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Taxpayers' Union – Curia Poll: December 2022

After a hammering in the Hamilton West by-election, the Labour Party won't like the latest poll released today. What is likely to be the last scientific poll for the year suggests that the National-ACT bloc is beginning to open up a reasonable lead over Labour-Greens as we head into election year. The poll shows Christopher Luxon also narrowing the gap in his personal ratings against Jacinda Ardern.

But it is far too early to write off the prospect of the Government being re-elected next year. Jacinda Ardern remains a formidable campaigner – and the Government has far more power than an Opposition to set the political agenda.

The problem for Labour is the albatross around her neck that is the Government's radical reform programme: Three Waters and the TVNZ/RNZ merger to name but two.

The quick U-turn a few months ago on the KiwiSaver tax changes signalled a Government hungry for re-election but the Prime Minister's inability to change course or sack ministers going rogue tells a different story. 

Ardern's failure to sack Nanaia Mahuta is a prime example. As was reported in this morning's NZ Herald, it is now clear Nanaia Mahuta was getting advice on Three Waters entrenchment a month before the vote yet failed to share this with her own caucus. National and ACT have called for her to be dismissed – we agree. 

The Labour Party needs to ask itself whether it actually wants to win the next election or not. If it does, it needs to drop these unpopular and politically toxic reforms – and quickly.

Here are the headline results of the fourteenth Taxpayers’ Union – Curia Poll:

Decided Party Vote over time



Change from last month
















NZ First






Labour falls 2 points to 33% – its equal lowest level in our poll – while National is up 1 point to 39%, which is its equal highest level. ACT and the Greens are steady compared to last month on 10% and 8%, respectively.

The smaller parties are the Māori Party on 3.5% and New Zealand First on 2.9%.

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




Change from last month
















National is up 2 seats to 51 while Labour is down 4 seats to 42. ACT and the Greens remained unchanged from last month on 13 and 10 seats, respectively. The Māori Party is up 2 seats to 4.

The Centre-Right reaches its highest combined level in our poll of 64 seats and could form government. The Centre-Left drops back 4 seats from 56 to 52.

Projected Seats

For preferred prime minister, Jacinda Ardern is unchanged from last month on 35% while Christopher Luxon jumps up 5 points to 26%.

David Seymour is up 1 point to 7.1% and Winston Peters increases 0.9 points to 3.4% while Chlöe Swarbrick drops 2.7 points to 3.1%.

Preferred Prime Minister

This month

Change from last month

Jacinda Ardern



Christopher Luxon



David Seymour



Winston Peters



Chloe Swarbrick



Jacinda Ardern’s net favourability has dropped 5 points compared to last month from +8% to +3%. This is a new low for the Prime Minister in our poll. 

Christopher Luxon is now almost level with the prime minister with an increase in his net favourability of 5 points from -3% to +2%.

As a note of caution, however, when it comes to undecided voters, the Prime Minister maintains a strong lead on net favourability on +1% compared with Christopher Luxon on -29%. 


Voters seem to blame Reserve Bank Governor, Adrian Orr, and Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, equally for the current economic situation. Both have very low net favourability ratings of -14% each.

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 to Tuesday 6 December 2022. The sample size was 1,000 eligible New Zealand voters: 600 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 15,000 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. Results for sub-groups such as age and area will have a much higher margin of error and not seen as precise.

This poll should be formally referred to as the “Taxpayers’ Union – Curia Poll”.

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