Journal article

Ideas from 'across the ditch'? Wedge politics in the 2005 New Zealand election

Sarah Maddison

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2006

Abstract

The 2005 New Zealand election campaign saw the use by the opposition National Party of a racialised and highly divisive 'wedge politics'. Tensions between Mäori and Pakeha that had previously been managed through care and compromise were inflamed by talk of a New Zealand mainstream and the need for 'one law for all'. In the context of a difficult national debate about Mäori rights to foreshore and seabed, this talk had strong echoes of recent Australian political discourse. It also had the effect of dramatically increasing the National Party vote in the election, and this research note speculates that, in a different electoral system, this may have been enough to see National form government..

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