Opinion: Newshub reviews New Zealand politicians on Instagram

Jacinda Ardern has more followers than her party's leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister Bill English combined (Instagram)
Jacinda Ardern has more followers than her party's leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister Bill English combined (Instagram)

OPINION: Politicians are, for the most part, all over Twitter and Facebook to varying degrees of success.

But when it comes to Instagram, there are surprisingly few politicians chasing the youth vote.

Labour's deputy leader Jacinda Ardern has far more followers than her party's leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister Bill English combined. National's Nikki Kaye is catching up to Bill in the follower count, and even New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is getting amongst the 'gram.

Here's a look at some New Zealand politicians on Instagram:

Prime Minister Bill English:

A standout 'gram from Bill was his first post after becoming Prime Minister. It was a classic: a black and white image of his phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. There's something artistic about it, more in the style of a White House Instagram.

There's also more casual posts like him at Adele's concert with his wife Mary, or in the back of a car talking to US President Donald Trump shortly after he became President. The pressure is on for Bill to step up his game - former Prime Minister John Key has clocked up 21,000 followers.

Follower count: 1,959


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters:

I'm sure I'm not the only one who was surprised to see Winston on the 'gram. He is also embracing the hashtag #winstagram. Clever. But aside from the hashtag and the fact he actually has Instagram, there's not a hell of a lot to see here at the moment.

Follower count: 296 


National Minister Nikki Kaye:

Nikki has nearly 1500 followers and posts pretty frequently. She leans towards posting party branded announcements - a clear point of difference from Jacinda, but it seems to be working well for her. There's good content to be found here including a decent amount of cat photos, and even a photo with Hillary Clinton.

Follower count: 1493


National Minister Judith Collins:

Judith loves to 'gram, and she goes beyond the office. There's photos in here with sporting heroes Beauden Barrett and Maria Tutaia, and ringside shots of her nephew Joseph Parker. She also adds a personal touch, flipping the camera to take photos of sunsets and flowers.

Follower count: 685


National Minister Simon Bridges:

The Transport Minister gets points for having interesting photos, including a visit to The Cookie Time factory, driving a tiny Google car, and for the countless cycling photo ops of him cycling around with other dudes in suits. Here he is sitting in a weird egg-shaped seat with stars in the background:

Follower count: 829


Labour leader Andrew Little:

Andrew's Instagram isn't as consistent in its brand as Nikki or Jacinda. There's some underwhelming content like him speaking into the camera about policy announcements, but some gems like closeups of cheese rolls, a university throwback and photos of the architecture inside Parliament.

Follower count: 1,090


Labour Deputy leader Jacinda Ardern:

Jacinda is leading in the popularity contest, with nearly 12,000 followers on Instagram. Her photos maintain a personal touch, she strays away from branded PR announcements and instead uses photos and take time to write detailed posts.

Follower count: 11,700


Green MP Jan Logie:

Jan has a good mix of sass, selfies, and quality photos of nature, art and community events. There's a strong sense of her personality and passions coming through in her Instagram feed.

Follower count: 819


Green MP Julie Ann Genter:

Julie Ann is probably the most prolific selfie-taking MP, and has some great nature shots. She has a pretty good follower count, has posted an eye-roll reaction to a speech in Parliament, and get points for this post of power suits during the US election.

Follower count: 1267

Looking to the future:

Newcomers on the campaign trail like Green's Chloe Swarbrick , and Labour's Kiri Allan have a strong Instagram presence, but a casual search failed to find some of our political leaders.

There don't appear to be public accounts for Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Metiria Turei, Māori Party co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell and ACT leader David Seymour.

A glance at other world leaders reveals Instagram is increasingly becoming a major platform for publicity. New Zealand politicians don't have the luxury of people who are literally employed to follow them around taking photos, but it's still a place for them to reach out to the public or to express themselves, for better or worse.

But whatever happens, we'll always have Barack Obama's Instagram account. 

Emma Hurley is a Newshub digital producer.