A tweet from Privacy Commissioner John Edwards encapsulated the week gone in NZ politics.

"Please use hashtags," he pleaded, adding it was getting hard to distinguish tweets about the television series Game of Thrones from those about New Zealand politics.

Things were indeed getting rather confusing on that front.

The most famous episode of Game of Thrones was the Red Wedding - a gory slaughter of the Stark family by supposed allies the Freys at a wedding banquet.


The last three weeks have delivered what is turning out to be a long-drawn-out Green Wedding.

As the fallout of Turei's confession of welfare fraud headed into its third week, the body count started mounting.

Former Labour leader Andrew Little was the first casualty, quitting after Labour's polls plummeted in the weeks after that speech - a result Labour put down to its vote flooding to the Greens and NZ First in approval and disgust at Turei respectively.

Then it took out Turei herself, first ending her hopes of being at the Cabinet table in a future Labour government and finally, last night, ending her time as co-leader of the Greens and soon MP.

In between came the collateral damage of two Greens MPs - Kennedy Graham and David Clendon - who pulled out of the party's list rather than stay on under Turei's leadership. Contrary to the #IAmMetiria hashtag of solidarity on social media, they were not Metiria and by the end even Metiria was not Metiria.

For a party which has always prided itself on being about peace, love and happiness things got pretty hairy. And the body count could yet mount - if the Greens cannot rally their polling, other MPs will also not return and nor will the bright young things the Greens hoped to replace the likes of Graham and Clendon with.

10 Aug, 2017 8:57am
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Labour leader Jacinda Ardern meanwhile was desperately trying to avoid cross-contamination.

She stood at the microphones insisting the Greens were not Labour's problem. It had a distinct hue of Dorothy tapping her feet together three times and wishing she was home hard enough to get her there.

Whether she likes it not, the Greens could well be Labour's problem.
In the short term, Ardern has benefited by sucking away a treasure trove of voters that were flirting with the Greens. But in the long term, the danger is the chaos will put voters in the centre off a Labour-led Government in six weeks time.

The schemozzle will have provided some solace to National, which has awoken to discover the ascendancy of Ardern was not a nightmare after all - but had actually happened.

Two other things will have heartened National from Ardern's first 10 days in the job. The first was that Ardern's first policy announcement was a new tax - a 10c a litre fuel tax which only Aucklanders will have to pay.

Labour had proposed a smaller regional fuel tax back in 2008. National campaigned against it and nixed it when it won that election.

Now Labour has convinced itself Aucklanders want to pay an even steeper tax on top of the nation-wide fuel levies they already pay and without National's tax cuts to help pay for it.

As a general rule, voters do not like extra taxes no matter how much relentless positivity it is levied with.

The second positive for National was Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis' colourful tirade against various National ministers. He described Bill English as having the "personality of a rock," Health Minister Jonathan Coleman as "doctor death" and ridiculed Simon Bridges for his use of hair products.

He went on and on until he went much too far and broke the relentless positivity gospel with its main prophet - Ardern - sitting right next to him.

National had been careful to hold fire on Ardern. Labour fired the first shot.

As for the Greens, in the latest series the character of Arya Stark got a gory and thorough revenge on the Freys for their treachery of the Red Wedding. She did it by disguising herself as a Frey.

In that respect it may or may not be notable that Ardern delivered her first big environmental policy yesterday.

She was dressed in green and socked it to the farmers.