Bryce Edwards: Why Jacinda Ardern’s resignation changes everything

Bryce Edwards: Why Jacinda Ardern’s resignation changes everything

Should New Zealand have a snap election? That’s one of the questions arising out of the chaos of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s shock resignation.

There’s an increased realisation that everything has changed, and the old plans and assumptions for election year have suddenly evaporated. So, although Ardern has named an election date of 14 October there’s some good reason for the new prime minister to bring that forward to, say, March.

The big issue is one of electoral mandates. Will New Zealanders feel that Prime Minister Chris Hipkins – or whoever is chosen on Sunday – has a truly legitimate right to govern the country? Of course, constitutionally and legally the new PM will be able to govern – the role of PM is merely the choice of the ruling party. And, when Bill English took over from John Key a year out from the 2017 election, there was no expectation that an early election was necessary.

The problem for Labour is that it was elected as a majority government under the leadership of Ardern with 50 per cent support in 2020. People didn’t vote so much for Chris Hipkins, Kiri Allan, or Michael Wood. It was Ardern that won that support – more than any other party leader in New Zealand’s political history. It was Jacindamania, not Labourmania.

And now the Government only has the support of about 32 per cent of New Zealanders – about a third have been lost in two years. Hence even without a change of leader, Labour is facing a legitimacy challenge, and that’s only now forecast to get worse. So, when English took over from Key, the National Government was hardly in freefall, and it had coalition partners as a check on its power. That’s not the case in this situation, just nine months from the election.

What’s more, the economic recession, along with the multiple crises faced by New Zealand society – from housing, and inequality through to problems in climate, and law and order – are only going to accelerate as we get closer to 14 October.

And that is essentially why Ardern bailed out yesterday. She could see the writing on the wall, and was smart enough to get out before the going got much tougher, and her government was thrown out. It’s better to retire early as an undefeated prime minister than face the ignominy of being beaten by Christopher Luxon.

Of course, it wasn’t just Labour’s popularity that was plummeting – Ardern herself was losing supporters as well as creating more opponents amongst the public. Pollsters regularly ask the public about whether they have a favourable or unfavourable opinion of individual politicians.

The net favourables for Ardern – that is, favourable polling numbers minus unfavourable polling numbers – were extremely high for Ardern in her early years of power. David Farrar writes today that Ardern “spent the first two years at between +40% and +60% which is massive. John Key never got quite that high”. However, this shifted into the negative for the first time: “2022 saw the net favourability decline to +4% mid year, rebound to +12% and then a gradual decline until she hit -1% in the Taxpayers’ Union-Curia poll released today”.

Calls for an early election

Broadcaster Rachel Smalley writes today in favour of an earlier election: “Labour will come under enormous public pressure to bring forward the election. It is unthinkable that we can sit in a rudderless void with Chris Hipkins or Michael Wood at the helm of the Government, lurching our way through a recession, and waiting for an election in October. Neither of those people, neither Hipkins nor Wood will make any decisions, we’ll just sit and tread water. Now the country, this is the reality, it needs a war-time leader and Labour does not have one waiting in the wings.”

According to Smalley, Ardern has given the new PM something of a hospital pass at a time of two separate types of crises: the crisis in the economy, and the crisis in the Labour Party that needs to reset itself to become re-electable in October. She suspects that the new PM will have to focus on the latter crisis, deprioritising the need to deal with the economy, housing, inequality, water reform, infrastructure and so forth. Better instead to go to the country and get a new mandate so that the government can concentrate on governing instead of electoral politics.

For an example of how changing prime ministers without an election can be a moral problem, look at the United Kingdom where the Conservative Government is onto its third prime minister this term. Once again, there was no legal or constitutional problem with Liz Truss taking over from Boris Johnson, and then Rishi Sunak after her, but without the public giving the leaders new mandates, the Government’s moral legitimacy has continued to be questioned.

The big problem, of course, is that Labour will want to double down on the need to provide stability, calm and certainty, especially in light of Ardern’s departure. The economic and global environment is already unsteady, and Labour has been campaigning on the basis that New Zealanders shouldn’t take risks this year, especially in their voting. And overall, the conservative advice to the Beehive will be to avoid anything that might look like panic or volatility.

Why would Prime Minister Chris Hipkins want to call an early election?

Having inherited an election date of 14 October, for the new prime minister – whoever it is, but presumably Chris Hipkins – it surely makes sense to hold onto power for as long as possible, with the hope of having as much time as possible to turn around Labour’s polling. Turkeys don’t vote for any early Christmas.

The counter to this is that things are likely to get much worse for the Labour Government over the coming year. This is especially the case in terms of the economy – with interest rates, and inflation picked by many to worsen through the year. It might therefore make sense to strike out early before the economy tanks further and the current gap between Labour and National widens to a place where re-election is seen as futile.

What the new prime minister needs more than anything is to reset the party and government in a truly surprising and bold way. This will require major changes in policy. There will be plenty of advice to the new PM to stand up to the Māori caucus, to shift further on things like co-governance and Three Waters. And someone like Hipkins, if he is PM, will be inclined to shift the Government further away from an association with what is perceived to be woke politics and culture wars.

Policy aside, a more substantial bold move to show bravery and chutzpah would be to call an early election. Yes, over-ruling Ardern’s election date would be something of a missive to the former PM, but this might be a useful way of the new leader telegraphing a difference from the old guard, and showing that they aren’t just going to be the proxy for the old boss. What’s more, there are some questions about whether Ardern should even have used her prerogative to set the election date unilaterally given that she was resigning – many might see that this should be a question for the new PM, not the old.

However, the most important point for Labour is that there is a real chance that an early election could be won by the new Labour PM. Almost certainly there will be some sort of honeymoon for the new leader. Yet this might well dissipate by 14 October. Hence the new Labour PM might have to choose between having a “snap election” or a “recession election”.

Although the conventional thinking is that a new leader needs plenty of time to stamp their mark and get known and liked by the electorate, this is no longer the case. Witness Ardern coming to the leadership in 2017 with just seven weeks before the election. A large element of momentum and urgency can work very well in politics.

Has Labour already lost the election?

The immediate response to Ardern’s departure has been to call the election for National. For example, writing in the wake of the shock announcement, political journalist Andrea Vance, said “Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson just conceded the election.” She argued that “Ardern has pulled the emergency eject lever, and Labour’s election hopes just crash landed”.

Business journalist Bernard Hickey writes this morning that “The odds are stacked much higher against them than they were 24 hours ago.” And according to Guardian writer Henry Cooke, “Labour MPs and supporters have every right to be furious…. She leaves the party in far worse shape to fight this election than it would have been under her leadership.” Leftwing commentator Josie Pagani also concludes: “Labour will be at much longer odds to be re-elected now.”

Newsroom journalist Sam Sachdeva suggests things could now get much worse for Labour: “the perception that Ardern is fleeing a sinking ship could accelerate that shift towards the right as people look to back a winner.”

Gamblers are also turning further against Labour with their money. Earlier in the week, the Australian betting sites were paying $2.20 for a Labour win in this year’s election, indicating a likely probability of only about 43 per cent. After Ardern’s shock announcement, the betting sites increased their payouts for a Labour victory to $3.80, suggesting only a 26 per cent likelihood of re-election.

A new PM could reset Labour for re-election

There is no consensus that Labour is doomed. Reporting on what Labour insiders are saying, Richard Harman says today, “Opinion within Labour circles last night was divided as to whether Ardern’s resignation would aid or harm its election chances.”

Rightwing commentator Matthew Hooton writes in the Herald today that Ardern’s resignation will make Labour more competitive, and he’s now forecasting a re-election as more likely than a National victory (although he thinks Labour would probably be re-elected in coalition with NZ First).

Hooton clearly thinks that Hipkins has what it takes to beat Luxon, and to attract a resurgent NZ First back into coalition with Labour after the election. But it’s Hipkins’ innate conservatism that makes him the right choice for Labour: “Hipkins is also more from the right of the Labour Party. No one who has met him would ever accuse him of being woke. To prove it, expect a Prime Minister Hipkins to carefully plan what the woke daily media will bellow are ‘mistakes’.”

Furthermore, Hooton says: “Hipkins is also not associated with policies Labour really needs to clear off the decks before the election. Those include aspects of Three Waters that are causing such angst in the provinces and, in Auckland, the unwanted and self-evidently unaffordable light-rail project”.

And Hipkins might be seen as the sort of PM that could deliver when Ardern couldn’t: “More substantively, he is orthodox on macroeconomic policy and has positioned himself as tough on law and order. Administratively, he is far more competent than Ardern but can also do a press conference to the required standard.”

The Herald’s Audrey Young is also sure that Hipkins is the right person to lead: “Hipkins is next best to Ardern and Robertson in terms of capability and credibility, and is the person most likely to cause the least pain for the public in terms of a transition to a new Prime Minister. If he puts up his hand for the Labour vote on Sunday, he should have no competition.” She suggests that such a candidate is obvious for Labour in this crisis: “This is the time for stability, competence, and safe hands.”

Stuff political editor Luke Malpass says that Hipkins is the obvious pick, not just because of his political skills and high profile but because he’s more rightwing: “He is also a centrist politician and further to the right of the Labour Party, putting him in a strong position to re-orient Labour to take on the economic challenges it will face this year.”

Labour’s big reset would also have to be substantial, according to Malpass: “Labour will also have to recalibrate its Three Waters policies as well as think seriously about its general rhetoric and positioning around co-governance. If Three Waters has shown anything, it is that race is still a live issue in New Zealand politics, even if it seems to have laid dormant for years.”

This is also why Labour might be uneasy about selecting Justice Minister Kiri Allan as PM. Writing for Newsroom today, Sam Sachdeva and Marc Daalder say: “Allan would be a high-risk, high-reward choice, given the extent to which co-governance has become a polarising topic and the potential for an unpleasant race-based campaign from some quarters.”

Allan would certainly be a very bold choice for Labour. And her ability to inspire enthusiasm for a generational change in leadership would be great, but possibly just too risky for a caucus that is probably more focused now on “winning votes than wokes”.

The symbolism of having Aotearoa’s first Māori Prime Minister will be very attractive to the more identity politics elements in Labour and the electorate, and the fact that she is young lesbian woman would also be a strong and positive narrative.

Instead, there will be many in the party telling Allan that it’s “not her time”, and to wait. The position of deputy prime minister is likely to be offered instead.

Huge pressure will be applied to caucus members to come together to find a new PM to anoint on Sunday, rather than go through what could be seen as a divisive vote.

But after a combo like Hipkins and Allan are anointed, they face the very big question of how to undertake the big political reset that Ardern was unable to do herself. While it’s unlikely that this will involve an early election, they will certainly need to consider whatever big and bold changes they can to show the public that this is a very different new government that deserves re-election. In this scenario, fortune will favour the brave.

 

Dr Bryce Edwards is Political Analyst in Residence at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the director of the Democracy Project.

This article can be republished under a Creative Commons CC BY-ND 4.0  license. Attributions should include a link to the Democracy Project.  

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Other items of interest and importance today

JACINDA ARDERN RESIGNS
Henry Cooke (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern’s shock exit imperils her legacy and her party
David Farrar: The rise and fall of Jacinda Ardern
Rachel Smalley (Today FM): Labour shouldn’t choose our next Prime Minister, New Zealand should
Taxpayers Union: New poll – PM goes negative as Labour hits new low
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): Labour Party support reaches new low in poll
Josie Pagani (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern resigns: What was the point of all that?
Matthew Hooton (Herald): Resignation puts Labour back in election race (paywalled)
Rachel Smalley (NBR): The election must be brought forward (paywalled)
Tova O’Brien (Today FM): Jacinda Ardern wouldn’t have quit if she genuinely thought she could win
Peter Wilson (RNZ): Jacinda Ardern’s resignation announcement has changed the political landscape
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson just conceded the election
Duncan Garner (Today: Hugely tough call, but Jacinda Ardern had to go
Bernard Hickey (Interest): A tribute to a tragic PM
Chris Trotter: Jacinda Resigns
Luke Malpass (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern resigns: Could Labour’s new leader save the party?
Luke Malpass (Stuff): A remarkable leader, Jacinda Ardern’s exit leaves Labour in dangerous limbo
Sam Sachdeva (Newsroom): Ardern’s pared back life leaves Labour in limbo
Claire Trevett (Herald): The bombshell of PM Jacinda Ardern’s resignation – why and what happens next for Labour?
Pattrick Smellie (BusinessDesk): Ardern’s resignation hands the 2023 election to National(paywalled)
Jane Patterson (RNZ): Tough task ahead for Labour as it seeks re-election without Ardern at helm
Richard Harman (Politik): Labour — nothing can be taken for granted (paywalled)
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Helen Clark’s comments about Jacinda Ardern ‘naive’ and ‘condescending’, political commentator says
Grant Duncan (The Conversation): Ardern’s resignation as New Zealand prime minister is a game changer for the 2023 election
1News: Jessica Mutch McKay Analysis: A surprise Ardern’s resignation came so soon
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Gargantuan task ahead for next Labour leader as Jacinda Ardern steps down
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): Jacinda Ardern resigns: a legacy of towering leadership, and a nightmare for Labour
1 News: Helen Clark denounces ‘hatred, vitriol’ aimed at Ardern
Erin Gourley (Stuff): ‘Unprecedented hatred and vitriol’: Helen Clark on Ardern’s resignation
Herald: Prime Minister ‘driven from politics’ due to ‘constant personalisation and vilification’ – Te Pāti Māori
Herald Editorial: Jacinda Ardern quits as Prime Minister – opinion on her legacy will likely always be divided (paywalled)
Anusha Bradley (RNZ): The hatred and vitriol Jacinda Ardern endured ‘would affect anybody’
Linda Clark (BusinessDesK): A PM steps down: we allowed this to happen (paywalled)
Nadine Roberts (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern: An inspirational role model and victim of ingrained misogyny
Vera Alves (Herald): I cannot believe Jacinda Ardern didn’t quit earlier
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sums up how we all feel in January: I’m over it
Stephen Minto (Daily Blog): Jacinda betrayed
Steven Cowan: When the going gets tough
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): Jacinda’s Bombshell Resignation: Political Winners, Losers & Predictions
Martyn Bradbury (Daily Blog): We broke our Prime Minister – New Zealand Civil Society is the loser this day
No Right Turn: An amazing disappointment
Matthew Scott (Newsroom): The unbearable weight of being Prime Minister
Mike Munro (Herald): Jacinda Ardern’s resignation is no victory for social media trolls(paywalled)

LEADERSHIP CONTEST
Audrey Young: Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins the only replacements (paywalled)
Herald: Who will replace Jacinda Ardern? Megan Woods not in the running, Labour hopefuls quizzed on PM aspirations
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): What Labour MPs have said when asked if they want the top job
Amelia Wade (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern resignation: Chris Hipkins tells Newshub ‘consensus’ about new Labour leader would be ‘far better for NZ’
Rachel Sadler (Newshub): Chris Hipkins ‘obvious’ choice for new Labour leader – political commentator Bryce Edwards
David Farrar: What NZers think of top Labour MPs
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): How will Labour elect a new leader, and who has the advantage (paywalled)
Felix Desmarais (1News): Waiting in the wings: Who could replace Ardern?
Glenn McConnell (Stuff): Labour Māori caucus to meet Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s vote for a new leader
Joseph Los’e (Herald): Jacinda Ardern quits: Māori want a Māori as next Prime Minister
Joel Maxwell (Stuff): Labour’s caucus needs to make sure the next prime minister is Māori
Damien Venuto (Herald): The Front Page: As Ardern departs, will next Labour leader simply be a placeholder?
Sam Sachdeva and Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Five MPs who could be the next Prime Minister
Thomas Manch, Nikki Macdonald and Anna Whyte (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern resigns: Who are the contenders to be New Zealand’s next prime minister?
Brent Edwards (NBR): What happens now Jacinda Ardern has resigned as PM?(paywalled)
Russell Palmer (RNZ): Ardern resigns: Who are the frontrunners for Labour leadership?
Stewart Sowman-Lund and Duncan Greive (Spinoff): Who will be the next prime minister? The Spinoff’s official odds
Ireland Hendry-Tennent and Amelia Wade (Newshub): Michael Wood, Chris Hipkins and Kiri Allan: The Labour MPs being touted as potential future leaders
Herald: Jacinda Ardern quits: The contenders to be the next Prime Minister
RNZ: What you need to know: Who takes over from Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister when she steps down?

ARDERN’S LEGACY AND FUTURE
Geoffrey Miller (Democracy Project): Jacinda Ardern’s outsized New Zealand foreign policy legacy
Mitch McCann (Newshub): Could Jacinda Ardern be destined for the United Nations, and what are her chances?
Michael Daly (Stuff): Difficult Conversations: Was Jacinda Ardern actually a good prime minister?
Kate Newton and Felippe Rodriques (Stuff): Jacinda Ardern’s prime ministership, explained in six charts
Tom Pullar-Strecker and Esther Taunton (Stuff): What is Ardern’s economic legacy?
Tom Dillane (Herald): Former National PM Jim Bolger says Jacinda Ardern set for high-profile global roles
Tim Watkin (Pundit): Jacinda Ardern: “For Me, It’s Time”. So How Will She Be Remembered?
Morgan Godfery (Guardian): In five momentous years Jacinda Ardern became New Zealand’s most important postwar prime minister
Herald: Jacinda Ardern quits: The highs and lows of the Prime Minister’s political career
Chris Keall (Herald): Jacinda Ardern’s mixed legacy with The Christchurch Call and social media (paywalled)
Jenna Lynch (Newshub): Jacinda Ardern resignation: Her meteoric rise – and the bombshell announcement that shocked New Zealand
Madeleine Chapman (Spinoff): Jacinda Ardern never wanted to be prime minister
Stuff: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: NZ’s leader in pictures
Herald: The perks PMs get to keep after they leave top job

REACTION
RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigns: Politicians and New Zealanders pay tribute
Jamie Ensor, Jenna Lynch and Amelia Wade (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigning in February, announces election 2023 will be held on October 14
Thomas Manch, Anna Whyte and Katie Doyle (Stuff): ‘Thank you Jacinda’: Political leaders respond to PM’s shock resignation
Luke Kirkness and Laura Smith (Bay of Plenty Times): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stands down – Bay of Plenty politicians shocked
Josh Butler (Guardian): ‘Like a sister’: Australia will miss Jacinda Ardern but trans-Tasman ties likely to stay strong
Ireland Hendry-Tennent (Newshub): Political jabs and mountains of praise: Kiwis react to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s shock resignation
Will Trafford (Whakaata Māori): ‘Leader in a crisis’ – Ardern resigns
Michael Neilson (Herald): ‘That’s manaaki’: Māori leaders on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s legacy for tangata whenua
Ripu Bhatia, Katie Doyle and Maxine Jacobs (Stuff): ‘Devastated’: Māori leaders praise Jacinda Ardern following resignation
1News: Māori King ‘grateful’ for Ardern’s work with Kīngitanga
Tureiti Moxon (Herald): Māoridom didn’t always see eye to eye with PM Jacinda Ardern but had tremendous respect for her
RNZ: Shock and sadness as Pacific leaders react to Jacinda Ardern’s resignation announcement
Steven Walton (Stuff): Christchurch will remember Ardern as ‘mother of compassion’ after terror attacks
Jenée Tibshraeny and Tamsyn Parker (Herald): Jacinda Ardern quits as Prime Minister: Business leaders, market analysts react (paywalled)
Erin Gourley and Marty Sharpe (Stuff): NZers react with sadness, empathy to Jacinda Ardern’s resignation
1News: Mixed emotions for Kiwis following Ardern’s shock resignation
Te Aorewa Rolleston (Waikato Times): Jacinda Ardern will be sorely but not unanimously missed in her hometown, Morrinsville
Herald: Celebrities sing the praises of resigning NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

INTERNATIONAL REACTION, COVERAGE
Tom Chodor (Unherd): What was the point of Jacinda Ardern?
Tom Slater (Spiked): Good riddance to Saint Jacinda
Damien Cave (News York Times): How Covid’s bitter divisions tarnished a liberal icon(paywalled)
Fraser Nelson (Daily Telegraph/Herald): St Jacinda’s global cheerleaders can’t acknowledge the truth about her fall
Herald: Jacinda Ardern quits: World leaders praise ‘a true stateswoman’ after resignation
RNZ: Jacinda Ardern resigns: Reactions from around the world
1News: ‘A jolt around the world’ – how the world reacted to PM’s resignation
Stuff: ‘A hero to left-leaning women’: World media reacts to Jacinda Ardern’s resignation
Emma Clark-Dow (Stuff): ‘Intellect and strength’: World reacts to Jacinda Ardern resignation
Mark Quinlivan (Newshub): Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigns: The world reacts
Stewart Sowman-Lund (Spinoff): ‘An inspiration’ or ‘good riddance’? The world reacts to Jacinda Ardern’s resignation
Daniel Dunkley (BusinessDesk): The world’s media stunned by Ardern resignation(paywalled)
Samantha Lock and Jon Henley (Guardian): ‘An inspiring leader’: world reacts to Jacinda Ardern’s resignation as New Zealand PM
Jessie Yeung and Hilary Whiteman (CNN): New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern announces shock resignation before upcoming election
Ainsley Thomson (Bloomberg): The Highs and Lows of Jacinda Ardern’s Time as Prime Minister
Lucy Craymer (Reuters): Jacinda Ardern steps aside as NZ PM with ‘no more in the tank’
Tess McClure (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern resigns as prime minister of New Zealand
Gaby Hinsliff (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern knew when to quit. Unlike some other politicians I could mention
Van Badham (Guardian): Jacinda Ardern’s graceful departure is the personification of modern democratic ideals
Tess McClure (Guardian): From stardust to an empty tank: one-of-a-kind leader Jacinda Ardern knew her time was up
Judith Woods (Daily Telegraph/Herald): Jacinda Ardern resignation shows how hard it is being a woman in a man’s world – opinion

RESIGNATION ANNOUNCEMENT
Anna Whyte (Stuff): How Jacinda Ardern’s Labour team found out her decision to retire as prime minister
Marc Daalder (Newsroom): Ardern’s rare, personal candour in shock resignation
Claire Trevett (Herald): Watch: Tearful Jacinda Ardern steps down as PM – ‘I no longer have the energy’; Robertson won’t stand
John Hartevelt (RNZ): Jacinda Ardern quits: The bombshell resignation no-one saw coming
Glen McConnell (Stuff): ‘Let’s finally get married:’ Jacinda Ardern’s heartfelt message to family
Herald: Jacinda Ardern’s heart-warming words to Clarke Gayford in resignation speech
Herald: Jacinda Ardern resigns: PM looks forward to being there when daughter Neve starts school
Newshub: Labour Party erupts in rapturous applause and singing in emotional tribute for Jacinda Ardern

NATIONAL PARTY
Toby Manhire (Spinoff): National’s new mantra? It’s a lot like Let’s Do This
Thomas Coughlan (Herald): National reshuffle: Chris Bishop, Judith Collins and Todd Muller the big winners
Jamie Ensor (Newshub): National caucus reshuffle: Barbara Kuriger falls, Judith Collins rockets back up list
Anna Whyte (Stuff): Christopher Luxon announces National caucus reshuffle, new portfolios to start election year
RNZ: National announces caucus reshuffle as Napier retreat kicks off
RNZ: Kuriger says no plans to step down after family scandal aired
Stephen Ward (Stuff): Hamilton’s Tama Potaka picks up Māori development and social housing roles for National

ECONOMY, COST OF LIVING
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Inland Revenue asks more than 80,000 people to return cost of living payment
Brianna Mcilraith (Stuff): Food prices rising faster than at any time since 1990 with no clear end in sight
Esther Taunton (Stuff): Tomatoes up 136%, spud prices soaring: Mind-boggling price changes seen over past three years
John Weekes (Herald): Food prices skyrocket: Largest annual increase in 32 years as inflation bites hard
Alka Prasad (Herald): ‘Serious inflation problem’: Food prices highest in 32 years(paywalled)
Herald Editorial: The economic slowdown has arrived (paywalled)
Herald: Some so-called supermarket specials are a dog’s breakfast, consumer group says
David Hill (Local Democracy Reporting): Record demand for food parcels in North Canterbury
BusinessDesk: Household wealth fell in Sept quarter even as savings rocketed (paywalled)

HOUSING
RNZ: Largest fall in national average house prices in over 15 years
Tom Hunt (Stuff): Two-thirds of Wellington houses bought at market peak now in negative equity, research shows
Miriam Bell (Stuff): Here are the cities with house price falls bigger than in the GFC
Jonathan Killick (Stuff): Paddock or protected wetland? 102 Auckland homes held up by technicality

MEDIA
RNZ: Morning Report reveals television presenter Ingrid Hipkiss as new co-host
Stuff: Ingrid Hipkiss has been named as new host of RNZ’s Morning Report replacing Susie Ferguson
Herald: AM presenter Bernadine Oliver-Kerby won’t return with show next week

HEALTH
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Māori child health inequities cost society over $170m annually, research shows

OTHER
Frances Chin (Stuff): Corrections paid consultants more than $300k during restructure
Gordon Campbell: On Ardern, business confidence, and the worth of sanctions
Lynn Charlton (Herald): Stop calling rodeo deaths accidents (paywalled)
Grant Bradley (Herald): Airport security alert: Pilots ‘appalled’ after passenger evades screening before Air NZ flight (paywalled)
Damon Salesa (Herald): Legacy of Covid on education will last a decade (paywalled)
Ripu Bhatia (Stuff): Kaupapa Māori approach helps Maori learners, report finds
Stephen Forbes (Local Democracy Reporting): Rubbish dumped at Ihumātao piled as high as the trees
No Right Turn: Are the police following the law on DNA?
Bob McCoskrie: The Government pushes forward with first step of controversial ‘hate speech’ laws
Brooke van Velden (Herald): Our roading infrastructure needs fixing asap (paywalled)