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John Key’s $50,000 anniversary present

Written By: - Date published: 4:33 pm, November 27th, 2007 - 132 comments
Categories: election funding, john key - Tags: ,

250Just in case you don’t know, today is John Key’s first anniversary as National Party leader and his backers have given him the gift that keeps on giving & well over $50,000 worth of boring propaganda. Others including our good mates at blogblog have done the analysis of the spin behind this one so I thought we’d employ the oldest of journo tricks and follow the money. That’s why I had a talk to a few of my mates in the film industry and guess what? Film ain’t cheap. I’ve had a bit to do at the amateur end of the scale but today I’ve had a crash course in just how rich you have to be to make this sort of thing.

We sat down and identified this as at least two weeks of shooting across at least four locations: Christchurch, Wellington, Porirua and Auckland. We’ve all seen Key’s crew in the Porirua market video. It’s at least a seven person crew. That’s an assistant, two cameras, a soundperson, a director and a couple of stills photographers. For each of these factor in $2000 a week plus expenses (maybe $500 for the assistant) and remember we’re talking expensive expenses & each of these people is being flown around the country being fed and put up in hotels.

Then there’s the cost of gear. The first camera (there are some shoots with three) is probably a digibeta & that’s at least $500 a day and by the time you factor in all the other gear we’re looking at $1000-$2000 a day in gear. And remember there’s probably up to ten days of shoot here. That’s up to $40k on gear and staff alone.

Then there’s the cost of editing. A suite with an editor will run to hundreds of dollars an hour and there’s a good three day edit here. Add to that the cost of a sound mix at $3000(ish) and authoring it to DVD (at least another $2000) and the numbers are starting to add up. And that’s not counting the scripting cost & though I get the feeling our taxes paid that one because I’m sure Key will have a publicly funded communications adviser who can script a shoot.

What really blew my mates away though is the use of Coldplay & the truth is none of us knew what that would cost because it’s just out of the league of anyone we know. But here’s a little story. I went to dinner with a record label owner the other night & nothing special, just a struggling indy label with a few good acts. But here’s the kicker & he’d been approached by an ad company wanting to use one of his songs for an ad campaign in the UK. Their offer for the UK rights for a year? Forty thousand pounds. And that’s for an unknown band. Now, when you use a band’s music on the Internet you need the world rights and when that band’s Coldplay? Man, I can’t even guess what that would cost.

So this is the deal & at least $50,000 just to get the thing made and then who knows how much for the right to play “Clocks”. By the looks of it they’ve shelled out for a MediaOne video advertising campaign on the Herald to promote it too.

Now that’s a lot of money by anyone’s standards and given the fact that it’s a tedious bloody thing (and even the most sycophantic Tory adviser could see that) the question is why? No, scratch that, actually the real question is “Why???” Well I’ve kicked this around and all I can figure is that it’s the old story of them trying to get their spend in early. After all that’s a big chunk of cash they’re spending this year so they have a resource for next year that will be outside of any EFB campaign period.

Amazing, all that cash just so he can sell himself as an ordinary bloke. Happy Anniversary John.

UPDATE: For those arguing our figures are inflated because Key may have relied on volunteers, think again. Looks like he’s engaged the services of Production Shed TV, an outfit that boasts “over 40 years of combined industry experience, along with solid connections to many major industry players.”

132 comments on “John Key’s $50,000 anniversary present ”

  1. Billy 1

    I can see the headlines: “Politician in self-promotion shocker!”.

    You guys are really starting to look a bit obsessed. The last four posts are about John Key. Then one about “hysteria” over the EFB. Then one about the Australian election (fair enough). Then another about the EFB.

    How about a post on the acheivements of this government. Oh, hang on, I get it now.

  2. Matthew Pilott 2

    Billy, doesn’t the government have $70mil to spend touting it’s own achievements? That’s what you’ve been telling me. So why would the good lads/ladettes at the Standard need to do it.

    Oh, hang on, I get it now.

    Stunning analysis though, you’ve mentioned, like, six posts.

  3. Billy 3

    In fact, 47 posts on John Key and 61 on National. The next is “articles” at 36, and half of them seem to be about John Key.

  4. Tane 4

    Hi Billy, today I was interested to see what new policy John Key would pull out to take the agenda back. Instead, it turned out his only announcement was that he was ambitious and had spent $50,000 to say nothing new.

    Doesn’t it concern you that he has to spend $50,000 plus just to make people think he’s an ordinary bloke? And doesn’t it strike you as an odd way to squander all that money?

    If you want government achievements go have a look through the archives – there’s plenty there.

  5. Billy 5

    I have taken your advice, Tane. I wanted to see what nice things the good people at the Standard had to say about Labour’s record on the economy. Quite an important area for a government to concern itself with, I am sure you will agree.

    I was not deterred when I saw there were only three posts on the topic. Quality over quantity, I always say. Only all three were about National’s policy.

  6. Gruela 6

    That’s a good point, Billy. I’d like to see a bit more about Labour’s achievements, (which have been considerable.)

    Maybe you guys could start with a post on the ‘Quality of Life’ Project report released this afternoon, which paints a pretty damn rosy picture of how life has improved in New Zealand’s biggest cities over the last few years.

    Of course, there has been one downside. The distribution of wealth has become even more inequable obver this time.

    Care to tell us how National plans to fix this problem, Billy? (It seems especially important since every other social indicator seems to be improving, don’t you think?)

  7. rjs131 7

    yet every other propaganda tool the government uses is good value for money and perfectly acceptable. Under your logic you will be disgusted at every cent that the labour party uses to promote itself.

    How about a post on taito philip field being on bail and defending the rights of the workers exploited about him. How about a post defending the right to impartiality in the public service and defending Erin Leigh from ministerial abuse.

    We dont know how much public money was spent by national on these dvds, but i am sure it is a fraction of what labour spent on their pledge card. Or is even a fraction of judith tizard’s annual travel bill.

  8. Daveo 8

    Billy you’re pathetic. Your great white hope drops off the public radar and his attempt to jump back onto the scene has been met with derision. The best you can do is come onto this site and cry about how it should really be talking about something else, and would everyone please stop talking about poor John. Grow up man.

  9. Billy 9

    Thanks for your constructive input, Daveo.

    I certainly agree that, if one’s only source of news is the Standard, that is certainly the view one would come to.

    I thought you guys might appreciate someone coming along and disagreeing with you. Personally, I find all that smug echo-chamber shit a little tedious. If you’d rather I leave, I will do so willingly.

    I did not ask anyone to stop taking the piss out of John Key. That would be too much to expect, and make things a little boring.

    I am just saying that this focus on National, Key and DPF makes you all sound a little shrill and obsessed. But who the fuck am I? Ignore me all you want.

    Only you don’t seem to be able to…

  10. IrishBill 10

    I would’ve thought you righties might want to defend Key’s spend but it looks like all you can do is try to misdirect. One of the interesting things I didn’t mention in my post is that it’s based on the production of one 13 minute piece. There may well be hours of additional expensive footage still in the can. I’ve got a funny feeling we’ll be seeing more of these expensive PR exercises in the next twelve months. Just as well the big costs won’t be clocked up in election year.

    And by the way, I’ve got a few calls in with people who can answer my questions about the cost of coldplay rights. And you fools still think National’s opposition to the EFB is about megaphones? Suckers.

  11. the sprout 11


  12. Billy 12

    I am quite happy to defend it, IrishBill, and will do so in a moment. I thought you might appreciate the heads up that you are all starting to look a little unnaturally fixated. It’s your blog, be as fixated as you want.

    It is a sad fact of modern political life that packaging seems to make a difference to large parts of the electorate. Hence Tony Blair’s style over substance approach. Hence Helen Clark’s highly airbrushed billboard. Hence John Key’s latest bit of fluff. I regard it all as a load of irrelevant shite, and am saddened that my vote counts the same as people who are swayed by it.

    So political parties promote themselves. Yes, even Labour.

    IrishBill considers, what? That certain of this promotion is worthy of particular derision (or perhaps should not be allowed?) because it is, in his opinion, too expensive.

    You socialists just know best about everything, don’t you?

  13. PhilBest 13

    Of course, what Our Dear Leader spends, of taxpayers money, on HER self-promotion, even if its a hundred times the amount in your beat-up of John Key, that just doesn’t rate comment, does it? It’s MORALLY RIGHT that “Dear Leaders” leading us to Socialist Utopia must receive the adulation of the masses.

  14. redbus 14

    Great… This is what I was expecting earlier.

    It’s pathetic, couldn’t the ‘ordinary man’ have grabbed his $1000 dollar phone and filmed it himself? Bloody lazy.

  15. sophie 15

    It seems a lot of money for the National Party to spend to portray their Leader as an “ordinary bloke”. I would have thought that they might see the need to put up a person who is more than just ordinary, to make up for their obvious lack of depth in the Policy Department.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    35,000 people will be packed into Wellington’s Caketin on Saturday, hoping for a glimpse of John Key, the man who rose from humble beginnings to be a global superstar.

    Hurry – tickets are going fast.

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    I’m pretty ordinary and no-one will spend fiddy-Kay trying to sex me up to the masses – New Zealand you suck.

    PhilBest what is this socialist utopia you speak of? Labour is a Social Democrat party, perhaps you’re unimaginably unintelligent and have mistaken NZ for North Korea (that’ a guess based upon use of the term ‘Dear Leader’) in which case can you please tell me where the UN is, I’m short of cooking oil, have eaten my donkey and have no graing for the upcoming winter.

    That’s a pretty sick joke there, little man.

    Twat aside, I wonder if any journo will pick this up, in the context of the EFB and parties having bagloads to spend, and also in relation to the spending period.

    If anyone wants a blog with some commentary on Labour achievements, Jordan Carter usually gets in there and Billy – the link ‘just left’ is right there for you, sweet huh?

    P.S innit funny that on the ‘bog you’re a troll if you disagree, yet we’ve got someone here (not PB, that’s just being a muppet) disagreeing and in general people are trying to engage? Seems over there they would prefer to operate in a nice little right-wingvaccuum – kinda representative of the space between their e….

  18. The Double Standard 18

    A quick question for you Bill,

    How much did Labour spend in the last election campaign?


    Hmm, maybe you should be following the money on that total eh?

  19. redbus 19

    Haha, Pete Hodgson on the DVD:

    “Some people will think it’ll be a great frisbee, while others will want to watch it over and over again, and others will be within varying degree’s between.”

    What a legend.

  20. Gruela 20

    I agree with Billy that it might seem some political bloggers have started chopping at a single tree, and inadvertently forgotten about the rest of the forest

    However, it can’t be easy trying to compare and promote Labour’s policies against those of National when National doesn’t actually seem to have any policies.

    (Oops, I forgot about tax cuts. And, um …. tax cuts.)

  21. redbus 21

    Hmm, maybe you should be following the money on that total eh?

    Hmm, an entire national campaign cost, versus one VERY expensive hindrance on the film industry… Hardly a sensible comparison.

  22. Billy 22


    I agree that the tone over here is better. But before you get too self-congratulatory, the standard assault on anyone who disagrees over here is to call them thick. Except for Nih, who just accuses people of being gay (while, curiously, at the same time pretending he is not homophobic).

    That just makes you guys seem smug. And I personally doubt it’s true. I do not think anyone has ever accused Ghostwhowalks or Millsy of being intelligent.

    And, as if to prove my point, Redbus just used an apostrophe when none was required. Me and Robinsod bi-partisanly hate that.

  23. Tane, you seem to have missed the point of the video. It wasn’t meant to be about policy. It was presenting John Key to the public, and giving people a snap-shot about who the next Prime Minister is. We never get to see Helen and Judith in a nice family snap, do we? (On the subject of Judith, did she get her tummy-tuck in a private hospital recently?)

    I don’t know where you get your hilarious claim that it would take a 7-person crew to shoot the video. Have crown limos suddenly got larger, to accommodate the driver, JK, and SEVEN CREW?

    A friend of mine is a cameraman for a reality-based TV show here in Auckland. He charges $800 a day, provides his own camera, and does sound and editing himself.

    But nice try. It’s exactly your kind of economics that Michael Cullen has used for the last eight years to deny New Zealanders tax cuts.

  24. redbus 24

    On the subject of Judith, did she get her tummy-tuck in a private hospital recently?
    – Did she have a tummy-tuck? She was on the news tonight, but it only showed her face. Anyway, I don’t think it matters much.

    I don’t know where you get your hilarious claim that it would take a 7-person crew to shoot the video.
    – The Porirua market clip, all of the crew were there.

    It’s exactly your kind of economics that Michael Cullen has used for the last eight years…
    – Really? “Exactly”? Michael Cullen actually denied the nation tax cuts because the camera crew costed too much? How interesting.

  25. John 25

    Have you all not yet figured out yet why the media is so intent on sinking the Electoral Finance Bill. Well, this shows you if you haven’t got it already. It is all about the money. Think what Granny Herald would lose if New Zealand moved away from the American style of buying elections. The Herald would love to have George Bush running think of the M-O-N-E-Y!!! And TV, well you just showed us what that goes for….

    Fortunately, this is Key’s last opportunity to buy a government.

  26. deemac 26

    Coldplay are millionaires but somehow I can’t see them as National supporters. Are we even sure National got Coldplay’s permission? They are so incompetent I wouldn’t put it past them to think word would never get out of NZ.

  27. Gruela 27

    Good point, deemac,

    maybe someone should email their representatives and ask if National actually got their permission.

    It would only be the public spirited thing to do.

  28. redbus 28

    Why wouldn’t they like National? They love money and they’re all egotistical – it might even be possible that they paid National to use their song.

  29. Robinsod 29

    I don’t know where you get your hilarious claim that it would take a 7-person crew to shoot the video

    IP – There’s seven crew in the porirua video fool. So is it that you can’t count or that you can’t face facts? Oh and tell your friend if he’s charging $800 a day he’s a sucker. But he’d have to be to be you mate, eh?

  30. The Double Standard 30

    No mention how much this little bit of Labour self-promotion cost?


  31. Robinsod 31

    DPFDblStd- Straws. Grasping. At. So do any of you righties still think National’s against the EFB because of megaphones? Or are yah all just gonna complain about Helengrad some more?

  32. Oh, Robinsod, so you include among the seven person “crew”, a TVNZ camera crew who were shooting simultaneously, do you?

    Watch Police 10-7 tonight, Robinsod. It’s shot with a one-man crew.

  33. Gruela 33

    What are you talking about, Double Standard? Viewimages is a privately run website that sells images. How were those pictures supposed to have cost Labour anything?

  34. the sprout 34

    well robinsod, you have to admit it’s been a good feint to move attention away from their last magnificent effort “Labor’s election is good for National because Johgn Key is Kevin Rudd”.

  35. Billy 35

    Fucked if I know why National’s against it, ‘sod. I do not really care. Personally, I am against it because it is a hastily written (and more hastily redrafted) dog’s breakfast. And there is more than the faint suspicion electoral law has been drafted to suit the party in power. And that makes me feel uncomfortable.

  36. The Double Standard:

    Shame on you for daring to compare promotion of the Prime Minister, with an entourage of an entire Maori cultural group and dozens of staff, all paid by the taxpayer, with a one-man camera crew shooting John Key for a promotional video about John Key, paid for by the National Party.

    You are totally ungrateful. It’s thanks to Helen Clark attending the World Cup quarter-final that we beat France.

  37. redbus 37

    No mention how much this little bit of Labour self-promotion cost?
    – Wow, that was desperate! I think it’s a fair call to say that it didn’t cost Labour one cent… though it is nice that the promotion, although not a promotion of Labour intentionally, worked on you. I suppose you’re ready to join now?

  38. Nick C 38

    You guys have grossly over estimated the costs. How do you know that the crew werent National party volinteers? National has 50,000 members, so I wouldnt be surprised.

    >”So do any of you righties still think National’s against the EFB because of megaphones?”

    That is a poor arguement Robinsod as you are essentially trying to turn a motive into a counter-arguement. Any decent debater knows that such arguements are irrelivent. Whatever the reason the National Party opposes the bill the fact remains that there is a silly clause in the EFB which puts gross restrictions on megaphone use.

  39. Robinsod 39

    Oh, Robinsod, so you include among the seven person “crew”, a TVNZ camera crew who were shooting simultaneously, do you?

    There was no TVNZ there you fool – that’s Key’s crew and yep that’s how big it was. Police 10-7 is shot by one (very amateur) guy because they have to shoot for months to get enough interesting footage to make a show (hint: that makes it expensive). Oh and there’s no director for 10-7. They find the story in post not before they start the shoot.

    NickC – The footage shows these are professionals with craft skills who are obviously working to a schedule of several weeks. You just can’t coordinate a crew like that with volunteers.

  40. the sprout 40

    well they obviously saved heaps on the script.

  41. The Double Standard 41

    Robinsod – yeah we already know that you think that 10-7 is a ‘vile “crims getting what they deserve” right-wing TV show’ fronted by Bomber Bradbury. Lol. I don’t think you are really qualified to comment on it.

    How much do you think this little effort from Young Labour cost?


    Did they purchase the right’s to Split Enz’s ‘I see Red’

    And are they aware of the actual lyrics:

    How could someone wicked walk around free

    Squeezed me out of your life
    Down the drain like molten toothpaste
    I feel used and spat out.
    Poor old me

    And, while we are talking songs, I guess Teh Party has already had their campaign song written – I wonder who funded that little effort?

    Really boyz, you need to find a better angle than “follow the money” Teh Party has already stepped so far over the line that you are pushing shit uphill trying to paint the Nats as some big-spending outfit.

  42. Wayne 42

    DubStan: God you’re grasping at straws here. The YL effort was an amateur youtube clip thrown up for a bit of fun. I somehow doubt it falls into the category of Key’s mass commercial DVD run that’s been advertised all over the mass media.

    And Knoxy? The brother did it for a small fee but mostly for the love of it. He’s a party supporter and partner is an office holder. Here’s a hint – his fee will have been significantly less than $50,000 plus royalties!

    Go back to the Nat research unit, have a brain storm and try again.

  43. redbus 43

    If they got the lyrics wrong, then maybe it’s not Split Enz song and therefore they don’t need to purchase the royalties.

    The Labour song didn’t cost much. I hardly think its within the same league as creating 10,000 DVD’s to give away to people…

  44. burt 44


    Thanks for that link, you are doing a great job of helping National with their publicity.

    You can call this boring propaganda but Key makes a lot of good points. I might even consider voting National after seeing that.

  45. The Prophet 45

    Gotta crew list Sod?

    Cause I think you’re talking out your arse.

    Please post the seven member crew list here. Names please.


    Thought not.

    Still pissing then?

  46. Tane 46

    Prophet, this really is desperation. Have a look at the film. The picture above has six people alone.

  47. Micky Savage 47

    I just watched the video. I had Chemical Brothers playing int he background and it made the video quite acceptable. I thought that it was also a very good justification for what has happened over the past 8 years. Everything that Key praised has been improved over that time. He should acknowledge that a socialist state provided him with an education and a home and he should promise to work to support it. Somehow I do not think that this is his intention …

  48. burt 48

    What The Prophet said.

  49. Matthew Pilott 49

    These jokers are really pushing shit uphill trying to make it look like Labour’s spending all the money.

    This? This thing? No, just something Johnnie and his mates chucked together over a few beers one day. But look at Labour – all those government trips where they meet other heads of state and government representatives – there’s Labour spending up large.

    There’s actually no argument to poke a stick through…

    Billy – is ‘smug’ the codeword for yes-you’re-right-but-I-don’t-like-it-so-I’ll-criticise-it-some-other-way? That’s the context I’m getting whenever it’s used these days…

    Incidentally, I also support death for apostrophe misuse; the Queen’s English is not some text language for miscreants to debase.

  50. redbus 50

    Prophet and Burt (my friend has a bulldog named Burt), look at the film. You will see seven members making up the crew.

    Why do you both think that having their names will suddenly justify their existance?

  51. Tane 51

    What’s even funnier is that the figures were actually calculated quite conservatively on the basis of five people – we mentioned there were seven only after we looked through the footage again and found two more. As I said in an earlier comment, six of them are in the screenshot on this post. So if your gripe is with the figures you’ll have trouble arguing there were fewer than five people on the payroll.

  52. burt 52

    Matthew Pilot

    Incidentally, I also support death for apostrophe misuse; the Queen’s English is not some text language for miscreants to debase.

    Vete a tomar por culo!

  53. redbus 53

    Queen’s English
    – I adore Her Majesty. Long Live The Queen!

  54. Tane 54

    Actually redbus, I’ve been meaning to ask you about that – socialism and monarchism seem an odd mixture.

  55. Alex Freeman 55

    The National Party is now holding all comments on the YouTube video of John Key’s try hard video following from what I can only guess is a poor reception with the comments. Free speech anyone?

  56. Gruela 56

    Does anyone know what the going rate for the DPB was back in the 70’s? I bet it was a lot higher than it is now. (But then, those were more caring times, unless you were brown, of course. Or gay.) Also, aren’t National quite keen on selling off big chunks of the state housing network?

    Talk about forgetting your roots.

    P.S. Viva la Republica!

  57. redbus 57

    Really, you’ve actually thought to ask me that before. I must say Tane, the thought of strangers pondering about my beliefs is rather flattering. Haha.

    I would also like to point out that I’m not a socialist, nor a monarchist. I’m a democratic socialist and a constitutional monarchist. Quite a big difference.

    I’ve had that said to me before, but you’ll find that they do work well. There are many Leftists who support the retention of our the constitutional monarchy of New Zealand, just as there are many Rightists who argue for a republic.


    What do you mean, Alex?

  58. Matthew Pilott 58

    Burt – Yob T’voyu maht, tovarishch!

    Sorry Tane, guess some of us get all sentimental about Her Majesty.

  59. redbus 59

    Just checked it out… They keep deleting my comments. One thing that stunned me is that they deleted the comment when I called another commenter nice for telling another one ‘nice contribution’. How is it that they find that offencive?

  60. Thomas 60

    Her majesty? First against the wall

  61. Gruela 61

    Also, can anyone tell me why Idiot/Savant doesn’t allow responding at No Right Turn? He always has the most interesting posts. (No offence to you guys, but he must live and breathe politics.)

  62. Thomas 62

    too much abuse

  63. Gruela 63

    That’s nice, then.

  64. redbus 64

    I think he should allow comments, I enjoy his posts.

  65. Gruela 65

    Do you think if we all promised to behave he’d allow them? Maybe we could get up a petition. Or send him some chocolates.

  66. redbus 66

    Petition’s take too much work… I’d say go with the chocolates.

  67. burt 67


    The DBP as it was in the 70’s was circa $6/week per child. From memory in the early 70’s a low income worker was earning around $45/week (in the hand) around that time.

    So back then having 8 children would have been better financially than working a low paid job, just like now.

  68. Gruela 68

    Thank you, burt. Obviously not as lucrative as I’d expected.

    The whole thing sounds like a Catholic plot, if you ask me.

  69. Matthew Pilott 69

    Burt that line was a ignorant back then as it is now…

    “So back then having 8 children would have been better financially than working a low paid job, just like now.”

    The cost of bringing up a child these days is anywhere from 500k up to a mil; out of which hat do you get your ideas?

  70. Lee C 70

    gruela, you started out ok, but it has only taken you a week and a half to become infected with the generally vindictive and negative vibe that permeates The VDS. Shame really, I enjoyed reading your insights.

    As for the ‘breakdown’ of the cost of the dvd, really clutching at straws. How much did the photoshopped image and the pledge card it went on cost again? Of our money, I need not remind you. Yet again, a Very Double Standard.

    Did anyone hear the radio today, when it was announced that Key has enough support form the minor parties to form a government after the next election?

    You guys really have to get over this fixation with John Key. I don’t know, get a room, or something….

    While you are all sniping and biting at soap-bubbles, the real politics is going on right under your noses.

  71. burt 71

    Matthew Pilott

    I think Gruela got the point.

    Yes the comparison (then vs now) was ridiculous, I’ll give you that.

    In the 70’s Plunket was an institution that provided almost unlimited assistance to people with young families, all but killed off now. Children walked to school so each family needed one less 4×4. The costs of raising young children in the 70’s was a 1/10 the cost of today. No PSP’s, iPod’s, kiddies fashion, overseas holidays, new cars or big screen TV’s.

    Gruela is 100% correct, the Labour party of today has lost it’s roots. I was once a hard core Labour supporter, raised in a low socioeconomic hard core Labour supporter family in state housing. I don’t see the Labour party values anywhere in the current political spectrum, and I’m not so partisan I just envisage all my ideological boxes ticked because of the party name. If we are going to have self serving bastards running the country, at least let it be ones that don’t pretend to be something they are not.

  72. Gruela 72

    I think you’ve missed the point of what burt was saying, Matthew. Obviously what he meant was that the minimum wage should immediately be raised by 20%, and to pay for it, the top tax rate should be raised to 45%.

    Isn’t that right, burt?

  73. sweetd 73

    “The cost of bringing up a child these days is anywhere from 500k up to a mil; out of which hat do you get your ideas?”

    Simple, if you can’t afford them, don’t have them.

    **sorry if this has been double posted already

  74. Alex Freeman 74

    I should of written ‘for moderation’ after ‘holding all comments’. Obviously the National Party cannot handle the peoples views on the borefest that they spent thousands of dollars on.

  75. Lee C 75

    What burt said.

    ps visit my thing and hurl vitriol at me..http://troubleingodzone.blogspot.com/

  76. sweetd 76

    **sorry if this has been double posted already

    ***It wasn’t. Back to what you were doing.

  77. sweetd 77

    “Obviously the National Party cannot handle the peoples views on the borefest that they spent thousands of dollars on.”

    Hmmm, this ‘borefest’ has occupied you lefties all afternoon…and evening. Methinks she protests too much.

  78. Matthew Pilott 78

    I wouldn’t call it Labour roots or ideology to encourage large welfare-dependant families, if that’s what you’re meaning.

    I’m not happy with reports that the rich-poor gap is gettin worse if that is also what you’re alluding to, that’s one trend that I doubt any government could buck. However if you can see nothing for workers and whatever you consider Labour’s ‘roots’ in today’s Labour then I suggest you’re not looking very hard, or trying even harder to ignore what is going on. But from what you’ve said, I can’t decipher what it is you’d be after…

    Lee, those are some very negative and vindictive comments there, can I suggest you keep that type of stuff to yourself given you’re so concerned by the ‘vibe’ over here? Bit contradictory don’t you think?

    Constructively Lee, if you’ve got it in you, I would love to hear why it is you think this blog would not pay any attention to the leader of an opposition party that many detest?

  79. Thomas 79

    Did anyone hear the radio today, when it was announced that Key has enough support form the minor parties to form a government after the next election?
    Can you furnish us with more info
    which minor parties perhaps

  80. Gruela 80

    Lee c

    Sorry you feel that way. I shall attempt to raise my game. (I blame the gin.)

  81. burt 81


    No it’s not that simple.

    WFF should be capped at the same level the “rich bastard” threshold kicks in. Not twice the threshold, it’s just vote buying crap.

    The minimum wage increases should be indexed to the same percentage as the average of all MP’s each year. That would solve a lot of moral credibility issues over protecting the interests of the lowest paid people.

    Taxes… flatter, tax free bottom end, rich bastard threshold that is actually scooping the rich. Currently the rich bastard threshold scoops as many people as employed in the greater public service!

  82. Lee C 82

    Well gruela, I have home-made rum and coke to blame for my less than shining efforts, so we should call it evens

  83. Gruela 83


    I’m not sure of capping WFF at the highest tax threshold. At the moment, all it’s doing is taking money from childless ‘rich b******s’ and redistributing it towards those with kids. Considering NZ’s ageing demographics I don’t see it as necessarily a bad thing that some incentives are applied to having more children.

    I like the idea of indexing the minimum wage to MP pay increases, though. But the minimum wage would still be coming from too low a base. Maybe it would work better if we capped MP’s pay for a few years, first.

    But, come on, flatter tax?! I don’t want to live in the U.S. I want to live in a community, where those with more help out those with less. Maybe those in the top tax bracket can do without that wide screen TV for the bedroom, just for now, while there’s kids in South Auckland skipping school cause there aren’t enough truant officers, do you think?

  84. r0b 84

    Burt – “The costs of raising young children in the 70’s was a 1/10 the cost of today. No PSP’s, iPod’s, kiddies fashion, overseas holidays, new cars or big screen TV’s.”

    I’m not disagreeing with you completely, but it is still possible to raise children without these things. We’re all going to have to get over “consumerism” one day, because the earth will not sustain it…

    “I was once a hard core Labour supporter, raised in a low socioeconomic hard core Labour supporter family in state housing.”

    Interesting Burt. It makes your current knee jerk Labour hatred even more mysterious to me.

    “If we are going to have self serving bastards running the country, at least let it be ones that don’t pretend to be something they are not”

    Cut off our nose to spite our face? No thanks. Labour is far from perfect, but far better than the alternative.

    “I don’t see the Labour party values anywhere in the current political spectrum”.

    If you could just get past all the tory rhetoric and look at the actual record Burt. Unemployment is at record lows, the minimum wage has increased hugely, household incomes have increased, fewer are on benefits, crime rates are down, industrial action is down, the economy is strong and growing, the environment is taken seriously, there are many initiatives to support families, we are making provision for future retirements, the list goes on and on. Labour values in action Burt, if only you could see them…

  85. Lefty Basher 85

    Doesn’t it concern you that he has to spend $50,000 plus just to make people think he’s an ordinary bloke? And doesn’t it strike you as an odd way to squander all that money?

    Not as bad as spending govt coin to airbrush an old trout into a young trout.

  86. Luke 86

    For all our derision of the video it has been very popular. It has over 1500 views on Youtube today, which is very high by any standards. Also it is number 16 on NZ’s most watched videos for the day. On the other hand only having 5 responses is somewhat suspicious, have the Nats been rejecting many comments that are ridiculing the video?

  87. Luke 87

    “Not as bad as spending govt coin to airbrush an old trout into a young trout.”

    So none of Brash’s images were airbrushed at all to make him look less younger, and like he had a decent mop of hair.
    I don’t have too much of a problem with this anyway, most photos of celebrities and personalities you see are heavily airbrushed, It seems natural that politicians would do the same thing.

  88. Luke 88

    DPF seems to have been strangely quiet on this great relaunch of Key.
    Considering him being a National mouthpiece you would think he would have a nice posting about how great Key is and how much of an ordinary bloke he his. Or does he realise that all the great right wing thinkers that inhabit his site can see that the video is ridiculous and the video will be attacked from all sides?

  89. r0b 89

    “For all our derision of the video it has been very popular. It has over 1500 views on Youtube today”

    It is possible to be notorious without being popular.

    “which is very high by any standards.”

    Not by the standards of the 6 O’Clock news!

    “have the Nats been rejecting many comments that are ridiculing the video?”

    Yes, but no one knows how many of course.

  90. Gruela 90

    By the by, it sounds like you guys are going to get pretty busy tomorrow. From what I heard on the late news Granny Herald is going to have a nasty poll result for Labour on it’s front page. Get ready for some serious gloating.

  91. Dean 91

    John Key came from a beficiary upbringing and became wealthy.

    No wonder you people hate him.

  92. Razorlight 92

    This obsession you have is only serving to highlight this success of a man.

    Why do you despise him so much. It is the politics of envy at its very worst. He should be an example for everyone.

    And why the obsession with National spending their OWN money on this. It is alot better then them spending say $800,000.00 of our taxpayers money on it.

  93. dave 93

    I think JK got his present today.

  94. IrishBill 94

    RL – All I was doing was pointing out how much this effort cost in order to show how National campaigns. This is another example of how they are trying to substitute PR spend for policy. That kind of shallow politics is not a sign of a vital and robust democracy and that’s not good for anyone. It’s that simple.

  95. Lee C 95


    you guys are so paranoid you can’t even accept good advice withiout assuming it isan attack.

    I’m simply sugesting that if the other blog were to run article after article targeting Helen Clark, you guys would be the first to point out out biased and slanted it is.

    Also I’m suuggesting that the fixation with Key is either because he is a threat, or, because there is an obsession with him.

    Simply to attack him as you are doing using ridicule and persoanl slights is doing nothing to address the actual issues that confront New Zealand.

    In fact he is running a positive campaign. The Labour ‘negative’ attack campaign is actually playing into his hands. It is you guys and and not Key who will end up scaring middle NZ away from Labour.

    Key is a monster of Labour’s own making, and you guys seem to enhance his ‘bogey-man’ status daily.

  96. slightlyrighty 96

    Yesterday, John Key launched a campaign to raise his profile. In the space of one day, this left leaning blog has 4 posts about John Key!

    Mission accomplished?

  97. redbus 97

    On the other hand only having 5 responses is somewhat suspicious, have the Nats been rejecting many comments that are ridiculing the video?
    Oh yes, there was some rather lively debate yesterday. I’ve just been back this morning to find they’ve deleted all the comments which exhibit frustration with the clip, with the exception of TaneStandard (probably because they think he will write a blog about it – already has… I think he should write one about the fact that National is blocking and deleting the comments of opposition).

  98. Thank you, the Standard. You are really the typification of the Labour Party online.

    Has it ever occurred to you that the reason why John Key, and the National Party, are so popular is because people are sick of being told that they’re no good, that they’re too stupid to make decisions for themselves, that the government knows best, and that anybody who disagrees with the Government is a traitor who should fuck off to Australia?

    Has it occurred to you that the surly, arrogant, backward-looking, negative expression about New Zealanders that is expressed by Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Trevor Mallard, Pete Hodgson, and the folks at the Standard–as opposed to the optimistic, inclusive, forward-looking view of New Zealanders and what they can achieve–as expressed by John Key–is exactly what New Zealanders are ready for?

    Has it occurred to you that your constant obsession with him–for no other reason than that people LIKE him–shows just how out of touch with New Zealand voters you are?

    You have to be really pretty cynical to practice the politics of envy like that. It’s not working for you. The more Labour attacks John Key, the more voters flock to him.

  99. Lee C 99

    IP re your points above – I don’t think this has occurred to many who visit here.

    I don’t think it is likely to change either.

    Perhaps the Labour Party has empowered a certain personality-type who have over they years succeeded in marginalising and drowning out the voice of moderation within Labour, and that is why it will be difficult to communicate anything other than the ‘Party Line’ to them?

  100. Tane 100

    Yesterday, John Key launched a campaign to raise his profile. In the space of one day, this left leaning blog has 4 posts about John Key!

    Mission accomplished?

    Not all publicity is good publicity. When the meme going out there is that Key’s had to spend $50,000 on boring propaganda just to convince us he’s an ordinary bloke, that’s not the kind of profile he was after.

    As for your obsession with what we post about Lee, you do have to realise it’s Key’s one year anniversary and he’s just launched a major campaign. Of course we’re going to talk about him. Go back through the last month or so of our posts and you’ll find he’s hardly featured.

  101. Matthew Pilott 101

    Has it occurred to you, IP and Lee, that people such as myself don’t like what he stands for (despite – and therefore because of) the lack of concrete policy from him? It’s only people like you who think that Labour dislikes him because he’s popular, but that’s the insular thinking I have come to expect.

    IP, you’d need to be pretty cynical and blinkered (or deeply shallow 😉 )to brand it the politics of envy in the first place, it’s not working for you either (do you have a little handbook of random and broad arguments you pick from? I can’t see anything in your posts that tie them in with the subject most of the time?).

    Lee if you read the post there is nothing poersonal about Key in it, would you like some fact with that? When he comes out with some policies, I’ll probably argue against them too, unless I like them. Nothing surprising about that is there? No paranoia in that right? No big monster? So I don’t really know what you’re on about.

  102. Mike 102

    Given their political stances on “Fair Trade”, I don’t think Coldplay would appreciate their tune being used to promote a Tory party.

  103. Robinsod 103

    IP – I see you’ve moved from denying blatant facts to arguing using baseless conjecture. Well done, punter. I don’t actually think this is an attack on John Key so much as a pretty straight forward cost-analysis of his video and some speculation on why it has been done. As for the so called “obsession”? Yesterday was the man’s one year anniversary and a major National party PR push – it would be remiss of these guys to ignore that. There’s been very little Key coverage on the standard for a while.

    Oh and Prick you can’t really expect people to buy into the idea that National is positive and Labour is negative – you tories have been running attack spin for years now and it’s been fuckin sickeningly divisive. If you chumps can’t take a dose of your own medicine you should never have opened the box. Suck it up bitch.

  104. Max Call 104

    I hope that NZ election campaigns aren’t going to go all American. By that I mean all this focussing on the ‘personality’ of the leader. Where are the rest of the team? What are their policies? What are their skills and experience?
    It shouldn’t be about who has the best smile and most charming manner…
    How hollow.

  105. The Prophet 105

    Tane said –

    Prophet, this really is desperation. Have a look at the film. The picture above has six people alone.

    Well Tane – It appears to me that Sod has asked a couple of his Shortland St production assistant mates a few questions and then pulled a 50k figure out of his arse.

    Me, I have 18 years experience in the Film and Television industry and the production values do not have the look of a large crew.(yes, 7 is a large crew for a shoot of this type)

    So – If you guys can provide some proof of a seven man crew and a 50k budget then its all good – if not – Sod is talking out his arse.

    If Sod’s so connected he should be able to easily provide the information but I think he’s still just pissing out of the tent, which, I must say, is losing a lot of its shine.

  106. The Double Standard 106

    “Oh and Prick you can’t really expect people to buy into the idea that National is positive and Labour is negative – you tories have been running attack spin for years now and it’s been fuckin sickeningly divisive. If you chumps can’t take a dose of your own medicine you should never have opened the box. Suck it up bitch.”

    I think you just proved the point actually Robbo – with friends like you, who needs enemies?

  107. Robinsod 107

    DPFClawsDblStd – you can fuck off with that arguement ‘cos anyone with half a brain can see I’m no Labour man. I like democracy – your crew started a nasty game that ain’t doing democracy any good. Unfortunatley Labour and it’s supporters seem to have decided to give them a dose back. You reap what you sow.

    Profit – the size of the crew comes from watching the Porirua vid. Watch it. Count them. Can you count Profit?

    Oh and I’m not the one who said it was a $50k shoot – but I trust the standard to have gone to the right folk to find out. I’ve also noticed Mr Key doesn’t want to talk about the cost. Perhaps with all of your experience you’d like to throw up some analysis that show how much cheaper it could be? Thought not.

  108. I wonder how much money Charles Ashe is spending on his publicity?

  109. The Double Standard 109

    It just seems hypocritical for Teh Party’s acolytes to be banging on about how much a promotional DVD cost. They say it was funded by the party, not the taxpayer, so what’s the big deal. I don’t think anyone cares that much whether it cost $20k, $50k, or $100k

    If it was done in an amateur way, I’m sure there would be just as much rabid criticism.

    Teh Party is in no position to be critical on this issue, given how much it has rorted the taxpayer for political funding over the past 8 years.

  110. Robinsod 110

    DPFDblStdClaws – What a party spends on its PR and who’s pocket that money comes from are totally valid questions for discussion and pertainent to the political debate. If you don’t like that debate don’t join. Surely that’s so simple even you can get it?

    Oh and you’ve still not told me why you choes my witticism for your handle:


    It’s very flattering but I’d still like to know the “why” of it.

  111. Robinsod 111

    Sorry – that should be “whose” not “who’s”. And I’m like supposed to be an expert in that shit. The shame of it…

  112. And it’s “pertinent”, Robinsod.

  113. slightlyrighty 113

    Guess what guys.
    the music used is similar to coldplay but it is most definately not coldplay.

    Listen to clocks, and you should notice that while the music is similar in Key’s dvd, it is not coldplay.

    Care to reassess your budget?

  114. Tane 114

    Slightlyrighty – care to reassess your reading comprehension skills?

    The potential Coldplay royalties are not included in the $50,000 figure, which is for production costs alone. We also haven’t included the cost of the heartland tour or the cost of the MediaOne online advertising campaign.

    As for whether or not it’s actually Coldplay, I don’t think it’s that simple. Even if it’s a cover version I’m pretty sure you don’t escape royalties that easily. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Got any half-credible rebuttal of that $50,000 figure yet?

  115. Robinsod 115

    It’s probably worth pointing out at this point that if the song ain’t clocks there’s gonna be some extra cash laid out for someone to do a safe version of it (and then some copyright lawyer’s fees to ensure it is a safe version – and they’d want pretty good lawyers ‘cos the last thing they’d need would be to face legal action over it.)

    How much would that be then?

  116. rod 116

    Do we throw up after watching the DVD, or before?

  117. slightlyrighty 117


    The problem is not the money spent. Personally I don’t mind that the nats have spent 50K of THEIR OWN MONEY on this type of promotion.

    I do mind that Annette King has probably spent close to that amount on a glossy newsletter that landed in my letterbox. The cost of this publication, emblazoned with the logo of the house of representatives and the Labour Logo, would have been paid for BY THE TAXPAYER.

    Note the difference tane.

  118. chance 119

    This “Coldplay” business is tragic. See if any of your tin-eared “industry” mates who thought that was the real Coldplay have heard of stock music. You can buy this sort of stuff for a few hundred bucks for a royalty-free CD. For example http://www.musicforproductions.com/search_quick.aspx?soundalike=Coldplay

  119. The Prophet 120

    And if they can’t even get the music right imagine how far out they are on the production costs.

    Funny though.

    Like fruit flies. Flitting madly in the little time they have.

  120. MikeE 121

    “The National Party is now holding all comments on the YouTube video of John Key’s try hard video following from what I can only guess is a poor reception with the comments. Free speech anyone?”

    Do you even remotely understand the concept of freedom of speech?

    Your freedom to speak ends at my doorstep. I.e. while you my freely comment on your own website, don’t expect someone else to provide you the means to communicate said message. You would be more than welcome to delete this comment, and any other comment you lke, and it wouldnt affect my freedom of speech.

    Again, what is the problem with the nats spending their own money on a video no matter how terrible it is. Its much better that they spend their own money that someone *chose* to give them, rather than MY money which is taken by taxes.

    You know… like that $800,000 of illegal expenditure that magically became legal.

  121. Askewniverse 122

    Theyve butchered Coldplay’s Clocks enough that they have managed to avoid paying for the rights. They did use it at their conference though – and im willing to bet they didnt pay for that. Like all good tories – always looking to rip people off!

  122. burt 123


    What really blew my mates away though is the use of Coldplay & the truth is none of us knew what that would cost because it’s just out of the league of anyone we know. But here’s a little story….

    OK, so the shock value of the enormous expense of using Coldplay’s “Clocks” is gone so what is left? Ummm I know But here’s a little story …

  123. Benodic 124

    Burt you old drunk. IrishBill’s accounted for $50,000 on production. We still don’t know what Clocks or National’s butchered version of it cost them. I understand there was a campaign in the Herald too.

    That’s a lot of cost right there for sweet fuck all.

    Quick question: Are you on the National Party payroll or are you just an obsessive, lonely man?

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