New Zealand in India ODI Series 2017, First ODI Preview

Colin Munro’s T20 form has seen him elevated to open for the ODI side in the hope that he can replicate Brendon McCullum

A lot of things are going against the Black Caps before their One Day International series against India in India starts tonight (Sunday) at 9p.m. NZT. Ominously, India sit atop the ICC ODI team rankings table, equal to South Africa with 120 ratings points, while the Black Caps are currently a mid-table side at 5th. Worse, the matches are in India, where India just demolished the world champion Australia side 4-1.

On the other hand, a lot is going in their favour. New Zealand scored 343/9 in their last warm-up match against an Indian Board President’s XI, with centuries to Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who in all likelihood will comprise the 4-5 axis over the series. Considering that Kane Williamson will bat at three, this suggests that India might have difficulty bowling the Black Caps out.

Colin Munro is expected to open the batting with Martin Guptill, which is an experimental measure intended to fill the gap left by Brendon McCullum at the top of the order. McCullum’s explosive starts made it possible for Williamson and Taylor to build innings without risk, and Munro has a T20 strike rate of close to 150 – close to what McCullum was striking at for the last 2 years of his ODI career.

It looks as though Williamson will try and get 10 overs out of Colin de Grandhomme, who will bat 7, and with Latham at 5 doing the wicketkeeping this leaves a spot for a pure batsman at 6. This spot might get filled by Henry Nicholls, as it was during the final warm-up match, or the Black Caps might start playing hitters from there, which would probably mean Glenn Phillips.

The other question mark is whether or not Tim Southee is still good enough to command a starting spot in this ODI squad. Although he has been a first-choice seamer for a handful of years, his ODI bowling average over the past three years – which includes the great run at the 2015 Cricket World Cup – is 36.47, which is only good enough for 33rd place on the official ODI bowling rankings.

Damningly, there are four players from Afghanistan alone higher than Southee on the official rankings, which is probably not good enough for a Black Caps side that made the final of the last Cricket World Cup and is aiming to go one better in England in 2019.

It’s very possible that the Black Caps play two spinners on the slow Indian decks, which means they take both Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi. Assuming then that they still need de Grandhomme at 7 for the sake of the batting, and that Trent Boult is undroppable, that means Southee will be competing with Adam Milne and Matt Henry for that second seamer’s position.

India, for their part, have two extremely crafty bowlers. With the new ball is Jasprit Bumrah, who isn’t quick but has a Nathan Bracken-style range of subtle variations that make him hard to hit off the square, and with the older ball is Axar Patel, whose wily orthodox is also a difficult proposition on Indian surfaces.

The likely winning of the game, however, will be in India’s power-packed top order. They have four batsmen ranked in the top 14 in the world, with two of them – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – ranked higher than Kane Williamson. Kohli averages a monstrous 55.13 from almost 200 matches, and getting rid of him early is simply a necessity if the Black Caps are to win.

Alongside them are the silky skillful Ajinkya Rahane and the brutal Shikhar Dhawan at the top and MS Dhoni with his 50+ average down the order. India have also found a genuine allrounder in Hardik Pandya so have no obvious weaknesses anywhere.

The Black Caps are only playing three ODIs and they are paying $3.80 on BetFair to win the first one, compared to India’s $1.35. This suggests that the market is expecting a 2-1 or 3-0 win to India.

Cannabis Law Reform Appears Imminent Under The New “Afghanistan” Government

The Afghanistan flag is black, red and green, like the alliance supporting the Sixth Labour Government

A black-red-green “Afghanistan” coalition has replaced National in the halls of New Zealand power, and so the absolute, mindless refusal of the outgoing National Government to countenance any kind of cannabis law reform is now no longer relevant. This means that the wasted decade might be at an end. This article looks at the prospects for cannabis law reform over the next three years.

Labour had already pledged to introduce medicinal cannabis within the first 100 days of taking power, at least to “people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain”, but questions remain.

It isn’t yet clear what definition of medicinal cannabis Labour intends to use when they change the law. What constitutes “medicinal” use of cannabis is a subject of considerable debate, not least among medical and mental health professionals. That it could be prescribed to people with terminal illnesses seems straightforward enough, but what qualifies as “chronic pain” could vary from a small number of acute conditions on the one hand, to a California-style wide range of ailments on the other (California has had legal medicinal cannabis since 1996).

The best outcome for cannabis users would be that the Labour Party adopts the same definition of cannabis, and treats cannabis the same way, as in Julie Anne Genter’s medicinal cannabis bill, currently before Parliament. This bill contains a very broad conception of medicinal cannabis and provides for users to grow their own medicine at home if they have approval from a doctor who believes that cannabis would prevent suffering.

A jackpot outcome for medicinal cannabis users would be for the home grow provisions of Julie Anne Genter’s bill to be made legal within the first hundred days of the Sixth Labour Government. Although we can be sure that all of the Green MPs and most of the Labour MPs would support this, Winston Peters and New Zealand First might prefer a narrower definition of medicinal cannabis in the first hundred days with a broader definition put to referendum as part of the deal with the Greens.

Recently it was learned that the Green Party had successfully negotiated to hold a referendum on personal use of cannabis at or before the 2020 General Election. Although it isn’t clear at this stage whether this will be similar to the referendum that successfully legalised recreational cannabis in Colorado in 2012, or if it will be some watered-down offer of decriminalisation, the very fact that a referendum is happening is excellent news for New Zealand cannabis users.

Although James Shaw is maintaining the lie that the Greens have supported legalising cannabis for 20 years, rather than tell the truth that they abandoned cannabis users for many years in an effort to appeal to the middle class, the fact that he feels the desire to take credit for the change in public perception regarding cannabis is a sign that he is sure that the wind has changed.

This column pointed out some years ago that it would be possible to tell when the public perception of cannabis had definitively shifted because politicians would start publicly claiming to have always supported a law change. Shaw is lying when he says that the Greens have had cannabis law reform as part of their policy for the past 20 years, because cannabis law reform activists have been challenging the Greens that whole time to update their cannabis policy to something similar to that of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, and they have only done so in the past year.

But that doesn’t matter any more. The important thing is that a lot of cannabis law reform should be happening in the next three years, under a governing alliance that does not suffer from the fear-based myopia of the National Party around the substance. It appears that the efforts of cannabis law reform activists to persuade the centre-left parties of the merits of reform have been broadly successful, and that the ruling powers are now of a mind to make change to the laws.


Vince McLeod is a former Membership Secretary of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and author of the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook.

The Conscript’s Dilemma

No forced hierarchy could ever form if those conscripted into it at the bottom killed those doing the conscripting

The thought experiment known as the Conscript’s Dilemma is at the very core of anarcho-homicidalism. It poses a very basic and very primal question that invites the listener to question their inherent attitudes to hierarchy, violence and submission. This essay discusses it from an anarcho-homicidalist perspective.

Imagine that you are a young man entering the prime of his life. Your village lies in the territory of a despotic king who regularly raises conscript troops to go and fight for treasure in overseas adventures. Those sort of adventures are foreign to you. You have you own life to live in the village – obligations to discharge, maidens to court etc. Life is orderly and good.

One day a conscription officer rides into your village. He explains that it’s war time again, and that he has come to round up for the army all fighting age men – which means you. The penalty for refusing to heed the king’s call is death.

This scenario has played out millions of times throughout the history of the Earth. It’s well-known what happens in the vast majority of cases: the villagers, cowed by fear of the distant king, willingly give up their sons to the war machine for fear of incurring the king’s wrath.

After all, if incurring the king’s wrath means certain death, and going to war only means the possibility of death, and there is no third option, going to war is the obvious correct choice.

Or so it might seem.

An anarcho-homicidalist thinks otherwise. Central to the idea of anarcho-homicidalism is that dominance hierarchies could not form without the consent of the dominated, and that anyone trying to enslave you can rightfully be killed if necessary to protect one’s own liberty. This means that the conscript at the centre of this dilemma has a third option: kill the conscription officer and trust that his fellows are also anarcho-homicidalists.

If the others are also anarcho-homicidalists, they will back him up. They will understand that killing the conscription officer was necessary to protect the village and its residents from the kingdom’s hierarchy. They will understand that the king’s actions are tantamount to an attempt to enslave, because they are implicitly claiming that the bodies of the villagers are the property of the king.

If they are not anarcho-homicidalists, that is to say they are normal men, that is to say they are cowards, they will be terrified of getting into trouble from killing one of the king’s men. They will turn the anarcho-homicidalist in, probably for the inevitable reward, or perhaps even kill him themselves out of a belief that he is a murderer and that the conscription attempt was legitimate.

The anarcho-homicidalist knows that if he killed the conscription officer, the punishment is unlikely to be much more severe than the worst potential cost of obeying the demand for conscription, which is to go to war and get slaughtered.

However the potential reward, should he find enough support in his actions that he is not simply taken down by the king’s local sheriffs, is total freedom.

Ultimately, this is what the question of anarcho-homicidalism often boils down to. If you’re not willing to kill to maintain your freedom, then you can’t maintain it in the face of someone willing to kill to take it away.

The Conscript’s Dilemma could be described in much the same way as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, with which it shares much of the same meathook logic. Essentially it’s a question of game theory, and it’s a curious one because the people involved, despite being best served by co-operation, are challenged by powerful incentives that incline them towards not co-operating.

More precisely, the dilemma is that if everyone was an anarcho-homicidalist, and everyone had confidence in everyone else’s faith in anarcho-homicidalism, they would all choose to kill any conscription officer who tried to force them into the army and thereby make slavery impossible, but if sufficiently few of them are anarcho-homicidalists then they will not resist enslavement efforts out of fear that the slavers will punish them, and so slavery becomes possible.

It is a useful rebuttal to those who reject anarcho-homicidalism right off the bat on account of that it explicitly calls for killing people. Very often, the alternative to having a will to kill in self-defence is to become a slave.

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.

How to Not Sound Crazy When Talking About Your Psychedelic Experiences

It’s hard to talk about the world beyond to people who aren’t familiar with that range of frequencies

Even though the Internet has led to a sharing of shamanic knowledge completely unprecedented (and impossible) for any other point in the world’s history, it hasn’t filtered down to the mass consciousness yet. Probably it never will – the men of silver and iron and clay cannot be expected to concern themselves with what lies beyond this veil. This essay gives some tips for talking to them about the world beyond without sounding insane.

The most important thing is to have a feel for what the person you are talking to is likely to be able to handle. This means that you have to look for clues from what you already know about them to give hints about what they already believe.

The easiest way to sound crazy is to express a belief that does not accord with consensual reality of the mass consciousness of the people around you. This is true whether you are in meatspace or cyberspace. The lower the intelligence of the person you are speaking to, the less likely it is that they will have challenged any belief widely-held by the people around them.

It is in this will to challenge consensual reality that most people judge sane from insane. All you have to do is to assert that things are not as they are commonly believed to be, and some people will start to consider you crazy. Essentially you only have to contradict the television, or in other cases the radio or FaceBook.

You might start a conversation with a suspected normie by questioning the narrative that you are fed by the network news, or by the broadsheet papers. Even that is enough to sound pretty crazy to most people, who are on the level of “they couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.” If a person is on this level they are in no way ready to handle the idea that the government has lied to them about psychedelics for the sake of making them easier to control.

A useful tactic here is to point out how the governments and mainstream media of Anglosphere countries colluded to sell the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in order to manufacture consent for the Iraq War. It’s possible now, though, that a person remembers those times differently and will choose to remember it in a way that denies this collusion.

It pays to be wary of the fact that most people are materialists, which implies that they believe that the brain generates consciousness, and that upon the death of the physical body this consciousness somehow “disappears”. These people consider all kinds of religious ideas like karma and God to be superstitions, and the bitterest contempt is reserved for those religious who believe that the consciousness survives the death of the physical body.

Unfortunately, this belief is also one of the major insights of psychedelics – perhaps it is this psychedelic insight that forms the foundation of most religious beliefs.

Psychedelics are hard, and integrating their lessons extremely hard

Mathematics is the way to get at people who are the hardest to reach. Expressing a sense of awe and wonder at how, for example, the Fibonacci sequence reoccurs in the state of Nature is a good way of getting a person to ask themselves whether there’s something other than sheer chance going on. Other ways are to express similar sentiments about the non-reoccurring nature of pi or the import of Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

The way to talk about it so that it makes sense is by talking about previous beliefs that you once held that you either questioned or abandoned after taking a psychedelic. Usually this makes it possible to apply logic to dismantle one erroneous idea after the other, and it’s seldom necessary to mention that this destruction of illusion was achieved by means of psychedelics (any insight that psychedelics have brought you can be plausibly credited to either meditation or a near death experience as well).

For example, a psychedelicised person might be able to conduct a conversation with a normie about the boundaries of the human body, and how it’s not clear where inside ends and where outside begins. The very idea of selfishness starts to unravel if the idea of what it is that one might be selfish about is challenged, and by such means light can shine through.

This column believes that the ultimate goal of consciousness expansion is apotheosis, where an individual consciousness reunites themselves with the universal consciousness and becomes privy to certain mysteries, such as that there is no such thing as time and that the death of the physical body does not impact the true self.

Contemplation of this alone is liable to induce a psychiatric breakdown in a lot of people. Most people are so utterly terrified of the concept of their future death that they have pushed the very idea of it into a deep, dark part of the mind, only to be ventured into in an emergency. Even fewer people have looked deeply enough into their own minds to have made a surgically precise distinction between consciousness and the content of consciousness.

Starting with such subjects is probably too much. Most people will declare you crazy for talking about them rather than risk psychosis by dwelling on them.

Questioning the materialist dogma that the brain generates consciousness is the quickest way to be seen as crazy. This dogma is taken by many to be the absolute, inviolable and axiomatic truth of reality and conversation along these lines is likely to make materialists fear or despise you.

The best thing is probably to declare skepticism of the claims of a mutual enemy. The Government, the Church or Big Business can all serve as excellent mutual enemies. Skepticism of the claims of these mutual enemies might then be generalised into skepticism about other claims and dogmas.

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).


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.


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.


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.


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.