A non story

August 1st, 2011 at 9:04 pm by David Farrar

reports:

Prime Minister ’s appearance on Late Show with may have cost taxpayers up to $10,000.

Not really.

“I’ve been informed that Tourism New Zealand have a PR company. They’re on a retainer. They pay them every month, irrelevant of what I do.”

“Apparently, when the Letterman show was on, that was one of the projects they worked on. They would have made the payment whether I was there or not.”

So in fact no extra money was spent. Not that I would have had a problem if there had been – as a tourism promotion, $10,000 would have been ridiculously cheap.

In fact one 25th the cost of the $250,000 spent in 2002 on a Discovery documentary about NZ, starring . And that was in an election year.

I have no problem with either expenditure if they are genuinely deemed a worthwhile tourism investment.

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44 Responses to “A non story”

  1. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Yawn, the Trevor Mallared and Stuart Nash school of election campaigning reaches its zenith of sophostication.

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  2. Seamonkey Madness (328 comments) says:

    Wahrp waaaahhhhrrrrp.

    Great work from the Labour Research Group yet again!

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  3. RandySavage (195 comments) says:

    that key performance was embarrassing. Letterman made him appear like a gurning school girl

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  4. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    Was this a “revelation” from the same people who tried to assert that farmers hardly pay any tax?

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  5. Pete George (21,826 comments) says:

    It is a revelation according to the independent non-party connected Zetetic. Makes for a distraction from yet another depressing poll result which hasn’t been mentioned there. He/she even jokes “They (DPF/Whale) worked out a distraction line”.

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  6. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    @Randy, what is gurning and how does it apply to NZ? You aren’t in Wapping working for a tabloid now geeza.

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  7. Sublime (41 comments) says:

    Piss-poor polling and your leader giving a potential coalition partner the big no.. any distraction’s a good one. This makes the BMW fiasco seem almost newsworthy.

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  8. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,681 comments) says:

    Jeeeyaysuses.

    This made both TVNZ and TV3 national news?

    How much did TVNZ spend on chewing gum for its trainee Labour Party press secretaries over the last few years?

    [Deleted by DPF]

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  9. thetillerman (1 comment) says:

    Unlike Key, Clark never went slobbering at the feet of the Discovery Channel team by way of a “jokey’ videotape. From recall, they came to her. Clark’s office, and the tourism people, were upfront about the Discovery project and the fact taxpayers money was spent on the venture. There is something deeply discomforting and sneaky about the way that Key’s Letterman spend was kept well tucked away from public view.

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  10. Right of way is Way of Right (1,125 comments) says:

    The Standard are in full bleat mode over this, so I have contributed the following.

    Oh come on, really? Is that the best you can do?

    The company that arranged this worked to promote NZ, and is paid a retainer. What that means is the company is paid no matter what. The 10 grand figure is what the company spent working to secure the deal. Don’t intimate that there was a payment to the Letterman show to secure the appearance! People are actually smarter than that.

    You could contrast this with the 200,000 Helen Clark’s government spent on a documentary, which I had no trouble with. Or what about the 6 million dollar bill that Oprah’s visit cost the Australian taxpayer!

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  11. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    It’s okay, everyone. It’s a non-story, and Helen Clark did the same non-story worse.

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  12. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    I do wonder why Felix Marwick and Heather du Plessis-Allan were getting so excited about this.

    $10,000 doesn’t even get you a half-page ad in The New York Times.

    Tourism NZ couldn’t even have afforded to have bought the time Key spent on the show.

    For God’s sake!

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  13. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Well, the way they ran it was that Key said they spent nothing, but they now say “actually, there were some expenses”.

    I’m trying to tell myself that I would have been up in arms about this sort of thing under Clark, but I’m really struggling to believe myself.

    Oh, and this is the same media who ignored Ian Wishart’s explosive story about Benson-Pope.

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  14. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    I just got banned at the sewer for arguing with Red Logie:
    http://thestandard.org.nz/you-paid-to-get-try-hard-john-on-the-telly/#comment-359082
    I compared the $10K to the $200M we paid over the top for Kiwisnail, I suggested the $10K was a sunk cost so ignore it, a rule in Finance:)

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  15. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    Out of the ashes of the h-fee scandal rises a Pheonixtonothing

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  16. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    Did anybody ask the scum at the Standard about the millions of tax payer dollars Klark spent purchasing herself a job at the UN?

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  17. Manolo (12,637 comments) says:

    Reason 11’254,982 to privatise TVNZ, bastion of the left. C’mon National, have the guts.

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  18. Michael (880 comments) says:

    I know Key’s appearance on Letterman was a little awkward, but it’s the kind of awkward like when your dad does something and you feel a little embarrassed, but all your friends think “his dad is cool”. After all, it’s probably significantly less cost to the taxpayer than the cost of the Capital Gains Tax material produced by the Parliamentary Office of Phil Goff.

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  19. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    @ Manolo and reason number whatever to abolish Tourism New Zealand too. If it’s such a great idea let the tourism operators fund it.

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  20. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Also 1/7th of the cost of promoting or recording an album that almost no taxpayer will voluntarily listen too…., or 1/300th of a waka. Perhaps the “letterman” can become a new benchmark for measuring government spending – “oh dont worry, we are only borrowing 30,000 lettermans a week”

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  21. slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:

    If it made 4 or 5 american families spend a holiday in NZ, then that money is recouped.

    Shit, James Cameron has spent way more than that in NZ on his many visits, which are far more common than the media thinks. I know he has visited at least twice this year.

    That 10k raised NZ’s profile far more than a number of cloned tourism ads which could be any number of generic scenes.

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  22. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    You people just don’t get it. The difference between $10K and $250K is that Helen Clark was the greatest Pm we ever had who knew best and had our best interests at heart, and John Key is just a try hard, smiling, Mossad enabling, Hawaiian holidaying, Rich prick.

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  23. Longknives (4,048 comments) says:

    Well said KiwiGreg- It bugs the absolute hell out of me that the NZ taxpayer throws tens of thousands of dollars a week at talentless South Auckland ‘Gangsta- Rappers’ to put on phoney American accents and pretend they are Snoop Dogg…
    Yet a public outcry over this?

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  24. mikenmild (8,890 comments) says:

    This story is of some interest. Tourism New Zealand denied it for a year and then were suddenly able to confirm the details. That’s just stupid and makes them look embarrassed about the whole thing. It is amusing that some amount of PR effort needed to be used to persuade the Letterman Show to have Key as a guest. It was obvious that Letterman had no idea who Key was, and the whole charade was bit like the Flight of the Conchords episode where the NZ PM visits New York.

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  25. Global Conscience (2 comments) says:

    $10 000 to get our PM onto a talkshow hosts show is not the issue, as well as bloated whale oile and the kiwibog well know. The issue is the ego of the PM is so huge, he wanted to let kiwis believe he is so popular overseas, he was invited on. The man is all for lying to con the people. Look at his comments when some overseas reporter asked him about out poor water health. “Untrue” cries the PM. “Bullshit. Totally true cry Cawthron. Goff may be conservative, but he is not a liar.

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  26. Graeme Edgeler (3,222 comments) says:

    as a tourism promotion, $10,000 would have been ridiculously cheap.

    In fact one 25th the cost of the $250,000 spent in 2002 on a Discovery documentary about NZ, starring Helen Clark.

    Math Fail, DPF.

    Not $10,000, but $10,000 per month.

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  27. Longknives (4,048 comments) says:

    I always found Flight of the Conchords a very poor man’s Mighty Boosh….

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  28. mikenmild (8,890 comments) says:

    Well I loved them. Something very Kiwi about their laid-back delivery. Great in concert too.

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  29. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    What the hell is a gurning school girl???????

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  30. Ed Snack (1,539 comments) says:

    Oh look, new commentators (with count = 1!) arriving to diss John Key. I think we see the start of Labour’s “new” (=old) election strategy of trying to run-down Key. I wonder which one of the newbies is Trevor Mallard’s new alias.

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  31. Elaycee (4,081 comments) says:

    En Snack is correct – its no coincidence that new posters arrive from the stranded to express their outrage that the PM would dare appear on Letterman. The usual lefty KB authors also emerge – all making comment along the similar theme.

    What an embarrassment that this is their best shot. No new policies. No alternate policy either. No fresh initiatives. Nothing.

    Is this it? Pffttt…

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  32. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    God they’re slow learners aren’t they.

    Problem: Snotty little bullshit character attacks cost them the last election.
    Analysis: They didn;t do them HARD enough.
    Solution: Use even more pathetic bullshit snotty little character attacks and double the sock puppetry!

    Result… see the damn polls you muppets.

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  33. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee – they do have new policies. They want to raise taxes and increase benefits. Apparently that is the path to prosperity and happiness.

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  34. nasska (9,549 comments) says:

    Nothing like a chance to put a desperate boot into JK to bring the socialists out from under the carpet. They haven’t seen the ball since kickoff but the fauna of the floor still thrash around certain that their instinct to attack a popular leader is the winning strategy.

    Roll on November.

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  35. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Gurning is that scottish competition for making faces isnt it?

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  36. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Greg those are not new policies.

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  37. RightNow (6,348 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler

    Math Fail, DPF.

    Not $10,000, but $10,000 per month.

    Are you suggesting it took them more than a month to organise Graeme? I’d suspect the reverse is true, and in reality it cost less than $10,000.

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  38. Elaycee (4,081 comments) says:

    @KiwiGreg – agree with Murray. When I suggested “No new policies…” maybe I could have added that they will always revert to type when the heat goes on – their meme is to tax the wealth generators and give the handouts to a beneficiary dependent voter base.

    The usual stuff: If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can count on Paul’s support (and vote) every time.

    But when you run out of ‘Peter’s’ then your policy is stuffed.

    Some things just don’t change…

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  39. trout (865 comments) says:

    Once again the left is in sneering mode. Little regard for the fact that we in Kiwi land are a pimple on the elephants bum. Tourism is a big earner; we must DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to bring ourselves to he attention of potential tourists and Americans are the best; they spend more and do not stay long. But here we have the likes of MM deriding John Key’s efforts to promote NZ. My guess is that Key found the Letterman show difficult and even embarassing but he did it, because it may help our cause. Once again the Left show their ignorance of business (you have to spend money to make money) and their willingness to sacrifice the economy to party politics.

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  40. questlove (241 comments) says:

    The money is a non-issue as it was already spent. Though I’m not sure that you could call Key’s embarrassing display on Letterman a promotion. More like ‘haha look at Letterman mock the simple guy, was he Australian?’.

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  41. mikenmild (8,890 comments) says:

    Gotta love that John Key though. Here he is on the price of milk:

    “My view is that it is quite tough on New Zealanders who rely on milk. It’s a very staple part of our diet and I acknowledge that New Zealanders are struggling under milk prices.

    “On the other side of the coin, is it a bad thing for New Zealand that milk prices are high? Well, for the overall good of the country’s export earnings, it’s actually a positive thing that commodity prices are high.”

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  42. trout (865 comments) says:

    If you are familiar with american TV (‘roasts’ in particular) you will know that Key’s ‘aw shucks’ demeanour and the ritual humiliation would have gone down very well. Kiwis have a tendency to become easily embarassed; American do not; and they after all were the target audience. But I guess this is not about a serious analysis of the effectiveness of tourist promotion; it is more about mud slinging at John Key by those who are desperately tying to hobble the favourite before the race is run.

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  43. 3-coil (1,184 comments) says:

    At least Key didn’t have to make a visit to sleaze-bag Letterman’s infamous “casting-couch” to score a spot on his show!

    Maybe it would have been cheaper for the PR company to shout Letterman a $100 hooker to score the gig (in fact, who knows – that may have been what actually happened).

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  44. Elaycee (4,081 comments) says:

    It is patently obvious that the lefties (and their supporters on KB) are on the ‘beat up John Key’ bandwagon again and yet they should already know that such tactics are doomed to fail.

    Key is popular. Key is electable. He is happily married. He has children. He admits his mistakes. There are no skeletons in the Key closet. And despite the left leaning media looking for stories where there isn’t one, he will be elected again in November……

    When will the lefties ever learn? No time soon… :)

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