Latest poll has Labour-Green bloc ahead of National

Hekia Parata

UPDATE / Feb 20: Hot on the heels of a One News-Colmar Brunton poll showing a 5% bounce for National, comes a Fairfax Media-Ipsos survey that shows the party dipping 1.3% to 44.9%

And where One News-Colmar Brunton has Labour down 2%, Fairfax-Ipsos has the party up 1.9 % (or 3.7% since August) to 36.3%.

Fairfax-Ipsos puts the Greens on 10.7% - meaning the combined Labour-Green bloc is ahead of National, but still short of a majority (remembering the party with the most votes does not get first option to form a government under MMP; any group of parties that thinks it can form a government can take its case to the Governor General). 

The message is black and white: support for National is either up, or down.

Meanwhile, the much-surveyed-about Hekia Parata seemed to have been put through the image consultancy mill before the latest round of Christchurch school closure announcements. The Education Minister was notably composed and humble compared to here previous appearances.

Party support

  • National 44.9% (-1.3%)
  • Labour 36.3% (+1.9%)
  • Green 10.7% (+0.2%)
  • NZ First 2.8% (-1.0%)
  • Maori 1.3% (-0.1%)
  • United Future 0.1% (-0.1%)
  • ACT 0.4% (+0.4%)
  • Mana 1.4% (+0.8%)
  • Conservative 1.6% (+0.2%)

Projected seats (via Curiablog)

  • National 57
  • Labour 46
  • Green 13
  • ACT 0
  • Maori 3
  • United Future 1
  • Mana 2
  • NZ First 0

(Total 122. Based on no change in electorate seats, except for National winning Epsom)

Coalition options (via Curiablog)

Center right – National 57 + United Future 1 = 58/122 – four fewer than the minimum needed to govern
Center left – Labour 46 + Greens 13 + Mana 2 = 61/122 – one fewer than the minimum needed to govern
The Maori Party is not shown as part of the centre-right or centre-left.

Should Hekia Parata be removed from Education?

  • Yes 60%
  • No 22%
  • Don’t Know 18%

The Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll surveyed 1000 between February 10 - 15.


National, Key up in post-reshuffle poll despite Parata backlash
Feb 18
The first One News Colmar Brunton poll finds a big majority think Prime Minister John Key should have dumped Education Minister Hekia Parata in the recent cabinet reshuffle - which saw Phil Heatley and Kate Wilkinson pushed out and high-flyers Nathan Guy, Simon Bridges and Nikki Kaye promoted.

But the sentiment has not dented Mr Key or his party's popularity, which both rose 5%.

National's party vote boost means if an election were hold today, it would have the option to govern without Maori Party support.

Party vote

  • National 49.0% (+5.0%)
  • Labour 33.0% (-2.0%)
  • Green 11.0% (-1.0%)
  • ACT 0.0% (-1.0%)
  • Maori 1.0% (nc)
  • United Future 1.0% (nc)
  • Mana 1.0% (nc)
  • NZ First 4.0% (nc)
  • Conservative 0.0% (-1.0%)

Projected seats (based on no change in electorate seats)

  • National 62
  • Labour 42
  • Green 14
  • ACT 1
  • Maori 3
  • United Future 1
  • Mana 1
  • NZ First 0
  • Conservative 0

Translated into an election night result, the projects would mean National could govern with a one-seat majority with the support of ACT and United Future (assuming both parties held their single electorate seat).

Preferred PM

  • John Key 44% (+5.0%)
  • David Shearer 15% (nc)
  • Winston Peters 5% (-1%)

Decision to keep Hekia Parata as Minister of Education

  • Right decision: 21%
  • Wrong decision: 59%
  • Unsure: 20%

Colmar Brunton's phone poll of 1000 eligible voters was carried out between February 9 and February 13.

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47 Comments & Questions

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When will everyone realise that Hekia is purely the messenger of govt/cabinet policy. She may have made some mistakes passing on that message but the underlying policy of restructuring the education system and stopping the teachers union from having so much influence is sound policy.

Maybe finally the voters now realise this. They now understand that the teachers need to be held accountable and that the CHCH schools situation resulting in school closures and new schools is the best commercial and social result for all.

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Are they keeping her on so she can deliver more bad news, then be cast adrift before the election?

No clear trend when looking at multiple polls so is probably just noise, rather than a true trend.

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@The Doctor. Yes, perhaps be that as it may, your argument does nothing to defend the ineptitude of Ms Parata's execution of that policy. Her perceived manner is one of sheer arrogance and her inability to deliver the necessary changes with any degree of basic social skills continues to expose this administration to very easy (though avoidable) criticism. She is - and as the poll suggests, remains - an intense liability to John Key; his unwillingness to remove her is perceived as a lack of leadership.

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Sunny side, we all make mistakes and she has made some - but she was also on a hiding to nothing delivering what I believe is good govt policy - fiscally and from an educational viewpoint.

You could look at it from the other view point that she had the balls to deliver the govt/cabinet policy and face the music - if that is construed as arrogance, then so be it. She has one of the hardest portfolios with this policy alongside Gerry Brownlee.

This policy is not only sensible for Christchurch but should be rolled out around the country. Why are we paying for so many country schools just to appease the farming vote?

The public perception of her delivery could be construed to be sexist: if she was a male would she have been considered arrogant? Answer: probably not.

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The wailing and angst has mostly been by the education unions trying to hype up public support for their patch protection.

It's all about the unions and patch protection... Never about the children and better educational outcomes, or the unions would have been making the same wails when Mallard and Labour closed schools. Prior to any natural disasters, where was the union's crocodile tears then?

There's never been any National government or minister that the unions have wanted. Patch protection at its very best.

The unions should just shut up and let the teachers do their job however their employer legally requests.

The union mouthpieces need to be starved of media oxygen. With the left-leaning MSM giving them airtime, NZ now has the fleas on the tail of the mongrel attempting to dictate policy to the owner.

Flea bombs work!

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No party in NZ's history has done as much to protect the health, education and police union interests than the current National government. The Nats have already wimped out by reducing the number of intermediate and primary schools to be merged and closed. National and the Mary English coalition govt is so weak that the argument merging a low decile and decile 4 school or their about in New Brighton is a step too far.
National will do anything to appease their largely working class vote. Starting with Shipley's follow on from Clinton's ending welfare as we know it so the middle class, graduate and professionals would be forced to break stones and engage in pointless make-work.
The NZ health, doctor and psychiatrist unions are fanatically egalitarian and determined to enforce downward mobility. If you're a graduate psych patient they are determined to force you into the workhouse or engage in demeaning low-grade work. The hypocrisy of the Nats is endless. Next they will be in coalition with the workers socialist party of Christchurch - i.e., Megan Woods, Jim Anderton, Lianne Dalziel and Susan Tait.

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Doctor! If you were to travel out into the vast rural area of NZ sometime you would see that it is physically impossible, mainly due to the remotness of many areas, to congregate all the rural children into 500-pupil schools, as is possible in the urban areas, which are much better served with public transport.

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Perhaps Sunny side up doesn't realise that cabinet/government make their decisions, based on information and research provided by the public service staff employed in the ministry.
Like the Novapay shambles, within the staffing of the ministry lies the root cause of the problem.

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What negative influence do the teacher unions have? And what do the teachers have to be held accountable for? Genetic diversity?

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The teachers union protects the incompetence of a minority of teachers (who are not accountable under the current system) by targeting mums and dads through emotional responses to school closures or curriculum changes.

The teacher-led response to change is not for the benfit of the pupils but all about how it affects them - i.e., whether they get found out as incompetent or whether they have to leave their current school and reapply for a role at a new school. In the outside world that is what all of us have to do in respect to our jobs/professions - you are only as good as your last deal or success.

If the teachers were looking after their pupils' interests they would be open minded about the govt closing some schools, merging others and opening new state-of-the-art schools. In Christchurch's case they could end up with the best schools in the country and in places close to the where the population is or is moving to as the rebuild develops.

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This is ideological hogwash from a simpleton. Protecting incompetent teachers. Pure BS. Success? How do you measure that in education? Best schools? How do you measure that? Unions have seen right wing cranks like you and your ilk off many a time over the generations and will again. For the benefit of all not just the stupid rich.

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The teachers/principals unions have been anything but co-operative over the Christchurch situation. They have shown no comprehension of the realities of the situation. If there are insufficient/no children in an area then schools either have to be merged or closed. There is no point spending money that the country doesn't have, restoring/repairng/rebuilding schools in an area that has few pupils.
The disturbing thing about the union attitude over this scenario is that their members are teaching the next generation of adults. One thing that adults need is the ability to understand and comprehend. Questionable that these qualities are going to be taught by teachers who lack such qualities themselves.

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Yeah, but there are messengers who can articulate and persuade with credibility. And then there are others who can't.

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The road to a better New Zealand, with more responsibility and accountability, fewer snouts in public troughs, and less bleeding of govt coffers to suit whims rather than sound management, is always going to meet with resistance. The presence of resistance and public outcry does not prove a decision wrong, merely that some people object.

The real test is not whether some people object, but whether the decision is sound.

We have lived in a nanny state for too long. Any govt in power either perpetrates the fairytales by recklessly spending to appease wringers and buy votes, or takes the tough road of doing what is right.

The only questions are: are voters mature enough to recognise a right action over what makes them feel good.
And:
Is any incoming govt going to continue doing the right thing or change back to the reckless spending at the taxpayers' expense?

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Whose message- govt, treasury or Min of Education. It seems to me a govt and cabinet gesture to convince Treasury and the Min of Education there's too much opposition to close much or anything.

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An incompetent communicator of key issues.

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Doctor, you obviously don't live in Christchurch or you would not have made that comment. You are an idiot.

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Christchurch needs to get over itself. The earthquakes were two years ago and you are in the real world now. The sympathy vote died about a year ago. You all act like whingers and think the world owes you all something.

Quite frankly, you are bloody lucky the govt is so generous and the rest of NZ - i.e., the other four million of us - aren't screaming about the cost of the rebuild. You whinge about a few schools closing and being rebuilt or merged - you should be grateful, not whinge.
Cantabrians whinged when Auckland, the biggest city, needed important infrastructure that the country had to pay for a few years ago - and that was when this benefitted half of the country, not the 400,000 people we are currently funding.

Grow up and be thankful.

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Excellent response. Totally agree.

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I live in Chch and when 9300 empty desks sits in Chch schools, mainly in the east after the earthquakes, I fully understand where the govt is coming from. And no-one I have heard has had a better solution aside from moaning to protect their patch, ignorant of the effects of the eq's on the local populations. Shooting the messenger is easier than confronting reality.

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John Key only wants ministers who will do as they are told, no matter what. Key has an agenda - not quite sure what that is - but he wants it carried out post haste by Yes Ministers.

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The strategy of beating up on niche groups and of transferring responsibility for our fears and woes on anybody but the government seems to work.

This week bash the teachers for society's woes.
Last week blame the councils for the housing problems.
The Maoris before then.
Before that it was an invasion of boat people.

Next?
Your group?

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Beneficiaries of course.

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The minister was assassinated by the department. It is incompetent and vindictive, and the teachers assume they always know best just because they are surrounded by kids who often know less.

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When will Labour realise that they are backing a losing horse in Shearer.
Everybody knows he is no match for Key.
Until he is replaced, Labour will never gain any traction.
Key is free to do what he wants and will still be high in the polls.
Most people I speak to dislike Key but prefer him to Shearer.

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Labour had little vision when in power and even less when they are the opposition. That Shearer is still the preferred leader speaks volumes about the Labour caucus and the party itself: there is absolutely zero talent there.

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Hope you are good at eating humble pie.

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At least with Key we have someone, and a party, that will make the hard decisions, which is what New Zealand needs. Perhaps the polls are now telling us that more New Zealanders are recognizing this.

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Hard decisions by John Key - I don't think so. He simply tinkers around issues because he has a constant eye on the vote. He is a clever in politics but he is not a leader.

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Are you nuts? Read the headline.

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Frankly, our boorish-sounding PM, pink with pleasure when being kissed by gays, is a National embarrassment. He has a parliament of yes-men-women doing as he tells them because they want to keep their ministerial positions, perks, etc - some now admitting this.

The awful dilemma New Zealanders face is that Shearer is weak and ineffectual, and nobody trusts Labour as an alternative. But National has already shown it can't be trusted, either.

Hekia Parata is one in a long line of useless ministers of education, apparently completely captured by a ministry infiltrated by neo-Marxists intent on destroying quality education in this country.

They specialise in silly jargon, hijacking the language - e.g., wrap-around (what does this MEAN?) clusters, etc. She is talking rubbish - but dangerous rubbish.

Parents will have to do what they have now done in Sweden - take over the schools for their children's sake, and exclude the ministry.

Neither of our main political parties can be trusted.

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Why would neo marxists be intent on destroying quality education in this country. Are they Chinese Intelligence agents?? Maybe they are aliens...

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Or perhaps these neo-marxists would best be described as cultural marxist. After all nearly every university course teaches critical theory and its variants on nearly every course. Most 'academics' cite Race, Class, Gender studies as a research interest...critical theory and RCG originated with the Frankfurt School of cultural marxism...and as to why they wanted to debauch the education systems in the West...in their own words:

"we will make the West so corrupt it stinks". (Munzenberg).

Spartacus...please do try and cast your intellectual net beyond the zeitgeist....you may then be able to live outside the dialectic (as opposed to 'progressively' pushing it 'forward'.

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So Thatcher, do you believe that neo-Marxists or cultural Marxists or whatever you want to call them Marxists have infiltrated the Ministry of Education with a view to debauch the education system? Where is the evidence of that? The top ten result NZ education has achieved in OECD stats for decades? Sounds like a dubious argument to me.

The Zeitgeist provides the ground for the dialectic. Left, right or values based coexistence... Seems to me that teachers and the ministry genuinely want a system that creates opportunity for our children to achieve their potential. For the benefit of the whole collective not just the elite.

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Can I just point out that each of these polls has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1% (surveying a sample of 1000 people). I might note that the polling organisations are always careful to provide this information, and the mainstream media usually report it without informing the public on the implications.

Accordingly the comment "The message is black and white: support for National is either up, or down", while undoubtedly true, has no factual basis in the poll results. Support for Labour is also either up or down.

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The latest poll you talk of was manufactured by Fairfax. Seems they needed a headline. If the story get dissected the picture shows a lot of claptrap. Time Fairfax went and did some decent journalism stories. A suggestion might be to go and root out the whingers in Chch who have nothing else to do. A relative of mine even enhances the whingeing facts. Most calls to the Earthquake Authority are about old cracks in buildings which were there before the earthquakes. Seems the whole of NZ is being held to ransom by sensation and half-truths fanned by daily newspapers on school closures, etc.

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Your summary is incorrect. You cannot describe the Greens and Mana as Centre Left. They are wild west rampant left.

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I'm sorry Kapow ... from an international perspective, New Zealand doesn't have any rampant right or left - parties are tightly bunched around the centre so it makes sense to me to talk of centre left and centre right.

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The Greens are hard left extremists seeking to push a collectivist agenda under the guise of caring for the environment.

Even moderate lefties in the US are wising up: www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com

Watermelons - green on the outside and red on the inside...a bit like 'former' Australian Communist Party member Russel Norman.

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Ah whats wrong with a collectivist agenda?

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Parents teachers and unions have a lot answer for.They are using the children as political pawns and instilling lies and mistruths into the children.Surely it is time the activists in CHCH pulled their heads in an let the overall community move on.

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When the Christchurch $1bn education build is ready for teachers and principals it would be totally irresponsible to employ any members of the NZEI and PPTA organisations.
The performance of the leadership and many of the members shows a high degree of immaturity and irresponsiblity. Witness the children being paraded with political placards.
School classrooms should be apolitical, and that also goes for the so-called science indoctrination, which is nothing but Greens ideology.

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Another thought! ...
Perhaps the new schools in Christchurch could be the first 'CHARTER SCHOOLS'. That would remove the union problem.

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Watch John Stossel on Youtube, Charter schools...very interesting. Your suggestion is not as stupid as most peole will think it is.

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You contradict yourself as usual. I though you said classrooms should be apolitical.

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Relatively apolitical as opposed to the mini North Korea I have to teach in!

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What union problem?

Parata is now an indentured live organ donor.

Your analysis omits the likely scenario that Peter Dunn would coalesce with Labour and the Greens if it got him his place in cabinet (and them, theirs).

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