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Careering to the right

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, August 27th, 2014 - 65 comments
Categories: national - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In May 2013 Andrea Vance wrote an article about far-Right National Party member and political strategist, Simon Lusk.  Four of Lusk’s clients in 2008 and three in 2011 were successful in being selected as National Party candidates. These included Nicky Wagner, Sam Lotu-liga, Chris Tremain and Louise Upston who was appointed Chief Whip in the 2013 cabinet reshuffle that also saw Jamie-Lee Ross, another client of Lusk’s in the 2011 selection round, promoted to Third Whip.

Vance’s article is worth re-reading to see how much of what she reported as ‘political lore’, ‘claims’, ‘rumours’ and Labour Party ‘fixation’ has been confirmed by the disclosures in Nicky Hager’s book, ‘Dirty Politics”.

Hager argues that, since Key took over as party leader from Don Brash, National has been following a ‘two-track’ strategy – fabricating a public image of Key as personable, populist and politically moderate, while a covert strategy relies heavily on unscrupulous and vicious attack politics delivered via social media – in particular, Cameron Slater’s Whaleoil blog.

These attacks have not just been on political opponents, they’ve also been used against moderates and the ‘old guard’ in the National Party itself.

Hager’s book proves that Lusk and Slater worked together to further the selection of far-Right candidates by attacking their opponents and non-compliant Party officials. The exposure of this far-Right agenda within the National Party is one of the book’s most important elements so it’s interesting that most of the mainstream media have ignored or downplayed it 1.

The internal attacks were sometimes couched in Slater’s trademark belligerent and ungracious style, and sometimes in a more subtle way – such as damning by faint praise or by posing as the guardians of ethical standards in candidate selection.

When Stuart Smith, an ex-President of the NZ Winemakers Association, successfully challenged the incumbent in the safe National seat of Kaikoura, a post on Whaleoil said:

Challenges are good for the party, they should be encouraged as they drive membership and engagement.  This challenge should also pose as a warming (sic) to meddling board members that their days of whispering campaigns and threats are over. The next people to be rinsed will be them…especially the longer serving and out of touch ones.

On November 10th 2013, in more typical Slater-style, it was claimed that Whaleoil would never take sides

unless some stupid fundy tries to break all the rules and rig selection, or if some factional war lords wearing drag try to impose a candidate on an electorate.

These sort of statements are typical of the mendacity and hypocrisy of the cabal that has used Whaleoil to conduct dirty tricks campaigns within the National Party aimed at advancing candidates who were current or potential clients of Simon Lusk.  Those who Lusk and Slater advised and helped get selected had to be a good fit with Lusk’s stated plan to build a “loose alliance of committed fiscal conservatives” to take the National Party more to the far-Right.

In “Dirty Politics”, Hager details a 2011 Whaleoil smear campaign against two candidates for the Rodney seat, Brent Robinson and Scott Simpson, and the electorate chair Cehill Pienaar.   Simpson eventually gave up and sought and won selection in Coromandel, and Pienaar resigned. The Rodney selection was won by Mark Mitchell, who was one of Lusk’s clients. (Somewhat bizarrely, in light of his attacks on him, Slater now refers to Simpson as ‘my best friend in caucus’.)

On March 21st 2014, in a post headed ‘Skullduggery in Hunua Selection” Whaleoil was at its hypocritical and mendacious worst:

Long time readers will know this blog does not support any candidate for selection in National seats, believing in fair play and ethics in selections at all times. In 2011 WOBH outed the skullduggery in Rodney where Brent Robinson and Cehill Pienaar tried to jack up a selection by not following the rules or the unwritten selection etiquette of the party. ….The electorate chair was forced to resign the day after the selection, and deservedly so as there is no place for dodgy behaviour from impartial office-holders in the National Party.

It goes on to say that “certain electorate chairs haven’t learned that they need to remain impartial” and accuses the Hunua chair, Ian McDougall, of committing the same ‘skullduggery’ as Pienaar had in Rodney – trying to influence branches over who to select to replace Paul Hutchinson who had resigned.

Whaleoil huffed sententiously :

If this is true is (sic) an absolute disgrace and McDougall should be forced to resign immediately. There is no place in the National Party for officials elected in the expectation that they will be impartial to take partisan positions.…..The Party hierarchy needs to investigate the skullduggery in Hunua immediately. 

The gall of this is breathtaking if you know that Slater and Lusk had smeared candidates and officials in Rodney in 2011 to ensure the selection of Lusk’s client, Mark Mitchell. Lusk and Slater set up camp on the moral high ground and claimed to be acting as impartial guardians of National Party ethics and procedures whilst taking pot shots at yet another electorate chair who got in the way of their preferred candidate.

In November Slater claimed MacDougall had tried to ‘rinse’ the outgoing MP Paul Hutchinson in the past. In March Slater said that Paul Hutchinson was an ‘old duffer’ who ‘was going to get hammered by a well-organised selection challenge’.

Slater was not referring to a challenge from Kael Roberts who he’d alleged McDougall was supporting, but to the eventual winner, Andrew Bayly. Even if Andrew Bayly has no connection to Lusk or Slater, their attacks on his opponent via a smear campaign against the electorate chair means suspicion hangs over him.

In truth, anyone who has been selected for a safe National seat over the past three elections who paid for Lusk’s services, attended Lusk’s candidates’ colleges, or whose opponents were attacked on Whaleoil is tainted by association. 

Lusk was quoted by Vance as saying that Chris Tremain would not beat Labour’s Stuart Nash (who Lusk described as ‘an exceptionally gifted politician’) and this assertion was repeated on Whaleoil in March this year. Tremain duly resigned his seat.

Kate Wilkinson, who took the fall for the Pike River disaster, resigned her Waimakirriri seat. Slater claims she ‘got the arse at the same time as Heatly,mainly for being far to cosy with the unions’. She has been replaced by Matt Doocey, one of the Carter family.

Phil Heatley, who was ‘given the arse by John Key from cabinet …couldn’t see much point in hanging around’ had taken Whangarei from marginal seat status to a 12000+ majority. He resigned and has been replaced by Shane Reti.

One who did not take the hint was Colin King and in November 2013 Whaleoil was at it again with the headline “Skullduggery in Kaikoura”.

The post contained covert threats about what would happen if there was any attempt by ‘old buggers’ to influence the contest. It reminded people (who supported King) that Whaleoil has ‘eyes and ears everywhere’, that he knows ‘who they speak to, what they say and who they saying to to’ (sic). He ends by reminding people how easily Whaleoil could use its voice against them.

The seat was won by Stuart Smith who has been a National Party member for just two years. The outcome was announced at the meeting but no details were given of the votes cast for each candidate and the voting papers were destroyed immediately.

A commenter on Whaleoil’s Soapbox on June 21st confirmed what I’ve heard that a lot of grass roots National supporters in Kaikoura are angry about King’s deselection and are worried about the strong challenge from the Labour candidate. And of course there’s the off-shore oil drilling issue in Kaikoura itself.

There was widespread speculation that, prior to this election, many National Party MPs in safe seats had been told that it was time to step down. There are rumours of large cash payouts being made to sweeten the deal for some of them. Whatever the reasons and however it was managed, there has been a major clearing out of MPs – something that Slater has been crowing about and has taken delight in contrasting National’s rejuvenation’ with the retrenchment of Labour’s old guard in safe electorate seats.

Andrea Vance quoted Lusk’s prediction that the holders of several safe seats will retire including “John Key, Murray McCully, Gerry Brownlee and Bill English” and says that Lusk “confirms he is acting for potential successors.” Lusk claimed in an email to Slater that he has  “at least half a dozen people in their twenties who will be in caucus one day”.

Predicting that politicians will retire is hardly proof of great political insight, but it’s interesting that one of the senior MPs who Lusk named, resigned his seat to go onto the Party List. Bill English was succeeded in Clutha-Southland by Todd Barclay who, by the age of 23, had got a degree, worked as a lobbyist for a tobacco company and as an intern for Hekia Parata and Gerry Brownlee, and gained sufficient political knowledge and nous to justify his selection for a National citadel formerly occupied by one of the Party’s most senior and respected people.

That’s truly incredible – in the ‘impossible to believe’ sense of the word.

Another young person with political ambitions who Lusk described as a ‘client’, is Sam Johnson, who was catapulted into celebrity by being the public face of the Student Volunteer Army in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Johnson, who was named Young New Zealander of the Year in 2012, is the sort of young, politically ambitious National Party member that Lusk wants to get on board – advancing the far-Right agenda by creating long term relationships based on shared ideology and – importantly – indebtedness.

People who get places by being associated with unscrupulous ideologues who use overt and covert dirty tricks, will always be hostages to fortune. That fact alone makes this a serious threat to democracy and should concern all of us – the more so because the influence of far-Right political strategists like Lusk is not the full picture. There’s also the influence of big business in who gets into safe seats in electorates and into high places on the party list.

Hager points to the use of Slater’s blog by commercial interests, like tobacco industry lobbyist Carrick Graham who has deep family roots in the National Party.  In exchange for significant sums of money, Slater placed articles under his name on Whaleoil that were written by Graham. Had these openly promoted smoking that would be bad enough but, like the candidate selection scenario, the Whaleoil articles smeared the reputations of anyone opposed to Big Tobacco.

There are at least two National Party candidates who were lobbyists for tobacco companies, Todd Barclay and Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop who, at 49 on the list, would be expected to make it into Parliament unless National’s vote collapses. Then there’s the influence of the dairy, alcohol and oil industries whose interests are also best served by a government that minimises controls over how big business operates.

The truth the New Zealand electorate needs to face is that the far-Right smear campaigns have not just been against the Left but have been waged against National’s ‘wets’ – those who Slater and Co disparage as ‘old buggers’, ‘old duffers’, ‘old tuskers‘, ‘numpties‘, the ‘sitting scum‘, the MPs with a ‘difficult missus’ – and worse.

We all know how this would have been spun by the Right and their supporters in the media had anything like this grubby shoe been on the other foot.  The evidence of that is in the way the rightwing media has spun innocuous and tangential issues into major controversies to whip up political and moral indignation against the Left in this and the previous two elections.

There is NO leftwing equivalent of Whaleoil or of Lusk whose objective is to take the National Party permanently to the far-Right. The Left and moderates in the National Party need to realize that the polarization that started with the hi-jacking of the Labour Party by neo-liberals in the 1980s is being accelerated and intensified by a National Party that has been hijacked by the same type of soulless, money-grubbing bastards. It’s beyond time we sent them ALL packing.

Te Whare Whero


 

  1. A conspiracy theorist could be forgiven for thinking that’s because drawing attention to those sitting MPs and candidates who are associated with Lusk could have far more impact on the outcome of the election than Judith Collins’ leaking of information to Slater and fast tracking OIA requests, and the question of who is in charge of the SIS.

65 comments on “Careering to the right ”

  1. Excellent post on a much-ignored aspect of the ‘Dirty Politics’ network.

    Slater and Lusk could be dismissed as fringe wannabes if it weren’t for one thing – they appear to be getting what they want in terms of the future make-up of the National Party caucus.

    Slater and Lusk presumably hope that, with their successful ‘two track’ record known within National, all they will have to do is put up a complimentary post for some previously unknown electorate challenger on the WhaleOil site and the other contenders (including long-sitting candidates) will immediately get the message that they will be dragged through the dirt if they get in the way of the chosen one.

    Chilling stuff.

  2. karol 2

    Thanks. Great analysis, TWW.

    One of the things that bothers me about these manipulators and covert political operators. They were outed in the Hollow Men. Some resignations followed, but, as Dirty Politics shows, some of the same players and networks morphed into something far nastier, and more covert.

    Now they have been exposed again by Hager, where will they go next? These are some ruthless operators, who don’t work int he interests of the majority f the public.

    We need a major systemic change, to provide checks and balances against the dominance by a small number of elite political operators.

  3. Excellent post on a much-ignored aspect of ‘Dirty Politics’.

    Slater and Lusk would be able to be dismissed as fringe wannabes if it weren’t for one simple thing – they appear to be getting their way.

    I suspect that Slater and Lusk hope that their ‘two track’ record will become so well-known within National circles that all they will have to do is put up a complimentary post of some previously unknown challenger for an electorate seat and all the other contenders (including any long-sitting MPs) will immediately get the message that they will be dragged through the dirt if they get in the way of the ‘chosen one’.

    Chilling stuff.

  4. Dan1 4

    For the disallusioned Nats in Kaikoura there is a simple solution: party vote Nat, and local vote to the very able and competent Janette Walker. Her pedigree of 17 years as nurse, and then long farming experience is compelling. Her success at mediation is known nationally. Her success at forcing government intervention in the swaps scheme has helped farming families and city councils around the country.
    Kaikoura is definitely marginal this year and as we get closer to September 20, the momentum will accelerate further.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    The released email details point out a conversation where Slater comments about what Jamie Lee Ross would do in a certain situation:

    He will do as hes told

  6. Well written.

    The media tend to downplay how much this is an internal, National Party problem, whereas Labour’s caucus are “perpetually” at each other’s throats. How odd…

  7. Tony's ego 7

    Kaikoura is my electorate.

    I attended several meetings involving Colin King when he first stood in 2005 and spoke with him on a number of occasions. My assessment of him was that he was a nice enough guy but clueless – perfect cannon-fodder for the Party in a relatively safe seat. He did nothing to attract my vote.

    Nothing in his subsequent Parliamentary career disturbed this assessment and I was entirely unsurprised when he was marked for the truck to the works last year.

    Rather than speculate on any possible shenanegans underlying King’s merciful euthenasia I would rather be interested in the arm-twisting that pursuaded his predecessor, the considerably more effective Lynda Scott to, ah, return to her medical career to make way for His Vacancy.

  8. Tracey 8

    When some people say focus on policy not on issues of integrity, such as exposed in “Dirty Politics”, they maybe lose sight that underlying policy promises, is trust and integrity.

    It is difficult to analyse politics in this integrity vacuum some would like. If people lack integrity it speaks to the types of policies they may favour, the policies they will chuck for expediency and so on.

    I dont accept that integrity, trust and policy can be so easily seperated in politics.The electorate appears to have attempted to do this and been manipulated and lied to as a result.

    The truth matters. Transparency in government matters. Integrity matters.

    The people who say it doesnt matter make me wonder about the level of trust, honesty and integrity they are fostering in their children.and those around them

    • Tony's ego 8.1

      I’d hazard the problem is that most people know the first casualty of war is truth (Aeschylus) and the first casualty of a political career is integrity.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        most people, knowing that, appear to vote for those who lied to them. THAT is the part that has to change.

        NOT all politicians are lying gutter dwellers.

    • emergency mike 8.2

      Exactly Tracey, how the hell do you vote for a party on policy when their trust and integrity is zero? How can you believe a word they say?

      It’s been clear since The Hollowmen that the policies National presents are just a front for what they really want to do with New Zealand.

  9. Jenny Kirk 9

    Unfortunately it looks like those on the right have moved to the Conservatives – if the comment coming from TV3 News re latest poll results is anything to go by.

    ” Tonight’s 3News-Reid Research poll shows that the Conservative Party is on the verge of making it into the next Parliament, even without an electorate deal with National.
    The poll, conducted in the week following the release of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book, has the Conservatives on 4.6 per cent, tantalisingly close to the five per cent MMP threshold.

    The poll has also asked for the public’s reaction on whether John Key should stand Judith Collins as a minister.
    3News Political Editor Patrick Gower says:
    “Tonight’s 3News-Reid Research poll shows Dirty Politics has given the political landscape a real good shake. Not only does it have the Conservatives nearly at five per cent – there are also significant results for some of the other parties.”

    • Tracey 9.1

      so, does this mean the party that wants to be the nation’s moral compass will deal with key and collins and anyone else who benefitted from the slater association? Lets sit back and watch how much they are prepared to compromise their moral high ground now

    • RedLogix 9.2

      I think Cunliffe only has to point out that expressing your displeasure with National by voting Conservative will only have exactly the opposite effect to what you intend.

    • emergency mike 9.3

      That’s mildly concerning. I had wondered after Dirty Politics: if you’re a ‘right’-minded National voter but you’re shocked and turned off by the revelations who do you vote for? I’m not talking about the ‘swing’ voters, but those for whom voting Labour or Green is just not going to happen. What options are there on the right?

      Is it possible that a significant number of traditionally Nat voting Christian folk have decided that crazy Colin is an option?

      • MrSmith 9.3.1

        National have done their polling and are well aware that Craig is trouble for them, otherwise they would have put out the welcome mat already. Craig now climbing in the polls could be good news for the left because now the National voters that would rather eat broken class than have anything to do with Craig will be looking at other options.

    • Anne 9.4

      I have been wondering for some time if Labour’s…”lets stick to the positives and ignore the negatives” has had the opposite effect to what is intended. I suspect it’s being perceived as wishy-washy and weak. For example: I don’t believe they have been nearly strong enough in their condemnation of dirty politics and John Key’s role in it all.

      In my view, one of Labour’s biggest failures is their tendency to over-estimate the average voters’ cognitive abilities. I’ve said it here before and in fact I’ve been saying it for 30 years plus… and nothing changes. 🙁

      • Anne 9.4.1

        And right on cue:

        Labour down to 26%. I rest my case!

        • karol 9.4.1.1

          Labour has been on the receiving end of dirty politics for several years now – it’s taken a battering in the main pages of the MSM.

          It will take longer than a few weeks to change the MSM narrative and to build trust in the minds of a large proportion of the general public.

          • Tracey 9.4.1.1.1

            judging by prime news, and the Herald, those outlets have moved on

          • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1.2

            They could dump trust-sapping initiatives like the retirement age increase for a start.

          • Anne 9.4.1.1.3

            Yes, I know that is all true karol, but it doesn’t alter the fact that Labour does over-estimate the average voters’ ability to understand the political scene. I’ve been involved with Labour off and on for 40 years and I’ve witnessed it first hand many times.

            A good example – just one example – is their tendency to write very wordy public releases that nobody reads including most of their members. In the two electorates I’ve been an activist in, we have virtually stood over candidates with a metaphorical meat-cleaver in order to reduce their epistles to an acceptable level.

            Helen Clark understood the voters need for simplicity. She rarely over-burdened their brains with more than half a dozen words at a time. The pledge card was an excellent example. (Yes, they got themselves into a bit of electoral trouble later on but that’s another story) It worked a treat at the time of the election.

            The Nats have known it for decades and it is one of the reason they’ve been in power twice as long as Labour.

            • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1.3.1

              Yes. The smarter more aware more educated establishment Left has consistently been outsmarted/out-resourced/out played by the Tories. The establishment Left has responded by talking to narrower and narrower groups of people in increasingly inaccessible ways. Which has opened up space for new players on the ‘far left’.

            • Saarbo 9.4.1.1.3.2

              Yep. Agree 100% Anne.

            • Rodel 9.4.1.1.3.3

              Anne
              I don’t like to say it but you are quite correct.

          • anker 9.4.1.1.4

            100+ Karol

    • AmaKiwi 9.5

      In order to be polled you need a landline. Few who rent have one.

      I think the polls overestimate percentages for NZ First, Conservatives, and Nats because their supporters have landlines. Kim Dotcom: “My supporters don’t know what a landline is.”

      By my count, Nats (plus UF and Act) will have 50 seats. (I give Conservatives 0.)

      By my count, Labour plus Greens will have 56 seats. Labour plus Greens will need to do a deal with Internet Mana or Winston to have 62 for confidence and supply. Winston’s 6 seats would only give Nats/UF/Act 56 seats.

      I think Dirty Politics will continue to drain the Nats. More damage will come on Sept. 15 when Dotcom and Glenn Greenwald drop Snowden NSA bombs on Key.

      Time to re-double my efforts so Labour/Greens can govern alone.

      • Colonial Viper 9.5.1

        In order to be polled you need a landline. Few who rent have one.

        They sometimes poll mobile phones nowadays I hear…but just ‘on-account’ mobile numbers, not prepays…

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    This from whaledump

    “Simon Lusk, 2/21, 2:06am

    is he ( Jonathon Marshall NZ Herald)going to run with a story on cehill?

    Cameron Slater, 2/21, 2:06am

    don’t think so, it is too deep for him, mccammon and watkins are though”

    Thats Tracey Watkins( Dom Post) and Belinda McCammon (RNZ) who quite happily do Slaters and Lusks work on discrediting their opponents in the National Party

    • Tracey 10.1

      not many seem to be loking behind the drip feed even now.

    • Matthew Hooton 10.2

      To be fair, smearing former South African Conservative Party activist Cehill Pienaar is quite a noble thing to do.

      • RedLogix 10.2.1

        Ends justifying means.

      • anker 10.2.2

        You are missing the point Matthew H and showing how morality deficient you are.

        I myself have no time for Rodney Hide and Act, but am appalled, by the blackmailing of him to resign.

        Gets some integrity.

        • Matthew Hooton 10.2.2.1

          I have called Rodney about the blackmail and he is adamant it never happened. Lusk and Slater were talking about it (and apparently wanted to tell Rodney that I had the incriminating texts, which I didn’t because they didn’t exist) but the whole thing was a Lusk/Slater fantasy.

          • Paul 10.2.2.1.1

            What was/is your involvement in the systematic abuse of power as highlighted by Dirty Politics?
            What attacks politics did you participate in?

          • RedLogix 10.2.2.1.2

            Oh that’s fine then Mathew. Glad to hear it never happened.

            Can you explain to the rest of us how to tell the difference between reality and fantasy whenever we hear or read anything said by any National/Right-wing mouthpiece?

            We keep getting so many conflicting versions it is getting quite hard to keep up.

            • Tracey 10.2.2.1.2.1

              Hager does not suggest it actually happened. I won’t quote but am pretty sure he states he has no knowledge of whether they went through with it. The media painted it as Hager saying Hide WAS blackmailed to resign, Hager spoke to the plan by Slater and Lusk not the implementation

              • RedLogix

                So we conclude from this that Hooton either has not read the book – or he has and is lying about it.

                Wattaguy.

          • Tracey 10.2.2.1.3

            I thought it was Jordan Williams who was getting the texts, not you?

          • Tracey 10.2.2.1.4

            Page 70 Dirty Politics

            “there were of course various political pressures on Hide as he made the decision but the threats described here were something completely different. The documents do not contain the texts and we do not know that they exist. There is also no evidence that a direct was made to Hide. Nonetheless, Slater and Lusk’s planning and thinly veiled threat on the blog post go far beyond normal politics. They feel more like blackmail. ”

          • Murray Olsen 10.2.2.1.5

            Why should anyone believe you, Horton? You’re about as credible as Key.

      • emergency mike 10.2.3

        Ah so Matthew Hooten thinks that smearing is a good thing, even a noble thing, if you believe the person deserves it. Nah that doesn’t sound like a slippery slope at all.

        Speaking of, hey Matthew, when is the big reveal happening about the $300,000 Liu donation to Labour? Or was that just a baseless rumour you were spraying around the internet because, what? Labour deserved it? Utu? The end justifies the means?

        You’re like that cartoon joke about the two bankers: “Relax. I said we’re morally bankrupt.”

        Dat’s a good one huh Matthew?

        • Northland 10.2.3.1

          FFS get a sense of humour will you

          • emergency mike 10.2.3.1.1

            Right. Because smearing and rumour mongering are actually kind of funny? Nah you’ll have to explain it to me Northland.

        • Matthew Hooton 10.2.3.2

          The smear involved spreading it around that the guy had been a leader (and I think maybe an MP) for these guys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Party_(South_Africa)
          And was trying to bring his former allies from that party into the NZ National Party.
          As a Nat – and setting aside the bad things in Dirty Politics – stopping this lot from getting a beachhead in the party is at least one thing to be thankful to Cameron Slater for! We learned our lesson well from the EB in 2005.

          • emergency mike 10.2.3.2.1

            Good things can happen for bad reasons. Was Slater serving the noble cause of getting rid of Pienaar because of Slater’s high moral standards? Or was he serving the interests of Lusk’s client? I just read Hager’s book. You can wave your yay Slater flag if you want to, (I wouldn’t advise it in the current climate though – no charge for that btw), but I know which way I’m leaning on that question.

          • TeWhareWhero 10.2.3.2.2

            I think it’s very revealing that Pienaar and his ‘former allies’ from the far-Right SA Conservative Party saw the NZ National Party as their political home but you’ll have to forgive me if I reject your claim that Slater and Lusk were being ‘noble’ in relation to Pienaar’s political history. If Pienaar had been one of their mates they’d have smeared anyone who tried to use his background in SA against him.

            The best thing about that scenario was the far-Right engaging in in-fighting – and the more of that there is, the better I like it.

  11. Excellent post on a much-ignored aspect of ‘Dirty Politics’.

    Slater and Lusk would be able to be dismissed as fringe wannabes if it weren’t for one simple thing – they appear to be getting their way.

    I suspect that Slater and Lusk hope that their ‘two track’ record will become so well-known within National circles that all they will have to do is put up a complimentary post of some previously unknown challenger for an electorate seat and all the other contenders (including any long-sitting MPs) will immediately get the message that they will be dragged through the dirt if they get in the way of the ‘chosen one’.

  12. blue leopard 12

    Wow excellent article, Te Whare Whero, thanks!

    I like the way you highlight the way these creatures say one thing and do the complete opposite. Key does that too. It is truly hard for people to believe that others could be so dishonest. They are and it is good to have it pointed out.

    I like the point you make about there being NO left wing equivalent to this carry on. I have been pretty stunned at our stupid msm for putting forward such a thing – it is false equivalence.

    I like the point you make about this movement being against sections of right-wing people as well as left. I am surprised there hasn’t been more of an uproar from the right because of that.

    [These were some of the many points I liked]

  13. Sorry about the multiple comments – They weren’t showing for me after submitting them.

    [lprent: The system has decided that you are spam for some reason. It usually does that when the comment isn’t correctly formatted due to something with bad reply capabilities (or being a lazy spambot) that drops required data. However it can also happen if there is a match in the blacklist. I will have a look for the latter ]

  14. ghostwhowalksnz 14

    Lusk thinks no stone is too small to be overturned

    “Simon Lusk, 2/21, 4:20am

    reckon carrick can get any money out of the pro oral sex lobby?

    In the United States, oral cancer due to HPV infection is now more common than oral cancer from tobacco use, which remains the leading cause of such cancers in the rest of the world.”

    He incorrect about oral cancers, its only one type, oropharyngeal cancer

    • Northland 14.1

      Again, as revolting as these people might be, you don’t think that perhaps, just perhaps, they have a sense of humour and might be making a joke here?

    • Matthew Hooton 14.2

      The “pro oral sex lobby”??? I would have thought membership would be near universal but didn’t realise there was an actual formal lobby group!

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        You’d think so Matthew, but membership of the formal lobby group is actually quite exclusive.

        You have to be able to spin and talk out both sides of your mouth at the same time.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.2

        I’m a member of the Chop Chop for Matthew lobby.

  15. yeshe 15

    Some post, thank you, wow. And at the end of the day, no less !

    Re CrayCray Colin and his new percentages .. hasn’t he said long and hard that his bottom line for coalition is binding referenda ? Let’s see how long it lasts. If he has integrity, he could sit on cross benches .. proof of the pudding and all that.

    Again, thanks for your incredible post TWW.

    • Tracey 15.1

      well today he and his party broke an embargo on those poll results, so the moral high ground is crumbling already

  16. BLiP 16

    Nice work Te Whare Whero. Thank you.

  17. I replied to Matthew and it hasn’t appeared …. has it been waylaid by a lazy spambot?

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Recent Posts

  • The Duke of Edinburgh
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time.  On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express ...
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    2 days ago
  • Five Country Ministerial Communiqué
    We, the Home Affairs, Interior, Security and Immigration Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (the ‘Five Countries’) met via video conference on 7/8 April 2021, just over a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Guided by our shared ...
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    3 days ago
  • Inspiring creativity through cultural installations and events
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the opening of the first round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events. “Creating jobs and helping the arts sector rebuild and recover continues to be a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 response,” Carmel ...
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    3 days ago
  • Drug-testing law to be made permanent
    Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Research by Victoria University, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, shows that the Government’s decision in December to make it legal for drug-checking services to operate at festivals ...
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    3 days ago
  • Better rules proposed for freedom camping
    Public consultation launched on ways to improve behaviour and reduce damage Tighter rules proposed for either camping vehicles or camping locations Increased penalties proposed, such as $1,000 fines or vehicle confiscation Rental companies may be required to collect fines from campers who hire vehicles Public feedback is sought on proposals ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government backs Air New Zealand as Trans-Tasman bubble opens
    The Government is continuing to support Air New Zealand while aviation markets stabilise and the world moves towards more normal border operations. The Crown loan facility made available to Air New Zealand in March 2020 has been extended to a debt facility of up to $1.5 billion (an additional $600 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Building gifted for new community hub in Richmond red zone
    Christchurch’s Richmond suburb will soon have a new community hub, following the gifting of a red-zoned property by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to the Richmond Community Gardens Trust. The Minister for Land Information, Damien O’Connor said that LINZ, on behalf of the Crown, will gift a Vogel Street house ...
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    4 days ago
  • Pacific languages funding reopens
      Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will make sure there is a future for Pacific languages. “Language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people. It affirms our identity as Pasifika and ...
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    4 days ago
  • ERANZ speech April 2021
    It is a pleasure to be here tonight.  Thank you Cameron for the introduction and thank you for ERANZ for also hosting this event. Last week in fact, we had one of the largest gatherings in our sector, Downstream 2021. I have heard from my officials that the discussion on ...
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    4 days ago
  • Strengthening Māori knowledge in science and innovation
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has today announced the 16 projects that will together get $3.9 million through the 2021 round of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, further strengthening the Government’s commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation.  “We received 78 proposals - the highest ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers next phase of climate action
    The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s ...
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    4 days ago
  • Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth
    Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The National Education Growth Plan is making sure that sufficient capacity in the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Two more Christchurch schools complete
    Two more schools are now complete as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, with work about to get under way on another, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Te Ara Koropiko – West Spreydon School will welcome students to their new buildings for the start of Term 2. The newly ...
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    4 days ago
  • Independent experts to advise Government on post-vaccination future
    The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination strategy which has been successful in keeping our people safe and our economy ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting Māori success with Ngārimu Awards
    Six Māori scholars have been awarded Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial scholarships for 2021, Associate Education Minister and Ngārimu Board Chair, Kelvin Davis announced today. The prestigious Manakura Award was also presented for the first time since 2018. “These awards are a tribute to the heroes of the 28th ...
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    5 days ago
  • Global partnerships propel space tech research
    New Zealand’s aerospace industry is getting a boost through the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), to grow the capability of the sector and potentially lead to joint space missions, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. 12 New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government backs more initiatives to boost food and fibre workforce
    The Government is backing more initiatives to boost New Zealand’s food and fibre sector workforce, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “The Government and the food and fibres sector have been working hard to fill critical workforce needs.  We've committed to getting 10,000 more Kiwis into the sector over the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes Bill to remove Subsequent Child Policy
    Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill in the House this evening. “Tonight’s first reading is another step on the way to removing excessive sanctions and obligations for people receiving a Main Benefit,” says ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mental Health Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Government has taken a significant step towards delivering on its commitment to improve the legislation around mental health as recommended by He Ara Oranga – the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment ...
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    6 days ago
  • Whenua Māori Rating Amendment Bill passes third reading
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill passing its third reading today. “After nearly 100 years of a system that was not fit for Māori and did not reflect the partnership we have come to expect between Māori and the Crown, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman bubble to start 19 April
    New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have ...
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    6 days ago
  • Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little welcomed ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi to Parliament today to witness the third reading of their Treaty settlement legislation, the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill. “I want to acknowledge ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown negotiations teams for working tirelessly ...
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    6 days ago
  • Independent group announced to advise on firearms matters
    Minister of Police Poto Williams has announced the members of the Ministers Arms Advisory Group, established to ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms that is independent of Police. “The Ministers Arms Advisory Group is an important part of delivering on the Government’s commitment to ensure we maintain the balance ...
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    6 days ago
  • Kiri Allan to take leave of absence
    Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management will undertake a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment for cervical cancer, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I consider Kiri not just a colleague, but a friend. This news has been devastating. But I also know that Kiri is ...
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    6 days ago
  • Excellent progress at new Waikeria prison build
    Excellent progress has been made at the new prison development at Waikeria, which will boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for people in prison, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Kelvin Davis was onsite at the new build to meet with staff and see the construction first-hand, following a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Expert panel proposes criminal limits for drug driving
    To reduce the trauma of road crashes caused by drug impaired drivers, an Independent Expert Panel on Drug Driving has proposed criminal limits and blood infringement thresholds for 25 impairing drugs, Minister of Police Poto Williams and Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Covid-19 imgration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for mums and whānau struggling with alcohol and other drugs
    The Government is expanding its Pregnancy and Parenting Programme so more women and whānau can access specialist support to minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “We know these supports help improve wellbeing and have helped to reduce addiction, reduced risk for children, and helped ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition Field Day – Tātaiwhetū Trust at Tauarau Marae, Rūātoki
    *** Please check against delivery *** It’s an honour to be here in Rūātoki today, a rohe with such a proud and dynamic history of resilience, excellence and mana. Tūhoe moumou kai, moumou taonga, moumou tangata ki te pō. The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition is the legacy of a seed planted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Crown accounts again better than forecast
    The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup to open in New Zealand
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash have welcomed confirmation New Zealand will host the opening ceremony and match, and one of the semi-finals, of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. Grant Robertson says matches will be held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • 1 April changes raise incomes for 1.4 million New Zealanders
    Changes to the minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates that come into force today will raise the incomes for around 1.4 million New Zealanders. “This Government is committed to raising the incomes for all New Zealanders as part of laying the foundations for a better future,” Minister for ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu approved for fast track consenting process
    The New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu has been approved for consideration under the fast track consenting legislation.  The decision by Environment Minister David Parker signifies the importance of the project to the health of the people of Otago-Southland and to the economy of the region.  “This project ticks all the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Next steps for Auckland light rail
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is getting Auckland light rail back on track with the announcement of an establishment unit to progress this important city-shaping project and engage with Aucklanders. Michael Wood said the previous process didn’t involve Aucklanders enough.                       ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tourism fund to prioritise hard-hit regions
    The Minister of Tourism is to re-open a government fund that supports councils to build infrastructure for visitors, with a specific focus on regions hardest hit by the loss of overseas tourists. “Round Five of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will open for applications next month,” said Stuart Nash. It ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Governance Group to lead next phase of work on a potential new public media entity
    A Governance Group of eight experts has been appointed to lead the next phase of work on a potential new public media entity, Minister for Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi announced today.  “The Governance Group will oversee the development of a business case to consider the viability of a new ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New funding to keep tamariki and rangatahi Māori active
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today helped launch a new fund to provide direct financial support for tamariki and rangatahi Māori throughout the South Island who is experiencing financial hardship and missing out on physical activity opportunities. “Through Te Kīwai Fund, we can offer more opportunities for Māori to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Single tāne, sole parent dads supported into papakāinga housing
    Six whānau in Pāpāmoa receive the keys to their brand-new rental homes today, in stage four of a papakāinga project providing safe and affordable housing in the regions. Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson congratulates Mangatawa Pāpāmoa Blocks Incorporated on the opening of three affordable rentals and three social housing ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Disarmament and Security Centre
    Kia ora tatou. It’s great to be here today and to get a conversation going on the disarmament issues of greatest interest to you, and to the Government. I’m thrilled to be standing here as a dedicated Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, which I hope reinforces for you all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago