Toby Manhire's A-Z guide to everything you didn't know you needed to know about the upcoming election ...
• A is for Aotearoa, the name by which this country would formally be known under Māori Party policy, providing a timely stimulus to the economy by putting us much higher on the dropdown menu for online shopping, just beneath Angola.
A is also for All Blacks, the only branch of state that ranks higher than the monarch under New Zealand's unwritten constitution, as well as "Act now", the slogan adopted by the Green Party that literally includes the name of a different party.
• B is for the Bad Boys of Brexit, the British lads who love the high life, rollicking banter and talking bollocks to persuade people to abandon institutions that have delivered unprecedented decades of peace. They are currently said to be working with New Zealand First, who are polling 2 per cent, just as the super-guru bad boys planned in their nine-dimensional mind palaces.
B is also for Brigdes, Simon Brigdes.
• C is for the Covoid. Jacinda Ardern's decision to delay the election was honourable, but nevertheless contorted the time-space continuum, meaning that no New Zealander can recall anything that happened between that decision and last Thursday. All there is is a blur and a hum and Ashley Bloomfield floating around your brain like a tiny hot air balloon.
• D is for Delivery, which is a core question as far as the Labour Party's performance over the past three years is concerned and also the difference between alert levels four and three.
D is also for Davemania, the craze that has swept New Zealand and propelled the Act Party to 7 per cent and beyond in opinion polling.
• E is for Early who, together with Hard, is hoping to secure an election victory that is late but easy.
• F is for Fiscal holes. Having run out of ideas and unable to gather in groups of more than 100, the election gods have just started repeating things from last time.
• G is for Goldie, the feeling when you're about to plant a game-changing comeback tax policy over the try line only to get toppled by a four-billion-dollar tackle. G is also for the Green School, where the coat of arms features an image of James Shaw clutching a giant shovel.
• H is for the handbrake, the component of a motor vehicle that the NZ First Party thinks excites people into purchasing a car.
• I is for insurance policy, see handbrake.
I is also for Interesting Facts, the philosophical musings of Gerry Brownlee.
• J is for Judith Collins' eyebrow, the hardest working eyebrow in world politics, worthy of a senior Cabinet portfolio all to itself.
• K is for Key and English, beloved lodestars and mentors to Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern.
• L is for Let's stick together and Let's keep moving, slogans used by the Labour Party in the 2020 election.
L is also for Let's get together and keep New Zealand moving forward, slogans used by the National Party in the 2017 election.
• M is for MMP, the electoral system followed in New Zealand. MMP is short for Murder Minor Parties, requiring that any small party performing a support role to a major party in government must be mercilessly martyred by the electorate.
M is also for misinformation and the king of political talkback, Merv.
• N is for The New Normal, a phrase which should be taxed to pay back the national debt.
• O is for 1PM, the pillar upon which contemporary civilisation is built.
• P is for Policies. Some of them are really good. Have a read.
• Q is for QAnon, the galaxy brain conspiracy theory that has managed to worm its way into the brains of a small group of New Zealand voters.
• R is for Referenda, a word used by people who lie in bed every night dreaming of the next time they can snap "fewer" to someone who says "less".
R is also for Relentlessly Positive, which, it turns out, was always referring to house prices.
• S is for Strong Team, the words that have been quietly erased from the refreshed National Party hoardings, presumably owing to issues related to the word "strong" and the word "team".
S is also for September 19, when it should have been all over, and for shovel-ready (e.g. fiscal hole).
• T is for Tame. James Tame. The Tame of five million.
• U is for Unemployment and Underplayed; as in, by this time next year we'll be asking, "why was unemployment so underplayed in the 2020 election campaign?"
• V is for Virtual, which everything either is or feels like it is.
• W is for Wage subsidy, the intravenous drip of the nation.
• X is for Xenophobia, a toxin which has struggled to make an impact this election owing to the country being basically closed to foreign people, but nevertheless has found a way to perform a cameo or two.
• Y is for Yaks, all the yaks, from baby yaks to wealth yaks to capital gains yaks.
• Z is for Zoom, the technology that gives rise the most soaring political rhetoric of our age: you're on mute.
Toby Manhire is editor of The Spinoff.