A tweet by Peter Dunne has stirred up a small backlash of denial and insecurity that I have found endemic to NZ society. In the tweet, Dunne criticized, somewhat obnoxiously and with politicized overtones, the New Zealand Government's COVID-19 tracer app's design. The tweet was brief and vague, but importantly attributed the “woeful” usage rate of the app to its “clunky” design.

Whatever else the tweet may convey about the political characters involved, the fundamental premise that the design of a system determines its usage is a sound one. Let's see why.


I am writing this about a month before the General Election of 2020, and the Green Party is, for now, polling at the threshold of entry to parliament on party votes alone, at five percent. They are asking for votes. They are asking for my vote.

An issue at the fore of my mind is rainbow policy. In my previous post, I broke down the Green's disappointing 2020 vision page on Rainbow communities in some detail.

But this is not the sum total of the Greens' policy output. Oh no. It gets worse.


Also see the next post: The whitest rainbow: 2020 New Zealand Green Party's LGBTQIA+ policies

It's election season 2020 in Aotearoa and the Green Party has published a “vision” document with a range of interesting policies. I am interested in all of them, but especially the Rainbow communities policy (page 30). While much of the document was encouragingly progressive, I was disappointed to find a casual, lacklustre rainbow policy, whose premise and recommendations were implicitly racist, contradicted the rest of the vision, and especially defeated the Think ahead slogan of the season.

And yet, I see the policy being lauded on social media — especially by Pākehā LGBTQIA+ people.

So I'd like to break this policy down and hopefully show why it falls short of the standards the Greens set themselves.