A family member told me she's switching her vote from National to Labour. As much for the Jacinda/Kelvin effect as her belief that National is not addressing her concerns at child poverty.

Many voters will be thinking this way, including yours truly. I have never voted for Labour, only National, and once I voted for the Maori Party.

A couple of columns back, I expressed concern that arrogance has crept up on government ministers. I should have added bluster and puff to that.

Minister of Finance Steven Joyce saying that the Labour leadership change and Metiria Turei's predicament makes the left in turmoil is nonsense. They're in exactly the same position as the right, or Greens, at any given time - with a problem or two.


Joyce justified spending $1248 on a day-long taxi hire in Sydney. This surprises me, a former businessman brushing off such a waste of taxpayer money. Why did the taxi have to wait with the meter on while Joyce had meetings? Because it isn't his money.

Joyce should sort out his attitude on spending public money. No business person would countenance this arrogance for a moment. Speaking of shooting fish in a barrel: Turei made her own barrel and shot herself.

Not over the false social welfare statements when she was a struggling single mother 20 years ago. Good that she showed what desperation makes of most of us.

The argument that women choose to have babies is true and not true. Human relationships are far more complex than that; all sorts of different circumstances come into play.

Like persuasive, persistent males only out for a bit of nooky. Then they're off. And the woman is left pregnant.

Single mothers have children to raise. Their kids demand toys like those they see two-parent kids with. They want to eat the same food. How is a single mother and her child(ren) supposed to survive on the bare minimum? The "unexpected" bills that hurt most wipe out the single mother's budget.

The National Government passed on tax-law changes to get after American corporate giants who pay virtually no tax, yet use free our infrastructure, the laws and regulations that ensure efficient business operations. It means New Zealand businesses and taxpayers subsidise these greedy American corporations.

I'm possibly changing parties because, like everyone, I hate seeing politicians change from passionate idealists to dismissive egotists. The Jacinda factor is all too evidently real. So too the Kelvin factor.


As a school principal who took over a Kaitaia school in a dreadful mess, he single-handedly turned it around. I know from personal experience that he keeps his word, genuinely cares for Maori, and is modest to boot.

Politically, Kelvin Davis is related to Shane Jones and Winston Peters, as well as good mates. It means he can work with New Zealand First who, in this election, will likely be a key player. The Maori Party have reached out to Labour after a long period of estrangement. I think this is the Kelvin factor. He's easy to deal with because he's genuine.

Jacinda Ardern has handled that other breed of insufferable egotists, television interviewers, like an old-stager. This growing respect is coming from someone who does not like socialism because it doesn't work.

I will fight against having tikanga Maori prisons, as proposed by this new Labour lot. Maori prison inmates need emotional healing, not more violence calling itself culture and meant to be spiritual medicine.

Herald columnist Raybon Kan wrote a brilliant piece of satire on how the media have asked intrusive, personal, insulting questions of Ms Ardern. Questions she handled with aplomb. But early days yet, and she may trip up on policy if she opts for the same-old Labour mantra, "tax the rich and give to the poor".

She should try talking to the rich and getting ideas on how to run the country better. Back in 1949 Iriana Ratana became the first Maori woman elected to Parliament. Some Maori men criticised her speaking on marae as a woman.

She retorted: "I will even keep silent in the House when your matters arise." She features in a book of Maori Heroes put out by our literacy foundation.

Jacinda, you'd do well to read up on this pioneer. Kelvin, remember acts of treachery are more commonly committed by those closest to you.

I support the National MP for Whangarei, Dr Shane Reti, and many others in government. Yet I'm still likely voting Labour for the first time.

Isn't democracy wonderful and interesting?