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PoliticsDecember 15, 2021

Ranked: the best political party merch for Christmas


What better way to delight your friends and family than with some merchandise from the political party they love – or even better, one they loathe. Here are the pick of the online stores. 

9. T-Shirt – New Conservatives, $10

For a party committed to keeping things as they are, there has been a lot of change at the New Conservatives. And that is reflected in the promotional picture for the New Con tee, which is modelled here by Leighton Baker and Elliot Ikilei, both of who used to be the party leader before being unseated for reasons unknown.

Be that as it may – 10 bucks! And you would look great in that blue.

8. Bumper sticker – Act, $5

Sometimes bumper sticker politics mean actual bumper stickers, and here Act is jumping on the doublecabwagon with a jab at the so-called “ute tax” and the prime minister’s suggestion that some utes are more “legitimate” than others. 

It is also very clearly an allusion to Edmund’s famous line in King Lear. “As to the legitimate,” he said. “Fine word, ‘legitimate’! – well, my legitimate, if this letter speed and my invention thrive, Edmund the base Shall top th’ legitimate. I grow, I prosper. Now, gods, stand up for bastards!”

At the time of writing, there were 1,465 stickers available. 

7. ‘Wasted vote’ mug – TOP, $22

A mug from the Opportunities Party. In the middle there is a cannabis leaf, so it may be a reference to the cannabis legalisation referendum, which it pre-dates. But also there’s a play on words there. “Wasted vote” appears to acknowledge the haters’ suggestion that a vote for TOP is wasted – and, well, they did get 1.5% last election, well below the 5% threshold. But, wait: “wasted” is edgy slang for being heavily intoxicated, so, well, I don’t know. Also TOP is POT backwards so really makes you think. 

6. Keyring – National, $19.95

Zoom in on “this nifty National Party keyring” and you’ll see that it’s celebrating the years 1936-2016. That’s because, of course, it’s from the 80-year anniversary celebrations, but in light of the National reset – the Relux – and the commitment to delete from the party drives all files relating to the recent past, it’s very on message. 

5. Tea(m) towel – Labour, $25

Here’s a tea towel – sorry tea(m) towel – celebrating Labour’s historic 2020 victory, squeezing the zillion MPs you’ve never heard of into one rectangle that has the added advantage of drying your steel tankards. 

Pros: The tea towel includes Chris Hipkins spreading his legs.

Cons: This tea towel is superior. Plus, in keeping with Labour’s recent approach, it’s not actually available yet, and won’t be until December 16. Which makes it, really, an announcement of an announcement.

4. Face mask – Greens, $38

No sign of the famous retro Green hoodie in the party merch store, nor so much as a glimpse of the Green undies they were hawking before the election. There is, however, in the spirit of the times, a face mask, made in New Zealand from offcuts, obviously. 

3. Ear warmer – Te Pāti Māori, $20

If you’re splitting your vote Green-Māori, twin your Green face mask with a Te Pāti Māori ear warmer. Disappointing, if I’m honest, not to see any of the Rawiri Waititi wardrobe in there. Where is the pounamu hei-tiki, the Stetson, the Air Waititis?

2. Necktie – National, $49.95

Fifty bucks is a lot for a tie, but this one is “sporting a discreet logo”, and if the image is a guide it will provide the most alpha chest puff imaginable and Bill English will land like an angel on your shoulder, whispering sensible advice and moody haiku in your ear for the rest of your days.

1. Handmade flower crochet lights decoration (Dolls not included) – Act, $25

The dolls themselves are not included. The flowers are completely out of stock. And yet this is so ineffably great that it still takes first place, and comfortably. Association of Craft and Tremendousness, right there.

“String these handmade crochet lights to celebrate and brighten up your home.” Yes! “Approximately 2m long.” Perfect! “Two AA batteries included.” Stop it! “Dolls not included.” Sad but fair but how much for the dolls?

Important update: They have just added fresh handmade flower crochet lights decoration stock. Ten available! Get in quick.

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