New Zealand First

Winston Peters' announcement that he will enter a coalition with Labour gives the 2017 election its final meaning. But it sounds like it was a very, very close run thing.

So, very late yesterday afternoon (let's be charitable) Winston Peters lifted the box's lid and out wandered a cat with a black head, red body and green tail.

Amidst a pletohora of speculation around the government coalition talks, this weekend's final results made one thing very clear and Winston Peters knows it

It is a time of rune-reading, navel-scrutinizing and Winstonology. A time when little is said and those few words that escape are picked over with elaborate pontification and freighted with meaning they are too slender to bear. A time when we are often better to listen and wait than to guesstimate. And then, a speck appears.

What looked like a campaign set to be dominated by third parties now has suddenly been tilted back towards the big two. Jacinda Ardern's election to the Labour leadership makes many new things possible, but one key thing even more likely

Beware cries of a Labour miracle. While Jacinda Ardern is "a young proposition", she's not just been pulled from the bullrushes, and while the past 36 hours have seen a remarkable 'Jacinda Effect', she's not the saviour. But she has changed this election campaign utterly.

Winston Peters won't mind the Greens showing a bit of fight. Rather, Metiria Turei's attack on his "racist" politics is more likely to rattle the cage of another party and send a 'pragmatic' message to voters.. 

Well, you can't say the Greens haven't had plenty of time to mull it over. And it looks like they've decided they're not going to die wondering. Metiria Turei's crack at New Zealand First's "racist, divisise politics" looked like a calculated attack at a time the cameras would be on her, and it sent a message to more than just Winston Peters.

British voters have "had quite enough of austerity politics", says Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. He should know. He came from nowhere to within a whisker of defeating the Conservatives preaching anti-austerity. Are voters thinking the same way in New Zealand? If so which party will benefit in the September election?

New Zealand is not Britain, or any other country for that matter, but we do like to look to the "old country" when it comes to clues for where our politics might be heading. These ties even extend to running campaigns.