is for


Transparently Relentlessly Positive, the mantra of Jacinda Ardern, leader of the Labour Party and stealth advertisement for Wellington tourism. A is also for ATM, which is what the Labour Party thinks taxpayers are, according to National Party leader Bill "No Paywave" English.


B is for Bus, the literal and metaphorical mainstay of Election 2017. The bus is for travelling on, jumping aboard, and throwing beneath. Marama Fox, co-leader of the Maori Party, speaks of almost nothing but buses, honestly you can't shut her up about the buses. See also Beaches (upon which politicians always wear formal attire), the Barclay affair, Boot camps, Bottom lines and Bill Rowling's ghost.

C is for chihuahua, which is what Winston Peters called David Seymour, in the hope that Gareth Morgan might get confused late at night and shoot him. C is also for Cabbages, which along with avocados will soon be available via the HomeStart scheme for first-time buyers.

D is for delivering, which Bill English wants you to know he's been doing for New Zealand. See also Drag race and Dirty Politics 2.0.

E is for Enough, which is what Winston Peters wants to know if you've had.

F is for furniture, which Labour is permanently attempting to save or upholster.

G is for the Greens, aka the policy unit for the Labour Party. See also Generations, Gold Cards and Glenfiddich.

H is for hole. A hole is a void, an absence, an emptiness, discernible chiefly for its nothingness, see Oreti.

I is for International Union of Socialist Youth, the organisation once presided over by Jacinda Ardern, who is on record unironically using the word "comrade" more than once and is known to have sympathies with artists.


J is for Jacind-, the most heavily used prefix in New Zealand English, which can be been placed in front of pretty much any word you like to make a very clever and original new word. J is also for Joyce, a man who found himself in a hole. Yes, Barnaby Joyce, the Australian deputy PM whose discovery that he was a New Zealand citizen triggered a potential constitutional crisis and a potential transtasman diplomatic crisis and accusations of NZ meddling in their politics and accusations of them meddling in our election and then it was over.

K is for Kim Dotcom, who is currently tying the ribbon on his cape for a late surge.

L is for the Labour Party, aka the policy unit for the National Party. L is also for Landlines, reliance upon which, feedback suggests, is the major fault of all polls that are not being led by the left. L is also for Light, which is the electromagnetic radiation that recently became the new leader of the United Future Party, who is currently tying the ribbon on his cape for a late surge. L is also for Lolly scramble, which people keep on talking about, but why don't they actually throw us some lollies, delicious lollies, surely that could work. Lollies.

M is for the Mother of all scandals and the Memorandum of understanding.

N is for Neither of the above amounted to much in the end.

O is for the Oreti River, the fundamental metaphor of the election. Not just because the waterway, which Bill English named as the place he swam as a child, is now in vast parts unswimmable, but because, according to English the swimming holes he once frequented have been filled by gravel. English - himself an honours student in English literature - knows that gravel consists of tiny rocks, tiny personifications of the National Party and of New Zealand, and the hole, well was there ever a hole, or was it always gravel? On September 23, New Zealand decides.

P is for a Pig, covered in lipstick camo paint and wandering around Cuba Mall snarling about evidence-based policy. See also Pizza, Ping pong and Pom-poms.

Q is for Quitters, of which there have been heaps.

R is for Rock, a metaphor, see Oreti. How about those lollies?

S is for Stardust, a sprinkling of cosmic particles, which has no place in the New Zealand democratic system and should be banned by the Electoral Commission.

T is for this, which is what Labour want you to know they need to be let to do.

U is for Updog, the social media phenomenon that could decide the election.

V is for Vision and Values, the new double A-side from supergroup Stardust.

W is for Workinggroupocracy, a new and exciting model for government.

X is for Xenophobia, which is currently tying the ribbon on its cape for a late surge.

Y is for you, the most important person in a democracy, and you must vote because it could be the difference although let's be honest it probably won't make any difference so if you've got something else on that day, like writing comments on the internet or going to get some actual lollies.

Z is for Zimbabwean dollar, the only currency inflating higher than Newshub thrill-seeker Patrick Gower's descriptions of his own polls. See also Zingers, Zits, Zombification and Lollies.