One more week to go. Some of you will have cast an early vote already - but I bet a lot of you are still trying to make up your minds.

Because it's been that kind of election hasn't it? Just when you think you've decided, up pops another policy/u-turn/debate/ leak/stupid comment by a deputy leader and you're back to square one.

So, to help you concentrate your mind, here are five things to consider when casting your vote.

The future

This has been a lolly scramble election. That's how modern politics works. Politicians buy our votes nowadays.


Cheap doctors' visits for low-income workers. More maternity leave for parents. A year's free study for students. State-owned farms for young farmers. Cash for deposits for first-home buyers. A wooden stadium for Cantabrians. A highway for Levin. Tax cuts for everyone.

But, behind the pork barrel politics, every party offers a vision of what they want New Zealand to look like in the future. For some it's a goal of making our country a competitive player in international business. For others it's taking New Zealand back to being more equal again. For others it's cleaning up our country.

By all means, vote for the free stuff you can score for yourself, but remember to vote for your kids and your grandkids too.

The minor parties

There are a few minor parties fighting for their lives this election. There's a chance they might not be back in seven days.

But minor parties are important.

Remember the political upheaval of the 80s and 90s? That happened because it's so easy to pass laws in New Zealand that the country was once called an "elected dictatorship". So, we introduced MMP to give us minor parties, and let them put the brakes on any crazy ideas the governing party might have.

We don't have an upper chamber or a president. All we've got is select committees and minor parties.

We're not like the rest of the world

We didn't get a Trump. We didn't get a Brexit upset. We've stuck to the devils we know.

That's because our system works. We don't have the system failure of the United States or the hatred of Europe.

We didn't get bogged down in petty fights this election. Apart from a few hiccups - Winston Peters' pension leak particularly - we talked about the things that matter: housing, tax, the environment, health.

Change is gonna come

If you don't have kids, plans to study or an ambition to farm the land, you might have found this election uninspiring. Where's the big idea to transform this country?

Taihoa. It's coming. We're in a boring period of politics. Every politician's peddling incrementalism, which is essentially the art of tinkering. It's been like this since 1999.

But, something's brewing. You can see voters getting itchy feet and wanting a fresh approach. You see it in the generational warfare over super and housing. You see it in the criticism of how poorer people have fared under neoliberalism.

This simmering grumpiness hasn't been addressed this election even though some parties have tried. It's a job for another election, but it will come.


It's easy to feel as if your one vote makes no difference among the millions of other votes.

But it does. Sometimes there are fewer than 100 votes between two candidates in this country. And collectively, our opinions matter. That's why Labour did an about-turn on tax this week and why National finally admitted there is a housing crisis. Voters forced them to.

What you put in the ballot box on Saturday will impact this country's future.