Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of Pacific Islanders

Many people, especially foreigners, tend to blithely assume that Maoris are more or less the same as Pacific Islanders, and could perhaps be placed in the same demographic category. Leaving aside the fact that both Maoris and Pacific Islanders would mostly object to this, there are statistical differences between the two groups that make them distinct.

The most notable thing about the Pacific Islander population is their love of the Labour Party. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Labour in 2014 was a very strong 0.78. For the most part, this simply reflects the degree to which Pacific Islanders in New Zealand tend to be working class.

The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and median personal income was -0.29, which is enough to suggest that the majority of them have an interest in voting for a left of centre party. There is also the correlation of 0.50 between being a Pacific Islander and working in the transport, postal and warehousing industries.

Predictably, then, there is a negative correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting National, and this was -0.46. It’s worth noting that the Maori antipathy towards National was as strong as the Pacific Islander love of Labour, whereas the Maori love of Labour and Pacific Islander antipathy towards National were not as strong.

Perhaps reflecting the significant correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being born overseas (0.38), there is no significant correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting New Zealand First in 2014 – this was -0.08.

Some believe that the Greens, in so far as they are a leftist party, get votes from socially disadvantaged people, but Pacific Islanders don’t see much in Green Party rhetoric to attract them. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Greens in 2014 was -0.27. Given that Pacific Islanders are not as socially disadvantaged as Maori, they might be the obvious next propaganda target for the Greens.

The votes for other parties reflected the dominance of Labour in the political minds of Pacific Islanders. They did not at all follow Maoris into voting for Internet MANA or the Maori Party – the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Internet MANA in 2014 was 0.07, and for voting Maori Party in 2014 it was 0.01.

Neither were Pacific Islanders particularly interested in the far right of the spectrum. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting ACT in 2014 was 0.06, which was not significant, and even this probably reflects the fact that ACT voters and Pacific Islanders both mostly live in Auckland more than it reflects any genuine ACT support among them.

Given the preponderance of religion and religious fundamentalism among Pacific Islanders in New Zealand, some might be surprised that the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Conservative in 2014 was a significantly negative -0.29. However, the bulk of the Conservative Party vote was from the Anglican-Presbytarian-Baptist-Brethren axis and Pacific Islanders seldom belong to these movements.

Probably the largest difference in terms of magnitude for any one political party was with the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, voting for which in 2014 had a correlation of -0.10 with being a Pacific Islander, in contrast with 0.89 with being Maori. Possibly reflecting the Christian fundamentalist influence still, Pacific Islanders are vastly different to Maori when it comes to attitudes towards cannabis.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Christians

The Abrahamist tradition of Christianity has come to New Zealand in several waves, each one contributing to the replacement of traditional Maori spiritual practice, most of which has now been forgotten. But just who are the numerous followers of this Middle Eastern cult in New Zealand?

The statistic that will surprise many people is that there is no significant correlation between being of European descent and being Christian in New Zealand – this was -0.07. There are several reasons for this.

The most obvious is that, when people in New Zealand think ‘Christian’, they usually, without realising it, think ‘Anglican’ or, especially on the South Island, ‘Presbytarian’. The correlation between being Anglican and being of European descent is a strong 0.60, and that between being Presbytarian and being of European descent is 0.40.

Christians are much more likely to be Pacific Islanders than they are either Maoris or Asians. The correlation between being a Christian and being a Pacific Islander is 0.46, compared to -0.37 for being Maori and 0.03 for being Asian. Predictably, given all of these statistics, there is a significant negative correlation between being born in New Zealand and being Christian (-0.24).

Old New Zealand and New New Zealand divide sharply in attitudes towards Catholicism. There is a correlation of -0.27 between being of European descent and being a Catholic, and a correlation of -0.28 with being Maori and being Catholic. This contrasts with the correlation of 0.40 between being a Pacific Islander and being Catholic and the correlation of 0.42 with being Asian and being Catholic.

The obvious explanation for this is the strong negative correlation between being Catholic and having been born in New Zealand, which was -0.41.

Attitudes towards Mormonism, on the other hand, divide European New Zealanders from the others. Kiwis of European descent are highly unlikely to be Mormons: the correlation between the two is -0.71. Asians are mostly indifferent, with a correlation of 0.07, but Mormons are very likely to be Maori (the correlation between the two is 0.54) and even more likely to be Pacific Islanders (the correlation there is 0.68).

The reason for this is Mormons are generally quite hard done by. The correlation between being Mormon and median personal income is -0.46. Likewise, being a Mormon is negatively correlated with having any of the four university degrees. This reflects a deliberate strategy on the part of the Mormon church to target vulnerable people with their propaganda, knowing that the more desperate someone is the more likely they are to fall prey to a religion.

It could be predicted from the above that Anglicans and Presbytarians are signficantly more likely to be old. And they are – the correlation between median age and being Anglican is 0.56, and between median age and being Presbytarian it is 0.43.

Being Christian had a significant negative correlation with having a university degree, and looking closer at this shows a few distinctions. Being Catholic was positively correlated with having a Bachelor’s degree (0.37), with having an Honours degree (0.31) and with having a Master’s degree (0.37), which went against the general trend.

It was the mystery category of ‘Christian not further defined’ that caused the overall correlations between being Christian and having a university degree to be negative. Being ‘Christian not further defined’ had a correlation of -0.24 with having a Bachelor’s degree, -0.37 with having an Honours degree, -0.26 with having a Master’s degree and -0.39 with having a doctorate.

For both Maoris and Pacific Islanders, the correlation between being in this category was greater than it was for people of European descent or Asians. So this category may contain the various Christians that have not been raised in a particular subreligion (such as Anglicanism), i.e. adult converts, who as a rule have it worse than adults who follow the religion they were raised into.

Working in no industry had a positive correlation with being Christian, but many had negative correlations. The strongest was between being Christian and working in the arts and recreation services. This was a very strong -0.63. Perhaps the reason for this is that people who work in arts are iconoclastic by their very nature, as most creative people are, and therefore reject religious tradition.

There was also a strong negative correlation between being Christian and working in administrative and support services (-0.52), accommodation (-0.49), education and training (-0.48) and information media and telecommunications (-0.40). The most likely explanation for at least some of these is that Christians tend to be much older than the average worker in these industries.

There is also a significant negative correlation between being a Christian and being a professional (-0.42), reflecting the generally poor academic achievements of Christians.

Perhaps reflecting a general middle-of-the-road conservatism, being Christian had a negative correlation with being in all of the income bands below $15K and all of the bands above $50K. This was not the case for Catholics, who had a correlation of 0.30 with being in the $100-150K income band and a correlation of 0.24 with being in the $150K+ band.

Reflecting a combination of age, seniority and political dominance, there was a significant correlation between being Anglican and being a manager – this was 0.44.

The point about political dominance and disenfranchisement is underlined by the significant positive correlations between turnout rate in 2014 and being Anglican (0.41) and between turnout rate in 2014 and being Presbytarian (0.32). Contrast this with the very strong -0.68 between turnout rate in 2014 and being Mormon.

Presbytarians are very strong on the South Island, refecting the strong Scottish influence there. The correlation between being a Presbytarian and being a South Islander is 0.56.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

South Africa in New Zealand 2017 Limited Overs Series Preview

The theme of revenge for South Africa’s 2015 Cricket World Cup semifinal loss to the Black Caps has been well established. The Proteas came to Auckland with every reason to think they had what it took to seize a place in the World Cup final, but were denied at the last moment.

The Limited Overs leg of this year’s tour begins tomorrow and involves six matches. For South Africa there might be something of the 2015 World Cup about it, as the final match is, once again, at Eden Park.

The leg begins with a T20, also at Eden Park. Much of the interest in the T20 revolves about the late call-up of prodigious Auckland talent Glenn Phillips, who is replacing the injured Martin Guptill.

The 20-year old Phillips is already being talked about as a talent on the order of Kane Williamson and Tom Latham. In last year’s Super Smash he scored 369 runs at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 143, including one century scored at a strike rate of 200.

That is the sort of hitting the Black Caps will need at the top if they are to find an adequate replacement for Guptill. In limited overs matches the Black Caps know that if Guptill goes big, they win, because his striking ability is unmatched.

New Zealand sit comfortably on top of the current world T20I rankings, with South Africa at fourth. It’s almost exactly the other way around in the ODIs, with South Africa ranked at the top and the Black Caps third.

Despite that, the Black Caps are currently paying $2.34 on BetFair to win the T20, so there appears to be some value there.

The South African batting features four of the top ranked seven batsmen in the world at the moment, in AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla and Quentin de Kock. With any four of those players capable of a matchwinning innings, that makes the Proteas top order arguably the strongest ODI top order that has ever come to these shores.

The Black Caps, for their part, have a diverse and highly skilled array of artillery to break through this. But barring Trent Boult, who is currently ranked the No. 2 ODI bowler, none of them can rightly be said to be at the same skill level as the South African batting lineup.

Although there is much to choose from out of Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne (the latter two returning from injury), none of those names pose the known and established threat that Boult does.

Probably the Black Caps will pick Trent Boult, one of the two speedsters (likely to be Ferguson who is in the squad ahead of Milne) and the other spot will be decided by who is best for the conditions out of Henry and Southee.

Ish Sodhi will also be back in case the Black Caps decide to try and strangle the South Africans with the spin of Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and perhaps even Williamson. If the seamers end up getting dominated by the superb Proteas batsmen, expect a wholesale shift to Plan B: strangle by spin.

The South African bowling unit would generally back itself to defend the large totals their batsmen would expect to put up. They have the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler in Imran Tahir, and the ever-more impressive Kagiso Rabada, who is ranked equal with Matt Henry at 7.

Rabada ought to find New Zealand pitches to his liking, with his Courtney Walsh-style action a test of any batsman’s technique. Chris Morris might be hard to get away but Wayne Parnell, JP Duminy and Andile Phehlukwayo will not be names the Black Caps batsmen are afraid of.

Dean Brownlie scored an excellent 63 in the Black Caps’ Hadlee-Chappell winning effort in their last ODI against Australia, and he has been selected to open in place of Guptill for the first two ODIs (Guptill is expected to be fit for the third).

The rest of the Black Caps top order looks very strong, with Latham, Williamson and Ross Taylor making up the remainder. With Luke Ronchi back in the ODI squad there is plenty of middle order hitting power as well.

Expect a high-scoring series in stark contrast to the recent Hadlee-Chappell, as both South Africa and the Black Caps have considerably stronger batting lineups than they do bowling attacks. It is, however, likely to be close, with a 3-2 win to the Proteas probably the slight favourite over a 3-2 to the Black Caps.

Understanding New Zealand: Maori Party Voters

The Maori Party is a bit of a misnomer. Sure, they represent Maori, but not all Maori – only some. Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: the correlation between voting Maori Party in 2014 and being of Maori descent is an extremely strong 0.91. The correlation between voting Maori Party in 2014 and being a Pacific Islander was a not significant 0.01, and the other two correlations, with being European and being Asian, were both significantly negative at -0.35 and -0.30 respectively.

What may seem incredible if you look at Parliament, but not surprising if you knew about Kiwis, is the size of the negative correlation between voting National in 2014 and voting Maori Party in 2014: this is -0.75. That is enough to suggest that the average Maori Party voter has very, very little in common with the average National voter, even though the Maori Party supports National in Parliament.

With no other party was there as large a negative correlation with voting Maori Party in 2014. Voting Maori Party had a correlation of -0.64 with voting Conservative, and -0.29 with voting ACT. Imagining some kind of blend of National, Conservative and ACT voters can give us an idea of what an anti-Maori would be like if one existed.

Maori Party voters were indifferent to the Greens. Voting Maori Party in 2014 had a correlation of 0.02 with voting Green in 2014. They do, however, seem to like the other strongly pro-Maori parties. Voting Maori Party in 2014 had a correlation of 0.41 with voting Labour and a correlation of 0.46 with voting New Zealand First.

The strongest correlations with voting for the Maori Party were with Internet MANA (0.84) and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (0.85). Those two correlations may give a clue as to the sense of betrayal that many hard done by Maori will be feeling at the actions of the Maori Party MPs elected to Parliament, who raised tobacco taxes and did nothing about cannabis prohibition.

There is a fairly big difference between some correlations that the reader may have expected to be close to equal. One set of them relates to the strength of the correlation between being educated and being Maori and between being educated and voting Maori Party.

The correlation between being Maori and having a Bachelor’s degree is -0.45, but the correlation between voting Maori Party in 2014 and having a Bachelor’s degree is only -0.28. There was a similar pattern for all of the postgraduate degrees.

For being Maori and having an Honour’s degree the correlation was -0.46, but for voting Maori Party in 2014 and having an Honour’s degree it was only -0.29. For being Maori and having a Master’s degree the correlation was -0.45, but for voting Maori Party in 2014 and having a Master’s degree it was -0.28. And for being Maori and having a doctorate was -0.41, but for voting Maori Party in 2014 and having a doctorate it was 0.27.

A similar pattern repeats itself if we look at correlations with income bands. The $60-70K income band is perfectly even, in that the correlations between being in this band and being either Maori or voting Maori Party are both exactly 0.00.

For all of the income bands below this, the correlation with being Maori was more strongly positive than it was for voting Maori Party in 2014, but the opposite was true of the three income bands above this one.

A similar pattern repeats if one examines the difference when it comes to claiming benefits. The correlation between being on the unemployment benefit and voting Maori Party in 2014 is 0.79, but the correlation between being on the unemployment benefit and being Maori is 0.91. Similarly, the correlation between being on the invalid’s benefit and voting Maori Party in 2014 is 0.59, but the correlation between being on the invalid’s benefit and being Maori is 0.77.

One difference, and one major clue as to how Maori Party voters differ from general Maori, is that the correlation between being on a student allowance and voting Maori Party in 2014 (0.26) is stronger than the correlation between being on a student allowance and being Maori (0.20). This tells us that the average Maori Party voter is generally more driven and aspirational than the average Maori.

A general picture emerges of Maori Party voters being significantly better off than the average Maori person. This cannot be explained by turnout alone. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being Maori is -0.75, and with between turnout rate in 2014 and voting Maori Party in 2014 it is -0.74. So there is no significant difference there.

This is supported by general measures of health and well-being. The correlation between having never smoked tobacco and voting Maori Party in 2014 (-0.55) is weaker than the correlation between having never smoked tobacco and being Maori (-0.73). In a similar vein, the correlation between being a solo parent and voting Maori Party in 2014 (0.66) was not as strong as the correlation between being a solo parent and being Maori (0.79).

There are several potential implications of this. One of the most notable is that, if Maori Party voters are actually significantly wealthier than the average Maori, a partnership with National as not as odd as it might otherwise appear.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Can This Black Caps Side Take The World No. 1 ODI Ranking?

In winning the Hadlee-Chappell series 2-0, the Black Caps have defeated the Australian side twice in an ODI series in 12 months and moved to No. 3 in the official ODI rankings. This essay poses the question: can Kane Williamson’s side achieve something unprecedented in New Zealand ODI cricket history, and take the No. 1 spot?

The Black Caps have never achieved the distinction of being able to claim that they were the best ODI side in the world. At times we have come close. The current Black Caps ODI unit might have it in them to go the rest of the way.

Let’s look at the team with reference to the official ICC player rankings.

On these rankings the figure of 750 stands out as a benchmark for world-class performance. To achieve a score of 750 a player must consistently excel in comparison to their peers. It is a rare enough distinction that only six current batsmen have rating scores above 750.

Williamson had a score of 752 in January 2015, and in the two years since then has almost always stayed above that figure. If we compare his returns with that of Martin Crowe, we can see that Crowe was similar but generally below the 750 mark. Crowe, however, maintained his standard of between 700 and 750 for nine years.

In the extremely unlikely event that Williamson’s career peters out from this point, he would end up with a career ratings trajectory similar to that of Andrew Jones, who hit his peak at roughly the same time as Crowe.

Jones, who was like Williamson in that he was rock-solid at No. 3 but unlike him in that he was picked late for the Black Caps, maintained a rating above 750 for about four years.

Ross Taylor, widely regarded as the second-best bat in this current side, has maintained a Martin Crowe level of performance for the past three years, in which time he has also been between 700 and 750. He has averaged 55.89 with the bat in those last three years.

What the Black Caps of Jones and Crowe’s day didn’t have was a classy hitter at the top like Martin Guptill. Although Guptill was not world-class for the first part of his career, he got on top of his game about two years ago and since then has risen above 750. He averages over 50 in the 50 matches he has played since the start of 2015.

The Black Caps have long had a tradition of excellent ODI bowling, going all the way back to Sir Richard Hadlee, who was one of the best of all. At one point the Black Caps had the rare distinction of having three of the top five ODI bowlers, in Shane Bond, Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills.

Vettori was the only one of those three to be truly world-class for a decent length of time – Bond suffered many problems with injury and Mills was not enough of a wicket threat to really be considered in that top bracket.

The most skilled Black Cap with the ball currently is Trent Boult, who is ranked No. 1 in ODIs. Boult is a curious case, because he hasn’t even been in the ODI side very long. He has, however, maintained a bowling rating of 750 or thereabouts for most of the past 18 months, during which time he has also struggled for fitness.

But given that he is rapidly improving and is only 27, this column contends that over the next few years, Trent Boult will establish himself as the best ODI bowler in the world. He might not have quite as many wicket deliveries as Mitchell Starc, but he is far more relentlessly accurate and incisive.

Perhaps the major weakness of today’s Black Caps side in comparison to those of past years is the absence of a world-class allrounder. When Cairns, Oram, Styris and Vettori were operating the team had both depth and flexibility.

Certainly there is potential among the current wider squad for a quality No. 6 to emerge. Corey Anderson has even more potential than Cairns, but can’t stay on the field long enough to make an impact. Jimmy Neesham appears to have the goods, but has been unable to translate it into class in ODIs. The best bet going forward might be Mitchell Santner, as the errors he makes tend to be errors of inexperience.

With four world-class players in Williamson, Taylor, Guptill and Boult, and a handful of potential ones in Matt Henry (currently ranked 7 in ODI bowling but can’t make the side), Santner, Anderson, Tom Latham, Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne, the Black Caps side of 2017 looks to have both a stronger core and much greater depth than ever before.

All it would take would be to maintain those standards or gradually improve them over time as players naturally get more experience, and the Black Caps will surely claim the No. 1 ranking sooner or later.

This side could actually take the No. 1 ranking fairly soon if enough results went in their favour. A 3-0 win in the ODI series against South Africa later this month is far from unthinkable, considering they just beat the world champion Australians 2-0 at home.

That would leave them second, two points behind Aussie, and therefore within striking range of the previously unachievable.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Maori New Zealanders

Most Kiwis are generally aware that the average Maori is doing it harder than the average Kiwi by a range of measures, but may not be sure precisely why. In any case, there is much more to the Maori experience than just that.

The correlation between median personal income and being Maori is a moderate -0.48. This is enough to tell us that the average Maori is considerably poorer than the average Kiwi. However, this correlation is not quite as meaningful as it might appear on the surface.

The correlation between median age and being Maori is even stronger, at -0.63, and because there is a mildly significant positive correlation of 0.27 between median age and median personal income it is fair to conclude that Maori are poorer than average, to a small extent, because they are younger than average.

There is a fair amount of cynicism among Maoris regarding Paheka religions. This is reflected in the fact that being Maori has a significant negative correlation with being a Christian, which is -0.37. This will surprise those any who expect that Maoris are like Pacific Islanders in all regards. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being a Christian is a moderately strong 0.46, so they are very different to the Maori in that sense.

There is no significant correlation between being Maori and being Anglican – this is 0.02. Being Maori has significant negative correlations with practicising a variety of religious traditions: with being a Catholic it is -0.28, with being Presbytarian it is -0.40 and with being Buddhist it is -0.45.

Even more surprising to some is the strong positive correlation between being Maori and being a Mormon (0.54), as well as the correlation between being Maori and following Spiritualism and New Age religions, which was a mildly significant 0.24. In this latter correlation the Maori share something exclusively with the Paheka, who also have an interest in these traditions, unlike Pacific Islanders and Asians.

The explanation for the strong negative correlation between being Maori and net personal income becomes obvious if one looks at the correlations between being Maori and maximum educational achievement.

Being Maori had a moderate positive correlation with being in all three groups with the poorest education. Being Maori had a correlation of 0.57 with a Level 2 education, of 0.55 with a Level 1 education, and of 0.67 with no qualifications at all.

Even worse for the purposes of making a good income, being Maori had a significant negative correlation with having any of the university degrees. With having a Bachelor’s degree the correlation was -0.45, with having an Honour’s degree it was -0.46, with having a Master’s degree it was -0.45 and with having a doctorate it was -0.41.

It is known that Maori men in particular have the lowest life expectancy of any of the major population groups in New Zealand. Few would dare guess that things are so bad for Maori men that there is a significant correlation between being Maori and being female – this is 0.31.

Related to this unusual death rate, there is one pattern that stands out when it comes to the demographics of Maori. Although Maori are only doing moderately worse than the Kiwi average when it comes to most measures of social health and wellbeing, they still comprise the bulk of the Kiwis at the very bottom of the ladder, who have it hardest of all.

There is a correlation of 0.91 between being Maori and being on the unemployment benefit and a correlation of 0.77 between being Maori and being on the invalid’s benefit. There is also a correlation of 0.92 between being Maori and being a regular smoker and a correlation of 0.79 between being Maori and being a solo parent.

These are very strong correlations and suggest that much of the worst social devastation has happened to Maoris.

There is a significant positive correlation between being Maori and all of the income bands from Loss or No Income up to $50K. There is a significant negative one between being Maori and the three income bands above $70K. One can guess from this that working class industries and occupations are the general trend.

The significant positive correlations between being Maori and working in a particular industry are 0.47 for working in transport, postal and warehousing, 0.44 for working in manufacturing, 0.43 for working in education and training, 0.42 for workign in electricity, gas, water and waste services, 0.38 with working in administration and support services, 0.32 for working in healthcare and social assistance and 0.31 for working in construction.

There are only two industries with a significant negative correlation with being Maori: professional, scientific and technical services at -0.33 and financial and insurance services at -0.26. The former of these is not surprising considering the unusually low representation of Maori on the higher rungs of the education ladder.

True to the long-held stereotype of “Maori being good on guitars and bulldozers”, there is a very strong correlation between being Maori and working as a machinery operator or driver – this is 0.66. There is also a strong correlation of 0.62 between being Maori and being a labourer. The strongest correlation between being Maori and any occupation, however, is with community and personal services, which is 0.72.

Predictably, there is a strong positive correlation between being Maori and having been born in New Zealand – this is 0.70. This may not even be as strong as some might predict, but it ought to be kept in mind that the vast majority of New Zealand Europeans are native born and that there are large Maori populations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Turnout Rate of Party Supporters

What sort of political party supporter actually turns out to vote? It’s not as straightforward and simple as just old, rich, male and white. However, turnout rate can serve as a useful indicator of general disenfranchisement.

Interestingly, the correlation matrix gives us a clue about a line of information that is completely closed off to anyone running a simpler analysis: we can know which party has the supporters that are most likely to vote by looking at the correlation between party vote in each electorate and the turnout rate in that electorate.

It seems fair to assume that, all other things being equal, the turnout rate of any party’s supporters is roughly equal to the degree that those supporters feel their needs and desires will be taken seriously by the eventual representatives. After all, if your vote will not count for anything because your MP will ignore you anyway, why bother to cast it?

Perhaps more than any other set of correlations, this one tells us who is running the country. If you have money and wealth, you can vote knowing that whoever wins the election will listen to you out of natural shared solidarity. If you are disadvantaged – poor, physically or mentally ill, female in some cases, the wrong religion or race in many others, you can’t.

Unsurprisingly, there is a strong correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and voting for National – this was 0.76. The Labour one, at -0.67, was almost as strong in the other direction. This difference represented by this correlation arguably reflects the most fundamental political division in society – between the haves and the have-nots.

This correlation is large enough that we can predict the vast majority of people who do not turn out to vote are Labour supporters.

Reflecting that the average Green voter is significantly wealthier than the average Kiwi, there is a significant correlation between turnout rate and voting Green – this is 0.26. Probably this would be higher if it reflected the level of class privilege of the average Green voter, but because the average Green supporter is also so young the turnout rate is somewhat suppressed.

The turnout rate was, as it was for Labour, significantly negatively correlated with New Zealand First support. The correlation here was a moderately strong -0.40, which is possibly even a little less negative than one might have expected based on the income of the average New Zealand First voter. Even though the bulk of New Zealand First supporters are working-class Maoris and thus have a low turnout rate, the party has a core of elderly white voters who can be counted on to vote.

The turnout rate was moderately correlated with voting for the Conservative Party in 2014 – this was 0.55, easily the second highest of all the correlations between turnout rate and voting for a party. This is even though voting Conservative in 2014 did not have a significant correlation with median personal income.

The main reason for this is the strong correlation between voting Conservative in 2014 and median age, which was 0.75. Because old people vote at significantly greater rates than the young, and because old people are religious fundamentalists at significantly greater rates than the young, old people will vote for a party (like the Conservatives) that appeals to religious fundamentalism.

All of the parties that had a high proportion of Maori voters had a significantly negative correlation with turnout rate. The correlation between turnout rate and voting Maori Party in 2014 was -0.74, with voting Internet MANA it was -0.69, with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.68 and with voting New Zealand First it was -0.40.

None of these are surprising considering the strong negative correlation between turnout rate and being Maori (-0.74). It may be that the natural support levels of both the Maori Party and Internet MANA are closer to what the Conservative Party is pulling in, but because of massive disenfranchisement among Maori are unable to translate that support into seats in Parliament.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of European New Zealanders

Who do the honkies vote for? Most people could have guessed that there was a correlation between voting for the National Party in 2014 and being of European descent, but few would have guessed that it was quite as strong as 0.60. The correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and being of European descent is even stronger, but negative: -0.76.

These are strong correlations, and they ilustrate the degree to which the National Party upholds racial advantages as a consequence of upholding class advantages. Being of European descent has a correlation of 0.35 with median personal income, which conflates the effect of race and class in the National vote.

Voting for the Conservative Party in 2014 had a correlation of 0.46 with being of European descent, and the other party that had a significant positive correlation with being of European descent was the Greens – this was 0.24.

Some might find this latter point surprising considering that the Greens produce a lot of rhetoric about being left-wing and about supporting marginalised groups in society. But marginalised groups generally do not vote Green – they vote Labour. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and median personal income is a significant 0.31.

This tells us that the Green Party is a curiosity in the paradoxical sense that it represents a class that does not often belong to the race it represents and a race that does not often belong to the class it represents.

Voting for any of the remaining four parties in 2014 has a negative correlation with being of European descent. Three of those four correlations can be explained simply by noting that they are parties which get a lot of Maori support: the ALCP (-0.15), the Maori Party (-0.35) and Internet MANA (-0.37).

The ACT Party stands apart from those three on that basis. The correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being of European descent is a significantly negative -0.28. This suggests that there is a natural division on the right between the heavily European National and Conservative parties, and the heavily non-European ACT Party.

The natural division on the left, meanwhile, is between the also heavily European Green Party, and the moderately non-European Labour Party. Although this has more to do with education than class, it’s noteworthy that barring a token Maori in the leadership position, only Marama Davidson of the Green MPs has any non-European ancestry.

This is the basis for the observation that a National-Greens Government might be possible after 2017. Essentially this would be a European coup of the political system, knocking out the Maoris in NZF and Labour, the Pacific Islanders in Labour and the Asians in ACT.

Media commentators might talk about crucial demographics and the need to win them to capture the middle ground, but the fact is that the vast bulk of New Zealand voters are people of European descent and a small shift of the balancing point within this major demographic can have nationwide consequences.

European people love to vote, no doubt a reflection of their integration into the system and their confidence that their voices will be heard by the eventual representatives. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being of European descent is a strong 0.71, which is enough to say that, as a general rule, white people vote.

Many might have been able to guess that; few could guess the extent that the flag referendum was a mission for people of European descent only. Turnout rate for the first flag referendum had a correlation of 0.85 with being of European descent, and turnout rate for the second flag referendum had a correlation of 0.88.

The correlation between being of European descent and voting to change the flag in the second flag referendum was 0.60 – exactly the same as the correlation between being of European descent and voting National in 2014. This further supports what we already know about the extent that the flag referendum was a National Party vehicle.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: ACT Voters

Thought by most to be the big money party, ACT cuts an odd figure on the New Zealand political landscape. Although there is a fairly strong correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and net personal income (0.36), this is considerably less than the correlation between voting National in 2014 and net personal income (0.53).

This tells us that the average ACT voter is not as wealthy as the average National voter, despite the reputation of the ACT Party as the party of millionaires only. Where ACT manages to cleave off votes from National appears to be by targeting the specially ambitious, the specially driven, and those with a specially low level of solidarity with other Kiwis.

Voting ACT in 2014 had a correlation of 0.57 with having a Master’s degree, and one of -0.64 with having no academic qualifications. ACT voters were also much less likely to be on a benefit than average: voting ACT in 2014 had a correlation of -0.30 with being on the pension, of -0.38 with being on the unemployment benefit and of -0.59 with being on the invalid’s benefit.

The two occupations that correlated significantly with voting for ACT in 2014 were professionals (0.39) and sales workers (0.27). Perhaps surprisingly, there was no significant correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being a manager (0.06). Managers tend overwhelmingly to vote National and are usually Kiwi-born.

All of the correlations with working-class occupations were significantly negative: technicians and trades workers (-0.39), community and personal service workers (-0.47), machinery operators and drivers (-0.52) and labourers (-0.61).

In terms of industry choice, ACT voters seem to gravitate to the sort of job where one is paid on commission. The strongest correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and the industry of the voter was with wholesale trade (0.66). Other strong correlations were with financial and insurance services (0.59) and professional, scientific and technical services (0.50).

Notably, there is a significant negative correlation with voting for ACT in 2014 and working in the healthcare industry (-0.29). So can guess that the wealthy foreigners voting ACT are not often doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists – this sort of person tends to vote Green.

Some might note with curiosity that the correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being born overseas is a very strong 0.78. This is much higher than for any other party; in fact, it would almost be fair to say that ACT is a foreigner’s party.

Voting for ACT in 2014 has a significant negative correlation both with being of European descent (-0.28) and with being of Maori descent (-0.42). It is the only party of all of them for which this is true.

By contrast, the correlation between being of Asian descent and voting ACT is a very strong 0.85. Given that there are many more Asians in New Zealand than ACT voters, this correlation suggests that the majority of ACT voters are foreign-born Asians.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the party with which voting for ACT has the strongest negative correlation is with New Zealand First: this is -0.55. It’s probably fair to say that very few ACT voters are particularly patriotic about New Zealand.

Other negative correlations exist between voting ACT in 2014 and voting ALCP (-0.45), voting Internet MANA (-0.25) and the Maori Party (-0.29). Given the strength of the negative correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being Maori, none of these are really surprising.

The only party to have a significant positive correlation with voting ACT in 2014 was National, for which it was 0.35. None of the correlations with the other three were signficant: Labour -0.19, Greens -0.06 and Conservative 0.13.

ACT voters are often religious, but not Christian. Voting ACT in 2014 and being Christian is almost perfectly uncorrelated (-0.01). Given what we know about the tendency of ACT voters to be foreign-born we can predict that the religions with the strongest correlations with voting for the ACT Party are those with the weakest foothold here.

And so, the correlations between voting for the ACT party and belonging to a religion are significantly positive if that religion is Buddhism (0.85), Hinduism or Islam (both 0.50) or Judaism (0.42).

Of all the personal annual income brackets detailed in the Parliamentary Profiles, the top three have a significant positive correlation with voting for ACT in 2014, and the higher someone goes the stronger the correlation. For an income of $70-100K the correlation was 0.33, for an income of $100-150K the correlation was 0.43 and for an income above $150K it was 0.44.

The only other income bracket with a significant positive correlation with voting ACT is that of ‘Loss or No Income’ – here the correlation is 0.32. This can easily be explained by the number of entrepreneurs who are still losing money, and it might be a major reason why the correlation between median personal income and voting ACT is less than it is with the National Party.

A picture starts to emerge of the typical ACT voter as the sort of foreigner who found their home country too economically restrictive for their own ambitions, so they came to New Zealand to work long hours, usually on commission, and hopefully not have to contribute to a social safety net that neither them nor anyone they care about should ever have to rely on.

What makes the ACT Party different to a true libertarian party is their emphasis on economic freedom at the expense of social freedom. Their website is full of rhetoric calling for greater punishments for burglaries but does not mention cannabis law reform. This might lose them half of their votes, but if the intent was to be a National Party support partner it could make co-operation easier.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of the Religious I

Many people are aware of the long-standing alliance between conservative forces and religion. Indeed, the party with the strongest correlation between voting for them and being Christian was the Conservative Party, which was 0.37.

The Conservative Party of New Zealand appeals to much of the same sentiment as the Christian Heritage Party when it was run by now convicted child molester Graham Capill.

Christians are also significantly more likely to vote for the National Party – the correlation here is 0.29. This is significant but barely so, and perhaps even less so once one considers that this correlation can be well explained by the fact that both Christians and National voters tend to be older than average.

However, this is not an area where the Labour Party forms a natural counterweight. Voting Labour in 2014 has a correlation of 0.10 with being Christian. Neither does New Zealand First – voting for them and being Christian has a correlation of -0.11. Neither of these two are significant.

The significant one is between voting Green in 2014 and being Christian: this is a very strong -0.57. This suggests that the religious see very, very little merit in what the Greens have to offer.

Although this is true, the likely reason for it is that many Green voters are either young students – who are the group least likely to be Christian – and many who are older have postgraduate degrees in the sciences, the holding of which has a significant negative correlation with being Christian.

Many are already aware of the widespread cynicism of Maoris towards Christianity, which is often seen as a pack of lies that was told to confuse them while their land could be stolen. Not surprisingly, then, being Christian has a significant negative correlation with all of the parties that have heavy Maori support, apart from New Zealand First.

Being Christian has a correlation of -0.44 with voting Maori Party in 2014, -0.41 with voting ALCP and -0.40 with voting Internet MANA.

Because there are so many Christians – slightly fewer than 50% of the population – it’s worth taking a look at the next level down.

At this level, Anglicans seem to form the foundation of the national freemasonry. Being Anglican has a correlation of 0.41 with voting National in 2014, one of 0.34 with voting Conservative and one of -0.59 with voting Labour.

To all other parties Anglicans are mostly indifferent. The correlation between being Anglican and voting ALCP in 2014 was -0.01, with voting New Zealand First it was 0.17, with the Greens it was -0.06, with Internet MANA it was -0.07, with ACT it was -0.23 and with the Maori Party it was -0.06. None of these are significant.

Their eternal enemies, the Catholics, are predictably therefore more internationalist. There is a significant postive correlation between being Catholic and voting Labour in 2014 (0.28), and with voting ACT (0.24).

Also predictably for a religion that has a significant negative correlation with both being European and being Maori, being Catholic has a significant negative correlation with voting for New Zealand First in 2014 – this was -0.44. Other negative correlations existed between being Catholic and voting for the ALCP (-0.27) and voting Conservative (-0.26).

Presbytarians, for their part, seem like a kind of less Maori-friendly Anglican. The correlation between voting National in 2014 and being Presbytarian is almost identical with that of being Anglican – this is 0.40. The major difference is that the correlation betwen voting Labour and being Presbytarian is a mere -0.22, which is not significant.

The correlations between being Presbytarian and voting for any of the Maori-heavy parties were negative. With voting Internet MANA it was -0.40 and with voting Maori Party it was -0.37.

These correlations reflect the degree to which Presbytarianism is more common in the Southern South Island, which was settled much more heavily by Scots than by the English and where few Maoris live.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.