NZ Seniors Party

Arts, Travel & Lifestyle blogger David Farrar has gone back to one of his old strong suits, being a very capable policy wonk, with an interesting post on the NZ Seniors Party, and their policy aspirations.
He comments about the justification of the Seniors Party policy platform on Superannuation, making some sensible points that those into policy will enjoy contemplating. At Whaleoil we aren’t policy wonks because we love campaigning too much to get into policy, and any new party invites robust discussion between the Whaleoil team. New parties come along all the time, and so we look at them sceptically, as most of them don’t make it.

The NZ Seniors Party might make it but we want to know the following things:
1. How are you going to get into parliament? Win an electorate or by getting to the 5% threshold?
2. Are you aware that the 5% threshold was 120282 votes in 2014, and is likely to be more in 2017 due to population growth?
3. How are you going to fundraise the necessary funds to win a seat or get to the 5% threshold?
4. Analysis by members of our team suggests that a political party needs a budget of $3m in election year to be successful. Do you have this level of funding?
5. No new minor party has come into parliament without a sitting MP defecting since MMP began in 1996. Are you intending getting an MP to defect or are you going to attempt to break 21 years precedent?
6. Have they considered signing up to another party and getting the other party to adopt the policy agenda the NZ Senior Party is pushing?
We wish the NZ Seniors Party all the best, and hope they have answers to these questions. We will happily publish them if anyone from the NZ Seniors Party wants to send in answers or any other material about their party. At Whaleoil we always publish information of this type in full without editing, so our readers can make their own judgments. We may comment, but we do not edit.
  • sandalwood789

    I see that the party is strongly opposed to charter schools. They won’t be getting my vote.

    • Nige.

      Really? What an odd thing for a seniors party to have ANY policy on.

      • sandalwood789

        I agree. Here it is though, under “education” –

        • Mick Ie

          I have just read their Tertiary Policy. They really are grey haired Labourites in sheeps wool clothing.

          • Wheninrome

            So possibly not the types to have given and still giving, more like the types to take and keep taking.

  • peterwn

    Seniors Party seems a good thing – their potential votes have to come from somewhere and the most likely source is NZ First.

    • Seriously?

      I think it is a marvelous idea. I don’t care whether they cross the 5% or not, but if they split the oldie vote and stop Winston from doing so, or even lessen the number of seats he wins, then it is a job well done in the service of our country.

      • Nige.

        They won’t split Winston’s vote. His followers are stuck in the mud.

        They will just take votes off national and labour.

        • Seriously?

          His voters today are not the same people they were 10 years ago… literally. You may be right, but I very much doubt Winston is happy with the new party’s entrance onto the scene.

      • Sally

        They are probably made up of disillusion older Labour party voters.

        • Seriously?

          Maybe. That would work for me as well, especially if they get 4.99% of them.

        • biscuit barrel

          They could target older and rural voters ?
          A lot of farmers are getting on

  • STAG

    Great, Generation Take wants even more if the pie. Cheap housing, free/cheap/paid education, massive capital growth in assets, wages growth, excellent super and now you want to form a Party to get your fair share?

    Give me, my family and my wallet a break.

    • Wheninrome

      I remember how much my family gave when rebuilding after the war, there was not a lot on the table in the 50s, father and mother both served and then building a life together and being a definite part of the wealth rebuild for the country with extremely hard work an ethic they passed on to their children. Also the ethic of giving your time to various organisations to raise money, the plunket, the primary school the secondary school, the local community generally. Most of the elderly who have assets are the ones who also gave so much and surprise surprise still give where they can.

    • kayaker

      That’s a rather generalised statement, Stag. As a child of the generation that Wheninrome highlights below, you will find that the BB generation continues to give a lot back. Speaking from experience, some have lost everything too and have had to rebuild, drawing on the work ethic passed on from our parents. As for me, I’m still full-time ++ employed, contributing – and am also mentoring young future leaders. I’m sure I’m not alone. We just quietly get on with it.

      edit: punctuation

  • sandalwood789

    I see that they would introduce a “living wage”. There go a few thousand jobs for the young.
    They would also create a “Ministry for Job Creation”. I have to ask – why? Why another ministry? Is WINZ not enough?

    The party just seems to be Labour on steroids.

    • Seriously?

      Well, a new ministry would have to have a CE, and several tiers of managers, and staff, and offices, and phone and internet connections, art on the walls, staircases… just think of the jobs it would create.

      • sandalwood789

        “…just think of the jobs it would create.”

        True – and the taxes needed to fund them…..

        • Seriously?

          That is a beauty of it being a new Ministry. They are not worried about funding, they are spenders (or I’m sure their new and well staffed PR team would call it “investors”).

          Sure, all that needs to be paid for, but the question is really whether we can afford not to!

          Maybe what we need is a working group. A team to scour the world looking at how others do it. They should start somewhere warm, with a nice beach, and work from there to loads of other places that are warm and have nice beaches. I’m prepared lead the team. It may not be an easy task, and could take several years.

  • Korau


    What, another socialist party?

  • Isherman

    Before they get too ahead of themselves, have they got 500 paid members yet? Last I heard they were still well short of that.

  • sandalwood789

    The thing is – the party’s policies seem to be aimed at the kind of doddery elderly people that you might have seen in the 1950s.
    Most sixty-somethings or seventy-year-olds of today are very different to those of the 50s. Much healthier, more active, more independent. So, the party is almost 70 years “behind the times”.

    The party seems to want government to molly-coddle seniors in every way possible and I’m not convinced that seniors either want that or *need* it.

  • Big_Al

    We don’t need another political party as there are currently too many troughers already in parliament. I thought that most seniors already aligned themselves with Winston but i guess they feel he is now ignoring them and that he is irrelevant.
    All they need is a party that is already in that gives them a voice. If National were wise, they could introduce a few more seniors aligned policies and this should up their votes.
    Most seniors are’nt stupid and would’nt be fooled by meaningless and unaffordable promises that i’m sure opposition parties would try and woo them with.

  • Paul Marsden

    Ignore them at your peril. We are an aging population and I have no doubt that they will become a powerful political party in the years to come. .