As I write it is a matter of days before New Zealand goes to the polls.

I can’t wait, not because I particularly want a change of government (and we might yet be surprised), but because I am heartily sick of the whole electioneering circus. I’m tired of politicians and their empty promises, vacuous arguments and childish ‘debates’. But I’m even more tired of the endless sniping, posturing, threats, lies and half-truths emanating from a relatively small number of unscrupulous, self-serving, or straight up ignorant folk on society’s fringes.

Politicians always make promises they can’t keep, trading their souls for votes, but I don’t believe we’ve ever seen the sheer volume of extreme views now being expressed on social media and in public spaces, much of it, I reckon, orchestrated by overseas actors seeking to undermine democracy. And with war in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine, democratic institutions under siege in the USA, and totalitarianism on the rise everywhere, there’s plenty of fuel to stoke the fires.

So, once the election is behind us, I fervently hope everything in Godzone will settle down, people will simply get on with their lives, and the country shifts out of the holding pattern it’s been stuck in for months. It is time to bin the pessimism and uncertainty that has dogged us for more than a year and to start looking forward again, not back. This is a great country.

Let’s put the election behind us. Go out there and buy the boat you’ve always wanted, renovate the bathroom, or take the plunge on a new house! Rest assured, nothing much will change with the election, no matter which political party or coalition is in government – a good thing. This country will take a middle path, just like it always does, because that’s the best way forward for New Zealanders. And in a few weeks, it will be summer again and everyone will be feeling much better about the world, no matter who’s Prime Minister.


Looking forward to it.

John Eichelsheim