Hey voters, are you tired of wildly oscillating polls? OK, here's another
The 2017 Kingswood Election Tour is tuning in to the national mood before the election. MARTIN VAN BEYNEN and ALDEN WILLIAMS explore New Zealand's biggest city.
People must be sick of polls.
Every second day a new one is released with results suggesting a wildly vacillating electorate.
On Thursday the Kingswood Election Tour left Hamilton in its dust and arrived in the metropolis of Auckland where the traffic was flowing surprisingly freely.
With a crucial poll to be released that night, we decided to do our own poll. How hard could it be?
* Kingswood Election Tour: Jacinda Ardern's home town of Morrinsville keeping faith in dairy
* Personality or policy - the Kingswood Election Tour seeks answers
* Bill English slides behind wheel
* Survey: which politicians do you trust and what will influence your vote? Tell us your views
We chose to accost shoppers outside the Westfield Mall in Albany, a town north of the big smoke that will host the Springboks-All Blacks game on Saturday. Everyone goes to malls, right?
The mall area has a Kmart, a Farmers and a Number One Shoes, as well as some more upmarket shops and a food court. The clientele mainly appeared to be European and Asian and 22 shoppers were happy to give us their voting preference and their reasons.
Albany is part of the East Coast Bays electorate and is a fairly wealthy area, but the mall brings in people from all over. In the last election, National got about 20,000 party votes in the electorate, while Labour landed about 4000 and the Greens, 2700. This then is not Labour heartland.
Anyway, Labour still managed to get five votes from the 22 people we polled.
Its supporters were people like a retired couple from Glenfield.
"I'm concerned about housing and immigration, which is giving Auckland problems with housing and transport. National have been sitting on their thumbs for six years. If we keep doing the same things, things are not going to improve."
The most frequently mentioned negative about Labour was tax, which was ironic given Labour's change of heart on Thursday, when it decided to seek a fresh mandate for any tax changes if elected.
That appears to be too late as the damage has been done.
National took 11 votes from the shoppers polled. They were people like Simon Russell, a successful exporter.
"I am not going to be taxed to death. It might be a conservative choice, but the alternatives are way off for me. I like Jacinda, but she comes with baggage."
The economy and stability were the most frequently stressed positives for National.
Conclusion: With only a little more than a week to go before the election, there didn't appear to be much change from 2014 with Labour shooting itself in the foot over the tax issue.
Polls take time and when the tour pulled out of Albany it was late afternoon. Time was not a big issue for Luke O'Neill, 35, who was fishing for kahawai at Hadfield's Beach north of Auckland. Late Prime Minister Robert Muldoon had a beach house in the bay.
O'Neill is a possum trapper who makes ends meet with casual work and lives in his van with dogs Vali and Tonk. He had voted earlier in the day for the Green Party.
* Kingswood Election Tour: A Father's Day special in the deep south
* There's so many issues grabbing voters this election, it'll be hard to please them all
* South Island heartland voters leaning to blue, but love Jacinda Ardern
* Kingswood Election Tour on the road again - from Bluff to Cape Reinga
He couldn't name the leader of the Green Party and had no idea of its recent troubles.
"It just seems the way to go," said the hunter, who had skins of feral cats on his dashboard.
The Kingswood roars further up the east coast to the river settlement of Warkworth.
Fin Higgins and Toni Beer, both National voters, were taking an early evening promenade along the river.
Higgens, a Bayleys real estate agent in the town, said he was looking for consistency and was concerned about Labour's talk about tax on houses and on income tax.
Immigration was important because it allowed the country to grow and pay for new infrastructure, he said.