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The first debate

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, August 31st, 2017 - 203 comments
Categories: bill english, election 2017, jacinda ardern - Tags: , ,

Update: Good news for Ardern going in to the debate. TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Labour ahead of National 43% to 41%, and Ardern ahead of English for preferred PM – Labour rockets ahead of National in stunning Colmar Brunton Poll result.

The first debate between Jacinda Ardern and Bill English is tonight:

Tonight’s debate will be televised on TVNZ1 from 7pm and streamed live on 1 NEWS NOW from 7pm.

TVNZ / Colmar Brunton poll comes out an hour earlier.

So far the main coverage has been about Ardern’s perfect shutdown of Hosking’s stupid question this morning.

Nat spinsters are busy trying to talk down English’s chances. We won’t bother doing the same for Ardern, the debate will be what it will be.

Check out The Spinoff’s handy guide to debates.

Spinning for the Nats:

Calling it:


Getting in early!

Everday sexism:

The appropriate response:

203 comments on “The first debate ”



    [third moderator warning. Stop using CAPITALS. Online it's the equivalent of shouting and is considered rude.

    You've ignored the last two warnings, so this is likely to be the last and you will either get banned, or I'll just delete the content of your comments until you reply. - weka]

  2. alwyn 2

    “Jacinda clearly won tonight’s debate.”.

    Imperator Fish is clearly good at the game.
    He (she?) managed to post this comment at 2.29pm today.
    Anyone know who uses this handle? I would love him to provide me with the winning numbers in tomorrow’s lottery draw.
    Somehow though, I don’t really expect an unbiased comment from him about tonight’s debate.

  3. The decrypter 3

    What’s Jacinda wearing?

  4. ianmac 4

    Bill has to catch the kids so will wear a baseball cap on backwards and answer all the questions in umm…that modern jive talk.
    That will chher the voters.

  5. David 5

    More to the point what’s Mike going to wear? I hope it’s not those jeans that looks like he’s ejaculated everywhere, or is that premature or immature or is he just a wanker that is comfortable in his own jiz? Go hard Mike!

  6. r0b 6

    Labour’s panel

  7. ianmac 7

    I don’t think many people remember exactly what was said in a Debate although re-runs on recordings are available for later analysis.
    What people remember is tone, confidence, self assurance, humour, fluency.
    Listen to Bill’s delivery (or worse Joyce’s) and certainly get switched off content.
    Listen to Jacinda’s delivery and she wakens a spark in response.

    Remember the classic interview with Lange and Muldoon? Not so much what was said as how it was said. Slam dunk to the smiling confident Lange while Muldoon scowled and muttered and lost the election.

    Here’s hoping for a good Debate.

    • miravox 7.1

      There’s often one line that is all that’s recalled as well.

      Clark did it to Brash when she got him suggesting she wasn’t a real New Zealander.
      Key infamously did it to Goff with his ‘show me the money’ retort.

      Let’s hope, that if it happens in this debate, it’s a good one from Ardern.

  8. odysseus 8

    And the poll is touted to have ” shocking results”…

  9. NewsFlash 9

    Labour ahead 43/41 National, Greens up to 5 and still time to go further, Bye Bye Bill

  10. red-blooded 11

    Yay! It’s been a long time coming (but very quick to turn under the new leadership and it’s good to see that being sustained).

    Golly, I hope it doesn’t make Bill feel nervous before the big debate…

  11. Morrissey 12

    These two good looking blokes could save the National ship from sinking, surely?….


  12. weka 13

    Anyone know where the livestream will be? (as in what URL)

  13. Mosa 14

    Beat the hell out of him Jacinda

    Let’s do this !!!!

  14. weka 15

    Good to se Ardern reaffirming the MoU with the Greens and that they’ll still be the first party she calls post election.

    • alwyn 15.1

      That will be very nice of Jacinda, if Labour win.
      Consolations will be needed if they are on 4% or they scrape back in but Labour need Winston to form a Government.

  15. Sanctuary 16

    Bill’s big problem is he has no credibility on housing, every time he talks about it and refuses to acknowledge a crisis he looks even more out of touch.

    When he talks about tax cuts it sounds like tired policy.

  16. Craig H 17

    Hosking is absolutely hounding Bill on housing.

    • North 17.1

      I’m hoping that unsure people got what I saw: Jacinda proving her right to be there. Authority. Poor Old Bill trying to polish turds.
      That was a big test for her. Flying colours. Bloody good !

  17. Craig H 18

    Jacinda is not backing down at all, she is really strong so far.

  18. Craig H 19

    Hosking: Under you lot for 9 years, wages have not gone up beyond inflation.

    Ouch (true, but ouch).

  19. Carolyn_nth 20

    Hosking is unbearable – talking way too much.

    Switched to Turei livestream on poverty

    • In Vino 20.1

      Hosking is taking away Jacinda’s effect by pounding Blinglish, then giving Blinglish heaps of time to answer. Then, on a totally new topic, Jacinda is asked to speak, then Blinglish gets heaps of answer time.
      I hope that later on, someone analyses the amount of time Jacinda and Bill got to speak.
      Hosking badgered both, but .. on the important topics, Bill got the bigger talk time. To my perception.

      • red-blooded 20.1.1

        Yeah, I really noticed this, too. English definitely got a lot more speaking time – I hope someone does the timings and presents them to TVNZ.

      • Jum 20.1.2

        Totally agree.

      • ianmac 20.1.3

        Noticed that as well. One time Bill talked for a huge time. Mind you the more he talked the bigger the hole he dug.
        Jacinda much more concise.
        Relief over Jacinda’s performance. Great!

  20. Herodotus 21

    Mike was wrong re building a house will cost $400k
    here is a table of the building cost for the top 10 builders in NZ, around $175/m2. 4 bedroom 185m2 = $324k
    Bill’s performance is going like a ballon 1 day after a party- slowly deflating and shriving up

  21. ScottGN 22

    He just lost it on the medicinal cannibus question.

  22. Johnr 23

    Blinglish and hosking are giving her much less air time. Jacinda has made one mistake, after the first add break, she should have said, on air. Do I get an equal chance of reply, or do I walk out now.

  23. riffer 24

    Damn Jacinda is good.

    Bill, on the other hand, is quite the mansplainer, isn’t he?

  24. The water debate…. and the Dippers watered down doublespeak about it..

    • Ed 25.1

      Apparently, in the land of Bill, there is no trade off between farming and the environment.
      Quite clueless.

  25. Anne 26

    National have decided to deal with Jacinda by using the bully boy strategy. Speak loudly… try to drown her out … don’t let her finish… make her look weak cos she’s a woman… drag in the old tried and true bogeys – commies and union domination of yesteryear.

    • riffer 26.1

      It’s not going to work.

      I personally find it offensive and I’m male. Goodness only knows what the other gender feel about his misogynistic attitude.

    • Exactly – complete with smarmy painted on cheesy smile.

      • Bearded Git 26.2.1

        Agreed-someone has told Bill to smile and keep smiling. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit with the constant negative attacks on Jacinda.

    • 100% , Anne… Hosking was cutting her off and speaking over her before she could give a full account.

    • Ed 26.4

      Count the interruptions of each candidate from Hosking.
      Clear bias.
      Hosking has to go.

    • In Vino 26.5

      Anne – I wrote at 7.50 (above) without knowing you had written this earlier.. I think my version supports your thesis. Hosking steals speaking time off Jacinda through sheer abuse of his position as moderator. He is unworthy. And as I remember he rarely gave her right of reply. He usually approached her offensively with a new topic to put her on the defensive. After a big bluster against Bill English giving Blinglish lots of reply time… Not what I call balance. I would have to watch the whole thing again to be sure about that, but it is how I remember it now.

  26. weka 27

    Some kind chap on twitter pointed to the TVNZ youtube livestream (website livestream was dropping). Youtube one has no ads! Made my night.

  27. Ed 28

    From twitter,

    *Bill English thinking*
    Oh, I am talking to a Māori person again.
    Say “kia ora” again.
    I am so relatable.

  28. Listen to the Dipper try and justify maintaining the minimum wage… what a complete arsehole . In the middle of so called ‘solid economic growth.


    • In Vino 29.1

      Yep. Labour has done not much in this debate, but the crucial point is that National have not either. Losers.
      Jacinda successfully bypassed the silly fluff about what she would wear : Head visible, hair tightly bound back: Just the honest face. Well done.

      • In Vino 29.1.1

        Upon reflection – I think there was far too much talking time for the host – big-mouth Hosking. He is only a moderator – why does he get to spend so much time setting the agenda for whomever it pleases him to put the questions to? And to debate and argue against them? Thereby allowing less time for other party person to perform and show talent…
        A time analysis would be most interesting.
        Sorry I don’t have the leisure time to analyse it myself.

        • WILD KATIPO

          We used to have Holmes , Brian Edwards , and even a delightfully respectful chap called Brian Priestly presenting the ‘ 4th Estate ‘ back in the day… who also happened to be an ex equivalent to our SAS… so was no wimp at all… these days we have a hard hitter like Kim Hill able to do a far better more neutral job and yet we get a guy like Hosking,…

          • Quasimodo

            Why is Hill not chairing it ? It would refute allegations of male chauvinism and level the playing field. Hill can be charmingly obdurate when she wants and would be an interesting and entertaining foil for Jacinda. Hoskins is a servant of sectional interests and passed his use-by date a long time ago.

          • Stuart Munro

            If the Right were not such a pack of limp noodles they’d’ve wanted Kim Hill – she could make Jacinda perspire. Of course Bill would collapse like his dodgy pizza toppings – but that was always going to happen.

  29. Sanctuary 30

    My summation: Jacinda did enough to show she can run the country. The momentum has not been stopped.

    National’s big problem is credibility after nine years in office. They can’t defend their record on key issues without looking out of touch.

    • AB 30.1

      Apart from Peter Dunne’s worm I can’t recall a debate ever changing things much. What may be more influential is a plethora of RW media pundits loudly insisting that Bill ‘won’ (somehow). He didn’t – nobody ever ‘wins’ these stupid things.

    • The momentum will not stop , no , and theres no doubt she will do a great job running the country. But it annoys me that someone who is inclusive , conciliatory and co operative is spoken over and treated like that… she even had the good grace to compliment the Dipper and National on some good policy’s…

      And that smarmy reference about having good values wont buy grocery’s at the supermarket… FFS !… if good values formed the bloody basis of policy then there would be decent enough wages to afford those groceries in the first place !!!

      Without values any country’s ferked,.. all you’ve got left is a collection of individuals climbing over the top of each other to pursue their own aspirations.

      Values mean everything and its from values we should be deriving policy. Not the other way round.

  30. Agora 31

    What do you expect the Sorcerers Assistant to say ?

    I mean Rogers …

  31. Bearded Git 32

    Bill probably edged that on the basis he got twice as much air time as Jacinda, but he was too negative, too many attacks on Jacinda, especially going on about 1970’s style industrial relations.

    But Jacinda made no screw-ups so the polls will continue to get better and better for the Labour/Green bloc government.

  32. Tanz 33

    Bill looked calm, composed and confident, with a cheeky smile visible often. He gave solid, sensible answers and did not try to dodge tricky questions or speak much meaningless, vague fluff.

    • Muttonbird 33.1

      He constantly talks vague, meaningless stuff on social issues. Vulnerable people are simply not a priority for him.

    • red-blooded 33.2

      He certainly tried to give fluffy answers about water issues, and his housing answers were misleading. He looked pretty silly denying there’s a housing crisis but acknowledging he and his folk have been buying up motels to give emergency beds to the homeless.

    • Hanswurst 33.3

      He […] did not try to dodge tricky questions or speak much meaningless, vague fluff.

      Succeeded, though.

    • Cinny 33.4

      No he didn’t he was reading off his notes at the end and was obviously rattled about the polls

      • Ross 33.4.1

        I noticed that too. He only had 30 seconds to say something in conclusion and looked down at this notes about three times. It looked amateurish. Christ, in Parliament he can drone on for hours. 🙂

    • North 33.5

      Farrar on Twitter at 1.28 pm: “Based on the fact that 90% of the pundits said David Cunliffe beat John Key in the 1st 2014 debate, I predict similar declarations tonight”

      Conveys no more sense than Farrar’s shitting of his pants at 1.28 pm today. Nats are freaking and getting ‘unnecessary’.

    • North 33.6

      Hey Tanz…….you’re saying Bill was ‘dependable’ ? Yeah that’ll pull the younger crowd then. Jacinda inserted her authority. Bill was dependable. Perfect ! Heartiest congratulations to her. Clever interjection “Who’s he arguing with it’s not me”.

  33. red-blooded 34

    Yes, Ardern was trying to stick to the positivity mode, and English was relentlessly negative. She acknowledged some good things from his lot – he just threw about attacks.

    She does need to get a bit more assertive about speaking time, though.

  34. Cinny 35

    Well done Jacinda, your first ever leaders debate, good work sista 😀

    Loved how you made sure you were heard and made it clear what you stand for.

    Can’t stand Hoskings, but I must say he did a fair job as moderator. The right wingers are probably attacking him for being so fair, must check out the RW blogs lolz. Jacinda you handled him beautifully.

    How about Bill reading off notes at the end for the 30 sec speech. That spoke volumes to me, shame Bill, shames it was a 30sec speech you should not even need notes to say what you believe in. It’s not like you haven’t been in a leaders debate before

  35. Glenn 36

    Herald running an online poll..

    Who won debate?
    Ardern 45%
    English 43%
    Certainly not scientific.

  36. Tanz 37

    No questions on health, crime, education. The Trump question seemed out of place.
    Hosking did a great job, thought he was harder on English. Too many ad breaks.

    • In Vino 37.1

      Yes, Tanz, Hosking was harder on English because it gave him the means of giving English heaps of speaking time. Ardern hardly got to say anything during all that time Hosking was being hard on English. And then he changed topic without giving Ardern right of reply.
      Funny, that..

  37. Nick 38

    English was given unlimited free answer time, but hosking kept interrupting Jacinda…..hosking was shit.

  38. Bill 39

    Liberal tosh boxing its own shadow.


    If the words and arguments had been given to two actors to read (the obvious party references or signposts being replaced with neutral labels), and the audience wasn’t told which actor was reading National’s part and which one NZ Labour’s part, then all most people would conclude is that two people were splitting hairs over the interpretation of the same book.

    • In Vino 39.1

      No – a third person was endlessly badgering them about it.

    • red-blooded 39.2

      Bill, that’s bullshit. Perhaps you can’t see the difference because you’re looking through one eye. Hard to get a sense of perspective that way…

      • Bill 39.2.1

        Oh gawd. Here we are with the cutting wet paper insults again.

        There are differences. But nothing substantive. That’s just what happens when an entire political culture has been ideologically captured and bound.

        But look, if you can can get enthused over two prospective ‘leaders’ arguing over tomato and tomato (you understand the reference?) then all power to you there red-blooded.

      • adam 39.2.2

        For someone with a degree/masters/whatever you call your middle class entrance certificate red-blooded.

        You do a good job of putting your angst out there for the world to see.

        Because for middle class NZ, there is a difference, for us working class stiffs below the poverty line, all I’m seeing is the elects of upper class arguing about who controls the masses better – red team or blue team.

        Not what would be better for working people, not what working people aspirations are, not what working peoples hopes or dreams are. Nor their fears. Just more of the same tosh and
        a half baked middle class wank fest.

        As for Union city greens, working people been right pissed off about this shit, long before middle class wets got captured by the ideology of authoritarian marxism.

        • Union city greens

          “As for Union city greens, working people been right pissed off about this shit, long before middle class wets got captured by the ideology of authoritarian marxism.”

          Let me know how you all get on in the vote 🙄
          Meanwhile, the rest of us can get on and change the government as a first step in getting progressive governance for NZ.
          Keep your Clinton, lesser of two evils bs for the jerk circle. Ta.

          • adam


            So you have now edited it.

            And you are saying I’m a wanker? Or that I should join a group to masturbate? Still confused by your thinking. Totally mystifying.

            • Union city greens

              “And you are saying I’m a wanker?”

              I’m have no evidence to refute that so I’m in no position to deny it with authority 😉

              • adam

                Well anyone who says they are not a wanker, is lying.

                But as for you argument – still stands – does not make much sense.

                • Union city greens

                  Yep, it does. While you’re moaning about neo liberal agendas, us green and labour voters will be going strong to change the government to end a 9 year nightmare.
                  Your cheap words are < than our positive votes. Stop whining.

                  • adam

                    Oh so you argument is, ‘shut up’ because you know better.

                    Short answer, is it your nearsightedness , or arrogance that wants me to accept your pathetically low expectations?

                    Because I don’t, nor will I accept such low expectations.

                    • Union city greens

                      The reality is what you want politically wont ever happen in NZ.
                      The only way it could even be a remote possibility is through a green and labour government from the inside.

                      Do I know better? Apparently so. I dig it.
                      Is it arrogance or near sighted? Of course not, my position is based on reality.
                      Low expectations? Not me, I’m changing the government in a few weeks. High hopes for that.

                      You don’t have to accept any expectations, but the cold hard touch of truth, that’s obviously brutal.

                    • adam

                      Well here the cold hard touch of truth, a change of government will do bugger all.

                      Your in fantasy land if you think any substantial, and sustained change will happen, under this labour party.

                      Particularly on the back of tonight, and labour party economic policy. Have you read it? I suggest you do – becasue they are offering very little in the way of real, and sustained change for working stiffs.

                      It will be more of the same with a nice smile, at least the new leader has had the good training for the nice smile.

        • weka

          yeah, well, this underclass/middleclass person sees a massive fucking difference between National and Labour while knowing that it’s not enough, and is resisting the false dichotomy.

          I don’t agree with red-blooded’s assessment of Bill’s comment, but I also think the whole ‘if we don’t destroy capitalism/neoliberalism/liberalism then nothing good can happen’ framing is a political cul de sac. Which is why we’re still milling round in this same old argument.

          Your argument would make more sense if we didn’t have MMP and the Greens. Which might be why the debate was boring. But thankfully Labour aren’t the only part of the landscape.

          • adam

            In the context of the leaders debate where were the greens again?

            Where is the arguments outside the same tired liberalism?

            Which one out of english or ardern put forward an economic argument which was not completely within the bounds of liberalism. Just one, just a little social democratic sliver would do at this point.

            But it’s to much to ask, and damn to hard to think would should expect better.

            3 weeks to go, and it’s the same old, same old.

            • weka

              The Greens are either invisible to the establishment (e.g. in this debate), or something to be quashed because they’re intent on change. That they’re invisible to the establishment in this context is understandable but it doesn’t help the left to make them invisible to everyone else.

              “Just one, just a little social democratic sliver would do at this point.”

              Fair enough, I just don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that from Labour so don’t see the point in focusing the debate there. That’s the cue de sac. Labour and National are the same, why bother voting etc. Rinse and repeat. It takes us nowhere useful.

              Yes, we know that Labour are a centre left, pro-capitalism party. That needs naming and critiquing, but on its own that naming and critiquing is insufficient.

              • weka

                I’ll add something to that. I think your class analysis is also important and without those voices we’d be in more trouble. However from a green politics perspective, the relationships are the central thing, so I find the antagonism between natural allies to be a direct block to change.

                We need the middle classes to change. I don’t expect you to be kinder to them, but it would be good to see some tactics or strategy on how society can move left that includes them.

                • adam

                  weka, I just want people to be aware that a change of government will do very little.

                  People make change, not some smiling politician. And this tired, and to me deeply bewildering commitment to a process which undermines them is odd.

                  There is always options. Mine is don’t give the in coming government a pass on anything. They will only enact socialism if they are scared of what working people will do if they don’t.

                  It’s to easy for many to submit, and just vote in three weeks time, then spend the rest of your time moaning about it. It’s a lot harder to actually do somthing.

                  • weka

                    I just don’t see the working people rising in enough of revolution to scare the Labour Party. I also don’t see socialism as the only possible useful pathway here (depends on what you mean by socialism of course). So that’s the cul de sac again.

                    At the least, if National get a 4th terms any activism will become much harder. We saw this in 1990. I think this time will be much worse. So even of one believes that a Labour-led govt won’t do much, that doesn’t mean that National won’t do much either. They will, and worse than what we’ve seen so far.

                    On climate change alone, having a strong Green govt is worth working for, so I fundamentally disagree with you that govt can achieve nothing.

                    • adam

                      A government that does not listen to the people will pay the price. And the Tory’s are about to pay that price.

                      But, to many here are saying it’s a big change, and the world will change. It won’t. This lot are going to change very little. I wish the greens the best of luck trying to drag labour party anywhere left.

                      Unlike you, I think it’s going to keep getting worse, because we keep committing to an economic system that not longer works. Liberalism, not matter what form it takes – is essentially broken. And the only way it can keep going is through more violence – which we have now in spades. Just go to a work and income office, or a temping agency.

                      As for socialism, I mean collective control of an economy – for the many, not the few. To steal from a labour party, who actually gets it.

                    • weka

                      “But, to many here are saying it’s a big change, and the world will change.”

                      I agree that is a problem. It’s not my position. I think Labour gives us some breathing space, and I value that highly, both personally and politically.

                      “I wish the greens the best of luck trying to drag labour party anywhere left.”

                      Maybe they will or won’t, but the Greens aren’t there to move Labour they’re here to change NZ.

                      “Unlike you, I think it’s going to keep getting worse, because we keep committing to an economic system that not longer works.”

                      I think you fundamentally misunderstand my position. I agree that the economic system doesn’t work. But within that there are peaks and troughs and it’s easier to effect change when we can gather our collective resources. We need a peak for that.

                      “Liberalism, not matter what form it takes – is essentially broken. And the only way it can keep going is through more violence – which we have now in spades. Just go to a work and income office, or a temping agency.”

                      Sure, but my problem is with the Liberalism vs socialism positioning as the only options.

                      “As for socialism, I mean collective control of an economy – for the many, not the few.”

                      But not via government right? Which by your logic means change is impossible short of collapse of the state, which in effect means there’s no realistic chance of change now.

                      It’s very nihilistic.

                      I don’t actually care that much if we use capitalism in the meantime. If we had a strong Green govt for 3 terms using the structures we have now, it gives us the creative energy and space to figure out what to do next. Because I’m not seeing any one group with the answers on where we should go, and meanwhile time is getting short and the left still hasn’t committed to working together.

            • AsleepWhileWalking

              For someone feigning apathy you sure are opinionated.

              • adam

                I’m not feigning apathy, and I’m interested in how you came to that conclusion. How did you jump there?

                And yes, I hold opinions, is that a crime now. Like being offended. I should be a good little sheep in you opinion?

    • Union city greens 39.3

      If you wanted Engels V Capitalism, 1845 called and want their ideology back

      • Bill 39.3.1

        Nah. A simple and not very threatening social democratic position versus a liberal one would actually be strides beyond what we’re currently being dished up…and good enough for the present.

        • WILD KATIPO

          Soooo,… if Labour ( possibly ) gets enough votes to almost go it alone at the rate they are going , and the Greens combine,.. you have a better chance of what your saying… I got a sneaking suspicion the Greens are going to come trucking on through regardless… but a Labour govt is a far better proposition than National to work on that social democracy… eating an elephant one mouthful at a time.

          • adam

            I don’t think so, look how quickly they buckled to the threat from the corporations last time around.

            • McFlock

              Still far better than over the last nine years.

              • adam

                Must be nice being white and middle class, having the wiggle room to measure crap and crap, then thinking one is substantially better. Must be nice.

                • weka

                  I have some hope that McFlock might actually vote Green.

                  • McFlock

                    I have some hope I won’t have to 😉

                    • weka

                      23 days to go, it’s cutting it a bit fine.

                    • McFlock

                      nah, victory is in the air. People are going to choose between winston and the greens. A chunk of folks will jump from nats to labour just because they look like winners or rightful rulers, but some left labour will jump to greens to keep winston away from kingmaker status.

                      I wouldn’t be surprised if greens are on 8% in a couple of weeks. I’m pretty sure that the they had a deep but small dent, not a long trough. 🙂

                    • weka

                      I hope you are right, but I don’t consider 8% to be a particularly good result in terms of getting a progressive govt.

                    • McFlock

                      that’s in two weeks. They’d still grow from there.

                      But even if it’s lab45% green7% winston11%, winston won’t have the leverage to push labour to be more conservative (hopefully prosser would be out), but both coalition partners would push things like housing, public transport and rural development to labour, as well as some benefit policies I think (pensions are cliched, but some child benefit policies too).

                      Basically I figure in that situation Labour would have both partners pushing it to double down on some of its more progressive policies, Winston to bring back the seventies and the Greens to eliminate inequality 🙂

                    • weka

                      It wouldn’t be a disaster, that’s true, and worth it to get some of the poverty stuff sorted. But really not good in terms of climate change.

                    • McFlock

                      Even NZ1 are talking about phasing out fossil fuels. That actually surprises the heck out of me.

                    • weka

                      they’ve been pretty good in a general way on CC. But neither them nor Labour are willing to shift creatively enough to make enough of a difference. This is the Greens field of expertise, they’ve been working on this for decades longer than anyone else. The whole carbon neutral by 2050 thing is probably not going to be enough. We need that in plan in places fast, so that if cc pressures speed up we’re already ahead of the ball and can make changes from a progressive place not a centrist place. Waiting another 3 years to get the Greens strong on govt really isn’t time we can afford.

                • McFlock

                  It’d be far better, for example, for the tens of thousands of children who wouldn’t be living in poverty today.

                  And also for the tens of thousands more children being admitted to hospital than under Labour (often for diseases related to poverty and/or preventable with adequate primary care).

                  Or the tens of thousands of people who would have had jobs under Lab5-era unemployment rates.

                  And yet funnily enough, people on benefits is falling, so far better for those people who now have neither jobs nor government support.

                  Far nicer for people who had homes under lab5 but not now.

                  How sour do you have to be to blinker all of that out of existence and just whinge?

                  Fuck, go outside, get some friends, get laid, get drunk, do something to get out of that funk, dude. It’s not a sustainable life perspective.

                  • adam

                    Your optimism is a nice change McFlock, I like it.

                    Edit: But on the point of economics, I can’t feel that optimism. I’ve read the policy from labour party and I can’t see any of what your talking about become a reality. Some tinkering is all they are offering, and much of it for the middle class.

                    P.S. I’m not in a funk. I quite buoyant about fundamental change coming, just not via liberals or liberalism.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah dude, just click on that link and look at the time series charts. Compare lab5 and nat5, and remember that a change in the chart scale means thousands or tens of thousands of people.

                      Look at the unemployment rates and suchlike. Sure, we had a GFC, but many of what should be peaks under the nats are just high plateaus.

                      Even a lacklustre labour is far better than the nats, and I reckon that current labour policy is well in excess of what Clark promised.

                      As for any coming “fundamental change”, I hope you’re wrong. When that happens outside of an electoral process, it almost always makes things worse. [edit: because it involves a fundamental change in a system outside of the process that legitimises any change, and the old system has the legitimate use of force. So blood spills]

            • WILD KATIPO

              Adam,… I’m seeing what you are getting at,…I just think first , I’d like to see unity on what remains of the Left, … I’m happy to include, MANA ( who I voted for last election / actually IMP ) Labour , Greens,… hell ! – even NZ First ( I just wish Winnie would declare himself ! ) .

              Being an old Alliance / Jim Anderton type of tradition person ,… I’m quite foremost in wanting a return to pre 1984 Keynesian based social democracy… see my posts on the NZ Initiative/ Business Roundtable / Mont Pelerin society in The Standard’s ‘Rachel Smalley stop telling lies about Labour ‘… comments .

              However, seeing all the abuse workers have had to suck up over 33 years… I’ve seen we cant get it through violent revolution, we cant get it by forming splinter groups that drift off into obscurity…

              But by working within , … the neo liberals have almost run their course, its time to work within, natural attrition is weeding out old neo liberals as they retire or die off, … now is the time to strike.

              Labour will want to hold onto power after 9 years in the wilderness, and therein is the point of leverage. But we must install Labour first. They are still our best option. By far.

              But the pressure needs to be kept up on Labour once they are in govt.

              We may have a ‘solid economy ‘ when measured in economists terms based on GDP,… but we have appalling conditions in real time…

              Childhood diseases in the land of milk and poverty – NZ Herald
              http://www.nzherald.co.nz › New Zealand

              Childhood diseases in the land of milk and poverty

              The working people are being shat all over on !!!

              Their kids are dying !!! , – literally !!!

              And this ridiculous idiot low wage economy when we are supposed to be having a period of solid economic ‘ stability ‘ , – and then they ( National) try to bloody justify it FFS !!! I mean ,… WTF is that all about? Slavery ?

              At least Adern shows she knows this and actually gives a damn , – she is wonderful in that regard. I would rather see someone like that as our leader than the viscous scheming bastards we have now. Any day .

              • adam

                The labour party were 9 years in the wilderness for a very good reason.

                They sold working people down the river, again. Closing the gaps never happened, they stole more of our land off us, and then they started us in war we are still deeply involved with. I know some of the nuts on here have a good toss over violence, I’m not one of them, least of all state sponsored violence.

                I agree, “The working people are being shat all over on !!!” and I have said, over and over – that the Tory’s in this country are a bunch of amoral, heartless, deeply self-absorbed worshipers of cupidity.

                But I have this thing, it’s quite simple, if you going to call yourself left. Then act like it. It has to be some form of socialism, any, at this point I’d argue Social Democracy – simply because we know that, and it works.

                But I’m not arguing for my preference. I’m arguing the middle ground. Social democracy. Not full blown working class led socialism, what ever form that may take. So let me repeat it again Social Democracy, would be the very least a left party would offer. And as I see it, all of the left parties in NZ are doing that. Liberal parties are not, and the labour party is a liberal party, simply becasue it is not doing that.

                • … ” But I have this thing, it’s quite simple, if you going to call yourself left. Then act like it. It has to be some form of socialism, any, at this point I’d argue Social Democracy – simply because we know that, and it works ”…

                  Good on you, and 100% agree .

                  Anything else is really ,… playing at it … or compromise.

                  I always took to heart in Che Guevara’s cynicism,.. he looked down on urban Communists as nothing more than useful tools,… always looking for the ‘ right moment’ when circumstances presented themselves,… whereas Guevara’s men were the people who bled, died and made those ‘ circumstances’ happen… and yet they didn’t identify with being ‘ communists’ at that point…

                  But, violent revolution is not needed here in NZ, however,… patience is.

                  Far less messy. 🙂

                  ( BTW ,… totally against Communism for the benefit of all the RWNJ’s)

                  What you and I are talking about is something this country operated under as a matter of course pre 1984 in general ,… just a simple return to a true social democratic society, of egalitarianism, a Keynes based economy , where people are nurtured, – not victimized. Where family’s can truly prosper despite being from a poorer background with equal opportunity. A confident society without rancour, free from the deceptive neo liberal lie of an ‘ equal playing field ‘ when it is deliberately designed to create inequality.

    • Incognito 39.4

      Come on Bill, this election campaign is clearly a neck and neck two-horse race between Jolly Establishment and the Bouncy Status Quo. Only the blind won’t be able to see this.

      • Bill 39.4.1

        Hmm… maybe reasonably characterised as a two headed pantomime horse, aye?

        • Incognito

          I was more thinking of the dreaded two-headed hydra with the heads called Scylla and Charybdis but realised that a horse-racing analogy would be easier understood by most. Maybe the horses’ names were a wee bit too subtle …

          • In Vino

            Jilly and Billy?

          • Bill

            I wouldn’t have got those references.

            But I’m picking the red noggin to win by a short head or a nose. Would that be Scyllia or Charybdis?

            (Thank you google)

            Given that people are getting sucked in, I guess Charybdis, aye?

  39. Robert Guyton 40

    Jacinda got through it all without serious harm?
    Huge boost to her confidence and excellent preparation for the next round.
    It was bound to be tough – Bill’s an experienced adversary – to have gone the distance in round one against him is a huge plus for Jacinda – she’ll be wrung out tonight, but now she knows how the stadium looks from the gladiators pov and she’ll be twice as good in round 2.

    • For sure… but I reckon she could afford to assert herself more with a ‘ just a minute’, ‘ excuse me , let me finish’ from time to time. Especially when up against ignorant pigs who are doing their damnedest to close you down.

  40. Philj 41

    Bill English in the TVNZ Sound Bite Show “Vote National for Care and Compassion”. Nearly died laughing!

  41. Robert Guyton 42

    “Grabs” from “other sources”:

    She isnt our cuppa. Her policies are not ours. But she performed well and had a high par to play off (compared to English, who has sufficient experience to do better). He was evading real problems (such as housing). He wouldnt answer direct questions. That doesnt mean we like Ardern’s politics, but National isnt dealing with the problem either.

    And we own our place. I am not being envious (I stand to ‘lose’), but I am also able to count. We are adding more people through migration and natural growth. We arent building enough houses to accommodate them.

    We can dance around that pigs hear, but National wont reduce immigration and they wont consent more properties. Labour will be a pain of a government. I am not wishing for it. But I can see how many people are tired of the status quo. Social policy and job growth are important, but a lot of people are tired of endless migration and sky high house prices (whether Labour are the answer or not).”

    • Nick 42.1

      Kiwi Build sounds like a good start Robert…..I dont know if its all bullshit, but its a way better plan than National have…..(which is limited)

    • Its hit the ‘critical mass’ point and people want / see the need for change.

      And faster than its happening.

  42. Robert Guyton 43

    “Stuff readers poll has Jacinda on 52%, Bill on 44%, undecided 4%.”

  43. Robert Guyton 44


    Bottom line: Bill needed to be hot shit on toast tonight. Instead, he was cold fart on bread.” KB

    Could be the coarsest but most accurate assessment yet 🙂

  44. Roy 45

    Expected more from both. J was jittery, Bill was possum-headlights. She’ll get better, he’s had his chance.

    J is in – reason to get GP in to relegate Winston.

    • Pat 45.1

      Nats were feeling this out….theyre desperate now so expect a far more attacking style next time out.

      • WILD KATIPO 45.1.1

        Understandable for Jacinda… but she came through with flying colours.

        Despite Hosking setting it up by cutting her off and giving the Dipper more time to ‘explain ‘ himself – not withstanding asking Adern first – giving Dipper even more time,… you could see the clanking clogs turn over as he ruminated, over his reply…

        Then springing to life as he worked out a line of attack with the choreographed stupid grin and accentuated hand gestures…

        Vaudville would have been a better place for the Dipper,… certainly not talking about shit wages for workers during a period of ‘ economic strength’ while working family’s sleep in cars and watch their children die…

        Childhood diseases in the land of milk and poverty

        Fucking arsehole.

  45. lurgee 46

    I think Bill English has signed up the same PR team who worked for Gordon Brown in 2010. He kept trying to smile, but it looks so unnatural. He should have presented himself as he usually does – a bit dour, a bit dull, but solid. Trying to ape John Key – as Brown tried to ape Tony Blair – really did not become him.

    • swordfish 46.1

      I think Bill English has signed up the same PR team who worked for Gordon Brown in 2010. He kept trying to smile, but it looks so unnatural

      Ha ! Had precisely the same thought vis-a-vis the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath bloke with a smile that scared the horses – in both cases symbolic of their lack of Charisma

  46. Robert Guyton 47

    “rain33 • 1 hour ago
    I think it’s easy for confirmation bias to creep in here. I think it’s helpful at this stage to take a rather cold and clinical overview. Nothing to be gained by ignoring the fact that Ardern is on a roll, and English/National have to somehow blunt that momentum if they wish to remain the governing party.
    Standing round patting each other on the back while the rustlers are untethering the horses is not going to get anyone anywhere. Ardern held her own and will only improve as time goes on.”

    • chris73 47.1

      “I think it’s easy for confirmation bias to creep in here. I think it’s helpful at this stage to take a rather cold and clinical overview.”

      Agreed, Hosking did a good job 🙂

      I do hope the next debate is an actual debate though, this seemed more like an extended interview

      • Siobhan 47.1.1

        “I do hope the next debate is an actual debate though, this seemed more like an extended interview”…totally, and i’m not sure why he hasn’t received more criticism for this..
        That and the double windsor knot in his tie loudly declared the in Hoskings mind it was a ‘The Hoskings Show’…

  47. swordfish 48

    Comparisons (2008-17)

    Colmar Brunton (3-4 Weeks out)

    CB Aug 2017 …….……. Aug 2014 ……………. Oct 2011 …….…… Oct 2008

    Nat 41 …………………..…. 48 (- 7) ……………..…. 56 (- 15)….…….…. 50 (- 9)

    Lab 43 …………………..…. 28 (+15)…………….…. 30 (+ 13)…….….… 36 (+ 7)

    NZF 8 ……………….…….… 6 (+ 2) …………….………2 (+ 6).…….…….… 2 (+ 6)

    Green 5 ……………….……12 (- 7) ………….…….…. 9 (- 4).…….….……. 5 ( = )

    • swordfish 48.1

      Very Similar to 2005

      2005 Colmar Brunton (3-4 Weeks out) % ……. (2017 %)

      Nat 40 ….…. (41)
      Lab 43 ….…. (43)
      Green 7 ……. (5)
      NZF 5 ……….. (8)

      But yep Lab has the big Momentum

  48. DSpare 49

    What do the numbers in brackets mean and why aren’t they present for the 2017 results?

    At first I thought it was increase from previous CB results, but that doesn’t seem to fit. If this is the 23–27 August sample from the 2014 CB (I haven’t hunted up the previous years), then Nat was only 2% lower than in the 9–13 August one, with Lab only 2% higher. All margin of error stuff. Nor does it seem to be variance from the election results where in 2014 it was; Nat 47%, Lab 25%.

    No – I see it now; it is the difference between the current result and the previous at a similar time of year. Too late for me to be typing if I missed that!

    • swordfish 49.1

      No – I see it now; it is the difference between the current result and the previous at a similar time of year.

      Yep you got it

      Nats’ 41% (2017) down 7 points on their 48% (2014) & down 15 points on their 56% (2011) .……

      • DSpare 49.1.1

        Thanks swordfish (for this, and all your other valuable analyses). It’s a bit embarrassing to have missed that for so long, but I’m glad I pushed submit rather delete on that comment.

        It is a good demonstration of how one’s preconceptions can blind one to the blatantly obvious.

  49. joe90 50

    They’re all in varying stages of grief over at the sewer, shock and denial, numb with disbelief – best someone arrange counseling.

    • mac1 50.1

      I knew how they now feel. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

      Great result (and I’ve just learnt how to dô àççènts, alors). Jacinda won without even waggling her finger.

  50. mikesh 51

    Jacinda was idealistic. B ill was pragmatic. I think Bill won that one.

    • Tell me ,… when Winston Churchill encouraged the English people to carry on ,…

      Was he being ‘ idealistic’ ,… or ‘ pragmatic’ ?

      When England was 3 weeks from defeat ?

      Therein we see how much a leader can inspire their people.

      By encouragement and exhortation,… the same goes for the North Vietnamese against the might of the USA during the Vietnam war…

      • mikesh 51.1.1

        [Tell me ,… when Winston Churchill encouraged the English people to carry on ,…]

        I have absolutely no idea. I wasn´t even born then.

  51. mosa 53

    Bill looks rattled so much so that he believes his government is caring and compassionate when in reality those attributes have never been National party priorities.

    Jacinda has been well advised and mentored by Helen Clark and her performance tonight reminded me of 2005 with Helen against Brash but without the hard edge from Adern but the toughness is there just below the surface.

    The choice could not be more stark and the same old arguments are trotted out about going back to the 1970s when unions were so horrifying and trying to scare the hell out of everybody about all these new taxes Labour is going to implement.

    Hosking can’t help himself bullying and badgering the Labour leader and once again could have held English to account for more than poor wages and house prices.

    Jacinda will be up against two in these debates but she is in control and is proving she is up to the job.

  52. Other earlier generations have endured much more than we have, and , … being an admirer of old speeches of historic import, here is one that has reached the point of cliche’,.. however, … that fighting spirit is encapsulated in it,…

    There are important principles involved, … ‘ we shall never surrender !!! ‘,… being one of them. This is a time of joining together to fight a common enemy. I include it as an admonition of all people of the Left to join together, to cut down the neo liberal common foe.

    They are not all pervasive, not unbeatable , not without weakness, and most certainly can be defeated.

    Victory is now ours.

    Celebrate this coming time , for it is ours to celebrate !!!

    Winston S Churchill: We Shall Fight on the Beaches – YouTube
    youtube▶ 2:25

    • adam 54.1

      Any reason you picked an arch conservative? I mean if your trying to unite the left, why pick such a died in the wool Tory as your go to guy. This is they guy who gave the world concentration camps, and for us from the south sea – Gallipoli. Reading his later writing give a great insight to the mind of the man who truly hated working people.

      So on a site dedicated to the promotion of working people/ the broad labour movement, it just seems all a wee bit odd WILD KATIPO

      • WILD KATIPO 54.1.1

        Lol ,… you are quite correct . However ,… the same principles that can be used for the globalists can be used for those of whom seek to reinstate the social democratic principle,… as indeed , … principles remain the same no matter who uses them.

        I chuckled when I posted it , – because that is the obvious point to consider.

        But the under-girding truths remain the same , – no matter who utilizes them. The Left will win , and then its time to consolidate that position, and in order to conciliate , we need to come together in unity. Its been almost a decade,.. and now is not the time for disunity.

        Something the Right knows only too well, therefore, taking a leaf from their success,… turn it upon them. Ruthlessly and without apology.

        • D Meatwhistle

          I think Churchill is a fine figure to be picking, I like this quote in particular:

          “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

          Something for Labour to consider

      • Exkiwiforces 54.1.2

        Actually i’m with Wild Katipo with this one, as I think this was one of old bulldog best speech’s as Great Britian had its back to the wall. As this was given just after the Dunkirk and if you ever get to read the English version of the German operation plan for the Battle France. Then you would know just lucky the Great Britain was getting its Army of the beaches off Dunkirk. All that was left was RAF, Royal Navy, a part of 1st and 2nd echelon of 2nd NZ Div and few Empire troops that give the demoralize British Army some backbone

        Labour and for that matter the Left have had its back to the wall and we are now coming out swinging and if we fail now. Then what hope do we for the Future if we fail now?

        Victory must be at all costs.

        • adam

          But unity around the enemy and their ideals.

          It’s a bit like letting the lossers put up statues, or letting other losers writing books to tell us how they lost the war on the eastern front.

          It’s just woolly

  53. And for those with a more modern proclivity,… the same with Iron Maiden.

    Same dif , different times.

    Aces High lyrics Iron Maiden+Churchill’s Speech – YouTube
    iron maiden winstons speech live you tube▶ 5:00

  54. philj 56

    PM English said the Government had learned how to respond to the Auckland Housing issue from The Christchurch earthquakes? Yikes!! And housing costs were dropping in Christchurch as they are beginning to in Auckland! Well done Bill. Full credit to you. Time for you to put out the bulls Bill.

  55. Exkiwiforces 57

    Well Jacinda Ardern made it on the front page of the Australia Newspaper this morning and I’m yet to read it, but as a quick look at it said the Double Diption is in trouble and it publish one of the polls.

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