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The lead-up to the 2017 New Zealand general election has, without any doubt, been remarkable. We have seen unexpected leadership changes, polarizing beneficiary revelations and dramatically swinging results for all parties in the polls. We have seen the two main contenders in lively debates and joined in the exhaustive analyses of their every word and action.

Unsurprisingly, our academics have had plenty to say, on both policies and issues.

Read their pre-election commentary in the final run up to polling day on September 23.​


It's the end of an era

Professor Dame Anne Salmond says that despite all the hype, this election is not really a contest between left and right. Instead, the tectonic plates between the generations are shifting.

A woefully inadequate language proposal

Associate Professor Martin East asks the hard questions of National's "underwhelming" second language in primary schools policy.

An acute case of tunnel vision

Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment accuses Bill English of failing to look Jacinda Ardern in the eye and hiding his genuine passion for social investment during the TV3 leaders’ debate.

Social investment alone won’t cure troubled lives

Targeting ‘at risk’ individuals and families is not a substitute for a plan to reduce poverty and deprivation, writes Michael O'Brien.

Benefit fraud vs tax evasion: NZ’s hypocrisy

Associate Professor Steve Matthewman, Sociology, contrasts the meteoric rise of Jacinda Ardern and fall from grace of Metiria Turei, and examines what it says about New Zealand.

Immigration: What’s the problem?

Immigration researcher Dr Louise Humpage says New Zealand politicians need to figure out what problem they're trying to solve before introducing 'solutions' that may backfire.

NZ needs bold action to save Generation Rent

Bill McKay (Architecture and Planning) says New Zealand needs to get serious about rental market reform to save Generation Rent.

The murky, illogical world of life on a benefit

Welcome to the dark, fuzzy, illogical, Kafkaesque world where even repaying a loan financed by a bigger overdraft may be captured and called income, writes Honorary Associate Professor (and economics advisor to Child Poverty Action Group) Susan St John.

New restrictions will create migrant hierarchy

Dr Rachel Simon-Kumar (Social and Community Health) claims pre-election immigration policies are categorising diversity through wealth and class rather than race.

Education: The new election battleground

Dr Fiona Ell (Curriculum and Pedagogy) and Megan Clune (Woolf Fisher Research Centre) comment on education issues brought into the election spotlight.

A more equal election on the cards

With the 2017 New Zealand general election campaign now under way, our new book on the 2014 election provides both background and contemporary insights into public opinion and voting choices. The 2014 and 2017 elections may end up having a lot in common, but one can already identify some important differences.

Digital curriculum completely misses the point

Megan Clune (Woolf Fisher Research Centre) argues the government’s digital curriculum is missing the point of technology in education.

Why your vote counts more than ever

Jennifer Lees-Marshment explains why voting in this election is more important than ever.