Welcome to VoterTorque – a series of podcasts from now until the New Zealand General Election 2020 by TorquePoint business partners Heather Roy and Simon Ewing-Jarvie.

The intent for this series is to provide independent advice and commentary for people interested in the election and politics generally. When we began recording the NZ General Election was set down for 19 September. However, due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Auckland, the election date was moved out to 17 October. We are progressively correcting any reference to the earlier date and related events. Apologies if there’s any confusion at the time you listen.

DISCLAIMER – Neither of us are members of or in any way involved with any political party, lobby group or other element in this election. We do draw on our experience from 1996 to 2011 with the ACT Party but there have been no links with that party or any other since that time.

Please follow this blog to get notifications of new podcasts. Alternatively, you can find these on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, Anchor.FM, Breaker, RadioPublic, Pocket Casts , Overcast

PODCAST 1 – Introduction. We discuss the range of topics that we will be covering between now and 17 October 2020. Updated 27 August. (5 min 40 secs)

PODCAST 2 – The Orange Guy. The Electoral Commission’s mascot. How to enrol and some key dates regarding this year’s election and referenda on euthanasia and cannabis law reform. Updated 27 August (8 min 24 secs)

PODCAST 3 – The Political Spectrum. The hackneyed and frequently misunderstood descriptions of political parties being either left, centre or right is dissected and a better, two-dimensional model described. Posted 25 July (5 min 16 secs)

PODCAST 4 – The Political Compass. This episode links with podcast 3 and describes how you can use a simple questionnaire to determine where you lie on the political spectrum. This is useful for working out which parties and policies you are most closely aligned with. Posted 25 July (5 mins 49 secs)

PODCAST 5 – Election Advertising. When you see or hear something you feel is misleading, you’re entitled to complain. But, with four agencies responsible for different aspects of election advertising it can be a little confusing. In this episode, we explain who looks after what. Posted 25 July. (5 mins 53 secs)

PODCAST 6 – Political Polls. Media tend to provide a lot of coverage to political polls and many people are influenced by them. This discussion is about political polls in New Zealand and how to find and interpret them. Posted 1 August. (7 mins 26 secs)

PODCAST 7 – MMP Basics. Despite having had the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system for New Zealand general elections since 1996, many are still unsure about how it works. In this first of several episodes on MMP, we discuss the basics of proportionality in Parliament. Posted 3 August. (5 mins 46 secs)

PODCAST 8 – MMP Pros and Cons. New Zealand’s Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system is loved, hated and often poorly understood. This second episode in the VoterTorque MMP series discusses the pros and cons including different types of MPs, reaching consensus, diversity, the 5% threshold and 3 year electoral term. Posted 4 August (7 mins 28 secs).

PODCAST 9 – MMP and The Dilemma of the Wasted Vote. Many people want to support a new or small party but are concerned that their vote will be ‘wasted’ if the party doesn’t reach the 5% threshold or win an electorate. In this episode, we discuss how we suggest people approach this and what happens when votes are re-distributed. The episode also covers different coalition combinations and Ministers in or out of Cabinet. Posted 7 August (5 mins 54 secs)

PODCAST 10 – Listener Questions #1. You send them in and we do our best to answer them. Anonymous unless you want your name out there. Here’s the first session. Posted 7 August. (10 mins 12 secs).

PODCAST 11 – Parties Contesting NZ Election 2020. There are 18 parties contesting the 2020 NZ General Election. Ten of these are what the main stream media term ‘micro parties.’ These are parties that are recording less than 1% of the vote in public polls. In this first episode, we introduce all 18 parties and discuss the 10 micro parties. Posted 12 August. (9 mins 20 secs)

PODCAST 12 – ACT New Zealand Party. We discuss, in alphabetical order, the major and minor parties contesting the 2020 NZ General Election. The first is the ACT Party. Apologies about the underlying noise – we will re-record this clip soon but thought it important to get it up now. Posted 13 August. (12 mins 9 secs)

PODCAST 13 – The Green Party. This is the second in the party introduction episodes and focusses on the Green Party. Posted 13 August (13 mins 10 secs)

PODCAST 14 – NZ Labour Party. Party podcast #3 is on the New Zealand Labour Party. Posted 14 August. (11 mins 45 secs)

PODCAST 15 – NZ National Party. Party podcast #4 is about the New Zealand National Party. Posted 14 August (12 mins 38 secs)

PODCAST 16 – New Zealand First Party. Party podcast #5 is about the New Zealand First Party. Posted 14 August. (10 mins 35 secs)

PODCAST 17 – Maori Party. Party podcast #6 is about the Maori Party. Posted 17 August (7 mins 18 secs)

PODCAST 18 – TOP and New Conservative Parties. Party podcast #7 is about The Opportunities Party (TOP) and also the New Conservative Party. Posted 17 August. (11 mins 3 secs)

PODCAST 19 – Kaikoura Electorate Candidates’ Debate 22 September 2020. We went local in Blenheim to experience a good old fashioned pub politics meeting (12 mins 25 secs)

PODCAST 20 – End of Life Choice Referendum. The first of two podcasts about the referendums included as part of this year’s general election. This one is about enabling legislation that has already been passed in Parliament regarding the right of terminally ill patients to elect assisted dying. (5 mins 56 secs)

PODCAST 21 – Cannabis Legalisation and Control Referendum. This is the second of two podcasts relating to referendums being held as part of New Zealand’s 2020 General Election. This referendum, if passed, provides Parliament with the option (not the requirement) to introduce a Bill legalising and controlling cannabis. (5 mins 42 secs)

That’s it for now. Please send any requests for topics that you’d like covered or questions you’d like answered via our contacts page.