The Kiwi Party is holding its inaugural conference today and it has announced its first five priorities.
They are repealing the anti-smacking law; appointing a Royal Commission on child abuse; introduce binding referenda on controversial issues; increase the drinking age, clamp down on those who supply alcohol to under-age drinkers and establish faith based detox and rehabilitation centres; increase the minimum wage to $15; and invest in marriage preparation and relationship enrichment courses (which by my count is six priorities).
There are no surprises there. The big surprise would be if the party actually got in to parliament and history shows how difficult that would be. Party leader Gordon Copeland is only in parliament because Future New Zealand, the manifestation of the Christian party he was in at the time, was subsumed by the United Party.
The best result for a Christian party was the Christian Colaition’s 4.3% of the party vote in 1994. In 1999 Chirstian Heritage got 2.4% and Future New Zealand got 1.1%.
Three years later Christian Heritage got 1.4% and United Future NZ got 6.7% – but that was because the television worm liked its leader Peter Dunne and National was decimated.
At the last election United was down to 3% and Destiny got .6%.
MMP does enable wee parties to get in to parliament but no new party has got in without an electorate seat and I can’t see the Kiwi Party having a broad enough appeal to change that.