The parties we chose
We based our selection of parties on the Broadcasting Allocations posted by the Electoral Commission on the 29 May 2020. The minimum threshold of broadcasting allocation to be included as one of our parties was $60,000 – or that the party be allocated to Category Five of the allocations, or higher (Categories 1-4). Within this group, we limited it to registered parties (Advance NZ was not registered by that date) and excluded single issue parties (Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party). This left us with the eight parties audited here.
The policies we chose
We audited only those marked specifically as official 2020 election “policy” in the policy section of each party's website. These policies must have been uploaded before advance voting opened on 3rd October, i.e. by 5pm on 2nd October. We did not include speeches, discussion documents, vision statements, introductory statements on navigation pages, or any other pseudo-policy type document, except where these were the only available policy documents, and were uploaded as the official policy of that party, on the policy section of that party’s website.
This involved periodic downloads of new policies for each of the eight parties over a six week period. A range of keyword queries were designed for each policy area identified in the YouChoose2020 responses, and run over every policy document.
In total, we searched:
- Over 250 individual policy documents
- Over 1450 pages
- Over 350,000 words
This work forms the basis of the Election 2020 Scorecard.
Do the parties have a women’s policy?
We first assessed if each party had a women’s policy. These results do not appear on the scorecard, but form part of the basis of our interest in understanding where parties stand on women’s issues.
Most parties did not have a specific women’s policy, although women and/or gender minorities were mentioned in policy documents. These are our results, by party:
- The Act Party had no separate policy for women or gender minorities. They named women in two policy areas: in regard to abortion, and in that they note that the Sole Parent Support benefit can help women escape violent relationships.
- The Green Party has a separate policy for Women, Rainbow communities, Youth, Te Tiriti, Children, and Human Rights, and their overarching policy platform included mention of women, wāhine Māori, gender minorities, non binary, and transgender peoples. Women appeared in a range of other portfolios including justice, arts and culture, recreation, global affairs and immigration.
- Labour has no separate policy for women or gender minorities. They name women in relation to six policy areas: domestic violence; women and girls’ participation in sports; women’s representation on state sector boards; mental wellbeing; the institution of the Living Wage in the core public service, and; Māori boarding schools.
- The National Party has no separate policy for women or gender minorities. They name women in relation to a number of policy areas: these include health and gynaecological cancer, children and families, social development and investment and the economy. While family and sexual violence are discussed, there is no mention of women in alongside these in their Law and Order portfolio. Neither Māori women nor wāhine feature specifically in their policies.
- New Zealand First has no separate policy for women or gender minorities, nor were women or gender minorities named in any of the policy documents to which we had access.
- The Māori Party has no separate policy for women or gender minorities, nor were women or gender minorities named in any of the policy documents to which we had access.
- The Opportunities Party (TOP) has no separate policy for women or gender minorities. However, women and gender minorities were mentioned in regards to access to abortion services, in their ‘Building Aotearoa’ policy document, and in reference to ‘women’s rights’.
- The New Conservative Party has no separate policy for women or gender minorities. However, women and gender minorities were mentioned in regards to women’s contribution to society beyond remuneration, the importance of non-discrimination and women in the workplace, as mothers, and a specific reference to ‘biological women’ as a yardstick for determining access to women’s spaces.
We took the propositions from the YouChoose2020 survey. The propositions represent the three* most supported issue areas from each category. In the case that the same proposition appeared in subsequent categories, the next-most-agreed-to proposition in the subsequent category was used, instead of repeating the same proposition. Four propositions are present for the categories “Fairness in the Workplace” and “Environment and Whenua”. In both of these cases, the survey responses from Māori women and nonbinary people were slightly different than those from the rest of the sample. In order to ensure that we chose the top three issues for every group of women, we included a fourth proposition in these categories, in the case that it was a top three issue for Māori women and nonbinary people, but not for the general sample.
To assess whether parties had policy in line with each proposition, we looked for explicit mentions in policy documents only. The normative statements were decided by the survey. We only assessed whether the parties had specific policies in line with, or explicitly designed to achieve the outcomes in the survey propositions. We did not assess whether the policy was likely/unlikely to achieve the outcome: we took the word of the policy document that it was designed to do so.
For example, for the proposition “more government funding for childcare”, we would code a “Yes” if a party supported $100 more in funding, or $100,000,000 more in funding.
For example, if a party proposed abolishing the RMA as a means to achieve “greater commitment and engagement with Maaori on the use of land”, we would code yes, regardless of assessments as to the likelihood of that policy achieving the outcome.
The wording of the proposition was important in coding decisions. If a proposition advocated “more” of something, a “YES” could only be coded if “more” was provided for in the policy. If the proposition only advocated the existence of something, a mention of support for its existence in policy was sufficient.
For example, a policy which supported “the existing parental leave allocation” would be a “YES” to the proposition “paid parental leave” but a “NO” to the proposition “extension of paid parental leave”.
If a proposition asked for “coaching and mentoring for women and non-binary people” a “YES” could only be coded if a policy specific to this group was found, i.e. a general policy about mentoring would not be sufficient. A “PARTIAL” would be coded for a general mentoring and coaching policy, because it applies to women, but is not specific to women.
There are three possible codes for each proposition: Yes, No, or Partial. These are the guidelines used for assigning each code:
If a policy exists that aligns with the proposition
Example, if the proposition supported longer paid parental leave, and the party has a policy that explicitly states they support the extension of paid parental leave to x weeks.
The policy talks about the policy area being important, but the party does not offer a specific policy proposal. For example, the party talks about the import of longer paid parental leave, but does not offer a concrete policy proposal.
The party offers conflicting policies in regards to the proposition. For example, if the proposition supports the reduction of carbon emissions, but the party offers one policy which will reduce emissions, but another which will increase emissions.
The party offers specifically, explicitly exclusionary policies in regards to the proposition. For example, if the proposition supported paid parental leave, but the party offered such leave for married, but not other, couples.
The party has no policy, or does not support the policy position of interest.
Example: No policy position.
Example: We support the existing paid parental leave entitlement (where the proposition supported more leave).
Example: We support removing/rolling back paid parental leave entitlements.
 See method for determination of allocations here: https://elections.nz/assets/2020-general-election/Broadcasting-Allocation-Decision-2020-29-May-2020.pdf
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