It just gets worse

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, September 3rd, 2008 - 35 comments
Categories: election 2008, national - Tags: ,

Just when you thought National’s billboard campaign couldn’t possibly get any weaker, reports emerge that their next one will say:

“Get youth into training, not into trouble”

Honestly guys, just cut your losses and start again.

[UPDATE: Apparently the first of this run is going up in Vivian Street today.]

35 comments on “It just gets worse”

  1. Tanya 1

    Good on National, guys. Do you prefer youth roaming the streets in gangs, on drugs, just looking for trouble, etc, intimidating joe public, lost and hopeless? Get some common sense, for a change!

  2. yl 2

    that is a lot worse then the first billboard.

    The message is obvious and doesn’t spell out any clear policy from National (nothing new there).

    It is a message that all parties will obviously advocate for.

    National’s billboard campaign is really missing John Ansell this election.

    What a waste of money.

  3. tanya. i think you’re expecting quite a lot from this billboard

  4. monkey-boy 4

    Are we talking actual kiwi youth or american actors pretending to be?

  5. It’s straight to the point. What makes it bad?

  6. Bill 6

    I assume when they say ‘get youth in to training’ they are not referring to a preferred mode of transport for getting to work?

    And the ‘trouble’ is not referring to what they would be in for turning up late to work having been stuck in traffic?

  7. Billy 7

    These remind me of the billboards used in Alex Swney’s failed Auckland Mayoral campaign: “Recycle rubbish not failed Mayors”.

    Does anyone know who did them?

  8. Tane 8

    Ad agencies tend to be rather quiet about doing work for political parties. I’d be interested to find out too.

  9. burt 9

    If they train and become valuable employees then they won’t need welfare. Pretty simple – help yourself or put your hand out – financial out-patients or independence.

    Tough call – not sure which is better for political parties to gain votes but only one option is good for NZ.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Interesting that a positive message of opportunity (young people! our future!) has been reshaped to a negative message of dealing with a problem (bloody yoof). From “you” to “them”.

    Not a message likely to appeal to the 99% of first-time voters who aren’t actually in trouble.

  11. burt etc. no-one’s arguing against training and everyone is for people not getting into ‘trouble’.. we’re just mocking the stupid billboard

  12. Dom 12

    Okay, so it’s now clear they are using an X not X formula…interesting.

    This particular line feels very dated – I feel like it should be on a 1950s style billboard with a picture of a pregnant teen girl.

    yl, I agree, this message is wasted – I mean, is any party actually advocating FOR youth to get into trouble? Well, apart from the ALCP of course!

  13. Crank 13


    99% of the first time voters will be picking National for the pure and simple reason that they will wan’t to see what it’s like when Goverments change. This group has had a Labour led Government ruling them for their entire living memory.

  14. Daveski 14

    Actually when I saw the post heading I thought you talking about Helen’s response to NZF’s “admin oversight”.

    A weak billboard won’t lose an election.

  15. yl 15


    you assumption that 99% of first time voters want to see a change of government seems a little off.

    what about the ‘its not broken, so dont fix it’ mentality.

    You are not giving enough credit to young voters capable of looking at political parties and voting based on their views on what New Zealand should look like.

  16. Dom 16

    Crank, ‘entire living memory’? How many 9 year olds have the right to vote? Well, apart from David Farrar.

  17. MikeE 17

    Can we have “Get the Government Into the Gas Chamber, not in your lives”?

  18. mike 18

    Tane, I thought this post was a poke at the PM for stating this morning that she is taking NZ1 at their word over undeclared donations – but obviously Nats Billboards are the big news of the day.

    Each day she supports him is another blow to her battered credibilty

  19. vto 19

    So HC accepts Peters’ word re “woops made a mistake”. HC has said;

    “No, because this has happened at the level of party administration. I wouldn’t expect to be held accountable for some sort of mistake at the Labour Party head office.’

    What planet do these people live on? If you tried that bullshit in the “real world” (so-called because it is the real world) you would be laughed out of existence.

    Her and Peters are a freakin’ joke

    (no apology for off-topic)

  20. monkey-boy 20

    “Each day she supports him is another blow to her battered credibilty.”

    What I find interesting is the ominous silence that appears to have descended over the whole issue – have people simply made up their minds and feel no more need to discuss their opinions?

  21. Lew 21

    vto: In the `real world’ would a CEO of a company be held personally and professionally liable for omissions or errors made by the company’s board or its agents, which were relatively serious but no longer prosecutable and therefore yielding no liability to the actual company?

    Not blinkin’ likely, and nor should they be. Vicarious responsibility only goes so far.


    Captcha: `sacks Williamson’. Hmm, a prediction?

  22. vto 22

    Lew, it would clearly depend on the seriousness of the claimed “error”. In this case, and particularly in light of the EFA fiasco and the polemic crap spouted by its supporters about secret trusts and big money etc etc, yes of course. In addition no other company would believe the claim of “error”.

    As for no longer prosecutable (is there such a word btw?), just add that to the list of total bullshit over this issue. That list gets longer by the day. What on earth is the go with a 6 month limitation on prosecution? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. That is just long enough to ensure that no party or politician ever gets prosecuted such is the timeframe involved in these matters. How convenient.

    One law for them one for the rest of us. (see also, their superann scheme, their annual pay increases cf other public servants, retrospective legislation re pledge card and other spending, Duynhoven citizenship, …).

    Resentment turns to anger turns to hatred.

  23. lprent 23

    Urrggh.. The Nay’s billboard text sounds worse than the last one. I wonder what background they’ll use to replace the B52’s.

    vto: It is exactly correct. In the NZLP there are two parts. The parliamentary wing and the party itself. Helen is boss of one, and the NZLP president (Mike Williams) is the boss of the other. I think that all other parties operate pretty much the same way. The Nay’s have John Key and Judith Collins (?) who is the current president.

    In the ‘real world’ in my case development. I’m responsible for projects. I’m not responsible for GST returns as an exact analogy. That would apply to any organisation bigger than a sole operator. Division of authority and responsibility and all that.

    BTW: In legal reality the legal leader of the party is the president, not the leader of the parliamentary party.

    Face it, you’re just pissed because (as I reluctantly predicted) the legal shit tossed at Winston is just falling off. I expect that all of the other crap will also fall off. These people are lawyers which implies a pile of behaviours that are strongly risk-averse to illegal behaviour. They will of course make a spring look straight by comparison – but it will probably be legal

    Anyway, I expect that the right has managed to ensure that NZF is going to hit their 5%. It is a pity.

    On a lighter note in the vein of the post title. Yesterday (noon tue to noon wed – designated ‘tuesday’) the site had a 25.9% increase in page views compared to the previous high. The previous high was ‘monday’ which was 8.4% higher then the previous high. That was last ‘tuesday’.

    Damnit – between the posters, lurkers and the commentators seem to be trying to make me get more capacity before the election. Hopefully 25% increased hit rates are not going to be common.

  24. yl 24

    but you must admit vto it is a pretty crappy billboard a?

  25. Lew 25

    vto: For what it’s worth, I agree with much of your sentiments – just that your arguments don’t support them. The point I’m trying to make it about your fallacious appeal to the `real world’ – when cases of corporate malfeasance many hundreds of times worse than this routinely go unpunished in the name of limitations, limited liability or other fig leaves of responsibility, it’s a bit much to claim that politics is some special sort of exception.

    I agree it needs to change – but I’m not kidding myself that politics is any worse than any other field, as it seems you are.

    I take back the `nor should they be’, for what it’s worth.


  26. Pascal's bookie 26

    I wonder what background they’ll use to replace the B52’s.

    Army boots? Spraycans? Ski masks?

  27. vto 27

    I appreciate the ‘legal’ situation. But still disagree about how things would be done elsewhere – if such an issue had arisen in the cororate world on the same scale as this with as much public attention then I think the person at the top, who had assumed responsibility for the issue, held up NO signs, abused and maligned people, etc then that person would last no longer. Examples – Fay had to move o.s., so did Richwhite, so has Bryers, etc. They are all too ashamed to show their face in our land again, as well they should be.

    The legal difference between parl and party leadership is heavily blurred in NZF’s case. Peters has assumed both roles by his actions – and a court may well find the same if that particular issue required determination. As such he is responsible.

    I dont think its too much to claim politics is different from the corporate world. The limited liability company was established for certain purposes. That has never been extended to for example lawyers, given their reponsibilities, nor as far as I am aware to politics. For good reason too. Greater responsibility.

    You’re right, I am pissed. It is the constant stream of double standards and non-accountability. It is too fast and loose – witness Peters paying back money to charity instead of the taxpayer. The system is weakened in peoples eyes. again.

    yl, yes crappy billboard

  28. forgetaboutthelastone 28

    “I wonder what background they’ll use to replace the B52’s.”

    With the first one they chose to illustrate the negative. So a national billboard with unruly youths on it would be hilarious!

    Whats the bet it has graffiti on it? Now THAT would be confusing.

  29. Lew 29

    vto: I think you’re misoverestimating the import of this particular matter because it suits your politics. It’s an undeclared donation – a big one, yes, and maybe several. It’s also potentially having misled parliament – which is a separate matter for which different standards apply. But to claim it’s like the winebox, or the collapse of Blue Chip and hundreds of millions of dollars lost while those responsible get off mostly scot-free, or in the global extreme that it’s like Enron really is taking the piss.


  30. vto 30

    jus a bit more 2c… what really gets people over these types of issues is the ‘one law for them, one law for us’ situation. Iprent you mentioned GST returns.

    If you make mistakes with the IRD you get absolutely nailed – like you know smashed over the head with a hammer. Similarly with countless other laws.

    Then along comes a time when politicians and their parties have made similar types of ‘mistakes’, intended or not, and a totally different standard of penalty is applied. If at all. Or sometimes the politicians change the law to make it not apply. Do you think people don’t notice this?

    All part of the rising bubble of the nation state and its power. It is excessive. And these issues are perfect examples.

  31. Phil 31


    It’s not a B52 – the rake angle on the wings is wrong, and the broad proportions more closely match a DC10.

    Regardless, I can’t wait to see you critque/dismantle the eventual LP billboards – if they can afford them.

  32. Tane 32


    a) I doubt Labour will be able to afford many billboards

    b) If past history is anything to go by, they’ll probably be crap. We’ve all made fun of the ‘baby held back by red tape’ billboards from last time.

  33. randal 33

    if national could tax trouble then the billboard would have the exact opposite emphasis

  34. yl 34


    i take offense to the comments about ird,

    since 2002 there have been a lot of changes to the way in which ird conducts its business, it is not as black and white as it used to be.

    There are grace periods for late returns and removal of penalties for genuine mistakes, they are not as tough on tax payers as they used to be.

    problems only occur when tax payers ignore the ird, fail to keep ird up to date with what is going on, or fail to let ird know until after the error has occurred.

  35. mike 35

    Iprent – I think the only thing that “will fall off” is the soft part of labours vote after helens unwavering support of the corrupt Mr Peters.

    Tomorrow is going to be very interesting. Owen Glenn is a very generous man and the guy just keeps on giving…

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