From the editor – September 2021

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We are delighted to celebrate in this month’s cover story the continuing strength of Trustpower Baypark Arena as the imposing landmark celebrates its 10th year as an entity.

It hasn’t been easy for the management and staff, especially in the past year or so as the organisation has grappled with the consequences of Covid-19 and the difficulty of forward planning in such a volatile environment. Nonetheless they have continued to drive on, as have so many other companies in the Bay of Plenty, despite the difficulties of living with the extremes of the pandemic.

We went to print just before the Government announced its latest long-term survival plan for navigating the pandemic. This country is undoubtedly blessed, as we have remarked before, to be several thousand miles away from new sources of infection and to have a rather small population.

However, there is evidence that New Zealand’s leadership, which has to date survived the global Covid-19 crisis better than most worldwide, is beginning to feel the negative impact of a now somewhat jaundiced electorate.

As reported last month, the latest Newshub Reid Research poll had ruling Labour down 9.7 points to 43 percent, while the National Party was up 1.7 points to 28.7 percent.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the ACT party scored its highest ever Reid-Research rating, up 4.2 points to 11.1 percent of the vote.

ACT leader David Seymour, always a shrewd politician, was quoted as saying that Labour’s loss was both ACT and National’s gain.

“The real story of this poll is both ACT and National rising,” said Seymour. “I believe that’s due to disillusionment with the government’s performance on substantial issues, being housing, the Covid-19 recovery and law and order on the streets.”

The National Party remains a clear second in the poll, and while their boost was not as dramatic as that received by ACT, National leader Collins said she was happy with the results.

“ACT coming up is ultimately good for National because we’re also going up so it’s not as though it’s taking votes off us.”

ACT leader David Seymour was just as keen to talk up joining forces with National – pitching the parties had two years until the next election to close a 10-point gap.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern still clearly leads the preferred prime minister rankings – down 2.6 points to 45.5 percent – but Seymour has now passed Collins.

Given that Labour has enjoyed its ability to transmit its version of how well it thinks it has handled Covid-19, especially on television, with relatively little negative comment from the mass media, it is not hard to think that the latest poll may have sent a few shivers down the leading party’s collective spine.

Read: Trustpower Arena is turning 10!

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