Fueling the PR machine ain’t cheap

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, February 17th, 2009 - 13 comments
Categories: economy, national - Tags: ,

Just like petrol prices, the cost of fueling National’s PR machine is on the rise.

Tracy Watkins reports that “National has employed 18 press secretaries on salaries of $100,000 or more.  Seven are employed in the $10,000 band below $100,000”.

In the past Winston dubbed the National Party PR machine “The ministry of National affairs”. No surprise to see that it survived Key’s “line by line” review.

13 comments on “Fueling the PR machine ain’t cheap”

  1. Felix 1

    I’m sure this can be seen as Labour’s fault if you use a very specific lens.

    What’s the line going to be from the righties here? Burt? Does this concern you at all?

  2. @ work 2

    Presumably they are also keeping Hooton and Steady Eddy Brownlee in work, as detailed on ‘sod blog.

  3. Lew 3


    I’m sure this can be seen as Labour’s fault if you use a very specific lens.

    Well, there is an argument that by employing such a forthright media strategy the last government raised both the acceptable standard and the expected standard of press liaison within government. Media profile is like an arms race.


    Captcha: `spend small-scale’. Heh.

  4. sweetd 4

    Whats the total spend, lab v nat?

  5. BLiP 5

    I wonder how much they are paying the New Zealand Fox New Herald to print verbatim the tripe that spills out from the PR machine.

  6. sweetd. according to Key, pretty much the same.

  7. Lew 7


    Whats the total spend, lab v nat?

    Relying on the figures given and a nominal $70k salary for those not stated, here are some back-of-the-envelope minimums:

    Labour – 47staff
    eight @ $100k or more = $800,000
    seven @ $90k or more = $630,000
    32 @ $70k = $2,240,000
    Total: $3,670,000

    National – 43 staff
    18 @ $100k or more = $1,800,000
    seven @ $90k or more = $630,000
    15 @ $70k = $1,050,000
    three @ $60k = $180,000
    Total: $3,660,000

    So, $10k less on the Nat side. That’s margin of error.

    It seems likely to me that National will get a higher quality of media presence for this expenditure, though, since the money (and presumably, the talent) are concentrated in fewer people at the top, rather than more people at the bottom. This is in keeping with what Key said – quality, not quantity; and in keeping with how National have basically owned the media agenda for the past five years, despite not being in government. They’re good at this.


  8. Daveski 8

    Funny, the oxymoronic “National” Radio never gets a mention here. I wonder why?

  9. sweetd 9

    Bit of a non story once you get the detail. I supposed the maths majors out there could do a nice bell graph for us.

  10. Lew 10


    Funny, the oxymoronic “National’ Radio never gets a mention here. I wonder why?

    1. How is it oxymoronic?
    2. It sure is referred to! Search the archives and you’ll find plenty. Then again, it is NZ’s News Of Record.


  11. northpaw 11

    All about being seen (to be) hip.. Yep, that’s the PM.

    In that regard somewhat similar to the reported Senator Kerry when he made his presidential bid back in 04. Hip, that’s the one.

    Nothing much to do with s-hip of state. If it was full accountability including independent monitoring of the PR would be RESPONSIBLY made. Public.

  12. roger nome 12


    I’m sure Burt’s argument would amount to “Labour bad, National good” 😉

  13. Tigger 13

    Why do National need PR people? Their mates own all the big media…

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