Labour’s Delivery in Government: Limited Transformation Masked by Crisis Management and Polite Populism

Jennifer Lees-Marshment (Lead / Corresponding author), Edward Elder (Lead / Corresponding author), Julia Büdler, Daniel Barraclough, Alexa Frost, Laura Hemingway, Zach Lee, Shai Navot, ‘Olita Tu’ifua

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter draws on analysis of Labour and Ardern’s communication, an interview with Ardern’s first chief of staff, public polling data, Vote Compass survey data related to COVID-19 management and post-election survey data on delivery to better understand why Labour struggled to deliver the transformation change they had promised in 2017. In doing so, this chapter conveys how effective crisis management and Ardern’s polite populist strategy masked failures in delivery that was compounded by ineffective delivery marketing during a majority of their first two and a half years in government. In doing so, the chapter argues that Labour were able to boost public perceptions of their delivery capability, but that this is a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Marketing and Management in the 2020 New Zealand General Election
EditorsEdward Elder, Jennifer Lees-Marshment
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030773335
ISBN (Print)9783030773328
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Political Marketing and Management
ISSN (Print)2946-2614
ISSN (Electronic)2946-2622


  • Delivery
  • Delivery communication
  • Delivery management
  • Polite populism


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