I self identify as a classical liberal, which the Institute for Liberal Values of New Zealand succinctly summarises as a belief in individual rights, limited government, private property, free markets, tolerance, and reason.
Since I joined Young Nationals in 1986, I have been affiliated to, and a member of, the National Party. I do not regard National as always right, but it is the party which I believe gives me the greatest opportunity to achieve the New Zealand I want.
As a volunteer, I established National’s initial Internet presence in 1996 and have held various roles in the party up until 2005, including Deputy Regional Chair. I have three times been a temporary contractor to National HQ, helping out with the campaign in 1999, and also between staff appointments – in 2004 and 2007 for a total of ten months. I still help National HQ from time to time on data and IT issues.
I am a former executive member of the International Young Democrat Union and have attended several meetings and conferences of both the IYDU and its parent organisation, the International Democrat Union.
I worked in Parliament for almost eight years from July 1996 to March 2004. I initially worked as a media advisor to Ministerial Services when Jim Bolger was Prime Minister. I then had the rare privilege of working in the Prime Minister’s Office for Jenny Shipley, and in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition for Jenny Shipley, Bill English and Don Brash.
I am a Fellow of Internet New Zealand Inc, member of Amnesty International, the Centre for Independent Studies, the Institute of Directors, the Australasian Study of Parliament Group, the National Press Club, the NZ National Party, the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand and the World Wildlife Fund. I was also a trustee of the Free Speech Coalition which fought the Electoral Finance Bill and Act in 2007 and 2008. I am also a member of the Change the Flag campaign.
I was the co-ordinator of the Keep It 18 campaign.
I am also a Director (and Chair) of the (.nz) Domain Name Commission Ltd, DPF Group Ltd and Curia Market Research Ltd.
I was a Councillor for the Republican Movement of New Zealand, now known as the NZ Head of State campaign.
I co-founded and serve on the board of the NZ Taxpayers’ Union.
I was on the (executive) committee of the Market Research Society of New Zealand. I am a member of The Research Association of New Zealand, as is Curia.
Curia’s clients have included newspapers, political parties, Government Departments, corporates, lobby groups, local body candidates and non profits. Commercial and professional confidentiality prevents clients being listed without their permission, but a commercial relationship with Curia does not stop me from expressing my opinion on a client or issue should it be relevant.
I can list clients that have on their own initiative revealed they use Curia. Curia never objects to such release – it is entirely up to clients. Clients who have used Curia publicly are the New Zealand National Party, The Parliamentary Office of the National Party Leader, Northern Advocate, the Wanganui Chronicle, Family First, Department of Internal Affairs, NZ Association of Convenience Stores, the Republican Movement, Hon John Banks, Exceltium, Olivier Lequeux, Independent Liquor (NZ) Ltd, NZ Computer Society, Pfizer, the Bankers’ Association, Microsoft, Riverstone Holdings Ltd, Foodstuffs, DPMC and The Nation.
Media – Current
• Weekly panelist on NewstalkZB with Larry Williams Drive Time
• Regular guest on “The Panel” on Radio New Zealand Afternoons
• Weekly panelist on Radio Live with Sean Plunket
• Occasional political commentary for Duncan Garner on Radio Live
Media – Former
• Weekly Dispatch from Helengrad/St Johnnsyburg for NBR 24/7
• Weekly Column for iPredict
• Member of weekly Politics Panel on Good Morning on TV One.
• Regular panelist on “Face Off” on Wellington NewstalkZB
• 2008 and 2011 Election Night commentator for One News
• Election commentary for Radio Live, with Paul Henry
• Panelist for Sky News Campaign 2011 Leaders Debate
• Twice weekly “By the numbers” blog posts for stuff.co.nz
• Weekly “David Farrar on Politics” column for nzherald.co.nz
• Occasional commentator on Agenda, The Nation and 360
• Occasional panelist on Radio Rhema with Pat Brittenden Mornings
• Occasional panelist on George FM with David Farrier
• Weekly politics segment with Paul Holmes on NewstalkZB on Saturdays
• Occasional panelist with Sean Plunket on Wellington Newstalk ZB Face Off Panel
• 2014 election night commentator for Radio New Zealand
• Occasional panelist on Q+A on TV One and The Nation on TV3
I have also done occasional articles for the Herald on Sunday, Dominion Post and The Press.
I have received free goods or services from the following companies or organisations:
- Inspire Net (blog hosting)
- Woosh (free subscription)
- Symantec (free software)
- Vodafone (free Blackberry Curve, free high speed data card)
- Trend Micro (free software)
- Intel (travel and accom to Melbourne for launch of i7 processor)
- National Business Review (free online subscription)
- The Independent (free subscription) – former
- Transtasman (free subscription)
- New Zealand Initiative (guest at dinners, conferences)
- Various Embassies and High Commissions (free meals)
- Downstage, Circa & Bats Theatres (for purpose of reviews)
- Telecom (corporate box, Tony Blair lunch)
- Westpac (corporate box)
- Microsoft (free Windows 7 Ultimate, travel to Singapore to address their regional PR conference)
- C Auld @ Intergen (free Windows Office Pro)
- Xero (free Blackberry Bold)
- HP (free printer)
- Wellington Venues (show tickets for review)
- Google (travel costs to attend Asia-Pacific Internet Governance Forum in Tokyo)
- ANZ (Olympic Dinner and Val Adams Gold Medal Ceremony
- AUDA (travel to Canberra for Australian Internet Governance Forum)
- Todd Property (corporate box)
- Air NZ (corporate box and Rugby World Cup semi-final ticket)
- Kensington Swan, Ideas Shop, Independent Liquor, Wine Seeker (sponsorship Kiwiblog 10th birthday party)
- Huawei (trip to China to see their 4G networks, Huawei P6 phone, Phoenix supporters shirt, pictorial history of China)
- Temasek Holdings (travel to Singapore to take part in a panel on social media)
- Antarctica New Zealand (travel to a seminar at Lake Ohau by the Antarctic Research Institute)
- Uber (promo code for new members for a function – no personal benefit)
- Food and Grocery Council (attendance costs at 2015 Conference)
A number of companies and organisations advertise on Kiwiblog. They do so through Digital Ads who do the advertising for Kiwiblog, and Google. From time to time I will also blog on an advertiser’s product or service. Any comments I make are honest opinion, based on my personal experience of the product or service.
Occasionally an advertiser may wish to have an advertorial appear. These will always have the tag “paid advertisement” attached to them.
I also have been invited to speak at various conferences in New Zealand, and overseas. It is normal practice for the conference organisers to cover travel expenses for guest speakers.