You may have noticed New Zealand in the news recently. Around this time every three years is election season, where we ask the politicians to roll out the pork barrels while we blast cannonball-sized holes through their policies. This year's election was somewhat unusual, in that a popular third-term government was up against a rapidly-strengthening opposition. The outcome had seemed a done thing only two months ago, but the collapse of one party on the left led to the rise of another, which in turn galvanised supporters on the right. History dictates that a party that changes its leader close to an election will lose support badly, but that didn't happen this time; instead, the polls levelled out to the point where nobody could call it one way or the other. To say it was a nail-biting campaign is putting it mildly.
Last night the polling places closed and the ballot boxes emptied, and as the clouds of dust settle we have a hung parliament - neither the parties of the left (Labour and Green) nor those of the right (National and Act) can govern without the blessing of NZ First. The election might be over but we're getting a repeat of 1996 all over again, where we'll have to wait to see what government we get. Just when I thought I was done with politics for the year...
But I wouldn't be telling you about our election if I didn't have a map to offer alongside it. For a while I've been wondering what to do with Ledesma, a 1950s suburb across Rosetta Creek from Saviso Bradford Airport. I knew what kind of suburb I wanted, but not how I would put it together. A couple of weeks ago I had the idea of laying down a suburb somewhere with streets named for MPs and candidates from a certain party. I'd wanted to hold off until the election before I committed to it, given I didn't know who would cross the line and who wouldn't (luckily, 58 of them did). I had decided on building this suburb either in Avington, Holme, or Saviso, and in the finish Ledesma's location on three waterways (Ledesma River, Rosetta Creek, and Dunne Creek) meant that it would be a pleasant sort of place.
Ledesma's shape was inspired somewhat by the Koquino Hills area in the south of Gobras City. The gentle curves and grids of the streets reminded me of post-WWII suburbia, which was the feel I was going for anyway. As mentioned, the streets are named for victorious MPs and candidates going into the 52nd Parliament, alongside a few who retired at this election. The parks are named for support partners, three of whom are no longer in Parliament (alas). No doubt I'll be getting even more political when I go in to add detail to the suburb, but then that's just me.
It was a fun campaign, but thank heavens it's over. I can map once again.
Comments go down here
Please affix your signature and timestamp.
Do not fold your ballot paper into an aeroplane and throw it at voters.