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A clear Cunliffe win

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, September 10th, 2014 - 141 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, john key, labour, Media, national, tv, uncategorized - Tags: , , , , ,

David Cunliffe’s performance in tonight’s head-to-head with John Key was exactly what I wanted to see from the next Labour Prime Minister of NZ.

The Herald has already called it for him, along with a few of the political journos I follow on Twitter.

I was watching the #decision14 hashtag during tonight’s debate (and contributing to it) and I saw a lot of positivity about Cunliffe’s messages and not a lot of time for Key’s maybe-if-you’re-very-very-good tax cut daydreams.

Other people decided to put themselves through the trial of watching Paul Henry’s aftershow and said that although he’s not as enthused – for obvious reasons – the name on everyone’s lips is Cunliffe. He’s who they’re talking about. Key was just dialling in the same “stay the course” vague platitudes he’s been running in every engagement they’ve had, and even if you’re on his side, that’s just not exciting.

Damn the polls; I’m feeling really, really good about this one.



(But in my heart, the real winner on the day was John Campbell’s tie, a true piece of MMP-inspired fashion if I ever saw one.)

141 comments on “A clear Cunliffe win ”

  1. jaymam 1

    Since Helen Clark resigned I’ve said that David Cunliffe should be Labour leader.

  2. cogito 2

    Agreed. Good result for Cunliffe. I found Key utterly obnoxious at times.

    Cunliffe was the one who looked like a PM, not Key.

  3. dave 3

    cunliffe another blitzkrieg on John key what more can you say
    John Campbell was excellent as well .

    • Clemgeopin 3.2

      I felt that Cunliffe was mediocre and only good in parts. Key came across stronger more number of times from a RW or debate perspective. Campbell was over generous to Key in time share. Sort of a draw in my opinion. Cunliffe’s policy points were better but Key’s louder BS diatribe was effective from the perspective of the general public, especially those not too involved by political matters.

      Cunliffe definitely needs to up his game much higher at the next and final debate which is on TV1 on Wednesday 17 September at 7pm.

      • Rosie 3.2.1

        Agree Key had had strong moments but from where I was sitting, it was Cunliffe’s best performance ever. One bit of a breakthrough was that he got to explain why a raise in the minimum wage was not bad for business and that it in fact encourages trade for SME’s. It was good to see that he managed to break through Key’s lines on this.

        Key will always appeal to those who want to see a shouty authoritarian slap down (as you suggest above) but Cunliffe was the stronger one.

        And there was that moment when Cunliffe spoke directly from the heart about not accepting the status qou. He really had a lot of empathy and passion behind that. That is something Key has never been able to do.

  4. Sans Cle 4

    Wouldn’t call it a win, but it sure showed that Cunliffe can lead this country…….and a damn fine leader he will make. He can hold his own, has his finger on the pulse…..and knows how many households there are in NZ (Key floundered like a fish).
    Well done David Cunliffe. I look forward to a change of government.

  5. miravox 5

    Commenters on the Campbell Live facebook page are overwhelmingly giving the debate to Cunliffe.

  6. Tony 6

    David by a country mile!
    Bring on the election!

    • Rosie 6.1

      Definitely a win by a country mile! Cunliffe was in his finest form to date. What a man!

      Also good to see the text polls being in favour of the Left in general. Yes to a raise in the minimum wage, No to personal tax cuts and something else I forget.

      Appreciated Campbells style of engagement with the two leaders and the audience, and his impassioned plea for people to get out and vote, using the photo example of man in front of the tanks in Tienanmen Square (although slightly overly dramatic) to illustrate how lucky we are to live in a democracy where we have the right to vote.

      • Clemgeopin 6.1.1

        “lso good to see the text polls being in favour of the Left in general. Yes to a raise in the minimum wage, No to personal tax cuts and something else I forget.’

        The other two were asking if people feel that they will ever be able to own a house (51% said no) and if people had already decided which party they were going to vote(28% undecided yet!)

        Links to all four parts of the debate are here:

        • Rosie

          Yes, correct and thanks. One hour’s sleep last night explains my brain fade.

          Quite surprised at the still undecided.

  7. North 7

    To anyone half rational……yes. And I suspect, to those not ‘into it”……yes. Which is great !

    But “Oh No” Pagani. Apparently John Key’s “giggling” at “Enough John……” was masterful…..prime ministerial indeed. First thing after the election that [woman] gets expelled from the Labour Party for her Mayyhem and Chaos from within. Seemingly her sweetheart relationship with [Paul] Henry is what she really values. Chuck the [woman] out ! And fuck off anyone who feels hoha about my describing her as a [slur]. I could justifiably do worse.

    Edwards. Fuck off with your ‘opinions’ silly hair boy. You’re no more artful than the vast thousands watching. See what happens when these arseholes get a bit of a profile and their vanities take over ?

    Then there’s Duncan……painfully belted into his pants. Wannabee rugby boy persona, knows fuck all more than Edwards.

    Mouthy [Paul] Henry……whadya expect ? ‘Hoskie’ without the skinny jeans.

    If I didn’t know better I’d assume that before the debate they all decided…….thumbs down to Cunliffe……no matter what. That’s the kaupapa……another three years of licking one anothers’ and Key’s arse. ‘Cause they’re famous oracles ???

    [Stephanie: Edited to remove the more gratuitous sexism and misgendering, and if you want to talk shit like that again don’t tempt moderation by saying things like “Fuck off anyone who doesn’t like what I say”.]

    • Big Norm 7.1

      North, you’re right. They’re not going to go on that show and say: ‘Hey, you know what? Cunliffe just done Key like a dinner’, are they? Henry can’t afford to lose viewers and his guests being honest wouldn’t help the cause.

    • lurgee 7.2

      First thing after the election that flibbertigibbet bitch gets expelled from the Labour Party for her Mayyhem and Chaos from within. Seemingly her sweetheart relationship with Pauline Henry is what she really values. Chuck the cow out ! And fuck off anyone who feels hoha about my describing her as a bitch. I could justifiably do worse.

      Not content with calling a woman a bitch and a cow, you resort to calling Paul Henry, Pauline! Masterful! Outstanding!

      Just. Go. Away.

      I can’t believe I’m the only one calling this loser on this.

      [Stephanie: Unfortunately I wasn’t able to pay close attention to this thread, lurgee, but I 100% agree.]

      • the pigman 7.2.1

        they may be gendered/misogynistic terms and not those that you’d choose to use, but can’t you just appreciate the visceral outrage for what it is? Hell, maybe squeeze a rueful, guilty chuckle out of it?

        Or you could rise above it and try respond to the point North is (in a round about way) making, that is if you disagree: that Pagani bends over backwards for people like Slater to appear reasonable/affable/moderate, frequently appears to be acting as a stalking horse to push Labour to the right (though possibly just to avoid offending the media powers that be) and creates her own kind of “Chaos and Mayhem” (which was a pretty apt reference) within the NZLP…


        • Anne

          Yes. I disagree too the pigman.
          If a woman is behaving like a bitch then be upfront and call her a bitch.
          If a man is behaving like a bastard then be upfront and call him a bastard.

          I have noticed before that it is apparently okay to call a man a bastard (well, no-one sees fit to make negative comments about it), but call a woman a bitch… and it becomes mysogynist and negatively gender-orientated. I think a little less sensitivity is in order.

      • Rich 7.2.2

        Yes somewhat agree, bit of an odd very self-aware and un-PC demeanour there, almost like he or she does not need to care.

        • lurgee

          Outrage, I appreciate, but if visceral wrath reduces someone to dribbling misogynistic abuse then I don’t think it is appropriate or praiseworthy.

          No-one goes onto the internet and vomits up the contents of their soul unprocessed or without thinking what they are doing. There’s this process called ‘typing’ that has to be gone through. It was an entirely willed, conscious attempt to be a bit outrageous and shocking, but only revealed the shocking lack of maturity on the part of the poster – and the “Don’t tell me not to use these comments because I don’t care” in the tail confirms the wilful nature of the posting.

          This wasn’t someone moved beyond reason, but someone just being an arsehole, a minor Slater showing how tough, hard-nosed and un-PC they are by being rude about women on the internet. Whoo-hoo. Like no-one has ever done that before!

          Though I did give a half point for flibbertigibbet.

        • Tracey

          Not un-pc, but disrespectful.

          Disagree with people by all means… but resort to ad hominem?… geesh

    • Tracey 7.3

      Classy North. Did you leave out any stereotypes in your vitriol?

      • adam 7.3.1

        With Tracy and lurgee on this. Good point North. But please, leave the gutter talk to the other side.

        • Colonial Viper

          I think North your analysis is spot on, your languaging did detract a little bit from those good points. No doubt though that panel were all self important prima donnas, I also said on Twitter that Josie Pagani had the perfect ensemble on – red top covered over with a blue jacket.

          She would have thought that fashion choice oh=so=clever.

          • North

            Acknowledgment re my comment @ 7 above: my language and ‘ad hominem’ was wrong. I apologise. Being on a hiding to nothing concentrates the mind. Best I say nothing more lest my sincerity be doubted.

    • anker 7.4

      Garner has always been anti-cunliffe. I remember an article he wrote from memory around mid last year saying “cunliffe will never lead the Labour party”………It must be a painful thing to realize your jackass opinions are crap.

      • Colonial Viper 7.4.1

        Garner and many other journalists have closer association with other parts of the Labour caucus…

      • Chris 7.4.2

        Interesting Garner and Henry concluding Shearer wouldn’t have been able to foot it with Key like Cunliffe did and that the leadership change was largely about the leaders debates. Reminds me of how the VRWC were agitating for Shearer to become leader and why they were doing that. That pathetic barbeque with Hooton and Odgers et al that Shearer attended etc. All that “we might have different political views but we respect each other as political opponents because despite our differences we have the interests of all New Zealanders at heart so let’s have a beer together”, and “strong political opponents makes for a strong democracy so we’re going to lobby for who we think should lead the party we oppose” bullshit. That horrible photo of Mallard and Slater with their arms around each other. (Some) left-wing commenters giving careful thought and respect when responding to Odgers’ covert hate-speech on TS and Redalert (especially on Redalert). It always riled me how there was no real examination of why these nasty people were actively and quite openly trying to influence Labour’s leadership and why nobody ever told them to piss off. The fact they even thought they could do it is surprising. That few if any on the left didn’t question it beggars belief. Just have to think about what would happen if it were the other way around to see how outrageous that was.

        • Clemgeopin

          “Odgers’ covert hate-speech on TS’

          I didn’t know she posted here. What is/was her handle/username here?

    • Markm 7.5

      Your all class North

    • Boss 7.6

      Sound like your loosing there fella!

  8. Blue 8

    Winner: David Cunliffe. Clear vision for NZ, on top of his facts, didn’t let Key push him around, generous, gracious and passionate.

    Loser 1: John Key. Robotic, fake, trotted out the same tired lines. No vision, no plan, no research, no details. Tried his usual garrulous drunk uncle routine with no success.

    Loser 2: The media. Clearly living on a different planet to the ordinary voters, having a competition between themselves to see who could be the most cynical and irrelevant. Let’s go with the big issues, shall we, such as who interrupted who, obsession with ‘zingers’, making a mountain out of a molehill on David Cunliffe’s performance on capital gains tax and dismissing any emotion displayed by politicians as scripted and insincere. You guys are such a great encouragement for people to get involved and vote – not.

    • Big Norm 8.1

      They were clutching at scores to pin-prick Cunliffe’s performance. Didn’t hear any of them question the sincerity of any of Key’s answers. Funny that.

  9. Donald 9

    I thought David Cunliffe did very well.Once again John Key looked shifty-as.

  10. Olwyn 10

    I could not believe how awful Key seemed and how decent Cunliffe looked alongside him. Key looks seedier to me with every viewing, and seemed so hellbent on ensuring that Cunliffe would not to make telling points that he was more like a troll at his own debate than a participant. Cunliffe in comparison was able to back himself with facts and figures, and showed both passion and compassion.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      More like a trolle at his own debate than a participant”

      Brilliant, true, point.

    • Markm 10.2

      Yes Cunliffe did have his facts and figures.
      Stuff article says he was at least 50% out on his tax figures , but at least thats an improvement and demonstrates he has what it takes to run an economy , though preferably not ours

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        I do believe Key stated the range of his illusory household tax cuts as being between $500 and $1500 a year, at some stage in the future. With a 200% margin of error, how could Key be wrong?

  11. Tautoko Viper 11

    The only people that gave the win to Key are those who measure a debate by the number of words per second, irrespective of the actual content. The cusp that Key talks about is the brink of a cliff over which NZ will be taken by a third term National into an abyss of privatised health and education, further degradation of the environment due to gutting of the RMA, finally ending with razor wire and rioting citizens who have nothing further to lose.

  12. paul scott 12

    You think he might need Kim Dotcrim after all? . I see Hone not pleased. DC’s feet are sliding apart in the sands of time, hope he stays on for 2017

  13. Clemgeopin 13

    Cunliffe did reasonably well but certainly not outstanding. He should do much better in the final debate on TV1.

    Cunliffe had a some good policy statements while Key lacked them. Key seemed to speak more about the Labour policies than his own quite often.

    Key also stole much more time to himself and quite effectively for his diatribe. Cunliffe was given less time overall, I think.

    Campbell seemed a little harsher on Cunliffe than on Key.

    Cunliffe showed more passion at times but still did not put the CGT points well enough.

    Key talking about dogs was stupid and childish, but he did make some good points from the RW point of view.

    I rate the debate a near draw, with a slight edge to Cunliffe:

    C=51%, K=49%

    • Big Norm 13.1

      Key regularly speaks more about Labour’s policies — or his scaremongering interpretation of them — than about his own. It’s a tactic to camouflage the fact the Nats don’t really have a lot to offer. It was priceless in the last debate. When asked to give the Nats’ tax policy, he spent 20 seconds on that and then two minutes on Labour’s, lol. Says it all, really. All show and no substance.

  14. paul scott 14

    Yes clear visions from DC, changing daily of course. Best to keep on with policy that the voters will reject. Feet planted firmly in the sands sliding away in time, maybe 2017 next try bovver. Maybe come to grips with Maori, I hear Hone is not so pleased about Dotcrim helping Labour lose the election.

    • Big Norm 14.1

      Oh God, Paul, you’re trying really hard. Please don’t.

      • North 14.1.1

        Yeah Paul Scott, please do go on……making a fuck of yourself. Love it ! And what’s all this bizo with where Cunliffe’s legs are at – you a bit dodgy in that department aye baby ?

        Speaking of body parts TheGodKey’s mits looked a bit weird involuntarily clamping up down and around his lectern. Yuk. Lots of nasty sweaty DNA left for the poor minimum wage middle of the night cleaner. “I’m ‘relaxed’……” Not. And it’s clear that intellectually Cunliffe trumps. Like clearly.

        Key – the cocktail party grimace under that hooky old banker’s schnozz. “Dog Dog Dog……” “Yap Yap Yap”. How mature is that folks ?

        “At the end of the day…….” in the real business of government – not the Monty Python (Look-at-Me-Love-Me) carry-on – who would you feel more comfortable with ? Cunliffe or Mr Unctuous Tending To Catty-Nasty Under Pressure ? And overseas ?

        Well……come on !

        • Tracey

          oh how clever, calling Paul gay. How old are you North?

          • Colonial Viper

            it’s a cultural divide and how hundreds of thousands of Kiwi men verbalise; certainly when I was young I had mates who’d give me shit for why I was wearing a ‘girly pink shirt’, while I told them that they were tasteless and fashionless. And asked them why their gumboots were so stretched out front.

    • word 14.2

      Still sucking on those sour grapes Paul.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.3

      Feeble. No wonder you can’t make it as a lawyer or accountant, Paul: you’re barely coherent.

      Uses “crim” as an insult. Supports John Key. The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.

      • anker 14.3.1

        OAB @ 14.3. lol……….your hilarious and I am not being sarcastic. I very much enjoy your astuteness nicely wrapped up with biting humour

  15. lurgee 15

    I liked Cunliffe’s “That’s enough” – now there’s a campaign slogan gone begging.

    But he spent too much time joining in the cross talking and squabbling. If he wanted to look prime ministerial he should have stood back and let the nasty little tyke squeal his interjection, then dryly observed, “That’s the third time you’ve tried to talk over me, John. Are you going to let the people watching hear both sides, which is what they turned on for?”

    And he needs to stop doing the manic flailing with his arms.

    Odd that the phone-ins showed general majority support for the left wing position on issues, but the left is still behind.

    • weka 15.1

      We don’t know if the left is behind because the undecideds aren’t being counted. Then there are the non-voters from last time and whether they will vote this time or not.

      • Big Norm 15.1.1

        And of course, Weka, at this time in the last election, according to the polls the Nats were going to win in a canter. Yet by election day they were six points worse off than the polls said. If they’ve got it wrong by that much this time, Key’s ass may well be kicked to the kerb.

        • weka

          Yep, and all the more important to keep the message out there to get out and vote! Bugger the polls and bugger the MSM bias.

    • ScottGN 15.2

      And whenever I checked the dial thingy at nzherald it was always strongly liking Cunliffe and disliking Key.

  16. Big Norm 16

    Hadn’t watched Henry’s show until tonight. I find his “humour”, particularly when aimed at people of a different colour, repulsive. Like Hosking, he’s also as true-blue as a porn movie and just seeing him makes me feel nauseous after some of the putrid things he’s said about people who have done him no harm.

    I wondered if he’d manage to keep his bias hidden. I think he tried but that was one internal conflict he was never going to win. He attempted, with a little help from his friends, to say Cunliffe had gone downhill in the debate after a reasonable start.

    Ha! If Henry had any credibility left, that must have killed it as dead as the dodo. Even the Herald’s Audrey Young said Cunliffe won it. Audrey Young! You’ve got to have done pretty damn well for her to ever give the plaudits to someone on the left.

    Incidentally, did anyone else notice Key’s strategy tonight was to talk and talk and talk his way through the entire hour or whatever it was? I thought that was pretty obvious. He seemed to think the number of words, rather than their content, was of greater importance.

  17. North 17

    Fucking Aunty Armstrong aye ? Auto-ejaculating for TheGodKey – again. He’s gonna be more wasted than a ram two weeks in a paddock with 400 ewes come election day. Hopefully it’ll finish the old fuck off. He’s no less fraudulent than his master.


  18. Hanswurst 18

    What is with Tracy Watkins? Her commentary under the headline “Dog quip sticks” is more disgraceful drivel from the pen of a “journalist” who only ever puts ink to paper for the purposes of illuminating the tawdry manuscript of Key’s political spin. I have no problem with her continuing to churn out the stuff, so long as there is an enormous, red banner declaiming “From the Right!” over every single article she publishes.

    Such clearly biased reporting also makes it impossible to have any confidence in her as a political editor. I don’t understand how John Armstrong comes in for such vehement criticism on her, while the insufferable Watkins largely flies under the radar.

    • Rodel 18.1

      I think Tracey Watkins meant ‘dog sh*t’ referring to Keys one liners.
      Key took his one liners- “looks like a dog, smells like a dog” etc. straight from an old Cheech and Chong comedy item.”in which they said, “Looks like dog sh*t, smells like dog sh*t, tastes like dog sh*t…Good thing we didn’t step in it eh!”

      Love the way right wing writers refer to Key’s words as ‘quips’ but refer to Cunliffe’s words as ‘gaffes’. It really is propaganda; (“noun- chiefly derogatory information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”)

      The interesting thing is that she may not be aware of her bias.It is possibly unconscious

  19. Jrobin 19

    Audrey Young!! Pinch me please must be dreaming she gave Cunliffe praise and the win. Who are they polling to get Nat even at 46, (they will be worried if you minus 5 for bias and 46 is a slump of 10% since a year ago) All the questions went against Nat policy so makes me even more sceptical of the polls.

  20. BLiP 20

    Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that these debates demean politics? Its like our leaders are reduced down to MSM playthings participating in a contrived “battle” upon which some “above it all, know it all” unaccountable commentators get to pontificate on in between the advertisements. I dunno, I just don’t like the vibe, can’t bear the MSM enablers, and the general equating of politics as entertainment. Call me old fashioned, but I would rather see a proper debtate, with teams and an audience and an impartial time-keeper and where a particular subject is given a thorough going over without advertising breaks and network editorialising disguised as sanctimonious preaching as per Campbell’s end-of-show homily. We can certainly do without the panel observations later; that half-hour of bollocks and bullshit added exactly zero value other than to provide the network with cheap content to beak up the advertisements.

    • Murray Olsen 20.1

      Call me old fashioned too. I’d rather see a proper debate with three from Labour and three from NAct. After all, we also need to see the calibre of the proposed ministers. That would also show how much NAct depends on Key.

      As for the debate itself – I thought Cunliffe’s speeches had far more content, but Key’s glibness and fast talking would be more popular with a lot of Kiwis. Hopefully this won’t be a majority.

      • Rich 20.1.1

        You couldn’t depend on Key. That doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone else gets a say though.

      • JanMeyer 20.1.2

        Ok but if you go down that track surely it would be more like three speakers from National, two from Labour, one from the Greens? Poll of polls has Labour at about half of National’s support. This whole leaders’ debate format is so FPP!

        • Murray Olsen

          Maybe Key, Jamie Whyte Power, and Colon Craig for the right, with Cunliffe, Turei and Annette Sykes for the centre-right through to the left. If you took four from each side, you could add in Te Ureroa Flavell and Laila Harré, but you’d need a different organisation to that of a standard debate.

          Maybe a miniature parliament format, with Winston as speaker. There has to be a better and more informative way than what they do, while maintaining some of the entertainment factor.

    • karol 20.2

      Totally agree. Is why I only watched a couple of minutes.

    • tc 20.3

      Dumbing down for infotainment of the sheeple as the last thing the right wants is a well run debate with audience seeing both sides in depth.

      Imagine Bennett, brownless or any of the other Nat cabinet in such a format and you can see why it all rides on the shonkey one.

      I saw 10sec of their panel, enough to see the MSM’s trained lefty Pagani and bailed

    • Tracey 20.5

      when one participant has little or no policy they have to attack. That ios what is denigrating the debates, the lack of something for key to fight for… he has to fight against.

    • yeshe 20.6

      Absolutely agree. I couldn’t stand it and turned instead to Maori TV’s Native Affairs for the incisive Mihingarangi Forbes pursuing her elegant quest on one more Maori electorate, this time Hauraki Waikato.

      Quietly, informing deeply, and revealing of the strengths and weaknesses of candidates with questions gathered within the electorate essentialised for the debate. And interestingly, last night hosted three women candidates.

      Honestly, I have learned more about our current state of nation watching this series on Native Affairs — can’t recommend it highly enough. (And the fact Nats are discussing cutting their funding at some stage speaks for itself.)

      I kept going back to TV3, but shouty and pouty didn’t do it for me. Where is the honest dialogue about our futures ??

      I suggest Maori TV host a leaders’ debate — with Mihingarangi. Then we might see some truth instead of all shine, no polish.


  21. infused 21

    Again, depends on what side of the fence you are on.

    DC was just spitting out lines.

    I don’t think he won at all. If anything it was quite equal.

    This was one of the more boring debates.

    • quartz 21.1

      That’s exactly the kind of thing losers say.

    • Tracey 21.2

      I didn;t wacth it. saw Toby Mahire score it a draw, audrey and fran wins for cunlifee (just) and john armstrong a win for key.

      Seeing your comment, I will assume it is a draw which given how popular and clever and skilled Key is… is a kind of loss for him. If you see what I mean.

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.1

        Cunliffe is showing that he can hold his own against Key without too much of a struggle – that is indeed a loss for Key as expectations amongst (most) viewers are higher for Key.

        • infused

          dc struggles. you saw it last night. whenever he is getting a beat down, he starts talking very loudly saying the same rehearsed lines.

          just as key struggles sometimes.

          • word

            What debate were you watching Infused? I watched the one on TV 3. Your description fits John key, (who lied all the way through it), not David Cunliffe.

  22. b waghorn 22

    Go David. The thing I’m finding with key is he’s lied so much I don’t believe anything he says know.

  23. Harry Holland 23

    The MSM joke about bias (e.g. on twitter) because most of them genuinely believe they have no bias and that all sides are regularly complaining about bias.
    This is a pretty silly headline and opening sentence front page of Herald.co.nz this morning however.

    CEOs backing John Key
    Blow for Labour as big business gets behind Prime Minister in Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom survey.

    Wow, what a blow for Labour. Couldn’t have seen that coming.

    • karol 23.1

      Would turkeys vote for Christmas?

      NZ Herald readers’ choice: Cunliffe 163; Key 66

    • CrashCart 23.2

      I saw that and was wondering why it is such a huge blow what 112 very rich people think. The classic line of “if they were to be the only ones to vote”. Holy shit batman, when are they going down to a Union meeting and publishing the results of that as a huge victory for Labour. The most stupid story I have seen for a long time and the fact that it is top billing after Cunliff won the debate (in the majority of Herald reportes opinions) is incredibly synical.

  24. irascible 24

    Thought Key looked like a gibbering frightened possum caught in the lights of an oncoming truck no knowing where to go. This comes about because he is policy less, cox less and stuck on a sinking skiff.

  25. peter h 25

    Cunliffe must have won by a heaps, as Hosking calls it a draw

  26. 100% Pure NZ 26

    Yes, NZH-MSM playbook looks very similar to Romney/Koch strategy.

    Where is Nate Silver when you need him.

  27. Lefty 27


    Both of them.

    Traversing the same old failed arguments about the same old failed system and who is going to fuck us over the least.

    It was really just a contest to decide who is best at selling us a lot of shit that is bad for us.

    You know; like a competition between cigarette salesmen to see which brand is better.

  28. Raa 28

    Could somebody please post a YouTube link to the debate ?

    Or a downloadable mp3 ?

    We are not all devotees of Tele-Vision.

  29. Ross 29

    I was bemused when Cunliffe asked Key about his numbers re tax cuts. Key replied: “It depends how many families there are”. So here is this financial genius, ahem, who claims that he will spend a billion dollars on tax cuts and families will be better off by $1500, but then concedes he doesn’t know how many families there are. The media should be all over this. A question: what sort of tax cut would a single person on the minimum wage require to receive an extra $1500? Or do we assume that single people on the minimum wage won’t be receiving a tax cut?

    • alwyn 29.1

      I wouldn’t ask David Cunliffe to calculate the answer for you.
      He managed, with the aid of a piece of paper and a pencil, to multiple 1.5 times 1.6 and come up with an answer of 3.4!

  30. Raa 30

    Who would be the beneficiaries of a Key defeat and resignation ?

    I believe that some National Party factions are restless.

    • Colonial Viper 30.1

      English faction and Joyce faction are the two leading contenders…Collins will make a come back attempt next year though

  31. Bob 31

    This debate can only be seen as a draw.

    Cunliffe: Preachy, rude, shown up on complexity of CGT (again, more loopholes than a knitted quilt), but showed a strong vision for the future and won the minimum wage rise section hands down.

    Key: No detail, rude, lack of vision, but got in the best soundbite hit (CGT is a dog, blah blah blah), fought off every hit Cunliffe tried to make, added some humour and won the housing debate hands down (Cunliffe had his ‘no houses built’ line destroyed by the story on Campbell live less than 2 hour earlier).

    Overall I don’t think anyone would have been swayed one way or the other from this and if anything the winners are the minor parties.

    John Campbell was brilliant, although there was a touch of the Hoskings effect, he seemed to give Key more time than Cunliffe.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 31.1

      It’s always nice to hear minority viewpoints.

      221:120 🙂

    • Tracey 31.2


      I didn’t see the debate, so thanks for your view.

      Back in 08 when Key didnt get smacked down by Clark it was called a “win” for Key because he did better than expected.

      Apparently less than 14% of polled people think Cunliffe is any good. Using the same “logic” a draw must be a big win for Cunliffe over the highly skilled politician and ordinary loveable bloke that is John Key?

      • Bob 31.2.1

        Tracey, it was the best of the debates so far in terms of flow and substance so it is well worth a watch if you get a chance.

        I can see your logic, but even though Cunliffe held his own the fact he came across very preachy and rude (while some would say passionate and forceful) at times and Key came across smug and rude (while some would say personable and forceful) this debate would also reinforce a lot of peoples preconceived ideas on both.

    • Hami Shearlie 31.3

      The house shown on Campbell live was built through a private entity that helps people get their own home, NOT from a government initiative!

      • Bob 31.3.1

        It was built on land opened up by the Auckland accord as part of the governments response to house prices. All houses built under this accord will be built privately, only Labour are looking to build using public money.

        • Molly

          The SHA initiative, was the result of the threat that National held over Auckland Council – when they said that they would not ratify the legally required Auckland Unitary Plan.

          This was because Aucklanders had overwhelmingly indicated that they wanted a high density, less sprawling city.

          What is needed to get a SHA? A compliant local board, a landowner/group of landowners (often rural) that will get together and make an application to have their landuse changed to a development one. Considering that National have reduced the amount of development contributions that councils can charge, this is a VERY BIG capital gain for these private property owners.

          Once again, the costs of sprawl in terms of infrastructure, roading, community will be bourne by the wider community.

          • Bob

            Molly, what do you think Labour would do for Kiwibuild? Sprawl is the only ‘affordable’ option left, they have already suggested as much.

            • Molly

              I’ve written about my take on affordable housing a while ago…

              I think it requires out of the box thinking.

              We need to return to community building along with houses. It amazes me that it is legal to build monuments to self-indulgence with vastly consumptive energy use, but it is illegal to give more than one family their own living and kitchen space in a dwelling. So, we have families living in garages, and sleeping on couches because the reality of how people manage on low incomes is not acknowledged by planners or local government.

              Briefly, I’m an aficionado of cohousing, which to my mind duplicates a lot of the cultural values of healthy Pasifika and Maori communities. I would like to see a community housing initiative that goes into state housing communities and works with those tenants/new owners to redevelop and intensify those neighbourhoods. Team it up with training and community building, and instead of intensification destroying neighbourhoods – it will rebuild and strengthen them.

              Successful co-housing communities aim for a maximum number of residents under 150 – so these are not big developments. If Kiwibuild can take a chance on supporting 200 homes out of the 10,000 they plan – then it is possible communities can be built as well as homes.

    • infused 31.4

      hoskings was better i reckon. jc let it slip too often.

  32. Mary Linzey 32

    The only new key statement was his dislike of dogs. Whatan animal basher.

  33. Jagd 33

    Best soundbite? Dog,dog,dog.Yap,yap.yap. I had an uncle, who at family gatherings,
    would get drunk on gin and his own self importance. He would abuse and mock everyone then halfway through the night fall on his ridiculous arse and pass out. We partied on, happily, without him. John Key so reminded me of him.
    Most uncool.

  34. Acts Hyphen Hop Joky 34

    Listening to RNZ this morning and their analysis about the debate. They spent too little time on policy and facts. Also interesting the timing of other news?

    It seems again (I’m probably biased and seeing patterns that may or may not exist) that whoever scripts the morning news likes JK and the right.

    RNZ this morning on the debate:
    07:00 Intro News Sound Bite
    JK CGT barks like a dog (now if that wasn’t bs sensationalism I don’t know what is)

    JK CGT barks like a dog
    JK committed to conservative growth
    Cunliffe got a figure wrong, i.e. 2.2 billion v 5 billion national underfunded

    NZ poll of polls (i.e. National good, Labour bad… note the timing of the poll just after the debate)

    Morning report
    Usual banter about what JK said to DC about tax cuts and or CGT.
    Guyon usual languid response to DC (i.e. he is ok didn’t deliver the killer punch). Great depth of analysis Guyon.

    Guyon then mentions the poll of polls, even if you put in the greens etc… the left wont make it. This time no mention by Guyon of the herald practically giving it in favour of DC (yet last time he did when it was in JKs favour). (again – Note the timing of the poll of polls as well…nothing to do with the debate). Mentions, no mention of dirty politics in debate (some how intmates this is a good thing as dirty politics is not an issue, also nicely placed by poll of poll results to hit home the fact)

    “Experts brought in” one rates DC as winner (i.e. objective facts on minimum wage rise), other a draw (she was effectively saying JK are concentrating on economic policy….. WTF?).

    Note, the number of times DC was mentioned about being emotional….cf no mention of JKs usual drunken slur or smart arse one liners (I am being facetious).

    Greens criticised by Fed farmers that they should not take the Science or Agricultural portfolios. (i.e. labour + greens = bad, National + Fed good)

    08:00 news sound bite, DC being told by Cambell to let JK have a chance to speak.
    Mention and interview conservative party (a little advert for them maybe?)
    Do a little positive number on charter schools.

  35. BM 35

    The debate series is a waste of time and not very relevant in the internet era, which is why I haven’t bothered watching any of them.
    Two middle age guys trying to shout over top of each other, scintillating viewing

    I doubt any one is swayed by what they see on the debates.

    • Clemgeopin 35.1

      The debate did sway me. Before the debate I had decided to vote for Labour. After the debate, I am doubly sure.

    • cogito 35.2


      I would agree that the format is not great. In the end, voters want to know and understand, not be subjected to a shouting match and cheap point scoring. It could all be done so much better, but that would require some thought by the media, and Key learning how to behave in a civilised manner.

  36. infused 36

    no they are not. but they are great for drinking games…

    5 new taxes… drink
    cgt… drink

    • Weepus beard 36.1



      Figured this was the case. You need help mate but you can’t get it unless you want to change.

  37. Acts Hyphen Hop Joky 37

    So if CGT is such a dog, then are you calling those countries that have it dogs to?

    Capital Gains Taxation by Country (OECD)

    Top long-term capital gains tax rate (2011)*
    Integrated capital gains tax rate (2011)**
    44.5 59.8
    42 56.5
    United States
    United Kingdom
    OECD Avg (non-US)
    Slovak Republic
    New Zealand
    Czech Republic
    * Combined national and sub-national rate.
    ** Capital gains rate plus the corporate income tax rate.
    Source: Robert Carroll and Gerald Prante, “Corporate Dividend and Capital Gains Taxation: A comparison of the United States to other developed nations”, Ernst & Young, February 2012.

    • Bob 37.1

      How many of those countries exclude the family home?

    • Bob 37.2

      Also, your own numbers above show NZ already has an integrated 28% capital gains tax which applies to speculators, so Labour wants to drop this to 15%? How is this going to increase revenue like they say? Especially if they have so many loopholes.

      • Colonial Viper 37.2.1

        The higher 28% rate will still apply if seeking capital gains is part of your day to day business activity.

        • Bob

          Thanks CV, that makes sense.

          Do you have details of which of the above countries exclude the family home by chance?

          One interesting thing from these numbers, Belgium, Mexico, Luxemburg, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Korea, Switzerland, Greece, Slovenia, Turkey and the Czech Republic all have no long term CGT, according to Cunliffe only “3 developed countries” don’t have a CGT, so which 9 does he not think are developed? Or was he lying last night?

          • wtl

            Obviously not having a “long-term” CGT is not the same as having no CGT whatsoever.

            If you are interested in how Labour’s policy compares with that of other countries, why don’t you do the research yourself rather than relying on everyone else to do it for you?

            • Bob

              “Obviously not having a “long-term” CGT is not the same as having no CGT whatsoever.” So you are saying he is lying by saying NZ does not have a CGT then? Because like the 12 countries I listed, we DO have a CGT just not a long term CGT.

              • wtl

                As you pointed out above, NZ does have a CGT except it is only applied in very limited cases, so Cunliffe’s statement was obviously referring to the fact that most other developed countries have more comprehensive CGT policies than NZ, and introducing a more comprehensive policy is hardly the end of the world.

                At the end of the day, it is not possible to summarise the complex CGT policies of all countries in a single sentence while still conveying all the detail involved. If you are expecting Cunliffe or anyone else be able to do then you are obviously just an idiot.

  38. Raa 38

    The Herald from the Land of Auk conveys

    ‘Cunliffe fails to inspire’
    ‘Revelations damage Brand Key’
    ‘Kiwi lingerie gets boost with big Oz deal’

    Case closed.

  39. KJS0ne 39

    And yet TV 3’s analysis team seemed to have watched a completely different debate to the one I saw. Paul Henry was trotting out loaded questions by the truck load, all kinds of fluff talk to elicit an emotional response, which had absolutely no substance. Like CGT, Cunliffe was bloody clear, he stated the facts in a concise manner, and the analysis still tried to rip him apart over that. I don’t know why a comprehensive tax policy is a bad thing, it’s not like members of the public need to read all that to understand the basics… I really don’t see why Duncan Garner is playing into Key’s spin like that. I can only think his about face in recent days has been because he’s being blackmailed or something.

    The table is well tilted folks. And in light of that I was bloody impressed with David Cunliffe last night, stellar performance.

  40. Clemgeopin 40

    JOSIE PAGANI : The left has already won this election!


    • BM 40.1

      A classic take over op by Key.

      Destroy the competition leaving the winner to control the market.

      Hasta la vista Labour

  41. Valleyman 41

    Rumour has it Key likes it doggie style.

  42. NZJester 42

    It was hard for David to debate Keys tax cut as he is trying to focus on policies for this 2014 election. Keys tax cut is a 2017 election possible tax cut. Every time Key talks about it he tries to make it sound real while using words like we will look at it in 2017. Basically the big National policy for 2014 is that they will look at putting a tax cut in for their 2017 election policies, but only if they are running a surplus by then. David then stole Nationals big tax cut policy during that debate by saying he will also look at tax cuts in 2017 if the Labour government is running a surplus in 2017 after winning the election. He did not make a firm commitment to that tax cut, but neither has Key. I think the big difference is that come the 2017 election if Labour has been in government instead of National the books are more likely to be in a position that Labour would be able to offer a real tax cut and National would have to say no to one. The only thing that will make it hard for Labour to get to a surplus by then will be the big debt the National government has run up and any other hidden financial problems they will not find out about until they become the government. I’m sure they will find a lot of badly setup contracts signed by National that will be as expensive to back out of as they will be to complete. Nationals taking over of Novopay is likely to be one of those headache contracts.

  43. Michael 43

    Cunliffe will not lead the next government, as Labour will not be part of it, unless it lifts its Party Vote dramatically, something its show little sign of achieving. At present, it is scoring well below its 2011 results, its worst ever. Caucus infighting, Cunliffe’s many gaffes on the campaign trail, and the party’s insipid status quo policies do not inspire confidence and trust in large chunks of the electorate. Labour remains fixated on identity politics of the 1970s and 1980s era that are no longer those that matter to the challenges of the 21st century. The Greens appear to have outflanked Labour by conducting a skillful, disciplined campaign. I hope I’m wrong, and I still voted for it earlier this week, but I fear Labour has made itself politically irrelevant.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 43.1

      I fear you may be interviewing your keyboard and, finding that it agrees with you, mistaking the two of you for a plurality.

      The hard data comes in on the 20th, and we’ll find out who’s irrelevant 😆

    • word 43.2

      Lol Panicked much !! Wishful thinking on your part Michael.

  44. Clemgeopin 44


    Cunliffe waves Key aside in narrow Election Debate victory.

    See Debate Highlights and viewer reactions below:


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