Story: Political parties

Collecting coalition partners

Collecting coalition partners

A 2005 cartoon shows a sporty pair of party leaders, Labour's Helen Clark and National's Don Brash, charging after butterflies named UNF (UnitedFuture), NZF (New Zealand First), Greens, and Maori. Brash has captured a butterfly named ACT (a right-wing party), while Clark's net is about to descend on the Greens butterfly. Clark, who was then prime minister, formed a coalition with New Zealand First, UnitedFuture and the Progressive Party. On many measures the Labour government was also supported by the Green party.

This kind of coalition building had become the norm in New Zealand politics from the 1990s on.

Using this item

Garrick Tremain
Cartoon by Garrick Tremain

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How to cite this page:

Jennifer Curtin and Raymond Miller, 'Political parties - Small parties under MMP', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 January 2023)

Story by Jennifer Curtin and Raymond Miller, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 21 Jul 2015