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Nat insider condemns flag jack-up

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, September 18th, 2015 - 75 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: ,

Grant McLachlan (a former Parliamentary researcher and a Nat campaign director) recently spoke out about National’s well resourced and well organised spin machine. Last night he appeared again in The Herald, with some home-truths for National on the bungled flag process:

The flag process is not New Zealand Idol

Documents released to me under the Official Information Act demonstrate that the methods applied to reach decisions were more in line with a talent contest rather than a function of responsible government.

What we’ve seen are celebrity panel members choosing celebrity advisors selecting celebrity designers’ designs. Of the 10,000+ entries, it seems more than a coincidence that Kyle Lockwood, Sven Baker, Andrew Fyfe, Otis Frizell and Alofi Kanter all had multiple designs that made the long-list of 40. Considering that Sven Baker’s designs were so different – and most were of little national resonance – perceived bias is an obvious concern.

Judging an idea based on the designer rather than the quality of its content is an affront to our egalitarian heritage and has no place in the process to decide a national flag. Steven Joyce has attacked me rather than the facts I’ve raised , which demonstrates my point.

Everything the National Party has done around the flag debate is dodgy. Since Lewis Holden took over the “Change the Flag” campaign after Lloyd Morrison’s death, he became a National Party candidate for Rimutaka and guided his campaign away from Lloyd’s preference for a silver fern on a black background and towards Kyle Lockwood’s designs – which coincides with John Key and David Farrar’s positioning.

Perception is reality in politics. The perception is that the Flag Consideration Panel is a jack up. New Zealanders should feel violated and manipulated by the tentacles of Steven Joyce’s campaigning apparatus. [my emphasis]

On the subject of bias:

Steven Joyce’s former private secretary should never have been selected as the senior advisor to the panel. The Director of the New Zealand Flag Project, Kylie Archer, also has a CV that raises too many questions. Were John Key’s public statements during the process the result of information leaked from panel meetings?

McLachlan might also have mentioned that Julie Christie, one of the Flag Consideration Panel members who helped to pick the final 4 options, also sits on New Zealand Story, a NZ Trade and Enterprise body which promotes the Fern Mark logo. Probably just a coincidence that 3 of the 4 finalists features a silver fern then, right?

What they should do is start the assessment process again, call for submissions on the existing submitted designs, and assess all designs properly and objectively. … In the meantime, the first referendum should be delayed until March. Considering that most polls show that none of the final four designs are good enough to defeat the current flag, National’s pollster shouldn’t object to that.

Indeed.

75 comments on “Nat insider condemns flag jack-up”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Great to hear voices like this come out. We need more such spanners in the gearbox to delay and clean up this sham of a process. This process which reeks of the underhandedness and casual corruption which constantly surround this government.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    On Wednesday night at the Canterbury Champion Bussiness Awards, John Key attended and devoted a good chunk of his speech to why the flag should be changed. He said people who disagreed that the flag should be changed were “mentally deficient”. He asked for a show of hands for who wanted to change the flag, revealing that he had insulted half of the (right-leaning) audience.

    Arrogant, and insulting. This really does seem to have become a personal crusade for him.

    • So the RSA officials are “mentally deficient”?

      Not a very prudent comment.

    • cogito 2.2

      Surely someone will have Key on tape.

    • weka 2.3

      He said people who disagreed that the flag should be changed were “mentally deficient”. He asked for a show of hands for who wanted to change the flag, revealing that he had insulted half of the (right-leaning) audience.

      Did I get that right? The Prime Minister of NZ says in a speech that people who don’t want the flag changes are mentally deficient, and then he asked the mentally deficient people in the room to put their hands up?

      Let’s assume that many people who don’t want the flag changed didn’t put their hands up because they don’t identify with being mentally deficient. Which would have been the point. Manipulative and a bully, that’s our PM.

      • Rosie 2.3.1

        “Let’s assume that many people who don’t want the flag changed didn’t put their hands up because they don’t identify with being mentally deficient. Which would have been the point. Manipulative and a bully, that’s our PM.”

        Exactly, that was an incredibly manipulative move to ask for a show of hands. It was a two part put down. He totally trolled his audience.

        • weka 2.3.1.1

          On the up side, we might just be at the give ’em enough rope stage. Which would be wonderful if Labour could get its shit together (in general I mean, not about the flag). The cracks are starting to show and soon they won’t be able to control the spin.

          • Rosie 2.3.1.1.1

            I honestly think he can get away with anything weka. I’d like to share your view, that we have progressed to a stage where his gaffes, slip ups, lies and deceit can no longer be tolerated and that his own actions will be the cause of his downfall, but he is stubbornly indestructible.

            I’d love to be proven wrong.

            I foolishly thought the fact that his persistent abuse of a woman in a role of service would be enough for people, including the more principled Nat voters to call for his resignation. That issue didn’t even make a dent in the polls.

            Yours truly,

            Mental Deficient.

            • greywarshark 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Rosie
              Think of Toronto’s past Mayor Ford. Fooling around and amusing the people, like a well-trained chimp. But behind the brouhaha there is serious action not for the good of the people. It is amazing how this celebrity thing and the comedian act is satisfying to intelligent adults with everything to lose at Kay’s hands.

      • Lanthanide 2.3.2

        Sorry, I’m not sure on the order of the ‘joke’ and the raising of hands, the hand-raising may have happened first. Also these may not have taken place back-to-back, there may have been more speech in between the two events.

        Either way the inference can be drawn.

        I wasn’t at the awards myself.

        • veutoviper 2.3.2.1

          I am not sure that it clarifies the order, but at 4.2.3 below, I have posted a copy of a comment made on Public Address yesterday by someone who attended the event. The second para goes into some detail of what Key said re the fern and flag, including the insult to those who did not want a change of flag.

      • Mike 2.3.3

        …And if we had a half decent media, they should be on this and blasting it out big time. When are we going to see this?! Our media are either too matey, too scared, or just flat out too crap to cover this sort of thing!

    • GregJ 2.4

      it would be nice to think Key is burning up political capital over this farce. Sadly I’m not optimistic (unless the nation is plunged into momentary gloom over an AB World Cup loss – well some parts of the nation). 😡

    • greywarshark 2.5

      As commonly said – it’s Key’s vanity project. He has built his sandcastle, now he wants to top off its turrets with his flag of choice – not ours.

    • Vanessa 2.6

      Hi. Just wondering if you were at the awards? I would love to know the source of this quote/ paraphrasing of Key. The guy is loathsome, but I still find it hard to believe he would say this in public

      • Lanthanide 2.6.1

        No, I wasn’t, but he definitely did say it. veutoviper has a link at 4.2.3 to someone else who posted a similar summary on another site (which I was unaware of).

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    Nice to see there’s intelligent life somewhere in National – just not among MPs.

  4. Rosie 4

    Reply to Lanthanide. Reply button has done the disappear.

    Did Key really refer to people who disagreed that the flag should be changed as “mentally deficient”? If this can be verified this needs to be top news.

    Such a statement shows his absolute contempt for people who disagree with him, including those who would make his traditional support base, ie, attendee’s of a business award. Like you say, it’s insulting and arrogant, but it is a particularly nasty insult, just plain vicious, not even veiled. Is he taking his cue from Donald Trump and now just resorts to cheap insults?

    How did people react to this statement?

    I think NZer’s who are opposed to Key’s vanity project should start of a campaign of the “mentally deficient’s” and encourage people to vote for the current flag. It would be refreshing to see a campaign led by traditional Nat supporters.

    Grant McLachlan has kicked it off. This can be built upon.

    • Goodshepherd 4.1

      Is anyone trying to verify this?
      Rosie’s right; if Key said this or anything like it, it should be made widely known.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      This story may appear in the MSM news today…

      I wasn’t actually at the awards myself, but have since heard from someone that was that this was one of John Key’s “jokes”, rather than a serious comment.

      Obviously he plays to his audience etc, but even so…

      • Rosie 4.2.1

        Like he was just “horsing around” when he was assaulting and harassing Amanda Bailey.

        There’s only so much “blokey jokey” stuff he can get away with, even with a population that seems to tolerate inappropriate behaviour in their PM.

        Will keep eyes peeled for a news story about it today but I won’t hold my breath. It seems that dodginess can be dodged. Look at how Maurice Williamson’s comments about sexual favours to a technology industry audience at Sky City only lasted one news cycle and din’t really even break through as a major story.

        • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1

          My source was unwilling to corroborate with the media I contacted, so they’ll have to try and find someone else.

        • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.2

          His idea of good-natured banter reminds me of Flexo:

          “Well I don’t feel as bad as you look! [Laughs] Nah, I’m just messing with you, kid. You’re alright. That’s some face you got, though. I think they got a cream for that. [Laughs again] Nah, you’re great. ”

          The kind of merry good humour that makes you want to punch the humorist in the face.

      • Chch_chiquita 4.2.2

        If everything he says is a joke he should change his career and become a comedian.

      • veutoviper 4.2.3

        Here is another comment yesterday by someone who presumably attended the same meeting you referred to in your comment at 2 above, copied from Public Address – http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/speaker-so-who-exactly-placed-conditions/?p=348186#post348186

        “I was at an event last night where the Prime Minister spoke – he was supposed to have 3 minutes. His first 3 minutes was filled with making jokes about the speed with which Australia replaces Prime Ministers, and how he’d visited the sheep in Saudi Arabia and they were fine and had flown first class (unlike him), and some facile tale about multiple marriages and how the Saudi prince he was with would be allowed 4 wives but his first wife wouldn’t let him (I don’t know, other people seemed to find the speech funny, maybe I’m just a humourless left-wing nanny-state wowser).

        He then said he was going to exceed his time and talk about something important – so he spent the next 5 minutes on a rambling justification for changing the flag to a silver fern. People wave it at sports events, it’s on the gravestones of soldiers overseas, people will be excited about it and want to own it (with an aside about how New Zealanders are patriotic but don’t show it, but if we had a nice new flag with a fern on it, then everyone would want to wave one all the time). This was after he insulted the half of the audience who wanted to keep the existing flag by calling them not as bright as the ones who wanted to change. it was cringeworthy….. ”

        A reply to this comment also mentioned that Key’s comments had been doing the Twitter rounds.
        http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/speaker-so-who-exactly-placed-conditions/?p=348212#post348212

        The post is well worth a read, as are all the comments.

        • Rosie 4.2.3.1

          Thanks Veutoviper. So Key’s insults are aired on the blogs but unlikely to make it to the MSM. Just how Key would prefer it to be. He’s going to get away with it. Again.

        • Lanthanide 4.2.3.2

          Thanks, I passed that on to the media.

          • veutoviper 4.2.3.2.1

            Good! Had an attack of deja vu when I read your original comment re the event, and was determined to find that other comment to prove to myself that I was not having a senior moment. Took a little work considering the number of sources (blogs, media etc) it could have been – but found it. Not senile yet ….

        • Tracey 4.2.3.3

          No wonder Williamson is still an MP.

          No jokes about white wealth men then? Funny, cos Williamson had no jokes about them either.

  5. save NZ 5

    At least someone is speaking out.

    A lot of the old blue type Nats are probably pretty uncomfortable with the way the in-crowd of Nats led by the PM are just out of control and doing whatever they feel like with public money, public identity and NZ assets and sovereignty.

    They are bullying from within. Look at how Mark Mitchell got his seat – just a donation to John Key’s texting buddy Cameron Slater and a dirty campaign and he gets to be an National MP. Voila!

    From the Jackal

    It appears that the more moderate and conservative the National party candidate was, the more abuse he or she would receive from Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk on behalf of the candidate they were representing.

    All of this was designed to shift National away from the political centre and further in line with Slater & co.’s questionable belief system. Unable to enter politics themselves, these traitors instead focused on cutting the throats of anybody who stood in the way of their extreme right wing agenda.

    Send dirty politics a message old Nats before half the country and more are in foreign ownership and the National brand stands for something so dirty and extreme it is the end of NZ as we know it.

  6. Lucy 6

    I disagree with the process which is why I believe that the flag should not be changed now.
    I want a flag that resonates with much of NZ not a brand logo that says what the NZ 1% want, “everything in NZ is up for sale” – our sovereignty is not for sale if we do not allow it.
    I don’t think a silver fern says anything about our history! We have at least 600 years of history to incorporate so I do not care if no one outside of NZ understands our flag it needs to have meaning to all who live under it – and a fern doesn’t do it!
    Only a first generation person would latch onto the rugby symbol as being what we stand for – we are so much bigger, bolder and more powerful than that!

    • ianmac 6.1

      Maybe before a flag change, we should decide on Constitutional matters such as Republicanism. Maybe we should decide if we should be another state of USA and therefore flagged to them and subjected to their Federal Laws.
      Then decide on a flag. (Especially written for we “mentally deficient” peasants.)

      • cogito 6.1.1

        The first thing that needs to happen before any potential flag change is for Key to go. As long as Key is there, anything to do with the flag will continue to have the unmistakable stench of self-serving interference and manipulation.

  7. maui 7

    Both Holden and Chris Bishop are products of Hutt International Boys school – is that a globalisation school in disguise? It looks as if Holden has been pushing the flag just as hard as Key and I think he will suffer similar political fallout too. I’ve had to suffer through reading letters to the local rag by him for a while now, not only that but the previous Editor of the local rag was dethroned by a National apologist who now writes whenever they get the chance that we must support our divine leader in this. Nowadays there is no way to escape the dark hand of the state and I’m sure the community will be more than happy to stand up to this corruption.

    • infused 7.1

      HIBS produces some great people..

      Since you are from the Hutt, how do you rate Hipkins? I never see him unless it’s election time…

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        I’ve got 3 MPs and I never “see” them either, except on TV. Trying to work out your point though. Do you measure them by how often they mix with you?

        • infused 7.1.1.1

          He does nothing here. He never shows up or does anything unless its election time. That’s the point I was making.

          At least Holden did a lot around here.

          • Tracey 7.1.1.1.1

            Same with Goldsmith in my electorate. Seymour is on tell but never at anything I am at, and Getner I see from time to time.

          • maui 7.1.1.1.2

            What has Holden done? I know he suggested that the courthouse carpark be turned into public carparking. Anything else? That was only because his party closed the courthouse down because of earthquake risk, and people were rightly pissed off with that.

      • maui 7.1.2

        I’m sure they do, but I never would have wanted to go to an elitist school like that.

        I think Hipkins is good, he’s always got a decent understanding of the local issues. Probably harder for him to stay in touch with everything now as he’s got more responsibilities within the Labour Party.

        It’s hard to see Labour losing Rimutaka anytime in the foreseeable future.

  8. Aaron 8

    This is interesting for sure but the main thing I’m wondering about is the loss of internal discipline in National – I mean this is a party insider really gunning for John Key – and he probably has quite a bit of support too. He seems too savvy to go out on his own and there have been articles in the papers that essentially support his position.

    His actions seem to be motivated by a desire to see his fern design used, which seems quite petty but I’m curious to know how serious these internal rumblings are but no one seems to be discussing it.

    • Anne 8.1

      National is very good at keeping the lid on their internal squabbling and the MSM are, by and large, happy to oblige by looking the other way. But when Labour squabbles the MSM are in boots and all.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      He seems too savvy to go out on his own and there have been articles in the papers that essentially support his position.

      But, but, aren’t National supporters great Individualists with no care about what other people think?

      /sarc

    • RedBaronCV 8.3

      I woindered about this too. Is he totally disillusioned with all of NAct in which case I would expect him to go offline sooner rather than later, or is he aligned with a particular faction and if so which one. Obviously not Steven Joyce’s. And has Key more than hinted he’s going??

      Where’s a beltway insider when we need one?

    • Matthew Hooton 8.4

      He is from the party’s right faction, which is unhappy with Key.

      • RedBaronCV 8.4.1

        Tks Matty Jude on the takeover trail??

        • Anne 8.4.1.1

          All this reinventing of herself is designed to lead somewhere. She is the NZ version of a modern day Maggie Thatcher! God help us!

      • Tanz 8.4.2

        no surprise there, considering Key should be leading Labour or the Greens, with his totally progressive ideals. Betrayer to true blue Nats and everything National used to stand for.

  9. No Fucking kidding! But our government loves us. We have a democracy. They would never lie to us and if you don’t want the flag changed you are mentally deficit. John Key says so. And he never lies.

    Have a nice day!

    • Rosie 10.1

      I hadn’t realised that John Ansell had submitted a silver fern design that didn’t make the top 40.

      From the link:

      “What I’ve done – which Grant and John Ansell are well aware of – is make sure the campaign is neutral in the flag selection process, encourages as many designs to come forward as possible, and supports the successful designers in promoting their flags.”

      I wouldn’t believe that claim of neutrality for a second. John Ansell + neutral do not belong in the same breath.

    • Tracey 10.2

      “for example, about the RSA claims I could’ve shown him the actual email from the member…”

      So, post the email anyway.

  10. Craig 11

    Any suggestion by Lewis Holden that his campaign is neutral is a crock. With his assertion of being neutral comes the added responsibility of respecting those with an interest and promoting debate on the topic.

    Lewis’ selective posting of certain articles and designs shows blatant bias. I’ve met him on four occasions and found him to be a smug backstabber.

    I did cross check the dates of Lewis Holden’s posts with David Farrar and John Key’s posts. Bill English did say that social media played a huge role so Lewis has a lot to answer for when it comes to the poor quality of the four designs that will be in the referendum.

    I then cross checked Lewis’ posts and the many articles in the Herald, Fairfax, Otago Daily Times and other sites supporting the Black and Silver flag. Lewis didn’t post any of them on his Change the NZ Flag Facebook page. How come?

    Lewis should step down from his campaign as he clearly is biased and compromised.

    What a smug git!

  11. pete wright 12

    the silver fern on keys flag will be the only silver left in the country when key has finished with our country

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