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Heading To The Ballot Box

Heading To The Ballot Box

New Zealand is fast heading towards the polling booths for this year’s election and, after all the uncertainty of 2020, it’s time for everyone, property investors included, to cast a vote and have their say.

By: Miriam Bell

1 October 2020

It may not be everybody’s cup of tea but, as a bona fide political junkie, I love a good election. I have done since I was a kid watching the drama of the 1980s. Putting the spectacle of endless walkabouts, determinedly smiling politicians and strange theme song choices to the side, there’s something about the atmosphere that does feel electric.

The campaign promises, the televised debates, the enlivened public discussion of issues normally overlooked — they all create the promise of change. And even if, as is often the case, that change is not necessarily delivered in the format you want, for a while at least you can believe in brighter days ahead.

Strangely, despite having followed more than enough elections to be pretty cynical, I still get caught up by that feeling – and genuinely love the whole electoral process. As noted though, not everyone feels the same. There are many disengaged and/or disillusioned nonvoters out there.

While I’m comfortable with people who have different political opinions to mine, I struggle to understand those who don’t vote. The right to vote is a hard-won democratic right which it seems wrong to waste. For that reason, I unashamedly urge everyone of age to get out there, exercise that right, and have their say. To do so, it’s important to be well informed on the different parties and policies out there, particularly the ones which have the most impact on you.

That’s why I’m thrilled to bring you our “Election 2020” special, which is focused on housing policies.

The Covid Election

It didn’t turn out to be as easy to pull together as I’d anticipated, though. This year’s election is different. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tagged it the “Covid election” and it certainly is. Covid relevance is colouring the dialogue and it means that, at the time of writing, housing was firmly in the background.

In the 2017 election, housing was the number one issue – and everyone had something to say about it. This time round that isn’t the case. But, with some perseverance, we’ve managed to bring you a rundown on what the parties are committing to on the housing front at this stage in the campaign. We hope it’s of use and interest as we head towards election day.

If the election is simply not your thing, there’s plenty more good reading in this issue. At the request of a number of readers, Joanna Jefferies has taken a look at exit strategies and what investors need to think about when they decide it’s time to cash up their portfolio.

And for a spot of inspiration check out our profile this month. We feature comeback kids Mark and Kathy Fray who were nearly bankrupted by their first foray into investing, but fought their way back to build up a very healthy portfolio. Don’t forget to head to the ballot box on October 17, but in the meantime, happy reading.