Today the annual Labour Party conference starts in Manukau. This is Labour's last chance to show off its solutions to New Zealand's problems before the 2023 election year, University of Auckland senior politics lecturer Dr Lara Greaves (Ngāpuhi) says.
As the election drew closer and polls showed all political players tightening up their numbers, Labour was in a tricky position, she said.
Greaves said Labour has had five years into governing Parliament and it had faced exceptional problems such as Covid-19, the substantial spike in inflation, the cost of living crisis and rising crime.
“There are clear places where National is really hitting them in terms of the memes in social media in the rhetoric in the house of Parliament.”
Greaves said Labour was in a tough situation as it figured out a plan to try to keep its current position.
But she said both Labour and National were looking "as if they have got it together and we can really trust them governing”.
Greaves said Labour and National’s key challenge was to give voters a reason to come out and vote as past negative back-and-forth arguing between politicians had been shown to demotivate voters.
“They have to articulate a positive outlook for New Zealand, show that they have got it together enough of course to govern but to really try to articulate that positive vision.
“it is looking like a bit of a debate over the cost of living, inflation, inequality and housing, so a lot of those economic issues, and also, really relatedly, crime.”