In an election that had more twists and turns than The Amazing Race, here are eight of the most bold and brazen moments of the campaign.
8. A MOST UNLIKELY ALLIANCE
Anti-poverty and workers’ rights campaigners teaming up with a party backed by a German internet mogul who’s wanted by the FBI. After failing to get into Parliament, what’s next for Kim Dotcom, Laila Harre and Hone Harawira?
7. NOT SO POSITIVE
Labour was campaigning on “Vote Positive”, but Rangitata candidate Steve Gibson let the side down with an ill-thought out Facebook post where he called the PM “Shylock”.
Gibson claimed he didn’t realise Shylock referred to an unflattering characterisation of a Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Gibson came a distant second in the electorate, 13,000 votes behind National’s Jo Goodhew.
Among those meeting PM Key during his Timaru walkabout - Labour's Rangitata candidate Steve Gibson of "Shylock" fame. pic.twitter.com/JT4qdUKzlT— Adam Bennett (@AdDeville) September 11, 2014
6. ARM THE SHOPKEEPERS
This was a policy that missed the mark completely, even with ACT’s most likely coalition partner, National. Jamie Whyte came out saying shop owners should be able to keep weapons in their stories. He was later forced to clarify that the firearms law would change, meaning a gun would need to be locked up and unloaded. Prime Minister John Key described the policy as a “recipe for disaster”.
Whyte won’t be in Parliament this term, with David Seymour the lone ACT MP after winning Epsom.
"Come and hear Dr. Jamie Whyte wind up the media wind up the country in his last campaign speech of the Election" pic.twitter.com/gbQRV8KkDM— Lyndon Hood (@lyndonhood) September 16, 2014
5. A STATEMENT, WITH MUSIC
@peace frontman Tom Scott has been one of many trying to get out the youth vote this election. Intentionally, or not, the backlash from a song about shooting the PM and having sex with his daughter gave him a platform to get his civic-minded message out.
With police saying they were investigating the lyrics to ‘Kill the PM’, Scott posted on Facebook that his aim was merely to get 130,000 eligible young New Zealanders enrolled to vote.
“I do not want to literally kill this man," he wrote. "I do not wish to have sexual relations with anybody related to him.
“What's important is that we enrol to vote so that we have a chance to select someone to represent us, who understands the concept of empathy.”
According to 3News, he later tweeted: "Sorry John Key's daughter. I just wanted to make your dad mad."
Whether or not you agree with the politics of a track called "Kill the PM", this is a solid tune. Also, please vote. https://t.co/4ni3gYTjIq— Sarin Moddle (@SarinMods) August 26, 2014
4. THE HELP RESIGNS
For reasons yet to be revealed, the Conservative Party leader’s secretary resigned days out from the election. Colin Craig was under the impression she was taking a day off when the story broke. Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper had right when he said “I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story.”
And it appears we haven’t heard the last of the Conservative Party either. Despite failing to secure a place in Parliament, Craig is vowing to have another go in 2017.
3. A MINISTER NO MORE
Dogged by controversy following the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, Judith Collins resigned as minister after a leaked email from right-wing Slater claimed she had been “gunning” for ex-Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley.
Collins still secured her Papakura seat, beating her closest rival, Labour’s Jerome Mika, by almost 5000 votes.
The Guardian scoops the Sunday Star times scoop: Adam Feeley was aware of the campaign being run against him http://t.co/KMK0ztaDiu— Tova O'Brien (@TovaOBrien) August 30, 2014
2. THE MOMENT OF TRUTHINESS
Kim Dotcom hoped this moment would be one of reckoning for the Prime Minister. With an all-star cast of whistleblowers, he had the nation’s attention, but the evidence of mass surveillance was seen as less than conclusive in the eyes of many.
Labour, the Greens and the Conservatives have all come out saying the spectacle compromised their ability to get their messages out.
Dotcom said on election night that “the brand Kim Dotcom was poisoned ... and I did not see that before the last couple of weeks.”
1. THE RESULT
#TeamKey won an unprecedented victory, with an outright majority of 61 seats in Parliament.
The newly re-elected prime minister is saying his third term will be “business as usual”, while Labour appears to be on the edge of a leadership fight after the party suffered its worst result since 1922.
Cover image: Reuters