Archive for the ‘Kiwiblog’ Category

Can blogs pick up the slack?

May 16th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Gordon Campbell writes:

To state the bleedingly obvious: the blogosphere does not have the resources to compensate for the reduction in competition (and the loss of journalistic resources) that will be the inevitable outcome of this merger.

Why not? Sure, online startups are lively, thriving and multiplying : there’sScoop, The Spinoff, the Daily Blog, Kiwiblog, the Hard News stable, No Right Turn, The Standard, Pundit, the Dim-Post, Eric Crampton’s Offsetting Behaviour,Paul Buchanan’s 36th Parallel….to name just a few. Theoretically, the merger opens up a market opportunity for them. In reality, all of them will be damaged by the merger.

How come? Well for starters – and as this RNZ report explains here – and also here the blogosphere is poorly positioned to pick up the slack. It is run on a shoestring. It has few resources – or no resources at all, in most cases – to do news gathering. Its strength lies in its analysis and commentary; an essential role that the mainstream media has carried out timidly, or not at all. In other words, a genuine symbiotic relationship currently exists between the blogosphere and the traditional media. We rely on their news gathering and increasingly, they rely on our analysis and commentary. So… if there’s a decline in news gathering capacity, this will damage the ability of the blogosphere to carry out its valuable contribution to the public discourse.

I don’t disagree with what Gordon has said, and I’m not keen on the merger. But change can create opportunities.

The main media websites do very well at reporting news, and other sites do very well at analysis. Not just blogs, but NBR is very good at that, and I regard the best political analysis in NZ (by a wide margin) to be Richard Harman’s Politik newsletter.

But I have been thinking about what I would do if Stuff and NZ Herald combine and go behind a paywall. The initial impact would be a hassle. Rather than quote stories from their sites, and comment on them, I’d might have to use other sites such as Radio NZ or Newshub. But they have far fewer stories.

But the other thing I can do is start reporting the news more directly. 80% of stories seem to originate for PRs. I know this as I now get all the PRs. They tend to go into a folder I check once a day or so (if I have time). It is rare I’ll do a story based on a PR, as easier to quote a media story already summarising it.

But if two million NZers get blocked from most content on the Herald and Stuff sites, they’ll look elsewhere for it. I doubt many will pay for it.

I could hire someone to write a few news stories a day on interesting NZ issues. I already have good sources for overseas news.

I could also hire someone to cover parliamentary news and try and get them accredited to the press gallery. The gallery may not like it, but if they are going to hire most of their content behind paywalls, they’ll look bloody awful if they try to block a site willing to publish it freely from being able to access Parliament.

I’m not going to rush into anything, but if the merger goes ahead and the two main media websites combined and go behind a paywall, I will seriously look at whether I can grab a reasonable portion of their two million readers.

DPF away

February 4th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

From today until late Monday the 8th I’m going to be tramping the Abel Tasman Track.

This means by coincidence I miss the TPP protests and the Waitangi Day protests. Oh dear, how sad.

This will be the fifth Great Walk in recent years. In March I’m also doing the Kepler Track.

After that need to schedule Whanganui River, Lake Waikaremoana and the Routeburn.

I’ve got a small number of posts pre-set to appear, but generally won’t be up with current events so just use general debate for them.

If Kiwiblog is slow, this is why

July 22nd, 2015 at 2:20 pm by David Farrar

I’ve been told my the ISP which hosts Kiwiblog (the wonderful Inspire Net) that for the second time in around a month there has been a  large scale distributed denial of service attack on Kiwiblog.

They haven’t managed to bring the blog down, but when it happens it can slow responses considerably. So if you have been affected, this is why.

Kiwiblog and the Harmful Digital Communications Act

July 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

I have updated Kiwiblog’s complaints policy to take accounts of the Hamrful Digital Communications Act 2015. The policy is here.

The new section is below:

Harmful Digital Communications

If you believe a comment or post on Kiwiblog is harmful to you as defined by the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015, please e-mail You may also text the editor on 021 940 045 to alert me to the complaint, but the complaint must be submitted via e-mail and include the information detailed below.

If the material is in a post written by the editor, then I will consider the complaint and amend or remove the material if I agree it is harmful. If you do not agree with my decision, then from 2017 you will be able to complain to the Approved Agency and/or the District Court.

If the material is in a post written by another author (such as a guest poster or a commenter) then Kiwiblog is an online content host under the HDCA, and safe harbour provisions will apply.

Kiwiblog will refer your complaint within 48 hours to the actual author and notify them that a request has been made for the material to be removed or amended.

The author has a maximum of 48 hours to respond to the complaint. They can do so in three ways:

  1. Not respond at all – which will lead to the material being complained about being removed or amended
  2. Agree to have the material removed or amended, which will will be done by the Kiwiblog Editor
  3. Not consent to having the material being removed or amended, in which case it will remain online unless a takedown order from the court is issued.

In all cases I can decide to remove or amend comments, regardless of the above procedure, if I believe it is in breach of Kiwiblog policies. These HDCA provisions are in addition to existing policies.

The safe harbour provision means that Kiwiblog does not have liability under the HDCA for material authored by others, so long as I follow the procedure summarised below. So any disputes are between the complainant and the author – Kiwiblog is merely the online content host.

The details of notices and counter-notices are in s24 of the HDCA, specifically:

(3) A notice of complaint must—

(a) state the complainant’s name and a telephone number, a physical address, and an email address for the complainant; and
(b) state the specific content, and explain why the complainant considers that the specific content—
(i) is unlawful; or
(ii) breaches 1 or more communication principles and has caused harm; and
(c) sufficiently enable the specific content to be readily located; and
(d) state whether the complainant consents to personal information that identifies the complainant being released to the author; and
(e) contain any other information that the complainant considers relevant.

(4) A counter-notice must state—

(a) the author’s name and a telephone phone number, a physical address, and an email address for the author; and
(b) whether the author consents to personal information that identifies the author being released to the complainant; and
(c) whether the author consents to the removal of the specific content.

The details of both complainant and author will remain confidential, unless permission is explicitly given to share your details, or ordered to by a court.

Kiwiblog survey results

May 13th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Thanks to the 1,500 readers who took part in the readers survey.  Some of the results are:


  • Under 30: 18%
  • 31 – 45: 27%
  • 46 – 60: 31%
  • 61+: 28%


  • Female 31%
  • Male 69%


  • Auckland 28%
  • Wellington 26%
  • Christchurch 9%
  • Dunedin 3%
  • Other Cities 11%
  • Towns 6%
  • Rural 8%
  • Overseas 8%

Readership of types of posts (on a 0 to 100 weighted scale)

  • NZ political stories 87%
  • Critiquing the media 80%
  • Nanny state/political correctness stories 76%
  • Original research posts 75%
  • Polls 75%
  • Law & order 72%
  • Local Government 70%
  • Overseas Politics 65%
  • Humour 63%
  • Posts on bills/debates in Parliament 58%
  • Cartoons 54%
  • Internet issues 53%
  • Travel 47%
  • Today in Parliament 46%
  • Photos of the Week 46%
  • General Debate 41%
  • Review Posts 41%
  • Caption Contests 40%

Note that even those scoring lower still have significant numbers interested.  For example 53% say they read the travel posts at least occasionally and 32% say they are very interested in them. What it shows is the politics, media and nanny state posts have near universal appeal,and other posts have broad but less universal appeal.

Party Vote

No surprise here. In order they are:

  • National 74%
  • ACT 9%
  • Greens 3.7%
  • Not Vote 3.7%
  • Labour 3.7%
  • Conservatives 3.2%
  • Maori Party 1.2%
  • NZ First 0.7%
  • United Future 0.2%
  • Internet MANA 0.2%

Note that this was not a scientific poll of readers. It was a self-selecting survey.


236 people made comments.  I’ve included the full comments below. Not yet had time to analyse them fully to see any trends in frequent requests.


Kiwiblog Readers’ Survey

May 12th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

I’m doing a quick survey of Kiwiblog readers to help me make decisions on future changes. Please take a minute or so to complete the survey. You can do the survey by clicking on this link, or using the embedded survey below. Thanks in advance for your time. Note all responses are confidential and your identity is not sought or collected. IP addresses are recorded, but purely to detect multiple voting.

Create your own user feedback survey

Blogs can have an impact

April 21st, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I don’t think many need convincing that blogs have an impact. But a good recent example.

Last Thursday the Government announced a working group to try and stop people using offshore betting websites.

It got reported at the time in uncritical terms. Then nothing for four days.

Yesterday I blogged attacking the announcement.

A few hours later it was a topic on talkback radio, and ACT attacked the announcement also.

And today the Herald has a critical editorial also.

Not a big issue, but it is a good sign that if you do take a view on an issue and make a good argument, then others will see it and if they agree with it, pick it up also.

Kiwiblog joins the parliamentary press gallery

April 1st, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I’m pleased to announce that the Speaker of the House has accepted Kiwiblog as a full member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, under the rules of the press gallery.

This will allow Kiwiblog to report directly on the House, when it is in session – as well as on interesting select committees.

The criteria for membership is “exclusively or substantially involved in political and parliamentary news gathering”, which Kiwiblog clearly does.

Radio New Zealand has kindly agreed to give up some of their office space, in order to accommodate Kiwiblog into the gallery.

Kiwiblog would like to thank the chair and deputy chair of the press gallery (Claire Trevett and Katie Bradford respectively) for their support of Kiwiblog’s successful application to the Speaker.

Blog Break

January 16th, 2015 at 6:55 am by David Farrar

I’m off the grid for the next 7 days or so. Hence no blog posts from me for the next week. Enjoy the break.

No tag for this post.

Kiwiblog’s 2014 according to WordPress

December 31st, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

According to WordPress, Kiwiblog in 2014 was:

  • Viewed 8,616,328 times
  • Top day was September 16 (day after Moment of Truth) with 54,131 views
  • 3,208 posts
  • Most viewed post was It’s Time To Get Angry
  • Twitter was the top referring site
  • Viewers came from 222 countries
  • Most commented on post was Who Killed the Crewes with 1,144 comments
  • Most frequenter commenters were ShawnLH 6,721; Johnboy 4,919, mikenmild 4,814, Kea 4,139 and Redbaiter 4,136

2014 Kiwiblog Awards Winners

December 15th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Over 1,300 votes were cast last week in the 2014 Kiwiblog Awards. The results are:

  • 2014 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year – Katie Bradford wins on 35% followed by Fran O’Sullivan 34% and Andrea Vance 31%
  • 2014 Minor Party Politician of the Year – David Seymour wins on 44% followed by Tariana Turia 29% and Sue Bradford 28%
  • 2014 National Party MP of the Year – John Key wins on 40% followed by Bill English 34%, Steven Joyce 17% and Amy Adams 9%
  • 2014 Labour Party MP of the Year – Kelvin Davis has a crushing win on 79% followed by Stuart Nash 12% and Damien O’Connor 9%
  • 2014 MP of the Year – an easy win to John Key on 85% with Hone Harawira on 16%


2014 Kiwblog Awards Nominations

December 9th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Voting is now open in the 2014 Kiwiblog Awards. The nominees (selected by readers, not me) who made the ballot are:

2014 National MP of the Year

  • Amy Adams – new front bencher on the rise
  • Bill English – the all important finance minister
  • Steven Joyce – National’s campaign chair and fixit minister

2014 Labour MP of the Year

  • Kelvin Davis – he won Te Tai Tokerau
  • Stuart Nash – only MP to win a seat off National
  • Damien O’Connor – kept their sole rural seat

2014 Minor Party Politician of the Year

  • Sue Bradford – walked with her principles and was vindicated
  • David Seymour – kept ACT alive, after many declared it dead
  • Tariana Turia – retired with dignity, and her party has survived

2014 MP of the Year

  • Hone Harawira – for delivering a third term for National
  • John Key – for delivering a third term for National

2014 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

  • Katie Bradford
  • Fran O’Sullivan
  • Andrea Vance

Voting will close on Friday.

2014 Kiwiblog Awards

December 5th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The year is almost over, so it is time for nominations for the annual Kiwiblog Awards. The nomination categories are:

  • 2014 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year
  • 2014 Minor Party MP of the Year
  • 2014 National MP of the Year
  • 2014 Labour MP of the Year
  • 2014 MP of the Year

Make your nominations in the comments (free free to say why) and next week I’ll start a vote based on the most popular nominations.

The winners in 2013 were Andrea Vance, Clint (Hey Clint), Shane Jones, and Bill English twice.


Proposed comments policy

September 29th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

In the past I have not been too detailed about what is and is not an acceptable comment as defining a line can encourage people to try and go right to the boundary. But I think it would now be useful to clarify the proposed comments policy, so that people can modify their comments appropriately.

This is a draft, and feedback is welcome. Of course the final call is mine.

Worth nothing that there will be more leniency in the General Debate, than other posts.

So what is a no go.


Do not make comments that could get myself as publisher, or you, into a defamation suit.


Trolling I define as an attempt to deliberately disrupt a conversation by being grossly offensive or massively off topic. Examples are turning a debate into a religious flame war, or stating all Catholics are complicit in child abuse or the like.

Personal Abuse

This is the area where things are going to get tighter. I want arguments attacked, not people. As an example it will be unacceptable to call someone a moron, but it will be acceptable to say their argument is moronic. That may seem a fine distinction, but an important one. However don’t try and push the distinction to breaking point. If you say that someone’s argument has the integrity of a pus filled prostitute (for example), then that would find you with a warning or strike.

Gratitious references to attributes people have no control over

People can not choose their gender, race, skin colour or sexual orientation. There will be times when those attributes about a public figure can be a legitimate discussion in relation to an political event. For example the media have just quoted Grant Robertson on whether his sexual orientation may be a factor in the leadership election.

But slagging off an MP, or non MP, on the basis of something they can’t control will get a strike or a warning.

Likewise grossly offensive generalisations are not acceptable either. Treat people as individuals. This is not to say one can’t discuss group characteristics (such as why certain races are over-represented in crime statistics), but it should be done in a way which is not derogatory of the entire group.

In terms of humour, I have a wide tolerance for humour which makes fund of generalisations, so long as the intent is to be humourous, not to be nasty. If you are not sure of the difference, then don’t do it. And generally keep that stuff to the general debate. I do not want Kiwiblog to be a politically correct blog, but I do want it to be a place where people wouldn’t say anything in the comments, they wouldn’t say to someone’s face.


I swear. Too much, according to my parents. I have a fairly wide tolerance for swearing so long as it is not directed at someone. Calling someone a c**t is almost never acceptable, but the use of the word in other contexts may be. Telling someone to f**k off is never acceptable. I’m the only one who makes that call on this blog. Sometimes swear words can be an effective way of adding emphasis. But use them too much, and they lose the impact. I’m not going to be a language nazi, but I will deal with complaints when swear words are directed at individuals, or used in a way which is trolling or disruptive.

Personal Details

Give other commenters the courtesy of referring to them by the name or alias they use on this blog. Do not reveal personal details about them such as their name, address, phone number etc. unless it is somehow connected to a public issue. If in doubt, check.


As I said, feedback is welcome on the above. Generally they are not a huge change from the status quo except in the area of personal abuse. I want more people to feel safe to post on Kiwiblog, without being abused for their views. Their views can be attacked, but not them. Obviously there is a certain amount of latitude – if someone starts trolling or says something absolutely offensive or ridiculous such as they think the US faked 9/11, then they’ll get a robust reaction. But on most topics, you should be able to reasonably and robustly disagree.

Consultation: Demerits and Suspensions

September 16th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The current demerits and suspension system works okay, but I think people get too many chances, and also it is rather complicated to keep track of all the demerits. Basically at the moment you get between 10 and 100 demerits for an unacceptable comment and everytime you make 100 you get suspended – initially for one week, and doubling each time you get to 100 again.

I’d like feedback on some possible changes.

Replace demerits with warnings and strikes

Rather than have a subjective number of demerit points, just have an unacceptable comment count as a strike, and one that verges on unacceptable count as a warning.

Three strikes and you’re out

If someone gets three strikes, then they are suspended.

Once suspended, all further strikes will lead to a suspension

After a suspension, then a further strike is a automatic further suspension. Warnings can still be given for borderline stuff, but clearly unacceptable content is an automatic suspension

Carry on current regime of doubling suspension periods

This would mean the following

  1. Strike 1 – no suspension
  2. Strike 2 – no suspension
  3. Strike 3 – one week suspension
  4. Strike 4 – two weeks suspension
  5. Strike 5 – one month suspension
  6. Strike 6 – two month suspension
  7. Strike 7 – three month suspension
  8. Strike 8 – six month suspension
  9. Strike 9 – one year suspension
  10. Strike 10 – permanent ban

An amnesty

As from 1 October there would be a new system, all current suspensions and demerits are wiped, and everyone starts with a blank slate.

Welcome feedback on the proposed changes. From my point of view it would be much easier to just record what strike someone is one, rather than the rather complicated demerit system. It is also less subjective.

Can I also say I’m really pleased with the report abusive comment usage. Readers have responded really well to this, reporting a couple of dozen abusive comments and hiding them from view quickly.  In only one case has there been an inappropriate reporting..

An easier way to report comments

September 8th, 2014 at 4:57 pm by David Farrar

In the past, you needed to e-mail me to report comments that may fall outside the Kiwiblog’s Comments Policy. Now there is a plugin which means you can just click on a link to report a comment.

If 5 people report a comment, it will go into moderation to be reviewed.

Note that this feature should not be used on comments just because you disagree with them. If you continually report comments that are not abusive or trolling, then I’ll suspend your account. The up and down vote buttons are what you use for agreeing or disagreeing with a comment. This feature is for comments that are highly abusive.

UPDATE: It is working well. Only one comment has had five reports against it, moving it to moderation. The comment is or was:


Just watched REAL NZs with their insurance problems in ChCh on TV3 campbell live then i thought of the crap like IGM and the other wankers on HATE KIWIBLOG saying LEECHER lefties.If i was Mr Farra i will say you are attached with the rightwing fuckers who hate real NZs Dipshit posters are still dipshit posters, but they are still your blog base you and slater, ME i dont give a fuck IM RETIRED YOU CUNTS SUPPORT ME WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, work hard im RELAXED like key

A perfect example of what the plugin is designed for.


Kiwiblog Moderation Discussion #1

September 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

As I previously indicated, I plan to make some changes around moderation of comments effective 1 October.  While I am firm in deciding to make change (and it is my blog) I am keen for feedback on various changes that may or may not be made. I plan to do this via a series of posts discussing some issues.

I still want this as a forum for robust debate, and knocking back of ill informed views. But I want it to be a place where more people are keen to engage.

The two initial issues are this

1. Should there be more moderation in posts on specific issues and a lesser standard of moderation in General Debate?

My thinking here is that people go to General Debate just to have a vigorous exchange of views on, well pretty much everything. Only hard core readers go into it, unlike other posts where people with an interest in the topic may want to go in and contribute.

So as a way to still allow people to vigorously debate issues and personalities, General Debate would have very light moderation (defamation, extreme abuse ruled out only). However all the other posts each day would have tighter moderation,  with comments that are disruptive to the discussion earning some sort of sanction (which I’ll discuss in a separate post) or being edited or deleted.

To me it seems this would still allow rather robust debate in one area (think of it as a quarantine), and more focused debate in the other posts.

2. Should greater leeway be given to people who post under their own names, or are clearly identifiable?

My default thinking is that if someone is willing to make comments under their own name, and accept the consequences of those comments being attributed to them, then they should get greater leeway to comment robustly (short of defamation or over the top abuse). The fact they have to “wear” their comments tends to act as a incentive to be less inflammatory.

However I am a strong believer that people should be able to post under a pseudonym here. Many people have a very valid reasons to not want to post under their name – for work or family reasons. However if you choose not to use your actual name, should there be less tolerance of comments where (for example) you may attack actual identified people. It is a bit unfair to those who do post publicly, to have comments made by those who won’t accept responsibility under their name for comments.

This would not be a black and white situation where those posting under their names can get away with saying anything at all, and those using a pseudonym can’t criticise others at all. It is more than in situations where the comments are marginal, those posting under their actual names would get the benefit of the doubt more.

Welcome feedback on these two issues. I’ve also got two polls in the sidebar so you can vote on them, if you don’t want to comment. I recognise again that some people may think there should be no change at all, but there will be change.

Some changes for Kiwiblog

August 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Over the last week or so I have seriously considered walking away from Kiwiblog. While some will take huge pleasure in what has happened, let me say that it is genuinely traumatic to have hacked e-mails to and from yourself (even if you were not the one hacked) floating around, and to also realise that because you are a blogger and pollster, it means you and your office is fair game. One of the worst moments was having a senior staff member of mine, who is also a very good friend, tell me that she had been worried that I might think she was the leak, as our politics are different. I hate the impact this is having on so many people.

Some of the revelations coming out, also do not show aspects of the blogosphere in a good light (to put it mildly) and I’ve thought quite a bit about how this impacts the wider blogosphere.

I don’t believe that the book shows me having acted in any way inappropriately. I have  gone out of my way to be open about my background and leanings and relationships, and I follow my own views when I blog – hence why I campaigned against the Government last year on the copper tax (despite being a Chorus shareholder!). I never have taken any form of money or kind for blog posts, and disclose even the mist minor gifts.

There is part of me that wants to walk away so I am no longer a target. Politics is far less important to me than family and friends. I’ve also considered whether to do what Cameron often calls me, and become a travel and arts blogger, and have less or almost no focus on politics. But the trouble is the blog for me is an outlet on what I think – what I like, what annoys me, what amuses me, what appals me. And I can’t imagine it can function as that, if I try and avoid politics. I do genuinely blog because I like having my say – that is my primary motivation.

Also I do like to think, without being immodest, that I do make good contributions to politics in NZ. I can data crunch, I have a 20+ year history of political knowledge which can put things in context, I have good relationships, and I generally get good feedback on my commentary in the mainstream media. I’m far far from irreplaceable, but there are not that many people who have the time, skills and employment situation that allows them to substantively blog.

So after some reflection, I have decided to carry on, but to make some changes. I want to improve trust in myself, Kiwiblog, and perhaps the wider blogosphere. So I’ve decided on the following.

  1. Kiwiblog is sending in an application today to join the Online Media Standards Authority. I’m not doing this so I can be called media. I don’t intend to label myself as media. I’m a blogger. I’m doing it so I can be held accountable to a public code of ethics and standards, and an independent complaint procedure. The code of ethics and standards will apply to both myself, and all guest bloggers here.
  2. I receive up to a dozen unsolicited e-mails a day, suggesting stories to me. Most are from people who are not politicians or staff – just ordinary readers. Some are just links to stories, some make some points on a topical issue. I sometimes quote these e-mails in posts. I have always been very careful to distinguish between content I write, and content people may send me (which I quote as coming from a reader). But I’m going to go a further step and if any content substantially comes from a parliamentary, or political party staffer, source I will state so when using it. I will not name individuals, but if I quote someone I will include information on their affiliations, when relevant. You will find this is very infrequently.
  3. There has been a culture of sharing stories in advance with others who may be interested in the story. Nothing wrong with sharing information. I don’t do it that often, but have when I think I have a particularly relevant story, that others may want to also blog on. This isn’t a conspiracy, it is simply information sharing. However I’m not going to do this in future. Generally no one will gets a heads up on my stories. The exception will be if it is an explicitly co-ordinated campaign such as happened in early 2009 over the pending changes to the Copyright Act, when I contacted blogs from the left and right to take part in the Black Out campaign.
  4. When I have disagreed in the past with stories Cam has run, I’ve tended to say so directly to try and influence him. The joke is my 1% success rate is higher than most.  On the recent case of Tania Billingsley, I said in a phone conversation that I didn’t think speculating on her motives was a wise thing to do. I made contact after a friend of Tania’s asked me to have a word. But I accept that having a direct conversation doesn’t mean I shouldn’t also publicly say when I think something is wrong. So in future I will more often. One can be friends, and say I think you are wrong with what you are doing. And yes we are friends. When I had some health issues a couple of years ago Cam was there for me in a big way, and on a personal note, I know he will remain there for me, and I will for him. But again, it doesn’t mean I can’t say I think you are wrong and shouldn’t do it, just as he regularly calls me out for being a pinko, or the such!
  5. After the election (ie when I have more time) I am going to consult on a tougher moderation policy for the comments. I want them to be robust and forceful, but focused more on issues than people. I have very limited time to read them myself, so probably will ask for some readers to step forward as moderators. We’ll have that discussion in October.

I hope people will appreciate the changes. I welcome feedback on them, and other suggestions. I believe political blogs can play a very valuable role in political discourse, and want to do what I can to be a constructive part of it.

UPDATE: The hone of mainly anonymous bloggers, The Standard, has a go at my decision to have even more transparency than I currently do. And what is hilarious, is the post is anonymous.

Also they print an extract from the book which is totally factually wrong. The party they cite was not organised by me, and I did not even invite anyone to attend. I went to a party in Palmerston North. Around 30 to 40 people attended the party, and they can all attest I was not the organiser. It’s just a smear.

A Kiwiblog editorial policy

March 28th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I am considering the pros and cons of Kiwiblog joining the Press Council. If Kiwiblog does join, then I thought it would be useful to have a clear editorial policy that spells out how it operates. Below is a first draft. I welcome feedback from readers as to any changes they think are desirable.

The sections are based on the Press Council principles.


Kiwiblog will never publish anything the author knows to be untrue. If it does publish anything that is non-trivially factually inaccurate, it will correct it as soon as possible. The correction will generally be by way of strike-through on the incorrect text and bold on the new text so the changes are explicit. Alternatively updates may be done to a post, at the bottom of it.

Occasionally a post may be rewritten to reflect new information, when it is not desirable to keep the inaccurate original information in the post. However all versions of a post are archived.

Kiwiblog does not have the resources to double source all information it receives. It will sometimes publish information it receives from readers, if it deems the source credible.


Kiwiblog primarily reflects the views of its editor, David Farrar. However Kiwiblog is designed for debate and a balance of views can be achieved by contrary views being published in the comments section.

Kiwiblog is also generally amenable to running guest posts or a right of reply on a topic, even when those views do not reflect the editor’s.

However Kiwiblog will primarily be publishing stories that reflect the views of the editor on issues, and this will be the dominant view.

Kiwiblog also links to a number of other blogs, which promote a variety of different views on different issues. Kiwiblog believes that readers best achieve balance by reading different views on different sites, rather than one overall “balanced” view on all sites.


Kiwiblog will link to quoted material (if available online), so that readers can easily follow through to see extracted material in its full context.

Kiwiblog generally allows a right of reply, both in comments or as a guest post – subject to overall editorial quality control.


Kiwiblog has an internal privacy policy here. Kiwiblog asserts that as it makes observations on news, or current affairs, for the purposes of dissemination to the public or any section of the public, it is a news medium undertaking news activity and hence not an agency for the purposes of the Privacy Act.

In terms of publishing details of individuals, Kiwiblog will balance up the public interest against an individual’s desire for privacy. Whether such details are already in the public domain will be a key consideration.

Children and Young People

Kiwiblog will generally not report on children or young people (under 18) unless it is for positive achievements, or they are taking part in newsworthy activities.

Comment and Fact

A blog is a mixture of news reporting and opinion. Blog readers understand this. It will generally be clear by use of quotes and extracts what is news, and what is opinion. Most posts are reflecting the opinion of the author, but some will be reporting original news.

Comments are also made by some blog readers. These are not moderated in advance by the editor and do not reflect the opinion of anyone but the person making them, and should not be seen as news. A comments and demerits policy applies to these.

Complaints against comments should be made to

Headlines and Captions

The headlines on Kiwiblog are designed to either explain the substance of a story or make readers curious as to what a story is so they will read it.

Discrimination and Diversity

Kiwiblog agrees with the Press Council that issues of gender, religion, minority groups, sexual orientation, age, race, colour or physical or mental disability are legitimate subjects for discussion. Any coverage of these issues is based on public interest and is not gratuitous.


Kiwiblog receives significant amounts of (generally unsolicited) information from sources. It will not name or reveal the sources, unless they agree. The exception will be if knowingly false information is provided.


Kiwiblog does not use subterfuge or deceit to gain information.

Conflicts of Interests

Potential conflicts are disclosed here. Kiwiblog does not accept money for posts, unless they are marked as a paid advertisement. Posts reflect the views of the author.

Photographs and Graphics

Photographs are not digitally retouched by Kiwiblog, unless for humourous purposes in which case it will be apparent.


See Accuracy


If a reader wishes to complain about a post, or seek an amendment, they should contact the editor by e-mail, or if it is urgent, by text or call to his mobile phone. Note that Kiwiblog does not have fulltime staff, and the timeliness of a response can be affected by the work demand or travel of the editor.

DPF away

March 14th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Light blogging until probably Thursday as I am on the Milford Track from Saturday to Wednesday. Never done it before so looking forward to it, despite that pesky cyclone turning up at the same time! The third of the nine great walks.

Jadis may do the odd guest post, and I may get  few posts done on Saturday before we head out – but basically offline from Sat am to Wed am.

Future timed posts

February 27th, 2014 at 7:01 pm by David Farrar

Someone mentioned to me a while back that they can see the titles (but not the content) of future timed posts from their user page, or similiar

As I sometimes time delay embargoed material, I want to close this “bug”. But having admin access myself, hard to see how it happens for others.

If anyone out there is able to see the title of the post timed for 10 pm today, can you comment below as to its title, and also post the URL you were on which allows you to see it.



Blog Break

February 6th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Around now I should be starting the four day, three night, Tongariro Northern Circuit. If things go well, will get out on Sunday afternoon.

I’ve pre-set a couple of posts per day. But generally expect blogging to be be light until Monday. Jadis is at the Sevens, so probably no guest posts from her either sorry!

Enjoy the long weekend – I will be!

The 2013 Kiwiblog Award Winners

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Over 500 readers voted in the 2013 Kiwblog Awards. We have the results …. drum roll …

First the closest fought category – Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

The winner is Andrea Vance with 55%, just ahead of Hamish Rutherford on 45%.

Then we have the Minor Party MP of the Year.

With 46% of the vote, Clint of Hey Clint fame is the clear winner. He’s seen as having performed better than those who he advises! Runner up was Kevin Hague on 24% so Green Party figures clean up. Peter Dunne 3rd on 17%, Winston Peters on 11% and Hone Harawira on 35.

The Labour Party MP of the Year was a landslide.

Shane Jones may have got only 13% of Labour Party members voting for him, but he got the vote of 50% of Kiwiblog readers. Louisa Wall was a creditable second at 29% and new Leader David Cunliffe got 20%.

The National Party MP of the Year was an even bigger landslide.

Bill English cleans up with a huge surplus on 61%. Steven Joyce was favoured by 19%, Tony Ryall by 11% and Gerry Brownlee by 10%. Only MPs who received multiple nominations were included in the ballot.

Finally we have the overall MP of the Year.

This category included the Prime Minister, so was more closely fought. But once again the Finance Minister came up trumps with 48% support. PM Key was on 40% and Tony Ryall smooth handling of health had 12% pick him ahead of the PM and Deputy PM.

The list of winners over time are:

Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

  • 2013 – Andrea Vance
  • 2012 – Rodney Hide
  • 2010 – Guyon Espiner
  • 2009 – John Armstrong
  • 2008 – Audrey Young
  • 2007 – Fran O’Sullivan

Minor Party MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Clint
  • 2012 – Russel Norman
  • 2010 – John Boscawen
  • 2009 – Tariana Turia
  • 2008 – Rodney Hide
  • 2007 – Heather Roy

Labour Party MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Shane Jones
  • 2012 – David Cunliffe
  • 2010 – Grant Robertson
  • 2009 – John Key
  • 2008 – Winston Peters
  • 2007 – Phil Goff

National Party MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Bill English
  • 2012 – Chris Finlayson
  • 2010 – Steven Joyce
  • 2009 – Steven Joyce
  • 2008 – John Key
  • 2007 – Bill English

MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Bill English
  • 2012 – Russel Norman
  • 2010 – John Key
  • 2009 – Lockwood Smith
  • 2008 – Rodney Hide
  • 2007 – John Key

2013 Kiwiblog Awards Voting

January 15th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by David Farrar

You can vote in the 2013 Kiwiblog Awards at SurveyMonkey.

The nominees are:

2013 National MP of the Year

  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Bill English
  • Steven Joyce
  • Tony Ryall

2013 Labour MP of the Year

  • David Cunliffe
  • Shane Jones
  • Louisa Wall

2013 Minor Party MP of the Year

  • Clint
  • Peter Dunne
  • Kevin Hague
  • Hone Harawira
  • Winston Peters

2013 MP of the Year

  • Bill English
  • John Key
  • Tony Ryall

2013 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

  • Andrea Vance
  • Hamish Rutherford

Vote at the link above, and results will be declared later this month.

Note that you should only vote for one person in each category.  This isn’t restricted in some questions, and I can’t change it once voting has started. But if you vote for more than one choice, the vote won’t count.

Kiwiblog in 2013

January 1st, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar
  • 3,458 posts (+4.8% from 2012)
  • 176,650 comments (+25.7%)
  • 4,175,380 visits (+21.2%)
  • 908,237 unique visitors (+19.3%)
  • 8,731,027 page views (+23.4%)


  1. NZ 3,486,733 visits
  2. Australia 221,505
  3. US 119,984
  4. UK 76,103
  5. Canada 22,649


  1. Auckland 1,575,043
  2. Wellington 880,594
  3. Christchurch 296,502
  4. Hamilton 110,252
  5. Dunedin 103,219
  6. Sydney 74,808
  7. Palm North 65,555
  8. Melbourne 57,374
  9. Tauranga 53,060
  10. Nelson 41,988


  1. Chrome 25.9% (+6.0%)
  2. Safari 23.7% (+1.9%)
  3. IE 23.4% (-6.9%
  4. Firefox 17.6% (-3.6%)
  5. Android 4.8% (+1.2%)

Mobile Devices

Note that 26% (up 6%) of all visits were on a mobile or tablet.

  • iPad 399,574
  • iPhone 340,358
  • Samsung GT-I9100 Galaxy S II 27,761

Search Terms

  1. Cactus Kate 3,764
  2. Tim Carter 1,749
  3. Bruce Parkes 1,669
  4. Wallpaper Milford Sound 1,379
  5. Scott Guy murder motive 1,374
  6. Marines in NZ WW2 1,343
  7. Submission marriage definition bill 1,241
  8. Greg King 1,058
  9. Paul Staples 1,052
  10. Susan Couch charity 998

Thanks to all the readers who visited in 2013. Great to have a 21% increase in visits.