Here in Australia we had a slick right-wing Christian PM recently - it didn’t go well. Perhaps Kiwis are (rightly) dubious about religion getting mixed up in politics?

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That's true, Kai. Christian leaders and parties have never done well in NZ politics.

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May 21, 2023Liked by Grant Duncan PhD

Thank you for your fine writing Grant! And for this worthwhile question, for I believe we must look closely at its answer.

Why do we lack confidence in Luxon? Here's why:

1. He - and the National Party - avoid coming up with credible, alternative policies.

Some examples:

- After 8 people died and hundreds got sick with contaminated household water in Hastings, and with our collapsing local government water supply infrastructure, it's clear something needs to be done. National's answer, effectively, is to stick with the status quo.

- The economic policy package proposed by Luxon and National is pretty much the same as that offered by Liz Truss. Ask them to clearly explain the differences. As a journalist I have written to senior National MPs about this and received no reply.

2. There is no mana in building a political platform on untruths. The oft-repeated thing by National that they are better at managing our economy is simply false. Data from 1970 till now shows that our country's GDP grows about 4% better under Labour-led governments, and is more that twice as much wrt to per capita GDP growth.

3. The 'good at business so I will be good for communities in leading the government' line employed by Luxon (and Key before him) is clearly, demonstrably a crock. Just two examples: Remember that Key, the supposedly savvy businessman, committed our nation to spending $200 million of Kiwi taxpayers' money on fraudulent carbon credits with the Eastern European Mafia. And Luxon, who opposes subsidies in public transport was the CEO the most heavily subsidised public transport operator in NZ's history.

4. He's clearly for the rich; and a purveyor of the usual overarching National policy, that in Helen Clark's memorable phrase 'dare not speak its name.'

6. National and Luxon pursue policies that have been widely proven not to work. One example: they refuse to consider a capital gains tax or a higher tax regime, saying their approach will lead to advancement for New Zealand society and our economy. Yet every single one of the countries that are above us in the HDI have capital gains tax and higher tax regimes.

7. Luxon has demonstrated zero affinity for the New Zealand environment or any of our seminal environmental challenges.

8. And then there's the hypocrisy thing (let alone the medieval mindset) about not allowing women choice over what happens with their bodies.

Anyway - keep up the good work! BTW what's your email address? Mine is alzzstone@gmail.com

All the best

Alex Stone

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I'd be interested to see a rewrite of this article and polls now. Have attitudes changed, and if so, how much?

Also, I'm fascinated to see the left wing comments on this topic seem to be a combination of anti-Christian hate and determined insistence that Republicans, "Tories", and National are some homogeneous group - when their politics are vastly different. Healthcare and immigration are two enormous differences that come to mind.

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Good question. The only post-election opinion poll indicators that I know of so far are 'preferred PM', which show Luxon getting a boost from mid-20s (just before the election) to 30-ish. This could be an incumbency effect, and it's still relatively low. He still has work to do. I haven't seen polls on those 'trust' issues post-election.

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