Every time we have local elections there is lots of talk about the low levels of turnout, and rightly so. In 2016, turnout was up nationally to an unimpressive 42%. The 2019 preliminary results from Local Government NZ show a drop in national turnout to 41.4%. At a slightly more detailed level, “metro” council areas followed a similar zigzag of up in 2016 and down in 2019. Interestingly “provincial” and “rural” council areas showed an inverse zigzag, with decreased turnout in 2016 and increased turnout in 2019.
We know that Auckland is a big part of the country’s economy. In 2018 it had 35% of the population, 36% of the jobs, and accounted for 38% of GDP – up from 31%, 32% and 34% respectively in 2000. But just how big is that really?
Immigration is a tricky topic when we can’t agree on the numbers, and aside from that is an evergreen political hot potato. Among many legitimate concerns and disagreements, New Zealand has to contend with Islamophobic arguments despite levels of migration being relatively low.