The opening addresses of Election 2014

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, August 24th, 2014 - 32 comments
Categories: colin craig, conservative party, election 2014, greens, internet mana party, labour, mana, national, nz first, united future - Tags:

Last night the opening party political addresses were broadcast on TV One, simultaneous with an All Blacks match and a live-tweeted crowd viewing of Labyrinth. So if you missed out (and don’t follow my every thought on Twitter), here’s my reaction!

(Screenshots nicked and cropped from Asher Goldman on Twitter.)

National: so corporate. Much artificial. John Key in a staged “interview” blathering about goals and targets and not changing horses midstream but really without any kind of concrete policy, while an increasingly-irritating Eminem ripoff plays. And lots of rowing. And a very clunky “Oh Bill English is a great asset FYI” line thrown in which makes me suspect succession signalling is underway.

National’s full video doesn’t seem to be available online but if you just watch the short version a few dozen times it has much the same effect. is now online here.

Labour: I loved this one. Yes, I’m biased. But the idea of getting the caucus out to do a community project, taking turns to discuss their own policy areas with real Kiwis, was genius. It was a huge contrast to National’s corporate one-man-band routine. And there were real, solid policies to work on, which is a bit of a bugbear of mine.

I actually want to help out at a community centre if it involves Andrew Little and Carol Beaumont making me cheese scones. They even got David Parker out of his suit.

You can watch Labour’s video here.

Greens: Didn’t grab me as much as Labour’s. Their focus was strongly and naturally environmental, Metiria and Russel did a great job of injecting their own stories and personality into it, but there wasn’t a strong narrative as there was with Labour’s.

You can watch the Greens’ video here.

nzfirstNZ First: Winston doing his best General Patton in front of a terribly CG’d New Zealand flag, and a diverse range of people asking rhetorical questions to camera. You may note Winston’s tie is red and black, so read into that what you will.

conservativesConservatives: Colin Craig hitting his usual talking points about binding referenda to a room of silent, bored-looking white people. He really is a charisma-free zone.

actACT: If you did not watch this, find it. Now online! Watch it! It’s the funniest thing broadcast this year and may have actually been made using Windows MovieMaker, it’s that budget.

internetInternetMana: cartoon futuristic hovercats. Enough said, really. You can watch it here.

dunnePeter Dunne: a few minutes of Dunne talking to camera about how reasonable and middle-of-the-road he is, while parroting Key’s lines about staying the course. Lacking his characteristic bow tie, which may bode poorly for him.

ALCP: Rate a mention because their video was approximately a hundred times more professional-looking than ACT’s.

Focus, Social Credit, and Brendan Horan’s outfit: Shrug.

32 comments on “The opening addresses of Election 2014 ”

  1. Rosie 1

    Yes, big contrast between the one man Key bored-cast which was meant to be National and the happily working all together Labour team chock full o’ policy.Good theme of many people working together, representing collective effort and mutual achievement. I vote cheese scones!

    ACT’s one was just bizarre. I thought they had bucket loads of money to spend on their campaign!

    I missed the Internet Mana one as I had the tv on mute between the ads and came back into the living room and thought I was seeing an ad for phones or something, and only put the sound back on towards the end of the address.

    And how did I miss Dunne’s? No bow tie eh? Getting ready to wind down and go an a long holiday?

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    Greens was the best. Real and touching.

    I felt labour’s was contrived and a bit try hard. David and his extension cord did not feel like David.

    • Maybe that’s not the David you’re used to seeing portrayed in the media. As someone who’s known him for many years I thought it was very natural.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      I didn’t like Labour’s either. I thought Cunliffe was by far the best, King was ok and the rest were stilted and unconvincing.

      • hoom 2.2.1

        Yes. It quite. Came… across, that. They were. Reading scripts.

        A bit surprised that Whyte came across about as wooden as Seymore.

        Greens was great I thought.

        Nats, well I just keep on going back to the actual Eminem song humming along to the song about an angry poor guy living in grinding poverty with only a very unlikely possibility of getting out of it.

        Wtf is up with Keys hair? He seems to be increasingly looking like his caricature just kept finding myself tuned out humming angrily, staring at that hairline…

        About the only thing that sunk in was that the 170k new jobs in the next year every year target has blown out to only 150k by 2018, just look at that aspirational super-star economy go!

      • Tom Jackson 2.2.2

        Hey, they aren’t actors. Give them a break.

        I couldn’t stop looking at Jacinda’s hair. Peter Dunne has now been dethroned in the parliamentary hair stakes in my view.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Isnt the Nats use of the meeting with the Queen a definite no no. Bringing the monarchy into partisan politics used to be a big no, but with Key anything goes.

    There are laws to prevent using the word Royal for commercial purposes without permission, and the images are much the same. Cant see how Joyce would have got the OK, so he went ahead and did it anyway, like when he stole $110,000 of TV time by not paying the GST

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Loved the bit where the Act guy goes”vote for values” . Nobody bother to tell him that the Values party was the fore runner of the Green Party here?

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Lol, just watching the ACT one, and Jamie is mouthing his wife’s line at 0:13.

    The “For more reform” bit is just weird.

  6. Papa Tuanuku 6

    Twitter summary:

    Nat played #dirtypolitics. Stole 2011 election. Sell assets. Reduce our rights @ work. Attack Hager and lie 2 public Keep Collins on payroll

  7. FLV 7

    Russell Norman took two years to put a headlamp on a Mitsubishi Magna – apart from that they were all fairly predictable.

    That must have been one tricky headlamp….

  8. Pasupial 8

    Frank Macskasy has a good review of the party broadcasts over on TDB. No links, but he does do; Focus, DSC & Horan, as well. He gives it to the Greens, closely followed by Labour equal to IMP as runners up. But then; he says that Key was worse than Whyte – but after clicking on the link to that ACT homevideo, I don’t see how that is possible.

  9. Ad 9

    Key is increasingly going to rely on sporting metaphors. Their choice of all-European-origin rowers is an appropriate South Island and farming signal. His monologues to camera were epic snore-induction. However, the erotic attractive sleekness of synchronised crew over water is as inspiring as test-driving a new BMW or Mercedes. National strums the national bass guitar of aspiration better than any around – and no other party is doing aspiration to wealth within high economic growth and plummeting unemployment.

    Labour’s winner, as CV said, was the extension cord. It was a concept video Bob Harvey would have been proud of. It would have been useful to have this theme earlier in the year so that Cunliffe and Labour’s messaging could have built. He’s beginning to look friendlier. Just this side of Pink Floyd in its syrup content.

    The Greens’ urban street imagery was as jarring to its primary imagery as it could possibly get. The dissonance between their highly creative billboard and pamphlet imagery shows poor campaign branding control.

    The New Zealand First flag waving will unfortunately work. Winston looked like he was about to break out into the Tom Jones hit Delilah, such was the rhetorical volume. All the over 65 girls go ahhhhh.

    Great to see the Act leader walking the grounds of Alan Gibbs’ sculptural park, with clearly no funding left for reasonable production values or sequencing. Sorry Act, they’ll let you walk on their land, but the 1%ers no long need your parliamentary representation.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      The Greens’ urban street imagery was as jarring to its primary imagery as it could possibly get. The dissonance between their highly creative billboard and pamphlet imagery shows poor campaign branding control.

      I was sitting with a crowd of Labour supporters in Dunedin South, we actually thought that the Green ad had ended several times because of the break points/finish screens within it. And then it started up again…

      • hoom 9.1.1

        The Greens’ urban street imagery was playing to the middle class constituency ‘We care about urban people stuff, not just dolphins & national parks’

        • karol

          Actually, I think the whole approach is about countering the mythology that the Greens are a white. middle class, provincial party.

          In the past they have been criticisied for not having a strong presence in Auckland. They showed lots of images of Auckland, and are showing they have an understanding of what it’s like to be fairly poor – facing the realities of people’s struggles.

          But, I guess it doesn’t matter what they do, some people will just keep saying they are a middle class pakeha party.

  10. Glenn 10

    Loved IMPs ” Jetson type Cartoon”. Something completely different. Then today Pam opened her mouth and screwed up…..Oh Boy.

  11. MeToo 12

    Shame the comments are disabled on the ACT ad – I wanted to point out that “everything” starts with and “e”…

  12. MeToo 13

    Conservatives video is on the Vote Conservative NZ facebook page.

  13. Tobias Tohill 14

    Is the ACT video for real? It seems like a satirical hoax – can their election campaign video really be that bad? I mean, what is the location for it – it looks like the set of Teletubbies?!


    The Labour video works well, except for Cunliffe. That man seems genuine, but God bless him, he’s just really unlikeable on screen. Gets their policy across well.

    The Greens video has done well, on topic and well-targeted at their voter base. A bit of choice editing would have helped, perhaps a little more focus on some of their more inspired policies too.

    The most surprising of them was the Internet Mana clip – original, likely to catch an audience the others will miss and likely to give them a good shot at 5% or more of the vote. Shame it wasn’t a bit funnier, that way it might have gotten more social media uptake.

    National’s video was also well-directed to their voter base, but so very bland and elitist, and the interview with Key is a yawn. Vote for the john key and open the door to another long drop.

    What about NZ First? Given the consistently low reporting in polls of NZ First, which always comes out higher in actual election day results, it seems reasonably likely that NZ First will cross 5% on election day. After all, it’s polling at 4.3% right now. What will be the make-up of the parliament in the case of NZ First staying in. Let’s assume that National does as well as it did last election, as it usually sheds a few percentage points from the polls in the actual election results. Let’s assume Labour also does about the same as it did in the last election, but the Greens pick up to 15% and NZ First gets 5%, both gaining from the fall out of “Dirty Politics”. This would means something like National 47% (59 seats) Labour 26% (33 seats) Greens 15% (18 seats?) NZ First 5% (6 seats?) and then Internet Mana 4 seats (based on current polling and assume Hone Harawira holds his electoral seat), Act 1 seat, United Future 1 seat and Maori Party 1 seat (on current polls). This will mean it’s 61 seats on the right for National / Act / UP against 55 seats on the left for Labour / Greens / Internet Mana. With 6 seats between them, NZ First and the Maori Party would hold the balance of power and could decide the government. If National ties Maori Party into a coalition agreement, then it’s a hung parliament. I think it’s very likely NZ First will gain more supporters once people realise NZ First on 7% could make it the power that decides the next government. Perhaps Winston is right that the media are out to get him – after all, why hasn’t there been any reporting on this likelihood at all?

  14. Hanswurst 15

    John Key is just full of corporate platitudes. Great swathes of what he says don’t make sense. Case in point: He says that if we can just “stay the course” then we will achieve a “step-change”. It’s just a formula saying that “If we can [something probably good], then we can [something else probably good]”, and is really nothing but a seeming contradiction. “If we can just keep struggling on as we are, we’ll sudenly change gears”… OK. If the actual meaning of the words hasn’t been considered by the person speaking them, then it’s safe to say that they are quite content to talk bullshit, and that they have enough contempt for their audience to think that they’ll just swallow it.

  15. Hanswurst 16

    It’s also amusing that ACT, the bunch who are always on about personal responsibility and freedom, have a bunch of statements saying, “You want this”, “You want that”. If (as one would suspect) it’s ACT telling people that, if they’re right-thinking individuals, they want what ACT wants, then it’s talking down to people at best, bullying at worst. If it’s ACT telling people that those are the results of a survey of voters, then ACT are advocating the acquiescence of individuals to a collective view, which is the exact opposite of what they purport to stand for. Either way, it’s intellectually weak… and fronted by a philosopher.

    Couple that with Hide’s perkbuster-to-perktrougher capers and the number of convicted criminals who have represented this “law and order” party, and one would have to conclude that the ironies will just never cease with that pack of hypocrites.

  16. wtl 17

    ACT: Now online! Watch it! It’s the funniest thing broadcast this year and may have actually been made using Windows MovieMaker, it’s that budget.

    I think the reason they spent so little on the broadcast is that they using all their amount of money on directly spamming mailing voters in Epsom.

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