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Ambrose to sue Key for defamation

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 pm, November 19th, 2011 - 107 comments
Categories: accountability, act, election 2011, john banks, john key, national, national/act government, newspapers, tv - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Bradley Ambrose, the cameraman widely maligned by John Key and his pudgey lapdogs David Farrar and Cameron Slater for daring to hold the PM to some basic standards of accountability, is demanding an apology from John Key or he’ll take the PM (and hopefully the aforementioned pudgey lapdogs) to court for defamation. Well the apology won’t be happening since Key’s painted himself into a corner, so it’s off to court for the PM.

Of course none of this need ever have happened had Key not panicked in the first place when it transpired that his public meeting with John Banks might actually be public and on the record. Had Key been open and honest about what he’d said, all this would have been ancient history by now.

Instead, Key has abused his position of power by laying criminal accusations with police against Ambrose, requiring police to then raid our major media outlets – a move condemned by international pro-democracy groups like the International Federation of Journalists – in an attempt to sieze all evidence of the conversation that Key claims was bland and which he’s ‘relaxed’ about.

Dragging this through the courts will only be bad for Key, but then I suppose one strategic legal action deserves another.

And then of course there’s the action for a declaration on the recording’s legality to be heard Tuesday.

A couple more minefields for Key to traverse in the week leading up to Election Day.

UPDATE: And it looks like the final week of the campaign will kick off with a police raid on the Herald Monday morning. More tactical brilliance from the National campaign team 😆

107 comments on “Ambrose to sue Key for defamation”

  1. open democracy 1

    Good job!

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    This is going to guarantee continued airtime for this story, this coming week. Good one, Captain panic pants.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    What a joke. This guy Ambrose can’t be too bright.

    I don’t remember ever seeing Key mention Ambrose by name. It was Whale oil that outed him publicly in the first instance, wasn’t it. So, if anyone should be the target of this doomed to fail action it should be Whale oil, shouldn’t it?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Key chose to escalate it into a legal (police) matter.

      • M 3.1.1

        Yeah he threw the first punch and won’t like it coming back.

        Starting the legal action has given credence to the tape contents being juicy and slagging off the police and wanting them to do his bidding at the same time suggests a desperate man.

      • Monty 3.1.2

        Fools, as this is kept alive labour drop in the polls, National remain unaffected, and Labour get no oxygen for their policy programme. With seven days before the election this is not a distraction that the left should want.

        And the case has no basis . Where is the defamation? Nothing more than apublicity stunt.

        • Puddleglum 3.1.2.1

          Key has repeatedly called this an illegal recording and that the journalistic practice that led to it was “News of the World” gutter journalism. He insists that it was deliberate, unethical, etc., etc.. The so-called ‘principle’ that he is standing on presumes all of this defamatory framework. Otherwise, there would be no principle to stand on (if it were ethical, accidental, etc.).

          It pretty clearly defames whoever made the recording.

          • mickysavage 3.1.2.1.1

            I don’t remember ever seeing Key mention Ambrose by name.

            Doesn’t have to.  All that has to  happen is for Ambrose to be identifiable as the person for the mud to stick. Cameron should be joined for the hell of it, I agree with you there. 

            • Andrew Geddis 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Exactly. If I were to say “mickysavage is a child molester”, and another comment then said “mickysavage is actually X”, then “X” could sue me in defamation for my original comment. The fact the PM only referred to “the cameraman” or “the media” generally doesn’t remove his potential liability. But I would caution that there’s a big difference between threatening a defamation action and actually seeing it all the way through – remember Erin Leigh?

              Oh – and no point joining Slater … he’s what we in the business call “judgment proof”, ’cause he doesn’t have any money.

              • freedom

                but to prove that Slater would have to show how he pays for all the resources he uses,
                that is something many would like to have on record

      • SHG 3.1.3

        The National Party desires nothing more than for such legal action to be launched. Seriously, it’s a wet dream for them.

        The case won’t be heard before the election, all the publicity keeps Key in the media (and anything remotely to do with asset sales OUT), and the spinmeisters get to portray this as “your best mate John standing up for every citizen’s right to privacy against the evil news media – you know, the bastards behind phone hacking, etc etc”.

        For National, this is AWESOME.

    • i look forward to farrar and slater being sued too.
      there’s also the issue of ambrose’s police career being leaked too, perhaps collins will also being taking the stand.

  4. Steve 4

    I suggest a good Lawyer for Ambrose, Mickey will do.
    He should have a yak with Key before Cactus and Whale blast his bullshit throughout the Blogs

    • mik e 4.1

      Lets start a fund to raise money to help him with legal costs

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        ideally a law firm will come forwards and help him out at cost.

      • Barry 4.1.2

        We will be paying Key’s costs and any settlement so we will be out of pocket regardless.

      • Fortran 4.1.3

        He won’t need money for a lawyer – he got paid plenty from TV3. HOS would not come up with enough that’s why he went elsewhere to TV3.

        • freedom 4.1.3.1

          You have proof of that of course ! Or are you simply being spurious as to his character?
          A hazardous action on your part when you consider the subject of your comment is looking into a defamation case against the Prime Minister.

    • higherstandard 4.2

      “I suggest a good Lawyer for Ambrose, Mickey will do.”

      Thanks, I just regurgitated my tea over the keyboard.

  5. BooNats 5

    At a CHOGM Meeting in Kuala Lumpur the PM then, Palmer, was recorded (reporter inadvertently left recorder behind??) a private conversation after a Press hearing, yet  in his own rooms. (see Listener) National’s Ruth Richardson got her hands on it ?? She stood up in Parliament and repeated the recording almost verbatim. And continued to jeer to ALL the public and press..  Privacy Act was in force then too; Breach when it suits….. If charges against Ambrose or other media go ahead then charges for Richardson too for publishing the details? On the way go back and get Paula Porky et al too……

    • rosy 5.1

      She would only have been in trouble if she mentioned it outside of parliament.

    • lprent 5.2

      Anything done by MPs speaking in parliament is done under privilege. That is a whole different set of rules to that which the rest of us live under. Not a particularly useful example.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Wait.

    1. Key files a complaint with the police and advises the media that he has filed the complaint, that he believes the taping is illegal, but doesn’t name anyone. Nothing libellous about that because no-one is named.
    2. Slater does a bit of investigative journalism. Reports the truth that it was Ambrose who did the taping. Nothing libellous about that because it is the truth.
    3. The dots are joined. It is clear that it is Ambrose who the complaint is filed against. But neither Key nor Slater has done anything libellous in this convergence of events.

    In fact, given the way that Ambrose got his recording, he should applaud the type of investigative work that Slater did in outing him.

    Furthermore, the entire reason that Ambrose is in the predicament he is in is that he decided to flog this tape off in order that media organisations could turn it into news. Well it certainly became news, so he can’t really complain. Its called “being hoisted by your own petard”.

    I think this will get laughed out of court.

    Perhaps his target for libel should be the media organisations that made such a meal out of all this. If they had just STFU he wouldn’t have any problems now.

    • dreams are free ts 😆

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        So you disagree why?

        • Jackal 6.1.1.1

          You clearly have not stayed up to date tsmithfield.

        • Andrew Geddis 6.1.1.2

          How about this, ts … Key didn’t JUST lay a complaint with the police. He also said, for example, “I’m not going to reward news of the world tactics. It’s an illegal attempt to get information and that’s the principle.”

          Now, would a reasonable person take the meaning of this to be that the cameraman who obtained the recording has acted in a criminal fashion? If so, it doesn’t matter that the PM hasn’t named the cameraman directly … so long as the cameraman CAN be identified as the target of the statement, then Key is liable in defamation unless he can mount a successful defence to any action.

          That said, Key probably has a reasonable defence available – if not truth (i.e. proving the taping WAS illegal), then honest opinion (see http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1992/0105/latest/DLM281220.html).

          • freedom 6.1.1.2.1

            “10(3) A defence of honest opinion shall not fail because the defendant was motivated by malice.”

            how convenient for [politicians]

    • mik e 6.2

      Tsm just give it more legs just what mankey needs

    • rosy 6.3

      Defamation, not libel. Might help if you get your terms correct.

    • lprent 6.4

      I suspect that the subject of the defamation will be the complaint to the police. if I understand it correctly, to get it looked at seriously, it would have required that Key stated that he thought that the mike had been left in position deliberately.

      Otherwise why would have the complaint to the police been made? Because John Key had hurt feelings from an accident?

      And before you ask, yes, defamation suits can be made and won on deliberately inaccurate complaints to the police. They are no different from any other form of defamation.

      Oh and you can make and win defamation cases where the persons name was never mentioned. All that is required is that the person can be identified.

      I believe I have mentioned before that you are a complete arse when it comes to basic legal knowledge.

      • mickysavage 6.4.1

        A complaint to the police is protected by qualified privilege.  Unless you are making the complaint through malice you cannot be sued.

        Key said early on before making the complaint that the recording was deliberate and an act of subterfuge.  This will be the statement that is being analyzed carefully. 

        • lprent 6.4.1.1

          I know – the malicious part is the key.

          But I have this strong suspicion that the complaint to the police was made without actually believing it to be correct – ie maliciously. Someone screwed up in thinking it would batten down the political debate by flipping it to privacy intrusions by the media – when this was not (media scrum and all that). I suspect that they didn’t anticipate the police taking the complaint so seriously at its face value and seeking search warrants on media.

          I would suspect that part of the motion would look at the complaint if only to do the discovery on the circumstances of the laying of the complaint – in particular why it was laid.

          This is definitely more your field than mine. But most civil motions tend to be quite broad so as to expand the area of discovery?

          • BLiP 6.4.1.1.1

            I suppose it would open a whole new can of worms if Key knew his statement to police was false because he could then be exposed to a charge of wasting police time. That would be a criminal matter. Is there an extradition treaty with Hawaii?

            • mike 6.4.1.1.1.1

              Difficult to see how that could be proved. But if it ever did come out he’d be unemployed for sure.

        • mike 6.4.1.2

          Key claimed the recording was deliberate, hence claiming it was a criminal act. And the guy is easily identified. I can’t go around accusing people of criminal acts that I can’t prove, so is this defamation? Publicly accusing someone can seriously hurt their career, (in this case it could conceivably help it but that’s not the point).

          I guess in court Key could say he was just expressing his opinion; but he didn’t say so at the time. Or that if he had known his words implied a criminal act he would have chosen them better, claim ignorance not malice, but then he’d be obliged to apologise. But by then the election will be over so what does he care.

          I don’t assume to have any knowledge of defamation law I’m just asking someone here who does to clarify this for me. Unlike tsmithfield who made that assumption and got owned twice in this thread. Ouch! I guess some days are better than others for morons. Am I wrong smith?

          • the sprout 6.4.1.2.1

            Key could say he was just expressing his opinion; but he didn’t say so at the time

            Never any mention of ‘opinion’ from Key, Joyce, Slater – their statements on the legality were all couched in terms of unequivocal fact*

            *dinimic keyfax that is

    • A Real Journo 6.5

      Slater does a bit of investigative journalism… he should applaud the type of investigative work that Slater did in outing him

      Hitting the open button on an email from Judith Collins does NOT constitute investigative journalism. Dickwad.

    • Bazar 6.6

      Pretty much my thoughts to a T.

      Frankly i think the taping was a deliberate and illegal attempt by him to get dirt on national.
      And this is just round 2, where he’s talking bullshit to keep the media fed, on topic, and disruptive for National.

      I’m pretty disappointed with how the media as a whole have covered this.
      I’m annoyed that this recording is an issue that could decide the future government.
      But if there’s a silver lining, its that by him dragging this out, there’s a greater chance it could blow up in his and Labour’s face.
      I say this because i feel this is a setup, and the media will have to take another look at this reporters actions and background because of this stunt. Perhaps they’ll actually sacrifice one of their own to satiate their media bloodlust.

      One can only hope.

      • Colonial Viper 6.6.1

        Oh you forget the small issue of Key’s actions leading to search warrants being served on major NZ media outlets. It doesn’t get more banana republic than this, days before a General Election.

        • Bazar 6.6.1.1

          And i suppose you believe the media should not ever be held accountable for what they publish?
          That they should be given the right to say what they please, and gather news without any restrictions?

          I expect you were frothing at the mouth when news of the world pull this bullshit, and demanded harsh justice then.

          But now that the shoe is on the other foot, you’re calling this a “banana republic”. Funny that.

          • Colonial Viper 6.6.1.1.1

            Hey bazar, did you just equate Murdoch’s crew phone tapping the parents of a murdered UK girl and bribes to senior officials, to Key’s big mouth during a public media circus in a public cafe that Key orchestrated himself?

            Gosh you really are a loser.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Think what you like.

    However, my prediction is that this case will never see the light of day, and that it is just a bluff to get a bit more publicity.

    • McFlock 7.1

      I think that after the elecetion key can pay a nice settlement, it probably won’t get to court.
      Of greater interest is whether any charges of intercepting a communication will see the light of day.

  8. Nick K 8

    Defamation? Ha ha. What tosh. There are defences spread a mile wide on this one.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    If you sue someone for defamation, it is publicized, but fails, can you then be sued for defamation by the other party?

    • mik e 9.1

      Defamation case invariably don’t need meet as a high a standard of evidence as criminal cases so usually the case goes with the complainant unless they run out of money thats more important than fact

  10. weka 10

    Won’t intention to record be determined by the timing of the bag being placed on the table? eg if it was before or during the media time, then it’s pretty easy to argue that the recording was a mistake, but if he put the bag there after they were asked to leave the room, then it will look like intention. Surely someone must have seen what he did, or even filmed it?

  11. insider 11

    Defamation defences are truth, fair comment or privilege.

    Laying a police complaint is privileged, so that’s out; calling someone unethical for arguably recording a conversation and then selling it to media to use has a very strong defense either in truth, if the guy is prosecuted, or fair comment, as it is arguably in breach of part g of the Epmu’s code of ethics Which says ‘fair and honest means’ must be used to gain information.

    In short this is just legal posturing. It looks like it hasn’t got a hope in hell. Based on keys popularity and polls on the public’s view of the media performance, no jury would convict.

    • seeker 11.1

      “Based on keys popularity and polls on the public’s view of the media performance, no jury would convict.”

      Since when has “popularity” been a defence against wrongdoing ?

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Since Key has taken a liking to unbridled power.

      • the sprout 11.1.2

        i seem to recall Mr Whittall being very ‘popular’ with the viewing public a while ago

      • insider 11.1.3

        In a jury trial with the media on one side and key on the other, I’d expect it to make all the difference

        • seeker 11.1.3.1

          insider are you serious or just trying to stir (the tea..?)

          The only thing that should make “all the difference” is the truth as shown by the evidence /hard facts as opposed to ‘hearsay’ via populist rhetoric and opinion. Your idea of it looking….
          ” like it hasn’t got a hope in hell. Based on keys popularity and polls on the public’s view of the media performance, no jury would convict.”……
          sounds just like a ‘kangaroo court’, so synonymous with the antipodes, – and totally unjust!!!!

          • insider 11.1.3.1.1

            you don’t have to like it seeker, but juries can act in strange ways and apparantly contrary to the evidence. And they have been known to make political points before – the Wahopai criminal damage trial was probably one.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Is it actually possible for people like Ambrose to be defamed? What they do now is pretty much in the sewer anyway. In fact, any infamy here might work for him, not against him.

  13. anne 13

    The court decision will be a public interest one.
    Here we have a man holding public office discussing,not their private and personal
    affairs but matters of public interest.
    It is here that the distinction must be drawn between the law relating to priveledge and
    the law relating to privacy.
    It does not appear that the law relating to priviledege protects the confidentiality of their
    discussion.
    The law relating to privacy has to do with the subject matter of the discussion(whether private
    or public) rather than the occasion.Since the subject matters of the conversation were a matter
    in which the public has an interest it is important that what relates to the public interest be revealed
    to the public.
    The law to privacy simply does not prohibit the publication of information relating to matters
    of public welfare or concern.

    from guyanaundersiege.com/security

  14. anne 14

    Eavesdropping,whether by the use of one or another’s ears or by some technological device
    may not be socially acceptable but it is not illegal per se.
    There is a distinction between private and public interest of a priviledged postition ie PM

  15. UPDATE: And it looks like the final week of the campaign will kick off with a police raid on the Herald Monday morning.

    More tactical brilliance from the National campaign team

  16. Roy 16

    Nobody but Ambrose can ever know whether he left the recording device deliberately or not, unless he discussed a plan to do so with someone else before the incident. Nobody has come forward to say that he expressed such a plan. How can the defendants prove that they spoke the truth when they claim he acted deliberately? They can’t.

    • Fortran 16.1

      Conspiracy is difficult to prove, as is the statement that Ambrose would put before a court – if it ever got anywhere – that it was accidental. Without corrobration who is to believe him, and his well known occupation.

      A Red Herring overall to keep the media writing the news.

  17. Afewknowthetruth 17

    While the NZ public are kept distracted and entertained the ‘storm in the teacup’ banksters consolidate their control -everywhere.

    The acts of sabotage toward the economy and social cohesion carried out by Key, English etc. are setting up the preconditions necessary for a ‘silent coup’.

    Goldman Sachs Conquers Europe.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/what-price-the-new-democracy-goldman-sachs-conquers-europe-6264091.html

    Presumably the sheople of NZ can look forward to ‘austerity’, followed by the breakdown of the facade of democracy and the installation of an unelected dictator who will oversee the transfer of even more wealth from the poor and middle class to the obscenely rich over the coming few years.

    Needless to say, the banksters completely ignore the environmental meltdown they are orchestrating, preferring to focus on scams that siphon off yet more money into the hands of the elites while doing nothing to address the fundamental predicament.

    • johnm 17.1

      Thanks AFKTT It’s almost unbelievable how the common good and democratic socialist sharing principles are being subverted and privatized and rolled back at every opportunity. Hence the 99% against the !%. What they’re doing will likely lead to revolution as the masses are no longer dumbed down completely due to education, the internet and an awareness of history and the historical innate greediness of capitalist corporate elites. Let me say I am NOT a Communist but Marx was right in many respects. Of course Peak Everything will only make things worse until the collapse happens.

  18. tsmithfield 18

    I see the HoS wants to keep publicising brand Key. As they say, any publicity is good publicity. And the recent poll results are demonstrating this to be the case. Labour is still being deprived of oxygen by the media.

  19. polling results and methodology discussion has been moved to this post
    http://thestandard.org.nz/how-bad-are-nationals-internals/

  20. pundit X 20

    A media professional writes. Astounding the view taken on this thread that media here behaved appallingly. Both Heralds can only be regarded as National fanzines. There isn’t a paper in Europe or the US that would have given Key a courtesy call once the legality of publication had been established. What does appear to have happened is the media here have had their moment of zen and realised Key thinks he can wipe his arse with them. They appear belatedly to have grown a pair. Anywhere else in the OECD Ambrose would have been a hero. I don’t think the right wing posters on this thread realize just what murky waters Key and National are swimming in on this issue. Colleagues abroad have taken to emailing me for news from the banana republic. Ambrose does need to take action on the issue both to clear his name and to ensure it never happens again.

      • seeker 20.1.1

        Quite right Pundit.
        Key’s loudly voiced, thoughtless, prejudicial accusation and judgement of Ambrose has certainly smeared a seemingly innocent man which will effect his life and livelihood if he doesn’t clear his name. What a horrible situation to be in .
        If only Key wasn’t such a weak, paranoid,duplicitous and hypocritical leader this would never have blown out of all proportion.
        Key needs to wise up and not judge everyone by his own apparently untrustworthy and unprincipled nature.

  21. Pete 21

    Ambrose as a huge set of obstacles to overcome in proving defamation. The burden of proof is on him to show that he has been defamed and that this has led to loss of reputation, loss of income etc. There is absolutely nothing in my reading of this that gets anywhere close to being actionable. It is one thing to talk about taking a claim, and quite another to file it.
    And no, I am not a lawyer, just someone with a lot of commercial experience, and also very used to briefing lawyers.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Sometimes getting your day in court is all that is required to ensure that your side of the story is aired.

      Currently Key has a massive advantage in pushing his own lines.

  22. Deuto 22

    Today Key has ruled out apologising to Ambrose – latest from the Herald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-national-party/news/article.cfm?o_id=266&objectid=10767443

    The last sentence says it all in relation to Keymania.

  23. Blue 23

    Ambrose should sue the lying bastard. He won’t win, of course, because Key will get away with ‘honest opinion’. But allowing the PM to defame whoever he likes and ruin their career for his own personal gain is something that should be strongly opposed.

  24. deservingpoor 24

    I don’t think anyone actually seriously cares what is on the tape. It’s all about the perception the the way it has been handled that matters.

    The whole teapot saga is only important for 3 reasons:

    1) Key has pissed the media off and they can smell blood in the water. Expect the next 3 years to feature a distinct absence of ‘I heart John Key’ journalism.
    2) It makes Key look like an incompetent bully. By contrast, Winston is just the kind of competent bully kiwis love. Hence the return of Winston.
    3) I agree with Monty. This starves Labour of oxygen for their “its about policy not personality” campaign when they were already struggling to find anyone why gave a crap.

  25. Treetop 25

    I’d like to see the Herald do a raid on the Office of the Commissioner of Police. There just maybe a few historical complainants cases being assigned an independent investigator.

    Key is another Muldoon when it comes to using the police for political gain.

    Do I think the police have been in Collin’s office this week regarding Ambrose? 100%.

    Tuesday will playout by having a reserved decision which will be after the election.

    Do I think that Key has misled Epsom voters? Yes. This is why I think Key wants Ambrose to be targeted. Key is silencing the media due to targeting Ambrose as well.

  26. Treetop 26

    What is Key going to do about any police rumours during their investigation and were these rumours to reach the media, what is the media going to do?

    The sort of rumours I am talking about is political interference in a police matter.

    What has the Solicitor General advised Key?

    How involved is Collins?

    The tea tape will evolve into a monster. Already Greg O’ Connor has spoken out about the work load of the police.

  27. So Bradley White/Ambrose is suing the Prime Minister he covertly taped and then lied about it.

    Lots of luck with that one.

    • seeker 27.1

      Brett- how do you or Key ‘know’ that Ambrose “covertly” taped the conversation of Key and Banks?
      Key has jumped to conclusions, don’t follow his lead.

  28. RedLogix 28

    I’ve been in the heart of the Tararua’s the last 10 days and I’ve only just gotten out of the shower and had dinner. Had a great time and almost feel normal.

    So what’s with this covert taping? Did someone plant a recorder in his Beehive office or something?

    • RedLogix 28.1

      Oh good grief! I’ve just found the original footage… is Brett truly trying to suggest that a recording made at a PR event when there were dozens of media within metres. was in any sense ‘private’?

      Really…tell me no-one has fallen for such a risible nonsense? Or has all of NZ gone mad?

    • mike 28.2

      Jesus man! A cameraman says he was employed by Key to videotape Key and Gerry Brownlee wearing girly wigs and french-kissing to Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”. He says Key said he would pay him 100,000 Tranzrail shares, but when he got home and looked at the piece of paper he’d been given he found it was only a Kiwisaver application form. So now he’s threatening to leak the tape. Key says he’s not bothered about the tape, and the kissing was bland, but he’s got he police to raid four news outlets to get copies.

    • felix 28.3

      I suggest you put your boots back on and get back into the bush. Things have gotten a bit silly out here.

  29. anne 29

    Key is now desperate for power he has bought the media sites to only attack the opposition
    and have favourble key releases,so it looks like business as usual.
    Key can not look after his rich mates from outside of parliament so now the dirty side of
    politics will come with abuse.
    Stuff has had the same rhetoric of key’s warning about winston all day and it is still up there
    tv has had biased reporting as well,honesty and integrity is dead in nz media.
    Why dont the media look into key’s shady past? why dont they ask the numbers off key?
    why dont the media demand their politicians front up for interviews and meetings,these
    are largely left alone and national havent even fronted up to the people,but expect the people
    to vote for them,astounding and weak of the media sources in nz.

    • Carol 29.1

      Interesting, because Joyce and Key were proud of the way they campaigned positively, in the 2008 election, and were critical of Labour for being negative.

      In the last year, I remember Key saying describing himself as being positive, unlike Labour which he described as having a negative approach.

      I think there’s some debate about whether negative campaigning is attacking the person, or whether it’s attacking more political issues.

      But here, Joyce refers to is as attacking Labour’s past record, as described by Bryce Edwards:

      http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2010/04/key-to-victory-joyce-on-nationals-2008-campaign.html

      Rather than reflecting any change of heart within the National Party, this shift was purely strategic. Joyce explains that ‘In preparing for the National campaign we listened very hard to the feedback we received from floating voters’ (p.67). That political marketing research showed that a more positive, issues-based campaign was required:

      [Joyce wrote]they wanted from us was to hear about our plans, not further criticism of Labour. In fact, our senior spokespeople who had been through a few campaigns were coming back to us regularly saying, “They do not want to hear about this stuff anymore. They don’t want to hear about the negative record of the Labour Party. They want to talk about what we want to do” (p.67).

      Joyce says that althought there’s always an element of people disliking negative politicking, in 2008, he says, ‘it was almost all-pervading’. Labour, by contrast, went ultra-negative, which surprised and delighted Joyce, who says ‘they surprised even us with their degree of negativity’ (p.66), and that ‘It did help us that Labour went negative – far more negative than we had anticipated’ (p.68).

      • Colonial Viper 29.1.1

        For a lot of voters, Goff’s frequent attacks on Key this year have been a turn off.

    • seeker 29.2

      Anne, tonight both TV3 and TV1, led by Nats Garner and Espiner, attacked and tried to undermine Goff by being unnecessarily pedantic in their questioning over ‘the numbers’. Goff fought back though-good on him.
      I have asked both channels to question Key as thoroughly and pedantically over National’s ‘numbers’, if they can find him to question that is. Hope Goff questions him hard tomorrow night.

  30. Rodel 30

    Memo to Mr Ambrose

    Mission accomplished. The cheque’s in the mail.
    The Johns’ are both chuffed. Is that what you kiwis say?

    Kind regards

    Crosby Textor

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