Ansell v Jackson

March 8th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Willie Jackson labeled John Ansell a racist and a fool in Truth. He said:

Treatygate is a nonsensical racist campaign where Ansell and a few rednecks go around the country spouting about what they perceive as inequality and Maori privilege.

I met Ansell by accident in Waitangi. He is a more than cordial type of bloke. I said to him I thought he was a racist, and so he challenged me to have him on our RadioLIVE talkback show.

Ansell spent two hours with me and John Tamihere last week and absolutely confirmed my view he is a racist and a liar.

Ansell has responded in Truth saying Jackson is a “chronic liar” who fools no-one:

Maori bully boys and extortionists like Willie Jackson like to get down in the sewer and call critics like me racist.

It’s just a trick, and it doesn’t work on me.

So why does Jackson throw mud instead of facts? Because he knows he  can’t compete on the history. He hasn’t got a clue about what happened between the Crown and Maori in the nineteenth century. So he just spits out an endless stream of half-truths and lies, and hopes you’ll believe him. He’s a chronic liar.

There is, of course, a big difference between criticism and racism. I’ve never said anything racist. That’s not me.

But I’m very critical of Maori leaders who have a financial interest in keeping their people at the bottom of all the bad stats. That way they can keep claiming the big bucks – most of which they keep for themselves…

The debate continues!

HoS on Ansell

November 1st, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

I blogged on Sunday my disapproval of the Herald on Sunday story that included mention of John Ansell’s colourblind state campaign in an article about neonazi attacks.

Jono Milne, the HoS Acting Editor has contacted me and John Ansell and assured both of us that there was no intent to liken John and his Colourblind State campaign to the racist attack on an immigration consultant’s office. Their intent was the opposite – the two separate stories were run together to provide a counterpoint: a racist attack contrasted with a “Colourblind” campaign. But Jonathan accepts that some readers may have interpreted it the opposite way, and so he’s split the story back into its original two parts, at

I’m pleased to see they have done this.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

If this was done deliberately, how very nasty. The HoS starts by saying:

Far-right racists suspected in attack.

An office belonging to a former immigration minister has been hit by vandals in what is being described as a racist attack.


Etched beneath the cracked single-sheet front window were the words “QUACK OSMS”, the latter word in lettering similar to National Front insignia.

An angry Delamere yesterday said a bullet had damaged his New North Rd office and his business was being targeted by an anti-immigration “scuzzbags”. “It looks like a bullet has gone through it and it looks like some sort of National Front message scrawled on the footpath,” he said.

They also mention:

The attack follows the desecration of graves in Auckland’s Grafton Cemetery just over a week ago. Three men have been charged with wilful damage after anti-semitic graffiti and swastikas were sprayed on 20 headstones. In another attack, a Grey Lynn house being renovated was defaced with similar Nazi emblems. Police are investigating whether there are links among the attacks.

But then get this, they also mention:

Meanwhile, outspoken ad man John Ansell has found a new venue to launch his “Colourblind State” campaign after an Auckland business group pulled the pin on him.

I’m sorry but that is despicable to include that in the same story, which basically links Ansell to the National Front, anti-semitics and anti-immigration people. I can’t imagine it was done by accident either.

Ansell v Rotary

October 14th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

John Ansell has blogged e-mails between himself and Rotary. I don’t agree with all of John’s views on his proposed campaign, but I regard him as an honest bloke. The e-mails show he was absolutely upfront with Rotary, and in fact they said to him the more people he can invite the better.

Rotary have the right to invite and disinvite whom they like, but they have been unfair in their portrayal of why they cancelled the event.

Rotary cancels on Ansell

October 6th, 2012 at 8:13 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A Rotary Club has distanced themselves from a political activist who claimed the country was headed toward an “apartheid Aotearoa” by cancelling his speech.

John Ansell was set to give a speech at the Rotary Club of Remuera’s meeting on Monday as part of his Treatygate/Colourblind State campaign.

Ansell has claimed the Treaty of Waitangi was an exercise in “mass brainwashing with false history” by the successive New Zealand governments.

Ansell’s campaign was aimed at exposing the “Treatygate fraudsters and for the government to create a colourblind state”. …

Rotary Club of Remuera president John Burrows said the organisation was firmly “non-political” and media hype had seen the club “ambushed” into providing a platform for Ansell.

Ahead of Monday’s meeting, Burrows today said Ansell had “stepped over the mark” after issuing his own invitation to members of the public and promoting his talk at the club as a “state launch”.

“There is no way that the Rotary Club of Remuera endorses John Ansell’s views, or that it ever wanted to give him a platform to launch his political aspirations,” said Burrows.

“We might invite him to talk to us in the future. As business and thought leaders Rotarians like to be informed. But he will be just one of a variety of people, including politicians, which we invite to share their ideas.

Personally I don’t think an invitation to speak in an endorsement. No one things Orewa Rotary Club endorsed what all their speakers have said. If I was Re,uera Rotary Club I would have kept John on, and just invited Hone Harawira to be their next guest speaker – nice and balanced.

John has blogged:

Now I need to turn this setback into an opportunity.

Who among you knows of another venue where we could hold Monday evening’s meeting?

From the interest I’ve had, it would pay to err on the big side.

I’ll keep you informed if and when I find a new venue.

Since flights and accommodation are booked, I might as well head to Auckland tomorrow as planned, and return Tuesday.

Will it still happen? If it does, I suspect even greater media interest now.

Ansell on his Treatygate campaign

October 5th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

John Ansell blogs:

You’re invited to Treatygate/Colourblind State speech, Remuera Rotary Club, next Monday 8th October, 6.30pm.

If you’re in Auckland this coming Monday evening, I’ll be making my first speech about the Treatygate/Colourblind State campaign to the Remuera Rotary Club.

(At the Remuera Bowling Club, just to confuse you.)

You’re invited, and so are the media. …

Well, here’s a few things they didn’t tell you:

  • In 1840, those old chiefs were queuing up to take the Queen’s money for huge tracts of their land. Why? Because they had no use for it. Their tribes were tiny, and they knew nothing of farming or forestry. They just saw it as waste land, so why not swap it for something useful?
  • In 1860, the largest-ever gathering of chiefs thanked the British for giving them law and order and property rights, for abolishing cannibalism and slavery, and for saving their people from extinction after a quarter century of intertribal genocide. (If only today’s Maori leaders were as grateful!)
  • As war loomed, the rebel tribes were warned that if they took up arms against the Queen, they’d have their lands taken and given to people who could be trusted to keep the peace.
  • All major Treaty claims were settled by 1947 – before the Pandora’s box was stupidly reopened in the 1970s.
  • Some claims have now been settled “fully and finally” four and five times – with no end in sight.
  • Hobson’s long-missing final Treaty draft was found in 1989, then hushed up by state academics. Why? Because that draft said the same things as the Maori Tiriti (the only treaty Hobson recognised). And both the draft and the Tiriti make it clear that the Treaty was with “all the people of New Zealand”, not just Maori. And neither makes any mention of Maori owning forests or fisheries.

On Monday in Auckland, at the Remuera Rotary Club (which meets at the Remuera Bowling Club), I’ll be putting up my evidence against the Treatygate fraudsters.

More crucially, I’ll be putting up some solutions about how we can put an end to the Treatygate rort, and chart a more unified course.

Should we hijack the hijackers with a written constitution of our own?

Should we petition for a referendum to sweep away the whole Treaty gravy train once and for all?

Or should we start a one-off, one-term, totally incorruptible, single-issue political party to force the government to start running New Zealand as a democracy?

Should be an interesting speech.

The treatygate campaign

August 14th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

John Ansell has blogged on the treatygate campaign, as reported yesterday by Critic. His plan is:

  1. Launch Colourblind New Zealand, and set a goal to lock in one law for all by December 2014.
  2. Raise a $2 million fighting fund so the politicians know we’re able to embarrass them.
  3. Petition for a referendum at the 2014 election. Question: “Do you want New Zealand to be a Colourblind State, with one law for all, and no racial favouritism of any kind?”
  4. How to make the PM obey the referendum result? Run lots of bold Treatygate ads telling voters just who has been conning them, and how.
  5. If media refuse to run these ads, use rival media to expose them as part of the con.
  6. Bombard government MPs with instructions from their voters to obey their will.
  7. Support local body campaigns on Maori wards (typically attracting an 80% NO vote).

For my 2c I have long said I think NZ would be better off without the Maori parliamentary seats, and that having race based seats on local bodies is definitely not heading in the right direction..

However I differ from John in terms of how I view the Treaty of Waitangi. I think the settlement of historical grievances is a very good thing, and I do not have a problem with the Treaty of Waitangi having legal recognition – but the Treaty itself, not the more nebulous “principles”.

Also while I think NZ would be better off without the Maori seats (race based seats can only be divisive in the long run), I don’t think it is wise for the majority to remove something which has taken on huge significance with many Maori. The majority of New Zealanders who are of Maori descent have chosen to enrol on the Maori roll, which is significant. This may be partly tactical of course though.

So my preference is to convince Maori that they would be better off to do away with the Maori seats, and instead implement what the 1986 Royal Commission implemented of no threshold for Maori parties contesting the party vote. That of course is not entirely colour-blind – but I think both a better solution for Maori, and a less divisive one for New Zealand.

Critic on Treatygate

August 13th, 2012 at 8:26 am by David Farrar

An exclusive from Critic:

Critic has obtained documents from controversial race campaigner Louis Crimp, setting out a plan for a $2million campaign aiming to make New Zealand a “colourblind” (racially neutral) state. The campaign will be split into two distinct “brands”, known as “Treatygate” and “Colourblind State”.

‘Treatygate” is the “attack brand”, and will involve a series of brief, hard-hitting advertisements designed to incite “anger” in “hothead” voters. Treatygate aims to “expose the 40 year state brainwashing campaign that has distorted the history of Crown-Maori relations”.

Speaking to Critic, John Ansell, the advertising guru behind the campaign, described the planned advertisements for Treatygate as “short sharp little messages with one piece of evidence in each one”, such as that “Maori companies pay 17.5% tax, [while] others pay 28%.”

According to Ansell the primary goal of the Treatygate campaign is to “expose the bias and enrage the public”. “You have to make the public mad… otherwise we’re the passionless people, we won’t rouse ourselves to oppose the politicians unless [the public] have the information.”

The Treatygate campaign is likely to kick off before the end of 2012, dependent on funding.

After the public have been fired up by the Treatygate campaign, “Colourblind State” aims to harness this anger to get 80% or more of the public to vote in favour of a referendum question along the lines of “Should New Zealand be a colourblind state, with no race-based political representation, policies, or funding?”. Ansell intends to submit his referendum question by the end of August, which will give Parliament three months to approve it. After that, Ansell and his fellow campaigners will have one year to gather the more than 300,000 signatures required to trigger a citizens initiated referendum.

I wonder which CIR may gain more signatures – the asset sales one, or this proposed one? I guess the Greens will not be using taxpayer funding to hire staff to colect signatures for this one!

But Labour and the Greens are insisting that a CIR trumps an election mandate. So if this CIR does happen, and gets majority support, will they adopt it as policy?

For Ansell and his supporters, time is of the essence – the Constitutional Advisory Panel, which was set up in 2011 to review NZ’s constitutional arrangements and draft a set of recommendations, is due to report back in September 2013. Ansell believes that the panel is “stacked” in favour of what he describes as “Griever Maori”, and that the panel is likely to recommend that the government “impose a Treaty-based Maorified constitution by 2014”, which would be “the end of NZ as we know it”.

The Treatygate campaign will involve TV and print advertisements, dependent on funding. However, Ansell says: “The NZ media are pretty gutless so they probably won’t run the ads, so we may have to find other ways of getting them to the public – putting them in letterboxes, dropping them from planes, whatever it takes.”

As well as whipping up public sentiment in favour of a colourblind state, Ansell hopes his campaign will “turn people around from the belief that if you say one thing against this rort then you’re a racist. It’s a tough road, because in America you’re a racist if you wear a white hood and want to lynch black people, and in NZ you’re a racist if you want racial equality.”

Funding is the biggest roadblock standing in the way of Ansell’s campaign so far – although he is aiming for a “political party-type budget” of $2 million, several of his donors have bailed out on him, including one “patriot” who had originally pledged $250,000. Despite this setback, Ansell remains hopeful that funding will trickle in over time. “Hopefully we can start with something small and it’ll snowball. I will be putting out my prospectus to as many people I can think of as possible, with deep pockets, who might be prepared to help, and to ordinary people.”

Note John has commented on the articles in the comments below it.

ACT Angst

July 10th, 2011 at 9:27 am by David Farrar

David Fisher at the Hos reports:

The marketing guru behind the Iwi/Kiwi billboards and the new Act Party adverts has attacked “white cowards” for not standing up against the “Maorification” of the country.

Act Party creative director John Ansell said Maori were taking advantage of New Zealand’s fear of appearing racist and he wanted the Act Party to speak out.

I agree with John that one should be able to say you think the Maori seats are a bad idea, and not be called racist. But likewise one should be able to say all teachers should know basic te reo, and also not be called racist.

He said: “These guys (Maori) have gone from the stone age to the space age in 150 years and haven’t said thanks. That’s the nature of the thing. In Maori world, if one tribe conquers another you eat the guys eyeballs. The Brits were pretty civilised by that standard.”

And Germany 70 years ago was trying to exterminate entire races. Not quite sure the relevance.

But last night, Brash distanced himself from Ansell’s “extreme statements”.

“I don’t want to associate myself with those kind of views at all,” he said.

Asked if Ansell would continue as an employee, Brash said a decision on that would be made today and “may already have been made”.

Sounds like it has been made indeed.

Brash and Ansell were supposed to be sharing a stage in Palmerston North yesterday but the creative director pulled out citing problems with the party.

Ansell said “white cowards” were scared to “tell the truth about this Maori issue”.

“If you don’t agree with the Maori radical perspective you’re branded a racist.”

Again, that is wrong, but so is calling people racist for saying teachers should have to learn te reo. Personally I think emotive terms such as racist should generally be reserved for those who clearly are – such as the National Front.

Ansell said Boscawen had interfered with the creative direction of the adverts because “John wants to be popular” and the polarising line was likely to attract the label “racist”.

“When push comes to shove I can’t do my job the way I want to do it. If you’ve got a creative director then the creative director should direct the creative. Not the fundraiser. Not the deputy. I’ve asked them to work out who decides these things.”

My experience with political parties are that politicians are very loath to surrender creative control of the campaign to staff, as it is the party’s brand and the politician’s brands that get associated with the advertisements – not the staff’s.

Ansell said Act should be polarising debate with 20 per cent of the public having the potential to vote for the party.

“It’s a men’s party. I can’t get them to agree to that but it’s a party for men and women who think like men.

I’d be fascinated to hear why ACT is not a party for women who think like women.

Poor John

October 13th, 2010 at 9:55 pm by David Farrar

Some bloke has done a video attacking John Ansell for his campaign against the repeal of the Foreshore & Seabed Act. The only problem is he’s used a photo of me, instead of John!

The Nation

August 21st, 2010 at 8:50 am by David Farrar

John Ansell is on The National today at 11 am, talking about the recent woes in ACT. This should be very interesting!

The Coastal Coalition

August 18th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

The Government is about to be hit by an advertising campaign modelled on the iwi/Kiwi National Party billboards that stirred racial tensions in the 2005 election.

Now Prime Minister John Key and the National Party are the butt of the campaign being mounted by the Coastal Coalition, a group formed out of concern the Government’s move to change the Foreshore and Seabed Act may give control of beaches to Maori.

Coalition organiser Hugh Barr, secretary of the Outdoor Recreation Association, said the campaign was set to be launched with its first six-metre-wide billboard going up in Wellington today.

The association was going to put up as many billboards as it could afford with money raised from the 8000 people who had signed up to the coalition’s website, he said. Supporters included former ACT deputy leader Muriel Newman and former National Party members, chambers of commerce and boating, fishing and marine charter groups..

The signs were designed by advertising executive John Ansell, who produced the hard-hitting billboards for National Party leader Don Brash in the 2005 election campaign.

Somehow I suspect these billboards will not be condemned by most of the left, as the Iwi/Kiwi ones were.

I’m not sure which billboard designs they finally went with, but John Ansell blogged the designs under consideration, such as:

They will certainly be noticed.

A teach tank

March 30th, 2010 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

John Ansell blogs:

Why should the Left have a mortgage on talking to the heart?

The big problem with the Right is that they don’t understand the emotional power of a few short words and pictures.

Especially pictures.

They think the force of their logic should be enough to persuade people to make sensible decisions. Logic laid out in longwinded articles, speeches and press statements.

Maybe it should be. But clearly it isn’t.

Our long history of socialist governments making shortsighted decisions (both Labour and National) shows that.

I’ve made the above poster to show how a punchy pictorial message can trump the most elegantly-crafted 1000-word article on the same subject.

Imagine the effect of this in your daily paper. Which would grab more readers: the poster or the article?

Not hard to work out.

OK, so what does this suggest about the way the Right goes about its job of converting the convertible (as opposed to preaching to the converted)?

It suggests to me that it needs a retail arm to distill and showcase the excellent work of its many policy wholesalers.

(Think the Business Roundtable, the Centre for Independent Studies and the Centre for Resource Management Studies – all of whom, despite their diligence, reach only a tiny fraction of the population.)

What these think tanks need to get their messages out to the 99% of people beyond the beltway is a teach tank.

A teach tank’s sole job would be to distill the essence of all that world class research into easily-digestible, posterised morsels that can be fed to the general public one bite at a time.

I am a huge fan of this concept. The above groups are all excellent think-tanks, and the like, but what is needed is a “retail” lobby group to complement them, and use their work.

The bites could be ‘nutshell’ newspaper ads, or posters slapped on walls (again, why should the Lefties control the streets?), or emails – whatever works best for the subject of the day.

Each nutshell ad would contain one fascinating factoid. Just one.

As they roll out day after day, naturally-curious people would come to trust the brand for giving them new insights into the workings of the world.

Factoids are powerful.

John mentions that the “right” does not in fact have unlimited resources to throw at good ideas, and he is seeking supporters/funders for the concept.

I’m not cash rich, but have offered my assistance for free on the “factoid” side.

If you think this is an idea worth supporting, contact John. As people have seen in the US, grass roots activism can be very powerful.

Flying the Fern Flag

January 17th, 2010 at 9:21 am by David Farrar

John Ansell and Kenneth Wang are thinking big. They want to fly the silver fern flag over the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day.

And when I say “fly” and “over” I mean it literally. They want to have a chopper fly it over the bridge. Now of course a normal sized flag is hard to see up in the air, so their flag will be 10,000 square feet in size.

However making and flying a flag costs money – $20,000 in fact. But for those who want to change the flag, it is a great promotion and will get great media attention. So if you are willing to contribute towards the cost, email

And if you have a preference, for which fern design gets flown, if enough money is raised (pledges will be returned if not enough is raised), feel free to comment on John’s blog.


Who knows what this is?Answer over the page.


Choose your preferred Fern flag

December 20th, 2009 at 1:01 pm by David Farrar

The Sunday Star-Times reports:

FLAGS WERE in the air last week, and so was nationhood. Maoridom chose its Waitangi Day Flag by a big majority, but discontent with the New Zealand flag, with its conspicuous Union Jack in one corner, has been simmering for years.

So the Sunday Star-Times asked a handful of experts to design a new flag. Today we reveal fascinating new designs by artists Billy Apple and Dick Frizzell, by former ad-man John Ansell, who designed the famous “IWI/KIWI” National Party billboards in 2005, and by Wellington graphic design company Base Two.

Now John has six different versions of a fern flag on his blog site, and you can vote on your preferred designs.


My favourite is the classic black. Second equal would be versions E and F. The split colour looks quite good.

I’ve just voted, so go over to John’s site and have a vote also.

Coddington on Jones

October 25th, 2009 at 10:20 am by David Farrar

An amusing profile of Bob Jones by his friend, Deborah Coddington.

As a teenager in the 80s I read all of Bob’s books and loved them. His “Letters” are a priceless read. I have only met him once – in 2007.

I was asked to come over to his office to join a discussion over the Electoral Finance Bill, and ways he could contribute to a campaign against it. I went over at 3 pm, expecting to be back at my desk by 5 pm. I staggered out of Sir Bob’s office, along with John Ansell, at around 4 am. During that 13 hours we drank many bottles of superb wine, and the only food we had was potato chips. I really could barely walk.

Anyway back to the profile:

“I had two MPs in my office last night but, unusually, we didn’t drink much because they left early. So-and-so and what’s-his-name? The duck?”

“Trevor Mallard?”

“Yes, Mallard. Only one glass each.”


Certainly, there has been a vigour about his family life. Last month he told M2 Magazine: “I have vast numbers of children ranging from 4 to 40 years of age. All have been produced by diverse women without my consent, my participation having been fleeting.”

His correspondence with their various schools is one of the best parts of his Letters books.

Then there are some who painfully remember Jones’ own pugilism, including the time television reporter Rod Vaughan, determined to get an answer from Jones about the future of his New Zealand Party, flew by helicopter to Jones’ trout fishing patch at Turangi. Jones moved like lightning out of the undergrowth and punched Vaughan on the nose.

When fined $1000 in court, Jones asked the judge if he paid $2000, could he please do it again?

Never had a country been so united behind one man. I recall even the Governor-General was over-heard saying how much he approved of what Jones did. The video of the assault was wonderful theatre.

But the charmer also loves to shock. A few months ago he invited me to join him for lunch with Wellington lawyer Mai Chen. When Jones was informed by Chen that she doesn’t drink alcohol he claimed to be horrified: “You poor bastard. Tom Scott’s coming along. Deborah’s got no pants on (not true). There’ll be an orgy later (also untrue). I feel sorry for you.”


Jones also has a thing about dark glasses, especially when worn on the top of the head. As if on cue, this bete noire popped up near the end of lunch.

As we filed out of the Arbitrageur restaurant Jones spied a woman sporting a flash pair of sunnies atop her blonde mane, and started muttering about people wearing sunglasses on their heads. I recognised the wearer as Wellington blogger “Busted Blonde”, and guessed, correctly, that Jones would be repaid the next day on her Roar Prawn blogsite.

The blog post is here.

But Jones enjoys fomenting mischief and critics should ignore him. He’s been insulting me for nearly 20 years and I’m not particularly thick-skinned. When he decided I should meet Colin Carruthers, I was instructed to not “dress like a whore, none of that paint smeared on your face, just lipgloss”.

When the progressing relationship pleased him, this unlikely Dorothy Dix offered more advice: “Don’t let him take you away to an island resort. At your age, you can’t be seen prancing around in a bikini. Get him to take you skiing so your body’s well covered.”

So how, my feminist friends ask, can you remain close to someone so obviously sexist? The Listener’s Jane Clifton, who has been his good mate since she was a “baby journalist”, gets the same queries and laughs them off.

“Way back before I even knew him well, someone wrote something spiteful and gutless about me and Bob wrote me this letter which was not just of comfort but which said, ‘the problem as I see it is that **** is a conspicuously hideous beast and you are not’. It was bloody useful and restorative to be told that. Bob saw an injustice, and was extraordinarily nice about it.

I love the story of how he paid his receptionist to change her name by deed poll.

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.

Welcome John Ansell

October 12th, 2008 at 11:53 am by David Farrar

One day everyone will be a blogger!!

Today we officially welcome John Ansell to the blogosphere.

John makes some good comments on the various campaign billboards to date.

This election is about Trusts

September 14th, 2008 at 10:56 am by David Farrar

John Ansell requested a billboard yesterday, so the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy leaped into action. First we had this excellent response from Whale Oil:

Now who wants to donate some money to get that up on a billboard? 🙂

And an overseas based reader sends in another version:

Also an excellent effort. Feel free to promote these via blogs, e-mail etc.

As for why the PM declared this election is about trust? Leftie blog Adding Noughts points out she is copying the John Howard playbook as noted by the Sydney Morning Herald:

THE New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, has taken a leaf out of John Howard’s book, calling an election and immediately defining it as being about trust.

Miss Clark yesterday said the country’s future would be at stake on November 28, when New Zealanders would decide which party they trusted most. …

“I do believe the future of New Zealand is at stake,” Miss Clark said. “I believe that Labour has shown, through its record in office, that we can be trusted with the future of New Zealand.

“It is about which leader and which major party we New Zealanders trust our families’ and country’s future with.”

When he announced Australia’s 2004 election, Mr Howard said: “This election, ladies and gentlemen, will be about trust.” He asked voters to trust him with the economy and interest rates and in the fight against terrorism.

Speaks for itself.

Salient interviews Sir Roger Douglas

July 24th, 2008 at 3:30 pm by David Farrar

An in depth interview with Sir Roger Douglas by Salient. Extracts:

Are you not concerned at all about any bad blood in the house?

(Laughs) What kind of bad blood is there?

Tensions between various other politicians…

Like who?

Well for starters Helen Clark and Michael Cullen…

Oh look, im not worried about Helen Clark or Michael Cullen, we are not going to agree anyway. How can I agree with them anyway! They are tearing the country apart! They have reduced our labour productivity to a third of what it was, multifaceted productivity is down to one seven of where it was. I’m not going to worry about what Michael Cullen or Clark think. They think as highly of me as I think of them.

And productivity growth is the long term key to closing the gap with Australia.

What is the single biggest issue facing New Zealand at the moment and how would you remedy it?

The level of government expenditure. This government has increased government expenditure over and above inflation. That’s about 17 billion a year. But in more practical terms, that’s $200 a week per family in New Zealand. The lives of families in new Zealand would be dramatically changed if the government had not taken that money from them and flushed it down the toilet because that’s essentially what they did. They wasted it.

There’s a whole lot of families out there that I used to represent, in Otara, who would feel a lot better about their lives today if they could keep that $200. This is supposed to be a government that cares about those kinds of people. They don’t care. They are chardonnay socialists. And in some ways I have nothing but contempt for them. Because they have usurped the people they claim to represent. They don’t even mix with those people. I’d mix with those people a lot more than they would.

That’s fighting words!

Why has John Ansell left the ACT team?

Well, I still talk to John. I think John probably from his point of view found there were frustrations, he wanted to control from woe to go. The problem in politics is you’ve always got that fine balance about aiming for perfection and when possibly 95% will do, and sometimes 95% is enough, you have a trade off there between speed to market and perfection. …

Id see something and say its great, but in John’s eyes it could be perfected by doing this or that. I’m sorry to lose him, hes a genius. And im hoping – I spoke to him yesterday – that he can do things for us. But, the other factor, and I don’t know if John really recognised, is the issue of the best use of his time. When you have a creative genius – which he is, you want him to work on projects that matter. Little projects aren’t as critical. Your better to keep him away from them really.

High praise for John.

So the consequence of that, apart from the years of 1992 – 2000 our productivity has been relative to other countries abysmal. We had higher productivity than Australia in 1992 – 2000 largely due to the changes Ruth and I made. During those years we were catching up. But apart from that we are going backwards. One of the other significant reasons is that you’ve had a public who have rewarded politicians who have lied to them. And the students are a typical group. They might be bribed again. I dunno. I hope not. I hope they’ve learnt their lesson. And the public have responded to politicians who’ve scratched every itch. So Winston Peters goes up in the polls when he becomes a racist. And I hate that.

Not the only one!

Ansell and ACT part ways

July 22nd, 2008 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports that John Ansell is no longer working on the ACT campaign. It doesn’t sound like a big bust up, just one of those disagreements over the extent of the role not being what was wanted.

It will be a blow to ACT as John is very highly regarded for his creative nous.

Ironically sort of good news for me, as John has done work for the anti-EFA campaign and we still have a wee bit of money left over which we need to spend before the election!

ACT’s 20 point plan

May 19th, 2008 at 10:49 am by David Farrar

Yes that is Rodney, with his 15 year old co-star in school pantomime. This sets a new standard for what local MPs will do for their constituents 🙂

ACT have released a 20 point plan on an A4 pledge card. I have to say I think it is very smart work, and a good combination of the skills of Roger Douglas and John Ansell, plus of course Rodney. Sir Roger loves having 10 and 20 point plans for everything, while John’s use of plain language shines through. Each proposal lists other countries where the policy is working well (showing it is practical), spells out the benefits in clear language and estimates what a difference it will make to economic growth and the average weekly pay for a NZer.

I enjoyed that under their privatisation line, the countries they list as successfully implementing that policy are “Practically all except Cuba, Myanmar, North Korea”.

Their full list of proposed policies are:

  1. Government waste. Cut state spending to Australian levels.
  2. Tax. Cut and flatten rates.
  3. Local government. Limit to core activities.
  4. Public service: Close departments we don’t need, Reduce bureaucracy, Return bureaucracy to non-political role, Limit Cabinet to 12 ministers, Limit Parliament to 100 MPs.
  5. Red tape. Get rid of all nutty regulations, Appoint Minister of Regulatory Reform, Pass Regulatory Responsibility Act to set checklist for good lawmaking.
  6. Resource management. Reform the Resource Management Act.
  7. Education. Create competitive market.
  8. Healthcare. Create competitive market.
  9. Accident compensation. Create competitive market — as used to work well here.
  10. Welfare. Create competitive markets for sickness, invalid, and unemployment insurance.
  11. Immigration. Welcome more good quality immigrants.
  12. Labour. Allow freedom of contract to make it easier to trial new workers and replace poor performers.
  13. Privatisation. Sell state businesses where private fi rms can serve customers better.
  14. Infrastructure. Build better networks (e.g. roads, water, electricty). Replace user charges with tolls that reward off-peak use.
  15. Tariffs. Cut remaining tariffs on imports. Strengthen bonds with the US.
  16. Housing. Free up more land for homes.
  17. Law and order: Bring back private prisons _ now best practice overseas, Let private firms free up cops for ‘zero tolerance’ policing, Speed up courts (e.g. night courts) to reduce unfair delays.
  18. Climate change. Adopt saner policies. Low carbon tax better than carbon trading.
  19. Constitutional framework. Strengthen. Adopt Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Pass Regulatory Responsibility Act _ to set checklist for good lawmaking. Return to Privy Council. Hold referendum on MMP voting system.
  20. Families at risk. Appoint mentors to teach parenting and life skills.

Again congrats to ACT for putting up very clear policies, in an well articulated manner. Of course I do not agree with all of them, but there are certainly some that have wide support from the centre right.

ACT conference coverage

March 17th, 2008 at 9:49 am by David Farrar

Several items re ACT.

Claire Trevett in the Herald talks to John Ansell:

He said right-wing parties internationally had difficulty portraying that they had “heart” – and his main job was to put heart into right-wing policies.

The strategy showed in a presentation he made to Act’s conference at the weekend, when he showed an ad depicting “the priorities of Labour.”

It said Labour could afford $25 million to save an endangered snail, but could not afford the same amount to fund Herceptin for women with breast cancer.

“We’ve got a default socialist country, but we are killing people with kindness.

“People think if you throw money at people, you’re caring for them. It’s not only incorrect, it’s immoral … ‘

I think people will be hearing more on the $25 million on snails instead of Herceptin.

Tracy Watkins says Sir Roger is being lined up for Cabinet. I think people should wait to see his list ranking before they get excited.

And finally Blair Mulholland gets so excited he wants to be ACT’s candidate in Mt Albert.

ACT conference

March 14th, 2008 at 7:24 am by David Farrar

The ACT conference is this weekend. ACT are showing some promising signs of recovery, even though early days. Having Sir Roger Douglas back in the mainstream will send a strong message to core supporters that ACT is still needed, and should be supported.

John Key’s move to the centre has opened up ripe territory for ACT. They should be able to at least get a third MP if they position themselves smartly.

They’ve also recruited the very talented John Ansell to help with their campaign. John will now have the distinction of having worked on a Labour campaign (1993), National (2005) and ACT (2008).

UPDATE: A very good article was in Wednesday’s Herald on ACT, by Geoffrey Miller who wrote his honours dissertation on them.