NZ Greens – quick on the photocopiers

Environment Victoria have got a rather clever print campaign going in support of renewable energy. This went to print in The Age yesterday… [via Twitter]

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It didn’t take the NZ Greens long to get their solar powered photocopier up and running…

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Imitation really is the best form of flattery :-)


Opening Broadcasts

One of the many quaint things about New Zealand politics, is the odd, round about way they deal with partial state funding of political parties, while mashing it into a spending cap, and leaving a mess of a solution that suits no one.

Basically, the Electoral Commission allocates money to each party based on a huge number of factors, including number of MPs, polling performance and this year they’ve even quietly announced that they are taking Facebook Likes into consideration!

This money can then *only* be used for the production and broadcast of radio and television ads. Not only is it ring fenced, but it also acts as a spending cap – parties can not spend any additional money on TV or radio than what they are allocated by the electoral commission. The one way that parties can somewhat get around this is if they fund the production of the ads themselves, so they can spend the full amount of their allocation on ad placement.

Is it an ideal system? Nope. Is it likely to change anytime? Of course not.

As a campaigner it really bugs me. Additional campaign funds, that you don’t even have to work to fundraise for, is fantastic. Having to spend the money on one of the least effective forms of advertising? Well, that’s just cruel.

Another odd, and very old fashioned aspect of the system is that each party gets a set amount of time to broadcast opening and closing TV statements. These are played together on TV1 about a month out from the election, and then closing statements in the final week. Just like last year, National have gone with something safe and dull, and Labour have tried something new and exciting. It’s cool to see just how good Labour’s offering is. But sadly it will be seen by very very few swing voters.

Anyway, here are this year’s opening statements…

Labour

National

Available on their Facebook page.

Greens

NZ First

Theirs isn’t online either. And their YouTube channel hasn’t been updated in five years. Suits their brand I guess?

Conservative Party

Okay this is getting ridiculous. Theirs isn’t online either, and they haven’t updated their YouTube channel in a year.

ACT

Internet/MANA

And finally, I highly recommend you check out Steph’s reviews at The Standard.

And if you’re in NZ (or can figure out how to use a VPN so TVNZ thinks you’re in NZ), you can watch the full “programme” here.

 


One year on.

Today marks the anniversary of David Shearer’s resignation as leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Incredible that we’ve gone from being within a few percentage points from victory, to closer than the Greens than to National.

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Throwback Friday

John Hewson’s train wreck of an interview on the GST. Delivered just weeks before the 1993 federal election and helped Labor to a victory many thought was impossible…

“I’ve tried to pick a simple example”


“Factions exist anywhere”

Labor Senator Penny Wong is in Wellington, and tonight will deliver the Peter Fraser Memorial Lecture. If you’re in town I highly recommend trying to get a ticket.

This morning she gave a great long format interview on Radio NZ on the state of Australian politics. Well worth a listen


Bringing down a fake.

New Zealand politics is very odd at the best of times. Yesterday was particularly strange when we saw a story about how outrageous it was that Labour candidate Kelvin Davis dared to actually campaign against his opponent. We are really in the twilight zone now.

David Cunliffe is putting Labour in a very awkward position by continuing to flip flop on doing a deal with Internet Mana. Last week he refused to rule them out, but then by this morning he had entirely changed his tune

“…We’ve ruled out working with Mana in government as well. I’ve said yesterday, I’ve said before Mana will not be part of a government I lead fullstop.”

The problem is that a leader that is shifty about who he will work with will very quickly lose all credibility. He just looks hungry for power at any cost, and if he’s not going to back his own candidates and MPs, what hope do the people of New Zealand have that he will back them as Prime Minister?

Kelvin Davis is working his butt off. If you can, I’d highly recommend you make a donation to his campaign (I will be). Here are his account details:

38-9009-0235341-01
Account name: NZLP TTT Campaign Acc.

Labour has aspired to win all the Maori seats in the past, as any party which thinks it will do the best for those constituents should. But by changing those goal posts in order to do a shabby little deal, we really are no better than the Nats.

Don’t get me wrong, I want a Labour government. A deal in Te Tai Tokerau, or allowing Hone to win, would possibly assist that. But Cunliffe can’t have it both ways. He can’t go on TV and say Labour won’t work with Internet Mana, then suppress a campaign to ensure they win in Te Tai Tokerau. He can’t say that the coattails rule and rort by National in Epsom is unacceptable, then be complacent in using it to make himself the PM. It is those inconsistencies that annoy Labour’s base, shifts voters to the Greens (or even National in the case of many Labour supporters who can’t stand Internet Mana), and makes Labour’s message confused and unappealing to centre voters.

Use the rort, or don’t use it. But make a decision and stick to it.

And in his own words, this is why Kelvin Davis thinks Labour needs to bring down the fake…

I was on 3 News tonight because my campaign team had a look at a proposed website designed to take down Kim Dotcom and stop him from buying the seat of Te Tai Tokerau with his $3million dollars.

We explored this concept, debated it, then along with the Labour Party hierarchy decided it wasn’t in line with our Vote Positive messages and ditched it.

It was all about Kim Dotcom.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who donated $50,000 to far-right wing disgraced politician John Banks.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who said the police turning up at his front door was as bad as the suffering Maori have endured for close to two centuries.

This is the same Kim Dotcom had nothing to do with Maori until he found a way to take advantage of some to try to keep himself out of an American jail.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who’s garage is bigger and flasher than 99% of homes in Te Tai Tokerau, and still cries ‘poor me’.

This is the same Kim Dotcom, who if he really cared about the people of Te Tai Tokerau, would have got out with all the Labour volunteers after the floods and storms and distributed food packages to those who needed them instead of staying tucked up in the mansion.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who turned up to hui up north in a limousine while kaumatua and kuia rode in a rattly bus.

This is the same Kim Dotcom whose interference in Te Tai Tokerau politics was described as a disgrace to over 300 people at the Ngati Hine hearings in Pipiwai yesterday.

I make no apologies about looking at a website that asked the public to donate $5, $10 or whatever they wish to koha, to bring down a fake.

I’m just an ordinary Maori living up north trying to stop the biggest con in New Zealand’s political history from being pulled against my whanau, my hapu, my iwi.

I make no apologies if there’s another Maori politician in the north feeling pretty sensitive about all the criticism he’s copping from hapu throughout Te Tai Tokerau because of the con job.

I’m prepared to cop the criticism from him because it’s just the price a person pays when he stands up for his people and his principles.

Good on you Kelvin. Labour needs more people like you.

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Te Tai Tonga

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The announcement that Laila Harré had jumped ship from the Greens to lead the Internet Party ruffled a lot of feathers in the Green Party, and today’s announcement that former Labour MP Georgina Beyer is standing for the Mana Party in Te Tai Tonga is likely to have draw a similar opinion.

The big question is if she can win it. In the absence of any polling in the electorate, the best starting point is the 2011 result. Labour’s Rino Tirikatene won with a 1,475 vote majority over the sitting MP, Rāhui Kātene of the Māori Party. Despite a competitive race in which the seat changed hands, only 57% of voters bothered to turn up.

During the 2011 campaign, Mana candidate Clinton Dearlove surprised many. He performed very well during debates and in the media, but suffered simply because he didn’t have an adequate campaign machine to get his message out around this huge electorate. He only gained 1,360 votes in the end.

So what can we expect in 2014? Even if the Mana Party haven’t improved their campaign machine ( though with the support of Kim Dotcom’s millions, I wouldn’t count on it), Beyer is likely to be the beneficiary of her higher profile, and the media interest that will attract. If she can double the Mana vote, which is a huge task, then that might make some impact.

That said, Rino Tirikatene now has the advantage of incumbency (which is a huge benefit in an electorate this size). As well as that, he no longer has to face Kātene – who did run a decent campaign.

The demise of the Māori Party will certainly change the dynamic in Te Tai Tonga, but it is hard to see Georgina Beyer giving Tirikatene much of a run for his money given the size of his existing vote.


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