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Dirty politics ironic lolz

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 pm, November 15th, 2011 - 111 comments
Categories: election 2011 - Tags: , ,

An activist orchestrates the temporary alteration of National billboards and John Key’s response is that:

There is no room for negative campaigning in New Zealand.

This within hours of the National Party research unit shopping a dirt story on the cameraman who recorded Key’s conversation with Banksie (which I’ve been told is damaging due to the realpolitik cynicism displayed by Key).

Well that’s ironic isn’t it.

On a not so lolz note, it’s disgraceful Russel Norman has stood his EA down because of the political activism of her partner – if a private employer had done that her union would be tearing them a new one right now but I suspect that Russel’s not going to let a few principles stand in the way of the centrist swing vote his party’s currently taking from National.

I guess he and John aren’t so different after all.


111 comments on “Dirty politics ironic lolz”

  1. Ah but Fairfax shopped the story and the fingerprints on the murder weapon aren’t those of the NPRU.

    Plausible denial and smoker and mirrors and then they can stand up and pretend to be victims.

    And Slater can talk about the Labour Party being the “nasty party” without a skerrett of embarrassment.

    I must admit they are damn good at the spin. 

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    On a not so lolz note, it’s disgraceful Russel Norman has stood his EA down because of the political activism of her partner…

    Yep, that would be wrongful dismissal. Might be voting Mana after all.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      At the moment it’s a stand down pending “investigation”. Which is bullshit. I’d expect a substantial hurt and humiliation grievance for publicly naming her if it were a normal employer but political staff don’t generally have the same protections as civilians.

      • QoT 2.1.1

        To be a complete troll, if Goff had thought of the same response Darren Hughes might still be an MP …

      • fmacskasy 2.1.2

        ‘Bill, it seems one must be a virginal saint to work in the civil service these days.

        Until you get made redundant, of course. Then it’s time to lose the virginity and kick up your heels in an almight piss-up.

    • lefty 2.2

      Who would want to be a supporter of the Green Party if its co- leaders are going to dob you in to the state if you do something they disagree with?

      I can understand Russel and Metiria distancing themselves from the actions of the activists publicly, but dobbing in your own supporters to the state forces is about as disgusting as it gets.

      I know it can be frustrating if billboards are damaged – I have spent a lot of time repairing them myself over the years – but putting stickers onto opposition hoardings to improve their message is simply vigourous politicing, not a serious crime.

      Anybody who has any doubts about whether these two will go into coalition with National is dreaming.

      They have been trying to pretend they are both left and right, or insiders and outsiders at the same time, for years now and have finally shown their true colours.

      And don’t give me that crap about the party deciding whether they will go with National. The party will decide what Russel and Metiria want it to decide.

      Every working class person knows to have nothing to do with somebody who dobs in their mates because of a small falling out.

      Its called solidarity and obviously in short supply in the Greens.

      • Rodel 2.2.1

        The stick- ons were brilliantly subtle!
        It’s about time someone took the p*ss out of the one man celebrity band and put a bit of meaning into the otherwise hollow Nat party hoardings.
        Up to now except for Labour’s blunt comments National has kept the election campaign bland, trivial and uninteresting, a strategy which suits them well.
        I love Key’s crocodile tears of indignation over the stick-ons and the tapes.
        Good on the cameraman,and the Greens.. add a bit of Winston to the teapot and voters might get interested.

        • KJT

          The signs were stickered, rather than vandalised.

          It is actually rather amusing.

          Especially the overreaction from National.

          A bit of truth in advertising for National.

          Their signs should read.

          Vote for National. We will either put you out of work or reduce your wages, steal your wealth, give it to offshore banks and our mates then leave you with the debts.

          The brighter future is blatant false advertising.

          • Rodel

            Mike Williams described it on Nine to Noon as ” a time honoured tradition” I agree.
            ‘Yeah Right! ‘ would be appropriate..just stick-ons though.

  3. ze 3

    I think the standing down is more to do with her prior knowledge of this action being planned and her decision not to communicate this to the party rather than the actual actions of her partner

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I fail to see what that’s got to do with her employment relationship. As would the ERA.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        I guess it depends what her employment contract says. It it says anything about “professional conduct” and “not bringing The Green Party into ill repute” then the Greens probably have a case for the stand down.

        • felix

          Surely that suggests actually doing something to bring them into disrepute.

          How can not doing something (telling Russel) be the same thing, unless the contract says you must act as a policeman and enforcer at all times day and night?

          • The Voice of Reason

            Well, if I know my biblical injunctions, sins of omission are just as bad as sins of commission.

            • IrishBill

              So if your partner or friend was engaged in activism that had nothing to do with your employer and you don’t tell your employer about it you’d be happy to be stood down when it comes to light?

              Because apart from a green party membership (which anyone could take out) there’s no link between the greens and this action. They’re punishing her for not telling them about something that had nothing to do with them. They’re scared of being smeared by (pretty weak) association and they’ve had a panicked and unfair response.

              • Lanthanide

                If your partner or friend was involved in activism against the company that you worked for, then I think your company might have grounds, yes.

                In the case of political parties, image is hugely important, especially during a campaign. In this case her partner has sullied the image of her employer, which counts as activism against the employer as per my statement above.

                • Colonial Viper

                  In the case of political parties, image is hugely important, especially during a campaign. In this case her partner has sullied the image of her employer, which counts as activism against the employer as per my statement above.

                  Explain to me again how your partner’s activism against your employer – assuming you did not provide assistance in any form – should threaten your own job.

                  That’s bullshit.

                  I personally thought Turei and Norman have been gutless and whimpering in their response, while Key easily assumed the position of moral superiority (well practiced bene bashing tone of voice).

                  Lefty is right. The Greens have no fucking idea of solidarity and they will fall.

                  • The Baron

                    Oh noes, they may lose the couple of hundred votes that come with “solidarity”? I guess they’ll have to get elected without CV, Draco and you other fanbois after all!
                    But looky looky – Greens still at all time highs?! When will the failure you prophecise occur, CV? Cos it looks to me like chasing the middle rather than you hard core lefty flunkies is proving exactly the right strategy.
                    Solidarity is dead, losers. Good luck wasting your vote with Mana, Draco.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Greens still at all time highs”

                      LOL mate no new polls have been taken since this news story broke you are getting really desperate, how exactly do you know that the Greens remain at all time highs after this mess?

                  • weka

                    “The Greens have no fucking idea of solidarity and they will fall.”

                    They won’t fall. The middle classes don’t even think about solidarity. The Greens are gaining the middle ground. And good for them. By the time of the next election they will be firmly in the bosom of the well off, and that will leave space for Mana to pick up the social justice issues.

                    I don’t particularly like much of what the Greens are doing, but I approve of their tactics because we are better off with them having more MPs in parliament, and hopefully government. They can only do that if they court the middle ground. I’ve voted Green for as long as they’ve been around, but I’m guessing next election or maybe the one after I will vote Mana.

                    • Vicky32

                      I have come across too many Blue-Greens lately, and although I have always voted Green for my party vote, that ends now… I am reminded of  the people in the Environment Group at Uni years ago – I worked for them as a typist on an SCSP project in 1981, and called them the Middle Class Kiddies after a Tom Robinson song..

                • felix


                  “If your partner or friend was involved in activism against the company that you worked for…”

                  How is that relevant to this case? Activism against the Greens?

                  “In this case her partner has sullied the image of her employer, which counts as activism against the employer …”

                  Again you’re ascribing an action where there is none. This had zero to do with the Green Party until Russel decided that his staff weren’t doing enough unpaid overtime snooping around in their private lives looking for tidbits of intel to report to him.

                  Fuck that and fuck him.

                  • Tangled up in blue

                    This had zero to do with the Green Party

                    The guy coordinating the illegal activity was a Green Party member. His partner who knew about the vandalism was one of the the Green Party co-leaders executive assistant.

                    Of course the Party isn’t responsible for some idiot militant member but when it involves someone from their head office not disclosing information of this nature then it’s a bit ridiculous to claim that it had zero to do with the Green Party.

                    • felix

                      Is the Green Party (or any party) responsible for any and every thing a member does?

                    • Lanthanide

                      If a senior Green staffer fails to inform their party leaders of upcoming activities that would materially damage their image, are they responsible when the damage to the image is done?

                    • felix

                      And it’s damaging to the image of the Green Party because what?

                      Because the person who did it was a party member?

                      FFS Lanth, are you going to hold the Party responsible for every minor criminal act performed by a $15-per-year paying member?

                      If not, you could be a lot clearer about where you’re drawing the line.

                    • Tangled up in blue

                      And it’s damaging to the image of the Green Party because what?

                      Because the person who did it was a party member?

                      It’s damaging to the Party because it involves a staffer from their head office.

                      Had it just been some muppet (who was too stupid cancel his Party membership) and his colleagues then it would have been far less damaging.

                    • felix

                      “It’s damaging to the Party because it involves a staffer from their head office. “

                      Haven’t seen that reported anywhere. I heard it was her partner.

                    • Tangled up in blue

                      Felix it seems to come down to you thinking that the executive assistant didn’t have an obligation to alert the Party. I disagree.

                      As mentioned earlier it might come down to the interpretation of her employment contract. Which in my experience involves not bringing ill-repute to the organization; which not disclosing knowledge of members illegal activities does.

                    • rosy

                      Loyalty to partner, loyalty to party…. hmmm which one to choose? (that’s rhetorical, btw). Either way, she does not represent him, nor he, her. Nor does he represent the Green Party and she was not involved.

                    • felix

                      “thinking that the executive assistant didn’t have an obligation to alert the Party”

                      Alert them of what? That a person not involved in the employment relationship was intending to do something involving a political party also not involved in the employment relationship?

                      That’s like saying if I work as, say, a lowly bank auditor for the ASB, and I hear – outside of the context of my work – that someone I know plans to draw a penis on a Westpac billboard, then I should tell my boss.

                    • Lanthanide

                      But that’s an obviously false allegory, felix.

                      More correct is this: both ASB and Westpac are going head to head trying to win an award for Best Bank of the Year. Both banks have put up numerous billboards all over town asking people to vote for them. You work as an executive assistant to a regional manager at ASB who has oversight of the billboard campaign, and you become aware of a concerted plan by someone you know to systematically and widely deface Westpac’s billboards. You choose to say nothing to your boss. When the issue becomes public it becomes known that you knew about the issue and chose not to tell your boss.

                      You don’t seem to get that billboard advertising is a core component of election campaigns and everyone involved needs to treat the opposition with respect. This also isn’t “draw[ing] a penis on a westpac billboard”, this was systematic, organised vandalism to over 700 billboards. It’s in a completely different ballpark.

                    • felix

                      It’s a far closer allegory than your “breaking into your own office and trashing the place” one. Just saying.

            • felix


              So you’re a 24/7 policeman for your boss? Must pay well.

              • The Voice of Reason

                Not quite sure what ‘policeman’ has to do with it, felix, but, yeah, I am pretty much on guard 24/7 for my employer and the thousands of people whose interests we represent. The pay is less than that earned by the folk I see on the other side of the table, but I’m Ok with that because I have the greater job satisfaction.
                All employees owe their employer a duty of care (and vice versa). If a worker is aware of potential damage coming their employer’s way, they have an obligation to alert the employer. And if they are then linked to that damage, then they can expect to be called to account.

                • felix

                  “If a worker is aware of potential damage coming their employer’s way…”

                  This is where I have a problem with your reasoning. No-one was plotting to damage Green billboards.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    The damage isn’t to the Green’s billboards, felix, its to their credibility. The EA concerned knew that there was a potential downside to the plan, hence her telling her partner she wanted no part of it. But, merely distancing herself from the action, while maintaining silence about it, is not a defence. She has let the Greens down rather badly and as I noted elsewhere, has possibly cost them a seat or two.
                    The crux of the employment investigation is whether she was obliged to do more than just close her eyes, cover her ears and mouth and hope it didn’t go pear shaped. It is almost inevitable that the outcome will be that she has breached her employment obligations in a way that equates to serious misconduct. She may avoid getting sacked (and I bet she has considered resigning), but this is definitely a situation where she has shown a lapse of judgement in her personal life that reflects badly on her employer. And, because she isn’t a permanently pissed All Black, it won’t be swept under the carpet.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The damage isn’t to the Green’s billboards, felix, its to their credibility.

                      Campaigning on the frontlines making National billboards more truthy is absolutely good for Green Party credibility dammit.

                      Except in Russel Norman’s pandering blue world.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      I hope you’re right, CV, I really do. But getting caught in the act is the problem here, not the wit, humour and style of the action. Still, one upside I see is the regular showing in the MSM of the altered hoardings and the ‘rich deserve more’ sticker. That isn’t doing the Nats any favours!

                    • felix

                      Who broke the story?

                    • weka

                      “Campaigning on the frontlines making National billboards more truthy is absolutely good for Green Party credibility dammit.”

                      I completely agree. But the man who organised that is an idiot of epic proportions. The *only* way that this wouldn’t damage the Greens was if it could be guaranteed not to link back to them. Being in a relationship with someone high up in the Greens means automatically that you can’t take certain kinds of actions (remember the woman earlier in the year who didn’t tell the media that her partner was a GP candidate, but pushed a GP agenda?).

                      All the dimwit had to do was put a firewall between himself and the activism. Not only did he not do that but he went on live radio where other GP members’ recognised his voice. This suggests two things: he wasn’t just a fee paying peasant GP member, he’s probably active in the party, and that he actively sought to increase publicity for the activism without thinking it through. Thrice an idiot then.

                      I’m fucked off. The only good result in this election is one that includes the Greens getting as many MPs as they can. This guy’s thoughtlessness has just undermined that.

                    • terryg

                      well said Weka, I concur. fucking moron.

                      CV, would you be complacent if, say, a member of ACT had defaced 700 labour billboards?


                    • weka

                      Um, I don’t have a problem with an activist who is also a GP member organising the stickering of 700 National Party billboards (more power to him). I have a problem with him being in a relationship with someone so high up in the GP and him being so stupid as to not realise that when/if he got caught it would be bad for the party. I also have a problem if he is active in the GP at the election level.

    • Anne 3.2

      I expect she didn’t tell them because she thought the less they know, the better it would be for the Greens. In other words… the wrong decision but for the right reasons.

  4. Ianupnorth 4

    Can somebody please tell me what exactly is wrong with correcting the plethora of lies currently being generated by the Nats?
    The labour ads are all about Auckland rail, retention of assets, etc – tangible things.
    The Nats ‘Building a brighter future’ is so incredibly subjective and fully open to challenge on an array of fronts.

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    A couple of minor quibbles, IB. Russel isn’t her employer, as I understand it. She would be employed by Parliamentary Services to provide EA services to him in his role as co-leader. Her appointment would be on his recommendation, however. He has a fair bit of say as to who his senior staffers are.
    A paid suspension in these circumstances is both justifiable and quite normal. Her failure to alert her employer or Norman directly to what was planned brings in to question her judgement and leads to questions about trust and confidence, so an investigation is pretty obviously required.
    I agree that its unfortunate her name is out, but that’s her partner’s fault, not Norman’s. If he hadn’t have let his ego get in the way of common sense and not gone on the radio, then he might have got away with it, and she wouldn’t be facing a difficult week or two while it gets sorted.
    The good news is that she won’t get fired, unless she has previous form. This is a warning at most; final perhaps, but not the end of her career.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      Parliamentary services take their cues from the leader in these circumstances.She’s been sttod down because Russel has decided she should be stood down. I’m not sure she won’t be fired as loss of “trust and confidence” can be enough to have parliamentary staff fired within the law.

      • insider 5.1.1

        That trust and confidence clause is a beauty for getting people out, and it only exists in Parliament. I’m surprised it’s never been tested in the courts. Are PArl Services exempt from employment law?

  6. Tangled up in blue 7

    On a not so lolz note, it’s disgraceful Russel Norman has stood his EA down because of the political activism of her partner – if a private employer had done that her union would be tearing them a new one right now but I suspect that Russel’s not going to let a few principles stand in the way of the centrist swing vote his party’s currently taking from National.

    OF COURSE due process involves her being stood down pending an investigation as to her role.

    She knew her partner was coordinating a nationwide campaign to illegally deface an opponent’s political advertisements. Her not disclosing this information has embarrassed the Green Party, reinforced negative public stereotypes about the party and most likely stopped the recent momentum of the party.

    Do you seriously think Norman should have done nothing???

  7. toad 8

    IB: Russel Norman’s EA has, according to media reports, been suspended (on full pay) pending an investigation into her role in the issue.

    That is a totally legitimate response for an employer (and the employer is the Parliamentary Service, not Russel Norman or the Green Party) to take in the circumstances.

    Over at Kiwiblog, they are baying for her to be sacked immediately – with no evidence at all to back up that demand. That is not a legitimate response for an employer to take.

    We need to let the issue take its course under due process, and for the Parliamentary Service, or eventually the ERA or Employment Court if it comes to that, to determine whether any disciplinary action is justified.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      You keen on Greens staff being required to tell their leader everything about every activist action they hear about? Should a green staffer who has a flatmate involved in animal rights be telling Russel about every battery farm raid they hear about? Will Russel then inform the police ahead of time in order to protect the green brand?

      This is bullshit. Russel told the media that his EA had known about it. Rather than shut it down he chose to hang her out to dry in order to protect the political ground he’s made into “middle New Zealand”.

      It was a stupid panicked and venal response and it’s gonna drive a wedge between the greens and their members.

      • fmacskasy 8.1.1

        Closer to the truth, Irishbill.

        As I was saying today, it’s a rather strange era we live in when the Greens have become “respectable” and more worried about niceties, than taking direct political action.

        I wonder if I should ‘fess up now, that I painted “Freedom for Dissidents!” on the walls of the Soviet Embassy, in Wellington, in the late 1970s…

      • toad 8.1.2

        IB, I don’t know the details, and nor do you. But I trust the Greens’ leadership enough in their commitment to good employment practices to know that a suspension on full pay would not have happened without reasonable cause to investigate her role.

        • IrishBill

          They’ve done it to send a signal to the voters they’re drawing off National, not because of reasonable cause. And they’ve lost my vote for it.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.3

        “Should a green staffer who has a flatmate involved in animal rights be telling Russel about every battery farm raid they hear about?”

        Directly attacking your political opponent’s billboards is clearly not the same as attacking a poultry farm, is it?

        • Colonial Viper

          Quite right. Attacking a political opponents billboard is par for the course.

          Its been happening since the days of the Reform party and before, let’s get over ourselves here please.

          • Lanthanide

            Can you cite any previous examples in the last 20 years of a party making a concerted effort of attacking opponents billboards en-masse?

            The fact that the Greens didn’t sanction this is irrelevant – it is linked strongly to their upper leadership by way of inaction on the part of this senior staffer.

            Because I don’t believe this is “par for the course” at all.

            • felix

              “Can you cite any previous examples in the last 20 years of a party making a concerted effort of attacking opponents billboards en-masse?”

              Can you cite a current one?

              • Lanthanide

                Whether sanctioned by the Greens or not, a senior Green staffer is involved by way of not informing the party when she knew it was going to happen.

                Remember the cabinet manual guidelines about avoiding conflicts of interest? It says the important thing is to avoid perceived conflicts of interest, whether or not they actually exist. It’s the same deal here – the actions of the highly placed party staffer’s spouse reflect badly on the party because she chose not to tell the party what was planned.

              • KJT

                The Green and Labour billboards I see are always getting graffitied and damaged.

                Normal actions for the nutty right so it does not make the papers.

  8. felix 9

    Never liked that ginger twat. I wish he’d fuck off back to oz so I could vote Green again.

    • kriswgtn 9.1


      He is the reason I wont vote Green this year.I Just dont like the idiot.

      Mana’s got my party vote and will be voting for Forster to get rid of that horrid Nathan Guy

      cockfuk he is

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        My left mates have always said that Norman is a untrustworthy wannabe and its been proven. And Turei did not handle the pressure.

        Meltdown week ahead for the Greens.

      • weka 9.1.2

        That’s stupid. Mana will get all their MPs from electorate votes, so giving them your party vote is a waste of a vote on the left. If you don’t want to give it to the GP at least give it to Labour where it might do some good.

        • marty mars

          i don’t agree weka. Giving your party vote to Mana is not a waste at all – in fact it is the opposite. A strong Mana Party vote will make a strong left.

          • weka

            Hi Marty,

            Given we both agree that Mana having more MPs is good for the left, how do you see that happening? Do you mean that the party vote will give them more MPs than what they win from the electorate vote?

            If Mana get 2.5% of the party vote, that would give them 3 MPs. Do you think they will not get those from the electorates? (I haven’t taken into account overhangs there).

            I haven’t been following this very closely lately and don’t know what Mana is up to, so would be interested in your (or anyone else’s) thoughts.

  9. logie97 10

    The Key/National/police cosy relationship appears to be manifesting all its power now. So who is doing the digging on the free-lance journalist at the centre of the Cup-of-Tea business. Because it would appear that he is in for a vicious character assassination from now. If he knows what was on that tape, he should get his retaliation in first because he is sure gonna go down – they will stop at nothing.


  10. Hypothetically, if someone admits that he or she was in possession of information about behaviours seriously prejudicial to the interests of the employer and his/her organisation for an extended period, and failed to inform his/her employer, the employer has a right to stand him/her down immediately on the basis of a fundamental breakdown of the trust relations in the employment relationship. And I think that, provided the stand-down process itself was handled in a correct manner, the employer decision would be upheld in the Authority.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      Yeah but there is no link except for the fact she works for the greens. Or are you claiming that the actions of your partner should be considered sufficient to constitute you bringing your employer into disrepute?

      In which case should private companies be able to stand down and investigate their workers when their workers partners engage in political activism?

      • Tangled up in blue 11.1.1

        In which case should private companies be able to stand down and investigate their workers when their workers partners engage in political activism?

        If that activism involved illegal activity against the companies main competitor and the said employee failed to inform their employer.

      • The Voice of Reason 11.1.2

        She’s the link, IB. She knew about it (her partner said on telly that when he told her, she told him that she could not be involved, which indicates she realised the seriousness of the situation months ago). It’s about her failure to alert the Greens to criminal behaviour during the time of an election which has now tainted their brand. 
        And while I don’t think she will lose her job, she should ponder whether she has just cost a couple of Green’s list candidates the jobs they looked likely to have won on last week’s polling. Because if the Green vote drops down to single figures, I bet it won’t be Russel that gets the blame.
        And on Russel’s performance, he has at least managed to contain the story to the point where it hasn’t derailed the tea tape saga. That is still the big story tonight and it looks like it will run and run, happily ;).

      • Robert Winter 11.1.3

        I am deliberately not saying anything about a particular case (because I don’t and can’t know the details). Let me put a hypothetical case to you.

        Employer A in Company B employs Employee X as a PA. Employee X becomes aware that personal friend Y (not an employee) is engaged in fraudulent activity against Company B. Employee X does nothing about it for an extended period of time, in particular, not telling Employer A of the fraud. Employer A then discovers the situation. Is Employer A entitled, in that situation, to believe:

        a) that there is serious breakdown in the trust relationship such that the employer can no longer have confidence in Employee X and
        b) is Employer A entitled to stand down Employee X whilst the issue is formally investigated?

        Whilst I’m not a lawyer, and will bow to technical expertise on this, my experience tells me that, provided the process side is handled properly, the employer would be found to have acted reasonably in trems of both a) and b).

        No axe to grind on this – just reflecting on my own experience with cases.

        • Lanthanide

          I agree with you Robert, VoR and Tangled up in blue.

          I think the problem you have Irish is that you don’t acknowledge that this action, by being associated with the Green party brand, has damaged the Green party. The employee of the Green party knew about it for a long period of time and did nothing to stop it.

          It’s no different to me knowing that one of my friends was going to break into my work, smash all the windows and set the fire sprinkler system off, trashing the place. If I knew my friend was going to do that, and failed to inform my bosses, I’d expect to be in trouble.

          • ianmac

            The idea was floated months ago. She said No way. No further discussion and then the stickers appeared.
            I am glad that my wife doesn’t report me to someone every time that I have a dumb idea. I suggested to her that I could save money by recyling my toothpaste. She doesn’t really think that I will.

            • Lanthanide

              How do you know there wasn’t any further discussion after that?

              Since it was an orchestrated event with 700 billboards hit at once with 50 people involved, that’d take a bit of cash and organising to do. It’s likely he would have told her what he was doing leading up to the event and even if not, the stickers didn’t “magically” appear there by themselves. He’s highly likely to have gone out and participated in the stickering, which was done overnight, so it’s reasonable to assume that she was notice his absence then.

              Even if he really had only told her about it once a couple of months ago, when she first saw it reported and that it was by mysterious “Jo Henky” she should’ve gone to Norman to say she knew who it was. She didn’t.

          • Blue

            If one of your friends decided to cover a workmate’s desk in funny stickers, would you expect to get stood down for it?

            To me, this falls under the category of prank, rather than crime. The billboards are fine. The stickers peel straight off. It’s not like they defaced them or damaged them or made them unusable in any way.

            The storm over this is all a bit precious, really.

            • seeker

              The only one to damage a board was Michael Parkin on TV1 news tonight.
              He carelessly pulled half a sticker off a board and the ‘national blue’ paper came away with it. I wonder if he will pay for the repair of the board, because he didn’t need to touch it to make his report?
              I expect he will be more than happy to, because I believe he is another Nat. sychophant in political reporter’s clothing, judging by his often less- than- objective reporting.

            • Lanthanide

              Yes, I can see that being a point worth arguing over.

              But what Irish has been arguing so far is that they have no grounds to suspend her for knowing about her partner’s plans but doing nothing. He hasn’t been arguing that the act itself isn’t something to get worked up over.

              Personally I think I come right down on the fence on this issue. I can see that it was mostly harmless (and also telling the truth), but at the same time can see National’s point of view as well. I’d have to think about it for a while before I could come to a firm conclusion on one side or the other with supporting reasons.

              • rosy

                I like Bomber’s take on it….

                Pithy critiques of National Party spin [the stickers] however is as far from ‘vandalism’ as a microphone recording a conversation at a press conference is as far from phone hacking the family of a murdered child.

                … and considering they peel off. A protest like this is o.k. in my book, whereas spray-painting and damaging hoardings is not. In fact until the perpetrator, and his partner, were outed most on the left were enjoying the entirely appropriate and correctly-pointed joke. Now some are allowing John Key to run the discourse – again!

          • felix


            “It’s no different to me knowing that one of my friends was going to break into my work, smash all the windows and set the fire sprinkler system off, trashing the place.”

            Are you taking the piss?

            More like knowing that one of your friends was going to go to some other company’s place of work and draw a penis in the dirt on their window.

            I think you should take a step back and have a look at what you’re saying. You’ve gone off the deep end.

            • Lanthanide

              If you heard Metiria Turei on the radio this morning, she was saying that the Green Party pride themselves as being “above dirty tactics”.

              This is seen as a dirty tactic with strong links to the Green party, whether you like it or not.

              • felix

                Then Metiria is as useless as the poison ginger dwarf.

                This is just cuddling up to National and National’s voters. It’s the reason I let my green membership lapse this term, and although I was still considering voting for them (and campaigning for them again) this has pretty much put the kibosh on that.

                Norman shouldn’t have said anything beyond “Why are you asking me? It’s fucking stickers. Fuck off.”

                It’s bullshit Lanth. It’s some fucking stickers, and Norman has turned it into a Green-neutering pro-National media op. And I can’t support a Green Party that’s scared of stickers and thinks National are their friends.

                The former makes them pussies and the latter makes them fucking idiots.

                • Agree with you Felix.  I miss the days of Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimonds and for the Greens to be doing better under Norman is just strange.  Although a hit to their popularity is coming from those who think like you that this was a gross sign of weakness.

                  • felix

                    I have no doubt that if Jeanette and Rod were leading the party today they’d be polling at least as well.

                    I don’t think the rise of the greens can be attributed to any one person.

                    It’s in the wind.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Then Metiria is as useless as the poison ginger Australian dwarf.

                  Norman wants a Cabinet seat from Key and English.

                • Bored

                  Jeez Felix, I nearly subbed Greens cash (I used to be a Labour Party member) but got that wobbly feeling that they would compromise on core issues to get minor gains. Doing that with Nact is the kiss of death.

                  To explain, I have been involved in lots of water rights battles over the years, when you get a conservation order the friends of NACT (Fed Farmers etc) then come back and chip off a few more %….then they come back again for a few more % till the whole lot has gone. There cant be any compromise, I dont trust the Greens not to “trade”.

  11. vto 12

    hmmm, there is some funny business that is for sure …

  12. possum 13

    No there isn’t

  13. Drakula 14


    As it is only a week and a half before the general erection, I think we could afford ourselves a little fun!!!

    Now I have had a look at a few National posters and quite frankly I think they are boring, black white and blue. BORING!!!

    These posters could be vastly improved with only 1% of red dribbling under the nose!!!!!

    After al I am a deterior degredator.

  14. Anita 15

    I had been imagining, possibly entirely incorrectly, that she has been suspended pending investigation with her full agreement.

    I had been thinking that because it would be exactly what I would do in her situation – I would discuss with the party (to which I would obviously be deeply committed) what the best thing I could do to limit damage was, and if their advice/suggestion was that I take a two week suspension to damp down the issue I would be very happy to do that.

  15. chris73 16

    Credit where credits due though, 700 billboards is a pretty good effort

  16. The Baron 17

    Question is how much did the co-leaders really know? Your EA knew for two months, and neither of hem had any idea? Bullshit they didn’t!
    Sounds line we need more evidence though. What would be handy is if someone illegally broke onto their offices to leak their emails so we all know for sure. You guys would all support that, based on precedence, right?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Sure Baron whatever you say.

      I’m sure Russel Norman has ESP or rifles through his EA’s mobile phone on a regular basis so he must’ve known.

  17. Uturn 18

    The only sensible solution is to ban election hoardings. Then parties would need to campaign directly to the people, on policy, and never have to find out their self-serving ambitions mean more than their ethics. National would dissolve into nothingness. Ahhh, what a beautiful place the world would be once more.

  18. Mike Williams said some very intreresting things about the Greens “incursion” into Middle Class politics, on Jim Mora’s 4-5pm Panel slot today (Wednesday). Well worth listening to.

    And I will repeat; having erected billboards for two MMP campaigns – I would’ve been a Happy Chappy if the only damage we’d suffered was a few nuisance stickers. When you’ve had to rebuild a hoarding frame about half a dozen times, and run out of expensive corflute facings – then you know what real vandalism is all about.

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