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Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, May 12th, 2014 - 76 comments
Categories: john key, national, national/act government, same old national, Satire - Tags:

John Key Sausage gate

When luck is running against you it is running against you.

John Key yesterday was filmed handing out free sausages from a National branded stall. It appears that the effort has hit a bit of a snarler however and the PR effort has left the party’s reputation wurst for wear.

From the Herald:

‘Sausagegate’ began at the Remarkables Town Centre yesterday afternoon as Prime Minister John Key dispensed free sausages about 100m away from two Wakatipu High School pupils selling the same product, trying to raise money for a school trip.

Madi Taylor and Jasmine Sowerby, both 15, stood outside The Warehouse trying to sell one sausage for $3 or two for $5, but business was slow.

That was because the leader of the country – in Queenstown for the Mainland Conference 2014, a gathering of National MPs and candidates from across New Zealand – tried to snag voters by handing out sausages with Clutha-Southland National Party candidate Todd Barclay, cooked for them by Flaming Good Food.

The teenagers told the Otago Daily Times they each had to raise $8200 for World Challenge Nepal in December next year.

The pupils would celebrate their 17th birthdays and Christmas in Nepal, where they would be based for a month, going trekking and volunteering at orphanages.

However, their fundraising efforts took a dive when Mr Key and other National Party members, supporters and curious members of the public turned up just after 12.30pm, and the party’s free sausage stand was set up near Mitre10.

Key did make amends by making a donation of $60 but it shows how sometimes the best made plans can run astray.

But what I want to know is if the event constitutes treating?  Section 217(2) of the Electoral Act 1993 says:

Every person commits the offence of treating who corruptly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, either before, during, or after an election, directly or indirectly gives or provides, or pays wholly or in part the expense of giving or providing, any food, drink, entertainment, or provision to or for any person—

(a)  for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting; or

(b)  for the purpose of procuring himself or herself to be elected; or

(c)  on account of that person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting, or being about to vote or refrain from voting.

There is an exception for a light supper given after an election meeting but I do not see how this could apply.

What should be done?  Well nothing actually.  I am as interested in formal action being taken about this as I was about action being taken against Helen Clark for signing a painting for charity.

But you can imagine what would happen if it was David Cunliffe and if Slater became aware of this story …


76 comments on “Sausagegate”

  1. shorts 1

    I find it more unsettling that National feel a free sausage is tempting to their potential voters

    Is Todd Barclay the one in the T Shirt?

    • Rosie 1.1

      Yep, pretty sure that’s Baby Tory Boy in the photo wearing the suit, not the t shirt, looking like a doofus, standing right next to The Supreme Doofus.

    • Tracey 1.2


      has the boy got ciggies in his back pocket?

    • weka 1.3

      “Is Todd Barclay the one in the T Shirt?”

      Nah, that’s Barlcay’s older brother.

  2. Blue 2

    Greg please take legal action about this. Pleeease. This kind of sausage corruption must end. I mean what’s next? The sausage lobby having secret meetings with the Minister of shitty food? Keep focusing on the big issues.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      You don’t understand satire do you.

      • Blue 2.1.1

        It wasn’t tagged as satire so I assumed it was serious, given the desperation and all. Mind you in my defence, satire is usually funny so my mistake is understandable.

        • mickysavage

          Just for your benefit I will add a satire tag to it.

          • Bunji

            Well given how the Electoral Commission viewed Kim Dotcom’s launch Party, it may not be such a joke… Free music / free fancy sausages? Are they that different?

        • Psycho Milt

          It wasn’t tagged as satire so I assumed it was serious, given…

          …your apparent lack of reading comprehension?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      Silly Blue, if you don’t understand that this post gives the Left a chance to have a laugh at the expense of a weak lying Prime Minister who can’t get a break, it’s you with the sense of humour deficit 😆

    • adam 2.3

      Another right wing troll fail – the quality of smack these days is producing poor results for nat trolls – people have been recommending crack – but Mr Key just can’t keep up.

  3. not Petey 3

    “But you can imagine what would happen if it was David Cunliffe and if Slater became aware of this story …”

    He’d make a dumb partisan post just like yours ?

    • adam 3.1

      Again another fail troll – what up with these tories at the moment. At least in the past there was ripostes, now it’s just bitter and shallow two year old stuff. They must be all feeling like the losers – they are.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      As we saw with Cunliffe’s grandfathers war medals, they would get it inserted into the MSM, for most people to shrug their shoulders and say “so?” about.

  4. Not a PS Staffer 4

    Were the sausages paid for by Todd Barclay’s employer Philip Morris?

    If you want to see how much these leeches make have a look here: revenue $83m and Tax $0.5m


    John Key is not at all embarassed about being seen with the Paid Professional Cigarette Smoking Advocate who has also worked for Bill English, Hekia Parata and Gerry Brownlee.

    Cigarettes are still big business and that is why they are crawling up the National Party’s legs.

    • freedom 4.1

      early edit of the article has been discovered:
      ‘He’s taller, he’s cooler, he’ll work harder … and [just last week] he was in a play group with my second-eldest son.’

      • freedom 4.1.1

        but (serious now) read on and you see
        ”Six years ago, the Treasury never believed this country would get back into surplus again … debt looked to be $50 billion to $60 billion.

        ”[We have] $90 billion to $100 billion less debt because of the actions of our Minister of Finance.”

        Debt is $60 billion Mr Key, well over, some estimates have it as high as $80 billion.

        Is the PM suggesting NZ debt under Labour would have been over $160 billion in 2014 ?
        Will a single journalist challenge him on this statement?

        • Gosman

          It is pretty much covered in the 2008 PREFU.

          • framu

            i doubt that

            as in “once your silly little game has been unpicked it will turn out that your talking about something irrelevant or youve omitted key bits of info”

            but please – prove me wrong

          • Psycho Milt

            Gosman backs Key’s version of events:

            • the 2008 PREFU said that continuing in a recession the policies that had been operating in an economic boom would cause ten years of deficits;
            • National did not continue (all) the boom-suitable policies, and ten years of deficits did not happen;
            • therefore, we can treat those ten years of deficits as a foretold doom that only National was capable of sparing us from.
            • Gosman

              No self respecting economist (or even Treasury) would predict a 10 year recession.

              • McFlock

                nobody mentioned a 10 year recession.

                • Colonial Viper

                  No self respecting economist, or Treasury, predicted the GFC. So what does that tell you. And Japan is entering it’s third “lost decade” of economic malaise now. Mainstream economists and their corporate sponsors cannot fathom within their world view how anything like this might occur.

                  And now that global energy depletion is biting, the power elite is going to try and obscure the problem for as long as they can, while they make their own preparations.

  5. Simon Buckingham 5

    He did the same at Parachute. Whilst the organisers there paid for the sausages, it was still treating in my opinion. Yet another barbecue blunder by the Nats

  6. Bill 6

    So the guy with (how many?) millions does a quick calculation on the impact of his unfair competition, subtracts some obscure overheads from the final amount, factors in a subjective evaluation on the appeal of the competing product (another minus of course) and hands over a whopping $60 as full and final settlement. Gee. Big man.

    Nice wee bit of free advertising for the catering company that made the sausages though – even though ( or especially seeing as how?) it has no sausages on any of its multiple advertised menus.

  7. Oh, it’s a joke now, but I will never forget the 1999 election when National list MP Annabel Young accused Marian Hobbs of “treating” over a Young Labour sausage sizzle.

    (The reason I’ll never forget is that Kim Hill absolutely eviscerated Young on National Radio on the issue.)

  8. Bill 8

    btw Mickey. I don’t think setting up a free giveaway of a presumably superior product, just metres from a fund raising effort has got anything to do with luck. It’s bullshit. Very bad bullshit that to my mind just illustrates the thoughtless ‘me mind’ of these fuckers.

  9. weizguy 9

    The Nats were doing this in Wellington way back in 2005. A bunch of young Nats were on Courtenay Place giving out free sausages at a National branded stall.

    It looked like treating to me, so I approached them and asked whether they were aware of the rules. They proceeded to respond very defensively, until one of them pulled out an icecream container from somewhere underneath the stand and claimed that they were taking donations. They really didn’t like me taking photos.

    I vaguely remember a high-profile of the Taxpayers “union” sniffing around…

  10. Tracey 10

    remember when aclass trip was to the zoo. a zoo in thecity where you lived.

  11. Rob 11

    He is a sensitive wee sausage
    Pity he cannot remember anything

  12. Pete 12

    Key did make amends by making a donation of $60 but it shows how sometimes the best made plans can run astray.

    And then he has the temerity to engage in blatant corporate welfare!


    Although that’s more Joyce’s department.

  13. Gosman 13

    Some kids had a hard time selling sausages to raise funds to travel to Nepal. Cry me a river.

    • Bill 13.1

      No crying. Some self important twat made their fund raising fizzle. Fuck him.

      • Gosman 13.1.1

        Boo hoo. Two kids find it more difficult to visit poor people in a developing country. I think that is a textbook example of “Rich world problems”

        • Bill

          Missing the point. I don’t care what the fundraisers were raising funds for. You DO NOT fuck them up by undermining their efforts unless, of course, you are avidly opposed to what they’re up to and can justify your actions.

          • Tracey

            agree but the trip is perpetuating the idea that the problems which need our volunteer time are in other countries.

        • framu

          its not two kids – well maybe it is but nevermind. Its “kids being held back by adults”


          some kids were trying to raise money (for what is irrelevant)

          it didnt pan out to well


          because some adult came in and screwed their oppourtunity by giving away the same damn thing (in an arguably illegal situation) in order to promote their party

          what a heartless dick your being (and thats the most polite way i can put it)

          • Gosman

            Is there any evidence that this free sausage sizzle was done on the knowledge that some kids were also doing a sausage sizzle for fund raising in the same area? If not then this is just pointless point scoring.

            • Bill

              Prime Minister John Key dispensed free sausages about 100m away from two Wakatipu High School pupils selling the same product, trying to raise money for a school trip

              So, I guess it’s possible that the 100m involved many convoluted twists and turns, underpasses and corners, mainroads and what not. But I doubt it. And add in that he made a $60 donation after he’d done.

              And I’d be saying about the thoughtlessness, regardless of who the idiot was. No point scoring intended. I just detest the mentality on display.

              • framu

                “And I’d be saying about the thoughtlessness, regardless of who the idiot was. No point scoring intended. I just detest the mentality on display.”

                exactly bill – its not the politics gossman – its the utter lack of any sense of whats fair and appropriate in the situation

            • Tracey

              by the media?

              weekends always see sossie sizxles at the warehouse. key prolly doesnt know that, despite being an ordinary bloke he shops at la cigale

            • framu

              so your adding conditions to your original statement now?

              is their any evidence your not a serial bullshitter who cant sustain an argument? – seems there isnt

            • Weepu's beard

              How would one go about finding such evidence?

              Like other posters have said here, I know that outside my local Mitre 10 a sausage fundraiser is on all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Perhaps Todd Barclay’s campaign people are not as observant. Either that or they just didn’t care.

              Anyway, it smacks of the PM to get all flashy, trundle over, and dish out cash to kids:
              a) to wow them,
              b) to make sure they (and their parents) didn’t take it any further, and
              c) to make sure the media took notes.

        • Tracey

          like a guy worth over 50m doing a sausage sizzle to help keep his job….

          i agree with the class trip to nepal being ott, but soss the pm doing his ordinary bloke schtick.

        • Weepu's beard

          It’s an admirable thing to do.

          Are you just upset because them being there made the Prime Minister look bad for a moment?

    • adam 13.2

      I thought you were banned Gosman. And your trolling has turned to shit mate – your getting worse. You sound like a desperate man, desperate for attention and desperate to be loved. Ever thought if you behaved like a real human being, people might like you?

      [lprent: There was a partial amnesty a couple of weeks ago of some of the better arguers who’d picked up long bans since the last amnesty a year previously. I left the really awful trolls in durance vile. ]

      • Gosman 13.2.1

        Actually I re-read what lprent stated about the ban and it was apparently only till the completion of the next election which was implied to mean the local body one not the general election.

    • Puddleglum 13.3

      Some kids put effort into achieving an aspirational goal in a National-led New Zealand and you insult their efforts.

      So all this ‘do it for yourself’, ‘don’t expect a handout from others’ rhetoric is just for mugs and gullible schoolchildren, is it?

  14. hoom 14


    Electoral Commission warned Dotcom he wasn’t allowed to give away free tickets to the Party Party Launch Party thing.

  15. sabine 15

    if someone sets up a crowdfunding for the boys and their trip i shall contribute.

    just really

    $ 60 from the millionaire Leader of NZ? Scrooge must be his middle name.

    • Akldnut 15.1

      Scrooge would be pissing himself laughing at how Keys follows so closely in his footsteps.
      I’m still waiting to know how much of his pay goes to charity, judging by this it would be fuck all.

      • felix 15.1.1

        We’ve often joked about how he probably counts donating to the National Party as “charity”.

        Well now, thanks to Oravida, we know that’s literally true.

        • miravox

          Well done there felix.

          I wonder if Oravida also has a place in one of Key’s not-so-blind trusts?

      • Will@Welly 15.1.2

        I think he may have done that in his first year as a publicity stunt, but remember, no much how much he donates, he gets 33 cents in the dollar back

  16. captain hook 16

    dont bbring the kids into it. stop hiding a bad motive behind a good one. Keys is just a boofheead really. a lombard. lots of money but a real dick.

  17. Clemgeopin 17

    I hope Key, like Pontius Pilate, washed his ethically soiled dirty hands and wore some hygienically safe gloves while handing out these wee sausages to sensitive poor hungry kids.

  18. Tanz 18

    What, Key only donated sixty dollars? He could have afforded sixtty thousand, making it back in interest the same day!!!

  19. philj 19

    Key undercuts private fundraising school children. Have you no ethics?

  20. newsense 20

    Did Barclay give them any ciggies? One carton to smoke, one to sell under the table on the stall to other school kids…

  21. captain hook 21

    so is gosman still promoting keys sausage?

  22. NZJester 22

    I think the price of a sausage for $3 or two for $5 was the better price to pay on the day.
    The National ones are not really free, they come at the cost of your soul!
    So no matter how you look at it if I was there I would have preferred to buy one from one of the kids as I would keep my soul.

  23. North 23

    Felix Felix Felix……..you’re very naughty but I like you.

  24. RRM 24

    LOL what??

    Imagine if Shane Taurima stole from TVNZ by having TVNZ (the taxpayer) pay to fly TVNZ staff to work at a Labour Party meeting at Shane’s place in Gisborne?

    Imagine if Shane Taurima stole from TVNZ (the taxpayer) by having a TVNZ staff member perpetually doing Labour Party work instead of her job?

    Oh wait, you don’t need to imagine it, that actually happened!

    But it’s not worth mentioning when Labour people do this sort of thing!

  25. Aux 25

    Life imitating art? The sausage incident pretty much sums up everything wrong with the version of capitalism we use, and the cultural values we promote – nepotism, collusion, price-fixing and corporate welfare. The only more influential moment to those kids than figuring out what happened will happen again a thousand times over during their life, just reframed in different scenarios, is when they see all their beliefs about society fall apart as a result. Mind you, if they get rich enough fast enough they’ll never need to figure it out. Then instead they’ll wander around blaming the people who did.

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