Red, of course for the Labour Party and Jacinda Ardern with a resounding vote of confidence that exceeded the hopes of even their own supporters. That is Rhododendron ‘Noyo Chief’.
(Red – centre left)
Green for the Green Party. I put the giant red pepper mill that our son bequeathed to us before he headed overseas (and a very good pepper mill it is, too) beside it yesterday. It was not a premonition, more serendipity but today it stands for the resurgent Māori Party who won a seat against the odds.
(Green – left wing with a strong focus on the environment and social justice. Red – but a darker shade than Labour red and with black – for the only party whose prime focus is on Māori affairs)
The yellow Doronicum orientale daisy is for the Act Party – one star and now nine additional members of parliament, some of whom must be as surprised as the rest of us to see themselves there.
(Yellow – our most right wing, libertarian party)
Bluebells, wilting, past their prime and going to seed for the National Party. But, like bluebells, they will rise again, refreshed, at some stage in the future.
(Blue – centre right but leaning more right than centre lately).
And the black ashes of defeat for the demise of New Zealand First. No matter one’s personal opinion of its leader, Winston Peters, it seems sad to witness the demise of such a characterful and long-serving MP in such an inglorious manner.
For overseas readers, we have proportional representation in NZ and a history of very stable coalition governments. This is the first time since we opted for this system that a single party has received such an overwhelming mandate that they can govern alone without needing the support of other parties. It remains to be seen whether the Labour government will choose to govern alone or whether they will opt for a cooperative approach which would see them bring the Greens and probably the Maori Party onto the government benches.
And that is a wrap from what seemed like an interminable election campaign in this year of Covid.