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John Key prepares for Helensville debate

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, August 6th, 2014 - 84 comments
Categories: election 2014, john key, national - Tags:

John Key with hatFrom Stuff:

Politicians who want to share the stage with John Key at his only multi-candidate electorate event have been warned they shouldn’t even mention his name.

Candidates vying for the safe National seat of Helensville include Laila Harre, leader of the Internet Party, who is taking on Key because ”the prime minister has some explaining to do”, and she wants a head-to-head debate.

But when Key lines up at the Kumeu Baptist Church northwest of Auckland on Monday, there will be no chance for her to do so.

”It’s not a debate. Please don’t call it a debate,” meeting organiser Holly Ryan said, describing the event as a ”cross-party candidates’ meeting” to give the public a chance to have questions answered.

Those questions must be submitted, in writing, before the event starts.

”There is to be no debate at all. Candidates have been warned they will be thrown out if they mention other candidates or attack any other parties, or anything else like that, at all,” Ryan said.

Silence would be demanded from everyone but the speaker, with one warning before those disrupting the meeting would be removed.

”It’s on that basis that the prime minister agreed to be there.”

A spokeswoman for Key said he would take part in only one multi-candidate event in his electorate, which was ”the same as the last election campaign”.

His office had played no role in the shaping of the rules for the event, she said.

I must admit a degree of confusion.  Either Key agreed to attend on the basis of the restricted rules or he didn’t.  With none of the other candidates wanting these rules in place his office can be the only source for the rules.  As said by Puddleglum in open mike one of these versions must be wrong.  Key’s office has this ability to make even simple statements adopt twisted meanings but this continuous manipulation of simple language is really tiresome.

Oh for the good old days when politicians were willing to stand up and debate the issues.

Update.  The organisers are refusing to allow Penny Bright to speak.  What sort of public meeting is it?

84 comments on “John Key prepares for Helensville debate”

  1. alwyn 1

    I know, from six years of him being PM what John Key is like.
    However I don’t know that much about the only other candidate for PM, David Cunliffe.
    Can anyone tell me whether he plans to hold open meetings, and candidate debates, with the other candidates in his electorate? I don’t see anything when I look at the Labour Party website but someone may be able to tell me when, or whether, there will be any.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      He is going to be touring the country. He will take part in at least one local debate in Titirangi and there is the national campaign launch this Saturday.

      • alwyn 1.1.1

        Oh good. Is there any date for the local debate, which I assume will include all the local candidates and take questions from the floor? I look forward to the meeting being advertised. I have to visit Auckland a number of times in the next month and can make one visit coincide.
        I miss the old approach to electioneering where you could actually ask questions of the candidates at public meetings. I can remember being booed by the audience, all devoted National types, when I asked a question of a National Cabinet Minister and then commented unfavourably on the quality of his reply. Oh to be 17 years old again.
        Unfortunately it is much harder today, particularly for party leaders. Every man and his dog has sophisticated video recording equipment to capture “gotcha” moments (and yes I do mean their phones) but surely some meetings with unscripted questions should be possible to arrange.

    • AmaKiwi 1.2

      I’ve been to a number of Cunliffe events over the past 10 years and he’s NEVER screened questions.

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        Aye. He relishes them. This is when you get to admire his intellectual ability. I have never seen anyone answer questions as well as he does.

  2. weka 2

    “Silence would be demanded from everyone but the speaker, with one warning before those disrupting the meeting would be removed.”

    Will the media be there? Because that rule looks like it has quite a bit of potential 😈

    • emergency mike 2.1

      That’s what I thought also…

      • weka 2.1.1

        Security guards at a National Party organised public election campaign event, removing other party candidates or members of the public. Def a good look.

        • No doubt Brownlie will be flexing his muscles and eyeing out any old age pensioner who may talk out of turn.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.2

          Security guards? Or the PM’s security detail? Oh, opportunity for massive amounts of fun, let me count the ways.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    The Helensville ‘Lockdown’ is clearly unacceptable for an election meeting, and in line with Nationals two media strategies of “blanking out” or “shouty control–ve set ze agenda!”

    Perhaps the organiser may have naively organised it in this way to make sure Key would front at all who knows or cares really. What the non National Parties need to do is offer to hold a genuine useful candidate meeting in Helensville without Key.

    On the night a sizable crowd needs to turn up as there will be coppers and curly wire down their necks guys galore. Outside the church there should be a “Change the Government” rally to welcome anyone turfed out for exercising freedom of speech at this political meeting. Make this bizarre spectacle of tory control a fun night.

    • Wonderpup 3.1

      Or… invite all the candidates for an actual debate at the venue, or another very close, directly after. As much as I have a sneaking regard for things ‘kicking off’ – od anarchist tendencies die hard – keeping it bland and stupid would probably have the best effect. Any active protest, unless its very clever and well organised, will just fall into the perception bias bucket.

    • AmaKiwi 3.2

      The Helensville Lockdown.

      A great description.

  4. Blue 4

    As expected, there is a suspicious lack of media talking heads calling Key a chicken who is scared of Laila Harre.

    • TightyRighty 4.1

      I expect penny bright to have more electoral votes cast for her in hobsonville than laila harre. at least you know penny knows what she is talking about, or believes what she is talking about.

      • North 4.1.1

        Who cares what you ‘expect’ RightyTighty ? You know, The GodKey knows – Laila would do him like a dog’s dinner, anywhere, anytime.

        Look at the spectacle of it…….hiding behind the skirts of ‘Holly-Ryan-Concerned-Citizen’.

        Ponce !

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    Good on him, the other candidates are only there to pick up the party vote, they arn’t serious about winning the electorate so why should he treat them seriously

    • framu 5.1

      what part of democracy do you have a problem with PR? – explain why the PM has any right to dictate terms like this.

      You cant even mention keys name FFS!

      and yes – these have come from nat central – theres no way a baptist church would have come up with rules like this on their own

      • veutoviper 5.1.1

        And it also appears that there are more restrictions – so much for democracy.

        Hamish Rutherford, who wrote the Stuff article* on the candidates meeting has now posted on the Stuff Beehive Live:August 6 live feed http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/beehive-live/10353116/Beehive-Live-August-6-2014

        ” A little more on the Kumeu Baptist Church non-debate – those candidates who want to take the stage are being forced to adhere to a number of very strict rules, which organisers say was the basis for John Key attending. It appears not all candidates are being allowed to take part. Penny Bright, a long time protester claims she has been told that she cannot take the stage as she is not linked to a political party. The event, Key’s only multi candidate electorate level event, is quickly turning into a circus. We will be there”

        *http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10352978/Strict-rules-for-Key-electorate-event

        • Kiwiri 5.1.1.1

          The candidates should continue debating there, with Penny Bright’s involvement, after that restricted event. But with more openness and in the spirit of honest debate. If Key doesn’t want to stay on for that, * shrug * the other candidates and audience can choose to do so.

      • Phil 5.1.2

        theres no way a baptist church would have come up with rules like this on their own

        Apparently you’ve never been on an organising committee for anything, church or otherwise.

    • Pascals bookie 5.2

      Thing is puck, he’s treating them super-seriously.

      • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1

        Key wants to win like all good leaders should

        • felix 5.2.1.1

          So you ask why he should take them seriously, and then you explain why he should take tem seriously.

          This has been a very good use of your time.

        • Pascals bookie 5.2.1.2

          he’s just chickenshit.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.2.1

            Isn’t chickenshit useful in some way? I hope you’re being fair to chickenshit, is all I’m saying.

    • North 5.3

      So Puckish One you’re saying good on him for being a ponce ? Kia Ora !

  6. Phil 6

    Oh for the good old days when politicians were willing to stand up and debate the issues.

    I’ve attended at least one candidates debate for whatever Wellington electorate I’ve lived in, in each election since 2005. They have all been a disapointing mixture of childish insults, tedious minutia, and boorish shouting – from both the canditates and the crowd. I have no doubt that the electorates of the PM and leader of the opposition suffer from this moreso that others.

    In what should be the MOST important venue for hearing from local candidates and their parties, I can’t recall a single time I’ve learned anything that couldn’t be downloaded from their respective websites.

    The Helensville approach sounds like a response to this. Good on Holly Ryan for setting a higher standard.

  7. Penny Bright 7

    Independent candidate for Helensville Penny Bright (unlawfully) declined ‘speaking rights’ at the upcoming Helensville candidates meeting Monday 11 August 2014

    On Friday 1 August 2014, after hearing that there was an upcoming Helensville candidates meeting, I contacted the organiser Holly Ryan ([Too much info – MS])

    “Hello” I said, “It’s Penny Bright”.

    “Yes” replied Holly Ryan “I know who you are.”

    I told her I was looking forward to the upcoming Helensville candidates meeting and asked her to confirm an invitation.

    Holly Ryan said, no, that the meeting had been organised months ago, and that I hadn’t been invited because I was not a member of any political party.

    I asked her if the meeting was open to the public, and she said yes, but if I interjected I would be thrown out.

    I must say that I was rather stunned at her response, and the profoundly (unlawful) unfairness of being completely disregarded because I am fiercely independent, and not a member of any political party.

    THE LAW:

    Under the New Zealand Bill of Rights, I have the following lawful rights:

    14 Freedom of expression
    Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM225513.html

    17Freedom of association
    Everyone has the right to freedom of association.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM225516.html

    Non-discrimination and minority rights

    19 Freedom from discrimination

    (1)Everyone has the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act 1993.

    (2)Measures taken in good faith for the purpose of assisting or advancing persons or groups of persons disadvantaged because of discrimination that is unlawful by virtue of Part 2 of the Human Rights Act 1993 do not constitute discrimination.

    Section 19: substituted, on 1 February 1994, by section 145 of the Human Rights Act 1993 (1993 No 82).

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM225519.html

    Prohibited grounds of discrimination

    Heading: inserted, on 1 January 2002, by section 7 of the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 96).

    21 Prohibited grounds of discrimination
    (1)For the purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are—

    (j)political opinion, which includes the lack of a particular political opinion or any political opinion:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0082/latest/DLM304475.html

    Subsequently, I rang the Human Rights Commission (Auckland) and explained the situation to a complaints officer, who asked me what I wanted to do.

    I said that I wanted an invitation to the upcoming candidates’ meeting, and would try to sort it out myself (nicely).

    As the advertisement for this meeting had been listed on the Waitakere Community Trust website, I tried to find out what the relationship was between meeting organiser Holly Ryan, and the Trust.

    It appears that there is no formal link, and the Trust allows postings of upcoming events that may be of interest to the community.

    I passed on my concerns to the Waitakere Community Trust, and explained that I was seeking a process by which this could be sorted out ‘in house’ without a big fuss.

    My wish was that this could happen before 3pm today, because I am heading off to Helensville to attend my second meeting which has been organised by locals, for locals to hear what I have to say, particularly about corruption.

    Today, there has been quite significant media coverage of this Helensville, in mainstream media, about how tightly this meeting will be controlled.

    However- what is NOT widely known is that as an Independent, politically non-aligned candidate, who is just focused on the ELECTORATE vote, has been (unlawfully) denied the same right to address the voting public as have been politically aligned candidates.

    Today, at 9.30am I rang Holly Ryan, and left a message on her mobile, that I looked forward to her confirming by email, that I would get an invitation.

    Holly Ryan rang me at 11 am, saying that she is the one who has organised the meeting, that the (Kumeu Baptist) Church is ‘private property’ and she can invite who she likes, and the decision is hers, and she is not changing her position:

    ie: I am still NOT invited.

    In my considered opinion – this is quite simply outrageous.

    http://www.kumeubaptist.org.nz/about-us/

    “About Us

    Kumeu Baptist Church is a Christian congregation serving the Kumeu community in Auckland, and seeking, engaging, and encouraging others through a life-changing Christian journey.

    Kumeu Baptist Church seeks to be a loving, friendly community that worships God, and serves others.

    We place a high priority on teaching from the Bible and following the example of Jesus.

    Our vision is to impact and renew Kumeu, Auckland and beyond with the transforming message of Jesus Christ through words and actions.

    Everyone is welcome.

    Come as you are – we’d love to get to know you. Our services are at 10am on Sunday mornings.”

    http://www.kumeubaptist.org.nz/about-us/staff-and-elders/

    11.30am Rang the Senior Pastor Samuel Schuurman [Too much info – MS]
    [Too much info – MS] who ‘was sorry I felt that way’ – but he was not going to interfere with Holly Ryan’s decision to exclude me, and didn’t think that it was discriminatory.

    I said that I was trying to deal with this ‘nicely’ – ‘in-house’, because I didn’t think it would be a good look for the Kumeu Baptist Church, who purport to be inclusive, but I would defend my right to be treated in lawful and proper way.

    11.45am I rang the NZ Electoral Commission, 0800 36 76 56 and explained the situation, which I believed was both unfair and unlawful to be discriminated against because I was not a candidate representing a political party – but an Independent.

    The Electoral Commission Head Office is being emailed, and I have asked this matter to be treated as URGENT.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM2997502.html

    http://www.communitywaitakere.org.nz/noticeboard/
    4CObjective

    The objective of the Electoral Commission is to administer the electoral system impartially, efficiently, effectively, and in a way that—

    (a)facilitates participation in parliamentary democracy; and
    (b)promotes understanding of the electoral system and associated matters; and
    (c)maintains confidence in the administration of the electoral system.

    It is my intention to make a formal complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

    I expect my lawful rights as an Independent candidate to be respected, along with those of the voting public to be able to ‘cast an informed vote’.

    BACKGROUND:

    This was the original notice advertising this Helensville candidates meeting:

    eventsworkshopsforums/10351-helensville-electorate–te-tai-tokerau-cross-party-candidates-meeting

    HELENSVILLE ELECTORATE / TE TAI TOKERAU CROSS PARTY CANDIDATES MEETING
    MONDAY 11TH AUGUST at KUMEU BAPTIST CHURCH, Access Rd, Kumeu

    8 political parties – National, Labour, Greens, Maori, Act, NZ First, Conservative, Internet Mana are invited to be represented by their candidates and up to 2 other party policy speakers.

    Parties will have opportunity to set up stands in the church hall, with public welcome to attend from 6pm to chat casually.

    The main meeting will commence in the church at 7pm. Seating for 230, with sound system. Each candidate will have 5 minutes to present themselves, followed by written questions from the public, drawn for order. At 9pm the meeting will end, with opportunity for everyone to return to the hall for informal discussion and refreshments.

    The meeting will be tightly managed, with any interjectors removed after one warning.
    Questions may be answered by the party policy supporters, seated behind the candidates.

    RSVP to Holly Ryan, Convenor
    [Too much info – MS]

    Hoping that the basic principles of natural justice, rule of law and commonsense will prevail.

    Penny Bright

    2014 Independent candidate for Helensville

    2009 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    2010 Attendee Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    2013 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    2009 Attendee G20 Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes)

    • alwyn 7.1

      If anyone actually read right through this spiel could you please summarise it and tell me if PB has actually said anything significant. I started reading it but after an hour or so gave up.
      (Alright an hour is a slight exaggeration, but it felt like it)

      • mickysavage 7.1.1

        The meeting organiser is only allowing candidates from political parties to speak and Penny has been excluded. I think the complaint is valid. Democracy needs to allow all candidates to have a voice.

        • alwyn 7.1.1.1

          Thank you very much.
          I agree about the complaint being valid.
          It was the length of the piece that drove me nuts.
          Your dedication to the task is to be applauded.

    • fisiani 7.2

      Penny you do not understand that freedom of speech and assembly does not give you the right to crash a private function to which some members of the public are invited.
      There is nothing unlawful in not allowing your overblown sense of entitlement to have a platform.
      perhaps they are restricting the meeting to those speakers who have paid their rates bill for the last few years.

      • framu 7.2.1

        democracy is a private function now?

        possibly the only honest thing youve ever said here

      • mickysavage 7.2.2

        This is interesting legal territory Fisi. Back in 2008 the High Court ruled that the minor party leaders Dunne and Anderton were entitled to take part in a TV3 hosted leader’s debate after having previously been excluded. Same sort of reasoning could apply here.

        http://www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=364

      • Paul 7.2.3

        Elections privatised?
        You wish

      • dave 7.2.4

        John key modelling himself on Kim jong un

        fisiani your an idiot a debate is an all out battle of ideas knowledge and skill its obvious as the Americans would say John key has a yellow strip down his back a member of the order of the white feather or he could just be a total arrogant wanker .

    • veutoviper 7.3

      Thanks for that, Penny.

      Having learnt via Stuff that you had been told that you weren’t invited (see my comment at 6.1.1 above), I was wondering about the legitimacy of not inviting a candidate because they were not a member of a political party, the situation re holding such meetings on private property vis a vis this etc.

      Russell Brown at Public Address also has a post there about the meeting which includes a link to the original invitation on the Community Waitakere website, but the link did not work for me. I then googled the website but could not locate the notice of the meeting – and tried again after reading your comment here, but again without success despite wading through masses of other event notices. I wonder whether it has been ‘disappeared’?

      I hope that you will let us know what the response of the Electoral Commission is.

      PS – to MS. I have a great deal of respect for you, and accept your right to consider that Penny provided too much information, but personally I was pleased she did on this occasion as it has clarified the situation and answered some of my own questions – and raised lots of others in my head.

      • mickysavage 7.3.1

        Cheers. The only details I redacted were phone numbers on the basis I did not know if they should be published. I had mine posted once by Slater and I received all sorts of weird and wonderful calls!

        • veutoviper 7.3.1.1

          Sorry, I did not realise that and thought you were saying that she was giving too much information overall. Mea culpa. Definitely agree in terms of phone numbers!

          But this whole meeting situation in terms of exclusions, lack of debate and open questions from the floor etc stinks to high heaven and has Key’s MO all over it – in my humble, personal opinion.

  8. How to win elections

    1. Get bucket loads of funding from wealthy corporates in a wink wink nudge nudge exchange for down the line benefits
    2. make yourself scarce for political rallies
    3. be selective about who can be there and who cannot

    I support Penny in her right to be represented at the candidates meeting. she is a candidate and is being unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of political association, or lack there of. .

    as it is the media appear to ignore the Independent candidates . We are not asking for the party vote we are merely wishing to represent communities so that the residents get to be heard in parliament and have their issues addressed over the next 3 years.

    Corporates dont get to vote so why should their $$ influence elections .

    we need a government which does not discriminate and doe snot support corruption .

    The Helensville events speaks volumes with regards to the ethics and values that the current prime minister supports

    And who is Holly Ryan.. why can she get the PM along when no one else can ? What is the connection?

    Grace Haden Independent Epsom.
    anticorruption.co.nz

    • Puckish Rogue 8.1

      Get bucket loads of funding from wealthy corporates in a wink wink nudge nudge exchange for down the line benefits

      • You mean possibly like Cunliffe using a secret trust in his bid to become leader of the labour party or do you mean like those sucking on KDCs teat?

      Corporates dont get to vote so why should their $$ influence elections

      • Neither do unions but doesn’t seem to stop them
      • Paul 8.1.1

        Still looking forward to hearing National’s policies to tackle systemic poverty in this country. As we can see from this thread, your leader ain’t too keen on debating issues, so wonder if you could explain them for us.

    • Paul 8.2

      Never…ever…..discuss your policies.

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    The actions of an arrogant loser.

  10. karol 10

    There will be other meetings where candidates in Helensville will speak. It’ll be good to publicise them widely, and the fact that Key is a no show.

    Also, the Helensville electorate has extended down through Waitakere to Huia, etc. It’ll be good to get a lot of west Auckland voters voting for candidates other than Key/National – whittling down his majority would be significant news.

    Helensville News on the meeting on Monday page 3 – lists the candidates confirmed as attending – went to press before Key decided to attend.

  11. Weepus beard 11

    I wonder who is going to be doing the “removing”? Whether hired security or police, it should be great television.

    • RedBaronCV 11.1

      If it’s a private function ( and it must be if Penny Bright is not invited) then it should be security guards unless the Key is actively (not verbally) threatened then the DPS would step in I imagine.
      The cops aren’t paid by the taxpayer to police private functions. Great opportunity for opposing parties to do stand ups for TV on the road outside – I’d send lots of spokespeople if I were labour or the Greens

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Any restriction on having a lot of those letter cards so that people can hold them up to make a phrase. Could have a lot of fun with that.

  13. disturbed 13

    Weepus Beard,

    Don’t take bully boy’s fun off him.

    The bully supreme Joyce will be there, and he can do this, it’s right up his street to bully.

  14. Balanced View 14

    “His office had played no role in the shaping of the rules for the event, she said.”

    Mickey – you publish this line from the article, and then go on to accuse John Keys office of coming up with the rules for the debate in the very next paragraph. Are you purposely trying to be inflammatory?

    • mickysavage 14.1

      Did you read the previous quote from the orgainser of the meeting where she said “It’s on that basis that the prime minister agreed to be there”?

      How do you reconcile and explain these statements? Let’s have a go:

      1. The meeting organiser is telling porkies.
      2. Key’s office is telling porkies.
      3. Someone within National but not from Key’s office stipulated the rules.
      4. Key himself stipulated the rules and he does not regard himself as being someone from his office.
      5. The english language has lost all meaning.
      6. Go ahead. What other possibilities are there? All I can say is that I am pretty sure that someone within National has dialled right back what candidates in an election meeting can say.
      • Balanced View 14.1.1

        You’re assuming that “It’s on that basis that the prime minister agreed to be there” implies that he wouldn’t have attended if those rules weren’t in place – it doesn’t.

        • framu 14.1.1.1

          your ignoring all the other times the nats have manipulated things to insulate key from having to go off script.

          yes it does imply that

          or are you saying that the host venue just happened to create a set of very restrictive and anti democratic rules for a democratic debate, that coincidentally make things very easy for key to prepare and control the situation to his advantage, all by themselves, with no input from anyone?

          As i said up thread – you cant even say keys name FFS!

          occams razor and a balance of probability say this has the nats finger prints all over it

          • Balanced View 14.1.1.1.1

            “yes it does imply that”
            No it doesn’t, go and read the full article, not just the bits MS wanted you to see. If I was to interpret anything from the comment it would be that the change of date made JKs attendance possible.

            “or are you saying that the host venue just happened to create a set of very restrictive and anti democratic rules for a democratic debate, that coincidentally make things very easy for key to prepare and control the situation to his advantage, all by themselves, with no input from anyone?”
            I’m not saying that, the meeting organiser is saying that.

            “As i said up thread – you cant even say keys name FFS!”
            Same rules for everyone, and based on recent evidence JK will struggle more than most to adhere to the rules.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1.1.1

              The lying Prime Minister gets to tell lies and anyone who questions them gets thrown out. Ideal circumstances for a flash mob. Let’s see if the lying Prime Minister’s security detail is up to the task, shall we?

        • karol 14.1.1.2

          Russell Brown wrote:

          The Prime Minister’s office insists, in the same story, that it has played ”no role in the shaping of the rules for the event”. Someone should probably check on that, but it appears that Ryan, who is active in the local community, drew up the rules in the hope that a lockdown might encourage her local MP to attend.

          And the Helensville News for August, indicates that Key only agreed to attend the event since their latest newsletter was published – the other MPs had signed up for it much earlier.

        • mickysavage 14.1.1.3

          Help, help BV is trying to twist the English language out of all shape so that it no longer has any meaning ever.

          Let’s see.

          1. Key is not originally going to attend the meeting.
          2. The meeting organiser imposes really strange rules and does not invite Penny Bright.
          3. Key then decides to attend.
          4. The organiser says that it is in the basis of the strange rules that Key agrees to attend.

          But you are claiming that there is no link at all. You would have been on firmer ground if you said it was someone from National but not from the leader’s office that had negotiated the rules.

          • Balanced View 14.1.1.3.1

            I think it is you twisting the language.
            1. Can you confirm he was NOT originally going to attend? The article suggests he had not yet confirmed attendance.
            2. The organiser did not say that it was only on the basis of the meeting rules that he confirmed attendance
            I can see how you’re reaching your conclusions, the author of the article has been “clever” with his placement of quotes, but after reading the full article and hearing Holly Ryan on radio today I think this is a nothing story.
            Also, as I mentioned above, JK is the biggest culprit in attacking others so I suggest the rules are a good idea.

            • Pascals bookie 14.1.1.3.1.1

              There’s a dog that isn’t barking though.

              If John Key wasn’t chickenshit he would be saying he’d be happy to debate all these chumps any old time. But he’s not. He’s saying he doesn’t have to debate them coz that’s the rules, and coz blah blah sugar daddy, and coz look doesn’t matter, etc.

              He could easy say ‘These are the rules set out by the organisers, and obviously I’d love to debate the other candidates, I’d eat them alive to be honest, but unless they can get a different venue, these are the rules we have. I think they are pretty ridiculous myself’

              But nope, coz he’s chickenshit.

            • Puddleglum 14.1.1.3.1.2

              The organiser did not say that it was only on the basis of the meeting rules that he confirmed attendance

              No, but she specifically cited the Prime Minister (and no other candidate) as agreeing to attend “on that basis”. Why did she single out the Prime Minister to make that point?

              Your ‘Balanced View’ seems to involve travelling to the outer reaches of logical possibility and planting a flag labelled ‘Balanced View’ at that point.

              I tried to answer the same stretched interpretation here.

              • Balanced View

                I think the author has been “clever” with where he has placed the quote
                ” ”It’s on that basis that the prime minister agreed to be there.” ”

                If it were placed at the end of this statement I believe it changes the complexion of the article.
                “She said she asked his office just in case and, after presenting the proposed rules of engagement and giving flexibility over dates, she had been surprised to learn that he would attend, forcing the meeting to be moved.”

  15. Sacha 15

    In what capacity is Holly Ryan organising the meeting? Who is she?

  16. Ben Adam 16

    There are only two words that describe Key in the matter of this electorate debate:

    He is

    Scared and Gutless

  17. dave 17

    we should all go to that one to on mass to create scene to get thrown out and rune his night

  18. North 18

    Simple as……Key’s a ponce……ain’t got no balls !

    This leaving it to “Holly-Ryan-Concerned-Citizen” is just so much crap.

    I repeat. A ponce. No balls !

    Would ya breed ya kid to be like that ?

  19. One Anonymous Bloke 19

    How many extra security guards military personnel will Dear Leader need to meet the public? The public wants to know 🙂

  20. mac1 20

    It will be interesting to see how many inventive ways speakers at the Helensville meeting can refer to John Key without naming him…………………..

    This would make a very good competitiion/post?

    These could range from the “Member who Shall Not be Named” to “Him in Power” to……………..? I am sure others can do far better!

    References could be made to “The key to this answer lies” or “The key building block in this argument…..” to “Keystone cops’ behaviour”………………..

    Who’d want to be the chairperson of this meeting trying to enforce such rules?

    All very farcical from my viewpoint in the UK.

  21. Eralc 21

    This is no different from other years. It’s a public meeting.

  22. Hone 22

    Just say Donkey when talking about Key at the meeting.

  23. the auctioneer 23

    The Nats and the election
    what am I bid
    A Dollar a vote

    That should get us home
    But a dollar not really a dollar
    Like back in 77, 3 yen to One NZ Dollar

    Dont be Fooled
    By this bullshit economy its a fire sale / auction election

  24. ropata 24

    i am wondering which random household item has better aerodynamic properties: mud, egg, rotten tomato, or water balloon?

  25. George 25

    The organisers are refusing to allow Penny Bright to speak. What sort of public meeting is it?

    A good one.

    The rest of the rules are terrible and make a mockery of democracy, but this is one I agree with.

    • Tracey 25.1

      if there were 15 candidates and all were invited…. that’s a hellova long meeting right there.

  26. redfred 26

    Lalle Harre was going to expose John Key as a Rentboy, selling his ass and our democracy to Sky City and anyone else with a enough money to make his trust and mates richer. I know it below her and most other moral and ethical people, but, I wish she had shot that back; it would have made a nice headline…
    JOHN KEY CORPORATE RENTBOY

  27. Mike the Savage One 27

    That meeting in Helensville on Monday will be interesting, but whatever it will turn out as, it will be manipulated by one John Key and his support staff and loyal followers, as he will have also the comfy support of his home crowd. The rules they have may seem fair in a way, but they are overly restrictive. I happened to listen to Radio Live yesterday and heard a bit about the planned meeting, and how the person organising will run it.

    What gets up my nose again is, how Radio Live’s talk back “stars” Sean Plunket are now taking the opportunity to rubbish and discredit not only David Cunliffe, as they have done for months, they are now out to rubbish Laila Harre and the Internet Mana Party.

    This morning it has reached new levels, as Plunket has loaded a very short video of the IP Christchurch Road Trip meeting on the Radio Live website, showing New Zealand youth at the meeting shouting “sack John Key” and “f*** John Key”. This is now exploited by Plunket, at heart a respecter and supporter of Key, as many of his comments and talk back shows have shown.

    I am suspect and rather angry about the media in New Zealand again being out to determine this election. I note how Paul Henry and Mike Hosking do their regular snapping and ridiculing at opposition parties, candidates and leaders, same as a fair few others.

    So I just sent Sean an email, and I suspect, like usual, he will not respond to it, and not read it out on air. Here it is, he and the MSM stand challenged on my comment:

    “Sean, I have just watched that video covering a tiny bit of a Christchurch meeting, where New Zealand youth chant (amongst other) f*** John Key. I note that this is just a small clip out of a longer and larger meeting.

    I am not that impressed by it, but is this not just the typical youth of your country? They behave like that many times when they have “parties”, cheer on rugby teams and do whatever, especially at year’s end?

    Is this not the backlash to a societal status quo that so many are disaffected with?

    We have also a largely commercially dominated, privately owned media setting the tone, and especially now in election time, and we hear and see bias everywhere. David Cunliffe was attacked, discredited and dismantled from the start, so no wonder we get crap polls for Labour. Now you are out to discredit Internet Mana, who I do not even support. But I take note how some in the media are again at it.

    Media here is owned by Mediaworks, APN, Fairfax, Radio Network, Sky and only few others. Publicly owned media exists only in fragments and has been pushed to follow the commercialisation agenda, pumping us full of infotainment and commercials shouting at us to buy this, buy that and do whatever.

    Where is the information and balance?

    Youth have been corrupted by consumerism and commercialisation, and the media is responsible for it. So why do you wonder they are not critical and engage in such behaviour?

    I dare to say the NZ media is nearly as “professional” in misleading and manipulating the NZ public as Goebbel’s condoned media in the Third Reich was.

    You are not helping your cause at all, and it will only encourage more to seek alternative information on social media, and they will fall for other ill informing such as by some political opportunists.

    New Zealand as a society is screwed one way or another, all ruled by money, not just Dotcom’s!”

  28. Doughty 28

    This is BS, last time I checked this country is a democracy, NZ citizens have to submit questions for censorship because PM doesn’t want any curly ones. What’s next free speech zones 5 Miles down the road and it seems the so called organisers are happy with this. Either CITIZENS are allowed to question freely or the event should be cancelled. ITS A SHAME AND A SHAM!

  29. Tanz 29

    Who would want to attend, anyway? Indeed a sham and a farce, and so what New Zealand should not be about. Can’t wait to see this charlatan voted out, he is so full of himself.

  30. Jax 30

    Penny Bright is now attending in her capacity as independent candidate for Helensville after an opportune ‘change of mind’by Ms.Ryan..

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