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PoliticsOctober 17, 2020

Election Live, October 17: Dogs, dogs and more dogs at polling booths


Welcome to The Spinoff’s Election Live for October 17, bringing you nothing but dogs at polling booths until 7pm, after which we’ll bring you all the news from the election. Send your dogs at polling booths snaps (no humans please) to

5.50pm: Monty Don in Howick

A very good name for a dog.

5.40pm: Flicker in Pirongia

5.35pm: Cassie and Delki

5.30pm: A true hero of democracy

Not even castration could keep Spinoff dog Pickle from exercising his democratic right to accompany his mum, our podcast manager Jane Yee, to the voting booth.

5.10pm: Look at these two though

Look at them! On the left is Tia in Tauranga and on the right is Didi voting at Tāmaki College in Auckland.

5.05pm: Seems fair

5.00pm: Campaign dog

This is Luca, who’s been running his own campaign over on Twitter at @ferrygooddogs. Good on ya, Luca!

4.55pm: The beagle has landed

I can’t believe it’s taken this long for a beagle to appear! Harry (right) was worth the wait though. On the left we’ve got Paddy, who’s not a beagle but is a very good dog and has waited patiently for his walk but would like to go now please.

4.50pm: Ruby and Bear, what a pair

Ruby (left) is looking over at another voting dog, keen to discuss the possible outcomes with it. Bear is an undecided voter, so he’s hedging his bets with the red and blue bowtie.

4.45pm: First-timers

This is 12-month-old Rosie (on the right) at Breaker Bay in Wellington with her new friend Matai. Happy first election, my friends!

4.40pm: Happy birthday to Hank

Hank, the little guy on the left who looks a bit like Spinoff dog Stanley (see 1.10pm update), is celebrating his 5th birthday tomorrow. Have a ripper, Hank! He’s engaging in the democratic process at Sunnybrae Normal School in the Birkenhead electorate with his pal Barry. On the right is a cool shaggy guy whose name I don’t know but I like him a lot.

4.35pm: Just pure swag

Luna the sartorial goddess is voting in Christchurch Central. Timo on the right was mainly interested in sniffing the sign.

4.30pm: Sausage party (vote)

“Feel free to put the election guy on my head,” said Paul, the human of this excellent dachshund voting in the Ilam electorate of Christchurch today. And I did. On the right is lovely Pippin, voting at Dovedale (Nelson represent!!!)

4.25: Voting is for everyone

This is Peggy, a deaf, elderly SPCA rescue enjoying her waddle to our local polling booth this morning. God bless you Peggy!

4.20pm: On top of this whole voting business

On the left is May, who’s staunch as about voting in Cambridge, and at right we have Jasmine, who’s on top of it in Devonport, Auckland.

4.15pm: Esme and Macklin

Esme’s in Bayswater, Auckland, Macklin’s at Fairfield Primary in Hamilton, and they’re both truly wonderful pooches.

4.10pm: A beauty on Banks Peninsula

This is Hazel the collie – have you ever seen a finer specimen of hound? Look at those David Bowie eyes! She’s voting at Little River on the Banks Peninsula.

4.05pm: Why vote with one dog when you can vote with three dogs?

The fine city of Nelson has been very well represented in today’s pupdates (also Stanley the Spinoff dog’s hometown – coincidence?). This is Tasman on the left, who’s very excited about voting in Whakatū today. The delightful trio on the right are Dora, Dougall and Fergus, who I don’t believe are from Nelson but I still love them very much.

4.00pm: Frankie and unnamed shaggy guy

Frankie the Frenchie is voting in rural Remutaka. More rural dogs please!

3.55pm: Choc and Izzy

Very interested in the action through the fence.

3.50pm: Georgie and Holly

3.35pm: Deedee and Maggie

3.30pm: Sophisticated Saffy in Silverdale

3.25pm: Back to dogs

Scout’s a little confused about this whole voting business, but the unnamed good boy on the right is quietly confident he’s got this.

3.00pm: Nearly two million people have advance voted (please excuse this brief non-canine interruption)

Let’s take a momentary break from democracy dogs to bring you the final advance voting numbers, just released. Yesterday, 233,575 people voted, bringing the total number of advance votes in 2020 to just shy of two million people (1,976,996, to be exact). That amounts to more that 75% of last election’s total turnout.

The Electoral Commission had estimated a 60% advance vote this year. In 2017 the advance proportion was 47%.

2.55pm: Triple treat

Some extreme election cuteness going on in the Waimakariri electorate of Canterbury.

2.50pm: Florence and Stella

Florence is a good dog who believes in participatory democracy, but also believes New Zealand should start providing democracy sausages. We’re sure Stella, who’s voting today in Nelson, would agree.

2.45: An extremely handsome pair

When democracy looks this good, why wouldn’t you vote? On the right is Rocket in Queenstown, and the angel on the left is nameless but in Howick, Auckland, and very cute.

2.40pm: Tui and Daisy

Tui rocked an on-theme orange vest as she voted in Kāpiti today, while Charlie went au naturel in Wellington.

2.35pm: Timmy and Digby

This fine pair of adoptive brothers exercised their democratic right today at the Greek Orthodox Church in Western Springs, Auckland.

2.30pm: Lil Dudley

Dudley looks grumpy but only because he wasn’t allowed to vote himself. At least he’s got a lovely sunny sitting spot.


2.25pm: Island dogs

Tis a lovely day to be voting on Waiheke – this is Matza and a pal.

2.20pm: Capital canines

Otto and Dexter are both voting in Wellington today – Dexter was stoked to be first in at Strathmore Community Centre this morning.

2.15pm: Friends who vote together…

Jack is a black lab and Poppy is a shih tzu x mini foxy and they are voting as a duo today. 

2.10pm: Gus and Charlie

Gus (left) is voting for tax-free snacks and more walks. Charlie (right) is keeping his politics to himself but is delighted to be fulfilling his civic duty at Gladstone Primary in Mt Albert, Auckland.

2.00pm: Accessorising is everything

The unnamed good boy or girl at left is accessorising with a poo bag, while Ollie the wheaten terrier favours a jaunty scarf. Both solid choices imo.

1.50pm: Badass voting

Maggie the greyhound voting in Auckland, and a dog sent in via email with the subject line “Badass voting in Nelson”. I really hope this dog’s name is actually Badass.

1.20pm: Dora and Hendrix

Dora is another one of our democratic doggos abroad (see 5.30am update), doing her civic duty from Sydney. And Hendrix has a special message for you from St Dominic’s School in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland.

1.10pm: Stanley, the greatest dog in the world

Here’s Spinoff dog Stanley, voting today at St Columba Anglican Church in Grey Lynn, Auckland. He gets two pics because his mum is compiling these updates.

Stanley would like you to know that there are three new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, all detected in managed isolation. One arrived from the UK via Singapore on October 9 and is in managed quarantine in Christchurch, where they tested positive as part of routine testing around day three. The second and third imported cases arrived from the United Arab Emirates on October 13 and are today being transferred from managed isolation to Auckland’s quarantine facility. They also tested positive as part of routine testing around day three.

Our total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is 1,527, and nine people are now recovered, which which means our total number of active cases is 40 – all imported cases. There are no active community cases of and no one in hospital with Covid-19 in New Zealand. Yesterday our laboratories processed 4,794 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,026,725.

1.00pm: Finn and Wiley

Voting in Beachhaven and Māngere Bridge in Auckland respectively. Great dogs.

11.40am: Glorious creatures

Pablo on the left and Ziggy on the right – magnificent the pair of them.

11.20am: Another Spinoff-adjacent dog

This is Suzie, canine companion of Auckland councillor Cathy Casey, who is mother of erstwhile Spinoffer Alex Casey.

“Just been to exercise my constitutional right to vote at the Mt Albert Presbyterian Church Hall in Mt Albert Road. Suzie got her constitutional as well,” says Cathy.

11.00am: Spinoff-adjacent dogs

Freya and Polly Jean, the dog nieces of Spinoff deputy editor Alice (and thus cousins of Spinoff dog Stanley), doing their civic duty at Stanley Bay School in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore today.

10.45am: Two very handsome dogs

The one on the right is called Bishop, not sure about the one on the left but he’s a noble creature. (Sorry, human censored because rules are rules.)

10.30am: Tavi and Bernie have voted

Have you? (PS Bernie is named after Bernie Sanders.)

10.00am: Boss and Bort have voted

Have you?

9.50am: Pensive pooches

Lovely Daisy and Lovely Rosie pondering what it all means.

9.40am: Double doggos

Ziggy and Django on the left and a pair of lovely schnauzers on the right, because two dogs is better than one dog and four dogs is better than two dogs, and so on and so forth.

9.30am: ‘What’s that over there’ dogs

Seriously, what’s that over there?

9.20: More ecstatic canines

Poppy the bichon-shih tzu (left) and Zola the cavoodle (right) absolutely loving life.

9.15am: Just genuinely happy dogs

Would you take a look at these two? Absolutely stoked to be taking part in the democratic process. On the left we have Bean the wire fox terrier at the Grey Lynn Library polling station in Auckland and on the right, Portia, complete with orange voting bows, at The Grandstand polling station in Hamilton.

9.00am: Badass bow-wows

These dogs are rebels through and through. Ceaser on the left skated off into the sunset right after this picture was taken, in clear breach of the ‘no skateboarding in this village area’ sign behind him. And Cooper, well, Cooper is pissing on the voting sign. Please note this is not a deliberate act of disrespect towards the democratic process, it’s just a known fact that no dog has ever been able to resist the allure of a good sign to wee on.

8.45am: FASHION (turn to the left) FASHION (turn to the right)

Diva and Gracie would like you to know that democracy is very important but so is FASHION

8.00am: Astra-nomical

This is Astra voting in Parnell, Auckland, this week. Look at that pose. Look at that smile. Look at that shiny coat. Just a phenomenal hound.

6.30am: It’s just emotions taking me over

Voting is a MOOD, as Jinx proves below. “She was very well behaved and had a nap while waiting outside for me to finish voting. The volunteers said she was the best part of their super busy day,” says Jinx’s mum Zara.

6.00am: Canine voting hotspots

If you’re voting today and wondering where you’ll have the best chance of encountering some fine democratic doggos, All Saints Anglican Church on Ponsonby Road in Auckland appeared to be absolutely teeming with them during the week. Two separate dog spotters sent in these pics on different days: not one, not two, but THREE pooches, including one little guy I almost mistook for a teddy bear, waiting patiently to cast their votes.

*NB Today’s Election Live is strictly for dogs only, so all humans have been censored accordingly.

5.30am: Democratic doggos abroad

Did you know on average only one in 10 New Zealanders living overseas votes in our general elections? Cricket (left) and Maggie (right) think that’s absolutely not on so kindly helped their owners exercise their democratic right from Melbourne and Singapore respectively.

5.00am: Well-dressed advance-voting dogs 

Good morning and welcome to The Spinoff’s Election Live for October 17, election day. As of yesterday, 1.7 million people had already voted, something every one of these fine hounds is in full support of.

Both Stevie (left) and Tilly (right) believe that voting is Very Important Business, and thus formal attire is appropriate. We entirely agree. Keep up the good work.

Read yesterday’s Election Live here

Keep going!