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.