learn everything we can about you – how you work, who you work with, your goals; (You have done a lot of the work here already – work that we will build upon) and your audience – who they are, what they need. - $13,750

  • Define: Te Wāhanga Tautuhi – We distill what we learned and articulate succinctly the brand fundamentals – which will build on the work you have already done. Objectives, vision, mission, and how you will achieve them. This will include your brand values and personality. Then, we look at what that means for your audience. We will share, and work with you to achieve the final expression. - $20,000

  • Develop: Te Wāhanga Whakarite – We write a creative / design brief. Once approved our team will conceptualise what your brand might look like, and how it might sound. We’ll share concepts, listen to your feedback and refine. Co-design. Test. Includes feedback process and making changes. - $30,000

  • Deliver: Te Wāhanga Mahi – The creation of the brand assets, and implementation. Includes feedback process and making changes. - $19,250

Nice work if you can get it!

Breakfast room service for one? 😉

Your humble Taxpayers’ Union continues to do what the media are not and regularly audits what Minsters and Beehive officials are spending your money on.

One of our student interns has dug out a mysterious "breakfast" at Boston Harbor Hotel belonging to someone who works for Minister of Trade, Damien O’Connor. While on a recent trip with the Minister, the staffer spent $100 (60USD) on a hotel breakfast.

But here's the thing – based on the menu (available online) – it appears the staffer was either one very hungry official, or our generous mandarin was ordering for two.

We asked the Minister's office who the other breakfast was for – but the Office refused to provide the information to protect the an official "from improper pressure or harassment" (section 9(g)(ii) of the Official Information Act allows for this as a reason for refusal to release official information). I've only seen this section used one other time since 2013.

We hear around the traps (but are unable to confirm) that our mysterious official was entertaining a new found friend on tour. Of course, no one objects to an overseas romance, but putting a Tinder date's breakfast on the taxpayer is rather raunchy.

Breakfast for One?

Taxpayer Talk with Peter Williams: Professor James Allan + analysis of latest poll 🎙️🎧

Peter Williams

In the wake of the Queen’s passing, the latest edition of Taxpayer Talk focuses on the Monarchy and our constitution. Peter Williams interviews Canadian-born, Australian-domiciled law Professor James Allan who reflects on why the Commonwealth Monarchy is the most successful anywhere and why having a queen or king on the other side of the world as our Head of State is still the best system for New Zealand, and other Commonwealth realms.

David and I join Peter too to reflect on the political week and discuss the results of the Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll. Is luck finally running out for the government? 

You can listen to the episode online here, or via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio and where all good podcast are sold.

Thank you for your support.

Jordan

Jordan_signature.jpg
Jordan Williams
Executive Director
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

Donate

Media coverage:

Stuff 
Should NZ follow the US example of forgiving student loan debt?

Newstalk ZB The Huddle: Health NZ, Jan Tinetti, Cost of Living Payments

Newstalk ZB 
Barry Soper on OCR, latest poll and Gaurav Sharma

NZ Herald
 Kate MacNamara: Three Waters and Jacinda Ardern's contention that ownership matters, not control

NZ Herald
 Bruce Cotterill: Three Waters doesn't pass the sniff test

Taxpayers' Union Curia Poll: September 2022

Exclusive to members and supporters, we can reveal the results of the eleventh Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll.

The polling period was Thursday 1 - Friday 9 September 2022. 

Here are the headline results:

decided over time sept 2022

Party

Support

Change from last month

National

37.0%

↑3.0

Labour

33.4%

↓1.8

Greens

9.9%

↑0.4

ACT

12.4%

↑1.9

Māori

1.5%

↓2.0

NZ First

1.6%

↓1.0

Other

4.2%

↓0.5

National bounces back from 34% in August to 37% in September and Labour drop 2 points to 33%. ACT up 1 point to 12% and Greens static on 10%.

The smaller parties are Māori Party at 1.5%, NZ First at 1.6%, New Conservatives 1.5%, and TOP 0.7%.

Here is how these results would translate to seats in Parliament, assuming all electorate seats are held:

seats sept 2022

The projected seats for the centre-right crosses the 61 seat majoirty threshold going from 58 seats to 63. The centre-left drops from 57 seats to 55. This means National and Act would be able to form a Government.

projected sept 2022

Ardern drops 3 points to 37% while Luxon bounces up from 20% to 26%. David Seymour has 6.6%

In fourth place as Preferred PM is Chloe Swarbrick on a respectable 3.2%. That is higher than both Green co-leaders combined with Marama Davidson on 1.4% and James Shaw 1.0%.

pref PM sept 2022

Preferred Prime Minister

This month

Change from last month

Jacinda Ardern

36.5%

↓3.0

Christopher Luxon

25.9%

↑6.4

David Seymour

6.6%

↓1.1

Chloe Swarbrick

3.2%

-

Winston Peters

2.6%

↓1.6

Marama Davidson

1.4%

-

James Shaw

1.0%

-

The cost of living at 22% (-1%) remains the most important issue followed by the economy more generally at 15%. Health is in third place at 7% closely followed by Law & Order on 6%.

issues sept 2022

The net country direction drops to a record low of -23%. 32% of New Zealanders think the country is heading in the right direction and 54% say the wrong direction.

For the full polling report, covering the detailed insights the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition are used to receiving, join our Taxpayer Caucus – our club of most generous financial supporters who make our work possible.


The scientific poll was conducted by Curia Market Research and commissioned by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. The full polling report is being released exclusively to members of our Taxpayer Caucus. As is well known, but for full disclosure, David Farrar is a member of the Board of the Taxpayers' Union and also a Director of Curia Market Research Ltd.

The Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll was conducted from Thursday 1 September to Friday 9 September 2022. The sample size was 1,000 eligible New Zealand voters 800 by phone and 200 by online panel. The sample selection for the phone panel is from those who are contactable on a landline or mobile phone selected at random from 20,000 nationwide phone numbers. The results are weighted to reflect the overall voting adult population in terms of gender, age, and area. Based on this sample of 1,000 respondents, the maximum sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 3.1%, at the 95% confidence level. This poll should be formally referred to as the “Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll”.

Taxpayer Talk with Peter Williams: Hon Chris Finlayson + panel

This week’s Taxpayer Talk guest is former Attorney General Chris Finlayson. His latest book “Yes Minister” reflects on his time in Parliament and how the country was run during the John Key years. In a wide ranging discussion with host Peter Williams he expresses his frustration with the country’s civil justice system, explains why co-governance isn’t such a bad thing and why the National Party got it so wrong after Bill English stepped down as leader in 2018. Findlayson also pays tribute to an unsung hero of the National caucus whose foresight saved the country’s economy during the Covid era. Elsewhere on Taxpayer Talk the Panel discusses the week’s big political issues and Peter replies to some of your correspondence. 

You can listen to the episode online here, or via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio and where all good podcast are sold.

Human Rights Commission fails Economics 101

The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union is disturbed to see the Human Rights Commission suggesting economic policies for which they clearly have no knowledge or understanding of. 

The Commission recently called for urgent action on rent control, an idea normally spouted by economically-illiterate far-left organisations such as the Green Party. 

There is strong consensus among economists, along with substantial real world evidence that shows rent controls reduce housing supply, cause deterioration in quality and harm those who are struggling to find accomodation. The government's own advisors warn against rent controls stating that "evidence from overseas shows that there are significant adverse consequences in the housing market, such as disincentivising supply, driving up prices in parts of the market where rents are not controlled, and reducing incentives for landlords to maintain their properties."

Economist Assar Lindbeck famously said, "in many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city - except for bombing" – we agree.

Economics 101 will tell you that when you reduce the price of something, the supply of that thing will reduce. In the case of rental properties this is clear and can be logically explained.

Firstly, rent controls reduce the potential return that landlords and developers can get on their investment. This disincentivises them from investing in building new properties or renting out those that are currently vacant. At a time where we need to be building more houses, discouraging people from doing just that only makes our housing crisis worse. 

When the price for a good is below the market price, there are more people wanting to rent and less people willing to supply rental properties to the market. This creates a shortage of rental properties making it difficult for those who are not currently locked in to rent-controlled accomodation. This results in reduced mobility in the rental market as people know they will be unable to find new accommodation.

Because people are unwilling to leave their current properties, we end up with a large number of people in living situations that are neither suitable or efficient. Families who have more kids or people getting into relationships stay in their small overcrowded houses, not willing to risk being thrown onto the street. Similarly, empty nesters are less likely to move out of their rent controlled properties and end up living in larger properties that would be better suited to more people. This has other wider societal effects such as people not moving to areas with more job opportunities or for education. 

Landlords are also more likely to sell their properties to owner-occupants in order to realise the full market value of their property. This results in the supply of housing moving away from those most in need of affordable housing towards young professionals who are fortunate enough to afford a deposit, perhaps with some help from the bank of mum and dad.

Some may argue that the impacts of this can be mitigated through exemptions for new builds or certain kinds of property. This is also a bad idea because, in a rent controlled market, any properties not subject to controls face high rental prices, pushed up by the spill-over of people unable to win the lottery of a rent controlled house. Furthermore, overseas analysis says that when these kinds of exemptions are in place, landlords convert properties to be compliant with exemptions or even demolish them completely to rebuild as uncontrolled new builds.  

The final point is that the conditions of homes will deteriorate. When landlords get less return on their properties, they invest less in them. When there is a shortage of housing it is easy to find new tenants so anyone complaining will be turfed out, tenants are unlikely to risk this. 

If the price of groceries is too high, we don't put a cap on the maximum price for a loaf of bread. Instead, we look for ways to increase competition in the market such as by reducing barriers to entry as recommended by the commerce commission. The same thinking should be applied to renting.

If you want cheaper rent and better conditions, the simple fact of the matter is that we need more houses. We want a renters market where landlords are competing for tenants, undercutting each other with lower prices and higher quality. In the mean time, we can create more competition in the market by significantly reducing the regulations on rental properties.

Allowing people to rent out properties that are not compliant with current standards provides lower cost alternatives to those who want it. These kinds arrangements won't be suitable for everyone but provide a low cost alternative to those who are willing to accept it while simultaneously reducing the demand (and cost) of all other available properties. Reducing red-tape on constructing and renting out 'tiny houses' on vacant land also provide quick, low-cost solutions in the short term.   

We invite anyone from the Human Rights Commission, the Green Party or any other organisation advocating for rent controls to join us for a debate on our podcast. In the mean time the Human Rights Commission should stick to their remit and take some time to listen to our podcast on this issue with Brad Olsen

 

 

Taxpayer Update: New poll 📊 | Peter Williams podcast 🎙️ | MP whistleblowing on colleagues 💸

Dear Supporter,

New Poll: Māori Party recapture balance of power

Exclusive to supporters like you, this month's Taxpayers' Union-Curia Poll shows an overall gain for the Labour/Green centre-left parties at the expense of the National/ACT centre-right bloc. Applying the results to seats Parliament, neither has the 61 seats required to govern without the Māori Party.

With five seats, the Māori Party would determine who will form a Government next year on these numbers.

We've just released the key results on our website here.

Not good news for Luxon

Christopher Luxon's Preferred Prime Minister results continue their slide. Mr Luxon was on 28% in June is now on just 19.5% today. Jacinda Ardern is at 39.5%.

Cost of Living (22.7%) is by far the issue most Kiwis are thinking about when considering who to vote for, followed by the economy. Despite what the media would have you believe, just 4% of Kiwis rank the environment as their most important voting issue right now.

Most Kiwis want the Government to cut taxes...

As part of this month's poll, our polsters asked voters whether they support a temporary 10% reduction in overall income tax for all families to help with the increased cost of living. 59% said yes.

Something that the Beehive should take note of is that Labour voters are the most in favour of a temporary package for across-the-board tax relief!

...and cut spending!

Our pollsters asked 1,200 Kiwi voters if the Government should be increasing, decreasing, or maintaining spending levels in response to high inflation.

The most popular response – 45% – was that Government should decrease spending. Only 12% of respondents thought increasing spending was the right idea and 27% said spending should be kept the same.

The poll suggests that Kiwis know very well that the Government's record spending is driving up prices across the board. So next time Labour MPs try to troll National Party leader Chris Luxon with claims his Party will 'cut spending' Mr Luxon should say yes!

Information about access to the full report, and methodology, is on our website.

Taxpayer Talk's new host: Peter Williams

Former TVNZ broadcaster (now Taxpayers' Union Board Member) Peter Williams has taken over as host of our new weekly Taxpayer Talk podcast. In this week's episode, he speaks to author and social commentator Ewen McQueen on his book One Sun in the Sky: the untold story of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi. He also hosts our first of what we plan to be a weekly political panel, this week covering the Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll and problems within National.

You can listen to the episode on our website here, or via Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeart Radio or via any good podcast app.

Labour MP alleges misuse of taxpayers' funds

During our polling period, the National Party were dealing with allegations of historical bullying by new MP Sam Uffindel, but by the end it was Labour under the pump as they batted back accusations of bullying from one of their own, Hamilton West MP Dr Gaurav Sharma.

Buried in his lengthy allegations, was the assertion that a Labour MP and Parliamentary Service staff member were "misusing taxpayer's money". This could have been lost in the drama, but your humble Taxapeurs' Union is determined to get to the bottom of it.

We are calling on an independent enquiry into the claim by Dr Sharma. It isn't enough for Parliamentary Services (which reports to the Speaker) to conduct a secretive investigation. Remember that Parliamentary Services is one of the very few public agencies not covered by freedom of information laws.

And as we saw with Parliamentary Service's mishandling of Trevor Mallard's outrageous and false rape accusation against a Parliamentary staffer, that office can hardly be trusted with protecting taxpayer money... Luckily Parliament already has an officer tasked with protecting taxpayers, and we have called on the Auditor General to investigate.

If not the Auditor General, we know of a reputable independent organisation which has specialist expertise in throwing sunlight onto government waste. That's why we wrote to all MPs to remind them that (as the IRD used to say) "we're here to help". 

Leo Molloy calls it quits following Ratepayers' Alliance poll

Our sister group, the Auckland Ratepayers Alliance has also been keeping the posters busy. In a first for the Super City, they've been tracking support of the leading mayoral candidates, and their poll released on Friday saw the self styled shockjock-come-restaurateur, Leo Molloy pull out of the race.

Labour-endorsed and sitting councillor Efeso Collins is the front-runner to take the Mayoral Chains from Phil Goff. But with just 22.3% of the decided vote, Aucklands are clearly wanting a change of direction at Auckland Council.

Ex-Far North Mayor Wayne Brown was a close second on 18.6% and with Leo out, C&R's Viv Beck (12.5%) in third place. Head over to the Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance website to read the full poll report.

Council elections, can you volunteer?

In the coming weeks we will be preparing "ratepayer voting guides" to increase transparency on local council election canididates' positions on rates, Three Waters and issues such as transport.

If you are in a position to help our student interns collate contact information and contact local candidates in your region, good with a phone (and on email) please drop me a line by reply email.

With your support, we'll be able to publish New Zealand's first online ratepayer voting guide covering the whole country.

Interest deductibility U-turn - but only if you're a big corporate

Megan Woods

Last year the Government changed interest deductibility rules so landlords cannot claim interest for tax purposes on existing rental properties. However, now Housing Minister Megan Woods has decided to do a U-turn, but not for mum-and-dad-investors, rather only for the big end of town!

The Housing Minister has announced blocks of at least 20 new and existing build-to-rent flats will be exempt from interest deductibility tax changes in perpetuity if they offer 10-year tenancies.

“We’re providing an exemption from the interest limitation rules to certain types of new and existing build-to-rent developments in perpetuity,” Housing Megan Woods said.

This makes little sense. The removal of interest deductibility breaches the fundamental principle that tax law should treat like for like. Giving tax favours to well connected big property developers while still hammering those less close to Megan Wood's officials is Muldoon-style tax policy. Yuck.

One more thing

We are 100% funded by our members and supporters like you, who make our work holding the Government (and councils) to account. To back the mission of Lower Taxes, Less Waste, and More Transparency, click here to donate via our secure website.

Donate

Thank you for your support.

Jordan

Jordan_signature.jpg
Jordan Williams
Executive Director
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

PS. Is the first newsletter this year that doesn't mention Three Waters!? If you follow that campaign (i.e. signed our Stop 3 Waters petition, or used our select committee submission tool) we'll be in touch separately later this week on the next steps for that campaign...

Media coverage:

Newstalk ZB 
Taxpayers' Union crying foul on Kainga Ora's plans to hire more staff

Newstalk ZB Taxpayers' Union banned from Local Government NZ Conference

Newstalk ZB 
The Huddle: Taxpayers' Union vs LGNZ, overseas investors, mask use

Newstalk ZB
 Barry Soper on cost of living payment, unemployment and Three Waters

Newstalk ZB
 Heather du Plessis-Allan re Commerce Commission 

Today FM: Do you believe that Nanaia Mahuta lied to the NZ public about Three Waters?

Taxpayers' Union Curia Poll: August 2022

Exclusive to members and supporters, we can reveal the results of the eleventh Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll.

The polling period was Sunday 03 - Thursday 11 August 2022.

Here are the headline results:

Party vote

Party

Support

Change from last month

National

34.0%

↓3.0

Labour

35.2%

↑0.5

Greens

9.5%

↑1.0

ACT

11.0%

↑1.0

Māori

3.5%

↓0.2

NZ First

2.6%

↓0.7

Other

4.7%

↑1.4

Support for the governing Labour Party has risen 0.5 points to 35.2%, while the opposition National Party has dropped 3 points to 34.0%. ACT has risen 0.5 points to 10.5%. The Greens have risen 1 point to 9.5%. No other parties reach the 5% threshold. Te Pāti Māori has dropped 0.2 points to 3.5%.

Here is how these results would translate to seats in Parliament, assuming all electorate seats are held:

Seats

For the fourth consecutive month in the Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll, the Centre-Right bloc is ahead of the Centre-Left. However, the Centre-Right no longer has enough seats to govern without the support of Te Pāti Māori.

Party vote over time

Centre-Left (Lab/Green) = 57 (+2) Centre-Right (Nat/ACT) = 58 (-2) Centre (NZF/Māori) = 5 (0).
This puts Te Pāti Māori in the position of King/ Queen maker with whichever coalition they choose becoming Government. This assumes all electorate seats are held.

Support for Jacinda Ardern as preferred Prime Minister has dropped by 0.7 points to 39.5%. Luxon’s slide continues from 28% in June 2022 to 22.4% last month and this month a drop of a further 2.9 points takes him to 19.5%. David Seymour has risen 1.8 points to 7.7% and Winston Peters has almost doubled his support going from 2.3% to 4.2% (+1.9).

PPM over time

Preferred Prime Minister

This month

Change from last month

Jacinda Ardern

39.5%

↓0.7

Christopher Luxon

19.5%

↓2.9

David Seymour

7.7%

↑1.8

John Key

1.9%

↓1.8

Winston Peters

4.2%

↑1.9

In terms of what issues respondents identify as their major voting issue, COVID-19 continues to fade in importance. Focus on the cost of living has also eased off.

Voting issues

For the full polling report, covering the detailed insights the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition are used to receiving, join our Taxpayer Caucus – our club of most generous financial supporters who make our work possible.


The scientific poll was conducted by Curia Market Research and commissioned by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. The full polling report is being released exclusively to members of our Taxpayer Caucus. As is well known, but for full disclosure, David Farrar is a member of the Board of the Taxpayers' Union and also a Director of Curia Market Research Ltd.

The Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll was conducted from Wednesday 3 August to Thursday 11 August 2022. The median response was collected on Sunday 07 August 2022. The sample size was 1,200 eligible New Zealand voters 800 by phone and 400 by online panel. The sample selection for the phone panel is from those who are contactable on a landline or mobile phone selected at random from 20,000 nationwide phone numbers. The results are weighted to reflect the overall voting adult population in terms of gender, age, and area. Based on this sample of 1,200 respondents, the maximum sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 2.8%, at the 95% confidence level. This poll should be formally referred to as the “Taxpayers’ Union Curia Poll”.


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