Archive | October, 2015

New Zealand Votes The General Election of 2002.

6 Oct

The sixth of the Victoria University post-election conferences to be turned into a book was also a first. Not because it came with a cd of video and audio segments no because it featured Bob the Builder on the front cover. Bob larger than life juxtaposed next to Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton doing a passable attempt at auld lang syne with Helen. Bob , he looks so much younger then. Bob a man who makes clear deals and sticks to them. Peter Dunne what happened to him ?

Bob the builder was used as a semi campaign tool by New Zealand First – Can we fix it ? Hilarious I know. But remember back in 2002 United Future were a force to be reckoned with. Jim Anderton had a party and Nicky Hager tried to destabilise election campaign. 2002 was an eventful campaign and in many ways showed the potential of MMP. A Labour led Government was re-elected with a change in support parties. A first for the system that proved continuity could be done as well as change.

The book has an excellent audio-visual CD, which I am still surprised other books haven’t followed. It a great reminder of how quickly political campaigning and reporting moves on , yet also how much it stays the same. Was it only 13 years ago that John Tamihere had a future in politics, Hekia Parata admitted to being out of her comfort zone, ACT had MP’s plural.

Neil Roberts wrote a wonderful chapter on billboards, a subject close to my heart. Perhaps the most reflective essay is a snapshot of the Wairarapa campaign and the changing fabric of an electorate.

In 2002 Labour chose to form a Government without the Greens, the Greens have still not managed to unbox themselves from this. Only 2 more years until we do it all again.