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NZ Votes: The General Election of 2002

NZ Votes: The General Election of 2002

Press release
9 December 2003

New Zealand Votes: The General Election of 2002 was launched with wit and aplomb last night by journalist and broadcaster Linda Clark. The book looks at an election campaign dominated by bizarre events:

'Paintergate' * 'The Worm' * 'Corngate' * 'Bob the Builder'

The 2002 election is called 'early' but the government rejects claims it is a 'snap election'. There is a police investigation of Prime Minister Helen Clark's signing of a painting that she hadn't painted. A book is released claiming a government cover-up of the release of GE corn seed into New Zealand. Prime Minister Clark is 'ambushed' on television in a dramatic confrontation with TV3's John Campbell. The Alliance is annihilated, but Jim Anderton makes it back into Parliament. After 18 years in Parliament Peter Dunne becomes an overnight success. The 'worm' returns. So does Winston Peters, in alliance with a cartoon character, 'Bob the Builder'.

The election, from start to finish, is seen through the eyes of party strategists, candidates, journalists and scholars of New Zealand politics. Twenty-eight chapters discuss, analyse and interpret what happened and why. The key post-election events - the formation of a Labour-Progressive coalition with support from United Future and the Greens - are documented.

New Zealand Votes: The General Election of 2002 includes a special feature: a CD-Rom of debates and ads from the campaign - a vivid record of an unusual and colourful contest.

Jonathan Boston, Stephen Levine, Elizabeth McLeay and Nigel S. Roberts are all political scientists at the Victoria University of Wellington who have collaborated on a wide-ranging research project into the effects of MMP on New Zealand's government and politics. From 1999 to 2002 Stephen Church was a Research Fellow at the Victoria University of Wellington.


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