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Nats talk to locals in [insert region here]

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, August 25th, 2011 - 42 comments
Categories: same old national, spin - Tags:

John Hartevelt ran a piece yesterday about National’s paint by numbers press releases. The problem here is not with National MPs and candidates using the same words to describe their policies or government spin. It’s when they claim, in identical words, to have had information from the public when that isn’t true, it’s just a cookie-cutter line and a lie.

Hartevelt writes:

The similarities started in March when Leonie Hapete was chosen to stand in Palmerston North and Jonathan Fletcher was picked for National in Rimutaka.

In separate statements, both said they got ”the sense” from their community that people welcomed the Government’s ”comprehensive plan to grow the economy, to start living within our means, deliver enduring jobs, and build the critical infrastructure to future proof New Zealand and our region.”

The electorate chairs in both cases said the ”calibre of candidates” they were picked from ”underscores the enthusiasm in the party as we move into the election year contest.”

Several other electorate chairs expressed exactly the same thing when other candidates were announced.

Barry won selection in the North Shore after losing out to Jami-Lee Ross to stand in the Botany by-election.

When she won selection in May, she also noted a ”sense the community understands National’s plan to grow the economy, to start living within our means as a country, deliver enduring jobs, and build the critical infrastructure to future proof New Zealand and our region.”

Among the other candidates who said they too had ”the sense” their communities were behind exactly the same things were Scott Simpson in the Coromandel and Paul Foster-Bell in Wellington Central.

The best part is this:

National Party president Peter Goodfellow said he was surprised to hear criticism of statements that were months old.

”It’s probably a consistent message that a lot of our candidates are getting from the people that they meet.  …  All of our candidates have been pretty active in the community so they have a good sense of what the community is saying to them,” Goodfellow said.

You’ve been rumbled, Goodfellow. At least be man enough to admit it.

Now, Hartevelt is wrong in one respect. This has been going on since at least 2009 when Jackie Blue mucked up by publishing a copy of the generic press release without replacing the placeholders:

…..The launch of National Standards follows months of consultation and feedback from teachers, parents and sector groups. It’s been great to receive positive feedback about National Standards and our other education initiatives from parents in [insert region here].

You see, the problem is that Blue claims to have “receive[d] positive feedback” but so does every other National MP who printed the press release. Have they all really received that feedback or are they just lying in an attempt to influence the media and the public’s perception of the popularity of National Standards?

It’s the same with the “the sense” line that Hartevelt picks up on.

In fact, every press release on the first page of Blue’s website (I didn’t go back further) is a cut and paste job which other Nats have printed too, often with them claiming to have had particular feedback or concerns expressed by their constituents. Like when she and at least four other Nats claim to have been told that locals in [insert region here] “are disturbed by the growing prevalence of loan sharks in our community

Like I say, there’s nothing wrong with getting a good form of words and repeating it ad neasum. Actually, it’s something the troglodyte Nats are very good at doing and the Left could be better at; it’s how you get your message to stick. But cut and paste press releases with the faux local [insert region here] references and the made up constituent feedback are a disgrace.

No wonder National’s backbench is seen as a talentless Greek choir and the likes of Cameron Slater are wondering where the next generation of leaders will come from.

42 comments on “Nats talk to locals in [insert region here] ”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Re: where the next generation of National leaders will come from

    Now that Nats have used up almost all of the cast from The Muppets,
    they can choose from the rejects who auditioned for Sesame Street.

  2. Deadly_NZ 2

    “and the likes of Cameron Slater are wondering where the next generation of leaders will come from.”
    Oh dear even the ‘bloggers’ of the right persuation are finally waking up to the fact that their ‘beloved’ leader is nothing but hot air and clichés.

  3. tc 3

    Yes let’s wade, ankle deep, across the NACT talent pool. Grannies even run an ‘editorial’ on the puppet masters hands being up basher and wilkos backs. Takes awhile for the obvious to get noticed.

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    Right on the mark. These cut-and-paste news releases are not what we pay the pollies to produce – it’s intellectually lazy and inept.

    Regretably it’s behaviour that’s exhibited on both sides of the house, by those who should know better as well as the dregs.

    I’m reminded of a remark that Cunliffe made to Brash during their debate about asset sales last Sunday. Cunliffe commented that when you’re in a hole you don’t sell the ladder – a cut-and-paste line from Trevor Mallards 15th July email with lines on the poroposed CGT to be repeated over social media channels.

    We deserve better from our representatives.

    • Eddie 4.1

      nice try, joe. I’m not against slogans and consistent lines – in fact, I explicitly say as much.

      I’m against lying. And these cut and paste press releases are lying.

      • Joe Bloggs 4.1.1

        not quite sure that I follow your logic Eddie.

        So cookie-cutter lines and cut-and-paste are OK because Labour indulges in this as well as National? Well let’s assume that all parties are a little lazy in this behaviour and put that to one side.

        But the lies? Are you saying that National MPs have never been given positive feedback? Are you saying that no constituents have ever said to their MPs that they are concerned about loan sharks? Do you have any evidence to support this?

        • Tigger

          JB, you are wilfully confusing ‘slogans’ with ‘general communications’. Give it up. You clearly have no sense, unlike the Nats who are all sensing as one. Which is akin to some sci-fi concept where everyone is linked via a giant brain and thinks alike. The might be Key’s vision for NZ but it’s fortunately not reality.

        • Blighty

          “are you saying that National MPs have never been given positive feedback?”
          that’s clearly not what eddie is saying.

          Do you think all these National MPs got identical feedback on all these issues?

          • aerobubble

            National are irresponsible. They need ever increasingly stupid policy to keep feeding
            the center ground in NZ society else middle NZ will drift away from their clutches.

            No, seriously. Government create laws and legistlation nine-tenths of which is property
            protection. You’d think someone would have realized that cutting taxes means the
            great upwashed might get agrieved and take back their consent. Look at the
            middle east, or Britian, or any riots anywhere. Crowds rebel when they are cut out.
            And National anti-conservative radical agenda just keeps the pressure up on the
            disenfrancized, poor, weak, and disempowered.

            National are irresponsible. Their take no prisons ethos only got head way because
            of cheapening high density fuels (the similarly hitler seized on the manufacturing
            revoltuion from cheap oil). The gulf gult is over. National are a waste of my time
            and they shpuld be outed for their old Europe views, their failed promises, yes,
            all those Thatcherite polemics now are all to apt when applied to the rightwing.

            What a bunch of sad twits the right have found to guard their integrity. Paul Henry
            what a joke.

          • Lanthanide

            “Do you think all these National MPs got identical feedback on all these issues?”

            The punters out there in punter-land are all identical, interchangeable productive “economic units” with uniform ideas and that can be swapped in and out at will.

  5. toad 5

    Today’s NZ Herald editorial is pretty scathing of the Nats front benches too, suggesting little talent there other than Key, Joyce, Power, Ryall and Collins. 

    • All parties have a lack of depth.

      • Tiger Mountain 5.1.1

        Another malodorous burp from tory Pete. Mana has ample depth and Labour and Green supporters can justifiably make that claim too. One size fits all Nat press releases may fool some but really just make them look boneheaded to anyone that follows politics regularly.

        The Nats lack of depth however is demonstratable and is mostly due to the limited horizon they operate under. They don’t support international or environmental issues, they favour road over rail, plunder over conservation.The main export Nact are interested in is money in the form of repatriated profits to overseas owned corporates.

        The righties come here not just to troll but also because their own side is missing in action when it comes to lively blog sites. The scabrous Whale and Farrar? Negative energy and nasty, the joke will surely be over soon enough for them if anyone can be bothered going through their wheelie bins, or skips in Whale’s case.

        Bomber Bradbury reckons the right FB page likers are smaller than the left (apart from Shonkey’s personal page) because anonymity is harder to achieve on FB. Public identification is one thing the dark sadistic ACT and Nat lot don’t like.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        All parties have a lack of depth.

        Some candidates too.

      • mickysavage 5.1.3

        All parties have a lack of depth.
        Including United Future Pete?

        • Pete George

          One MP is not a lot of depth, however the party platform is sound, we’ll just have to see in November.

          • The Voice of Reason

            You don’t have a party platform, just party platitudes. In fact, UF is so wussy you won’t even vote for them yourself, nor will you even vote for yourself as a candidate, which possibly makes you the least convincing wannabe politician in NZ’s history, Pete. So kudos for your honesty, if nothing else.

            • Pete George

              And your dishonesty and blatant lies continue. Are you a member of any party?

              • Lanthanide

                It’s really only a lie if you say something that you know to be false.

                VoR doesn’t know how you will vote because, as usual, you’re evasive and won’t answer the question.

                I think VoR’s take on your evasive answer is correct. If you want to change his mind, all you have to do is answer the question. If you don’t want to answer the question, then you’ll just have to put up with him coming to his own conclusions based on what you have actually said.

                • I thought you were better than that Lanthanide. You know as well as I do what VoR is trying to do, albeit not very successfully, it seems to be a standard tactic here.

              • The Voice of Reason

                I’m always happy to answer your questions, Pete. I’m a member of the Labour party and will be giving them two ticks in the election. How about you tell us whether you are a member of United Future and whether you intend to party vote for them and vote for yourself as their candidate in the electorate. On yesterday’s evidence, the answers are maybe, no and not telling, which is hardly a ringing endorsement for UF, now is it?
                Some things aren’t meant to be secret, squirrel. Out with it or I’m dobbing you in to the ODT.

                [lprent: Is this some kind of outing? Ummm nope. ]

                • I’m a paid up member of UnitedFuture.

                  On the other obvious questions I’d prefer to keep stringing you along so you keep looking like you are.

                  Out with it or I’m dobbing you in to the ODT.

                  Do you think they’ll quote you under your pseudonym?

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    Nope, I’d just point them in the direction of these conversations and no doubt they’ll do the rest of the journalistic work without further prompting. Do they still have the oddities column? I’m sure a candidate who won’t even vote for himself or his own party would be sufficiently humorous to get a mention there, given that you’re really not newsworthy enough to make the front pages.

    • TightyRighty 5.2

      compared against the shadow benches though, the governments front bench possess infinity % more talent.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Only if you are looking for circus talent.

      • Blighty 5.2.2

        yeah, I recall all those Herald editorials about how thin Labour’s frontbench talent is….

        Actually, just the other week Vernon Small or John Armstrong was saying Labour’s kitchen Cabinet is equal to or better than National’s. Can’t find the quote now as can’t remember the topic of the article.

  6. Eddie 6

    rjs131. Moving your comment to open mike as I can’t see how it’s related to this post.

  7. ianmac 7

    About 3 years ago we received a questionaire from our local Nat MP Colin King. It was thinly disguising a sort of push polling and I objected in the local paper. Colin King responded by saying it wasn’t his work but published by Nat Head office using his name. I expect that the same questionaire was published by (insert local MP name) all round the country.

  8. Oligarkey 8

    I wonder if National has a “how to be a National MP” manual as well. Something like the McDonald’s franchisee manual on how to run one of their chain stores. Seriously, when our representatives become this kind of soulless puppet it should be starting to set the alarm bells off. Then to top it off they’re all asked to become serial liars as well.

    National represents the pinnacle of shallow PR-driven politics associated with late capitalism, and the human resource management style that has emerged with the death of worker organisations in NZ (i.e. one size fits all – treating workers simply as units of production). They’re an insult to conscientious New Zealanders and humanity in general. A banal farce of an organisation with no humanity. Absolute creeps.

  9. Ianupnorth 9

    I was watching the breakfast news Simon Bridges -v- Jacinta Ardern slot; Jancinta spoke eloquently about how public services were being affected by cutbacks, citing evidence to support her argument, whilst Simon Bridges kept yapping over her about how there are more teachers, doctors and police officers and how there are more elective surgeries being done, clearl straight out the “how to impress the voter” manual.
    What a load of twaddle – ask any health professional and they will tell you prevention is far better than cure; ask any teacher and they will tell you their professional support and development has been hammered, their time is spent form filling for National Standards; and where are all those cops?
    Bridges just kept spinning populist bull, whilst Jacinta had fact, not fiction.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Have they all really received that feedback or are they just lying in an attempt to influence the media and the public’s perception of the popularity of National Standards?

    It’s National and as the leaders of National are a bunch of psychopaths (All the rest of them are Authoritarian Followers) who are only after power to benefit themselves and their rich mates at everyone else’s expense then the only conclusion available is that they’re lying.

  11. Roger 11

    Like when she and at least four other Nats claim to have been told that locals in [insert region here] “are disturbed by the growing prevalence of loan sharks in our community”

    I saw this from Sam Lotu-liga and was surprised to not see written after it that:

    “National don’t give a toss about the locals concerns which is why we voted against Carol Beaumont’s private members bill to effectively regulate loan sharks last year.”

  12. grumpy 12

    Can I suggest that they borrow something like this from Labor?


    • Blighty 12.1

      there’s a difference between internal talking points documents, which any party produces so that MPs who are not across an issue know the party line, and a public claim to have had feedback from the public which isn’t real.

    • Mac1 12.2

      Your spelling of Labor says it all, grumpy.

      WTF has an Australian document got to do with this debate?

      What I know is that the New Zealand National Party issued statements on behalf of an MP which that MP did not know about. Refer to Ianmac’s comment at 9.13 above.

  13. Gus 13

    Awesome Eddie. You are really nailing the issues that matter to normal folk. FFS. Why cant you see this shit is killing it for labour. Dammit woman get out and speak to the people that will decide this election. Food prices and petrol are killing us. Get all over that and drop this shit. It makes you look sad and out of touch.

  14. Jan 14

    “This is a cautionary reminder that much of the consumer and political world is created by for-hire mouthpieces in expensive neckties”. A quote from an Amazon review of the timeless, brilliant and apposite Toxis Sludge is Good for You.

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  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
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  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
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  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
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