New Zealand Should Start Accepting White South Africans As Refugees

White South Africans may have become to the blacks what Jews once became to the Germans. Should New Zealand act now in the interests of preventing a genocide?

The race rhetoric in South Africa appears to have reached an unprecedented level of nastiness, and farm murders are increasing. Ever more prominent black South African voices are calling for the removal of white people. With a mind to possibly preventing a genocide, New Zealand ought to consider whether we should start accepting white South Africans as refugees.

There are several major advantages to the idea from a New Zealand perspective.

South Africans regularly find themselves at or near the top of the income tables for the various immigrant groups to New Zealand – in stark contrast to the sort of person who usually comes to the West as a refugee. This suggests that they broadly fall into the categories of immigrant that we’re trying to attract anyway.

The common Marxist argument that Third World refugees are generally beneficial to the nations that let them in has been proven to be a lie, but white South Africans have a similar level of academic achievement to white people in other Western cultures, and this has had a positive effect on employment rates and economic productivity. In this sense they could be considered a First World culture.

This also means that they’re much less likely to do the kind of welfare bludging and petty crime that people from other large refugee sources tend to do, which means that the New Zealand population is less likely to regret the decision to let them in. Many Europeans bitterly regret letting in so many immigrants whose net contributions are negative, and New Zealand has the right and duty to act to avoid the same fate.

Culturally speaking, white South Africans are more like us Kiwis than anyone else in the world is, with the exception of Australians. The first major wave of British colonisation was to the Americas, which is why the Americans and Canadians are similar, and the second major wave was to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, which is why these cultures are similar.

White South Africans speak English, they play cricket and rugby, they have a much better idea of how to conduct themselves in a Parliamentary democracy than most other immigrants, they value education, they have extensive experience (however cynical) of other ethnicities, they have a Northern European Protestant work ethic like most other successful colonial cultures, and, at least for now, they are mostly free of the massive psychological trauma that makes the long-term integration of a foreign person into society truly difficult.

In other words, they’re every bit our cousins as much as the Aussies are.

If white South Africans are not much different to us than Aussies are, their integration will be straight-forward, which is something that cannot be said of most potential refugees. This means that we can accommodate more of them for a given amount of social upheaval.

After all, a given number of immigrants will cause a level of social disruption that is a function of how different those immigrants are to the host population, so if one of the limits to taking refugees is how willing the host population is to accept them, then taking refugees that are more like us will allow us to help more people.

This means that if we are to take refugees at all, and many are arguing that we should, then we should take white South Africans first.

One negative that people might argue is that South Africa, as a developing country, needs the brainpower of its most highly-educated demographic much more than New Zealand does, as we already have a large class of highly-educated professionals whereas South Africa is still fairly poor and educational standards are very low.

But against that it could be argued that these white South Africans are going to end up moving out of the country one way or the other, and in short order in either case. Because they are educated, white and English-speaking it’s also fairly easy for Australia, Canada, Britain or America to take them in, so we might as well grab them now.

Another potential negative to consider is that offering blanket asylum to white South Africans might jeopardise a potentially more orderly withdrawal process. Measured emigration might turn into a panic.

But against this it would be argued that if a Zimbabwe-style ethnic cleansing in South Africa appears probable – and it’s looking ever more likely – then moving as quickly as possible is the best move to minimise human suffering in the long term.

New Zealand should take measures to accommodate considerable numbers of white South African refugees because the safety of those cultures in the African continent can no longer be guaranteed, and letting them into New Zealand is both easier than them going anywhere else and better for New Zealand than letting any other group of refugees in.

New Zealand Should Celebrate Halloween on ANZAC Day

Halloween is an autumn festival that recalls the spirits of the dead. There’s no sense in New Zealand celebrating it at the end of spring

All Hallow’s Eve, modernly known as Halloween, is a festival that marks a time of death and dying in the yearly cycle. In some rituals, the dead are invited to partake in the celebrations, either through being summoned by music or remembered in prayer. Commonly, stories are told about people who have passed. All of this makes sense on the Northern Hemisphere calendar, but not so much in New Zealand.

The purpose of the Halloween festival, befitting the harvest, is to remember the dead. This is fitting because it occurs at the end of October, which is near the end of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, where the leaves have fallen dead from the trees and the nights are quickly becoming longer, colder and darker.

This is why it is associated with graveyards and skeletons and cobwebs and spiders and mummies, and any other symbol of death that one can think of. At the end of October in the Northern Hemisphere it’s closer to the midwinter to come than it is to the midsummer gone, and is only getting darker and colder, which naturally feels like death for those experiencing it.

What is understood by few, in New Zealand at least, is that the old festival schedule represents a deep natural understanding of the connections between the physical and the metaphysical world. Celebrating Halloween near the end of autumn when Nature is dying is the kind of tradition that deepens the connections of people to the natural world and gives their lives meaning.

This means that we in New Zealand shouldn’t celebrate Halloween on the 31st of October, when it’s light until almost 9p.m. and is sometimes as warm as summer (if the winds are blowing from the North or from Australia). Seven weeks before the summer solstice is a time when we should be conducting a fire festival to celebrate the return of light and warmth into the world at the apogee of the yearly solar cycle.

New Zealand already celebrates these natural traditions at the correct time in the yearly solar cycle in the form of ANZAC Day and Guy Fawkes’s Day.

ANZAC Day has become a de facto national festival with an emphasis on the remembrance of the dead and a dawn ceremony – exactly as Halloween was practiced at the end of autumn in old times. On this day we listen to a bugle call that is the same as that our ancestors would have heard a century ago, and we stand in silence to make it as evocative as possible, which symbolically summons those ancestors to stand by our side once again.

Seeing the world as a Great Fractal, this is analogous to how people like us celebrate Halloween in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also around this day – April 25th – that the trees are either bare or yellow and red as Nature falls into the peak yin part of the cycle.

Guy Fawkes, while not a national holiday, nevertheless involves a public display of fire in a very similar fashion to Beltane in the Northern Hemisphere, or the bonfires of Walborgafton in Uppsala and Walpurgisnacht in Northern Europe. The purpose of the fireworks and bonfires in either case is to celebrate how the Sun itself will soon be lighting up the night as it approaches the zenith of its yearly cycle.

In other words, ANZAC Day and Guy Fawkes’s Day have become the Southern Hemisphere equivalents of Samhain/Halloween and Beltane/Walpurgisnacht respectively. These festivals occur at almost exactly the same times of the seasonal cycle, and feature the same themes of death and fire respectively, but if a person in the Southern Hemisphere was primarily following the calendar they could easily fail to notice this.

Not Kiwi Enough? If You Don’t Have Roots Here You’re Not a Kiwi At All

Very few New Zealanders would have the arrogance to move to another country and then lecture those people about who they are, and we shouldn’t accept it when it’s done to us

Three years as an immigrant in Europe taught me a lot about the concept of roots. This is a familiar concept to Maori people, who for a couple of centuries have had to tell the difference between Pakeha who were loyal to New Zealand and Pakeha who weren’t. The short of it is that one’s degree of belonging to a nation is a function of the roots that you have there.

In Sweden, like almost everywhere in the Old World, there is little question about who counts as a Swede. If you are Swedish then you have Swedish ancestors going back to the dawn of time, like all other Swedes. This is the common bond that gives rise to the Swedish nation.

If you do not have these roots you are not Swedish. This is a very simple and near-universally accepted belief. You can get a Swedish passport and become a ‘paper Swede’, and if you also speak Swedish this will entitle you to be treated with full dignity and as if your presence has as much value as anyone else – but you still won’t be Swedish.

Maoris in New Zealand have a similar concept. The depth of your roots tell you whether or not you can be trusted to stick around, or if you’re the sort of person who just wants to make a quick buck and then disappear (for obvious historical reasons, Maoris tend to be exceptionally wary of the latter sort of person).

The only real way to determine if a person is a Kiwi or not is whether or not they would stick by other Kiwis should a calamity befall the nation. This is a measure of the amount of solidarity that person has with other Kiwis. Would they stay to defend the country if it was attacked by foreign military forces? Or would they run away and leave Kiwis to their fate?

Fundamentally this is a question of solidarity. People with roots in New Zealand have cousins here, they have family friends in other cities, they have stories of how their great-great-grandparents or earlier descendants tamed the land, and this naturally leads to solidarity with other people who have similar roots and similar stories.

Golriz Ghahraman, who made the headlines today for lecturing Kiwis about our “internalised self-hate”, has no roots in New Zealand in any case, which is part of the explanation for the lack of solidarity she feels that she has received. Everything suggests that if the Kiwi people were ever truly in danger, she would rather move to another country than to stay and help out. If things got tough here, she would rather abandon us than face personal disadvantage by remaining here.

After all, she and her family have already done this once, so they have a track record of it.

She has no moral right to turn up in New Zealand as a migrant and then start lecturing us about what a Kiwi is or isn’t. The thought of a Kiwi moving to Iran and then presuming to tell the Iranians what’s what about who they are is ludicrous – so why do we accept the same in reverse? For someone with no roots in the country to act as if their verdict about our true nature has any weight represents an incredible arrogance and sense of entitlement.

Moreover, her implication that a refusal to allow New Zealand to become a dumping ground for the world’s human refuse is “race supremacy” is disgusting in light of the strong bonds of solidarity that exist between the descendants of British colonists and Maoris. These two groups get along as well as they do because they have shared roots in the country – it has nothing to do with race.

Obviously Ghahraman has spoken to very few Maoris in her lifetime, for if she had she would be aware that the strongest nationalist and anti-refugee sentiments in the country are harboured by them.

None of this is to argue that the National Front are correct or that they represent an appealing face of New Zealand. A New Zealand identity must not be based on a hatred of the other.

But for a Kiwi identity to exist, a certain degree of exclusivity is necessary. There is no other way of achieving this but to declare that people without roots in New Zealand are not Kiwis.

To make the argument that Kiwis with hundreds of years of roots in New Zealand are in the same category as people who just stepped off a plane and got a passport is preposterous. For one thing, it presumes to decide for those long-established New Zealanders who they are permitted to feel solidarity with. For another, it ignores the fact that almost every other culture in the world does the opposite.

Kiwis who are either Maoris or descended from colonists have a couple of centuries of family lore that relates to New Zealand that newcomers simply cannot have. They can tell you stories about how their great-grandmother cut her thumb off with an axe here, or how their grandmother broke her arm falling off a bicycle here, or how their grandfather used to go pig hunting here. Newcomers do not and cannot represent this culture.

At the end of the day, if people with deep roots in New Zealand want to exclude those who don’t, that’s their prerogative, and Iranian social justice warriors admonishing us to hate ourselves for it won’t make a mouseshit of difference.

Who Voted for the Ban 1080 Party?

Of all the smaller parties in the 2017 election, the Ban 1080 Party might be the strangest of them. There are other small single-issue parties – the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party being foremost of these – but even these other parties have equivalents overseas. Who are the Ban 1080 Party, and what do we know about their 3,005 voters?

The Ban 1080 Party website argues for the need to stop making aerial poison drops that use sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in New Zealand’s national parks and forests. The website’s tagline is “Protect our native birds” and they believe that aerial 1080 drops are a risk to the wellbeing of New Zealand’s birdlife.

A strong South Island focus was evident from the correlation matrix – the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and living on the South Island was 0.37. The reason for this is probably because a greater proportion of South Islanders will live in the vicinity of a national park or a forest than North Islanders, who are much more urban on the whole, and it’s these people who access the outdoors who are most concerned about things like aerial poison drops.

This explain why the Ban 1080 Party also correlates strongly with other demographics that are well-represented on the South Island. The correlations between voting Ban 1080 in 2017 and other demographic categories were 0.34 for being a Kiwi of European descent, and 0.22 with median age. The only age bracket with a significant positive correlation with voting for the Ban 1080 Party was the 50-64 age bracket – the correlation here was 0.38.

If we examine measures of class we can see that Ban 1080 Party voters are poorer and less educated than the national average, which is especially striking if one considers that they otherwise belong to demographics that are positively correlated with wealth.

The correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and median personal income was -0.23, and the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and having no NZQA qualifications was 0.44. Related to this is a correlation of 0.30 between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and being a regular tobacco smoker. This paints a picture of a section of the community who are relatively simple people and who perhaps have been taken in by the hysteria a bit.

The rural nature of Ban 1080 Party voters is demonstrated starkly when it comes to the correlations between voting for them in 2017 and working in the agriculture, fishing and forestry (0.67) or mining (0.69) industries. There was also a significant positive correlation of 0.35 between voting for Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and working in the hospitality industry.

These three correlations reflect the high proportion of Ban 1080 Party voters who were enrolled in either the West Coast-Tasman or Clutha-Southland electorates.

Underlying that Ban 1080 Party voters are comprised of the outdoorsy kind of person who spends a lot of time in national parks and forests, there are significant positive correlations between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and both being born in New Zealand (0.46) and being male (0.35).

Ironically, given their heavy conservation focus, the Ban 1080 Party does not attract followers who are like the Green followers. The correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and voting Green in 2017 was -0.09.

People who voted Ban 1080 Party tended to overlap with those who voted New Zealand First and, oddly, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Voting for the Ban 1080 Party in 2017 had a positive correlation with voting for either of these parties: 0.41 for New Zealand First and 0.28 for the ALCP.

Part of the reason for this is the high level of Maori support for the party. This might sound contradictory, given that most Maoris live on the North Island, but a couple of statistics make this association clear. The first is the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party and being Maori, which was 0.16, and the correlation between living on the South Island and being Maori, which was -0.26.

This tells us that South Island Maori were proportionately big supporters of the Ban 1080 Party, which is fitting considering that this demographic is extremely active in the outdoors with hunting and food gathering.

Who Voted New Zealand First in 2017

New Zealand First voters are generally drawn from the hard-done-by segments of the population

A previous article in this column examined the differences between New Zealand First voters and the voters of both National and Labour. It turns out that New Zealand First is almost equidistant from the two major parties if measured demographically. This article, however, looks more closely at who voted for New Zealand First in particular.

Despite being considerably whiter than it was in 2014, New Zealand First is not a particularly white party. In 2014 there was a correlation of 0.00 between voting New Zealand First and being a Kiwi of European descent. By 2017 this had climbed to 0.21, which was still not significant.

The strongest correlation between being of a particular ethnicity and voting New Zealand First was with being Maori, which was 0.38. The correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being a Pacific Islander (-0.21) or being Asian (-0.52) were much more negative.

Tellingly, for a nationalist party, their strongest support was from Maoris, who have the strongest roots in the country as essentially none of them are immigrants. Their next strongest level of support was from Kiwis of European descent, who have the second-deepest roots in the country, and their weakest level of support was from Asians, who have the shallowest.

As in 2014, New Zealand First voters in 2017 were some of the least educated out of any voting bloc. The correlation between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.67, and the correlation between having a doctorate and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was -0.60. This tells us that New Zealand First voters are decidedly working-class.

True to stereotype, there was a strong positive correlation of 0.58 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being on the pension, but there was also a strong positive correlation of 0.47 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being on the invalid’s benefit.

All of this suggests that the easy story of New Zealand First being an old racist’s party is somewhat misguided – it’s true that they do get many votes from poorly educated old white people, but that’s more because New Zealand First gets a lot of votes from hard-done-by people in general and poorly educated old people tend to be limited to their pension and therefore hard-done-by.

Gareth Morgan’s personal antipathy towards Winston Peters was reflected in the correlation of -0.31 between voting The Opportunities Party in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017. This put TOP in a band with United Future (-0.27), ACT (-0.34) and the Greens (-0.48) as parties whose voters did not correlate highly in a general demographic sense with the voters of New Zealand First.

All four of those parties are particularly Pakeha-heavy parties, and ACT, the Greens and TOP appealed heavily both to young and educated people. So there is plenty of reason for these reasonably strong negative correlations.

There were positive correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and voting for any of the Maori-heavy parties in 2017. These were Maori Party (0.11), MANA (0.24) and Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (0.40).

Many will be surprised that there is a moderately strong positive correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and voting Conservative Party in 2017 – this was 0.38. The reason for this is that both parties appeal to the large faction of poorly-educated old white voters mentioned above.

Despite the shared appeal to old white people, however, the correlation between voting National in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was only 0.04, far from being significant. The reason for this is the class difference – the National Party appeals to people who are doing well economically (and most of these people are old), whereas New Zealand First appeals to people at the bottom of the ladder (and poor old people with no realistic way of becoming wealthier are definitely near the bottom).

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted Greens in 2017

The Green Party tore itself to pieces during this year’s electoral campaign, but a hard core of voters stayed with the party

The Green Party vote collapsed from 2014, as a previous article has examined, with much of it going to The Opportunities Party. Although the special votes helped them out since the time that linked article was written, they still fell to 6.27% in 2017 from 10.70% in 2014. This article looks at who voted for them.

The major curiosity about the Greens and their movement is that, although they are on the left, they are comprised of people who do not immediately benefit from increased resource distribution (i.e. the wealthy). The correlation between voting Greens in 2017 and median personal income was 0.36, which was up from 0.31 in 2014, and not a whole lot weaker than the correlation of 0.49 between median personal income and voting National in 2017.

All of the correlations between voting Green and being in one of the income bands below $70K were weak no matter if they were positive or negative. But above this point, the correlations were strong. Between voting Green in 2017 and earning $70-100K the correlation was 0.49, with earning $100-150K it was 0.56, and with earning $150K+ it was 0.51.

However, much like 2014, the average Green voter in 2017 was a bit younger than the average Kiwi. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and median age was -0.18. This is mostly because of a very strong correlation of 0.60 between being aged 20-29 and voting Green in 2017.

The Greens lost ground with Kiwis of European descent. By 2017 the correlation between voting Green and being a Kiwi of European descent was 0.17, down from 0.24 in 2014, which meant that although it was still positive it was no longer significantly so. They also lost ground with Maoris. The correlation between being Maori and voting Green was -0.09 in 2014 but -0.14 by 2017.

By 2014, the Greens were already much better educated than the average Kiwi, and by 2017 this distinction had only strengthened. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and having a university degree was 0.64 for having a Bachelor’s, 0.81 for having an Honours, 0.71 for having a Master’s and 0.68 for having a doctorate. This higher general education explains why Green voters can be above average in income despite being below average in age.

The Greens maintained their core, urban elite vote despite the losses from 2014, and this is evident from looking at the voting patterns of certain industries. The correlation between voting Green and working in information media and telecommunications was 0.75, with working in professional and scientific services it was 0.70, and with working in arts and recreation services it was 0.69. All three of those correlations were as strong or stronger in 2017 than they were in 2014.

Things were much different for voters in working-class industries. In 2017 the negative correlations between voting Green and working in a particular industry included -0.02 in retail trade (down from 0.09), -0.20 in construction (down from -0.09), -0.29 in agriculture, forestry and fishing (down from -0.24), -0.32 in transport, postal and warehousing (down from -0.29) and -0.56 in manufacturing (down from 0.49).

A couple of correlations that Green Party thinkers won’t be at all happy about, given their pretensions to being a party that represents the poor and downtrodden, are the moderate negative ones between voting Green in 2017 and being a machinery operator and driver (-0.47), labourer (-0.31) or as a technician or trades workers (-0.25). These occupations are dominated by Maoris who tend to have pro-Labour and pro-New Zealand First sentiments.

Green voters had little in common with the voters of any other party except for The Opportunities Party. Lending further evidence to the suggestion that TOP primarily took votes away from the Greens is the fact that the correlation between voting TOP in 2017 and voting Greens in 2017 was 0.77.

None of the correlations between voting Green in 2017 and voting for the parties that did get into Parliament were significant, except for the case of New Zealand First, which was significantly negative. These were 0.17 with ACT, 0.11 with Labour, -0.25 with National and -0.48 with New Zealand First.

It might seem strange that Green Party voters have a stronger correlation with ACT Party voters than with Labour Party ones. That’s not really so strange if one considers that on measures such as age, education, income and ethnicity, the two parties are reasonably similar (i.e. young, well-educated, rich, white and urban).

In a sense, it can be said that the Labour-National dichotomy is the dilemma the average Kiwi voter is faced with, but the ACT-Green dilemma is the one that the average ambitious, professional young Kiwi voter is faced with.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted ACT in 2017

The ACT Party got an extremely high level of media coverage for a party so disliked by the electorate, but it didn’t help them in 2017

The ACT Party cuts a lonely figure on the New Zealand landscape. Although their advertising budget was literally hundreds of times greater than the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, they couldn’t win even twice as many votes. This tells a story of a party whose goals are not well aligned with the will of the New Zealand people; some could argue they were directly antithetical. This article looks at who their voters were.

ACT won 13,075 votes in 2017, down from 16,689 in 2014. This suggests that they were abandoned by some 20% of their voters from 2014. Fortunately, the correlation matrix tells us about several places that their vote became weaker.

ACT voters were the wealthiest of any party’s voters. The correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and median personal income was 0.61, which was a fair bit higher than the correlation of 0.36 between voting ACT in 2014 and median personal income (for reasons that we will investigate).

Not even the correlation between median personal income and voting National in 2017 was as strong – this was 0.49. In 2014 the average ACT voter was poorer than the average National voter, so the fact that they are wealthier in 2017 is a useful clue. It suggests that some ACT voters nearer the middle of the income ladder switched allegiances.

The correlations with voting for ACT and being in the higher income bands strengthened from 2014 to 2017. For those earning $150K+, the correlation with voting ACT in 2017 was 0.79, up from 0.44 in 2014. For those earning $100-150K, it increased to 0.66 in 2017 from 0.43 in 2014, and for those earning $70-100K it increased to 0.53 in 2017 from 0.35 in 2014.

At least part of the reason for these explanations is because the correlations between having a university degree and voting ACT strengthened from 2014 to 2017. By 2017 the correlation between voting ACT and having a university degree was 0.70 for having a Bachelor’s, 0.58 for having an Honours, 0.65 for having a Master’s and 0.51 for having a doctorate.

ACT also became a lot whiter from 2014 to 2017. By 2017 the correlation between voting ACT and being a Kiwi of European descent had become 0.16, much more positive than 2014 when it was -0.28. This reflects a collapse in Asian support – the correlation between being Asian and voting ACT was 0.85 in 2014, but only 0.46 by 2017.

These correlations start to tell a story of a large number of Asians who left the ACT Party for the National Party after 2014 (this is supported by the investigation into who voted for the National Party in 2017).

Despite the initial assumption made by many, the large numbers of Asians voting National could actually speak to an increasing solidarity between Asians and other Kiwis, because although National speaks for low taxes and low welfare they aren’t as aggressive about it as ACT are.

Pacific Islanders don’t like ACT (the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting ACT in 2017 was -0.23) and Maoris really don’t like ACT (the correlation between being Maori and voting ACT in 2017 was -0.51). This is not surprising if one considers how fervently ACT support the wealthy.

One curiosity is that the ACT voting bloc became older this election. The correlation between median age and voting ACT in 2017 was 0.26, compared to 0.02 in 2014. This is hinted at by the strengthening in the correlations between voting ACT and being aged 50-64 (from -0.07 in 2014 to 0.17 in 2017) and between voting ACT and being aged 65+ (from -0.11 in 2014 to 0.11 in 2017).

Considering also that the average ACT voter was much less likely to be born overseas in 2017 (the correlation between voting ACT and being born overseas fell from 0.78 in 2014 to 0.57 in 2017), this paints a picture of a rich, old, white, very highly-educated core of ACT voters who have remained with the party, and a less-committed group of younger, heavily Asian professionals, some of whom still supported ACT in large numbers in 2017, but many of whom were successfully tempted to switch allegiance to the National Party.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For Labour in 2017

Jacindamania might have won Labour an extra 10%, but these new voters were not representative of Labour voters as a whole

The Labour Party had a rocky ride leading up to the 2017 Election, with the resignation of then-leader Andrew Little forcing a rethink of their entire electoral campaign. Despite that, their vote increased to 36.89% after the special votes were all counted, up from a dismal 25.13% in 2014. A previous article has already covered who those new voters were – this one looks at the overall group of Labour voters as a whole.

Labour voters are much poorer than the average New Zealander. The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and median personal income was -0.52, about the same as in 2014, and shows the degree to which Labour is in favour of greater resource distribution (or at least the degree to which it gets support from those in favour of such).

There were significant positive correlations between being in any income band below $15K and voting Labour in 2017. This signifies a large change among those in the $10-15K income band – being in this band had a correlation of 0.21 with voting Labour in 2014, and had increased to 0.35 by 2017. Also, being in the $30-35K income band had a correlation of 0.15 with voting Labour in 2014, increasing to 0.27 by 2017.

Being in any of the income bands above $60K was significantly negatively correlated with voting Labour in 2017. This tells us that the idea of redistributing wealth through taxation doesn’t appeal much to the sort of people who have the most wealth.

There are a number of reasons for this connection between voting Labour and relative poverty.

One of the most obvious reasons is that Labour voters are much younger. There is a very strong negative correlation of -0.75 between voting Labour in 2017 and median age. Although part of the reason for this is that children are included in the median age statistics and that parents of young children prefer to vote Labour, most of the reason is simply because young people are poorer.

Because we already know there is a significant correlation between age and wealth we can tell that much of the reason why Labour voters are younger and poorer is simply because they have had less time to build a career or gain job expertise and this lack of seniority results in lower wages and salaries, which results in relatively stronger sentiments in favour of wealth distribution.

Labour voters are also much less educated. The correlation between having no NZQA qualifications and voting Labour was 0.34 in 2014 and 0.38 in 2017. The correlations between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First were 0.79 in 2014 and 0.67 in 2017, so this suggests that a large number of the working class shifted from New Zealand First to Labour in the three years before the 2017 Election.

The university educated are mildly unwilling to vote Labour. The correlations with voting Labour in 2017 and having a university degree were -0.24 for a Bachelor’s, -0.22 for an Honours, -0.19 for a Master’s, and -0.17 for a doctorate. These aren’t strong – only the first of them is even statistically significant – but they’re less strongly negative than in 2014.

This mild unwillingness is probably down to two contrasting factors. Most university educated people are young because tertiary education became liberalised in recent decades and available to many more people, but on the other hand university educated people earn a lot more money than their non-educated peers, and this improved social position inclines them away from policies of resource distribution.

A third factor explaining the correlation between poverty and voting Labour is that Labour voters are much more likely to be on a non-pension benefit. The correlations between voting Labour in 2017 and being on a benefit were 0.41 for the student allowance, 0.58 for the invalid’s benefit and 0.73 for the unemployment benefit. Related to this is the fact that being a solo parent had a correlation of 0.79 with voting Labour in 2017.

In 2017, the Labour vote correlated strongly with the votes for other parties who also have a high level of Maori support. Here the correlations with voting Labour were 0.61 for the Maori Party, 0.56 for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and 0.41 for MANA.

Also in 2017, the Labour vote had strong negative correlations with the vote of parties full of old, white men who don’t want to redistribute resources. Most obviously was with National (-0.94) but significant negative correlations also existed with ACT (-0.62), United Future (-0.43) and the Conservatives (-0.31).

The Greens and The Opportunities Party were close to neutral in this regard. The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and voting Greens that year was 0.11, whereas with voting TOP it was perfectly uncorrelated at 0.00.

The biggest change from 2014 was with the correlation between voting Labour and voting New Zealand First, which was 0.11 in 2014 but had become negative by 2017, at -0.15. The reason for this is mostly because of the large number of Maori voters who left New Zealand First after they said they wanted to abolish the Maori seats, and this can be seen by the change in correlations between being Maori and voting New Zealand First (down to 0.38 in 2017 from 0.66 in 2014) and between being Maori and voting Labour (up to 0.58 in 2017 from 0.42 in 2014).

Woman were significantly more likely to favour the Labour Party in 2017. The correlation between being female and voting Labour in 2017 was 0.33, slightly stronger than in 2014. As mentioned in the section about National, the reasons for this can be surmised from evolutionary psychology.

In summary, the sort of person who would vote Labour is someone in favour of greater resource distribution, which means someone with less resources than average, which means young people, the less educated, Maoris, Pacific Islanders and women.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For National in 2017

The National Party has the confidence of the rich to deliver

The National Party went from being able to govern with a handful of suppliant support partners after the 2014 General Election to needing the support of Winston Peters after 2017. As Peters has expressed a will to change, this is a much weaker position (and reflects falling to 44.45% support in 2017 from 47.04% in 2014). This article looks at who voted for them this year.

Fundamentally, National is the major conservative party and therefore they want most things to change as little as possible. Their voters are mostly made up of the sort of people who already occupy a reasonably high social position and who want to maintain this by not reducing inequality or redistributing resources.

This would explain why the correlation between voting National and median personal income is so high: at 0.53 in 2014 and 0.49 in 2017. National voters are considerably wealthier than the average Kiwi, and they are wealthier than the voters of any other party except for ACT (the correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and median personal income was 0.61).

Unsurprisingly, then, there is a very strong correlation of 0.63 between living in a freehold house and voting National.

National continues to get support from voters in the wealthier income bands, although these correlations became slightly weaker in 2017. All of the income bands from $60K or above had positive correlations with voting for National in 2017, but there were all marginally weaker than the same correlations in 2014 (from 0.24 to 0.21 for $60-70K; 0.36 to 0.32 for $70-100K; 0.34 to 0.30 for $100-150K; 0.35 to 0.30 for $150K+).

Related to this, one of the strongest correlations with voting for National in 2017 was with being self-employed with employees – this was 0.72. This is strong enough to suggest that anyone self-employed with employees who found themselves voting for a party other than National would have few fellows.

By 2017, the average National voter was fairly likely to be born overseas. The correlation between being born overseas and voting National in 2017 was 0.38, up from 0.33 in 2014. That probably reflects the degree to which National has been chasing specifically Asian voters who might be tempted to vote conservative on account of high wealth and/or low solidarity, and to which Pacific Islander voters switched to them because of religious sentiments around abortion etc.

Maoris, for their part, predictably abstained from the National Party. The correlation between being Maori and voting National in 2014 was -0.75 and in 2017 it was -0.74. Correlations of these strengths can be guessed at from the fact that National scores less than 10% in some Maori electorates.

This tells us that the vast bulk of the change in native-born support for the National Party was from native-born Kiwis of European descent. Indeed, the correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and voting National fell from 0.60 in 2014 to 0.52 in 2017 – still pretty strong, but not as strikingly so.

From this we can determine that the reduction in support for National among Kiwis of European descent, from very strong to moderately strong, was partially balanced by an increase in pro-National sentiment among Pacific Islanders and Asians. So it follows that the correlation between voting National in 2017 compared to 2014 became more positive for Asians – increasing from 0.09 to 0.16 – and that the correlation between voting National in 2017 compared to 2014 became less negative for Pacific Islanders – weakening from -0.46 to -0.39.

It’s important here to take care not to mislead. The National Party voting bloc might have slightly fewer white people and slightly more Islanders than last time, but the National Party is still very much a pro-European party, and Pacific Islanders still mostly prefer Labour.

At least part of the reason for the increase in Pacific Islander support for National was religious sentiments inclining them towards conservative positions on ever-more present issues like gay marriage and cannabis law reform. We can see that the correlations between voting National and being either a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness – two religions with a high proportion of Pacific Islander followers – became less negative towards National: from -0.63 in 2014 to -0.57 in 2017 in the case of Mormons, and from -0.53 in 2014 to -0.49 in 2017 in the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The correlation between voting National and median age fell from 2014 to 2017, from 0.81 to 0.78. This was particularly noticeable in the 50+ age brackets and for being on the pension – the correlations between being in any of these categories and voting National fell from 2014 to 2017.

However, this correlation between age and voting conservative is one of the strongest and most significant in this entire study. Simply getting older is more likely than almost anything else to make a New Zealander become conservative.

Curiously, people with university degrees were less likely to vote National this time around. Although anyone holding a university degree was more likely than not to vote National (ceteris paribus), the correlations between voting National fell for all of them from 2014 to 2017: from 0.25 to 0.22 for a Bachelor’s, from 0.22 to 0.16 for an Honours, from 0.20 to 0.16 for a Master’s and from 0.20 to 0.13 for a doctorate.

The National Party lost a little of its mild South Island bias as well. The correlation between living on the South Island and voting National in 2017 was not significant, at 0.08 (down from 0.13 in 2014). This small change is probably because a lot of the white middle-class grandparents cohort, who are numerous on the South Island, switched away from National to be replaced by Pacific Islanders who live on the North Island.

Managers were the occupation that preferred National more than any other. The correlation between voting for National in 2017 and being a manager was 0.52.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For the Maori Party in 2017 (And Who Didn’t)

The Maori Party made a number of strategic errors over the past decade, and by 2017 the total damage from them had become fatal

When the Maori Party made the decision to support a conservative Fifth National Government, many commentators believed that it would be the death of the party. Indeed, the Maori Party was destroyed at the 2017 General Election, when voters appeared to decide that supporting a conservative government had lowered Maori standards of living. This article looks at who stuck by them and who didn’t from 2014.

Let’s get the most obvious out of the way – there was an extremely strong correlation between voting Maori Party and being Maori. In 2014 this was 0.91, and by 2017 it was slightly weaker, at 0.89. This puts a figure on what we already knew – that the vast bulk of Maori Party voters are Maoris.

In this, and in most other regards, Maori Party voters were very similar to who they were in 2014.

One notable difference is that the Maori Party this year got a fair bit more support from Pacific Islanders. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Maori Party in 2017 had increased to 0.08 from 0.01 in 2014.

Of course, Pacific Islanders will very seldom be on the Maori Roll and therefore this increased support from them would not have helped the Maori Party win an electorate seat. Indeed, it could even be argued that broadening the Maori Party tent to include Pacific Islanders was one of the main causes of it losing so much support to the Labour Party in 2017.

Considering that the Maori Party won almost as many votes in 2017 (30,580) as it did in 2014 (31,849), it might be that the attempt to broaden their appeal to other ethnic groups, while partially successful, cost them just enough Maori support to mean that they did not win any Maori seats.

This suggestion is backed up by the observation that Maori Party voters were slightly less likely to be New Zealand born in 2017 when compared to 2014. The correlation between the two was 0.62 in 2014 and 0.58 in 2017. Furthermore, the correlation between voting for them and being born in the Pacific Islands became less negative, from -0.19 in 2014 to -0.12 in 2017.

If this is true then it speaks to the string of strategic errors that the Maori Party made. If they gambled their electoral future on public belief in some kind of pan-Polynesian sentiment, they lost everything.

This loss of support to Labour can be seen in microcosm in the education and training industry. The correlation between working in this industry and voting Maori Party fell from 0.38 to 0.34, while it rose in the case of Labour, from -0.01 to 0.15. This means that a person in this industry in 2017 was only slightly more likely to vote Maori Party they were to vote Labour, compared to much more likely in 2014.

It can also be seen with the occupation of community and personal services workers. The correlation between having this occupation and voting Maori Party was 0.64 in 2014, but 0.59 in 2017, whereas the correlations with voting Labour went in the opposite direction – from 0.20 in 2014 to 0.39 in 2017.

So it would seem that a reasonable number of Maori voters in people-focused jobs switched to the Labour Party, and that this was partially compensated for by an increase in Pacific Islander voters.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.