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Democracy under attack

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, November 5th, 2008 - 66 comments
Categories: activism, election 2008, national - Tags: ,

From Both Eyes Open:

National Party candidate Stephen Franks’ campaign team has been systematically tearing down political posters put up by his opponents despite Franks recently describing people defacing his election hoardings as ‘political thugs who don’t like free speech or opinions different from their own’.

The group Both Eyes Open which has been distributing posters, banners and stickers around the country reminding the public of the National Party’s record discovered that its posters were being removed every night throughout central Wellington. ‘Our members went out last night and this morning and discovered it was Stephen Franks’ campaign people tearing them down,’ spokesperson Fergus Wheeler said. Photos of these people match photos of the campaign people who have been out holding banners and leafletting with Stephen Franks around the city.

‘It seems a little hypocritical of Mr Franks to grandstand about freedom of speech for his own campaign advertisements and then let his team destroy other people’s ones,’ Mr Wheeler said.

The posters they have been removing include one about Stephen Franks’ anti-human rights actions three years ago when he was an ACT MP. The ‘Don’t vote for prejudice’ poster quotes his amendment to human rights legislation where he tried to make it lawful for employers and landlords to discriminate against people for being in an unmarried couple, for being gay, for ‘extra-marital child bearing’ and for breaching ‘promises made in marriage’.

Just this morning we watched his campaign team removing these posters, and two others saying ‘Do you really want a SUB-PRIME MINISTER?’ and ‘Privatised health, School fees up, Benefit Cuts, Toll roads — National, not the change we need.’ In other words, we have been having a legitimate say about the issues that we believe are important in this election. This is exactly the freedom of speech that two weeks ago Stephen Franks was self-righteously defending.’

Our members spoke to Stephen Franks in the street this morning and he confirmed that his crew had been removing posters. He claimed that the ‘Don’t vote for prejudice’ posters were defamatory but did not explain why this gave his a right to remove them. ‘As a lawyer, he knows the defamation is decided in court, not by removing other people’s freedom of speech,’ Mr Wheeler said. ‘They’re not defamatory, we’re just reminding people of Mr Franks’ past actions which he would prefer liberal Wellington Central voters to forget.’

The pics are here

As I’ve written before, I can’t understand the mentality of someone who would go to the kind of effort necessary to tear down someone else’s posters. If you believe in democracy, the competition of ideas, put up your own posters.

66 comments on “Democracy under attack”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Why are they called both eyes open when they are more one eyed than either The Standard or Whaleoil which are openly partisan ?

    “I can’t understand the mentality of someone who would go to the kind of effort necessary to tear down someone else’s posters.”

    Agreed same goes for graffiti on the posters etc.

  2. Vinsin 2

    This has been going on since the start of October, I’m glad they’ve finally been caught red-handed.

  3. Monty 3

    If maybe the posters were truthful you may have a case for objecting – But I know Stephen quite well and he is definitely not anyi-gay, he is not anti human rights and nor is he against solo mums.

    Labour’s whole campaign has been based upon attacking National and especially John Key. Not once have I seen a positive ad from Labour – – All year there has been an obsession with John Key – and in Wellington this has extended to include Stephen Franks.

    I totally support the removal of posters which tell lies about candidates. If for example the posters were positive – Such as “Support Grant Robertson – As a Gay man he supports and understands Gay Rights” then that would be great.

    But sadly no – Labour whole campaign has been negative – I guess if the boot was on the other foot and National was running a negative campaign in Welington and Labour supporters were removing those posters you would say it is justified???

    No wonder you are going to lose so badly on Saturday. No one understands what Labour policy is other than Helen Clark does not trust John key – not really that helpful when we have an international crisis

  4. Hoolian 4

    Agreed Monty – but don’t expect SP to see eye-to-eye. He’s more than happy to puruse dirty campaigns. SP is all about a means to an end; and the dirtier the better.

  5. Lew 5

    Monty: There’s no credible argument that a man who compares homosexuality to bestiality with a straight face is not anti-gay. Given that Franks attempted to amend the Human Rights Act to (partially) exclude gay people, I’d say that assertion is a slam dunk, and the assertion that he’s anti-human rights is plausibly grounded as well.

    I don’t know the background for the assertion about solo mothers.

    L

  6. Tripod 6

    “The “Don’t vote for prejudice’ poster quotes his amendment to human rights legislation where he tried to make it lawful for employers and landlords to discriminate against people for being in an unmarried couple, for being gay, for “extra-marital child bearing’ and for breaching “promises made in marriage’.”

    Is this true? Did he really do that? Can someone provide a link? It just sounds too bizarre to be true.

    In other news, Obama has Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Yes!

  7. “If maybe the posters were truthful you may have a case for objecting – But I know Stephen quite well and he is definitely not anyi-gay, he is not anti human rights and nor is he against solo mums.”

    His voting record suggests otherwise. I don’t think the slogans on the National bill board are true, does that justify me ripping them down?

  8. Hey tripod, where are you getting that from, I’ve been haing a lookse on CNN, maybe you know better than me which website I should be looking on? (no cable tv here sorry!)

  9. The PC Avenger 9

    Monty, I’d wager that most people don’t understand the policies of any of the parties, which is why they (and you) have to resort to such gross over simplification.

    Unless you’re being deliberately disingenuous.

    And I’d say putting any group on the same level as someone who commits bestiality is pretty anti-them. It’s amazingly ignorant and disrespectful, especially when coming from someone who purports to respect individual liberty.

    edit: Beaten by Lew.

  10. Vinsin 10

    Monty, i gotta say there’s never a dull moment with you around. Here’s a video of the non anti-gay rights Stephen Franks. If you want to talk about negative campaigning how about National’s “NZ sux” campaign, how about the tactical smear campaign of Winston Peters, to name a few examples. Labour people taking down other parties posters justified, no, but then again Lefties tend to believe in freedom of speech and actual facts when voting.

    “No one understands what Labour policy is other than Helen Clark does not trust John Key.” And National’s policies are the pinnacle of innovation, creativity and efficiency – “well, we’ll have a look at it.” By the way, it’s not just her that doesn’t trust him there’s a large chunk of society that doesn’t. But it’s not just John Key that we don’t trust, it’s Bill English, Gerry Brownlee, Rodney Hide and Roger Douglas to name a few. This is why National will not be in government.

  11. Lew 11

    TPA: Don’t bother, Monty doesn’t accept wagers. He’s happy to make empty statements, but not to back ’em up with good booze or other tokens of confidence.

    L

  12. Vinsin 12

    Killinginthenameof: Fox News – argh i know it’s horrible but at least it’s entertaining – has coverage of the race on prime at 3:35. Bbc.co.uk has nifty little reports and live video right now. Obama is at 104 mccain at 34: 270 votes needed to win.

  13. exbrethren 13

    In addition to the odious Franks getting caught, I see that Rodney and his supporters have been caught trying to con the public. The Herald reports the complaint to the EFA about his jacket is by another ACT idiot.

  14. Tripod 14

    Oops, maybe a bit overexcited there. CNN says Obama has Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Illinois. McCain has a few redneck states.

  15. sally 15

    Franks has done nothing to provide any context what-so-ever to his comments about marrying his dog. Nothing.

    Every time it comes up, he gives the same legal answer about it being bad legislation, which may be a valid criticism, but has nothing to do with his comments about his dog.

    He lashed out at a resident at the Wadestown meeting accusing them of being on Robertson’s campaign team, which the resident took offence to and Franks looked really fucking stupid.

  16. Monty 16

    Yeah I have seen the video – so what it does not prove anything – You are trying (incorrectly) to portray Stephen as Anti-gay etc. I know the guy and that is not how he thinks at all. What the left have done here is take a snip and make commentary and assumptions out of context and try and use that against him.

    No matter, the race is neck in neck for Wellington Central and hopefully Stephen will win (albeit by a small margin) and I am sure Grant Robertson will make it back as well but on the list and I am sure both will do a good job for Wellington.

    Lew – I do not gamble, and certainly not with leftards . If I did offer a wager I doubt you could afford to compete with me. Regardless – we will win on Saturday and you will then get to enjoy 9 years of glorious National Government. (and at least the nats don’t use dirty underhand tactics scuh as id described in the Herald this morning to try and cheat and decieve elderly chinese ladies into voting for a party they would not naturally support. Now that Stinks.

  17. Vinsin 17

    Obama has just got pensylvania and apparently Florida is looking like it’s going to go to obama.

  18. The PC Avenger 18

    exbrethren: I kinda feel a bit bad for Rodney. He can’t help it that most of his supporters are selfish manchildren who can’t think beyond “I GOT MINE”.

  19. exbrethren 19

    “Americans less racist than the Nats shock”

  20. r0b 20

    I sure that one of the (over worked and much appreciated!) Standard authors will create a separate thread soon to discuss the US elections (go Obama!).

  21. Any chance we could get an election discussion thread? the topic of this thread is very very important (and can hopefully lead to a news item if not a charge of willful damage for those 2 photographed). So to prevent it going well off topic could we have a us election post

  22. exbrethren 22

    If I remember right, the Wellington candidates were again all meant to be on the Backbenchers show before the election. If so Franks might be in for a rough ride on this one.

    On the previous show he appeared to be either a. deaf or b. on something as his answers were nonsensical rather than like Shon Key and just evasive.

  23. Does anyone have the names of these thugs?

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Monty, if you know Franks and he appears to you to not be anti-gay, then i have some bad news. The nasty sod has been leading you along all this time.

    Now I know you really believe your impression to be true, but I couldn’t help but notice that when you were presented evidence to show Franks was anti-gay (to counter your assertion that you knew him and you didin’t think it to be the case, thus it must not be true), you replied with the exact same assertion – that you knew him and you didin’t think it to be the case, thus it must not be true. Given you’re prone to forecasting a National Majority government, and Labour polling at 25%, a pinch of salt wouldn’t make your proclamations edible, let alone palatable.

  25. Anita 25

    Tripod,

    Yes it’s true. It’s good someone’s picked it up as it looks like a pretty ugly attempt to gut the Human Rights Act.

    The Supplementary Order Paper itself is here, but it’s an SOP so nasty to read 🙂

    Idiot/Savant’s discussion is here and includes who voted for it.

  26. I know it’s not fashionable but I’m not really interested in the US election. If they get Obama then that’s all good. If they get McCain then the rapid decline of the US as a superpower will continue…

    Chem khuzhe, tem luchshe

  27. Vinsin 27

    I know this off topic, but since there isn’t a thread for the election yet and this is where all this started so I’m going to post this here.

    Obama 175 electoral votes
    McCain 76 electoral votes.
    For all those interested i can really reccomend the bbc stream which is http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7700298.stm

  28. tracey 28

    Hmmmm how is it consistent for Franks to rail in defence of freedom of speech, where the “protection” is under Tort law and defamation, and then remove people’s right to free speech? Is this an insight into Franks view s on freedom, amongst other things? Namely he likes all freedoms which he sees as favouring him…as for the rest…

  29. Monty 29

    MP – Ok – I’ll concede that the Nats will not get 75 seats – and Labour will score more than 25% – but the end result will be a major and solid victory for the Nats – probably with the Act team in support.

    Mostly my point is that Labour have campaigned very negatively – and National bu contrast have engaged in a very positive campaign talking about the future.

    People are sick and tired of the negative campaigning undertaken b the Labour party. It seems that the left have very little to offer, and now most people have made up their minds. Also if the MSM pick up on the tactics in Auckland (taking elderly Chinese ladies to the polling booth and telling them where to tick) then Labour will be in big trouble. The people of NZ will punish Labour for such tactics and that could potentially costs another couple of % points on election day. It shows how desperate Labour have become if they will resort to these tactics (and the risk involved) for just a few extra votes.

    But it does sort of sum up the election – labour in their desperation continue to make bad decisions all of which carry risk and are backfiring. Stupid desperate socialists.

  30. tracey 30

    Thanks for letting the facts get in the way of spin Anita. Interesting to read.

  31. tracey 31

    Monty

    The Nats did all their negative campaigning from 2004 to earlier this year, up to and including constantly making Peters’ BS about Helen Clark. The emphasis on their mantra “desperate dirty tricks labour” has increased since the first Bill English tape was released and has clearly been intended to embed the idea that truth = dirty tricks so that the tapes would be dismissed.

    Labur has an abysmal record with the “truth” but so has John Key. It’s just you dont like Clark so you think its different, or better.l

    A brighter future, you mean for those blind kids wh if they work hard enough, Key says can go to Kings College and St Cuthberts like is kids??

  32. Mark 32

    Wouldnt like to take these pictures into a court of law and expect to win a case.
    Also cant see the people ripping down any posters.
    But I do see a lot of posters stuck on what is presumably private property.
    Did they get permission.
    Do they EFA approval for these posters?

  33. Tripod 33

    Thanks Anita, I really didn’t believe it until I saw it.

    Franks is strange man. So an employer could ask prospective employees whether they’d kept their marital promises? The scenarios are hilarious. “You didn’t remember your wife’s anniversary and you won’t speak to her mother-in-law, you’re not a suitable applicant!”. “I’m sorry, I can’t employ you, your husband tells me that you made him a cuckold”.

    What the fuck? What planet is this guy living on? The scary thing is that he is likely to get into Parliament and get some power.

    Yup, I think it’s fair to say he’s anti-gay (or a bigot for that matter) given that he wanted to make it legal for landlords and employers to discriminate against homosexuals. Creep.

  34. Patrick 34

    Mark – those posters have all been correctly authorised under the EFA.

  35. Monty,

    re the first comment (ie not the second or third) above — does it not occur to you that from their point of view nothing to which they are opposed appears anything other than negative..?

    spotting reality is a most worthy attribute.. yes.

  36. QoT 36

    Let me guess, Monty – some of Stephen’s best friends are gay?

  37. monty you retard – the only reason the Nat’s stand a chance in this election is because they have been negatively campaigning since 2004. Negative campaigning works. In the short-term. In the long-term it turns people off democracy.

    All National have done is stop their negative campaign in the last two months and get their proxies to pick up the slack. It’s exactly the tactic that Aussie Labour used and CT rolled out for Boris Johnson (I believe they copied it from Labour).

    The problem is this works and if Labour are pout into opposition I expect they’ll employ the same tactic. Considering how many credibility hits National have taken in opposition they would be easy targets in government.

    Think of the Lockwood Smith story. Now think about how drawn out it would be if he had been Minister of Immigration. Key would have had to stand by him to start with (you can’t just fire ministers willynilly) then the tide of opinion would have turned and Labour’s PI MPs would have been on TV every night calling for the racist to leave the post. Then Key would have axed him and that would be a long drawn out affair.

    The problem for National is they have dozens of these gaffes and scandals just waiting to happen and have educated their opposition on this kind of tactic. The problem for everyone else is that it only makes politics seem more and more unattractive and voting more and more like a waste of time…

  38. DeeDub 38

    Monty: “Also if the MSM pick up on the tactics in Auckland (taking elderly Chinese ladies to the polling booth and telling them where to tick)”

    Ok. Monty… show me the source for that one? You can’t say stuff like that without some hard evidence, buddy?!!

    [lprent: There was some very dubious reporting in (where else) Granny Herald today. Frankly I think that it is bullshit spun up by an idiot. The electoral officials specifically look for that behaviour in the booths where there is assistance, because it is highly illegal. I’d expect to find that no complaint is made, and if they are, then no charges will be brought forward.

    In short I think that someone is lying, and doing it stupidly because it should take minutes to check. Just ask the main electoral official in where was it – botany. Then expect to have a long lecture about how it cannot happen. Of course the reporter was too damn lazy to check]

  39. “Labour are pout”

    Ha! I meant “put” but I’d imagine there would be some pouting…

  40. Rex Widerstrom 40

    KITNO suggests:

    …a charge of willful damage for those 2 photographed

    Yes, where’s the police in all this? Both Mr Wheeler and Mr Franks have photos and video evidence of people committing criminal acts. So where’s the swift retribution we’ve come to expect from the NZ Police, like that which is displayed when, say, you ask an impertinent question of a political leader…

    Perhaps we should simply change their name to the “NZ Palace Guard” and be done with it, as the only people they’re interested in protecting (whether it be from speeding tickets and art fraud or having to stop wriggling and answer a straight question) are their political masters.

  41. Vinsin 41

    Evidence? Are you kidding me? This is monty you’re asking for evidence, he’ll probably ask you to refrain from “personal attacks,” and hope the bullshit managed to stick to something.

  42. Rex. not you too, you’re one of our smartest commentators and you’re raising painter-gate?

    Why has that suddenly resurfaced as National’s strongest attack, btw?

  43. DeeDub 44

    Hmmmm… what do you bet this ‘complainant’ turns out to be involved in the local vigilante, so-called anti crime outfits? Or has some other axe to grind with a Labour-led government? Bet the Herald didn’t bother to find out anything about him.

    Easy to make the accusation – but the Herald should have interviewed some election official at least I would have thought? Just more along the lines of the ‘KFC’ accusations by the sound of it…. highly unlikely as most political parties in NZ are very strict on their behaviour around polling stations.

    Guess it shows the Nats are a more than a little apprehensive about the result on Saturday?

  44. Gary R 45

    Re the alleged dubious tactics of labour party with Chinese elderly voters, I see they claim it happened in Blockhouse Bay as well (see Kiwiblog for details). So multiple sources…will be interesting to see if complaints are laid. Or whether we are too close to the election for it to have any effect in any case.

  45. Vinsin 46

    SP, yeah it’s strange that’s resurfaced, perhaps it’s a limp retaliation to the ‘you can’t trust John Key’ attack Labour’s been using.

    thanks for the link wellingtonian.

    I’ll withhold from commenting on the link until it’s actually proven, but it seems unlikely to be true.

  46. Felix 47

    Steve, not you too! Using the “gate” suffix!

  47. Matthew Pilott 48

    Wellingtonian, I read the link to the reports, and it was pretty incomprehensible. What does “objectid=10541172” mean, for example?

    I also read the article that the link linked to, and saw what is clearly a smear, and part of National’s dirty tricks campaign, etc, etc

  48. Patrick 49

    Heh – Franks is trying to defend his campaign’s right to remove graffiti

    http://www.stephenfranks.co.nz/?p=1277

  49. Tane 50

    Lincoln Tan is a right-wing activist – check out his back catalogue. He’s not a credible journalist.

  50. Vinsin 51

    HA! Stephen Franks “the graffiti crusader”.

  51. Francois 52

    Is this the bennelong of the New Zealand Election?

    [bennelong is the seat that swung strongly to Labor in the Aussie election last year. So, fingers crossed the same for Wellington Central. SP]

  52. Ianmac 53

    Influence Chinese vote: Having worked in 13+ Elections I can assure you that in the case of Ordinary or Special votes, the staff are eternally vigilant for undue influence. That is their job. There is provision for help to be given by suitable people, for those who are impaired in some way eg visual, language etc I would imagine that had there been a credible case they would have laid a complaint straight away rather than say they might. Isn’t the fellow Tan the Act candidate? Motive?

    [Shawn Tan is the ACT candidate, Lincoln Tan is the rightwing activit turned ‘journalist’ who made a total beat up over Shawn Tan’s suspension from the EPMU and then dropped the story like a hot-cake when it was revealed Shawn had been engineering a secret deal – protests for seats – between ACT and the Asian Anti-Crime Group. They’re both Tans from Singapore but don’t know if they’re related. SP]

  53. milo 54

    I must admit I wasn’t terribly concerned about the elderly Chinese thing. No doubt there was a bit of poor practice somewhere, but I think it likely to be down to somebody being over-zealous and incautious rather than a “plot”. It is bad, but I think it’s likely an individual initiative. I’m sure some over-zealous National supporters will do the same.

    But having said that, it is appropriate to have a strong media and public reaction, to make sure whoever did it gets slapped down and the practice doesn’t grow.

    And I don’t think Stephen Franks supporters should be tearing down posters.

  54. lprent 55

    milo: I’d be extraordinarily surprised if it did happen.

    It is one of the first things that the electoral people are trained to look for. If it did, then the fault is as much with the electoral people as whoever did it. They are specifically enjoined to prevent that kind of thing from happening. The police are likely sling both perpetrator and electoral people into court and probably jail.

    However I’d be very unsurprised if this is just a bullshit story by a useless reporter from the Herald swallowing a line of bullshit from some stupid spin merchant wholesale. Probably because they’ve never bothered to look into how the electoral process operates.

    Mind you that kind of describes a lot about the Granny anyway.

    Update: Ok I was right – idiot journo. This is Lincoln Tan we’re talking about. The one who was a story per minute on the exit from the EPMU. Personally I can think of a lot of reasons that he’d want to spin this. Obviously he hasn’t been around the electoral people. I suspect that they will have him for breakfast tommorrow.

  55. Ianmac 56

    I think the penalty for errors by staff in a polling booth can be something in the order of $100,000 or up to 2 years in jail. Good incentive to be alert?

  56. randal 57

    democracy is always under attack from the right.
    it is part of their nature to bully and strongarm
    and just think if this discussion would be tolerated on the right blogs in this country
    I think not
    vote labour if you want to protect your rights!

  57. deemac 58

    Franks has been quick to accuse Labour of dirty tactics but his goon squad (mostly large guys) turned up at the regular LP stall in Karori last Saturday – staffed as usual by women, none young and some of them pensioners – and proceeded to harrass them, surrounding them and trying to stop them giving out leaflets.
    So all his protests are totally hypocritical.
    When I complained about their behaviour to Jordan Williams after the Kelburn meeting, he said it was “nothing” and we should “toughen up”. Perhaps he should give the same advice to Franks.

  58. Rex Widerstrom 59

    Steve: fair enough, it was written quickly as I was glued to SBS’s excellent coverage of the US election and it was the second thing that sprang to mind, when I should really have reached for a better example.

    I don’t resile from my contention, however, that the Police are more interested in protecting and grovelling to their political masters (whoever they are) than maintaining their independence at the cost of less power.

  59. deemac
    Franks has been quick to accuse Labour of dirty tactics but his goon squad (mostly large guys) turned up at the regular LP stall in Karori last Saturday – staffed as usual by women, none young and some of them pensioners – and proceeded to harrass them, surrounding them and trying to stop them giving out leaflets.

    I could probably round up some labor supporting muscle (plus myself) next election (when I will be in Wellington) to hassle any National supporters hassling Labour. I seems Franks has been running a pretty disgusting campaign, with disregard to the intent (if not the wording in some cases) of the law, of which being a lawyer I’m sure he is very very well aware of. Then to be even more disgusting claiming hes powerless to do anything about it, is disgusting, its classic Act behavior, and if National had any decency they would.

    In other news over on whale oil there is a text book example (pity he’s probably lying) of the “funding filter” from Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Propaganda Model. Whale has made up an email claiming it’s been sent to 3 news saying that they will pull advertising from channel 3 if they continue to run the tapes.

    Also halrious how they are blaming it all on Duncan Garner, hes a bloody presenter you stupid fucks, his job is to read a script, its only him presenting all the tapes because he presented the first one.

    Does the 4th estate mean nothing to these liars, thugs and thieves? Orginally when I got into, politics, and even when I started reading blogs, I respected the right, I didn’t agree with them, but I respected that many others would, and so I was quite fine with them. Now though, they have really stooped low, can they not see the blatant hypocrisy between running the “free speech coalition” and trying to silence the news, only because it doesn’t suit them.

    Anyway, I’d personally like to buy the person who did the taping a drink, I think the tapes, and Nationals response to them is what turned this election around for the left. Which brings me to another point, why the hell are they blaming it on Labour? there’s half a dozen parties that are entirely opposed to National, I’ve heard no reason why it has to be a Labour member or activist. Infact the person who’s doing it probably supports a few parties (like me personally, I support a Labour-Greens coalition government) all they are really trying to do is smear Labour by association.

    Yikes, I’ve said far too much on the topic, next he will be accusing me of it!

  60. “Rex Widerstrom
    I don’t resile from my contention, however, that the Police are more interested in protecting and grovelling to their political masters (whoever they are) than maintaining their independence at the cost of less power.”

    When ever someone brings up Wishart talking points in a discussion with me, and regardless of if anything Wishart has accused them of has any substance at all (which is doubtful with a record like his) its really that simple: Who doesn’t suck up too their boss?

  61. ACT supporters appear to have an exaggerated capacity for selfishness, arrogance and hypocrisy.

    At a recent forum on public transport in Auckland, held in the church opposite the the Town Hall, an ACT supporter sat at the back noisily eating his McDonald’s takeaways, rustling the paper wrappers for ages and then finally throwing them on the floor of the church and leaving them there when he left.

    Boorish is the word that comes to mind when bumping into these zealots.

    No one else there from any party came close to being such a pig.

    Rodney Hide spoke and seems reasonable enough…but then his party puts ads on TV telling lies about the Green Party……saying the Greens want to tell people how many children they can have.

    ACT lacks integrity…..and the activities of Frank’s is just one more example.

    Mind you, National isn’t any better. They are the party actively campaigning to dump MMP and thereby strip half of all Kiwis – including hundreds of thousands of their own supporters – of the meaningful MMP party vote, in order to move to some other system more advantageous to themselves. They could care less what anyone who votes for any other party thinks…..and clearly take the view their votes SHOULD be worthless.

    These are not nice people. As enemies of democracy go, they don’t come much worse than this.

  62. RedBack 63

    Killinginthenameof said “Anyway, I’d personally like to buy the person who did the taping a drink, I think the tapes, and Nationals response to them is what turned this election around for the left. Which brings me to another point, why the hell are they blaming it on Labour?”

    Yep. I totally agree with you. NZH has been the biggest perpertrator of this to the point where it has become laughable. As we know the New Zealand Heil has been baffling in its partisan and inept handling of these leaks. But considering they have journo’s (ahem) like Lincoln Tan, Fran O’Sullivan & Garth George on their payroll & their gently does it treatment of John Key its hardly surprising.

    As a voter I couldn’t give a stuff where the leaks came from but I am concerned with what they revealed. How or why Lockwood Smith wasn’t mauled in the press for his ‘tiny hands’ comments is a joke. It was instead portrayed as ‘his right to free speech’. Give me a break. Plus the National Party brains trust (yes its an oxymoron I know) revealing contradictions to whats actually being said in public and then blaming it on Labour is just plain desperate. Whats next? Are they going to blame Labour for the bad weather?

  63. Tessa Kight 64

    Where are the posters? Can some one put them up?

    If they are defamatory (and Stephen Franks would know, there being few lawyers better), he has every right to take them down. You can’t put this trash in the same box as legitimate public campaigning material.

  64. Lew 65

    Tessa Knight: Lawyers are empowered, by virtue of being lawyers, to interfere with legitimate election campaigns?

    If the leaflets are defamatory, let them be challenged in court. But indications are that the statements Franks alleges are defamatory are founded on fact and matters of public record, and truth is a defence to defamation.

    L

  65. “Both Tans from Singapore”

    You make me laugh sometimes SP. Tan in Singapore is like Smith here.

    As someone relatively familiar with Chinese culture I believe it is not necessary for someone to be in the booth to pressure them to vote in a certain way. Moreover, it is quite possible that some of the elederly Chinese are not familiar with the electoral system and can be easily duped. All it takes is a 5 minute conversation away from the polling station. Of course it is hard to prove (and even more difficult to prosecute) but an attempt to influence votes via outright lying (as opposed to “politicking” – which is bad enough as it is) should be roundly condemned no matter what part of the political spectrum you come from.

    I’m not a big fan of Stephen Franks and he should have never allowed his people to remove those posters. If he felt he was being defamed then he should publicly rebut the claims and possibly sue. But then when the two candidates most likely to be PM engage in shouting matches on TV what hope is there that their underlings will show a modicum of maturity. Will the winning and concession speeches of Nov 8 be as gracious and stirring as those of Nov 4? I ain’t holding my breath.

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    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
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    1 week ago