1. John Key will feature in the Queen’s Birthday honours list, but as befits the man who reinstated knights and dames he will be dubbed “Sir John” rather than join the ranks of the untitled – but supposedly more prestigious – Order of New Zealand.
2. Former Labour MP Shane Jones will shy away from another term as an economic ambassador and instead signal a return to politics by throwing his hat in the ring with his old mate Winston Peters and NZ First.
3. Labour’s Raymond Huo will return as an MP before the election – and be given a winnable place on the party’s list as it seeks to rectify its diversity deficit.
4. ACT will fail to increase its MP count from one, although National will again offer it a lifeline in Epsom.
5. The Maori Party’s co-leader Marama Fox will fail to win a seat, either as an electorate MP or on the party’s list, condemning her to be a one term MP.
6. Barack Obama will visit New Zealand in 2017.
7. The May Budget will see National promise movements in the $48,000 and $70,000 tax bracket thresholds – but pledge to only bring tax cuts in in full if re-elected.
8. Gareth Morgan’s The Opportunities Party (TOP) will score less than 3 per cent and fail to win any seats.
9. The Greens will do little better – and little worse – than their 2014 result.
10. Judith Collins and Steven Joyce will clash over the party’s economic direction – and Joyce will prevail.
11. Chris Finlayson, Peter Dunne and Annette King will call it a day.
12. One National and one Labour MP in electorate seats will leave within six months before the general election, under an unspoken deal that will maintain the voting balance in the House.
13. The Greens will be given a free run in some electorates, under a deal with Labour, but will still fail to win any constituency seats.
14. Louise Upston and David Bennett will prove the weakest links in the English ministry.
15. Jonathan Coleman will take over the foreign affairs portfolio from May, but only after an internal tussle with at least two other ministers for the plum job.
16. Winston Peters will not be prime minister, nor be in line to be, under any deal he does to support the next Government.
17. Economic growth will top 4 per cent during 2017.
18. Auckland house prices will be lower in real terms by Christmas than they were at the start of 2017.
19. There will be one more political bombshell in 2017 that will change the course of the election and install Andrew Little as prime minister.
20. At least two party leaders will be heading for the door by Christmas.
Some comments from me:
- As Raymond is male, Labour may be constitutionally unable to give him a winnable list place. Their binding policy is for 50% female, and as most electorate seats are held by men, the first few list rankings must all go to women.
- I’d say the The Opportunities Party will be under 1%, not just 3%
- 4%economic growth would be amazing
- Probably need a bombshell for Little to be PM. For his sake hope it is better than “The Moment of Truth”