It's election year, and political parties need to raise support (and money) any way they can. As evidenced by Donald Trump's 'Make America great again' caps, marketing matters. Here's our definitive guide to political party merchandise in New Zealand.
Let's be honest these guys are the kings of fundraising. Easily the richest party in Parliament - they've got wealthy funders so they probably don't really need merchandise, right? But they are also the kings of branding - remember #teamkey - so why would they let that go to waste. Even though they have marketing geniuses in the mix we could only find balloons and pens for sale on National's website. LAME. We couldn't access the party's MyNational store to see what else was available, as we aren't members of the National Party.
Their youth wing, however, is killing it with their throwback retro sweatshirt. It features the party logo from the 1980s, and was released to celebrate the party's 80th birthday. Picture this: You're 19 years old, you vote National, you need an outfit that's going to take you from your smashed avocado brunch right through to the exclusive Max Key rave later that night. This is it.
Score: 9/10 new prison beds
Labour's most unique piece is a T-shirt with the David Lange quote "I can smell the uranium on your breath," splashed across it. It's a famous slogan that might not be that familiar to Generation Y, but it made global headlines when Mr Lange said it at an Oxford Union Debate in 1985 while arguing that nuclear weapons are morally indefensible.
They could take this further. Why not celebrate some of their other iconic leaders? Aunty Helen tee's would fly off the shelves. What about a Michael Joseph Savage T-shirt? Labour also has a nice mug that deserves a bit of praise, it's bright red with 100 years of Labour history written across it. Their merch effort is not as strong as the Young Nats' retro sweater but it does the job.
Score: 7/10 warm, dry homes
The Greens have smashed it out of the clean, green park with their reusable coffee cup - practicing exactly what they preach. You wouldn't expect to catch a Green politician with a throwaway paper cup.
What we'd like to know though is whether the cup is made from recycled plastic? Or is it made from dirty oil drilled off one of New Zealand's pristine coastlines? Hopefully the former - then it's totally on-brand. It's almost as good as their "I only date boys/girls/people who vote Green" stickers. The photograph could be of a higher quality, it's terrible, surely it's not that hard and it's lost them scoring top marks.
Score: 8/10 swimmable rivers
New Zealand First:
What New Zealand First should really be called is Winston First. He's the brand. And his biggest success for his people is the Super Gold Card, as seen in these signed larger-than-life cardboard cutouts of Super Gold Cards. What do you do with them though? Are they art? Are they protest-style placards? Are they supposed to be erected on your front lawn like a real estate sign? Do you hang them on the wall of your rest home?
We've also heard they have New Zealand First mouse pads for their internet-using fans. Cute. But so 2004. Overall though it's a little bit of a snore for a personality as strong as Winston's and they could really step up their game.
Score: 3/ 10 immigration cuts
A search of ACT's website turned up no merchandise for sale. The self-described millennial party can't let its fans buy merch online. BOO. But never fear, the parliamentary king of selfies came to the rescue to model it. We present David Seymour in a David Seymour hoodie. HI!
Honestly, this bright piece of work looks like the school leavers hoodie we all bought and wore for the last week of seventh form before realising that you maybe should have ordered the XS like the pretty girls did because your large one doesn't look cool and oversized it just looks like you bought a hoodie that's too big for you. No one ever called you the nickname you put on the back anyway. Also, do people in Epsom wear hoodies? Should he have made cashmere scarves instead?
Hoodies aside the ACT Party also has USB's for sale! Again modelled here by David Seymour.
4GB for $5! That's a pretty sweet bargain, but who really uses USBs anymore? Unless you pirated a movie and need to play it on your television. I guess, like, that's the free market. EMPHASIS ON FREE - AMIRITE. This piece of merch might be more suited to NZ First.
Anyway sale's are obviously BOOMING, Seymour sent this update on the weekend from the Palmerston North Act conference.
Score: 7/10 charter schools
The Māori Party pullover hoodie is the comfiest looking getup we've seen in ages, we can imagine throwing it on and sinking into the couch at the end of another day on the grind. It looks real warm too and comes in gray, red, and black.
The Māori Party gets extra points for presentation and marketing, with high quality photos that are easily accessible from their website, showing up everyone else. Bonus mention: Marama 'Foxy' Fox rocks a rotation of flat peaks emblazoned with "Māori " and "Fox". We don't know who designed them, but note to Māori Party: get them on board. Māori Party flat peaks would be sick.
Score: 8/10 Electorate deals with Hone
The official line from Peter Dunne's UnitedFuture is they're "working on" some merchandise, maybe some T-shirts. Watch this space. The party does have pens though! Everybody loves pens! Mr Dunne kindly dropped off about 1500 to the Press Gallery last year (yes minister!) but we couldn't find them for sale anywhere on the worldwide web. However, any genuine Dunne fan knows the holy grail of party attire would be a bowtie.
Mr Dunne says an "internet company" called As is the Manner, a custom bowtie merchant, made a special tie for him. It's called 'the Dunne'. Here he is modelling it.
Other bow ties on the website include one named "#dicksout" (a tribute to Harambe) and one called "Praise Yeezus" which literally says praise yeezus on it (that's Kanye West if you don't know).
Score: 4/10 Bow ties Tip for United Future: Sell bow ties with a picture of Peter Dunne wearing a bowtie on them #bowtieinception
The Opportunities Party (TOP):
This new political hopeful party doesn't really have a lot going for them in the way of merch. They have badges though. One with Gareth Morgan's face on it, which apparently was "fabulously popular" in the party's South Island Roadshow. "We gave away around 1200 of them" the party told us.
But for those wanting a "less in your face" option, the party also has the TOP logo badge. But then again who needs fundraising when Dr Morgan is worth a fortune, including the $47m he pocketed when his son Sam sold off Trade Me.
Score: 3/ 10 Dead cats