Let the campaign begin!

September 1st, 2008 at 3:25 pm by David Farrar

have released their first billboard. The PR says:

The billboard, on taxation and , was launched in Auckland this afternoon. The same billboard is going up at sites in Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, and Tauranga.

“Our first election billboard promotes our intention to introduce an ongoing programme of personal . It will be a responsible and a transparent programme,” says Mr Key.

“National will build on Labour’s planned October tax cuts. We will treat those as the first tranche in our tax cut programme. There will be further tax reductions on 1 April 2009, and again on 1 April 2010.

“The billboard also highlights Labour’s failure to stem the tide of people voting with their feet and leaving New Zealand.

“The figures are sky-high. Recent statistics show that more people than ever are leaving. In the year to July, 80,872 people packed their bags and headed overseas for good.

“That’s the highest loss for a year ended July since 1979, and the second highest loss ever. The figure equates to more than 1,500 people per week.

It’s election time alright!

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104 Responses to “Let the campaign begin!”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,663 comments) says:

    Excellent

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  2. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    It’s certainly clever, but as ever it’s silent on what they’d do beyond cutting taxes – cutting taxes will give people a one off increase in income. It will not increase competitiveness, it will not increase productivity/GDP, it won’t improve skills or access to international markets and it will not stop it raining in Auckland on the weekends. Vacuous stuff really, just like last time.

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  3. democracymum (660 comments) says:

    Nice Billboard – Positive and Forward Looking for NZ

    Perhaps they could follow up with

    “Wave goodbye to Winston
    Not your principles…”

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  4. calendar girl (1,108 comments) says:

    Good theme, eye-catching design, but who’s the advertiser? The National brand name has been rendered so small that many motorists driving by at 50kph wouldn’t have a chance of seeing it, especially as the logo is the last item to be read on the billboard. Sad, really, but that’s what you get when you leave it to the advertising agency “experts” to have the final say. It’s not their money at stake!

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  5. David Farrar (1,808 comments) says:

    Paul – no billboard is ever a detailed policy statement. And we are still waiting for a single 2008 policy statement from Labour.

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  6. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “It will not increase competitiveness, it will not increase productivity/GDP, it won’t improve skills or access to international markets”

    Wrong every time. It does all of these things- lower taxes mean more competitive pricing for exports in global markets which in turn means higher sales which in turn means increased income which in turn means higher living standards. Leaving aside that it also deals to the incentive destroying sentiment that there is no point in producing more as the gummint only takes it. Get your head out of the socialist cement.

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  7. Neil (525 comments) says:

    Disagree completely with Paul.
    This election is about the future, the need for skills and our youth in New Zealand not Australia.
    All the education we are providing from pre-school to tertiary is being lost every time a skilled person leaves our country. We are losing money, good taxpayers money which you and I provide.
    Losing people overseas creates additional pressures, forcing us overseas to attract immigrants.
    Less taxation is a great start to creating a competitive economy and the readjusting of New Zealand to a high wage low tax nation which will encourage people to stay or come home.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great people work overseas and gain experience in the big world, but we must give them something to come home for and put down roots.
    Give us more of that type of campaigning which is pushing for New Zealand. Excellent.

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  8. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    # Paul Williams (51) Add karma Subtract karma –4 Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    “It’s certainly clever, but as ever it’s silent on what they’d do beyond cutting taxes – cutting taxes will give people a one off increase in income. It will not increase competitiveness, it will not increase productivity/GDP, it won’t improve skills or access to international markets……..”

    Who IS this economic retard? Will RAISING taxes “increase competitiveness”, “increase productivity/GDP”, “improve skills and access to international markets”……………?????

    DUHHHH. DUHHHH. DUHHHH.

    The thought that an awful lot of Kiwi voters might think like this fantastic intellect is a truly depressing one.

    [DPF: Respond to the points without calling Paul a retard pls or Mr demerits will visit]

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  9. Exclamation Mark (82 comments) says:

    At first glance I thought it was an ANZ ad.
    I’m with Calander Girl, “National” needs to feature a bit bigger, good idea though, even if it isn’t as bold as the ads from last election. I look forwartd to seeing more.

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  10. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Doesn’t look particularily clear, no where near as good as the 2005 ones.

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  11. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Red, anytime you want to adduce any evidence to support your claims, go right ahead.

    Lower personal tax rates don’t have the direct impact on productivity or exchange/currency rates you claim. This denudes your argument of any merit; after only two sentences you’re already making stuff up.

    NZ is largely a export price taker, not maker, and has comparatively low export intensity. Our dollar has been high cause of high prices in key product markets e.g. dairy. Tell me how a tax cut for NZ wage earners will change international demand for milk solids? A high dollar might reduce the costs of capital, and therefore increase innovation and MFP, but it can fuel inflation, inflation fuels interest rates, Akl mortgages go up and you’re still stuck inside…

    Similar points were made, oddly, by Fran O’Sullivan who recently said:

    If Key cannot spell out at this weekend’s National Party conference in Wellington just how he intends to finance a personal tax-cutting programme that will far exceed Labour’s plan, he does not deserve to enjoy the confidence demonstrated by National’s current poll ratings.

    It would appear obvious – to those within the business elite who are privy to National’s plans – that Key and his finance spokesman Bill English plan to re-engineer the Government’s balance sheet so that a number of directly funded infrastructure programmes are shifted off-balance sheet to be funded through public-private partnerships and/or infrastructure bonds.

    So not only is the policy fiscally imprudent, according to Fran, it’ll not solve the problem.

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  12. big bruv (12,319 comments) says:

    Paul Williams

    “It will not increase competitiveness, it will not increase productivity/GDP, it won’t improve skills or access to international markets and it will not stop it raining in Auckland on the weekends”

    And best of all it will not give this corrupt left wing govt any more of my money to waste on DPB beneficiaries and Labour voting bludgers.

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  13. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    PhilBest, where has Labour said it’ll raise taxes; they’ve lowered them, albeit only slightly? Your argument, such as it is, relies on a false premise.

    My point is that National’s only policy (only policy that’s not a Labour policy that is) is to decrease taxes dramatically them and I can’t see how it’ll address the problems of productivity growth or inclement weather? Your strawman might be noisy, and purile, but it’s still just a strawan… did you have anything to do with the campaign strategy?

    What is it with kiwiblog that so many of the commentators respond to any criticisms with abuse? Toughen up.

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  14. big bruv (12,319 comments) says:

    Paul

    Tell me what Labour are doing to increase productivity? go on, break the mould of left wing trolls who visit here and tell us what Labour will do to improve things instead of slagging off any idea that the Nat’s come up with simply because it is proposed by John Key.

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  15. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Lower personal tax rates don’t have the direct impact on productivity or exchange/currency rates you claim. This denudes your argument of any merit; after only two sentences you’re already making stuff up.”

    Thanks for that opinion. Apparently every point I made including incentivisation went clear over your head.

    “Tell me how a tax cut for NZ wage earners will change international demand for milk solids?”

    I already have. Given that the money taken for taxes is used in the most unproductive way, reducing taxes always has a twofold benefit. 1) reducing cost of product and 2) Increasing overall productivity of country. You’re apparently confusing tax rates with exchange rate fluctuations. High or low exchange rates, its still better if the base product costs are lower and efficiency is higher. You can make a litre of milk powder a lot more efficiently without a bunch of parasites leeching off every packet and saying “gimmeee gimme gimmee” while they sit on their fat useless non productive arses eating KFC and watching 48″ plasmas.

    “anytime you want to adduce any evidence to support your claims”

    I can find plenty of stuff from any number of economics experts to support the view that tax decreases are an economic benefit in so many ways. Are you claiming such views don’t exist?

    “according to Fran, it’ll not solve the problem.”

    Sorry, what Fran says in the text you have presented is far removed from this argument.

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  16. kisekiman (224 comments) says:

    Paul, I think you will find our dollar has been high due to a phenomenon known as the “carry trade” in which participants borrow in low yielding currencies such as yen or Swiss francs to invest in high yielding currencies such as the NZ dollar. So why have interest rates been so high? Profligate government spending has been a major driver with robust dairy prices helping to a certain extent.

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  17. Ford Nucleon (11 comments) says:

    I like the messages, but to me the billboard is too busy, too wordy and doesn’t really hammer home the message with the blue chip mix of authority and humour. Two issues over three lines just doesn’t have enough snap. I agree with those that suggest National’s branding could be stronger. Why not use a mug of Key to draw the eye and clearly signal this is a National Party message? I also hope the Nats can find a slogan with a bit more fizz than “Choose a brighter future”.

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  18. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    BB, three things.

    1. Increasing market access with FTAs.
    2. Increasing workforce productivity – I think participation in industry training, and completion of qualifications, has increased threefold since Labour came in.
    3. Improving R&D by increasing rebates.

    These are policy positions and decisions with specific intent and design. Interestingly even with a high dollar the capital to labour index is still improving (or was last time I looked).

    If I talk only about the stuff about which I have first hand knowledge, the transformation and increase in productivity in several industries, forestry and seafood for instance, that has occurred, in part, because of increased investment and better policy around industry training is hugely significant i.e. new products, new processes, higher productivity and profitability.

    If Key’s worried about productivity, MFP, he needs more policies. Changes to personal income taxes only have a marginal impact on workforce participation, already at historically high levels, and while that’s important, it’s not nearly enough.

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  19. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Great message but like others the National needs to be bigger and bolder.

    On the tax issue so the logic is if the Gumint raised the tax rate to 100% then we would have a booming economy full productivity no unemployment

    Gosh Wonder why they havent done it already

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  20. Sam (493 comments) says:

    Love it – it is all about moving on/forward, and the graphic design iterates this strongly, with the directional aircraft, and the bold typographical arrows. The National logo could easily be a bit bigger there, but I suspect that the message for change that is being presented means that it is actually irrelevant – people will immediately know whose this is… What’s more important is that the ‘call to action’ (party vote National) is terribly insignificant.

    It really does suggest that National have a bright vision for the future – I just hope we get to find out what it is before we’re having to vote for them…

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  21. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    very ‘wishy-washy’..

    ..looks like an ad for a stain-remover..

    ..or a plumbing wholesaler..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    (oo-err..!)..blew it with the ad agency choice..eh..?

    the greens have a history of that..

    ..i am steeling myself for this years offerings..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  22. GJ (329 comments) says:

    I think they can do better. Driving past at 100KPH I could take it as an Air New Zealand advertisement for flying to Australia with your family to avoid paying higher taxes.

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  23. big bruv (12,319 comments) says:

    “1. Increasing market access with FTAs.
    2. Increasing workforce productivity – I think participation in industry training, and completion of qualifications, has increased threefold since Labour came in.
    3. Improving R&D by increasing rebates.”

    In other words….no change.

    There is a saying about continuing to do the same thing time and time again yet expecting a different outcome.

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  24. gazzaj (106 comments) says:

    I like the messages, but to me the billboard is too busy, too wordy and doesn’t really hammer home the message with the blue chip mix of authority and humour. Two issues over three lines just doesn’t have enough snap. I agree with those that suggest National’s branding could be stronger. Why not use a mug of Key to draw the eye and clearly signal this is a National Party message? I also hope the Nats can find a slogan with a bit more fizz than “Choose a brighter future”.

    What you said. And what the hell are the triangles for?

    Strong message, lousy design.

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  25. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and actually..passing it at speed..the lighter lettering would stand out..

    ..making the message..

    “..not your loved ones..’..

    ..’..national..’

    (brilliant subliminal message..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  26. Ryan Sproull (6,641 comments) says:

    Vote National or say goodbye to your loved ones!

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  27. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Thanks for that opinion. Apparently every point I made including incentivisation went clear over your head.

    Red, not at all, yours was just rhetoric and I treated it as such. Just like the rest of your arguments really; simplistic theories, absent data; yours is a faith-based “argument” and I’m disinterested.

    phenomenon known as the “carry trade” in which participants borrow in low yielding currencies such as yen or Swiss francs to invest in high yielding currencies such as the NZ dollar. So why have interest rates been so high? Profligate government spending has been a major driver with robust dairy prices helping to a certain extent.

    I’m interested to see the decomposition of NZ currency fluctuations that you’ve used to conclude this – Japanese housewives and all. Yeild and rates are high, I agree, though I’m not convinced of the “profligate spending”. But if you’re right, tell me how tax cuts won’t exacerbate the situation? Tell me too, where Key’s going to make the savings? I can’t see many public utternaces that add up to much…

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  28. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    In other words….no change.

    There is a saying about continuing to do the same thing time and time again yet expecting a different outcome.

    That’s the lamest counter-argument I think you’ve ever made.

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  29. Nick3 (1 comment) says:

    Of course tax rates make a difference.

    People pay taxes in return for a range of services – to live safely and to provide public services that enhance the well being and security of the community. Think about how the government is fulfilling their end of the bargain. For example:

    Crime – NZ has one of the highest rates of crime in the Western world and one of the lowest success rates fighting it. Wait until you are burgled and try and get something useful from the police.

    Health. NZ’s public health system is almost worse than having no public health system. Every so often we forget the state it is in with often tragic consequences and rely on it because we could when we were young. I have on two occasions, costing a life in one case and 6 months of my life in another.

    Defence – One of labour’s first acts was to disband the Airforce’s defensive capabilities because of their Vietnam era prejudices. I don’t recollect many people having any say in that.

    Law – The continual flouting of the law by the government over the last decade, let alone these latest events, is beyond belief.

    It goes on …

    My gut feeling is for fair vaue for taxes, the actual contributors should be contributing 10 or 20% of what they actually do contibute in tax.

    Unfortunately for NZ, people are increasingly able to decide if they are getting fair value for money with their taxes. This is why so many people are moving to Australia – better value and it is easy for most – and beyond.

    Fortunately for me, I am depriving NZ of seven figures of tax a year and the corresponding offshore income.

    Yes, I despise Clark and Cullen for making NZ so undesirable for people like me that we have been willing to give up our homes and families here for a better life elsewhere.

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  30. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “..looks like an ad for a stain-remover..”

    yep, well they’re working on taking more votes off the Left

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  31. big bruv (12,319 comments) says:

    Paul W

    How is that lame?, you have not offered anything fresh or new yet you expect us to believe that these things are going to improve our shocking productivity rate when so far they have failed miserably.

    Perhaps the truth is not something that you are comfortable with but the fact is that Labour have failed, it IS time for a new approach, hell the worst that could happen is that our productivity rate remains as it is, one this is sure that nothing will change under the current tired regime.

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  32. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Red, not at all, yours was just rhetoric and I treated it as such. Just like the rest of your arguments really; simplistic theories, absent data; yours is a faith-based “argument” and I’m disinterested.”

    Only a committed leftist could write something so arrogant when they haven’t posted one verifiable fact of your own. You have merely posted opinion in response to opinion, and have no rational basis at all for the arrogant assumption that your arguments have more worth.

    Here’s a list of your assertions-

    * It will not increase competitiveness, it will not increase productivity/GDP, it won’t improve skills or access to international markets

    * Lower personal tax rates don’t have the direct impact on productivity or exchange/currency rates you claim.

    * This denudes your argument of any merit;

    * after only two sentences you’re already making stuff up.

    * NZ is largely a export price taker, not maker, and has comparatively low export intensity.

    * Our dollar has been high cause of high prices in key product markets e.g. dairy.

    * high dollar might reduce the costs of capital, and therefore increase innovation and MFP, but it can fuel inflation, inflation fuels interest rates,

    * Akl mortgages go up and you’re still stuck inside…

    * not only is the policy fiscally imprudent,() it’ll not solve the problem.

    * Your argument, such as it is, relies on a false premise.

    * National’s only policy (only policy that’s not a Labour policy that is) is to decrease taxes dramatically

    * Your strawman might be noisy, and purile, but it’s still just a strawan

    * Changes to personal income taxes only have a marginal impact on workforce participation

    * has occurred, in part, because of increased investment and better policy around industry training is hugely significant

    These are all mere assertions and every one of them can easily be challenged on factual and rational grounds. You arrogantly dismiss my arguments as “faith based” at the same time you write assertion after assertion and fail to answer questions asked of you. You will not debate because you are mentally unfit to discuss anything with anybody who does not first concede the correctness of leftism. You pose as an informed debater but it is you who are the religionist., you who has the log of wood in his eye and you who does not have the real facts.

    I could post a score of web references here from economic experts who would savagely attack the assertions you have made above. Its you who needs to harden up, and understand that there are always going to be people out there with radically different perspectives to the standard leftist model, and we’ll think that way whether you approve of it or not.

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  33. Michaels (1,317 comments) says:

    An idea….. David you could copy it, make a subtle change and put it on here……

    Vote National and say fuck off to Philu”.

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  34. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “1. Increasing market access with FTAs.
    2. Increasing workforce productivity – I think participation in industry training, and completion of qualifications, has increased threefold since Labour came in.
    3. Improving R&D by increasing rebates.”

    And their point of difference with National is…?

    Wait, I know, when you look past the headline statistics you will see that the completion of bullshit qualifications is worthless. And who has been the #1 driver of bullshit qualifications?

    Has R&D increased in NZ? Did the rebates make any measureable difference? You can list as much as you like about what Labour has done, but you need to back it up with the results otherwise it is just more wasted effort.

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  35. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    BB, (a) what “shocking productivity rate” is that then (b) how will cutting personal taxes increase productivity?

    The problem in this argument, from my perspective, is the faith some place in the promise that a simple change in a small part of economic policy will deliver unrivaled benefits. Seems hopelessly misplaced to me. At worst it will fuel inflation, increase the balance of payments deficit and have only a marginal impact on labour force participation.

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  36. 2_dead_dogs (32 comments) says:

    I’m no advertiser but we did a module on it in 5th form and it seems like a pretty good ad.

    I don’t think the logo really needs to be very big and besides, it is augmented by a pair of arrowheads.

    The pattern in the background draws the eyes towards the main message which is to ‘wave goodbye to high tax, not your loved ones’ and the logo is straight underneath that.

    The background pattern also lends an air of enivitably to a National victory in the form of a massive, massive air-raid.

    Fresh and new and I like it.

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  37. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “The problem in this argument, from my perspective, is the faith some place in the promise that a simple change in a small part of economic policy will deliver unrivaled benefits.”

    Then the problem is with your perception of the argument, not the argument itself. In fact, your argument appears to be that if something doesnt provide unrivaled benefits that it isnt worth contemplating.

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  38. LC (162 comments) says:

    Whether the Govt keeps more money via taxes, or we keep our money via tax cuts does not increase the amount of money in the economy, hence there can’t be inflation with tax cuts Paul.

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  39. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    And their point of difference with National is…?

    Have National got policies on any of this? if they do, the question would be what point of difference do National have with the government?

    Wait, I know, when you look past the headline statistics you will see that the completion of bullshit qualifications is worthless. And who has been the #1 driver of bullshit qualifications?

    Based on what? There’s a direct and measurable corelation between levels of qualification and both employment and earnings. After one or two qualifications however, the importance of a qualification compared with experience gets a little difficult to distinguish.

    NZ’s got high participation rates and projects an aging population, unless you’ve got a plan for growing workers on trees, their productivity is vital and skills and quals are the key. When I was working in industry training, Forest Owners were seriously considering mandating that everyone working in a forest had to have a qualification at Cert IV… that’s a major undertaking. The level and sophistication of technology in forests is astounding. The return on investment in industry training is often realised in a matter of months.

    Has R&D increased in NZ? Did the rebates make any measureable difference? You can list as much as you like about what Labour has done, but you need to back it up with the results otherwise it is just more wasted effort.

    I’m not sure, I’ll have to have a look, but I see a recent Treasury report showed capital to labour ratios improving… perhaps it’s unrelated but I doubt it.

    But still I wait for someone to tell me how National will avoid interest rate hikes and a blow-out in the balance of payments?

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  40. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Drove past it today as I was leaving Parnell.There was Richard Worth and co standing by it all smiles as the cameras rolled….I yelled out the window…”Hey National! Stealing ACTs theme’s again eh?!….”

    They looked a bit embarassed….heh!

    And yes the “National” banner is too small….but otherwise it looks ok and is eye catching.

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  41. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    a condom ad..?

    aeroplanes as sperm..?

    (oops..!..is ‘sperm’ a banned word..?

    like ‘emission (involuntary)’..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [DPF: And now you are going off topic again, trying to derail the thread, so 10 more demerits. Very few words are banned outright - it depends on context. If you can't judge appropriate context, then tough]

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  42. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    I could post a score of web references here from economic experts who would savagely attack the assertions you have made above.

    Why don’t you do something a little different instead Red, make the argument yourself? I like the list of my points, give me a little time and I can probably find a reliable source for each and everyone.

    not the argument itself. In fact, your argument appears to be that if something doesnt provide unrivaled benefits that it isnt worth contemplating.

    No Kimble, that’s not what I’ve said. Instead I’ve asked how personal tax cuts will improve MFP? Are you going to tell me? I’d love to see a comprehensive agenda for improving employment and productivity, so far all I’ve heard is “we’ll cut taxes”.

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  43. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    Paul Williams so many posts , is it your shift tonight for liarbour , do you pay secondry tax on this moonlight job, and what does liarbour pay for random posters, as i have no pride, money is money

    [DPF: Debate the issues please, do not attack Paul's motivation]

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  44. gee90 (92 comments) says:

    Tax/Cut. Red/Blue. Clear, sharp, effective. Those ads certainly worked.

    This one looks like half-a-dozen ideas incorporated into one billboard, as if they couldn’t choose between them. Far too much deciphering is required, nothing really grabs you. Too many words, not a memorable or effective visual, all a bit “too clever by half”.

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  45. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The problem in this argument, from my perspective, is the faith some place in the promise that a simple change in a small part of economic policy will deliver unrivaled benefits.”

    How does this statement remain consistent with this one-

    “National’s only policy (only policy that’s not a Labour policy that is) is to decrease taxes dramatically”

    IOW, how can a taxation cut be both “dramatic” and “a simple change in a small part of economic policy”?

    Xmas present from Progressives: Starvation

    How many poor people have progressives starved since 1917? It’s a good question and somebody should do the research and publish it. Russia was the breadbasket of Europe until progressives seized power in that year and started instituting policies to “share the wealth.” For the next 70 years until socialism collapsed, Russia was a net importer of food always on the brink of famine. In the 1930s, Stalin instigated a calculated famine in the Ukraine to rid himself of approximately 10 million political enemies. His crime was protected by the progressives at the New York Times and on the Pulitzer Prize Committee (they control both institutions to this day). Because soft progressives cover for hard-line progressives like Stalin, Castro and other political monsters — preferring to demonize George Bush and John Ashcroft instead — these atrocities continue.

    The left’s inability to understand the most basic economic fact — that people need an incentive to produce — has caused the unnecessary deaths of tens of millions of people — mostly poor — in the last 75 years. But thanks to a politically corrupted media and educational system, their pig-headed pursuit of socialist fantasies goes on.

    A few years ago when Robert Mugabe, the leftist dictator of Zimbabwe began his race war against white farmers to the cheers of progressives here (including such luminaries of the social justice cause as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton), I had a correspondence with a black journalist friend of mine who writes for all the leftist news outlets that pretend to care about black people but really care only about their destructive leftwing agendas. I suggested that he might get his friends to protest Mugabe’s bloody racism and brain-dead Marxism before poor black people began starving in Zmibabwe as a result of these criminal policies aimed at the most productive segment of Zimbabwe’s economy.

    Naturally my friend defended the murders and thefts as “social justice” and turned a blind eye to the racism since it was only directed against whites, whose parents of course had been “imperialists.” In this he was expressing the majority of world progressive opinion, for example that of the dictatorships and radical organizations that attended the Orwellian UN Conference Against Racism in Durban in September 2001, an orgy of racist attacks on whites and Jews. America and Britain which led the world in ending slavery and even attempted (futilely) to end it in Africa were put in the dock at the UN and held up for “reparations,” while the Muslim Sudan which maintains slavery today and the League Of Arab States whose ancestors enslaved more black Africans than all the Europeans and Americans put together were not; Israel the only democracy in the Middle East whose Arab citizens have more rights than Arabs in all the Arab states was attacked for racism, while the Arab states which forbid Jews to set foot on their territory were not.

    Now the progressive chickens are coming home to roost in Zimbabwe. On Christmas Eve the Wall Street Journal ran a front page news story on conditions in Mugabe’s Marxist police state. The title of the Journal story said it all: “Once a Breadbasket, Now Zimbabwe Can’t Feed Itself.” Corn production — the staple diet — has declined by two-thirds in the last three years and 6 million Zimbabweans are on the verge of starvation.

    US Ambassador Tony Hall nearly got it right when he said, “Zimbabwe stands alone as an example of how a country can be ruined by one person.” Actually, Zimbabwe is one of many such countries, and it was not ruined by one person but by one person supported by a global movement of arch reactionaries who call themselves progressives and who have killed 100 million people in the last century in the name of “social justice” and learned nothing in the process.

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  46. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Paul Williams so many posts , is it your shift tonight for liarbour , do you pay secondry tax on this moonlight job, and what does liarbour pay for random posters, as i have no pride, money is money

    [DPF: Debate the issues please, do not attack Paul's motivation]

    Yeah, it is. I get a $ a word.

    David, why so nice… I’m not complaining mind.

    “The problem in this argument, from my perspective, is the faith some place in the promise that a simple change in a small part of economic policy will deliver unrivaled benefits.”

    How does this statement remain consistent with this one-

    “National’s only policy (only policy that’s not a Labour policy that is) is to decrease taxes dramatically”

    IOW, how can a taxation cut be both “dramatic” and “a simple change in a small part of economic policy”?

    You know what, the “dramatically” is possibly overstated; when pushed, it wasn’t clear how much they’d cut at all. This doesn’t make the two statements contradictory however. A dramatic change, increase or decrease, in PAYE is still a very limited intervention.

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  47. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..[DPF: And now you are going off topic again, trying to derail the thread, so 10 more demerits..”

    we are debating the interpretation of this poxy billboard..

    ..and as i have received dfemerits for ‘emissions”.

    how is it out of line to ask about banned words/subjects..?

    ..so..even asking about banned words gets demerits..?

    ..how kafkaesque this is all becoming..

    oops..!..are literary references ‘off topic’..?

    can i even ask if literary references are deemed to be off-topic..

    ..and does the personal ideologies of the sayer have a high degree of ‘weight’..?

    opps..!..again..!

    ..can i even ask that..?

    whoar..!!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  48. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “Have National got policies on any of this? if they do, the question would be what point of difference do National have with the government?”

    Yes, they do. The point of difference is that National will go alot further than the lip service paid by Labour. The free trade negotiations started under a different government and were merely carried on by Labour. The best that can be said, is that Labour didnt let their ideology get in the way of what is considered by most grown ups as something good for the country.

    “but I see a recent Treasury report showed capital to labour ratios improving… perhaps it’s unrelated but I doubt it.”

    Yeah, that is unrelated and you are really stretching if you are assuming that a pitiful R&D rebate is the reason.

    “I’d love to see a comprehensive agenda for improving employment and productivity, so far all I’ve heard is “we’ll cut taxes”.”

    I would like to hear that from Labour too. But all we hear from them is empty rhetoric; “top half of the oecd”, “carbon neutral” etc.

    Complain all you like about National not having any policy (just like you have for the past year) but until Labour calls the election, the campaign doesnt start in earnest and your complaints havent got any credibility.

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  49. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    um..!,,redbaiter has veered off to/is posting vast polemics/screeds about zimbabwe..

    how the fuck is that on-topic/about national billboards..?

    ..anyone wanna take my bet he won’t get any hint of ‘demerits’..?

    what a feckin’ joke..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  50. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Shut. Up. Phule.

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  51. bringbackthebiff (106 comments) says:

    It’s all good, and I wish them and those who have had the patience to wait for that venal whore, HC’s day of reckoning all the best. have however come to the conclusion that NZ is too FUBAR to return to. The PC tide cannot be reversed, the pandering to minrities, funded by unwilling taxpayer donations will not end. All of this is fueled by MMP rule (Mindless Minority Party)

    Sweeping electoral and dare I say it constitutional reform is required. I’ll be long in my grave before that happens. If National wins, I am sure they are going to spend most of their first term coming to terms with just how much social and economic damage has been done.

    It took 9 years to achieve, but HC and her band of merry hand wringers have done a good job. The Exxon Valdez took much less time to sink, but I fancy it will take more time for NZ to recover from the damage Labour has done than it will take Prince William Sound

    Good Luck to you all

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  52. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    Paul i must admit im a two finger picker, you are very keen tonight in posting on the left side(the dark side) its true, Sorry Mr Farrar 10 points and im gone ,so why worry about straight shooting old me, im probably gone already , but having just watched clark on tv3 just now , (shes one sick tired looking OLD women) UNDER PRESSURE i would say. shes like state highway one needs straightning out and needs to be retarsealed , theres holes appearing in everything she says .

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  53. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Shut. Up. Phule.”

    Believe me, given that attention is his only objective, as it is with all narcissists, he’s best ignored. The post about the lack of success of socialism is an attempt to emphasize that there is a “dramatic” difference between governments that incentivize and governments that don’t.

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  54. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Yes, they do. The point of difference is that National will go alot further than the lip service paid by Labour.

    Go on Kimble… go on.

    Yeah, that is unrelated and you are really stretching if you are assuming that a pitiful R&D rebate is the reason.

    Really, tell me more? Relatively high currency will be a part of it, but so too good profits and, until recently, stable interest rates… solid and dependable government and sound economic management. I’d say these were all contributing factors to capital deepening. What’s your theory? And “pitiful”, the R&D debate. That’s absurd. My first direct experience with it was back in 2000, it was far from pitiful. I can recall one discussion with Government and Business Leaders in Auckland where it came up repeatedly over the course of a day. Investment in R&D is a critical factor in productivity improvements. I’d expect all of the business lobbies to agree on that, probably the unions too.

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  55. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    PS the bill board is revelant to us , ,my daughter wants to imigrate to (SIGH) aussie as with two kids its a struggle for them. He did very well at uni and is working in the legal system ,but hell every worker in this country has the loosers in life sucking of our tits,and its tiring , i will really miss our grand children if they go and could follow as shit i/WE love our grandchildren

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  56. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    With an advertising budget of nearly $3m to play with every year, have some experience of very many forms of message.

    This is typical ‘BIG’ agency, and is actually too clever for the average Joe Blow.

    The old message board with Red and Blue was a lot more effective.

    Just like Tui’s campaign. KISS.

    I agree that John Key needs more prominence. And also HC? She isn’t the most photogenic!

    As for all the macro economic debates above. Boring!!

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  57. Zippy Gonzales (485 comments) says:

    Sure, there’s more planes on the billboard than are in the RNZAF. The planes are a watermark, essentially making it more difficult to mash-up without being obvious or ruining the frame. The Photoshop skill level hurdle just got higher.

    “Choose a brighter future” is suitably nebulous. Lots of things to run with there.

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  58. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    JSF2008 said:

    PS the bill board is revelant to us , ,my daughter wants to imigrate to (SIGH) aussie as with two kids its a struggle for them.

    I can understand this, but then I live in Sydney so I’m the other half of this equation.

    It’s not all milk and honey but I don’t know many out of work lawyers in Sydney or tradies in Brisvegas or Perth. Still, the price of property is pretty scarey; in Sydney we paid almost three times what we paid in Wellington albeit for a better house. Also, not all the wages are signficantly higher; some clearly are and many tradies fly business class to and from the mines but I don’t think the service sector, for instance, pays that much more. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that one of the major factors contributing to the nursing shortage is the costs of living in the metro centres.

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  59. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..As for all the macro economic debates above. Boring!..”

    and weren’t they all ‘off-topic’..?

    shouldn’t demirits be showering upon all these rightwingers..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  60. dennisr (19 comments) says:

    Back on topic – a little late.
    This is a very effective bill board: the main message is large and clear and supported by the “right” colours. The logo doesn’t need to be any bigger – if it was it may detract from the message. For me the aircraft in blue depict the predominately blue future of NZ leaving our shores – to be replaced by socialist voters. This bill board defines a key difference between National and Labour.

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  61. reid (15,493 comments) says:

    It would be good, if we hadn’t been exposed to Ansell’s brilliance in 2005. Now, it just looks like… well, average if not sub par.

    Stuff like a common look and feel and clear contrast with the opposition, should now be a standard part of the political advertiser’s repertoire.

    This look and feel is obviously specific to this particular theme, which negates the repetition that is the key to persuading the reef fish.

    I hope it’s just a pilot, and real ones are going to start when the election is announced. I also hope the Nats have enough sense to solicit and listen to advice from Mr Ansell should he care to give it.

    BTW, re: that comment above about tax cuts not yet being announced, Key said today on Radio Left Wing he’d be announcing how much we’ll be getting within the first week after the election’s announced.

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  62. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    carm down phil dont whine im going for months soon (sigh) make your posts and stand by them (they are your thoughts) stand up and dont wimp, all posters are better than that. :) a community service slightly of post John F

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  63. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    The billboard does seem too complicated, but then why would I care? Billboards don’t win my votes. I’d be interested in knowing who this design is aimed at, because the images don’t inspire me at all.

    The background pattern also lends an air of enivitably to a National victory in the form of a massive, massive air-raid.

    Indeed, though not in postive way. When I saw it I was reminded of WW2 vintage air raid posters, loose lips sink ships and keep your lights covered. I wonder what people old enough to have been there would think of it? Perhaps they are all considered NZ First voters? Even if you’re young enough to remember images from Pink Floyd’s The Wall, it still isn’t a positive image. But hey, everyone’s hip and young and liberal and clearly thinking on a different plain. I think the main problem for me is that the image of the planes is above the message, as if the message is being bombed. While it may have appeared on a 1940′s poster as RAF bombers going east, the image has been changed by the media during the Vietnam era, so that now, when you look up at planes in tight formation like that, they’re bombing you.

    Anyway, forget me, I’m a decided voter. I don’t suggest repeating last times billboards, but to my eye they were more inspriational. A smiling face wins everytime. If the coneheads in marketting say this is working, go for it.

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  64. Dazzaman (1,114 comments) says:

    If Key’s worried about productivity, MFP, he needs more policies. Paul W

    Key’s in front by a wide margin, he doesn’t have to give policy. Election run-ups have never been about giving out policy, just winning votes. Most of the public are too busy with their lives to worry about policy statements. It’s all about slogans, hence the billboard at the top of the page!

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  65. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    it’ll be so easily defaced..

    as in..’say goodbye to your loved ones..

    ..party vote national..”

    (heh-heh..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  66. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and how come they ripped off the kiwibank ad..?

    (flying planes..)..?

    i thought national didn’t like kiwibank..

    ..are you using the agency the greens used last time..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  67. Paul Marsden (935 comments) says:

    ‘Choose A Brighter Future’, is their slogan. It should be in a much BIGGER type face and, be BOLD and CLEAR, and the arrows should be much smaller. The billboard is otherwise not too bad, but this is a major cock-up.

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  68. BlairM (2,265 comments) says:

    Good words, although once again, completely stolen from ACT. Come on Tories, think up your own stuff fer cryin’ out loud.

    Design would work as a web ad, but as a billboard? Not so much.

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  69. Duxton (540 comments) says:

    Paul Williams: “But still I wait for someone to tell me how National will avoid interest rate hikes and a blow-out in the balance of payments?”

    I’ve got a solution. Make it impossible for lower income earners to gain access to credit finance for luxury/imported goods.

    (Wait for philu to start squealing…………)

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  70. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    no hire-purchase/credit financing here..sunshine..

    one thing raising a nipper on a dpb has done..

    ..is prepare me for the upcoming lean times..much more than most of you..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  71. RRM (8,987 comments) says:

    Choose the tax cut that will fix everything…

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  72. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,784 comments) says:

    I like the billboard. It tells it like it is.

    Plenty of embarrassment for the Labour government. On this issue at least rather than “do something”, the Labour government prefers to put its head in the sand and pretend the brain drain doesn’t exist (kind of like the underclass).

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  73. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,784 comments) says:

    Tax cuts will boost GDP as over the long term resources are shifted from the useless (government) to the productive (taxpayers).

    The government buying FailRail is an example of transferring wealth from New Zealand to Australia. Labour is good at sending all things good to Australia.

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  74. jackp (668 comments) says:

    All of you regarding tax cuts as non productive you are wrong. when businesses are taxed, where does the 30 percent net profit go to? Goes to the government and most of that money is wasted. Ireland is #5 on the list of OECD. They tax their businesses 13 percent. I think Fisher and Pykle would still be here and those poor people who lost their 540 jobs would still be at work because businesses can reinvest their profits and boost productivity. If the families get tax cuts this will boost their buying power and stimulate the economy. One of the main reasons for inflation is the extra government spending which Cullen seems to avoid addressing. He blames the families for overspending. Key will put a moratorium on government spending keeping a lid on inflation.
    25 percent of the skilled labour has left New Zealand and that is a huge chunk of productivity not to mention the tax income for the government which is why it is important to mention. Cullen can no longer say “let them go”. It is becoming too costly. I think Key will try to bring them back.

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  75. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Key’s in front by a wide margin, he doesn’t have to give policy. Election run-ups have never been about giving out policy, just winning votes. Most of the public are too busy with their lives to worry about policy statements. It’s all about slogans, hence the billboard at the top of the page!

    Well that pretty much sums it up for me. National supporters are prepared to vote for Key even if they don’t know what he’ll do. You might want to consider if that’s sustainable in a democracy.

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  76. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    jackp, there’s just so many ridiculous statements in your post, it’s hard to pick one but this is it:

    25 percent of the skilled labour has left New Zealand and that is a huge chunk of productivity not to mention the tax income for the government which is why it is important to mention.

    Any evidence for this? Any at all? While you’re at it, have a look at what the Reserve Bank and Treasury said about large scale tax cuts… I sincerely hope this isn’t part of your preparation for NCEA.

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  77. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “National supporters are prepared to vote for Key even if they don’t know what he’ll do.”

    Wrong. Former Labour supporters are so pissed off with Klark they’re prepared to change their vote regardless of what the opposition has on offer.

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  78. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Wrong. Former Labour supporters are so pissed off with Klark they’re prepared to change their vote regardless of what the opposition has on offer.

    The Labour-plus voters English speaks of? Oh well I’m sure it’s just fine to lie to them… right up until they realise they’re being fed BS albeit ever-so-nicely package (how’s it go, that nice John Key). Time will tell Red.

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  79. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,784 comments) says:

    Hey, Paul Williams. Check it out:
    Quarter of NZ’s brightest are gone

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  80. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    You seriously mean a cumulative figure to 2005 that ignores arrivals? Ok. Fair enough. It’s a point, not one I expected since mostly the discussion is about annual and net PLT arrivals/departures but there you go – I withdraw and apologise for my earlier comments (which were a unduly harsh to begin with actually).

    I think the number of kiwis departing to work abroad is an issue, and I don’t pretend to know what the solution is, I suspect it’s complex. But given that you’ve framed the matter in this way, I’m interested in what you think National will do to attract them back? Can I tell you that for my own perspective, it’s not just salary, but that’s just me.

    G’night.

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  81. NZTed (42 comments) says:

    Gee you’re a tough crowd to please! Argue the finer marketing aspects of this billboard all you like but I know it will really strike a chord with my mum. She is their target market, a middle aged kiwi woman with adult kids, not a tech savvy blogger who’s convinced himself he could have done better. Nothing like the great kiwi knocking machine, but how many of you have actually designed a billboard and measured the impact on your sales (or votes)? It’s easy to criticise from the armchair isn’t it?

    I joined the brain drain 5 months ago and my sister left the country at least a year before that. Simple really. 40% higher wages before tax, 50% after tax. Similar level job. Cost of living can even be about the same if you want it to be, which I have chosen to do. It’s realistically the only way I could even hope to pay off the ridiculous mortgage I have in New Zealand.

    The government doesn’t interfere with my life so much here, in fact, as an inflation fighting measure I’m getting a NZD$60 rebate on my powerbill next month because the government has decided that in these inflationary times the best thing the government can do is give back some of their overtaxation to cushion the impact. Sullen and Klark would roll in their graves before they’d ever do that.

    I even get to keep all my pay until tax time each year, so I put a little bit aside each month and earn interest on it in the mean time. The government here trusts me with my money, and expects me to pay my bills, and poor pay no tax until they’re way above the poverty line. With 12.5% GST and income tax from the first $1 we dare to call New Zealand a fair society?

    Gotta laugh, Red, Paul, et al….Phil U Reminds me off the school yard as a boy. Always entertaining to read. Piety, blind dogma, envy……rank stupidity. Oh and everyone still laughs hard when the class clown cries foul.

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  82. Sam (493 comments) says:

    It’s hard to be original ai? c1935

    http://airminded.org/wp-content/img/ephemera/_election-poster-1935.jpg

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  83. Sam (493 comments) says:

    It’s hard to be original ai? 1935

    http://airminded.org/wp-content/img/ephemera/_election-poster-1935.jpg

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  84. Sam (493 comments) says:

    Oops – sorry about the double-up.

    Here’s another example of this fresh new campaign though:
    http://www.earthstation1.com/Warposters/jingram/gwwii017.jpg

    Time to invoke Godwin’s…?

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  85. lyndon (330 comments) says:

    By basing an ad campaign round it makes it look like National wants to be held to a promise of reducing the flow of people to Australia…

    Is that really a good idea?

    P.S. This is probably just me but “Vote for us or kiss your relatives goodbye” sounds vaguely threatening.

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  86. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Gotta laugh, Red, Paul, et al….Phil U Reminds me off the school yard as a boy. Always entertaining to read. Piety, blind dogma, envy……rank stupidity. Oh and everyone still laughs hard when the class clown cries foul.

    NZTed, I don’t know to whom your comments were targeted but to the extent that you’ve mentioned my name, I simply disagree. I don’t often comment here because too many people become too abusive ridiculously quickly. You’ve contributed nothing to the discussion but simply slagged off those that at least addressed the issues.

    You’re story is interesting; where on earth do you live and what do you do? 50 per cent better wages after tax hey, tell us where you earn this, the Emirites, Singapore, Hong Kong?

    There will always be migration to and from NZ and there’s only so much you can do about that. NZ offers an unrivalled lifestyle for families IMHO and that’s always going to appeal to older and possibly more qualified migrants. However, NZ competes with Australia, I suspect, which is currently more aggressively using immigration policy as a device to increase population – there’s real downsides to that of course, not least of all in terms of sustainability. As Australia’s membership of Kyoto starts to impact, expect energy to be more expensive (it’s currently some of the cheapest in the world because of brown coal reserves). When finally there’s a deal on the Murray Basin, expect more water restrictions and more charging arrangements. Property in Sydney is so expensive, it’s causing acute labour shortages in the Health sector.

    If you’re single, professional and want to travel, it’s hardly surprising you head off for an O.E. I don’t think there’s a single policy or a palatable collection of policies that could or should stop this.

    Bottom line, Key’s suggesting that he can slow emmigration with his one trick; tax cuts. I think he’s dreaming. But then as someone else mentioned up-thread, his voters don’t really care about detail.

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  87. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    The media have been leaving messages asking for my comments. It’s clear from the tone of those messages that they’d be delighted if those comments were disparaging!

    Well, I don’t think we can expect National to produce bold advertising this time round, because centrists are by definition not bold.

    While this first billboard is not earthshattering, neither does it need to be. With National miles ahead going into the campaign, it’s Labour who need to be pulling the rabbits out of the hat, not them.

    National just have to make sure they don’t do anything stupid and they can sleepwalk to a record victory, as they did in 1990. The naked corruption of Clark and Peters will do the rest.

    What a National billboard needs to do is reflect the state of the National brand, and the present National brand is modern, positive and non-threatening.

    So is this billboard. It ticks all three of those boxes.

    To my old-fashioned taste, it’s a little over-designed (four messages, including website, and two design elements – multiple planes and double arrows).

    I think it would work better in a focus group situation where respondents can find lots of points to agree with, than on the side of a busy highway where people can only process one element as they whizz past.

    I’d ditch a couple of those elements for a couple of other ones that I’m surprised they left out: John Key’s smiling face and the slogan they used at their national conference: ‘Focus On What Matters’.

    John Key’s sunny disposition is the reason National are stomping all over Labour in the polls – especially when contrasted against Clark’s Muldoonish menace and her atrociously corrupt track record and that of her fellow travellers.

    That said, Steven Joyce and his team could be reasoning that the punters see plenty of Key in the media anyway, he’ll be featuring heavily in the TV ads, so why risk overkill by putting him on the billboards?

    I’m not sure that’s right. Still, it’s early days. Let’s see what else they come up with.

    Regarding the slogan, I thought ‘Focus On What Matters’ neatly nailed the difference between Key National and Clark Labour. Maybe they think it’s more a line for internal consumption than something to inspire the public. I don’t agree. I hope they revisit it.

    Anyway, not a bad start. What can Labour possibly do to counter? Short of assassination, only a massive bribe looks capable of saving them. Advertising by itself won’t work, as they’ve nothing convincing to say.

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  88. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    What a National billboard needs to do is reflect the state of the National brand, and the present National brand is modern, positive and non-threatening.

    So is this billboard. It ticks all three of those boxes.

    You’re the ad-man John, so you’d know but I guess the other box I’d look for is some credible alternative that was likely to work. Here’s a billboard shouting that Key’ll stop people leaving NZ for brighter climes; my fourth box is simply, “how”?

    John Key’s sunny disposition is the reason National are stomping all over Labour in the polls

    Perhaps you’re right, but will it be enough to actually govern the nation? This is where my focus might be different from yours. When thinking about how’ll I vote, I don’t ask “who’s nice”, but instead “who’s capable”. I’ve no doubt John’s a decent bloke, nor do I doubt he’s bright. What I seriously doubt is that he has anything like the skills, judgment or experience to be PM. In fact, this billboard convinces me he doesn’t because he’s promising to stop people leaving NZ simply by cutting personal taxes. To me this says he doesn’t understand the issue well enough to know his solution won’t work.

    But you’re the ad-man, you’re the one who knows how to sell a product. My concerns is that when the buyers take it home, they’ll realise most of the weight is in the packaging.

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  89. georgedarroch (301 comments) says:

    Statement:
    Mr Key said over-taxation had a huge impact on the decision of New Zealanders leaving the country.”

    Fact:

    The only developed countries that have lower taxation are South Korea and Mexico. And these aren’t the countries New Zealanders emigrate to (in fact, considering the number of Koreans in NZ, the opposite is true).

    Conclusion:

    Mr Key won’t let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

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  90. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Conclusion:

    Mr Key won’t let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

    An Ansell stopped being able to distinguish fact from fiction years ago.

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  91. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    Paul, don’t get me wrong, I’d rather they did something bolder and more specific. But it’s hard to argue with the success of the centrist strategy.

    It won’t work for New Zealand, but our voters have a long history of not caring about what works. If they took the trouble to investigate such things, ACT would be the government.

    No, likeability is where it’s at, and John Key is the master of being likeable. That’s why I’m surprised they don’t reinforce that by putting him on their billboards. I suspect they will in due course.

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  92. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    John, I disagree with you that voters are so benign but I can’t disagree that Key’s centrist strategy is working; so far it is. English made plain the approach and the focus on Labour-plus voters. It’s much the same approach Rudd adopted. Does this however, justify offering what is plainly the false promise of this billboard?

    The recent decision by the Australian and New Zealand governments to develop super portability by the end of this year, only possible since the development of Kiwisaver, is far more likely to have a positive impact compared with whaever income tax cuts Key’s promising.

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  93. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Georgie-

    REMOVETHIShttp://www.nationmaster.com/graph/tax_com_of_tax_per_inc_tax-taxation-components-personal-income-tax

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  94. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Man it’s easy to get negative karma here, all you need do is dissent from the National talking points; for a bunch of individualists, you’re sure into group-think. BTW John, I probably needn’t have slighted you before, I guess I was reacting to earlier commenters; I apologise.

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  95. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    Oh thanks Paul – I was wondering what I’d done to earn that. (Possibly a previous scrap we had about ACT’s education policy?)

    And if you want to see me getting hammered by fellow righties, go to the flag debate!

    I think people leave for Australia for a host of reasons, but tax is one of them, and the various actions of the Labour government account for most of the others. It’s a general throwing up of hands about what the country’s coming to.

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  96. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Ahh no, the education debate we had didn’t really resolve itself, I suspect, to either of our satisfaction but I don’t know that we’re likely to see eye to eye on that… No, I simply took a gratuitous free-hit, it wasn’t necessary or helpful hence the apology.

    I think people leave for Australia for a host of reasons, but tax is one of them, and the various actions of the Labour government account for most of the others. It’s a general throwing up of hands about what the country’s coming to.

    Well I don’t know that that’s correct. I left 6 years ago and know a fair number of expats and that’s not what I hear. I was at a Kea event a month or so ago and many were saying they’d quite like to head back to NZ. There’s no doubt that some professionals and trade-qualified people can earn better money in some parts of Australia but the tax picture is very complex. For instance, I paid tens of thousands of dollars in stamp duty when I bought my house… tens of thousands of dollars that were supposed to be scrapped with GST.

    To me it’s significant that most tax payers in NZ don’t file a return whereas in Australia everyone has a tax agent (very few people do their return themselves). It simply is a much much more complex system and not one that always results in more money (and none of this is about the comparative costs of living which, in the main centres, is a lot more expensive that almost everywhere in NZ).

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  97. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    ansell said:..”..John Key’s smiling face and the slogan they used at their national conference: ‘Focus On What Matters’..”

    um..!..you don’t think that might backfire on you/them..?

    y’know..as in the more you look..the less you see..

    ..and what glimpses you do see..

    ..are more alarming than reassuring..

    (secret agendas/ashcroft/evasiveness..)

    ..and i am reassured by your airy predictions that ‘john’s sunny smile’ll do it!’..

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  98. georgedarroch (301 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, that graph only provides one component of personal tax – albeit the one that people are most familiar with, and hence the one that is easiest to mislead people with.

    In Australia, for example, there are dozens of taxes that don’t exist in New Zealand, like the huge stamp duties that Paul Williams mentions. For better or worse, New Zealand has a very simple tax structure, and the Economist has described it as one of the flattest in the world.

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  99. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “In Australia, for example, there are dozens of taxes that don’t exist in New Zealand, like the huge stamp duties that Paul Williams mentions.”

    Of course there are Georgie, that’s why thousands of Australians leave for NZ every week.

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  100. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Anyway, not a bad start. What can Labour possibly do to counter? Short of assassination, only a massive bribe looks capable of saving them. Advertising by itself won’t work, as they’ve nothing convincing to say..”

    i mean..really..!..ansell..!

    you really are a partisan ideologue eh..?

    how can that be the case..when just one of the ‘problems’ facing national..

    ..is the fact that over 50% of people think national are bullshitting us..

    ..telling us what they think we want to here..

    ..as they always have..

    ..(they obviously haven’t learnt that lesson yet..

    ..as opposed to labour..who have..

    ..and no matter how bored wih clark you might be..

    ..when she says something..it’s usually pretty solid..

    ..and you are f.p.p. thinking..(as in ..for now..but the gap is closing..national are beating labour in a two-horse race..

    ..and we all know that actually meand diddly-squat..

    ..m.m.p…!..remember..!

    so really..your analysis dosen’t really amount to much at all..

    eh..?

    but..y’know..if they want to take your ‘advice’..

    ..go for it..!..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  101. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Of course there are Georgie, that’s why thousands of Australians leave for NZ every week.

    No they flock to the US and the UK.

    In the six months of July to December 2007: In total The number of permanent departures was 36 323 an increase of 8.5 per cent over the previous period.

    By country

    48.6 per cent of all permanent departures were born in Australia (incl. ext. territories).
    Of the 18 667 permanent departures who were born overseas, 21.2 per cent were born in New Zealand and 14.5 per cent were born in the United Kingdom.
    The main countries of intended residence for all permanent departures were New Zealand (19.2 per cent), the United Kingdom (15.7 per cent), the United States of America (9.9 per cent) and Hong Kong (SAR of China) (7.5 per cent).

    Full report is here http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/statistics/immigration-update/update-dec07.pdf.

    You really can’t distinguish between cause and correlation can you? As I’ve said up-thread, news that Akl’s not had a dry weekend since April is probably more off-putting I suspect. And for all your fulmination, you’ve not left so how’s that consistent with your theory; the fact is that most decisions are more complex than you appear capable of understanding.

    You might also be interested in this Background Briefing, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2008/2339793.htm#transcript, on whether Australia is using immigration to fill skill/labour shortages or to boost population.

    What’s that saying about “a little information is a dangerous thing”.

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  102. Viking2 (10,687 comments) says:

    Apart from a lot of off topic stuff the bill board is great plus for labour. No none of you have clicked to it.

    The problem with this new bill board is that Labour can claim the moral high ground from October 1. I have just received the new tax book that starts on that date and it makes a tax reduction of about $25 on $600 per week for someone on the M code. And there is more in the pipeline. So won’t that be confusing to the sheeple. Nats promise and Labour delivers.
    Wave goodbye to the Nats.

    What a stuff up. Why didn’t they say ” Flat taxes coming, Stay here and prosper Vote National.”
    Good bill board for ACT of course.

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  103. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    Fair point – but easily countered. National just need to run a billboard on October 1 saying, “Want a bigger tax cut? Vote National.”

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  104. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    John, do you not think this is the kind of thinking that attracts the “one-trick pony” criticism? Tax cuts alone won’t stop people migrating; the current number are comparatively high but it’s not like it’s a new trend (and I’m not aware of any correlation between personal tax rates and emmigration).

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