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Forty-six: the key polling number for National and its current partners; Forty-three: the key number for Winston; Will the Barclay Affair permanently affect National's buffer? Can campaign chair Joyce come to the rescue? And watch for Hone

Forty-six: the key polling number for National and its current partners; Forty-three: the key number for Winston; Will the Barclay Affair permanently affect National's buffer? Can campaign chair Joyce come to the rescue? And watch for Hone

By Alex Tarrant

Forty-six is shaping up to be the most important number of the year. It’s the number Bill English and Steven Joyce go to sleep thinking about.

A 46% National party vote, combined with current coalition partners The Maori Party, ACT and UnitedFuture winning their existing seats, would return the current government to power after 23 September with 61 seats in a 121-seat Parliament.*

If National drops to 45%, the Maori Party would need to pick up two extra Maori seats off Labour to take their tally to four – giving 62 out of 123. That will also save National’s bacon if they drop to 44%.

Forty-three is the number Winston Peters goes to sleep thinking about. At 43% or below, National is in Winston territory, provided the Maori Party win fewer than six of the seven Maori seats.

The Roy Morgan poll on Friday would return National to office with the current bunch. A warning though: it was conducted before the Barclay Affair resurfaced. The poll showed a lift for National and a drop for Labour. Given the pre-Barclay Budget aftermath, this wasn’t surprising.

Our attention now turns to the National Party conference over the weekend. At time of writing on Friday afternoon, it was said no big policy announcements should be expected. English is supposed to be conveying a steady-as-she-goes approach. There will be warnings about how disastrous a Labour/Greens/NZ First Cabinet would be for the country.

This kind of talk has helped National until now. The party hasn’t needed big policies or set-pieces. That’s all been left for Opposition parties. Yes, set pieces certainly attract attention, but they’re also much more likely to scare an electorate. Just look at the elections lost and policy options dropped by Labour and you see why Key, English and Joyce went about their business these last 10 years on a platform of incremental policy change.

The big question is, will that continue to work in light of last week’s events?

A key priority for National will be to get the Barclay Affair off the front pages as quickly as possible. Labour’s disastrous link to Matt McCarten’s unpaid international student vote-boosting scheme helped, but that should drop more quickly than National’s problem.

Winston Peters is now fronting the Barclay Affair response. He’s much keener to go after English on that than Little on immigrants. Peters knows Labour will need him to have any chance of forming a government. At the moment, English doesn’t. Peters needs National’s vote to fall below 43% to be sure of being kingmaker.

My gut feeling is there is a high hurdle for the Barclay Affair to knock National off its perch for the whole period from now until 23 September. This isn’t a comment about what went on in Clutha-Southland or the subsequent actions of everyone involved. Terrible actions, terrible look. But I think English will manage to regain some of the ground that he personally has lost.

To me, the key exchange in English’s police interview is this: Interviewer: “Do you know if was Todd present [sic] when the recordings were made or was he absent from the office?” English: “I don’t know.” That was the last exchange of the interview. If that’s all there is on that, it technically means English did not know if the recording might have been illegal or not.

I would also expect something along the lines that English, as Deputy PM, had people above him. Money was paid from the Leader’s budget, remember. We will hear next week whether police will reopen the investigation, based on what Barclay has now said publicly.

Let’s say the focus shifts away from English. How does National try and regain the inevitable lost ground after this saga?

They’ve been building up a buffer. If you have a child at school, take a look through the last few months’ newsletters. I’ll bet you the percentage points of the vote Winston Peters will pick up from this week that one of them has a photo of Nikki Kaye, crouched slightly, hands on knees talking to a couple of five-year olds during a sod-turning ceremony for some new classroom.

And Joyce is already lining up being able to talk about personal tax settings again, perhaps during the election campaign. A primer from his OECD press conference a week back:

“I would certainly be interested in addressing marginal rates of taxation on a personal level. I’m still worried – we made some progress – but I’m still worried [about] that potential of lower income New Zealanders to be worried about what entitlements and transfers that they lose by taking on a new job and by moving to a higher paying job. And I think we’ve got some work to do in that space.”

Classrooms, incomes, house price moderation (but not falls!) now you’re all valued up with the price rises of the last few years, a patch-work alternative Cabinet, being responsible by paying down debt.

It has worked so far without the need for wild spending promises. Is this time different?

* As I’ve written before, if Hone Harawira picks up Te Tai Tokerau, this would help Labour. National would require a 47% party vote if its support partners only return their current seats.

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The only tool national has coming election is Fear Psychology .

For if they talk about their policy on Health, Housing..........Wil be creating trouble for themselves. Best they can talk about some more bribe in future, if voted but the trust deficit with national is at lowest and rightly so, the current Barclay saga confirms that national believes that are saint until caught. Can lie and manipulate and if caught can fool the people as .......


Despite what you say, National will probably ease back in.

Person for person, National's by far the strongest team. Experience and competence count. (The Barclay debacle was a storm in a teacup - and already seems history.)

Leadership problems still haunt Labour......

Think you are right. The last thing Labour needs is another leader. They should stick with Mr Little not because he is great but (a) nobody is dramatically better (b) he will improve with practise. They just have to concentrate on their main policies and not be side-tracked into making too much noise about lesser issues .

.. their one hope as a leader ( post Helen Clark ) was David Shearer ... and look at how poorly they treated him ... some ( David Cunliffe ) were openly hostile as they had their own personal agendas , rather than subdugate their egos , and get in behind him ... as good team players do ...

Shearer had them consistently over 30 % in the polls ... little chance of that now ...

Can't wait to read the stories of yet another Gnat govt
NZers deserve everything they will receive if they're that stupid to vote Gnats again
Talk about compounding mistakes !

@ Northernlights , what is Labour offering that is in any way different to what National is doing currently , other than to increase taxes to pay for pet welfare -type projects ?

Indeed, and that is what counts at the end of the day - people need to trust the competence of their leaders instead of moaning widows praying on peoples empathy and sentiments - Most folks I know are sick and tired of that , and looking for positive progressive governance.
Money can come and go, prices go up and come down,
A competent leading team remains crucial to sales through good times and bad !!

@to the point .......... I think you are correct , there is no difference between Labour stated policy and Nationals current policy EXCEPT that Labour want to establish our biggest SOE ever to build 50,000 to 100,000 houses .

Where they intend to find the workers to do this I have no idea , because I cant even get a painter in Auckland right now , and we may have to do the painting ourselves .

I also could not find an electrician at short notice , and when we found one he would not connect a new oven unless it was on the weekend , and he wanted cash only ( which I refuse) , so my son and I did it ourselves ( thanks to Google and You Tube )


This election will be be vote for change.

Arrogance has to be humbled.

This week national had an issue and what they did was denied, lied and manipulated and if nothing works pass the blame and in contrast labour too had a problem but ...............

Power corrupts and that too 9 year............

This year will be a vote for change like it or not. Polls or no polls. Media or no media.

@v 1975nz , the employment dispute called the "Barclay affair" is not even on anyone's radar anymore.

Frankly no one cares , what Kiwis do care about is immigartion and housing , and on these issues Labour is offerring nothing new , but more of the same .

What ordinary working Kiwi's dont want is more or increased taxation


All Bill really had was a rep as a relatively (for politics) honest person. That is now in tatters and for most level thinking voters he is a dead PM walking.
One thing however he will leave us with is the new kiwi word "BillShitter"


He only had that rep because people had largely forgotten about his thieving accommodation allowances.

If they squeak' back in, all the ticking time-bombs they've set through their corruption, incompetence, and failure to plan or adapt to changing circumstances will blow up in their own faces rather than their replacements'. Is that really what they want? Or is it another failure to see past the next five minutes?

Smalltown - I think you're right, its a contrast between a Billshitter and a light weight incompetent for Prime Minister. Not really a hard choice.

I think it's a Contest not Contrast

... the only victor in the forthcoming election would appear to be EP .... the Ennui Party ... 'cos I'n reckoning that many voters ( particularly the younger ones ) will be put off by the untrustworthy incumbent Wild Billshitter every bit as much as by the Little Lightweight ....

Boredom and dissatisfaction will be the winners on the day ...

.. guessing that voter turn out will be very low ... lower than the amount of zip and pizzazz on offer by the touring British Lions rugby team .... seriously low ....


Wild Bill (as Gummy would say) is dishonest to the core;

The Dominion Post revealed that he had claimed more than $900 a week – twice what he was eligible for as an ordinary MP.

A $900/week take when his wife's got a GP practice in Wellington and has done for years? You gotta be kidding - the guys as crooked and self-serving as they come.


Distinct lack of functioning ethical compass there, whatever bollocks he spouts about devout Catholic blah blah blah.

Hmmmmm. Now I think of it, that's an organisation with no scruples about covering up serious crime, silencing victims, and sheltering criminals to maintain their own power. Maybe he did learn something at church after all.

... ha ha ha ... as if anyone still has faith that the Catholic Church has a moral compass ... yes , you're right , it'd be safer to employ Gary Glitter or Rolf Harris as a babysitter than any priest in the world wide weird Church of the Holy Roman Catholic nit wits ..

And yet , our illustrious leader Wild Bill , maintains the faith ... chuckle !

It is interesting how Catholicism is practically the one religion you are allowed to openly mock and criticize in our society. Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against it, it's just that I long for the day when we can have equality in this area.

Oh, don't be ridiculous. They're all mocked, and deservedly. Scientologists might feel a bit unfairly targeted, but that's what they get for being so silly.

You're the one being ridiculous, as usual, Kakapo.

I beg to differ. You just managed to find another one however you will soon be banned from forums if you apply across the board mocking of all religions. In Europe you could be arrested and imprisoned even.

... yes ... the Jehovah's Witlesses .... the Morons ( Church of Late in the Day Saints ) ... The Church of Bungleland ( re-build the Christchurch cathedral , anyone ) .... and of course , L. Ron Hubbard's little gang of Froot Loops , the Scientologists ...

They are all mocked ... and deservedly so , for being so gosh darned silly : Bless them , for providing us with so much free entertainment !

So we have established that we can criticize/mock people because of their religions? I do think we need to consider religious affiliation, religious upbringing, religious sympathies, or even lack of religion when choosing someone to cast a vote for but I was unsure if it was okay to use these tactics during the campaigns. So good to know that you and Kakapo have my back. I should probably clear this with D.C first, what do you think?

Actually this is why I want there to be very little change (why I am voting National) in NZ. Things are good as they are and will only be made worse by bringing in more laws and legislation.

Wild Bill is an anti-abortionist , because of his religious beliefs ... I wonder how many women would change their vote if they knew that he , a non-childer bearer , has views that may be counter to their personal interests ...

... George W Bush shut down stem cell research in the USA during his presidency , due to his religious beliefs ...

When religion runs counter to science , to medicine , and to the freedom of individuals ... then it deserves all the condemnation and ridicule that it receives ...

If he's privately anti-abortion, that's his business, but if he tries to impose that on anyone or influence legislation, he'd be right out of line.

An organisation which spent decades hiding hundreds of dead babies in an old septic tank and tried to cover it up is in no position to bleat if a few sardonic eyebrows are raised at their claims of superior morality.

.. live and let live , say I ... as long as people are free to live their lives without negatively impacting upon others , then they can pretty much follow any religion or belief system that makes them happy ...

But , it is hard to believe that strongly held religious convictions don't sway some law makers in their decisions ...

... G W Bush did stuff up an important area of medical science ... luckily , our Wild Bill seems to be more moderate than that ..

Live and let live. Yeah right. Try telling that to born again religious zealot trying to impose their fantasy skylord beliefs on others.

If you truly believe in the freedom of all individuals then you shouldn't cast a vote as you will inevitably be voting for a party that will seek to impinge on individual freedom somewhere. It's the only logical position young people.

No, silly. We're mocking hypocrisy.

I thought you said you were mocking them for being silly. Make your mind up, you sound like you are prevaricating now. You can be silly and not hypocritical.
Sounds like there are very complicated rules involved with this religious mocking business. We need a manual.

... 11 o'clock ! ... sheesh ... gotta bolt ....I'm running late for the Church of the Holy GummyBear ...

It's a special service today ... we're gonna sacrifice a bag of pineapple lumps on the alter this morning .... we'll smash the freaking little Gummy Bear deniers to smithereens ..." pineapple lumps " , pah .... infidels !

Medical Cannabis Gummy Bears
Medical Marijuana Edibles


... genius , and ... And only $ 11.90 per 100 gm ... how cool is that ....

Hmmm ... very happy little Gummy chappy .... thanks , guys !

It doesn't matter how the church leadership acts.

What matters is that Bill claims to believe it sincerely, and therefore subscribes to commandments such as "Thou shalt not bear false witness" (lie) and "Thou shalt not steal".

If you believe the claims of the catholic church sincerely that should - if you have any personal integrity - impact your life and conduct in a massive way.

The fact it does not speaks in this case - as in any other case such as church leadership - of a massive, incredible lack of integrity.

This is a belief that's strong enough to drive someone to vote to deny rights to others (e.g. gays or abortion law) yet apparently not strong enough to restrain him from lying to the public or taking money that the ethical standards of most people (and surely, his supposed beliefs) would suggest he should not.

Of course the Italian Mafia in the US were all devout Catholics. As my Irish Catholic mother used to point out - confession (one of the sacraments in the Catholic Church) has the convenient notion of being able to be absolved of your sins.

I find that whole notion of saying the magic words or pretending to yourself in your head that you're forgiven, whatever you did or the effect on the victims, deeply immoral.

Yes. Looking back, I'm really pleased to have had a Catholic upbringing for the history of Judeo-Christian philosophy that it gave me. And I supposed as a young thing it gave me a steer toward treating/respecting others as I would like to be treated/respected myself. So, essentially, it was that feeling of obligation beyond self that it gave me as a child. But then as you grow older and start looking at the world and the church and the history of the church in the world, that you start thinking more deeply about the institution itself.


Why do I get that sinking feeling we will have another coalition nightmare whereby Winnie takes 6 months to make up his mind on who to side with.

Which means 6 months of no real Govt, and 6 months of proof that politicians are worthless as the country will continue on its merry way regardless.

... the country will probably tick along just fine whilst they're busily preoccupied with bickering and squabbling over how many baubles of office they willing to give up to Winnie for his support ...

You are right.
The bureaucrats will mind the store.
They are very unappreciated and under paid in my view.

Baubles, bangles, beads, muskets and blankets

In employment you can have the money or the title, rarely both

Winnie hasn't been be-knighted or received any other major accolade other than retired ex-maori-all-black and I am not aware he has received any brown-paper-bag backhanders - but happy for you to advise otherwise

Meantime Todd Barclay and Glenys Dickson have received very good paydays

Winnie is excellent entertainment .... don't you sweat on that count ....

... as the election looms closer , he'll climb onto his beloved Whine Box , and give his sermons from the mount ...

Winnie and Gareth are likely to be the two star acts of the election ...

... if you prefer politics on valium ... tune into the speeches of little Andrew and Wild Bill ...

He is a member of the Privy Council ;

The fifty-year Thatcher Expedition is coming to an end. It’s every man for himself.


One mantra that various spinners on the right are messaging is that the Barclay affair was an employment issue gone wrong. It wasn't. It is about morality -wrongdoing, breaking the law.

It is wrong and illegal (punishable by up to two years imprisonment) to secretly record others -including employers recording employees -even if you think the employees are up to no good -you need to tell them they are under video/audio surveillance.

It is wrong to lie to give the impression you haven’t committed an illegal act when you have -especially when the lie is beneficial to the liar. This is why Todd Barclay had to go -because he told his constituents including in candidate selection meetings that he hadn't made illegal recordings of his employees when he had -he lied to secure the well paid job of being MP for Clutha/Southland.

It is wrong to allow others to lie to give the impression they haven’t committed an illegal act when you know they have -especially when you benefit from the lie. This is why Bill English is losing public trust -he knew Todd Barclay was lying because Todd told him about the illegal recordings over a year ago. Bill English knew that Todd Barclay repeatedly in the last year was telling Clutha/Southland constituents lies about not making secret recordings. Clutha/Southland is Bill's old electorate, it is his family home, the secret recordings were of his old staffers, this is a very personal affair to Bill English.

Bill English could have told the truth about secret recordings a year ago to his old Southland constituents and this issue would have been over -that would have created difficulties for Todd Barclay -he probably would not have been selected as National's Clutha/Southland candidate and Todd may have some legal issues to account for. It would have been mildly embarrassing for the National party -but no more than that. Bill English would have lost a personal protege/political ally.

Bill instead chose to keep quiet. The truth has come out anyway -as these things tend to -showing a lack of political judgment from Bill, as all the bad outcomes have come about anyway and he personally is tarnished. Now the public can see that when Bill thinks people are not looking he is less than honest.....

Note that Dickson has said that it wasn't just employees that he was illegally recording, but members of the public who came into the office to have private discussions.

Newsroom reveals more details about who in the National party hierarchy knew about the Todd Barclay affair and did nothing about it.

The so -called Barclay affair is nothing but a storm in a tiny insignificant electorate , and does not show any broad dishonesty or corruption in the current Government

Alternative fact.

Your comment could almost pass for a Trump tweet.

... not necessarily so ... the Tape Gate affair has been poorly handled by Wild Bill ... it reflects badly upon his managerial ability .... and on Saturday , after the storm appeared to be passing over , he re-ignited it with his comments that he was offered a hearing of those tapes by the Tape Master , Barclay ... then he smudged it all over by saying that he wasn't sure if the tapes actually existed ...

And now he says that he didn't know that secretly taping people was a crime ... for those of us in the real world , those with non-politician brains and commonsense , it quite clearly is a crime ...

It's all messy .... just months out from the election ... very messy ...

Was he not paying attention when the S&S Act was passed in 2012?

Boatman, guess who the bagman go-between was between Key's slush fund and Dickson

Heard it was six figures - that's not some innocent event needing a slush-fund payout

Clever - Duncan Garner on the week that was, and, the Usain Bolt of sprinting backwards

The current PM is certainly no John Key when it comes to sprinting backwards, blindfolded, out of a raging inferno without getting so much as singed.

Duncan's running the 'all politicians are liars, useless, as bad as each other.......' line. It is the final fallback defensive line of rightwing propagandists. Because they know if they spread the cynical 'sh t' puts people off voting because they lose faith in government/democracy ....that is bad for everyone but still the little old ladies/men who disproportionately vote conservative get out to vote in the short term it is ok. In the long term it leads to the likes of Trump ......but who thinks of the long term.......

The foreign student issue will not affect Little and Labour because it wasn't Little or the Labour MP's who ran it. It was Matt McCarten who was responsible and most of public wouldn't know or care who he is. The foreign student affair is not a personal story that tells about the character of any of the main players in the Labour leadership team, not like the Barclay affair does about National.

It's not right wing propaganda. For the most part is true. Lets look at this week for example.

New Nationals
Bill's protégé committed a crime plain and simple which the leadership have tried to cover up. We should be seeing an arrest(s) and a trial in court. That's not just pretty bad, it is despicable.

Angry Andy and the fractured minorities.
They have imported foreign students to help/volunteer/slave on a Labour campaign so that they can see how Politics in NZ work (It doesn't matter who ran it - it is for Labour, and Labour alone.)
Again, not just a minor thing here, at a time when immigration is high on the agenda, foreigners coming in and working for less than minimum wage, and stealing Kiwi Jobs, it is again despicable.

Winston first
Winnie, didn't do anything at all, just sits back wanting it all handed to him on a silver platter. He is someone, who throughout his political history has shown that he is a lying, manipulative bully, that is only in it for himself. If that is not despicable then what is?

You cannot seriously tell me one is better than the other?

it puts people off voting because they lose faith in government/democracy

It may do, but this is due to the voters own stupidity, not Right wing propaganda. The Right have been in power for 9 years, screwing things up left, right and centre. The left have been completely spineless in holding them to account. For all intensive purposes we have no opposition. Just a single party government voted in by imbeciles.

The fact that everyone has lost faith should be a wake up call to all voters. It should be a warning to all, that people need to take more of an active interest in politics, to root out the failures, hold them responsible for their failings, and replace them with worthwhile candidates that will serve the nations best interests.

Will it? probably not, and that is a failing of us the voters - all of us - left, right and centre. It may not be the system we want, but it is clearly what we deserve.

Just curious - what are the big lies that Winston Peters has told? They might well have been before I moved here and/or before I started paying attention to politics!

... well , there was the one about not seeking the " baubles of office " ... and then he promptly went after them as hard as an alcoholic searching for a pint in a brewery ...

Winnie lives and dreams for the baubles of office ... and we all know it ... ( good on him .... but , just be honest about the fact ! ) ...

A petty hanging offence, though - that's more a point about his ego - not his dishonesty.

And if I recall he took on the Minister of Racing and the MFAT portfolio. Did a great job with both, in my opinion. Was also the Treasurer, if I'm not wrong - and I was in the public service at the time in charge of a Vote budget. All Votes were required to reduce our existing Vote (expenditure) by 1% per annum - no excuses. There were new allocations in some portfolios of course, but those of us where no new money was headed had no options.

Had to get a QC to get him off the racing bribe scandal, the same one that allowed the Mr Asia gang to flourish

Do you mean the cuffuffle about party political donations to the Spencer Trust? As I recall that, SFO investigated and they were cleared;

It wasn't like he was taking the money from taxpayers ala Bill English - they were legit political donations I think.

He got off, but if you had to pay that QC you were probably seriously at fault, i.e.desperate.
On 29 August 2008, Peters offered to stand down from his portfolios as Foreign Affairs and Racing Minister,[38] pending an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office as to whether the donations from Sir Robert Jones and the Vela brothers reached the New Zealand First party as intended.[39] On 10 September 2008, Winston Peters gave evidence to the Privileges Committee of the New Zealand Parliament in an attempt to refute evidence given by Owen Glenn. The Privileges Committee returned a report on 22 September recommending that Peters be censured for "knowingly providing false or misleading information on a return of pecuniary interests".[40][41] Parliament passed a motion censuring Peters the following day. All but three of the parties in Parliament (New Zealand First, Labour, and Progressives who abstained) supported the censure.[42]

Peters was later cleared by the Serious Fraud Office with respect to political donations, however some matters were referred back to the Electoral Commission as it was determined that, while no fraud had taken place, some electoral law matters with regard to funding declarations were not complied with.[43] The police subsequently decided that no offence had been committed.[44]

Peters has referred to the affair as part of the "most vicious character assassination seen in any campaign this country has ever witnessed" and unsuccessfully sued Television New Zealand for defamation.[45][46]; so failed the civil law test
He was Treasurer in the Bolger Govt and embarrassed NZ on a trip with drunken fighting on a trip to HK IIRC
From Whale Oil 1998
"On a recent Air New Zealand flight up in first class, an elderly gentleman passed away during the flight. By poor co-incidence the tired old drunk and Minister of Foreign Affairs was also on the same flight enjoying the baubles of office. I am sure passengers paying for first class tickets do not pay for first class tickets to then be subjected to being within a few metres of Winston Peters. But I digress.

The wife of the very recently deceased was, as you would expect, very distressed that her husband of several decades had passed away.

So what does the Minister of Foreign Affairs say to her. The caring ex-member for Tauranga whose constituency is essentially elderly people who are at that stage in life where their spouse passes to the next life. The sensitive Minister said to the very distressed and recent widow “I suppose it was the Air New Zealand breakfast that did it to him”

and , lying about Huka Lodge

and this on Dunne

However the score is not too bad for a politician over the years.....

Still labour is not passing the blame nor denying and manipulating unlike national. As rightly mentioned by one of the reader anything that national says and does can be attributed to either denial or manipulation or blaming other.

You should see the support and defence that come from the sports presenter in tv3 for national and how he criticize each and every guest from labour or any other opposition that comes on the show with their view AND I thought media is suppose to be unbias. Also they do polls every morning and if the result is not as per the sports presenter - I think his name is Mark - will criticize people or argue for people to vote as per him or tv3 (may be briefed by tv3).


Websites such as, GreaterAuckland (formerly Transportblog) and CroakingCassandra which have genuine intelligent debate have quite small readership. RNZ radio has a bit bigger audience and has good debate -left wing parties should try to do better on RNZ and in social media in general.

TV is a lost cause in NZ. The biggest audience for current affairs commentary is Seven Sharp -its audience is massive -hundreds of thousands of people (much, much bigger that John Campbell for instance was). I suspect these are mainly older people who have never switched the channel from public broadcasting days.

In the recent Barclay scandal -the response from Seven Sharp was a clip showing various other politician scandals -this being a rightwing defensive position …..all politicians are bad, dishonest…. this promoting cynicism approach is bad for democracy/good governance….. but in the short term little old ladies/men vote conservative … who cares……. in the long term the risks of Trump coming to NZ rises……

After showing the ‘all politicians are bad’ clip Mike Hosking spent a minute telling the public the Bill English/Barclay affair is a non-issue -including having this stated in writing behind him. The propaganda of telling the public what to think could have been from a one-party state…..

Meanwhile this week on Mediaworks their radio weekly political summary was Rodney Hide from the right (former far right ACT party leader) and Vernon Tava the Green Party candidate who ran on the leadership ticket of the Green Party being a centrist party which could go into coalition with National. So another right-winger. Rodney Hide was actually the most critical of Bill English -but he still ran the 'all politicians are bad, useless....' line so he will not lose his ticket to rightwing functions.This demonstrates that Mediaworks is another forum avoiding genuine debate, especially when the issues are uncomfortable for their rightwing masters.

In the UK ,Corbyn only started to do well in the polls, when the media were forced by legislation in the final weeks of an election campaign to be even handed. NZ doesn’t have this legislation or the culture of independent mainstream media organisations -BBC… so NZ is buggered..... we are following the US path to Trump-ville.....

Not so bad then?


NZ Inc need to fix this dysfunctional system of public debate. If we don't then none of our futures will be as good as it could be.

The problem may be that the public debate is so bland and full of virtue signallers. It seems this is what you want with your comment about Trumpville. We need more robust debate and less delegitimizing of opposing views.

TOP have a policy to restore and independent and impartial media;

... I am sorely disappointed Kate , that TOP are failing to register in the polls ...

Since the times of Bob Jones NZ Party , we have moaned about the need for a trustworthy party led by a veteran of the business industry ... a real seasoned street fighter , a successful battler ... an independent thinker ... for us disaffected voters to cling to , to send a message to the incumbents ( Labour & the Gnats ) ...

... finally we have Gareth Morgan front and centre ... and he's coming out with excellent policy ... a superb alternative ... And yet .... and yet , he's getting no traction in the polls ...

Weeping into my soup I am ... truly , yes ...

Yeah, it's surprising. Sadly, I think it's his/TOPs stance on the Treaty. I often think National voters are National die hards, simply because they are anti-Maori/TOW NZers.

.. all that the great snorting public can remember is Gareth's anti-cat stance ... that has left an indelibly bad mark in their mind about him ...

Should we get him to cradle and stroke some dear old lady's pet moggy infront of the cameras ...

... he can wring it's neck later , when no one is watching ...

The Internet Party has Maximum Gato as their mascot;

Perhaps they'd sell him? He comes with 180 ready-made friends.

Ha ha!; thought you meant Maxim Gorky for a mo...

They have a really good line-up of policies, but as noobs they'll have trouble breaking in. Hope they stick around long enough to get some traction and leverage.

Their best chance of getting representation this year is in my opinion winning Peter Dunne's Ohariu electorate. If I lived in it I'd be door knocking for them for sure!!!!!!!!!! But getting over the 5% first time out is hard, hard, hard. Yet, they've got good, good, good policies, that's for sure.

They're also challenging policies, require a bit of thought rather than just swallowing soundbites.

Is Gareth himself running in Ohariu?

Greg O'Connor is likely to have a pretty good chance of toppling Dunne. Solid guy, I've dealt with him personally and rate him fairly highly.

No, my understanding at this stage is that Gareth will be on the list. Here's the Ohariu candidate:

Surely (hopefully) you are making this stuff up ...

"The biggest audience for current affairs commentary is Seven Sharp - its audience is massive - hundreds of thousands of people"

It would seem that a great many people are unaware that we have more than one channel now.

It is a bit complicated but here is a link,

And the following is the simple statements -there are some other qualifying facts -but basically Seven Sharp is huge.

"But for all viewers aged five plus, Seven Sharp had a share of 36 per cent of the overall television viewing audience to The Project's 13.9 per cent - an average audience of 438,000 to The Project's 182,000."

My TV goes off at 7


Total agreement on this ...

"The propaganda of telling the public, what to think, how to think ..."

That's exactly Hosking

I watch him as a means to better understand the concept of Manufactured Consent.

Great comment Kate. If people were able to temper their reactionary emotion, they would be better able to do what you do.

We'll done Kate. I had not realised there was such a long history behind the idea until I googled manufactured consent.

The NZ Flag referendum is just a brilliant case study in it. - one that didn't work for the government of the day, but nonetheless probably one of the world's best examples of a micro-study. I've often thought about writing it up as an academic article. This would be a cool journal to submit it to;

To me manufactured consent is under threat (I hope) globally by the rise of professional journalists joining the new wave of alternate (i.e., non-MSM) media. being one of course!

Try googling Edward Burtynsky: Manufactured landscapes; slightly off topic but stunning and sickening photographic evidence of man's effect on the physical and social environment, I would say it is not right or left wing, it exists on it's own. Who manufactured consent for this process of polluting and destroying with no thought for the future??;probably us by communally consenting to consumerism courtesy of the advertising + media conditioning.Trumpists will say it's fake; great movie though....
Alternative media, alternative facts??.

Did it. How phenomenally depressing.

At the National Party conference today

8 is an important number too, the number of wins ETNZ needs to bring the America's Cup home

.... NO ! ... tricky to getcha head around , but Team Emirates NZ needed to win 8 races to bring the Americas Cup back to GodZone ... we started at minus 1 ... remember ...

Team Spit-all Barnacle only had to win 7 races ( best of 13 ) ...

Election year and in natioanl party in Wellington will give indication of more bribe like tax cut.

Thinking about families - why now after 9 years. Election year.

Question is can they fool all the people (of NZ) all the time.

Well done Bill English.

The Opportunities Party - Democracy Reset that Kate linked to is a fascinating read and I must say has spurred me to reflect on my own positions much more deeply. It would appear that TOP have discovered that the current state of democracy has its flaws and shortcomings. To "reset" democracy TOP is proposing that we introduce and lock into stone some very non democratic concepts in order to fix democracy. I too have had similar ideas however somewhat different to TOPs. I can see now why some may be rabidly opposed to my ideas as I am to TOP's. It has even made me think that I may be more on board with the denationalising agenda than I once thought because in a denationalised world I can be who I want to be.

I do think that TOP is misreading the mood of the up and coming generations. Am I reading it right that 81% of American millennials believe that it would be legitimate to other throw the government with military force if the government is incompetent? What do they mean by incompetent? I assume it to mean working against the interests of the people by being corrupt or under the influence of foreign powers or organisations. This indicates to me a growing mood shift toward nationalism which is intrinsically tied to militarism or a warrior state for how else could a nation's government be reset by military force without warriors?

TOP proposes that we introduce an upper house based on race rather than individual merit. The rationale being that certain people should have more say because they have a different history. There seems to be no scientific reason for this other than novelty or nostalgia. Generally such an idea would be rejected by those not belonging to the favoured race and it would have to be introduced by force or threat of force using warriors as was the case in Fiji. I think the majority of people would be repelled by TOP's ideas even if they couldn't fully articulate it. It seems out of place in the modern world.

I get the impression that TOP is attempting to introduce a type of authoritarianism but with a uniquely Aotearoan flavour. However they are just hoping that people will naturally embrace it because of its novelty factor rather than any proven historical precedent. They want to enforce language and culture and a supernatural view of nature on an an increasingly globalised and individualistic population. The thing is, what is so attractive about globalism, is its fundamentally Western European underpinnings and dominant, evolving, culture. Modern people are not going to be attracted to TOP's agenda just for the sake of a unique language, enforced nature worship and being different to the rest of the world.

In principle I have nothing against proposing these ideas and forming a party to try and bring them about. Such ideas should be encouraged and debated. I just don't think it will fly in a society where almost everyone is doing all right, doing their own thing, learning whatever language they damn well like and is useful for them. Perhaps after the apocalypse it will gain more traction?

Yep, I think your objections are typical of die-hard National supporters. As I said above:

"Sadly, I think it's his/TOPs stance on the Treaty. I often think National voters are National die hards, simply because they are anti-Maori/TOW NZers."

Not saying you are wrong and they are right. Just pointing out that there is a hard-core constituency in NZ that does not view the Treaty as a part of NZs future - but are quite happy to embrace certain aspects of our indigenous culture. Most NZers have a sense of pride within when the All Blacks perform the haka, for example - or when they view the Air NZ koru - or when they see Maori art being the basis of tattoo art on many non-New Zealanders.

The problem I have with your thoughts above, Zach, is that you frame your objection to a modern place for the Treaty as a race-based issue - whereas it is to me more a cultural one. Maori tikanga is a very different worldview or way of looking at society and the application of morals/values in decision-making. I think tikanga adds value to NZs largely positivist/utilitarian worldview. It's an alternate philosophical perspective that forces us to think beyond our Enlightenment-framed ethical framework.

How we take advantage of that uniqueness that a NZ indigenous moral/ethical perspective brings us in our social and regulatory decision-making should be explored to my mind. TOP's proposal is one way. It might be good, it might not be good - but your hope to extinguish that alternate worldview is to my mind detrimental in the long term. Utilitarianism hasn't necessarily served the planet all that well as the dominant worldview.

My issue is that Labour has given no hint that they are going to do anything differently , other than increase taxes to pay for some grandiose mass house-building scheme .

1) Immigration policy is identical to National , its the feature piece on their website today .

2) Housing Policy is unworkable , and there is nothing new offered by Labour , other than Government will become a massive Construction Company , which will no doubt lose money hand over fist , and we will have to bail them out

3) Their jobs policy is a repeat of policy that has never worked . We have 90,000 people not in work or training . There is a desperate shortage of workers and education is almost free, college and UT courses and internships and on - the -job training is offered almost everywhere .

Its a case of taking the horse to water ............

4) No change to rules for Pasifika living or working here

5) More refugees , when we already have a housing crisis , maybe charity should begin at home

6) Budgeting for a surplus ............ identical to National

7) More Police .................................identical to National

8) Light rail for Auckland will the currently bankrupt Auckland City ever pay for this ?

9) Dole for apprenticeships ............why on earth should anyone working receive the Dole to get them to take up an apprenticeship ?

10) Child obesity , the current Government and every social -welfare organisation we have in NZ has tried to get on top of this problem and its going to take years and ongoing education about healthy food choices to make any headway .

11) Make -work schemes have never been sustainable , the " Ready for work " scheme is a joke , these unemployed youths should be given skills , not some vague undefined ''work of public benefit' to do . Why would anyone on welfare want to cut the grass on the local club rugby field when they can do nothing instead ?

I heard from an elderly person over the weekend who has voted many times for National. They noted that the thing many people miss these days is that the previous government build efforts, and even the creation of the Housing Corporation, was largely driven by conditions not all that different to today. Shortages of housing, inaccessibility of housing for the populace, and a model where (primarily foreign) dominant players in the industry were able to charge very high costs (compared to other places) and extract money out of New Zealand.

Housing Corp and the various other efforts were actually put in place to work around much of this, much as Labour's similar measure would be, in order to leverage scale to make homes accessible and more affordable. This included measures such as - at the time - offering better access to finance than the private sector was providing.

I think he's right - many people have forgotten that these things were put in place for such reasons, reasons that are coming around today too. Many have forgotten that such measures were a big part of why houses were built in such quantities they were, quantities that eventually made access to homes more affordable and enabled many in the now older generations to get into their own home.

It's not to say that older folk didn't work hard to get into their own home, but it is the reason why homes were more accessible then than for young Kiwis now.

I think because many older folks either never knew this or have forgotten it, they've come to believe that the conditions today are the same as have ever existed, and that they achieved their home ownership under such conditions. However, they are not, and they did not.

Or alternatively, they know, but they like the ability to benefit from both cheap housing and the later escalation into unreasonably expensive housing - because it increases their personal wealth even if it's at the cost of other Kiwis.

Except that Housing New Zealand (or housing Corp ) is broke and the Government will never again be able to provide free housing for all .

Regrettably , those days of a working mans utopia are gone forever

In all honesty , we need a change in Government , but Labour is offering NOTHING NEW . Its more of the same , but with increased taxes to pay for pet projects and more handouts to get youth off their backsides.

Labour loves immigrants , and their housing policy is not sustainable on even the most basic level .

Can you quote how Labour and National's immigration policies are the same?

Yes a change of government is needed

National are a Party of Freedom Campers

(a) Labour is offering to get on top of the international student rort and then see what is left behind

(b) National are the freedom campers party, make a mess, crap everywhere, then move on leaving their toilet for someone else to clean up

(c) In the immediate Labour can never govern on its own - it will need other parties to join it

(d) NZ First will hold the power - I hope they don't join in a coalition but sit on the cross benches

(e) NZ First can then be the cleaners

Two other Guys

a) has been done , the door is closed on intl student rort
b) This problem will not cease under Labour its been a problem for over 30 years , and unless its banned it wont work
c) irrelevant
d) Winston will be Kingmaker either way
e) might as well vote for Winston

You mis-read point (b)

I said National are a party who make a mess, then move on and make another mess, while leaving it to someone else to clean up after them

A perfect example of National's self-sabotage

National have implemented a program of closing manned police stations in small remote rural communities. Then they commenced a program of increasing the excise tax on tobacco products


If you were of an addictive nature addicted to nicotine together with a criminal bent and decided on burgling or holding up a petrol station or local milk bar for some cigarettes where would you do the deed?

Doesnt require too much genius to do the deed somewhere where there is no longer a manned police station

As always Alex a good article. On the fringes however you missed noting that for the first time in the polls TOP is showing separate from the " all other parties" at 1%. If young people get involved, and they would be "barking mad" not to, then I would expect TOP support to escalate quickly

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