National in poll position to win with support of either Winston Peters or Colin Craig; Final leaders debate inconclusive; Craig's PR person quits and calls him 'manipulative'

National in poll position to win with support of either Winston Peters or Colin Craig; Final leaders debate inconclusive; Craig's PR person quits and calls him 'manipulative'

By Bernard Hickey

With 2 days to go until the September 20 election, here's my daily round-up of political news on Thursday September 18, with two polls showing National being the most likely to win Government on Saturday with the support of either Winston Peters or Colin Craig.

The chances of National governing with its current partners are smaller, and the chances of a Labour-Green-NZ First government supported by Internet Mana are the lowest of all.

Last night's half-hour leaders debate on TVNZ was widely judged as indecisive and inconsequential for the result, which is appearing more and more likely to be a National-led victory with just two clear days to the election.

The NZ Herald's commentators were split on who won, with John Armstrong declaring it for David Cunliffe , Fran O'Sullivan saw it as a draw and Toby Manhire wrote Winston Peters was the winner. Both leaders positioned themselves to work with the New Zealand First leader after the election.

Fairfax's Tracy Watkins simply described the debate as 'chaotic, messy and loud.'

Two poll results were of more consequence to the result, with both showing Labour failing to gain any ground and Winston Peters looking increasingly certain to hold the balance of power, unless Colin Craig can sneak over the 5% threshold, which remains a possibility, albeit much less likely than for New Zealand First on the latest polls.

The 3 News Reid Research poll broadcast last night showed National down 2.2% to 44.5%, while Labour fell 0.5% to 25.6% and Green rose 1.2% to 14.4%. New Zealand First support rose 1.2% to 7.1%. Conservative rose 0.2% to 4.9% and Internet Mana fell 0.3% to 2%. ACT and United Future were on 0.1% and Maori fell 0.2% to 1.1%.

On this poll, National would need the support of Winston Peters to remain in Government, unless Colin Craig made it over the threshold and/or Maori got more than two seats.

Roy Morgan published its poll of 935 voters from September 1 to 14 showing support for National rose 1.5% to  46.5%, support for Labour fell 2% to 24% and support for the Green Party fell 2.5% to 13.5%.

Support for New Zealand First rose 2% to 8%, its highest level since 2005, while Conservative was unchanged at 3.5%. Support for the Maori Party rose 1% to 1.5%, while ACT fell 0.5% to 0.5% and United Future rose 0.5% to 0.5%.

The Internet-Mana Party alliance was unchanged at 1%. The poll found 5% had yet to decide on which party to vote for.

Election outcome scenarios

The swing factors in the result will be around whether National gets over 45% in its own right, whether the Maori Party wins 1 or 3 seats, whether New Zealand First can win more than 7 or 8%, whether Hone Harawira wins Te Tai Tokerau, whether Colin Craig gets over 5%, and whether the combined Labour-Green vote can get over 40%.

If Maori can win three seats and National wins 46% then it could just govern alone with the support of Maori, ACT and United Future, but would be unable to reform the RMA or Labour laws, given Maori and Peter Dunne oppose them.

If Colin Craig gets over 5% than National would be able to govern without the need for Winston Peters, with the potential to carry out RMA and Labour reforms with the support of Craig, who has said he would go with National.

If National got under 45%, if Internet Mana won 3 seats, if Conservative failed to get over the 5% threshold, if Winston Peters got over 8% and if Labour-Green got more than 40% then a third term for a John Key-led National Government would be more difficult, although still possible if Peters opted to support National, even if only on confidence and supply.

The iPredict market puts the chances of a third term National Government at 83%, up from a low of 62% shortly before the resignation of Judith Collins.

Craig a 'manipulative man'

Meanwhile, Colin Craig's media spokeswoman Rachel MacGregor was reported to have quit just two days before the election, complaining to NewsTalkZB's Barry Soper that Craig was a "manipulative man."

Craig denied he was manipulative and said he was unaware MacGregor had quit.

"It's obviously been a really stressful campaign so Rachel's having the morning off, and I'm hoping to catch up with her this afternoon," Craig was quoted as saying.

"I'll have a chat with her, hopefully today, and find out what all those issues are," he said.

See all my previous election diaries here.

See the index for's special election policy comparison pages here.

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Colin Craig Manipulative ? ........... Hullo........ he is a politician for goodness sake .
Its the minimum required attribute for such a job description .
It likely to be highlighted point in his CV

You may expect such lows from Pollies, I aim higher.

Sure we want high standards from our Pollies , but we get :-

  • Kim Dotcom , a criiminal convicted of fraud in Germany and for which he went to jail
  • Hone Harawira a racist little rabble rouser
  • David Cunliffe who apart from telling lies about Mr Liu , and about Capital Gain tax Policy , says he has the poor's interests at heart  but lives in Herne Bay
  • Winston Peters who has been fired by every PM he has ever worked with for seriuos breaches of trust   ( and possibly dishonesty)
  • The co-leaders of the Greens ( Like watermeons Green on the outisde , but red on the inside ) , who are seemingly honest , but are so utterly naive and economically incompetent , we could never have them anywhere hear the levers of power

Now hang-on boatman, if you are making a list of standards of the various politicians, you should really have yourself a high standard, and include all those with a few skeletons in the political closet.
The NZHerald had a good cartoon on our leader:
But besides that there is this little list:
Perhaps that should have been included.

Okay , you are right , I was stirring the pot with my mate Steven

Classic, John Key has a list of lies so long that it needs its own website.  I thought he said he was going to resign if it came out that there was wholesale spying on New Zealanders by the GCSB.  Oh well... another lie.

He's a bit of a role model for many christian voters.. he could call the shot, who knows?

Hardly a role model - hear it from him;
Fast Fire Leaders Question: GOD

So 2 days out from an election the PR lady quits.My question of her would be has he only just developed this manipulative behavior if not then why leave it this late to quit.

If you vote for John Key (rather than National) and he turns out to be a traitor, or to have undertaken any other underhand action whilst our leader, and you vote for him, do you become a party to any further offending he might do?
More documentary evidence of mass surveillance on New Zealanders.
Although the cynic in me sees that as good marketing. But some good questions, ones that should be being asked by MSM.

I'm sure this "mass surveillance" thing could easily be sorted out if everyone just sat down and had a nice "cup of tea" - provided no journalists or tape recorders are nearby of course (that kind of conversation is -private-....)

Along with the link above, here are some questions I asked on facebook this morning:
Being former Military (and then some) I understand the need for good intelligence. I don't doubt for a moment that we have foreign spy's on our soil and some of them probably long term residents. Read the book "Gideon's Spies" and then tell me the Mossad don't have informants in New Zealand. So we are small fish in a world of big players and the question is do we need to align with a bigger fish? We probably do, but we need to be informed about the nature of the relationship.

Tempering this right now is that I am alarmed at what I am seeing from the current government of New Zealand. Two things, firstly what seems like the move to be spying on it's own citizens, the second the TPP that will sell our Civil Justice System to US corporate interests.

The most worrying aspect of the spying is that National are still polling so well and their supporters seem to blind to the abuses going on. Much as you might hate Dotcom, and I don't have time for him, he was royally screwed by the courts when it issued the Warrant to the Police. The Judge that signed the Warrant and the Police involved in its execution must have been leaned on from above. Abuses of power like this are of concern to us all not matter what your political bias. We seem ready to rollover and accept the abuses, is this how easy it was for the Nazi's?, Or do I exaggerate by referring to them?

On the issue of the TPP, well as the owner of Intellectual Property I probably stand to gain out of this in the long run, but I don't believe any Western Judicial system is now fair to any but the biggest fish ie: the Corporate who can bog you down in time and costs with the resources they have available.


Sign this petition to the Governor General;
Brought to you by the same folks (and 2100 contributing supporters) who put together yesterday's full page ad in the Herald.
My name was one :-).
No matter who forms the government Dirty Politics and the spying fiasco will be sorted. An active civil society got a huge boost by the people who brought these issues to light.

Good stuff.  And the hardest part...who appoints the  high calibre, non-partisan Royal Commission to investigate the workings of government.
Whale oil will already be scheming.....

There is alot of respect and alot of public scrutiny where Royal Commissions of Inquiry are concerned. They really do have to do proper, thorough jobs. And then we have our three Offices of Parliament.
Just today the Ombudsman ruled on one REALLY important disclosure - which means Cheryl Gwyn will now likely have to interview the ex-Deputy Chief of Staff in Key's office;
Ombudsman overrules Key over naming of staffer
And a quick Google search of Phil de Joux finds him in another instance of allegedly not passing on critically important information;
Staff in the office of former justice minister Simon Power rang Mr Key’s deputy chief of staff Phil de Joux in July last year to say an Overseas Investment Office application from Dotcom was to be declined. Mr Key says the message was not conveyed to him because it was not “significant”.
I say allegedly, because that's what John Key said about it - not forgetting of course had Phil passed on this information to John Key about Dotcom's OIO application, then John Key would well have known about Dotcom before the night before the raid.
Given this chap seems to be making alot of personal judgement calls for the PM, one has to wonder whether he was the source of the "political pressure" that was put on Immigration to okay Dotcom's residency application?
Lot's more to come on all of this I suspect, regardless of who the next government is.

Over here, the NSW ICAC (a permanent Royal Commission) has been investigating serious corruption in the NSW Government for the past 2 years in 5 seperate investigations.
In each of the 5 investigations, every instance of a minister overturning or ignoring the advice of the departmental head of that ministers portfolio has resulted in findings of corruption
Every single time

Ex-customs official (a lawyer) comes forward on OIA manipulation by government;
And Chief Ombudsman launches a wide ranging investigation;
She says:
"We may as well kiss democracy goodbye. The work of this office relies in great measure in the maintenance of a high level of trust and integrity between ourselves and government agencies," she said.
"If our examination and investigation finds that has been betrayed or warped in any way that is something I am going to be taking very seriously and I think the public of New Zealand should be taking very seriously because it attacks the whole integrity of the system of governance."
Dame Beverley said whistleblowers should make contact with the Office of the Ombudsman if they had evidence of such practices.
Winston Peters might become the PM after all.

This should have been front page news in the Herald yesterday, not Millie-Elder Holmes boxing match. Is this because the Herald is a tabloid or is there is a pro-National bias in the Herald editorial team?

.... I reckon she could whack an opponent's lights out , if that's the daughter of the ex-world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes ...

It will be finished in just over two days - the moment will be then the fat German sings.  Hang in there..

No need to wait - he's already been singing;

Sorry I meant he'll be singing Woody Guthrie's "Deportee" when they chuck him into a plane to the US..

Q : What's the difference between an onion and a ukelele ?
A : No one cries when you cut a ukelele in half !

So all you anti surveillance people are still happy even after this
HORRIFIC details have emerged of a plot to behead an Australian and upload it to social media in a deliberate attack against the country.

While the claims remain unconfirmed, Channel Seven reports one the men charged in this morning’s raids in Sydney planned to kidnap a random Australian, execute them by beheading in a public place, possibly Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD, and film the act and post on social media.
Further reports have emerged terrorists planned to drape the victim in an Islamic State flag.
The man, charged for serious terrorism related offences, is due in a Sydney court later today.

           Beyond appalling. And how was this stopped:

The operation is understood to have been given the green light after months of surveillance of Australians believed to be linked to extremist terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Colin, no one is concerned about legitimate, targeted surveillance as is done with appropriate warrants for good reason. A completely different issue to mass surveillance of all data, from all people, for all digital communications and all digital transactions. Huge difference.

I fully expect mass surveillance of metadata. Sure if authorities find something of a threatening nature and have concern then a warrant should be obtained. Frankly I couldn't give a rats arse if some program was running in the background doing this - that is if if picked up the likes of the toe rags held in custody in Australia, and it means I can get on a flight without having a rectal exam. Open your eyes 

Kane02..... Go read the history of IBM.  They pefected mass data collection.....for the Gestapo.  It was their technology (punch cards in those days) that enabled the efficeint rounding up and mass targetting of jews (all run out of the USA).  So you might be trusting of mass data...history suggest you shouldn't be.

Stretching things a bit rastus. Punch cards comeon. Things have moved a bit since then mate. Heard of explenary power - absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's why a warrant has to be granted, and the courts exist seaparately to the crown. Your reference ignores this key safeguard, and frankly I don't see the relevance to the nazis. We live in a new era and whether you like it or not evil exists in this world, is very mobile and frankly scary.  

"months of surveillance of Australians" is police surveillance not mass surveillance. Police surveillance works. Some Intelligence experts argue mass surveillance is not just ineffective but dangerous, because it diverts resources from things that actually do work.
I understand you are living in fear, but you don't have to. Having competent lice stops terror attacks. Having a community that cares about each other and people have roots in stops even more.
And, as of yesterday, according to John Key it is not the New Zealand Government using mass surveillance to try and keep you safe, it is other countries using mass surveillance on you for their own purposes, so you aren't being kept safe with mass surveillance anyway.

Agreed.  Just makes for a bigger haystack and more irrelevant false positives for villains to conceal themselves in.  If one assumes that it's operating on keywords, just agree on a code in advance, face-to-face.  Handy for mining in retrospect when looking for culprits after an incident, but I'm very skeptical about it's preventative and/or predictive value in the purpose claimed for it.

Does anyone else find it a lucky coincidence that this has happened at just the time we're having a very public debate over indescriminant data gathering in NZ. Kinda reminds me of the coincidence of the Julian Assange (sp?) charges coming just after massive publication of "sensitive" data. The old saying "just 'cos you're paranoid, doesn't make you wrong". Am wonderig if the end result will be similar to those from the Urewera raids.

It has really got nothing to do with NZ. It is just something that happened which people here are seizing upon in a confused kind of way, because they are clearly confused about what mass surviellance is and what has been going on here. It is just the debate is high noise, low information at the moment adding to the confusion.

  • The Autralian raids were (as of this morning) the result of human intelligence and wiretaps according to Australian experts. Human intelligence is informers and wiretaps are targetted police surviellance with warrants. Neither are mass surviellance. People can't seem to see past the word surviellance.
  • As of late this week, the government are saying it is not the GCSB conducting mass surviellance of New Zealanders, it is foreign countries for their own purposes. Anyone supporting mass surviellance should prehaps be encouraged to debate the actual present situation (according to the government) about the merits of other countries spying on us.

Yes and what a coincidence that this raid was bought forward to before the NZ election after John Key was proven wrong in his assertion that there is no mass surveilance of NZ'ers and was taking a bit of a hammering.  I am afraid I have lost all respect for Abbot Obama and Cameron after the MH17 tradgedy. There is clear evidence they lied about the culprits. If they can lie about the deaths of 298 innocent people they can lie about anything. The BBC , the NZ news media and Reuters all have played their parts in this propaganda campaign against Russia. My advice is to take any article or any politician  that uses the word "Terrorism"  with an effing big grain of salt.

This is frightening stuff and in our own back yard. I'm more than happy to have a govt organisation keeping our families safe. I bet these arrests were a result of tapping communications and has resulted in an saving the lives of inoccent people.

Yep, they are called the Police Delboy. They are fully empowered to apply to a judge for a warrant to intercept communcations and resourced accordingly. That is called independent oversight of their actions, part of living in a civil society buddy.

Yes I agree Delboy, and since all we're able to do is monitor those few that we've suscipions about, and can get a warrant, we sure are hugely vulnerable here to those that we're in the dark about. Personally I don't fancy those odds for my family, others might for theirs.

Have you really thought about what you are saying Grant? Do you really think and believe that? Or are you just being facetious? Surely it has to be the latter because there is no hope for us if people really believed such stupidity.

This is frightening stuff and in our own back yard. I'm more than happy to have a govt organisation keeping our families safe. I bet these arrests were a result of tapping communications and has resulted in an saving the lives of inoccent people.

It fails me when John key has so often to have been proved a liar that anyone votes for him.
He never mentions how debt has escalated to in excess of 80 billion, gives himself above average pay rise ,reduces his own tax rate and pays very little on a huge fortune, this is a man who certainly only has the interests of the rich at heart. Ofcourse child poverty kids gonig without food is about the parents who just happen to mostly be on very low incomes as a result of right wing politics.

The Truth is too much to bear, we rather believe the surface 'reality'. 

Because he is the best of a bad bunch Philip. They all lie and they all play dirty politics. The problem is that the majority realise the economy will get a lot worse than it is now if the alternatives get into power.

Amazing how supporters have gone from 'it was the leftys making it up', to denial, to now saying that everyine does it so it's ok.

His supporters - JK, like to try to see if they can lie as much as he does (it's a really hard thing to do though), but sometimes, like in this case they can.

No fan of JK but at least he didn't do it in a limo at 170km/hr..

.. please furnish us with one example where the Jolly Kid actually lied !

How about 2 that are topical (I posted the source link to this a few days ago):
In Feb 2013 The PM issued a statement said the Southern Cross cable had not been tapped. He now says it was and can describe exactly how.
In Feb 2013 The PM issued a statement (same statement) that there were no plans being developed to tap the Southern Cross cable. Even if you believe the PM that Cortex was the plan, Cabnet had instructed the GCSB to develop the business case for Cortex. Cortex was not cancelled until March 2013. In Feb 2013 there were plans.

How naive could you be?  One end of the Southern Cross cable is in the US, they can tap it whenever they wanted, it is in their territory..!

exactly ... which is what makes the Jonkey's original comment even less plausible

Actually, the whole cable thing is a distraction by John Key and is not what Snowden was talking about. The reason I've been talking about the cable is that it is what John Key says the GCSB were doing and this directly contradicts statements in 2013. 
Yes, the U.S. can tap the cable, and will be doing so, but that is different to what John Key was refering to when he, towards the end of the week, began saying "Edward Snowden may be right".
What Snowden is talking about, was that the NSA (with at least the standing aside of the GCSB) have been gathering the internal communications of New Zealand. This could be done with a modern version of Thinthread that was tested in New Zealand in 2000/ 2001 (we know from American leaks). But I do not see how the NSA could install this on NZ's telecommunications backbones without at the very least the GCSB actively looking the other way.

More corruption, but apparently it doesn't matter because they've done such a good job racking up 68 billion in debt and looking after rich people,
A former high-ranking Customs lawyer says he resigned from his job after allegedly being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government.