Patrick Gower reveals worst call he's made as a journalist

Former Newshub political editor Patrick Gower has revealed the worst call he has ever made in his career.

On October 19, 2017, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters announced, as the election's king-maker, that he would form a Government with Labour - ending National's nine years in power.

Peters said keeping National on top would have meant a "modified status quo" versus creating "change" with Labour, who would give capitalism back "its human face".

Gower, Newshub's political editor at the time, said the new Government could be summed up with one word: "Change".

"Change - complete change. The new Government will totally change New Zealand's politics and its economy," Gower wrote in an opinion piece.

But Gower, who admitted he was "excited and hopeful" at the time, has now revealed that that call was the "worst" he has ever made.

"I said that, and then I quit. I quit politics not long after that happened, and thank God I did, because that was blatantly f**king wrong," he said while featuring on the White Man Behind A Desk comedy show.

"I apologise to everyone who saw it and read it, because we see it is patently not true."

In the 2017 opinion piece, Gower noted that change would look like drastic immigration cut by up to 30,000, the Government building 100,000 homes, foreign buyers being banned from obtaining homes and farms, among other policies promised by the new governing parties.

The country's annual net migration in the past year to April was 55,800, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday. In October 2017, the country's net gain was 70,700 compared to October 2016.

The Labour-New Zealand First coalition document gives no specific number to cut immigration down, but Jacinda Ardern had called for a cut of immigration by 20,000-30,000.

The Government's KiwiBuild programme has also been floundering, with only 119 homes built so far. It was meant to have 1000 built by July 1 and 100,000 by the end of the first ten years.

A capital gains tax was also ruled out - something supporters of the Government believed would dramatically change New Zealand's tax system.

The coalition has been successful, however, in fulfilling its promise to limit the ability of foreigners to buy in New Zealand and raise the minimum wage.

Pike River mine has been re-entered after National refused to allow the operation, while there have also been ministers from the Green Party for the first time ever.

The Government's desire to introduce new emission targets and transform New Zealand's action on climate change is also underway through the Zero Carbon Bill.

The first ever wellbeing budget was also revealed in May. It was a move away from focussing on increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to instead focus more on ensuring New Zealanders' wellbeing.

It included nearly $2 billion for mental health services but has been slammed as not really focussing on Kiwis' wellbeing, particularly for cancer patients.

Newshub.

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