We’ve been pounding the campaign trail, and today we present, in no particular order, our picks of the best and worst moments from an election campaign for the ages…

The very worst moments of the election campaign:

Metiria Turei’s confession to benefit fraud

“It started a conversation that made people uncomfortable, including members of our own party and our own caucus. We have paid a heavy price for that, and Metiria has paid a particularly heavy price for that.” – James Shaw, Greens

Read the report by Bernard Hickey

Andrew Little’s “I asked my colleagues if I should resign”

“The Green share of the vote jumped around five percentage points to as high as 15 percent, which drove Labour down from around 30 percent to closer to 25 percent. That act of political cannibalism, unintentionally, cost Andrew Little his job.” – Bernard Hickey, Newsroom

Read about eight weeks of political turmoil

Kelvin Davis saying his biggest mistake was trying to do the jobs of both deputy leader and electorate MP at once

Labour’s deputy leader made the flub during The Spinoff’s live-streamed debate.

Bill English responds to Jacinda Ardern’s claim he sold her generation down the river

“I know this generation. I raised them.”

Read Tim Murphy’s review of Stuff’s Leaders Debate

Jacinda Ardern’s ‘captain’s call’ on the Tax Working Group

“Ardern has had to repeatedly fend off claims from National that Labour is planning a capital gains tax or a land tax that would tax the family home or the land under it.” – Bernard Hickey

Steven Joyce’s claim of a $11.7 billion hole in Labour’s books

“Labour is mostly right and National is mostly wrong, although there is fault on both sides. The big picture is there’s certainly no fiscal crater for voters to peer into.” – Bernard Hickey

Read Newsroom’s analysis of Joyce’s claim against Labour

On breakfast telly, Kelvin Davis confuses Labour’s position on tax

“I didn’t see the piece so I’m not entirely sure what was said but I’m very clear on our position. He’s certainly now very clear on our position.” – Jacinda Ardern

Simon O’Connor using Facebook to claim Ardern supports suicide because she favours euthanasia reform

“It’s strange that Jacinda is so concerned about youth suicide but is happy to encourage the suicide of the elderly, disabled, and sick. Perhaps she just values one group more than the others?”

Read the post on O’Connor’s Facebook page (As of this writing, it’s still there.)

Gareth Morgan’s ‘lipstick on a pig’ comment about Ardern and Labour

“All that matters is policy. Jacinda should be required to show she’s more than lipstick on a pig. Will she be?”

See how it went down on Twitter

Winston Peters’ failure to front-foot his super overpayment and $18,000 bill

“A political fifth alarm has sounded and Peters’ superannuation case has become the Kim Dotcom of this election – burning all who come into contact with it.”

Read Tim Murphy’s analysis

National MP Jian Yang’s concession over Chinese intelligence training

“If you define those cadets or students as spies, yes, then I was teaching spies.”

Read the report by Mark Jennings

Jian Yang fronts the media. “If you say spies, then spies.” Photo: Screenshot from Newsroom video

Peters sending his private text to Newshub: “Tell Shane [Jones] not to swear”

See the whoopsie at Newshub

NZ First MP Richard Prosser’s non-manifesto promise to nationalise power companies

“My statement concerning the re-nationalisation of power company shares was not wrong as your otherwise splendid article proclaims. Perhaps the Member for Northland had simply changed his mind and not bothered to tell anyone else. Or perhaps he had forgotten our established and agreed position. Or perhaps he simply forgot that he’d changed his mind.” – Richard Prosser to Tim Murphy

Health minister Jonathan Coleman’s media appearances

“Confirmation at least six prostate cancer patients have shorter life expectancies after waiting for treatment at Dunedin Hospital has drawn sympathy from the current Health Minister – but no real acknowledgement of responsibility.”

Read Teuila Fuatai’s report

Labour’s “Stardust” band at a rally in Wellington – peak hubris

Electoral Commission staff’s reported ignorance of Māori rolls, seats, and voting

Election Day restrictions on political reporting, advertising, social media use

“On election day, no one is allowed to post anything which is likely to influence which party or candidate a person will or will not vote for.”

Read the rules at the electoral Commission website

Peters’ trainwreck interview with Guyon Espiner on Morning Report

“It’s your ideas that have destroyed people’s hopes in this country. I think your ideas are preposterous, they’re stupid, they’re ridiculous, and I can’t understand why you’re arguing about it.”
– Peters to Espiner on Morning Report

“Statement responding to allegations by Winston Peters about my role in the neo-liberal Labour government of 1984: ‘I was 13 years old.’ ENDS”
Espiner on Twitter

Labour’s original slogan: “A Fresh Approach”

National’s turquoise nightmare:

YouTube video

…and the very best moments:

Andrew Little’s “I resign”

The Green Party halting its polling freefall post Turei

“A campaign that looked dead in the water is perhaps the most remarkable story of survival and leadership of the 2017 election.” 

Read Tim Murphy’s report

English’s “I got up again” line about recovering from historic defeat in 2002

Bill English has been taking body blows for years. Photo: Getty Images

Ardern’s “Climate change is the nuclear-free issue of my generation” declaration

National’s “Let’s Tax This” social media attack

“The role of the attack ad isn’t to give supporters something to rally behind. It’s to sow the seeds of doubt with undecided voters.”

Read Anna Connell’s analysis

Jacindamania at Labour’s Auckland Town Hall campaign launch

“As a vision speech, as a campaign launch show, it was at the high end of good. Nothing new on policy. What was new was confidence.”

Read Tim Murphy’s account of the launch

English involving his kids and family halfway through the campaign

“Barack Obama did it. John Key did it. Now, perhaps reluctantly, Bill English has played the kids card.”

Read Mark Jennings’ report

The two Maramas – Fox for the Māori Party and Davidson for the Greens

“I’m sick of sitting on the sidelines in ministers’ offices and not being able to make the decisions that I know need to be made.” – Marama Fox

Accidental United Future leader Damian Light’s time in the national spotlight

Snapchat star Tom Sainsbury: Political impressionist extraordinaire

Ardern’s effect on the polls: 24 percent to anything in the late 30s is success

The last PM had a signature handshake. Jacinda Ardern, hoping to replace the current one, has a signature handshake of her own – the Double Hander. Photo: Sam Sachdeva 

Guyon Espiner’s exasperation with Winston Peters in ‘that’ interview

“Oh come on, mate!”

Helen Clark’s setting things straight via Twitter

“New Zealand: where you can have an argument at the pub so you just ask the former PM to settle it for you and she does!”

English unplugged – open-neck shirt, jeans, warmth and personality

Stuff.co.nz’s brilliant daily Election Live file – breaking news, livestreams, micro blogging, photos, videos, humour

National setting a target for reducing child poverty – 100,000 fewer in the next term

Labour braving a tax on water bottlers

The Newshub Patrick Gower debate – wit, pace, passion

“Gower showed that he had really thought about the structure and flow of the debate. He demanded detail on policies relating to housing, child poverty and immigration but he mixed it up with questions that required short or instinctive answers.” – Mark Jennings

The Newshub debate was a critical moment in Patrick Gower’s career. Photo: Supplied by Newshub

Ardern’s long, warm embrace on stage at the Labour launch of her predecessor, Little

English’s food tweets from the hustings – pies, sausage rolls, donuts countrywide

Mary English adds a new level to the PM’s campaign

“You never know what is going to have an impact on people. About half a million people have looked at it – isn’t that amazing? I think that’s because Mary’s in it.” – Bill English

Read the report by Tim Murphy

Annette King, the politics whisperer

“And this is Annette. But you can call her Aunty. She’s been a Member of Parliament longer than any other woman in New Zealand.” – Jacinda Ardern

Read Tim Murphy’s report

Ardern’s invocation of Norman Kirk: something to do, somewhere to live, someone to love and something to hope for.

Early voting and the ability to enrol simultaneously

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