Final pre-election poll results

All five polls should publish their final pre-election polls results over the next day or so. I’ll collate them here.

3 News/Reid Research
September 9-15

  • National 44.5% (-2.2)
  • Labour 25.6% (-0.5)
  • Greens 14.4% (+1.4)
  • New Zealand First 7.1% (+1.2)
  • Conservative Party 4.9% (+0.2)
  • Maori Party 1.1% (-0.2)
  • Internet-Mana Party 2.0% (0.3)
  • Act NZ 0.1% (-0.2)
  • United Future 0.1%

Report: Poll: Winston holds balance of power
(it’s far to close to call specific outcomes with Conservatives on 4.9% which is teetering either way)

Poll of 1000 voters was taken between September 9 and 15 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. 

Last poll  result table: http://www.reidresearch.co.nz/TV3+POLL+RESULTS.html
(I’ll update when they post the new poll)

Roy Morgan:
September 1-14

  • National 46.5% (+1.5)
  • Labour 24.0% (-2.0)
  • Greens 13.5% (-2.5)
  • New Zealand First 8.0% (+2.0)
  • Conservative Party 3.5% (no change)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (+ 1.0)
  • Internet-Mana Party 1.0% (no change)
  • Act NZ 0.5% (-0.5)
  • United Future 0.5% (+0.5)
  • Independent/ Others 1.0% (no change)

Roy Morgan rounds to the nearest 0.5%

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 935 electors from September 1-14, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 5% (up 1.5%) didn’t name a party.

Greenwald’s speech (1) – bickering about bickering

The opening four minutes of Glenn Greenwald’s speech at “The Moment of Truth” was little more than playing politics with John Key – bickering about bickering.

Thank you very much. Thank you so much. Thanks to everybody for coming tonight and thank you so much as well to the Internet Party for organising such an impressive event and inviting me to speak.

Greenwald was introduced by MC and leader of the Internet Party, Laila Harre. Sitting on his left on the panel is organiser of the event and founder and funder of the Internet Party. Greenwald later claims it isn’t political.

I am extremely excited to be here and by be here I mean both this event and New Zealand generally.

I’ve only been here for a very short period of time, ninety six hours, but it has been very eventful.

There has been a lot that has happened in that short period of time but there are three episodes that I have found particularly extraordinary since I’ve been here that I want to highlight because I think it has some important meaning for what we’re here to talk about and for the upcoming election.

He thinks what he is saying is important “for the upcoming election”.

The first really extraordinary event is that you know is not all that common to arrive in a country, and within less than twenty four hours literally find oneself being publicly maligned and attacked by the nation’s head of state using the most adolescent epithets imaginable.

Minor misunderstanding – Queen Elizabeth is New Zealand’s head of state, represented in New Zealand by the Governor General.

It is an extraordinary event, in New Zealand at least, for a foreign journalist to make a very public anti-Government appearance at the behest of a political party founder and funder with an open aim of bringing down the current Prime Minister Government.

Has Greenwald done anything like this before? Did he expect no reaction or opposition being so political in a country he has little or no connection with in the last week of an election? or is he playing politics as much as the Prime Minister.

You know Saturday was my first full day here in New Zealand and I was welcomed by being called literally on no less than a dozen occasions a henchman, um, by the nation’s Prime Minister, and today earlier this morning he descended even a little bit further into the muck crowning me a loser, something that I don’t think I’ve been called since I was like fourteen years old so it brought back a lot of really good memories.

And the really amazing thing about it is I’ve done reporting over the last year and couple of months on the NSA and then on global surveillance as a result of the documents I was provided by my source, Edward Snowden, and the New Zealand Government certainly is not the first Government that has disliked the reporting that we’ve done.

And they are not even the first Government that has tried to distract attention away from the substance of the disclosures by trying to attack the journalist personally in order to discredit the journalism.

Greenwald seems to have trouble differentiating his journalism from his political activism.

But what is unique about New Zealand is that in every other country where that was done it wasn’t the Head of State that actually spouted those insults, um they get underlings or representatives or minions to do it because generally Heads of State are very concerned about appearing dignified and statesmanlike.

Spouting insults like ‘underlings’ and ‘minions’, and opening his speech with this counter attack on John Key was a distraction from the substance of his disclosures. Greenwald’s initial approach was playing politics and playing the man – during an election campaign – just like Key.

But I don’t know I guess in some warped way New Zealander’s should consider themselves blessed to be led by a person who has completely unburdened himself with those concerns, I mean he has no interest at all in dignity or statesmanlike behaviour whatsoever, and….

Greenwald has unburdened himself, seeming to have no interest so far in dignity or journalist-like behaviour.

Dotcom, seated right beside Greenwald, keeps reminding of his own undignified presence with frequent and distracting loud laughter.

You know I never thought that I would actually hear myself saying what I have said multiple times in interviews over the last four days which is, it’s a very weird thing to hear one saying, which is I’m not going to lower myself to the Prime Minister’s level by getting into the mud with him and name calling.

And I’ve tried really hard to adhere to that over the past four days and I’m going to try hard although I might not completely succeed but I will try hard to adhere to that tonight as well because there are a lot of really important substantive issues that we shouldn’t allow to be overwhelmed or distracted by what he’s hoping to be this kind of bickering match.

He has already failed. Up to now, in the first four minutes almost exactly of his speech, Greenwald has said nothing substantive, instead being distracted and lowering himself into the political bickering mud.

Video: “The Moment of Truth”  – approximately 28:30 to 32:30

Dotcom was introduced as one of the ‘Truth’ speakers

There’s been a lot of puzzlement about when and why Kim Dotcom decided not to present what he had been promising for years, and what he had insisted the town hall meeting was about for months.

Just over an hour before it started Dotcom was promoting himself in the line-up.

 ·  5.38 PM – Sep 15 

Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and I will see you at the Auckland Townhall tonight.

At the start of the meeting Dotcom was included in the list of those introduced to speak.

His party leader Laila Harre opened the evening with a short speech and then she outlined who would be speaking, at just over 27:00 on the Youtube video:

Now it is our turn again.

Tonight we will hear from Glenn Greenwald, Bob Amsterdam, Kim Dotcom, Julian Assange, and perhaps another very special visitor.

Whanau, I would like you to join me in welcoming again out guests and our panel.

Moment of Truth lineup

Dotcom was clearly presented as a part of the panel.

Either Dotcom (and Harre) already knew he wouldn’t be presenting his promised case, or he stood down or was pulled during the course of the speeches that followed.

When was ‘The Moment of Withdrawal’?

Peters torpedos left wing options

Winston Peters appeared to promote a Labour+NZ First coalition option yesterday but it looks more like a torpedo to the left, especially aimed at the Greens, perhaps to try and pick up votes from the debris.

The main question is whether Peters was trying to be noticed on a day that Kim Dotcom was sucking up most of the media attention, or if he was trying to slip a positioning statement in under cover of the big news of the day.

Peters put out a media release yesterday afternoon - Alternatives In Election 2014 which praised both Labour’s David Parker and National’s Bill English.

When David Parker was attacked by a former business partner, alleging a breach of the law by the Hon David Parker, I was the first MP to back David Parker because, over an extensive period of time, I believed that he was a man of honour and integrity.

Similarly, I have observed the Hon Bill English’s conduct regarding the allegations in “Dirty Politics” and his reserve in the defence of the Hon Judith Collins’s conduct.

In addition on the question of tax cuts by National, Mr English’s aversion to claiming that they were possible is further evidence for me, that like Mr Parker, he has a certain integrity and honour.

Consequently, I see both of them as capable of being Ministers of Finance.

By stating he would work with either Labour or National Peters appears to keep his coalition options open. But he also slams the Greens.

In this campaign the Green Party has twice, for reasons best known to them, in essence led an assault on the Labour Party.

“Of late the Greens have been talking about being co-deputy prime ministers and wanting the finance portfolio.

“Does that mean when the Prime Minister is abroad we are going to have two acting prime ministers instead.

“This situation would be farcical.

“If the Greens think they are going to take over the levers of economic management they are assuming other parties are not watching their record.

“This statement in no way challenges the Labour Party’s belief that in the right circumstances they could form an alternative government.

“Voters need to be disabused of the view promoted by the Greens that we in New Zealand First would stand by whilst they promote extremist policies in government.

“This is not indicating a choice but the media seem to have overlooked one option entirely, a Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply.

“This emerged in 2005, has precedent, and it was a stable, successful government that delivered the greatest surpluses in recent years.”

Things were considerably different in 2005 when Peters shut the Greens out of Government.

Labour got 41.1% (to National’s 39.1), NZ First got 5.72% and the Greens 5.3%. Labour and NZ First combined with United Future (2.67%) giving a total of 49.42%.

Current polling has Labour in the mid twenties and NZ First 4-8%. Even if a miracle happens and Labour recovered to 30%, and NZ First climbed to 10%, that gets only 40%, well short of a majority. Greens (polling 10-15%) would be essential to get over the line.

Labour+NZ First is likely to be closer to 35% and could go as low as 30%.

“A Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply” looks an unattainable option. Peters must know this.

If Peters rules out combining with the Greens as he appears to have done here then he has only two choices – a coalition with National (possibly alongside Conservatives if they make the threshold, giving National alternatives) or going on the cross benches.

Peters must see potential votes from Green bashing. He has u-turned on his word before but he has consistently avoided working in Government alongside the Greens.

This looks like a torpedo to the left, conceding a left wing coalition is extremely unlikely.

Kim Dotcom’s moment of truth

MrCreosote

D-Day versus Key-Day

Tonight Kim Dotcom will have his big time in his own spotlight, an event he calls “The Moment of Truth”. He is trying to place himself on the same pedestal as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden – they have one thing in common, they are all being sought by countries for extradition and prosecution, but beyond that Dotcom is an odd associate.

John Key has created a climate of doubt that it will be the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so media will not just be broadcasting the supposed revelations unchallenged, they will be looking for Key’s response. That was a smart play by Key who has had months to prepare for this.

Dotcom may have sidelined himself by bringing Glenn Grenwald to New Zealand to headline his show with supposed revelations that our GCSB has been undertaking mass surveillance on us.

Greenwald is usually labeled a journalist – and his Pulitzer prize is often mentioned – but he is also a side taking political activist. In his own words in a recent interview for Metro:

I’ve been very clear that I’m not neutral on the question of mass surveillance. It’s dangerous and I oppose it. I’m supportive of political parties around the world that have made it an important part of their platform to work against it, whether it be the Green Party in Europe or the Green Party here, or the Internet Party, or the Techno Pirate party in Sweden.

He has deliberately chosen to reveal what he claims during our election for “maximum impact”.

I think it’s entirely legitimate for a journalist to think about how to maximise public awareness of the reporting that you’re doing. And I knew that by physically travelling here, at this time, when the citizenry is most engaged politically, that would present an excellent opportunity to bring as much attention as possible to these matters.

That sounds more like political activism, and interference in a country’s democratic process.

Key has upped the ante prior to the show, putting his political credibility and probably his political future on the line. Andrea Vance reports at Stuff:

Greenwald says the Government hasn’t been truthful about the GCSB legislation, which passed into law in August 2013.

Key insists Greenwald is “absolutely wrong”.

“He said the GCSB is undertaking mass surveillance against New Zealanders. They are not. There is no ambiguity, no middle ground. I’m right, he’s wrong.”

He says he has documents, including a Cabinet paper, to back his claims. But he won’t release them until Greenwald reveals what he has. And he accused the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of playing politics, by staging a “sound and light show” with Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom, just days before the election.

Greenwald will join Dotcom at a “Moment of Truth” event tonight in Auckland, where he is set to detail his claims about the GCSB.

Key claims the Snowden documents tell only half the story – that Cabinet signed off proposals for the GCSB to investigate “widespread cyber protection” in early 2012 after two “significant” cyber attacks on Kiwi companies.

But he says that after a year he stopped the work as an internal review unearthed a raft of problems at the agency.

Despite Key’s counter attack Greenwald remains staunch that what he doesn’t know won’t affect the impact of his accusations. He is backing is part of ‘the truth’ being enough truth.

Despite no other world leaders disputing Greenwald’s previous disclosures about other countries in the Five Eyes alliance, Key said: “He’s absolutely wrong . . . he’s releasing hacked information which is presenting a picture which is completely incomplete . . . what I can say to New Zealanders is do not believe them.”

Key looks to be well prepared. It’s not known yet how well prepared Greenwald is to have his allegations strongly challenged. He may have come here thinking New Zealand would be an easy hit after his efforts with the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.

We will have to see what Greenwald produces tonight, and then what Key counters with. Waiting for Key’s response will diffuse the impact of the show tonight.

Dotcom is also going to try and prove Key wrong, but his cases have been overshadowed by his big-noting with international anti-surveillance activists. Whether Key knew Dotcom before he has claimed, just prior to the Dotcom raid, seems relatively trivial.

Dotcom also wants to prove he was granted residency in New Zealand to make it easier for the US to extradite him supposedly at the request of Hollywood.

John Armstrong says that Dotcom’s credibility is also on the line in Dotcom’s last chance to shine.

It is delivery time for Kim Dotcom. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. He must deliver the irrefutable evidence that he has repeatedly promised to show that the Prime Minister has not told the truth.

Dotcom’s “moment of truth” must be a moment of proof. He must prove that the Prime Minister has not been straight with the public, firstly regarding exactly when he became aware of the Megaupload mogul and, secondly, that the intelligence agencies for which John Key has ministerial responsibility have conducted mass surveillance.

There can be no room for doubt. There can be no reliance on the circumstantial. There can be no shifting of goalposts by saying the fuss is all really about New Zealand spying on other countries.

If tonight exposes Dotcom as nothing more than a big-noting charlatan who has attempted to hijack the electoral system, then the public backlash could be withering.

Dishing the dirt on Key in the last week of the campaign may have seemed a clever move when the idea was first mooted within internet-Mana. It may yet be the the final humiliation for the parties of the left in an election campaign that has been turning into a disaster for them.

Key will also be prepared for this.

In founding and financing a political party Dotcom has a stated aim of bringing down Key and the National Government. This already looks like having backfired, with National looking reasonably strong and the Internet-Mana Party failing to attract substantial support.

It’s possible Dotcom will land a big hit on Key tonight, but it could as easily benefit Key and National more than it hurts them, especially if Dotcom’s fireworks are a fizzer.

This campaign circus will make it very difficult for an already failing Labour and other parties to get any worthwhile attention in the final days leading up to the election.

Some on the left are hoping Dotcom will rescue a desperate situation for them. They are betting the election on Greenwald’s cards and have already shown they are prepared to take Glenn’s gospel as the whole truth and the only truth. They are already convinced Key is a liar so will disregard anything he says as usual.

The election that has been taken over by international political activists and a German trying desperately to stay in New Zealand to avoid prosecution in the US.

But voters across the spectrum get to make the final judgement on Saturday. The final polls over the next couple of days may be less able than usual to predict what might happen, they will not reflect what comes out of tonight’s “moment of truth” and the ensuing counter truths and arguments.

Dotcom’s big day has arrived. Key looks confident and well prepared.

We will never get the full truth from either side, but the country will judge Dotcom and Greenwald (most Kiwis won’t have heard of him) versus one of New Zealand’s most popular Prime Ministers ever.

Today is D-Day. Saturday is Key-Day, one way or another.

Glenn Greenwald in New Zealand

Media interviews with Glenn Greenwald on his New Zealand visit to speak at a public meeting arranged by Kim Dotcom plus related coverage.

The Nation: Interview Glenn Greenwald

United States journalist Glenn Greenwald says there are serious questions about whether the New Zealand Government was truthful about the GCSB law change.

“What I can tell you is that the statement that the GCSB made to New Zealand citizens last year — ‘We do not engage in mass surveillance of New Zealanders’ — is one that is not truthful.”

The Government engages in “extraordinary amounts of analysis of metadata – meaning who’s talking to whom for how long, where they are when they speak – on a massive, indiscriminate scale, not just internationally but of New Zealanders as well”.

He says New Zealand is an active member of the Five Eyes Alliance and spends an extraordinary amount of resources on electronic surveillance.

“…Every single thing that the NSA does that we have been reporting on over the last year and a couple of months involves New Zealand directly.”

The GCSB spies on a variety of countries, both hostile and allies. New Zealand spy agencies also have access to the XKeyscore spyware and contributes to it.

In his first television interview in New Zealand, he talks to Lisa Owen about the Edward Snowden leaks and how New Zealand agencies are involved in spying here and abroad.

Mr Greenwald is in New Zealand for Kim Dotcom’s “moment of truth” announcement on Monday night.

Lisa Owen Interviews National Party Leader John Key

We’ve only got a little bit of time left, so I just want to ask you one more time. Glenn Greenwald, the investigative journalist, is going to be on this show shortly. What do you think he’s got on New Zealand, and should you be worried?

Don’t know, but Kim Dotcom might not like surveillance agencies or intelligence agencies. Fair enough. He’s got his own reasons, and he can look himself in the mirror and ask himself why. But for other New Zealanders, there is a risk in New Zealand. It’s much smaller than other countries, but there is a risk. And as prime minister, I have to take the responsibility to do everything I can to protect New Zealanders.

NZ Herald: He’s Dotcom’s little henchman: PM attacks journalist’s spy claims

Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, said that New Zealand’s spying agencies had been conducting mass surveillance on New Zealanders as part of the Five Eyes arrangement between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Key said that was wrong. “There is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB and there never has been. Mr Dotcom’s little henchman will be proven to be incorrect because he is incorrect.”

He believed Greenwald was jumping to conclusions based on partial information. Greenwald has worked with Edward Snowden over material Mr Snowden obtained relating to the activities of spy agencies worldwide.

NZ Q&A Video: The GCSB engages in mass surveillance – Glenn Greenwald (0:46)

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald says the GCSB engages in mass surveillance

NZ Q&A: Key “rejected mass surveillance plan”

John Key: GCSB looked into a mass surveillance plan but he rejected it

National Party leader John Key told TV1’s Q+A programme that the GCSB looked into a plan for mass surveillance after two companies were subjected to a major cyber-attack – but he rejected it.

“ What ended up actually happening though was in about September of 2012 obviously there was the shake-up of GCSB, I brought in Rebecca Kitteridge, I started saying to the agency look, firstly your law needs to change, secondly your institution needs to strengthen, and thirdly I’m a little uncomfortable with where you’re sorting to go. I think you’re actually arguing this far too broadly. Even though a lot of New Zealanders might like it, because it’s really a Norton anti-virus at a very high level.”

Mr Key said he would produce proof that New Zealanders are not subject to mass surveillance, as claimed by Journalist Glenn Greenwald.

“ This is the point around the politics of all this. He’s had these documents for well over a year or so, so he’s miraculously turning up 5 days before, 6 days before an election to try and bamboozle people, and try and make all of these claims which don’t stack up. But he’s only seen one bit you see, he’s hacked in, he’s seen all of this information, he said aha gotcha, and of course what he doesn’t realise is none of that ever happened. So I’ll be able to produce the document that says here’s rescinding the asking of the business case, here’s the document that actually shows what’s taken place.

Q&A Video: Government considered mass surveillance but ruled it out – John Key (9:51)

Metro: Steve Braunias’ Campaign Diary: Day 9

DAY NINE: IN WHICH GLENN GREENWALD RECEIVES VISITORS AT THE SAD AND DEPRESSING DOTCOM MANSION – AND THE “LITTLE HENCHMAN” CALLS THE PRIME MINISTER A DIRTY LIAR

Greenwald acknowledges he’s not neutral and is politically motivated

Glenn Greenwald, in an interesting interview with Steve Braunias, acknowledges that he is not neutral regarding mass surveillance and he sides with political parties with similar views.

Different journalists have different views on what the proper role a journalist is. I’ve been very clear that I’m not neutral on the question of mass surveillance. It’s dangerous and I oppose it. I’m supportive of political parties around the world that have made it an important part of their platform to work against it, whether it be the Green Party in Europe or the Green Party here, or the Internet Party, or the Techno Pirate party in Sweden.

But was it really a good call to accept his invitation? Doesn’t it compromise your independence?

Oh, look. Politicians, when faced with disclosures that are threatening to their political power, attack the messenger. This is just a millennia-old tactic to distract attention away from the revelations.

The interview was conducted at Kim Dotcom’s residence in Helensville. Greenwald has been brought to New Zealand by Dotcom.

On whether he has sufficient information to make his claims:

He says he has documents that you don’t have.

I have all of the documents that my source has furnished me. I don’t have every single document that exists in the NSA archives.

Well, let’s call these documents cards. Consider this: Key is going to play a card you have not seen, and it will trump you.

I’m not here to play a game. I’m here to do journalism and to have the truth be disclosed to the public so they can make informed choices about the politicians they want in power. I’m here to report on what the documents I have reveal, as honestly as I can.

But Key says your documents are incomplete.

Well – I mean – you know – there’s always theoretically the possibility there’s some things you’re not aware of that exist. But my documents are very clear. And it’s very hard to imagine there being documents which negate these documents.

Acknowledging the timing of his visit is deliberately coinciding with the election for political impact:

Why are you here, at Dotcom’s house? You must have carefully considered this. Why didn’t you just work with local journalists, as I think you have done in other countries?

I think it’s entirely legitimate for a journalist to think about how to maximise public awareness of the reporting that you’re doing. And I knew that by physically travelling here, at this time, when the citizenry is most engaged politically, that would present an excellent opportunity to bring as much attention as possible to these matters.

The whole interview is worth reading:

Source – Metro: Steve Braunias’ Campaign Diary: Day 9

DAY NINE: IN WHICH GLENN GREENWALD RECEIVES VISITORS AT THE SAD AND DEPRESSING DOTCOM MANSION – AND THE “LITTLE HENCHMAN” CALLS THE PRIME MINISTER A DIRTY LIAR

Five polls – latest results

Stuff-IPSOS
September 11 (+/- from September 4)

  • National 52.8% (-1.4)
  • Labour 22.4% (-1.9)
  • Greens 13.0% (+0.1)
  • NZ First 4.4% (+0.8)
  • Conservative Party 3.6% (+1.2)
  • Internet-Mana 1.4% (+0.1)
  • Maori Party 1.0% (+0.7)
  • ACT Party 0.7% (+0.5)
  • UnitedFuture 0% (-0.1)

One News-Colmar Brunton
6-10 September 2014 (+/- from 30 August-3 September

  • National 46% (-4)
  • Labour 25% (-1)
  • Greens 14% (+3)
  • NZ First 7% (n/c)
  • Conservative Party 4% (+1)
  • Internet-Mana 1% (-1)
  • Maori Party 1% (+1)
  • ACT Party 1% (+1)
  • UnitedFuture 0% (n/c)

Rounded to nearest whole number.

NZ Herald-Digipoll
September 4-10

  • National 48.6% (-1.5)
  • Labour 24.6% (+0.8)
  • Greens 11.5% (+0.1)
  • NZ First 8.1% (+2.1)
  • Conservative Party 3.8% (no change)
  • Internet-Mana 2.3% (-1.2)
  • Maori Party 0.7% (+0.3)
  • ACT Party 0.3% (-0.1)
  • UnitedFuture 0% (-0.3)

3 News/Reid Research
September 2-8

  • National 46.7% (+0.3)
  • Labour 26.1% (+0.2)
  • Greens 13.5% (+0.4);
  • NZ First 5.9% (+0.1)
  • Conservatives 4.7% (+0.5)
  • Internet Mana 1.7% (no change)
  • Maori Party 1.3% (-0.7)
  • Act 0.3% (-0.3)
  • United Future 0.1% (no change)

Roy Morgan
August 18-31 2014

  • National 45% (-3)
  • Labour 26% (-1.5)
  • Greens 16% (+4.5)
  • Maori Party 0.5% (-0.5)
  • Act NZ 1% (+0.5%)
  • United Future 0% (-0.5)
  • NZ First 6% (-0.5)
  • Internet-Mana Party 1.0% (- 1.5)
  • Conservative Party 3.5% (+2.5)
  • Independent/ Others 1.0% (unchanged).

Rounded to nearest 0.5

Winston Peters on “baubles of office”

Winston Peters on baubles of office in a 2005 speech.

Peters – Who Will New Zealand First Go With?

An address by Rt Hon Winston Peters to a public meeting in Rotorua, Wednesday 07 September 2005, at the Rotorua Convention Centre.

There is a lot of familiar rhetoric. Peters concludes:

We place the voters needs first – that is why it is the policies – not the perks of office, which matter most to us.

That is why we are your insurance policy – your only protection – against the political extremes of others.

Our policies deserve to be debated in this campaign, and now the voters know New Zealand First will not be in government – by our own choice – they also deserve to know that we intend to serve New Zealanders, as we always have, by keeping the next government honest. And to keep it from pandering to the extreme Left or extreme Right, and from within.

It involves for my colleagues a real sacrifice, but we willingly make it. For my part, I never took as deputy Prime Minister ministerial cars or a house, so we genuinely don’t care about the baubles of office.

We in New Zealand First are going to put New Zealanders first.

And yesterday Peters on baubles of office in an interview with Duncan Garner on RadioLive THIS is the Winston Peters interview you MUST hear!

Garner: Ok let me remind you then, in 2005 you said you wouldn’t take the baubles of office and then a few months later you became the Foreign Minister.

That’s what I mean you see, people get a bit confused, you say one thing and then…something else.

Peters: no no you see you’re not very good at English.

The baubles means, a bauble means a trinket not worth having, I never said anything of the sort but you interpreted that way and repeated ad nauseum all around the country.

Garner: But I was at the speech Mr peters, I don’t want to get into a fight on air about this but I’m just saying people are a bit confused…

Peters: …well it sounds like you do, Duncan you have been slagging off this party and me saying what I’m going to do when you know full well we have always had a democratic tradition of asking the full caucus and the party organisation why, because if you don’t bind them all into the decision because they got to make it why should they keep it? It’s called stability.

Peters also discussed this in a speech launching a book covering the 2005 election campaign:

Peters – Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

This book highlights the validity of the maxim never to judge a book by its cover.

You see, while the content contained within is meritorious and useful, the cover is both mischievous and erroneous.

While on the surface it may seem flattering to have altered the political lexicon, thanks in part to the publication of this book, it is really based on a false understanding of the term in question.

Indeed it is highly likely that future generations of political science students will reflect on the 2005 election – with its many nuanced consequences – and wonder with some bemusement why the term “the baubles of office” came to symbolise its outcome.

That was not the intention when it was coined.

As the source of the phrase, it was regrettable when the media missed the subtle irony of its use.

But it still astounds me that those among the echelons of our academic community failed to grasp the ironic value of the phrase.

We expect you to educate those who need it, not echo their ignorance.

You see a ‘bauble’ is defined as “a trinket or decoration not worth having”.

So to state that one does not seek to have something not worth having would seem a totally reasonable proposition for a politician to make – can you see the irony already?

There’s no evidence Helen Clark gave Peters any actual trinkets in 2005. Is that his subtle irony? But, ah, he made it clear what he meant:

And they know we are in this for our policies – not the perks of office.

We place the voters needs first – that is why it is the policies – not the perks of office, which matter most to us.

Some irony was pointed about by NZ Herald in Baublewatch: Eye on Winston.

This occasional column will note the “baubles” Mr Peters accumulates in his new, controversial role outside the Cabinet.

1. Base salary up from $120,000 as a minor party leader to $171,600 for minister outside Cabinet.

2. Access to ministerial cars.

3. Qualifies for a VIP diplomatic passport.

4. Overseas trips to Korea (last week) and Malta and the UK (this week).

5. A trophy photograph for his wall of him in the background of an international line-up with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Repeating the original quote:

It involves for my colleagues a real sacrifice, but we willingly make it. For my part, I never took as deputy Prime Minister ministerial cars or a house, so we genuinely don’t care about the baubles of office.

For Peters it involved ‘real sacrifice’ seemingly willingly made.

Another quote from Peters in his 2005 speech:

So for this reason I am announcing today that New Zealand First will not be going into a formal coalition with either Labour or National.

We do not think there is sufficient common ground to base a formal coalition on – and we are not prepared to compromise our principles simply to pursue the perks of office.

There are some important questions which follow from this decision.

Where does this leave New Zealand First?

We will be sitting on the cross benches.

No “formal coalition”. Cross benches. Perks of office. Baubles.

Can we trust Peters and his “subtle ironies” this election?

NO

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