The Hui is one of the best current affairs shows in New Zealand and last week had a unique political poll of Māori voters and the insights suggest Labour has to do more if they want to keep their Māori voter base.
Labour – 37%
Māori Party – 11%
National Party – 11%
Green Party – 9%
ACT – 5%
Another Party – 10%
Don’t know – 10%
While Labour’s lead is solid, it’s important to remember that in 2020 Labour got 54% of the Māori electorate.
The cost of living crisis, the incremental nature of Labour’s progress on important issues and of course the violence on Parliament’s Lawns on top of Covid misinformation that runs rampant on social media have all eroded that 54% but it isn’t helping the Opposition Parties either.
The Māori Party, National and the Greens are gaining very little from this dissatisfaction with Labour, but interestingly enough this vote is going to ‘don’t know’ and ‘another Party’ which take almost a full quarter of all votes!
24% of voters not knowing who to vote for and/or choosing fringe political movements suggests an electorate in flux.
Māori are the first to feel economic pain in society because such high proportions of their population live on the economic fringes and such huge numbers of disenfranchised voters suggest terrible damage out there.
If Labour wants to continue their high level of support with Māori voters they are going to have to implement a policy that puts material well-being directly into those voters’ pockets.
We see with Labour’s decision to slash petrol prices by 25cents and halve public transport costs as a means of sidestepping MSD clawbacks via welfare increases as a way to bypass the welfare bureaucracy to impact people’s wallets directly.
Labour will need to do more of that thinking if it wants to innoculate voters from National’s tax cut promises.