web analytics

A hard place

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, August 10th, 2008 - 13 comments
Categories: Media, same old national, spin - Tags:

Kudos to Crosby Textor for doing such a good job of changing the secret agenda debate to the issue of who taped the conversations (although whoever came up with the absurd idea of taking photos of John’s rubbish should probably be put on leave until the election is over) but they have a harder job ahead of them now the news has broken that there are more recordings out there.

It has been clear for some time that the Nats are playing a small target/brand Key/Labour plus* campaign game but they may have to rethink that now as every time they put out a “policy” document, write a speech or even release a basic media statement they are going to be doing so without knowing if there is something on a tape out there that contradicts what they say and, if so, whether it will be released.

Obviously the way to deal with this would be to pull the entire caucus together and find out exactly what they said at the cocktail party but to do that successfully the Nats would need a tight and collaborative caucus that felt safe admitting their errors openly and I don’t think they have that. Especially after the humiliating example that was made of Bill. Can you, for example, imagine Murray McCully or Gerry Brownlee fessing up to their colleagues that they mouthed off to a total stranger about using front groups to smear Labour politicians or their desire to flick off energy SOEs? And even if they did would they be trusted by their party to have told the whole story?

So how do they ensure they can campaign without setting themselves up for more secret agenda falls? I’ve thought long and hard about that and I don’t think they can without either coming clean with detailed policy (which they can’t afford to do politically but should for the sake of democracy) or by knowing everything that was recorded and working their spin around it. That means finding the guy/s that did it and explains why they are going to such great lengths to do so. Unless they do I expect we’ll see National’s PR machine being throttled back. And given that machine has been used to continually mislead the electorate, that may not be a bad thing at all.

*It was illuminating to hear Bill use the phrase “Labour Plus” as it seems very much the kind of cynical catchy shorthand C/T would use for the strategy they’re running.

13 comments on “A hard place ”

  1. deemac 1

    Chris Laidlaw did his bit for the Nats on radio NZ this morning (Sunday), reading out a daft email comparing the taping to the Watergate buggers and referring to “stolen emails” as another example of dirty tricks. If you keep repeating “stolen emails” often enough, no doubt it seeps into peoples’ minds that that’s what happened. And of course the Watergate conspirators had no intention of making any recordings available to the public.

  2. outofbed 2

    What I want to know is did the people in the foyer of the Michael Fowler Centre know they were being filmed and are they pleased that the video is being scoured over ?
    Strange that one secret recording is used to find evidence of another. Is it me or is that slightly hypocritical ?

  3. ghostwhowalks 3

    The people going into the cocktail party arent all that interesting.

    Its when they are leaving…. and with whom.

    Interesting in that nationals stasi wannabes can ‘view’ the tapes , but I doubt if the privacy laws allow them to publicise the person they maybe interested in ( who may be a grandson of some long forgotten NP cabinet minister).
    Since they dont allready connect the face with a name they would depend on wider public or party recognition

    Thats flies slap bang into privacy laws.
    Wonder if the Tory media will be so outraged by underhand tactics as they were last week.

    Thats if they dont get 40 names for a pic !!
    I dont think they have really thought this all out

  4. coge 4

    What happened to Steve P’s alledged 10K evil tory reward, a rich fabrication I’d suggest. Pretty consistant with the whole affair. Some people seem very keen to protect the identity of the covert intruder. Karma does have the habit of biting ones arse.

  5. lprent 5

    coge: I believe that SP said it was a rumor – ie unsubstantiated. That puts it in much the same level than some of the stuff I’ve seen from the nats this last week.

    1. it was a young Nat
    2. no it wasn’t – person was too ‘hip’
    3. it was young labour
    4. it was labour
    5. young labour got ejected from the conference (it didn’t)
    6. no-one ever protested at the labour congress
    – except those anti-EFA people..
    7. it was an enemy of the nats (ok that one I’d guess was correct)

    etc etc

    As far as i can can tell almost all of these are all rumors, however they have all bee said by senior Nat’s publicly this week. It is amazing what a flurry of chaotic activity can happen when Nat’s are honest (and recorded).

    Talking about that, what happened to the famed ‘security tapes’ that would identify the taper? They must have been able to have found those and identified the bod by now. Or should I class their existence as another rumor.

    I saw in another blog that they’d heard that the security cams weren’t running. I suppose someone thought that seeing who was talking to whom might seem a bit too honest as well.

  6. coge 6

    Iprent, I guess when rumours start flying the story has captured peoples interest. Like you, I’m curious & keen to learn the facts.
    Rumours are best put to rest.

  7. lprent 7

    coge: As far as I can tell so far, the only facts are…

    One or more people got into the cocktail party at the start of the Nat’s conference – probably as an invited guest or they paid their $130 tab. They were wearing something that recorded at least some conversations.

    From what I’ve heard from the news media and the recordings, they talked to some senior National politicians about where they saw policy directions going.

    Legally if they were a participant in the conversations (ie not eavesdropping), then there is unlikely to be any legal remedy available to the Nat’s or the politicians, and no criminal charges could be laid.

    We don’t know if all of the taped conversations have been released yet.

    We also don’t know the identity of the taper(s). However bearing in mind the furor over the revelations about Nat’s private policy ideas, I’d suggest that the taper(s) keep his/her heads down.

    We now know that some senior Nat’s ‘personal’ policy preferences go beyond those expressed in public. That is something that was speculated on, and frequently avoided or denied.

    We also know that they have quite derogatory ways of describing voters. That was some rather interesting choices of words and phrases, essentially talking about voters as if they were dumb animals under training.

  8. coge 8

    Iprent, I agree with parts of you summary. Just to clear things up,
    who you are refering to when you say “we”. I take it is not the royal “we”! Cheers.

  9. lprent 9

    🙂 Yes, as in ‘we’ – the public. I’ve probably just sparked yet another conspiracy theory.

    The impact of all of this? That will be interesting to see, but the nett effect to date has been for people to see the Nat’s on a confused defensive. It hasn’t been an edifying experience. Most of what was actually said wasn’t new, it was obviously the direction of the Nat’s thrust.

    However what it will have done is to remove the blinkers that some people had that they could just change governments and expect few changes in direction. That will hurt national in the soft vote. No amount of smiling will get around that.

    captcha: girl Emperior

  10. Scribe 10

    Coge: What happened to Steve P’s alledged 10K evil tory reward, a rich fabrication I’d suggest.

    lprent: I believe that SP said it was a rumor – ie unsubstantiated.

    I see the post — http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2707 — now talks about it being a rumour, but I’m not sure that was how it was presented initially. I seem to recall it was presented as fact, because I went searching for a website reporting the story and didn’t find it.

    I may be wrong, but I will let Steve clear that up. I’d be disappointed if he just changed the original post to cover his derriere (without acknowleding it at least).

  11. r0b 11

    No, it hasn’t changed. It was originally reported as rumour.

  12. lprent 12

    Scribe: It said that it was a rumor when I saw it in the scheduled release queue.

    If it hadn’t then I’d have been the first asking where the link was.

    Besides the comments section would have been full of comments asking for the link, proof, whatever. There isn’t. Read the comments section.

    captcha: No subtarget

  13. Scribe 13


    Thanks for clearing that up.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihƍpai RĆ«naka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago