Political vandals leave charity with the bill

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

Stuff reports:

A Heart Foundation billboard depicting ‘NZ’s biggest killer’ has been defaced with a sketch of Prime Minister John Key.

The billboard aimed at raising awareness of heart disease as “New Zealand’s biggest killer” will now have to be taken down because the foundation can’t afford to replace it.

It was put up on Commerce St, in the Hamilton suburb of Frankton early last month, and yesterday a member of the public told the foundation the image of a man representing the disease as a “serial killer” had been blackened out and replaced with a sketch of Key’s face. 

Heart Foundation head of marketing Vanessa Winning said employees and volunteers were upset the billboard has been used for political protest. 

“It’s really disappointing that a charity is being targeted to score political points,” she said.

“I find it unthinkable that someone would vandalise our billboard, and consequently mock a seriously crippling disease, just to make a political statement.”

“This is an incredibly immature and callous act. 

“People are diagnosed with heart disease every day and have to live with the consequences. To think that such a personal and destructive topic is being used to score points is very sad.” 

Whoever defaced the billboard went to ” a lot of trouble” to measure and produce the image of Key, she said.

Winning said heart disease in New Zealand claimed more than one life every 90 minutes and many of those deaths were premature and preventable. 

“We work hard to stop the prevalence of heart disease in New Zealand and an act of vandalism like this is very discouraging,” she said. 

“We don’t have the money to waste on fixing vandalism of this nature. To rectify it saps precious money needed for our vital health programmes and research.

“Instead, we will have to take it down, as we can’t afford to replace it.” 

I hope the douche-bags responsible are proud of themselves.

Election Billboard Changes

September 7th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

While I’m against defacing billboards, I do admire the ones that are done with artistic flair, rather than mindless abuse.

Ultimate Student has a collection of 30+ altered billboards and some are very good.

Batman and Boy Wonder

This is by far the best alteration to date. Superb.

At least this one is well done

August 25th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar


The damage to billboards is still occurring at a massive rate. But I do have to give credit to the people who did this one – good artistic merit 🙂

Billboard arsonists strike again

August 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Conservative Party says dirty politics have become dangerous politics after a candidate’s car hoardings were set alight. 

New Lynn representative Steve Taylor says his neighbours alerted him to the fact that the political signs – which were affixed to a trailer – were ablaze.

Fire fighters put out the blaze. 

The car had been parked at Taylor’s home, where he lives with his wife and two young children. 

Flames could easily have reached the house, Taylor said. 

“This is a wilful act of destruction and very risky to my family as we live in a fairly bushy area. It could easily have reached the house while we were sleeping.”

Thanks to the two nearby fire stations and a quick-thinking neighbour, this wasn’t the case, he said. 

Taylor said he believed the motive was political.

Of course it was political. While some billboard vandals are apolitical (attack all), it has been noticeable this election that parties of the right have been massively targeted in co-ordinated attacks.

Norman’s brother-in-law celebrating Nats billboard defacements

August 18th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Kiwi Oscar winner Anna Paquin and her husband, Stephen Moyer, have landed in Wellington – lending some heavyweight celebrity endorsement to the Greens.

The True Blood co-stars are in New Zealand with their almost 2-year-old twins Poppy and Charlie.

Paquin grew up in Wellington and she and her family are understood to be staying with her mother.

Paquin has been tweeting support for Greens Party co-leader Russel Norman and offered to help put up election hoardings. Paquin’s sister, Katya, is Norman’s partner.

Moyer went a step further in his support, posting pictures to his Instagram account of defaced National hoardings.

“One of the great joys of driving down to Wellington town every day is seeing how the National Party posters have been defaced,” he wrote.

Charming. A big believer in democracy.

National billboards being vandalised across the country

August 5th, 2014 at 10:54 am by David Farrar

There are two types of billboard vandals. The (generally) young idiots who just vandalise any they come across. And there are those who target billboards of one party only, because they are partisans for another party.

The level of partisan damage seems to be unprecedented this election. Chester Borrows has facebooked that every single billboard of his in Wanganui City got destroyed overnight. I’ve heard similar stories in several other electorates. I suspect there is a degree of co-ordination occurring here. It’s one thing to opportunistically take a whack at a billboard as you pass it. But to destroy every billboard in a city is a major endeavour that would take a few hours.

Billboard in breach of the ASA

January 20th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

I blogged in October on this strange billboard which appeared in Wellington, with no identified sponsor or publisher.

It seems an advocacy advertisement is required to identify the advertiser, so the Advertising Standards Authority found it is breach of their rules.

What is also interesting is that neither the advertiser nor the billboard company responded to the complaint. It does make you wonder who the advertiser is. Most people are happy to stand by their opinions.

Jolyon White referred to the Police

November 19th, 2011 at 12:08 pm by David Farrar

The Electoral Commission has announced:

On 18 November 2011, the Electoral Commission referred Jolyon White to the Police for sticker advertisements attached to National Party billboards.

It is the Electoral Commission’s view that the publication of each of these advertisements constitutes a breach of sections 204F of the Electoral Act 1993 because they are election advertisements that do not contain a valid promoter statement.
White may not be the only one who ends up there. Something the media have not reported is that vandalism campaign is continuing.  Whale is seeking the owners of certain vehicles, and the identity of a certain person.
If either of these turn out to be Green Party activists and members, it will not be a good look for them.

Unanswered questions re Jolyon White

November 16th, 2011 at 10:04 am by David Farrar

Former Green party member Jolyon White has said he co-ordinated the sticker campaign, but did not take part himself.

But how curious is it, that a man and a woman riding the motorcycle registered to him were seen vandalising billboards in Christchurch with the stickers?

The most likely explanation is that this Anglican Church employee is lying. And if he is lying about this, why would he be telling the truth about how he arranged the nationwide campaign.

The Greens have not said how many of their parliamentary staff knew about the campaign. We know at least one did. They have said they will not investigate until after the election. This leaves open the possibility that several of their staff knew, or were involved, in the campaign.

Now that’s a good idea

November 15th, 2011 at 1:39 pm by David Farrar

Ali Ikram just tweeted:

will someone deface Labour’s billboards by putting their leader on them?

Think if someone went and made up some huge stickers of Phil Goff and stuck them on all the Labour billboards. They wouldn’t know whether to complain or not!

It was the Greens

November 15th, 2011 at 12:37 pm by David Farrar

I blogged yesterday regarding the vandalism by stickers of National’s billboards that it was almost inevitably done by people involved in a political party. I was right, and the Greens have fessed up today. Stuff reports:

The Greens have revealed a party member and the partner of one of its staff members were behind the vandalism of 700 National Party billboards.

Co-leader Russel Norman said Jolyon White, who is the partner of his executive assistant, co-ordinated the defacing of the billboards.

First some history, about this. Whale first blogged about the plan for the stickers on 14 October, when he heard about the call for quotes for the stickers. Despite this publicity, the arrogant Greens involved decided to proceed.

Then Whale got sent photos of two motorcycles used in the stickering. From this point it was just a matter of time until those involved were exposed. I should point out that Whale is getting more page views than me at the moment – deservedly so.

So the co-ordinator is Jolyon White, who is the Social Justice Enabler for Anglican Church. Surely the church can not condone one of its staff doing this vandalism?

He is such an arrogant idiot, that he even went on radio boasting about what he did, and it seems some recognised his voice.

But it is the Greens who have the most questions to answer, based on this report:

Norman said his executive assistant had known about her partner’s plans for about two months and he was disappointed with her for not mentioning it.

It was an employment issue but the party had not spoken to Parliamentary services about the matter.

Okay imagine that say Labour party billboards were vandalised all around New Zealand. And it turned out the person who co-ordinated it was the husband of the Prime Minister’s executive assistant, and that the PM’s executive assistant had known about it for two months. Would Labour (or any political party) accept that the Prime Minister knew nothing at all about it? There would be calls for resignations, and for an official inquiry.

If the executive assistant knew about it for two months, and did not tell Dr Norman then it must be a sackable offence. She has failed in her most basic duty of care to her employer. How can the Greens possibly say they are disappointed over this, if they take no action?

I have worked for four parliamentary leaders. If my partner who is a party member did something like that, and I knew about it for two months and didn’t tell anyone in my office, I would absolutely expect to leave the office the day it came out, and not return.

But what the Greens have avoided saying, is who did know. Dr Norman says he did not know, and I take him at his word unless there is evidence to contradict that. But did other staff members in the Greens parliamentary office know? Did any Green MPs know?

And also, who were the 50 activists involved, and how many of then are Green party members or activists? My guess is the vast majority.

A related question is who paid for the commercial printing, and who paid for the distribution of them?

The Greens complained bitterly about the Exclusive Brethren pamphlets in 2005. But at least the Execlusive Brethren complied with the law, and put a name and address on the pamphlets as required.

Green party member Jolyon White has broken at least two laws I would say. The stickers are a form of election advertisement designed to discourage people from voting National. Not only were they not authorised, they were put up in the middle of the night. It is as flagrant a breach of the Electoral Act rules around transparency as you can get. I have no doubt the Electoral Commission will refer the matter to the Police, and hopefully the Police will ascertain how many other people were involved and what roles they hold in the Greens.

There is also the secondary issue of damage and vandalism.

Some will try and claim this was not the Greens, just an isolated party member. But the fact remains that the co-leader’s own executive assistant knew about these plans (and presumably endorsed them), and did nothing to stop them, despite the fact it was obvious if the co-ordinator was identified it would reflect on the Greens. I find it very hard to believe that no one else in the Greens office knew about this.

Remember there is form here. The secret taping of National MPs last election was done by a green (lower g) activist who was living with a Green Party staffer, and Green staff knew he had done it before his identity was made public.

UPDATE: While it is good Russel Norman has said the Greens do not condone vandalism, this press release from 1999 reminds us that they do condone “direct action”, saying it is a right and responsibility.

The sticker brigade

November 14th, 2011 at 3:15 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Protesters are claiming to have made 700 National Party billboards “more honest”  by adding their own slogans overnight.

A statement released this morning from the unnamed organisation said stickers were added to billboards around the country in a “coordinated operation”.

About 50 people were involved in the operation.

Worth thinking about this. This was done in around a dozen cities, which would have involved someone centrally professionally printing the stickers up, having a network of 50 people to deliver them, the ability to send them to key contacts in each area, and then to all have them do it at the same time.

I think it is fair to conclude this is not the work of a couple of students. It is almost inevitable that it was done by people involved in a youth wing of a political party. No one else would have the contact and resources to do this.

New Labour billboard

November 10th, 2011 at 12:57 pm by David Farrar

Heh. By Adrian Maidment at Scoop.

Electoral signs and broadcasts

October 4th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Derek Cheng reports:

Their opponents are calling it desperate opportunism, but the Labour Party insists their black billboards are nothing more than a clever way to show support for the All Blacks.

One can show support by blogging about the team. Spending a large proportion of your limited campaign budget on billboards about the All Blacks is about politics, not sports.

About 40 billboards around Auckland and Wellington have recently popped up with white lettering on a black background: “When things look black, we’re at our best.”

Below that in red letters is: “Go the boys.”

The billboard has been mocked on right-wing blogsite Kiwiblog as desperate, and Labour’s campaign spokesman Grant Robertson was not shy about the link to the national rugby team.

“There’s multiple layers of meaning. We want to show some support for the All Blacks.”

The message was not meant to convey that Labour was close to toast this election, he said. “We’re facing a significant challenge. We recognise that. We think we can win.

“People shouldn’t be reading deeply into the tea leaves … We’re showing support for the All Blacks while having a light-hearted poke at ourselves at the same time. …

The billboards were put up within hours of being conceived, but Mr Robertson did not have the exact cost of the billboards.

Labour are trying to have you believe that this was almost done on a whim. First of all I seriously doubt any billboards were up within hours of being conceived. I’ve stuck billboards up and you need to generally get artwork in days in advance so skins can be produced, and then dried off. And then after that specialists have to put the billboards up.

As for the costs, the minimum tends to be $2,000 a month. Some sites can get close to $5,000 a month. And ballpark production costs are $1,000 per board to produce the skin and stick it up. So those 40 billboards would have costed Labour around $120,000. So they have spent $120,000 not on promoting their key messages or policies, but in trying to associate themselves with the All Blacks.

Prime Minister John Key’s DJ shows are likely to come under close scrutiny after Labour complaints to the Electoral Commission about a radio segment he hosted last week.

Mr Key hosted an hour-long programme on RadioLive on Friday. It included interviews with a number of celebrities including Sir Peter Jackson and Richie McCaw.

During the show, Mr Key told listeners the hour was an “election-free zone”, and spent the time discussing issues ranging from his cat to Coronation St.

At the time, a spokeswoman for the PM said the station had stipulated the hour had to be free of politics, after advice from the Electoral Commission that political content could breach election rules.

However, the Labour Party is arguing that his stint still broke the rules and yesterday lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The PM went out of his way to refuse to talk politics on the show, specifically to avoid it being an election programme.

I actually think Radio Live should have given Phil Goff a one hour show also. Never mind that no one would call in!

UPDATE: The media story referred to billboards. Trevor Mallard has pointed out they are hoardings not billboards. In that case, my cost and time estimates are not correct. Billboards are 18 (and up to 60) square metres in size and are printed on special skins. They need to be put up by specialist crews. A hoarding or yard sign of up to three square metres and is on corflute and get erected on temporary structures or attached to fences.

The terms “billboard” and “hoarding” should not be interchangeable!

PSA fail

April 8th, 2011 at 8:01 am by David Farrar

Oh dear. Someone at the PSA is going to be busy today. They have set up a website where you can create your own billboard, complaining about various “nice to haves” that you think the Government may be cutting. However I doubt they thought through the wisdom of having it unmoderated on their own website.   Some of the billboards I can’t repeat on a family site, but some of the ones I laughed at are:

My thanks to the PSA for such fun reading.

Doing the e-mail rounds

June 9th, 2009 at 2:44 pm by David Farrar



ACT responds in Mt Albert

May 11th, 2009 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar


ACT have put up six of these billboards, playing on the Labour ones.

New Green billboards

October 29th, 2008 at 3:10 pm by David Farrar

The Greens have a facility to create your own Green billboard. I have not used it, but a reader has been, and sent me these:

I’d say Blanket Man is definitely a Green voter.

What may happen if Keith Locke is Minister of Finance in a Labour-Green Government!

So if the one on the right is meant to represent Jeanette, does that make Russel the one on the left?

TV3 tonight

October 29th, 2008 at 10:54 am by David Farrar

The Winston billboard is on TV3 tonight and if you want a laugh, you can see me looking terrified in a cherry picker as I actually got to do some of the stapling. I couldn’t resist giving Winston an eyebrow piercing while up there 🙂

Half the time I was smiling at the thought of Winston driving past this. Half the time I was not enjoing strong gusts of winds and looking semi-petrified. Me and heights don’t go well together.

There were lots and lots of waves and toots of support as it was going up.

At 10 am today

October 29th, 2008 at 7:58 am by David Farrar

The image above is being erected onto a billboard on Hewletts Road, Tauranga at 10 am this morning.

We hope the residents and visitors of Tauranga and Mount Mauganui enjoy it.

It has been planned for some time. It is pure coincidence that it goes up the day after television reveals that Winston aggressively lobbied for Owen Glenn to be appointed Consul to Monaco. But we are very happy with the timing.

Labour’s literacy standards

October 25th, 2008 at 6:00 pm by David Farrar

Need more be said!

No doubt the young Labour supporter achieved NCEA Level 1.

Electoral Commission on Tui

October 24th, 2008 at 7:04 am by David Farrar

The Electoral Commission has saved me from becoming the most hated man in NZ, and found that the Tui billboards are not election advertisements – but only just!

I asked the EC to rule on the Tui billboards after reading their determination that the EMA ads against KiwiSaver were election advertisements because they can not take into account the intent of the ad – only the impact.

The interesting thing is how close a call they say it was:

As a result the Electoral Commission formed the view that the billboard in question sits just outside of what could reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to vote or not to vote in a particular manner, and is therefore not an election advertisement for the purposes of the Electoral Finance Act.

They went out of their way to say the billboard sits “just outside” being an illegal election advertisement. I think it shows hiw far reaching the EFA is, even though it has stopped just short.

Also the EC seems to suggest that Tui escaped only because of their unique place in NZ society:

While there is no exemption for humour as such, because of the long-standing and unique
background of the Tui advertisement series, the Commission does not consider that the billboard in question is likely to have an abiding impact on the thinking of members of the public.

In other words this is not much of a precedent for other satire.

In Ponsonby yesterday

October 23rd, 2008 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

A while ago we realised we had a bit of money left over in the Free Speech Coalition coffers, plus a bit more had come in during the year, and we are morally obliged to spend it before the election.

The hypocrisy of Labour and NZ First voting for the Electoral Finance Act on the grounds of transparency around donations, and then having NZ First revealed as having filed false donation returns is too much to ignore. And Helen keeping Winston in the baubles of office despite the Privileges Committee finding that he lied about the $100,000 Owen Glenn donation shows that Helen’s rhetoric around the Electoral Finance Act is as false as Winston’s rhetoric.

So using the very fine creative talents of Mr Ansell and others, we took what had just been a blog billboard, tidied it up, and turned it into a real life one.

And there it is proudly on Ponsonby Road.

There will be one going up in Wellington also, and we have a slightly different one going up in Tauranga which we think will be popular! Stay tuned.

A photo from Mt Maunganui

October 20th, 2008 at 11:18 am by David Farrar

Someone has done well, especially as the billbpoard is a fair way off the ground.

Incidentally doesn’t the Churchillian pose just come across as so pretentious as to be odious?

New Labour billboard

October 18th, 2008 at 12:07 pm by David Farrar

Labour’s official billboard.

Labour’s new billboard done by Whale and myself to reflect the citizenship scandal 🙂

Is there anything not for sale by Labour? Taito Field was allegedly selling off immigration permits in exchange for free work on houses, and now we have allegedly privileged treatment given to an applicant for citizenship who was a Labour party donor.