Kiwis getting the change they voted for

Luke Malpass writes:

When New Zealanders tossed Labour out, they tossed them out hard. Labour went from over 50% of the vote to just over 26%.

From being the sole party of government, it had its vote halved. The centre-left, as defined by the combined votes for Labour and the Greens, was a bit over 37%.

Now we have taken a look behind the deal between National and ACT and NZ First, one thing is for sure. Those who voted for change are going to get it good and hard.

In a broader cultural sense, Christopher Luxon will lead the most right-wing government in a long time. Not necessarily on the economic-reform side as traditionally understood, but as a shared general world-view.

That is because it is reflective of three men who believe that the fundamental thrust of New Zealand government has moved from what the state is good at or should appropriately do, to a whole bunch of things that sit on the periphery of most people’s concerns.

I think this analysis nails it. The vast majority of New Zealanders have said they thought New Zealand was heading in the wrong direction, and voted for change. And the coalition agreements deliver that change.

In education, there will be a focus on the basics. In law and order there will be tougher sentences, more funding for Corrections and a harder line taken on crooks. In the public service, spending will be clamped down on. The emphasis on Māori names and language will take a back seat to core competencies.

Imagine that – a focus on core competencies!

But back to Labour. Its evisceration on election night will now be a cause of deep reflection as it grapples with how to effectively oppose a Government that will tear down many things it held dear and which could well resonate with the public.

Just how honestly Labour grapples with this and how early it does so will give a clue about just how long it will be in opposition

I think Labour are in denial over how badly out of touch they were with working class New Zealanders.

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