The Sixth Labour Government Kicks The Kiwi Working Class In The Guts – Again

Any last hope that the Sixth Labour Government was still operating on behalf of the New Zealand working class was dashed earlier this week by the announcement of new working visa rules. “Up to 30,000 businesses across the country will benefit” from Labour’s latest kick to the guts of the marginal workforce. This essay explains.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway claims that the new work visa rules will “assist between 25,000-30,000 businesses to fill shortages.” Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media is spinning this as a victory for New Zealand businesses, which it undoubtedly is. What they don’t mention, however, is how it’s a commensurate loss for the New Zealand working class.

As this page has previously pointed out, the wage of working-class people is a function of the supply of cheap labour. Increase the supply of cheap labour, as the “Labour” Party have done here, and you weaken the bargaining position of the working class. The more cheap labour there is, the greater the choice for the employers – and they will choose the cheapest labour they can, this being one of their greatest expenses.

The way the economy is supposed to work is that labour shortages force businesses to increase the wages they pay, which leads to marginal workers becoming attracted to those offers. The way the economy works in Clown World is that labour shortages cause employers to go crying to the Minister of Immigration, who fast-tracks visas for cheap labour to move here and undercut the native working class.

The sad truth is that the Labour Party is just as neoliberal and just as beholden to corporate interests as the National Party is – and neoliberals love mass immigration. The only difference is that the Sixth Labour Government is willing to throw the working class a bone in the form of a Winter Heating Allowance, a referendum about cannabis law reform or a bit of money to our mental health system (or what passes for it).

When it comes to actually running the country, however, they’re still very much in bed with the large New Zealand employers, and they still run the country more or less on instruction from those employers. The sad irony is that there was once a time when the Labour Party did stand for the New Zealand worker, and would have heavily criticised a move like this had it been National who brought it in.

Today’s Labour Party is unrepentantly the heir of Rogernomics. Protecting the negotiating position of the New Zealand worker is of no interest to them. Neoliberalism is still very much the way forwards, and the ever-rising suicide rate just something to be shrugged off, despite that adverse economic conditions contribute greatly to it.

The New Zealand media plays an essential role in manufacturing consent among the public for moves like these. Being entirely owned by foreign finance companies and banking interests, the media is beholden to people who profit handsomely from mass immigration driving up housing prices, increasing demands for mortgages and lowering wages.

This is why the media constantly runs stories with titles like “Growers say fruit will rot unless govt speeds up migrant worker decision,” “Labour shortage as Auckland construction ‘goes off’,” and “Why horticulture industry is facing a labour shortage.” These stories are effectively propaganda pieces, run on behalf of corporate interests, to massage the New Zealand population into accepting the mass importation of cheap labour.

Notably, no trade unionist was asked for their opinion on the Government’s move.

One of the stories linked above quotes ACT Party leader David Seymour as saying there simply aren’t “enough New Zealand workers willing to pick [the fruit].” This is a complete lie, because it leaves out half of the equation. Seymour’s sentence makes no mention of the wages being offered. The full sentence should read “enough New Zealand workers willing to pick at the wages being offered.”

Seymour, the consummate neoliberal, loves nothing more than importing cheap labour for the benefit of capital interests and at the expense of the native working class. As Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand, no other party has a higher proportion of foreign-born voters than ACT, with a correlation of -0.74 between being born in New Zealand and voting for ACT in 2014.

Short-term opportunism can be expected of Seymour, who knows no loyalty other than to the dollar. It’s a real shame when this mentality guides the actions of the supposed social democrats. If the Labour Party won’t take measures to strengthen the negotiating position of the New Zealand working class, then who will?

The alliance of politicians, corporations and media make it all but impossible for the New Zealand worker to get a fair deal today. Given that the cost of housing is rising much faster than wages, which are already nowhere near high enough to buy houses on, a fair deal seems like it’s getting even further away. An entirely new socioeconomic arrangement is becoming necessary, perhaps one based around a universal basic income.

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The Gender Wage Gap Is Bullshit

Periodic outrage arises at something called the “Gender Wage Gap.” We are constantly being told that men are paid a certain percentage more than women because of anti-female discrimination and prejudice within the workplace. The problem is that the idea of a gender wage gap is absolute bullshit. Demographer Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains.

There is, indeed, a correlation of 0.23 between net median income and being male (and commensurately a correlation of -0.23 between net median income and being female). This is not a very strong correlation, and in this study is only on the borderline of statistical significance.

This does mean that men control slightly more of the nation’s money supply than women do. Some people, particularly on the left, make the assumption that all human population groups are precisely the same, and therefore any difference must be the consequence of oppression. The existence of a positive correlation between personal income and being male is taken as proof that women are systematically underpaid.

However, a closer look at the data reveals the lie in this lazy assumption.

The correlation between being male and having a personal income above $150,000 was 0.03 – essentially nonexistent. The correlation between being male and having a person income between $100,000 and $150,000 was even less than this, at 0.01. This shows that the distribution of the highest-earning jobs is almost perfectly even between men and women.

Indeed, we can see from Understanding New Zealand that there is essentially no difference between men and women when it comes to higher education. The correlation between being male and having a Bachelor’s degree is not significant, at -0.04, and for the postgraduate degrees the correlation is weaker still. So the equal share of educational achievement leads naturally onto an equal share of the top professional jobs.

The best-paid jobs in New Zealand are appointed on the basis of education and not gender. Further proof for this comes from the fact that the correlations between working as a professional and having any degree are extremely strong – around 0.80 to 0.90. The correlation between being a professional and being a male, by contrast, is not significant, at -0.10.

Nearer the centre of the earnings scale we can see that the correlation with being male rises, to 0.22, for an income between $50,000 and $60,000. This correlation is borderline significant, but it is in the wage brackets between $40,000 and $70,000 where the bulk of the nation’s income is earned. All of these wage brackets have a positive correlation of at least 0.18 with being male.

Lower down the earnings scale, we can see that the correlation with being male is negative for all income brackets below $30,000. It is a borderline significant -0.19 for the prime beneficiary’s income bracket of $10,000 to $15,000. Indeed, we can see that the correlation between being male and being on the unemployment benefit is -0.39, so women are significantly more likely to be bringing in less than average.

So if women and men are paid the same at the top levels, why do men earn more in the middle levels?

As mentioned above, the reason that men make more money than women overall is because of the fact that there are more of them in the $40,000 to $70,000 range and fewer in the $30,000 and below range. But the reason for this is not prejudice.

Most of this difference can be explained by the correlation of 0.48 between being male and being in full-time work. There is also a correlation of -0.48 between being male and being unemployed. Simply put, this means that men work a lot more than women do. Further proof comes from the negative correlations between being male and being on the unemployment benefit (-0.39), being on the invalid’s benefit (-0.26) or being on the student allowance (-0.21).

What this means is that the plum jobs are shared out equally between men and women, but the lower one goes down the socio-economic scale, the more likely it is that women will become unemployed instead. This makes perfect sense, because the less one earns the more marginal working becomes in comparison to spending that time on one’s family, and women are much more likely to make such a calculation than men.

The gap in earnings between men and women can be best explained, therefore, not by sexism or any other form of prejudice, but by life history patterns. Men tend to work hard as young adults and then work hard as older adults. Women, by contrast, tend to work hard as young adults and then transition to part-time work as they get older, shifting the primary focus of their concern from their career to their family.

What the statistics show is a very reasonable pattern of women starting out as professionals if they can, otherwise starting at the bottom and transitioning into family care as they age. Men also start out as professionals if they can and also otherwise start at the bottom, but the difference is that they tend to transition into managerial positions as they age. This is evidenced by the correlation of 0.49 between being male and working as a manager.

The “gender wage gap”, therefore, is best explained as the result of different choices made by the average man compared to the average woman. It has nothing to do with prejudice or sexism, and anyone claiming that it does is either misguided or lying.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

A Universal Basic Income Would Pay For Itself In The Bitching It Would Prevent

The Internet is full of bitching about who is entitled to what and who is ripping who off. Endless back-and-forths that have been running for decades already, and sometimes for centuries before the Internet was invented. This bickering does a tremendous amount of social damage, fostering distrust, suspicion and cynicism at all levels. As this essay will examine, a universal basic income would pay for itself by settling much of this bitching.

One of the eternal debates relates to the pension age.

Our society is currently structured so that 64-year olds are made to work under threat of starvation, but 65-year olds are gifted $370 a week from the state until they die, no questions asked. A person’s life is radically different from the week before they turn 65 compared to the week after. Turning 65 grants you access to so much free money that it’s like winning the lottery.

The problem, from the state’s point of view, is that the pension already costs New Zealand some $16 billion dollars per year – a figure that is rising by about a billion a year. This means that there is a great incentive to cut down on costs by raising the pension age. On top of that, many argue that the current pension arrangement in unsustainable, on account of that people are in good health for longer.

Naturally, proposals to raise the pension age are bitterly resented by those close to it. Howls of outrage are inevitable every time the media raises the subject. Also naturally, those younger still, who have no hope of the luxury pension lifestyle that today’s elderly enjoy, don’t give a shit, and are happy to just laugh. Therefore there is bitter resentment on all sides.

We already have a universal basic income for those over 65. If we would lower the size of the payment to something more reasonable, and then extend the age limit all the way down to 18, would could get rid of the need to argue over the pension age entirely.

Another eternal debate revolves around making a distinction between the mentally ill and the lazy. The logic is that it’s fair to pay mentally ill people welfare because they can’t be expected to hold down a job, but it’s not fair to pay lazy people on welfare because it will just encourage them to not work.

The difficulty is, of course, that it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the two. It’s not at all routine to find agreement between two psychiatrists as to whether a given patient is mentally ill or a malingerer. It couldn’t possibly be, given how complicated the average mind is and how long it takes to get to understand it.

In practice, there’s essentially no way to tell whether a person’s unwillingness to work stems from mental illness (thereby demanding a feminine solution) or a failure of the will (thereby demanding a masculine solution). There is no scientific test, so the psychiatrist just asks a bunch of questions and then offers a degree of help commensurate with how much they like the patient.

This means that a large part of the welfare apparatus – that devoted to distinguishing the “deserving” from the “undeserving” – is superfluous and could be scrapped at no loss. A universal basic income would remove the need for absurdities such as the requirement to get a doctor’s certificate every year or so to “prove” that one was too mentally infirm to hold down a job.

A mentally healthy person will not choose to avoid work, for the simple reason that employment is the only realistic way to meet one’s social needs today. Some people might need to take a break away from intense social pressure on occasion, and a UBI would help them do this. Then they could return on their own terms when able. This would prevent people from being ground down into destruction through the stress of trying to maintain employment with a mental illness.

Seldom does a person stop and think about how much social damage is caused by arguments about who is worthy to receive a basic level of financial dignity and who isn’t.

A universal basic income would settle all of these disputes in one stroke. It would say: there is no such thing as public welfare anymore, only dividends. Every citizen gets a basic dividend of the nation’s wealth, enough to stave off abject misery, no questions asked. No more squabbling about who’s paid in enough and who has been promised what.

There is a lot of talk about a looming financial crisis, and how we can’t lower interest rates to fight it, and will therefore have to print money. The last time we printed money we gave to the banks, and that didn’t help alleviate the human suffering. This time we should print money and give it to everyone to meet their basic survival needs.

If 3,500,000 people received a dividend of $250 for 52 weeks, the total cost would be $45,500,000,000. According to the New Zealand Treasury, crown income was $81,800,000,000 for the 2016/2017 financial year. That same link also shows us that the current cost of social security and welfare is $30,600,000,000, currently paid for by taxation and not money printing.

This means that we could scrap the entire social security and welfare bureaucracy, shift all of the funding for it to a UBI, and we’d only be $15,000,000,000 short. This shortfall could be made up for by money printing, or from increased economic efficiencies brought about by the structural change of every person having government-backed poverty insurance.

One likely side-effect of a UBI is that is will make many things much cheaper.

For instance, without the life-or-death pressure of needing to get a job before one starves, Kiwis would be much more willing to live in places with fewer job opportunities. This would create a drift to rural areas and release some of the demand pressure on urban land. Introduction of a UBI would, of course, mean the termination of the Accomodation Supplement, as there is simply no justification to live somewhere you can’t afford if this isn’t necessary for work purposes.

The fact is that New Zealand needs entrepreneurial activity if it is to succeed this century, and much of this will necessarily be Internet-based owing to New Zealand’s extreme geographical isolation. A UBI would make it possible for small start-ups to get off the ground in the smaller centres, because these start-ups would have much lower initial costs.

The rest of the value might be made up from the social benefits of putting a definitive and official end to all questions about who was worthy of Government assistance and who was a bludger, malinger, thief etc. Everyone gets $250, and when the rate goes up it goes up for all. Because everyone gets it, and the same amount, there would be no question over who is entitled and who isn’t.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

Should New Zealand Reduce Pensions To The Level of Other Benefits?

When the pension system was introduced in New Zealand in 1898, the average life expectancy was less than 60. Today, it’s closer to 80. Consequently, pension expenses have ballooned. This article discusses whether New Zealand should lower the pension to bring it in line with other main benefits, and what we could afford if we did.

A lot of words are being written lately about universal basic income, but few realise New Zealand already has a universal basic income for the over 65s, known as National Superannuation.

The argument for paying out this universal benefit is that people older than 65 cannot reasonably be expected to earn a living through the workforce, and therefore would starve without a pension. That seems entirely fair. Not many people would argue that a person should be forced to starve, in this age of plenty, just because they were too old to work.

However, the amount of money paid in pensions is taking the piss. $360 per week to every person over 65, when a majority of them own their own house, is an obscenity, when we expect severely mentally ill people to survive on $273 per week, out of which they almost always have to pay rent.

As of June 2019, the New Zealand Government spends over $12,000,000,000 every year on pensions (see table at top of article). This mostly consists of the $20,000 of yearly pension payments per recipient, multiplied by the 600,000+ eligible pensioners in New Zealand. Pension spending is projected to be $20,000,000,000 by 2031.

Although most people can agree that it’s cruel to leave people to starve on account of that they’re too infirm to work, there’s no reason for the Government to be granting pensioners a lifestyle that compares with what people make from working. Indeed, if they’re not working, why should they be paid any more than the unemployment benefit?

A fair compromise between the current luxury pension model on the one hand, and reducing the pension to the level of the unemployment benefit on the other, might be to reduce the benefit to a midway level. This would recognise both that current pension spending is an unsustainable and unfair burden on the under-65s, and that the infirmity of old age demands more expenses than the health of youth.

If the pension was cut by 25%, from its current $360 per week to around $270, this would bring it in line with other main benefits such as the Supported Living Allowance. This 25% reduction would equal a savings of $3,000,000,000 per year in pension expenses.

To give an example of how much money that is, it’s roughly equal to the $3,000,000,000 in tax revenue that the Government gets from the 10.5% tax on the first $14,000 of income. This tax works out to slightly less than $1,500 per person for each of New Zealand’s roughly 2,000,000 wage or salary earners.

So lowering the pension by 25% to bring it in line with other main benefits could be balanced by making all income up to $14,000 tax free. This would be a revenue-neutral move – there are plenty of other ways to spend $3G, but this would be one of the most popular.

Introducing a $14,000 tax-free threshold would make two million New Zealanders much happier about going to work every day. It would revitalise the workforce by giving every worker an extra $1,500 per year. This works out to almost $30 per week. That would make a huge difference to standard of living given the cost of living and cost of housing at the moment.

For two-parent families, such a saving would equal roughly $60 per week. For many Kiwi families on the breadline, this would be enough money to make the difference between survival and disaster some weeks.

There’s no loss to bringing this in, apart from a reduction in luxuries for our current crop of pensioners. None of those pensioners will go hungry because they would still get as much as an invalid’s beneficiary, and considering that these same pensioners had the luxury of being able to buy a house on one income – a luxury that younger generations will never have – there’s no reason for the rest of us to spend empathy on them. We ought to keep it for each other.

At the moment, New Zealand is being sucked dry by a cohort of super-entitled Baby Boomers who feel that they have the right to party it up for 20 years after they reach 65. This was only sustainable when pensioners were a small percentage of the population, but with as much as 20% of the population soon wanting a slice of the pension pie, it no longer is.

We need to bring the pension in line with other main benefits in order to rein in our bloated Superannuation expenses. Reducing it to the same level as the Supported Living Allowance would free up roughly three billion dollars every year. Freeing our economy from this burden would make life a lot easier for the vast majority of Kiwis.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Best Way to Raise Wages Is to Strengthen The Negotiating Position of The Working Class

Low wages are blamed by many for the various social ills befalling the nations of the West. If only wages were higher, a lot of problems with housing, education and healthcare would be solved. Although this is true on the face of it, little thought goes into what actually leads to high wages. This essay explains.

A popular belief, particularly among young leftists, is that the wage being paid reflects the employer’s goodwill. This is true to a minor extent (it reflects the degree of solidarity that the employer has with their employees), but in practice the size of a wage reflects little else than the respective negotiating strengths of the employer and the employee.

These people don’t understand that a person’s wage is the result of a negotiation process, and that this process is determined by economic principles. In particular, the wage reflects what the employer and employee each have for a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) – the alternative that would arise if negotiations failed and both parties walked away from the table.

If the employer’s BATNA is to lose production and fail to fill orders because they are short-staffed, that employer’s negotiating position is weak. Likewise, if the employee’s BATNA is to get a well-paid job somewhere else, that employee’s negotiation position is strong.

Conversely, if the employer’s BATNA is to get the Immigration Minister to import cheap labour from the Third World and to hire them instead of a local, then that employer’s negotiating position is strong. Likewise, if the employee’s BATNA is that his family back in the Third World starves, that employee’s negotiating position is weak.

So it can be seen that a person’s wage is chiefly a function of the demand for that person’s labour and the supply of competing labour. All other factors being equal, the greater the demand for that person’s labour, the higher the wage, and the greater the supply of competing labour, the lower the wage.

If one wishes to raise wages, then, the only thing that will reliably work is to restrict the supply of the labour competing for those wages.

The capital owners of the West have always striven to minimise their labour expenses. The most effective way to do this is through slavery, because then the capital owners get labour (effectively) for free. The American cotton and sugar plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries were profitable because slavery minimised their labour expenses, and the closer a modern company can get to free labour, the better.

In the 21st century, the way to keep wages low is to import cheap labour from overseas. This has the massive benefit of allowing the capital owner to undercut the native working class, and to pay a fraction of their wage to the new imports instead. If the cheap labour is from a poor country, they will often be happy to live 20 to a house so that they can send some of their wages home in remittances.

Many modern enterprises in the West are only profitable because of importing cheap labour, but allowing this is a form of corruption that harms the working class. In a natural capitalist system, companies that can’t pay a living wage to their employees go out of business because they can’t find staff. Under the system we have, those companies import cheap labour and their previous staff go on the dole.

Despairingly, many leftists now think it is “racist” to oppose open borders, on the grounds that it’s mean to tell non-white people they can’t live in the West. These leftists are indifferent to the argument that opening the borders to cheap labour is against the class interests of the working poor. In fact, they often verbally abuse those working-class people for agitating for their own class interests, while the capital owners laugh all the way to the bank.

There is only one reliable way to increase the wages of labour. This way is to improve the negotiating position of the working classes. The negotiating position of the working classes can only be increased in two ways: by increasing the demand for labour, and by decreasing the supply of labour.

Only if the best alternative to a negotiated high wage is another high wage will the employer pay one. If the worker asks for a living wage and cheap labour is available, the employer will go with the cheap labour in almost every case. The employer doesn’t give a shit if this leaves the original worker unemployed – the cheaper the labour, the more profits for them.

The sad truth is that the international capitalist interests who have created this arrangement also own the mainstream media. As a result, this media has convinced us that this state of affairs is natural and that anyone who complains about their wage must be a racist. They don’t care if they’re hated – they still own everything and hate doesn’t stop them. What they do care about is a weakening of their negotiating position.

The New Zealand Labour Party – like neoliberal parties everywhere – has completely betrayed the New Zealand working class by keeping the floodgates of cheap labour wide open. It is by doing this that the Labour Party have kept wages low and contributed to the current social problems. As this magazine has argued previously, this betrayal risks that the New Zealand working class turns to fascism. The only way out is to strengthen the negotiating position of the workers.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Black Caps ODI Bowling and Batting in 2019 Compares Well To Great Players of the Past

The 2019 Black Caps are arguably the best ODI side that New Zealand has ever produced. But how good are they in comparison to their historical peers of other nations? Numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, looks at how our bowling and batting compares to some great lineups of the past.

Some people call Trent Boult the ‘White Akram’ for his relentlessly accurate line and mastery of seam and swing at 140km/h. If you compare Boult’s numbers to Akram’s, Boult comes out looking very well indeed.

Wasim Akram’s ODI career stretched from 1984 to 2003. Over these two decades, he racked up a truly phenomenal 502 wickets at an average of 23.52. Compared to the bowlers of his era, Akram had a bowling average 24% lower that the average of all bowlers from those same years (the overall bowling average between 1984 and 2003 was 29.19).

Compared to the bowlers of his era, however, Boult’s bowling average of 24.80 is 28% lower (the overall bowling average between 2012 and 2019 is 31.92). This is extremely impressive if one considers that it means that Boult is even more of an outlier in comparison to his international ODI fast-bowling peers than Wasim Akram was.

Despite the memories of him as an outstandingly destructive bowler, Akram’s strike rate is not as impressive as his economy rate. Akram’s strike rate of 36.2 is only 6% better than the average strike rate of his era (38.5). His economy rate of 3.89, however, is a full 16% better than the average economy rate between 1984 and 2003.

This is not so much true of Boult. The Kiwi paceman’s strike rate of 29.3 is 23% better than the average strike rate during his career, and his economy rate of 5.06 is 5% better than the global economy rate of 5.31 during this time. He is like Akram in that his accuracy allows for both economy and strikepower, only Boult has more of the latter and Akram more of the former.

If Boult is the White Akram, then Matt Henry is the White Waqar Younis. As Younis was to Akram, Henry is more expensive than Boult but also more destructive with the ball.

Compared to the bowlers of his era, Younis had a bowling average 23% lower than the average of all bowlers from those same years (the overall bowling average between 1989 and 2003 was 29.40). This is roughly similar to Akram, but where Younis was really impressive was his strike rate of a wicket every 30.5 balls. This was 26% better than the 38.4 average global strike rate during Younis’s career.

Compared to the bowlers of his era, Henry has a bowling average 29% lower than his peers (the overall bowling average between 2014 and 2019 is 32.27). Incredibly, his strike rate of 27.2 is 32% better than the global average of 35.9 during his career. This means that, statistically, Henry is an even more destructive bowler than Waqar Younis was – even after you account for the fact that strike rates are lower nowadays.

Some of Henry’s detractors claim that he is hittable, but this is no more true of Henry than it was of Younis. Younis was 1.8% more expensive than the average of his era; Henry is 1.7% more expensive. These are very slim margins compared to the average bowler, and more than compensated for by the vastly superior strike rate.

If you’re surprised that the Black Caps’ ODI opening bowling duo has stats that back up well when compared to arguably the best new-ball pair of all time, get ready for another surprise. Their top-order batting trio of Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have stats that back up well when compared to those of Mathew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn.

Guptill and Hayden have almost identical batting averages: 43.87 vs. 43.80. For Guptill, this represents being 40% above the average cost of a wicket over the years of his career (31.28). For Hayden, it represents being 48% above the average cost of a wicket over the years of his (29.66).

When it comes to strike rate, Hayden’s 78.96 was right on the average strike rate of his time (79.28), despite his reputation as a massive hitter. Guptill is worth an extra couple of runs per 100 balls, with a strike rate of 87.99 compared to the global average of 86.96 during his career.

For Guptill to have roughly equal stats to those of the Australian opener from their greatest ever batting era is amazing enough, but there are two others in the Black Caps lineup who compare just as favourably to their counterparts in that great Aussie side.

At No. 3, Williamson’s numbers come out looking very good compared to Ponting’s. The Kiwi captain’s average of 45.85 is 45% above the average wicket during his career. The former Australian captain’s average of 42.03 is slightly behind this benchmark, at 40% above the average.

Ponting’s strike rate was relatively better, however: his 80.39 is right on the era strike rate of 80.66. Williamson’s 82.32, by contrast, is 6% slower than the average batsman of his time. In Williamson’s favour, though, he is still only 29, and therefore only just now entering the peak of his career. His numbers might well be even more impressive in six years’ time.

At No. 4, Taylor has fashioned a record that compares well to players in any time and era. His average of 48.55 is 56% higher than the average batting average throughout his career (31.05). Martyn’s average of 40.80, while much higher than the 29.66 global average during his career, was only 38% higher.

That means that, as much as Martyn was a rock at 4 for Australia, Taylor is even more so for New Zealand.

Overall, when one compares the statistics of some of our current crop of Black Caps to their contemporaries, the distance they are ahead of the average compares well to some of the great players of days past. Not only is this a highly underrated Black Caps side, but they have an entirely realistic chance of winning the World Cup this year.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

Matt Henry Is Now The Most Underrated Player In The Black Caps

In 2017, numbers man Dan McGlashan explained how Ross Taylor was the most underrated player in the Black Caps. In 2018, he explained how that mantle had passed to Henry Nicholls. This year, as McGlashan will show in this article, the most underrated player in the Black Caps is Canterbury’s Matt Henry.

Trent Boult is undoubtedly the hero of the Black Caps bowling attack. In ODIs, he has taken 148 wickets at an average of 24.83. Currently ranked No. 2 in the world for ODI bowling, many would go as far as to argue that Boult was the Black Caps’ most influential player. Everyone knows that his opening spell is crucial to the team’s success.

Few such accolades fall on Matt Henry. Far from being considered the spearhead, his place in the side seems far from certain. Many fans appear to prefer Tim Southee or even fringe candidates such as Scott Kuggeleijn or Hamish Bennett. However, much like Henry Nicholls a year ago, Henry has put up some excellent numbers that, if considered in context, mark him as a potentially world-class option.

If one looks simply at the numbers, Henry is not far behind Boult. From 44 games, he has taken 81 wickets at an average of 25.60. He hasn’t had as much gametime as many think he deserved, but this has kept him hungry and injury-free, and I’m predicting we’ll see some New Zealand records broken by him in the future.

He’s been especially good against the Asian teams, with 20 wickets against Pakistan at 20.25, 21 wickets against Sri Lanka at 18.38, and 11 against India at 19.09. Considering that the 2023 Cricket World Cup will be hosted in India, that marks him out as one to watch.

Henry doesn’t just threaten records on the smaller scale. He is also threatening Shane Bond’s record of 54 matches for the fastest Black Caps bowler to 100 ODI wickets. Henry has taken 81 wickets in 44 games, meaning he has to take 19 in nine to break the record and 19 in 10 to equal it.

At his current rate of 1.84 wickets per match, Henry will reach the milestone in 55 games, one more than Bond and one fewer than Boult.

Another Shane Bond-related stat is that Henry has a better strike rate – Bond took 29.2 balls per wicket compared to Henry’s 27.9. Bond took four wickets or more 11 times in 82 matches, while Henry has already done so 8 times in only 44 matches. Bond did it once every 7.5 matches, Henry has done it once every 5.5 matches.

In fact, Henry has one of the ten best strike-rates of all time for a bowler who has taken 50 or more ODI wickets. Measured by strike rate, he’s ahead of Waqar Younis, Brett Lee, Shaoib Ahktar and Allan Donald.

The only criticism that one might level at Henry, in comparison to Bond and Boult, is that he is hittable. When people make this argument, they refer to his economy rate of 5.50, which is expensive in comparison to the 5.07 of his contemporary Boult (let alone Bond’s truly excellent economy rate of 4.28). Henry has yet to earn the respect of opposition batsmen playing him out as Bond, Boult and Vettori had.

In any case, I’m not arguing that Henry is an all-time great just yet. Despite the stats and despite his excellent lines and seam movement, he’s certainly not above criticism when it comes to mastery of length. His predictable hit-the-top-of-off approach, while difficult to play effectively, makes it possible to premeditate slogs down the ground or over midwicket.

However, I’m certainly not arguing that Henry is the finished product just yet either. Being only 27 years old, he still has plenty to learn when it comes to canniness and cunning. Although a weapon with the new ball, his bowling at the death has exposed his lack of variations. I am predicting for him to learn these variations and to become a great.

In the end, the fairest way is to rate Henry is according to the standards of his peers.

Since the last Cricket World Cup, Henry is 15th on the list of bowling averages for players from the major nations (minimum 40 wickets). Weighing more heavily is his current ranking in the top 10 of ODI bowlers, reflecting the large proportion of top-order wickets he has taken. If one considers that he was as high as 4th in 2016, the last time he got a consistent run in the side, then it’s already apparent that he’s underrated.

But there’s more. Henry currently sits 43rd on the list of all-time lowest bowling averages for players who have taken 75 or more ODI wickets. His average of 25.60 puts him ahead of Shane Warne, Dale Steyn and Pat Cummins. This century, his average puts him 25th. That’s an excellent return for a player who some think doesn’t deserve a spot in the Black Caps’ starting XI.

By any meaningful statistical measure, the performances that Matt Henry has delivered in the ODI jersey are almost as good as Trent Boult’s. If one considers that Henry’s role in the team is to take wickets with the new ball, then the danger he represents is roughly equal.

All of this is enough to declare him the most underrated player currently in the Black Caps side.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

Are the Black Caps of 2019 Better Than The 2015 Cricket World Cup Team?

The last Cricket World Cup is considered by many Black Caps fans to be their team’s finest moment, having made it as far as the final for the first time ever. Numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, thinks that this 2019 team might be an even better side than that one. This article compares the Black Caps side that will contest the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England with the side that played in the 2015 edition of the tournament.

First opener: Martin Guptill vs. Martin Guptill

The 2019 Martin Guptill has averaged a cracking 50.01 since the last CWC, at a strike rate of 94.70. He’s scored nine centuries in those 61 games, more than in the previous 108 games of his career. This is good enough to see him ranked 8th in the world. What’s more, he appears to be getting better and better.

Before the 2015 CWC, Guptill had a career average of 37.11. He was known as a very good player, with five one-day hundreds, but was not considered excellent. Having played 99 matches, this was about one century per 20 innings, compared to one century per seven innings since then. His century in the last pool match of the 2015 CWC was the start of this hot streak.

It’s the same player, only the 2019 version is more professional, making much better decisions, and making them with more authority. Because the pitches are expected to be flat during this World Cup, there is a good chance that Guptill will play another innings of 180+. He remains the most likely Black Cap to win the match with the bat.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Second opener: Henry Nicholls vs. Brendon McCullum

Henry Nicholls has been outstanding recently in Tests, but opening an ODI is different to batting No. 5 in the white clothing. It’s not easy to tell how well he will do as opener, other than to guess based on well he has gone so far, mostly batting in the middle order: 41 matches since the 2015 CWC, averaging 35.48.

Brendon McCullum was on an outstanding run of form leading up to the 2015 tournament. Across 20 matches in the 2014/15 season, he scored 636 runs at an average of 33.47 and an astonishing strike rate of 140.70. This strike rate was so high it meant he scored his runs in fewer than four overs on average, leaving plenty for the other teammates.

Nicholls might have a better average than McCullum, but his role in the team is different, and he will not get the Black Caps off to the same starts as McCullum. However, he is less likely to put Williamson in early either. Perhaps it could also be said that Nicholls was more likely to score a century, but a strike rate of 140 cannot be fully compensated for.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

No. 3: Kane Williamson vs. Kane Williamson

Williamson averages 47.01 since the last CWC, which is good enough to see him ranked equal 11th in the world. Although he hasn’t been as spectacular as Guptill and Taylor, he has still been extremely solid, scoring five centuries in that time. One feels that it has only been the bounce of the ball and good bowling that has prevented him from scoring bigger.

The 2015 Williamson did not perform well in the knockout stages of the 2015 tournament, his highest score in the three matches being 33 against the West Indies. Although he averaged 45 at the time of the tournament, and had definitely come of age, he was not able to play many truly dominant innings in 2015.

The 2019 edition of the Black Caps captain is even calmer and more professional than the 2015 one. Also, thanks to his IPL experience, he is much better at hitting, and no longer simply relies on being hard to get out. He is, therefore, a more complete player, despite his numbers not showing a significant difference.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

No. 4: Ross Taylor vs. Ross Taylor

The 2015 Ross Taylor already had a claim to being New Zealand’s finest one-day batsman. At the start of the CWC that year, Taylor had 12 ODI centuries at an average of 41.75. This was a better record than anyone except for Nathan Astle. He had carried the batting for some years before McCullum, Guptill and Williamson came along and was by now the senior pro in the side.

Post eye-surgery Taylor has been something else. Since the 2015 CWC, Taylor has averaged a phenomenal 68.85, with eight centuries. His position as the greatest Kiwi one-day batsman ever is now certain, with Williamson the only possible challenger. His career average is now over 48, and if he continues in anything like the same form it will soon be 50.

One gets the feeling that, with Latham injured for some matches and replaced by the inexperienced Tom Blundell, Taylor might play the last line of real defence before the hitters come in. If that is so, his cool and professional approach will make his efforts at 4 crucial to the success of this campaign.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Keeper-batsman: Tom Latham vs. Luke Ronchi

At time of writing, it still isn’t clear how many matches Latham will miss on account of his finger fracture, however it’s assumed that he will be back for the later pool games and any eventual knockouts. Although Latham is still a junior player in the side, he has averaged 37.86 since the last CWC and has cemented his spot at 5. He has shown that he can both rebuild and hit from the middle order.

Since hitting 170 against Sri Lanka just before the 2015 CWC, Ronchi was poor, averaging only 15.13 for the remainder of his career. Although this came at a strike rate of just over 100, it wasn’t enough runs to make an impact. His duck in the 2015 CWC final underlined this.

Latham might lack the big hitting ability of Ronchi, but is much more likely to score runs. Latham’s strike rate of 86 since the last World Cup is perfectly fine anyway. This is another clear win for the 2019 side, whose batting is significantly stronger overall.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

All-rounder: Jimmy Neesham vs. Corey Anderson

Jimmy Neesham has been in and out of the team in recent years, but his latest performances suggest that he has found a good vein of form. In the eight matches he has played since his comeback to the side, he has averaged 68 with the bat and 22.90 with the ball. Incredibly clean hitting has been a feature of his presence in the middle order.

Corey Anderson has had rotten luck with injuries, but at the time of the 2015 CWC he was putting up some good numbers with both bat and ball. He played a number of good hands in the 2015 tournament, most notably scoring a half-century and taking three wickets in the semifinal. Although a dynamic player, he was a loose one.

On balance, Anderson wins this because Neesham has not played many games recently. But chances are high that we see at least one spectacular innings from Neesham this World Cup, on account of that his hitting ability will find good use on the flat English decks. Whether Neesham can achieve Anderson’s consistency remains to be seen.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

Batting all-rounder: Colin de Grandhomme vs. Grant Elliott

Colin de Grandhomme is still a bit of an enigma in this Black Caps side. Although capable of massive hitting and incisive bowling, he remains a distinctly hit and miss player, especially with the ball. He has only spent three seasons in the team, but has scored over 400 runs at an average of 29 and strike rate of 110.

Elliott is known for playing the starring role in the greatest game in Black Caps history, the semifinal of the 2015 CWC. His inclusion in the Black Caps side was patchy up until the season of the tournament, but after the start of 2015 he averaged over 40 with the bat at a strike rate of almost 100. He made a reputation for himself as a batsman who could play any role.

It’s not certain that de Grandhomme has the skills to cope with a truly top-level attack, whereas Elliott scored 80s in both a World Cup semifinal and final. Moreover, de Grandhomme averages 46.33 with the ball and is unlikely to play much of role in that discipline in England. De Grandhomme could play some good innings in England, but he won’t be expected to star.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

First seamer: Trent Boult vs. Trent Boult

Boult was an unknown in the Black Caps one-day setup until shortly before the 2015 CWC. He had only played 16 ODIs for New Zealand before the tournament began, and was regarded by most as a Test specialist a year beforehand. Many pundits thought that his nagging medium-fast bowling would prove easily hittable.

By 2019, he is solidly established as New Zealand’s premiere new ball bowler. He is rightly ranked 2nd in the world, behind only Jasprit Bumrah. Since the end of the last CWC he has taken 107 wickets at an average of 24.59, which, if one considers the high-scoring nature of this era, is almost as good as the best years of Hadlee and Bond.

The 2019 Boult is getting some of his deliveries up to 145km/h, without losing any of the accuracy that he is known for. This makes him even more dangerous than before. As with Guptill, Williamson and Taylor, Boult is simply a more skilled and more professional version of the player he was at the time of the 2015 CWC.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Second seamer: Matt Henry vs. Tim Southee

Since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the conditions of the game environment have changed. Pitches are much flatter, especially in England. Naturally, bowling averages have gone up. This means that it has been much harder than before to take wickets cheaply.

Nevertheless, Henry has taken 55 wickets since the last CWC, at an average of 29.72. Southee has taken 54 wickets, despite playing 12 more matches than Henry, at an average of 41.46. Many will be surprised to hear that Henry has taken more wickets since the final against Australia, on account of that he has played so many fewer games, but that only underlines how effective he has been.

Henry is currently ranked 14th in the world in ODIs, notably ahead of Dale Steyn (16th) and Mitchell Starc (22nd), and was in the top 10 last time he had an extended run in the side. Southee is languishing at 40th. At the start of the 2015 CWC, Southee was ranked 21st, but it’s doubtful that he was as good as Henry is now.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Third seamer: Lockie Ferguson vs. Adam Milne

Ferguson is the latest addition to the Black Caps seam battery. Over the past two years, he has been impressive, taking 38 wickets at an average of 23.76. Those are good enough numbers to have seen him climb to 21st in the world rankings, higher than even Mitchell Starc. Although he is still raw, some of the deliveries he puts down would have made Shane Bond proud.

Milne has been bedevilled by injuries, since even before the 2015 CWC. Because of this, he has never been able to get a good run of form going, and as such has only taken 41 wickets in 40 matches, at a career average of 38.56. Despite being economical, Milne has struggled to do real damage with the ball, and at the time of the 2015 tournament was not considered a major strike threat.

Although Milne was just as fast, Ferguson is a much more incisive bowler. Without much precision in either line or length, Milne’s raw pace was hittable. Ferguson has both of those qualities as well as a greater ability to swing the ball. He makes an excellent change of pace for the times when Boult and Henry cannot break through.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Spinner: Mitchell Santner vs. Dan Vettori

Santner has cemented a place in the Black Caps ODI side thanks to frugal spin bowling and big hitting from the lower order. Early last year he had an ODI bowling ranking of 7th, thanks to a truly miserly economy rate of 4.68 over his last 50 games. He also averages a handy 27.53 with the bat, and a more than handy 32.30 over the past two seasons. At his favoured position of 8 he averages 37.73.

Vettori, however, was rated as one of the world’s best ODI bowlers before his 2015 swansong. Although he was only 14th in the rankings at the time, he had been ranked as high as 1st, on account of his fiendishly tight fingerspin bowling. By 2015, it was accepted worldwide that the way to deal with Vettori was to just play him out. Hitting him out of the attack was all but impossible.

Santner might well be as good as Vettori at the 2023 CWC, but this is probably one tournament too early for the peak of his career. He certainly has potential to play some decisive roles with both bat and ball this season, but Vettori was a proven performer who was once ranked No. 1 at his chosen discipline.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

Total – 2019 Black Caps 7, 2015 Black Caps 4

For all the hype around the 2015 Black Caps, and for all the hype around England and India in 2019, few appear to realise quite how strong the 2019 Black Caps side is. Not only will it field three batsmen with higher career averages than Ricky Ponting, but it will also have three seamers with averages below 29, which are fine numbers in this era.

This means that the 2019 side has three of the Black Caps’ best ever batsmen, all in career-best form, as well as a guaranteed 40 overs of world-class bowling, compared to 25-30 at the last tournament. In all, they should be at least as strong a contender as at the 2015 CWC, and must be considered one of the favourites for the title.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

What New Zealand Could Afford if We Didn’t Take in Refugees

The tendency of most social democratic governments is to tax and spend. The usual pattern is to spend ever more as extra special interests keep making new demands. This inevitably leads to the downfall of those governments, as they end up spending money on white elephants and neglecting their core voters. This article looks at how the Sixth Labour Government is neglecting its own people by importing 1,500 refugees a year.

According to this New Zealand Herald article, the costs of refugee resettlement to New Zealand is roughly $130,000,000 every year. This suggests that each of the 1,500 refugees costs an average of roughly $90,000 per year, which is similar to the costs of keeping a person in prison.

This $130 million comes out of general taxation and means that we can’t spend $130 million on other things. Despite claims to the contrary, it’s impossible to spend the same dollar twice. So spending this money on refugees who we have decided to import means that we have to tighten our belts on $130 million of spending somewhere else in the economy.

So what have we chosen to forgo? Or, more accurately, what have our rulers elected to take away from us?

According to the Ministry of Social Development, there are 286,000 New Zealanders on a main benefit at the time of March 2019. These beneficiaries are also paid out of general taxation, i.e. the same fund as pays for refugees.

If we would lower the refugee quota to zero, we would have the spare money to give every beneficiary a Christmas bonus on the order of $500 every year in the lead up to the summer holidays. This would be a much better use of the money than importing problems into the neighbourhoods that those beneficiaries live in. A $500 bonus at the time of year when things are the tightest would make a profound difference to the quality of life of New Zealand’s poorest.

It might also make a difference to New Zealand’s suicide rates, as stress over Christmas and New Year’s, particularly financial stress, is known to be a common trigger for suicide attempts.

The ongoing homelessness crisis is another issue that could do with a cool hundred million dollars. A Stuff article reports that it will cost $4.1 million to house 100 homeless people in Christchurch. At that rate, if the $130 million we currently spend yearly on refugees was used on housing our own people, it would cover the housing of close to 3,000 Kiwis.

3,000 is close to the number of people currently believed to be homeless in Auckland. Since the vast majority of those homeless are Kiwis, it seems neglectful, if not callous, to spend $130 million on refugees instead, especially when that money could simply buy the houses to put almost 1,000 homeless in (assuming a house homes four people and costs $600,000).

Many of those Kiwis will have paid into the social system themselves through taxation or through service. It’s cruel to house foreigners at their expense.

Helping our own is more cost effective than importing refugees and helping them instead, because there is no language or cultural barrier to overcome and thus no need for interpreters or cultural guides. It is also much better for social cohesion, because our own usually have families that live here, and a whole family is lifted if their weakest member is helped.

Perhaps most appallingly, the New Zealand Parliament decided in 2015 that providing free breakfasts and lunches to the poorest 20% of schoolchildren, at a cost of $10-14 million, was too expensive. It seems incredible on the face of it, but our rulers are willing to spend ten times more on importing dependent foreigners than on feeding their own hungriest children!

A society that imports dependent foreigners and takes care of them, while leaving its own children to go hungry during the day, is one that cannot long survive. The inherent contradiction means that few of the next generation will have any confidence in the system, and will withdraw or revolt, as there is no point in contributing to a nation that treats its own worse than it does outsiders. It’s better to let it die and start again.

It’s important to underline here that, although spending a nine-figure sum of money on refugees while neglecting your own people is an act of evil, it’s not the refugees themselves who ought to take the blame. At worst, they are merely the receivers of stolen goods, in that they accepted the inheritance that our ruling class had stolen from us. There’s no shame in taking advantage of people as foolish as we have been.

The blame for not being able to house our own people and feed our own kids falls squarely on our own politicians who control the spending of our tax money, and on us for letting those politicians get away with it.

They are the ones who leave the people they’re representing to die while they lavish money on foreigners instead. They are the ones who distract us with emotive rhetoric about “doing the right thing” while ignoring the needs of the people they rule over. They are the ones who promote the idea that anyone complaining about their evil is themselves evil: a racist, white nationalist, Nazi, speaker of hate or similar.

Much of the suffering that Kiwis at the back of the queue are enduring is only happening because our rulers are spending the money on importing refugees instead. Lowering the refugee quota to zero would free up $130 million to spend on amenities for those among us who are doing it hard. It’s a lot of money, and all we lose is virtue signalling opportunity.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

Who Wins From Having The Cannabis Referendum at The Same Time as The 2020 General Election?

The process about the cannabis referendum next year is starting to take more concrete shape. Not only are we starting to get some kind of idea of what question is going to be asked, but we have had confirmation that the referendum will take place at the same time as the 2020 General Election. In this article, Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains the likely electoral ramifications.

In the 2004 American Presidential Elections, George W Bush’s adviser Karl Rove had the genius idea of scheduling a number of referendums to take place at the same time. These referendums all related to state constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage. Because this issue aroused strong conservative sentiment in the electorate in 2004, it brought conservatives to the polls, where they also voted for George W Bush.

The scheduling of the cannabis referendum at the same time as the 2020 General Election ought to have a similar effect. The sort of person who turns out to vote in this referendum will be those who would normally vote in a General Election, plus some otherwise disenfranchised demographics who didn’t previously feel an incentive to vote at all.

It’s worth looking at who those otherwise disenfranchised demographics are, because if they turn out vote in the referendum, and if they cast a vote for a party in the General Election at the same time, there might be enough of them to tip the balance of the election towards one or the other side.

The cannabis referendum will not bring out a meaningful number of extra conservatives, for two major reasons.

The first is that conservatives don’t really care about cannabis. Conservatism isn’t about being stupid, or being backwards. The average conservative is intelligent enough to have observed that many places overseas have now legal cannabis, and these places are no longer spending tax payers money on enforcing prohibition. Apart from morons like Bob McCoskrie, there’s no real appetite for continuing cannabis prohibition on the right.

The second is that conservatives already vote. As I showed in Understanding New Zealand, the correlation between voting for the National Party in 2017 and turnout rate was 0.68, which is very strong. Because there are no firm boundaries between party lines, this is unlikely to get any stronger from a referendum unless the conservatives really cared about it. And they don’t.

Who the cannabis referendum will bring out are the currently disenfranchised who have lost faith in the democratic system because of (among other reasons) its inability to deliver anything close to the public will on the issue of cannabis law. These people will come from the demographics that did not vote in the 2017 General Election.

The most obvious will be the remainder of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party’s demographic. The ALCP got 8.075 votes in 2017, and the correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and turnout rate in 2017 was -0.63. This suggests that at least another 10,000 potential ALCP votes were lost to disenfranchisement.

Whether they would vote for the ALCP is anyone’s guess, although most will realise that, if cannabis is legal, there is no reason for the ALCP to exist, and therefore they might as well vote for someone else.

Many have made the assumption that the largest beneficiaries of a cannabis law reform referendum will be the Green Party. After all, it is the Green Party who has pushed for it, and it seems reasonable that this might lead to some otherwise non-voting cannabis users turning up to the polling booth for the referendum and throwing a vote the Greens’ way.

This simple assumption is likely to be mistaken, also for two reasons.

Simply put, Green voters tend to already vote. The correlation between turnout rate in 2017 and voting Green in 2017 was 0.27 – not very strong on the face of it, but strong if one considers that Green voters come from young demographics, and the turnout rate among those demographics is very low. Green voters and supporters are not disenfranchised.

The other reason is that the demographics that truly support cannabis law reform, the ones who are adversely impacted by the current law, are not the same demographics as Green Party voters.

There is a correlation of 0.73 between being New Zealand-born and voting ALCP in 2017. The reason for this because cannabis law reform is of little interest to those who aren’t either white or Maori. Cannabis is an integral part of true Kiwi culture, and many of those who come out to vote will be nationalists. They will not have much interest in supporting Green Party policies, aside from cannabis, which they can now support without voting Green.

This strong correlation relates to the correlation of 0.91 between being Maori and voting ALCP in 2017. This suggests that a very large number of the people who vote in the General Election because of the referendum will be Maori. Maoris seem to have an aversion to the Green Party, and this probably exists because they distrust globalists – the correlation between being Maori and voting Green in 2017 was -0.14.

Policies like increasing the refugee quota will prove devastating for the cohesion of Maori neighbourhoods and communities, and this is widely understood. The sort of person who is most heavily affected by this kind of thing is precisely the disenfranchised voter who is likely to turn out for the cannabis referendum.

The extra voters will undoubtedly be much younger than average, because the correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and median age was -0.57. This makes them much younger than both Greens and New Zealand First voters, and only a little older than Labour voters. The young are much more passionate about cannabis law reform because they do not have the generational brainwashing that the older generations endured.

Finally, the extra voters are likely to come from the least educated demographics. The correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and having no formal education qualifications was 0.68, the highest for any party. New Zealand First was not far behind, on 0.67, but the Green Party were at the other end of the scale, at -0.56. These extra voters are not likely to be impressed by the aloof superiority of the Greens.

Paradoxically, then, it’s most likely that the timing of the cannabis referendum to coincide with the 2020 General Election won’t benefit the party that most strongly pushed for it. Gratitude is not an emotion that can be counted on. It’s much more likely that the young, disenfranchised, Kiwi-born and Maori people who come to the polling booth for the referendum will vote Labour and, perhaps unfairly, New Zealand First.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).