New Zealanders are exhausted. Their pocketbooks are threadbare, the dog years of the pandemic have dragged on, and there is a strong sense that the country has never been further off track.
And so, when they head to the polls on Saturday, polls show, most will vote to punish the governing center-left Labour Party, which under Jacinda Ardern won a historic majority just three years ago.
“There’s a real vibe around of tiredness, frustration,” said Bernard Hickey, an economic commentator. When New Zealanders last went to the polls, they were celebrating their coronavirus wins. From 2021, he said, “it was all downhill.”