As Paddy Gower would say, "there's thirty days to go".

Thirty days until New Zealanders go to the polls to decide the makeup of the next government. And rest assured the next month promises to be fascinating as the effect of Labour's leadership change has suddenly turned what was shaping up to be a turgid affair into a much more exciting spectacle.

But despite the theatre of it all, the question remains; who will I vote for?

The Country host Jamie Mackay recently stumbled upon a website called which asks participants to answer a series of policy and ideology questions which must be answered as honestly and as personally as possible. It then marries your answers with the ideologies and policies of the country's political parties and algorithmically spits out the party most suited to you.


Jamie ordered the Dommune (Online Producer Hanoi Jane and I) to take the test and see where we fit on the political spectrum. Jamie's suspicion was we'd both end up somewhere to the left of Karl Marx, opining visions of a utopian future while frolicking in the meadows, drunk on elderberry wine and making daisy chains in our sack tops. But he was wrong.

Hanoi ended up most likely to vote for the now defunct Peter Dunne and his United Future party, while I, much to Mr Mackay's delight, was told by the computer that I should be voting National! Apart from the time former Prime Minister Sir John Key bribed me with a silver fern lapel badge, I don't think I've ever voted for National.

Of course, choosing who you vote for can be a little more complicated than spending a few minutes on an online quiz, but it does get you thinking about what exactly you're looking for when you cast your ballot.

Some people vote purely based on the personality of the various party leaders on show during the election campaign, others based on the cheap slogans that said leaders espouse for headlines and sound bites.

Some people condemn this approach as shallow, that those who buy into personality politics aren't interested in policy and instead cast their vote based purely on frivolity.

And yet all too often those that accuse others of lacking the intellect to vote based on policy are the ones that blindly vote along party lines. I would argue voting for a personality is just as valid as voting for a colour. Blind loyalty is nothing more than a scourge.

I must admit I'm inclined to vote for neither a personality nor a colour. I look at water, for example, and realise how important it is for the future; not because I own a farm and have been told I'll go bankrupt if there's a one cent levy next year, but because I've had to boil and buy it for the last week here in Dunedin as it's been undrinkable!

You don't know what you got til you lose it and I don't want to see it bottled up by some overseas company for next to nothing and shipped off to some other part of the globe either.


I'll have three boys in the secondary school system in a couple of years and I like Labour's idea of free driving lessons, plus whatever bribe they have lined up for students at tertiary level - this will benefit my offspring as they make their way in the world.

On the other hand I like personal tax cuts as a general rule, so the Nats get a tick there.

And while I'm still a little way off getting my Gold Card, I see wily old Winston Peters is calling for a referendum on cannabis use after a poll commissioned by the Drug Foundation revealed 65% of voters want personal possession of cannabis decriminalised or legal.

Again, as a father of adolescents, I see cannabis as a safer option than the synthetic variety, not to mention the raft of other substances their curiosity will expose them to.

So I'm facing something of a voting conundrum, as I know many others are. But I'm looking forward to the country going to the polls and seeing which way the cards land this time.

I sense there's a mood for change, but thirty days is a long time and there's bound to be a few more twists in the tale yet.

Hanoi Jane has just made up her mind as I finish writing; her cat looks exactly like Jacinda Ardern's - I think that's sealed it.