Stephen Levine (ed)

Stardust and Substance: the New Zealand General Election of 2017

Out of Print

Hide Description- Show Description+

13 SEPTEMBER 2018 mebook.gif


Stardust and Substance captures some of the magic of Jacinda Ardern’s extraordinary seven-and-a-half weeks’ campaign, defeating a National government in power for nine years.

The story of her sensational achievement – with ‘relentless positivity’ and a ‘Let’s do this’ attitude – is told in this book by multiple authors, including Jacinda Ardern herself; her coalition partners, Winston Peters and James Shaw; and, looking back at the 2017 race, by her adversary in the campaign, former prime minister Bill English.

The book portrays how a remarkable election looked:
•    to overseas observers in the U.S., Australia, Europe, Britain and Japan, attempting to understand ‘Jacindamania’.
•    to 14 of New Zealand’s top cartoonists.
•    to academic commentators, journalists and a TV news programme’s producer.

Stardust and Substance tells the story of how the election was won, and a government formed, its chapters highlighting:
•    the televised debates and Jacinda Ardern’s inspirational example for New Zealand’s young women.
•    UMR’s survey findings about leadership, issues and ‘word clouds’.
•    the post-election negotiations with Winston Peters.
•      the role of political scandals.
•    the campaign and election in the Maori seats.
•    the 2017 election and New Zealand’s Pacific communities.
•    four campaigns, four candidates – Julie Anne Genter (Greens); Chris Hipkins (Labour); Mark Mitchell (National); Fletcher Tabuteau (New Zealand First).

Stardust and Substance also farewells the Key-English government, examining its legacy with regard to some key issues:
New Zealand’s flag; the economy, housing, the environment, immigration, foreign policy and security.  

Stardust and Substance is the latest title in a VUP series of New Zealand election studies allowing New Zealanders today and ‘in 20, 50 and 100 years’ time’ the opportunity to ‘think about what happened and why’ (John Key) at the country’s general elections.

Cover design by Todd Atticus.


Trevor Mallard

Stephen Levine

Overview of the Election

Stardust and Substance: New Zealand’s 2017 election
Stephen Levine     

Party Leaders’ Perspectives

Labour 2017: The Prime Minister’s perspective
Jacinda Ardern

Change versus a modified status quo: The New Zealand First perspective
Winston Peters

The Green Party’s campaign: A leader’s perspective
James Shaw

National: The leader’s perspective
Bill English

The ACT Party: The leader’s perspective
David Seymour

The Māori Party: A valedictory address
Te Ururoa Flavell

United Future: A valedictory address
Peter Dunne

The 2017 New Zealand election: Views from overseas

An American view
Alan Tidwell

An Australian view
Nicholas Economou and Zareh Ghazarian

The view from the UK
Tim Bale

Jacinda Ardern’s rise and the generational politics of party leadership
Paul ’t Hart and Willem van Toor     

A Japanese view
Kuniaki Nemoto  

Media Perspectives

‘Boom, Shake the Room’: Producing a political TV show in one of New Zealand’s most explosive election campaigns
Nicola Kean  

Māori media and the campaign
Yvonne Tahana

Cartoonists and the 2017 election
Ian F. Grant and Hannah Benbow

Satire and citizen craft in 2017
Sarah Austen-Smith

Campaign Perspectives

A Labour MP’s electorate race
Rebekka Evans

A New Zealand First MP’s campaign
Angus Stallmann

A Green MP’s campaign
Karishma Patel

A National MP’s electorate race
Stephanie Taylor

Public policy and the legacy of the Key-English government

Flagging fortunes: Early intimations of National’s vulnerability
Therese Arseneau and Nigel S. Roberts

Foreign and defence policy
Robert Ayson

It is not just the economy, stupid ...
Girol Karacaoglu and Joey Au

New Zealand environmental policy in the Key era: Escalating crises in a time of neo-liberal economic dominance
Priya Kurian and Megan Smith

Immigration and the Key-English government
Fiona Barker

Crisis? What crisis? An overview of the fifth National government’s housing policies
Ben Schrader

The government and the media: Nine laissez-faire years
Gavin Ellis

The state sector: Emergent concerns
Bob Gregory and Masashi Yui

The Campaign, the Results and the Formation of the Coalition

The first post-baby-boomer election
Colin James

Jacinda Ardern: A political presence
Claire Timperley

Performing politics: Leaders’ debates in the 2017 election
Geoffrey Craig

Survey findings and the 2017 election
Stephen Mills

Scandals, transgressions and embarrassments in the 2017 election
Ellie Argyle

Did the Māori electorates decide the election?
Morgan Godfery

Pacific peoples and the 2017 election
Salote Talagi

Round two: Forming a government
Stephen Church      


Looking ahead …    
Stephen Levine

Related Products