New Zealand Perspectives 2009 (written January 2009) should be read in conjunction with last years perspectives (New Zealand Perspectives 2008) as they are a continuation from them. In addition these perspectives should be read in conjunction with World Perspectives 2008 and associated material from the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) and Socialist Appeal NZ.
The National Party convincingly won the general election on November 8th attracting 45.45% of the party vote giving them 18 list seats as well as winning 41 constituencies: 4 short of a majority in the House of Representatives. Therefore National will be able to form a government under the MMP system with the right wing Act New Zealand Party and United Future, and the possibility of extra support from the Māori Party.
The events of the melt down on the world stock markets and the ensuing economic crises have overtaken the general election in New Zealand. At present opinion polls vary enormously from giving National a 3% lead over Labour to 18% respectfully. Quite clearly volatility is building up within society.
Prime Minister Helen Clark has called the general election for November 8thhoping to win a fourth term . The general election date was of no real surprise as it was the much predicted date being the penultimate date with which the government could go to the country . The problem for the Labour Party is that it is well behind in the various opinion polls which give the National Party between 8% and 18% lead over the Labour Party. With such a lead in the opinion polls the Labour Party is most likely to be defeated.
Finance Minister Michael Cullen announcement that the Labour coalition government was immediately tightening the country's overseas investment rules with regard to stopping strategic assets falling into foreign ownership was an initial setback to the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in its attempt to take over Auckland Airport: the country's international gateway.