Young Nats vs Young Labour on twitter.

As in most countries the two major parties in NZ both have youth branches. As with membership and support for their senior parties, the youth branches fortunes raise and fall with the polls. Recently the Young Nats passed through 6000 likes on their Facebook page and are pushing on towards the 10,000 point. Where as Young Labour are sitting in the mid 2000s (2469). young nats FB


young labour FB


The thing that stands out the most is the fact that over the last few years, the two groups have both been moving in the same direction in regards to how they are presenting themselves. They are both presenting much more professional graphic design work that ties in very closely with the senior party branding. The Young Nats are tying their brand and identity to John Key, as the senior party are doing. While Young Labour are focusing on maintaining the Labour brand to the forefront, over the profile of their leader.

Where the two groups are diverging though is around sticking to serious issues or trying to appeal to a winder audience. Today the Young Nats posted the following image.

young nats


Now this is obviously focused on trying to garner the attention of a wider audience. It is a bit of a stretch to tie this burger coming to NZ with anything the National Govt has done. But it is an example of the Young Nats trying to maintain an image of youthfulness and fun. It is a little tongue in cheek. The Young Nats have done a good job of shedding the old image of being funless nerds and range of people involved has increased massively, away from white, middle class males.


Young Labour’s response was the following.

young labour



Young Labour are pushing the point a bit to suggest that just because the Young Nats post something about a burger coming to NZ that they are out of touch. However it does show that it is important for the people running social media to keep an eye on what it is they are posting. As the youth branches tie their brand identity more and more to the senior party, people are going to view their posting as officially sanctioned expressions of the senior party. This is reinforced by the fact that both pages have authorisation statements from senior officials in the respective senior parties.


Young Labour are also, intentionally or unintentionally, turning the argument some on the right are using against the senior party around and using it against the Young Nats. That being “focusing on the things that matter”. This was used recently against Labour for their OIA to Ministers offices about dress codes.


It will be worth watching to see how things progress this year with social media and the youth wings. There may be a few missteps along the way from either party, due to the large number of people with access to the various accounts and the limited direct control of senior party over what is posted and what is not.