Grant McDougall has cooked up the following meditation on "if New Zealand political parties were rock bands" ...
NATIONAL would be THE ROLLING STONES - absolutely unbeatable in their '60s and '70s heyday and blessed with an amazing frontman. They're still wildly popular of course, but they seem content to recycle their greatest hits and haven't came up with anything fresh or inspiring for yonks. As for the frontman, well, these days he seems more interested in finance than what's happening on the street. Think Big is their Dirty Works.
LABOUR would be U2 - superficially exciting, but basically merely bland and efficient. Plus their leader has an annoying tendency to come across as a pompous know-it-all. Also wildly popular, but despised by their detractors.
THE GREENS would be THE FALL - they've been around for ages, but have never been huge and never will be. Everyone knows what they do has loads more merit than everyone else, but it's all a bit too weird for most people. They're a cult act and will always have their followers, but will never gain widespread appeal.
ACT would be CULTURE CLUB - their schtick was huge in the '80s, but completely irrelevant and badly-dated now. Who the hell listens to Culture Club these days? No one, that's who.
NZ FIRST would be BB KING - hugely popular and influential in his day, but basically a cabaret act now that should just retire.
THE MAORI PARTY would be PRIMAL SCREAM - half the members are utter loose cannons, the rest are plodding journeymen. They also always talk total crap in interviews and seem wired up on any number of drugs.
UNITED FUTURE would be COLDPLAY - dreadful, bland, hated and sensible. The frontman is a smug twit that really ought to be smacked hard on the head with a cast-iron frying pan.
JIM ANDERTON would be JULIAN COPE - was moderately important in the same scene as U2 in the early '80s and had an unexpected career revival in the late '80s, early '90s, but obscure and irrelevant ever since; generally regarded as a nut-bar by most and an endearing eccentric by his equally-loopy band of followers.