Q+A: Steven Joyce and National’s campaign

Q+A this morning: “Our political editor Corin Dann talks to the National Party campaign manager Steven Joyce about how National will respond to Labour’s rise in the polls.”

On Ohariu – Joyce says they have been doing numbers there too and it’s closer but he said Dunne has it all ahead of him. he gives a big plug for Dunne due to his contribution to stability in government.

He makes the point that voting choices tend to be made quite late in key electorates involving large amounts of tactical voting.

Joyce downplays the strength of Winston peters and New Zealand First.

He concedes that National are about 3% shy of where they want to be, confirming recent public polls that have National in the mid forties.

On the Jacinda effect? No more worried than in any election. Elections are won and lost on small margins, ‘it’s slightly different’, he says similar to 2005 (in which NZ First called the coalition shots).

National’s Clutha -Southland candidate selection

National has announced it’s selection process for a candidate to replace Todd Barclay in the Clutha-Southland electorate. This is a very safe seat so is likely to be sought after by people wanting a relatively secure political career.

NZ Herald: National re-opens selections for Clutha-Southland seat

National has re-opened selections for the Clutha-Southland seat and already there are three names in the mix -including the man who unsuccessfully challenged Todd Barclay for it a few months ago.

The National Party’s Southern Region Chair Rachel Bird said nominations will close on July 18 and the candidate will be selected in August – leaving the new candidate between 4-7 weeks to campaign.

There are already three names in the mix.

Hamish Walker, 32, has confirmed he will seek the selection after standing for National in Dunedin South in 2014.

Walker has family in the electorate. Before moving back to Dunedin in 2014, he had a property management company in Auckland.

I’ve heard he may have an association with people on one side of the rift, if so he will have to manage that.

Barclay was from the electorate but had obvious difficulties dealing with established identities in the electorate (long standing staff) and with both Queenstown and Gore constituencies.

Simon Flood, an ex-Merrill Lynch investment banker, is believed to be considering it again after challenging Barclay for the seat last year.

He seems another odd option in a mostly rural electorate. Empathy and connections with high flying Queenstown are important, but so is a connection with the farming community.

Gore District Councillor Nicky Davis has also confirmed she is considering it.

She has tried before – she was a nominee when Barclay won the candidacy in 2014.

The person at the centre of the Barclay staff dispute, Glenys Dickson, is also a Gore District Councillor. Davis will need to be seen as either neutral or able to work with both sides of the bitter dispute if she wants to get support for the candidacy. She looks very much a Gore person so I don’t know how she would be seen around the largest general electorate in the country.

Whoever gets selected by National will havea lot of repair work to do in the electorate and for the party as a whole.

National’s campaign video

National Party blurb:


National launches first 2017 election video

National launched the first of its 2017 election videos at its annual conference in Wellington today.

“National will continue to strengthen the New Zealand economy under the leadership of Bill English so that we can deliver for all New Zealanders,” Campaign Chairman Steven Joyce says.

“The video, ‘Let’s Get Together’ records the progress New Zealand has made since the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes, and the confidence with which we face the future.”

“It’s a clear visual representation of New Zealanders’ hard work and optimism, backed by Prime Minister Bill English who shares their values and wants to see all New Zealanders succeed.

“New Zealand’s economy is doing better than many of our closest partners. It’s no accident. It’s because every day, Kiwis get up and open their businesses or get out on their farms, sell their wares to the world, create jobs and work hard and provide for their families.

“Bill English and the National-led Government are backing Kiwis to succeed. We’ll remain focused on growing the economy with our clear plan to keep delivering more for New Zealanders.

“This election, New Zealanders have a real choice between a stable, future-focused and positive Government under the strong leadership of Bill English; or a negative, inward-looking Opposition.

“This is the start of what will be a typically positive campaign from us to ask Kiwis to give us their party vote in September.”

 

 

WO: political threats against Auckland councillor

This looks like political threats at Whale Oil against Auckland City councillor Denise Lee, under the name of ‘Cameron Slater’ in Will Denise Lee suffer at List Ranking?

National candidate for Maungakiekie Denise Lee surprised everyone in National when she voted for Phil Goff’s pillow tax.

Whale Oil may still speak for some in National with particular interests but nowhere near “everyone in National”.

This was despite a lot of lobbying from National Party Board Member Alastair Bell, who was trying to ensure National candidates actually followed party policy, and listened to him.

Obviously Denise failed to do either, so there are a lot of angry people in National who can’t believe National have a candidate who basically rolls over whenever anyone puts some pressure on her.

A very ironic claim about ‘anyone’ putting pressure on Lee.

This may be just posturing from WO, but if it is accurate I think it is alarming.

Lee is an Auckland City councillor, representing and acting for the people of Auckland.

She is also a National candidate, standing for an electorate and presumably also after a party list position.

There are a number of local body politicians standing in this year’s general election. They will need to campaign for their parties, but while they are still local body politicians they need to separately do their jobs there independently of their future aspirations.

It is alarming to see what looks to me like political blackmail – Lee voted differently to what Whale Oil/Slater/whoever wanted so they are attacking her and apparently threatening her chances on the National Party list selection.

I doubt that Slater actually has much if any input into the National Party list, especially given how much he criticises and attacks the party, the Prime Minister and other ministers and MPs.

The tipline has been running hot that Alastair Bell is furious because he has been made to look like a right fool by Denise, and his clients are very, very unhappy with him.

Without corroboration or specifics “tipline has been running hot” is WO hot air. My tipline is running hot that Slater is an arse.

Who are Alistair Bell’s clients and what do they have to do with this?

So now there is talk of a plan to give Denise a very low list position so she learns quickly that you cannot defy National Party policy and expect to get away with it, even if you are from the wet or Nikki Kaye wing of the National Party.

So now there is talk of a plan by shadowy political operatives using Whale Oil to publish barely veiled threats against a city councillor and national election candidate.

And they can’t resist dissing a successful National MP and minister in the process.

Let’s see how she copes when the rumoured third party campaign, funded by angry moteliers, gets underway against her.

This looks more like the ‘dirty politics’ part of Whale Oil in action, it certainly doesn’t look like journalism.

No supported facts, just ‘rumours’. Rumour mongering and Whale Oil are not strangers. Neither are dirty politics and Slater.

This Whale Oil post has tried to present itself as representing the views of “everyone in National” and “a lot of angry people in National”.

What it shows is that Whale Oil is still being used to target and threaten sitting local body politicians and general election candidates.

And it smells dirty. Not just against Denise Lee. This may also be deliberately trying to muddy National’s election campaign. WhaleOil/Slater has been showing signs of campaigning against National for some time, and dirtiness seems to be starting to kick in.

Should Ngaro have offered his resignation?

Going by Lloyd Burr’s claims in Alfred Ngaro’s threat to Willie Jackson was worse than just a brain fart Ngaro was slow to comprehend or acknowledge the mistake he made in a National Party regional conference speech.

Alfred Ngaro’s threat that non-government organisations shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds is extraordinary.

Not just because of his complete lack of judgement, or the fact he did it on stage in front of hundreds of National Party members, or because it shows cracks in the party’s extreme culture of discipline.

It’s extraordinary because he didn’t back down from his comments until he was forced to.

It was much more than just a brain fart or a case of misspeaking.

Prime Minister Bill English and National’s campaign manager Steven Joyce were quick to activate damage control, downplaying the comments as “naive from a new minister”.

But before they could both get their hands on him and before the storm of bad PR hit, Mr Ngaro was still unapologetic when Newshub asked him to explain.

“It was actually about saying ‘look let’s be mindful about the working relationship we have’,” he told Newshub at the conference.

“It’s the context of saying that on the one hand we’re working together, and on the other hand too, if people are criticising, we just need to be mindful of that type of relationship, yep,” said Mr Ngaro.

NGOs being “mindful” of criticising the Government sounds strikingly similar to threatening them to watch what they say.

“If we’re going to have a positive partnership of working together, then it’s around having that, it’s talking about wider context but also all the things we are doing and working collectively together,” said Mr Ngaro.

“My comments was (sic) just to be mindful of the fact that if we are going to be able to have these partnerships, we’ve just got to be political, what you call sensitive, in that context, yep.”

All this was very embarrassing for National, not just the initial comments but on how Ngaro handled it. His subsequent apology was very lame too.

I’m sure Ngaro regrets what he said but this sounds like a ‘I’m sorry I got found out’ and then a switch to campaign politics sort of non-apology. It is nowhere near good enough.

Audrey Young thinks that Ngaro comments warrant the offer of a resignation

The stupidity of Alfred Ngaro’s judgment at the weekend was so gross it warranted at least his offer of a resignation from the cabinet to Prime Minister Bill English.

None was forthcoming, English confirmed at his post cabinet press conference.

But it was clear from English’s response that he was not looking for a resignation from Ngaro.

That may be because it would have signalled a misjudgment on English’s part in having promoted him in December from the backbench into cabinet.

English did admit, however, that Ngaro had apologised to the cabinet, adding to a long list of groups to which he has apologised.

I haven’t seen a decent apology yet – and this lack of an adequate response is as bad as the initial comments which sounded like insidious political threats.

The biggest reason English has been so forgiving of Ngaro is that he does not believe the junior minister would have followed through on his threat – and there is no evidence of it.

Ngaro has not yet had the opportunity to walk the way he talked. As a new minister, and Associate Minister for Social Housing, his work and decisions are closely watched by Social Housing Minister Amy Adams.

He would not get away with it.

Ngaro’s comments smack of an inexperienced minister trying to sound as though he was an experienced political operator by talking tough.

He showed the complete opposite.

It’s ironic that an inexperienced minister has portrayed his party as arrogantly misusing power after nine years of government.

Losing yourself in Kashmir

I have no idea how the Eminem v National Party court case will end up. There’s possible doubt over whether National is liable or if they didn’t protect themselves sufficiently in the deal they signed for the supply of the track they used on their 2014 election advertisement.

I think Team Eminem claims something like $1 million value in the rights to use Losing Yourself, but they would never have agreed to National using it so isn’t that zero value?

All music is derived. It’s widely acknowledged that a lot of bits of music were ‘borrowed’ from existing songs. It must be very difficult coming up with something distinctly different.

It has been claimed in court today that Eminem’s Losing Yourself had similarities to Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir.

Not too similar?

Is this the original soundtrack used in National’s advert? It sounds similarish but different.

Eminem v National in court today

Pythagoras posted: Eminem vs the National Party case begins in court today
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminem_vs_New_Zealand_National_Party

More from NZ Herald: Eminem and National Party set for court battle

Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers, aka Slim Shady has taken New Zealand’s governing political party to court, accusing it of using backing music to his song Lose Yourself in its 2014 election campaign TV advertisements.

A three week trial is set to begin in the High Court at Wellington tomorrow, with lawyers for the American rapper seeking damages for copyright infringement.

Unfortunately, Eminem is not expected to make an appearance at the trial.

Eight Mile Style LLC and Martin Affiliated LLC, Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s copyrights, initiated the proceedings in September 2014.

“Eminem’s publishers were not approached for permission to use any of Eminem’s songs for this campaign advertisement,” said Joel Martin, speaking on behalf of the publishers at the time.

The National Party has flatly denied the allegations and said the music came from an Australian-based production outfit and had been used by others without complaint.

Three weeks is a lengthy trial for this. It has taken nearly three years to get to trial.

‘Lose Yourself’ doesn’t sound like an appropriate song title to use for an election campaign.

National u-turns

National seem to working through a few u-turns as election year progresses.

Bringing soldiers’ remains back to New Zealand was announced on Monday:  Military personnel remains to be brought home

The families of New Zealand military personnel, and their dependants, buried overseas between 1955 and 1971 in Singapore and Malaysia will be offered the opportunity to repatriate their loved ones.

Veterans’ Affairs Minister David Bennett says this decision comes as a result of recommendations by the Veterans’ Advisory Board and the advocacy of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association and families affected, and has thanked them for their important contributions.

“Following the efforts by families to have their loved ones brought home, the Government last year asked the Veterans’ Advisory Board to look into New Zealand’s repatriation policy. The Board identified a number of inconsistencies, and the Government has listened.

“New Zealand had an inconsistent policy of repatriation between 1955 and 1971. Families could opt to meet repatriation costs themselves, but not all could afford to do so. Other civil servants were also repatriated. We want to restore fairness for those families affected.”

Mr Bennett says the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will also look at extending the offer to the families of New Zealanders interred as a result of a military burial between 1955 and 1971 in American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, Korea, and the United Kingdom, and all countries involved have been contacted.

The NZDF will oversee the repatriation process, including consultation with the families, and the planning and subsequent return of any bodies.

“The decision on whether or not to bring the bodies home will be the families’ to make,” Mr Bennett says.

“If they choose not to repatriate, the graves will continue to be cared for under current agreements. We will support the families through this process.”

And today Government u-turn on country of origin labelling

The National Party will support a Green MPs bill requiring country of origin labelling on single ingredient food such as fruit and meat in a u-turn Prime Minister Bill English said was due to consumer preferences.

Steffan Browning’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill will have its first reading in Parliament soon and is set to go to select committee after National agreed to support it.

It will require mandatory country of origin labelling for fresh single ingredient foods such as meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts as well as oils and flour.

That was a shift from National’s original decision to oppose it. English said there had been “quite a bit of discussion” in National’s caucus about it.

“It’s just reflecting pretty strong consumer preferences.”

And it probably reflects the desire of national to get back into Government.

English said National would decide after the select committee process whether to continue to support it into law. About 80 per cent of single ingredient foods were already labelled with the country of origin. “It is about whether it is feasible or desirable to require the rest of them to label.”

He said the initial decision to oppose it was because National was always sceptical about new regulation, especially if it felt most people’s needs were being met by the current regulation. There was also some concern about whether it would impact on trade agreements.

Browning said it was “fantastic news” for consumers if it went ahead and could help boost sales of New Zealand produce and meat.

I think that we should be accurately informed about country of origin of foods available for purchase.

National ‘deserve my enmity’

I’m not sure if this is a threat to National or explaining past behaviour.

But it now places me in a dilemma. I can no longer support the National party. They have sided with demagogues, oligarchs, dictators, socialists and anti-Semites to stick it to Israel. They do not deserve my support, they deserve my enmity.

That is Cameron Slater in NZ’s shame: McCully sides with terrorists and votes against democracy

However Slater has been showing quite a degree of enmity towards National for quite some time. It’s been a couple of years since John Key distanced himself from Slater and demoted Judith Collins, and since then Slater has been unhappy with many things about national.

He has recently frequently trashed Bill English, Steven Joyce and Murray McCully, and has paid particularly attention to running down Paula Bennett who he perhaps sees as the biggest threat to Collins’ diminishing leadership hopes.

He made Bradbury-like assessments on Collins’ chances in the party leadership, like in National contenders: What is their path to victory?

Her path to victory is much clearer and easier than Bill English’s.

It turned out that Collins never had a chance.

She might jeopardize nationals chances. But Bill definitely will.

Since Collins failed he seems to have been intent jeopardise National’s chances in next year’s election.

Should National lose in next year’s election it may give Collins a chance of emerging from the likely mess, but there seems to be a very slim chance of that.

So saying he “can no longer support the National party” is a bit of a laugh. All this latest WO campaign shows is that the enmity continues while things don’t work out for Slater’s political interests.

Hasn’t he said he won’t support National before? He sure has, see this post on 8th December 8 – Collins withdraws and Bully Bill gets to be PM:

For my part I can no longer support the National party that is led by Bill English. I expect an immediate tanking in the polls.

Unfortunately, it appears that John Key’s legacy will one of wrecking a successful government, but I will write more on that later today.

It is a sad day for the National party, and even though I am not a member of any party I can no longer support the National party.

I don’t think the National Party will be too worried about losing his support, again. And:

Nope won’t be voting Act.

That doesn’t leave him many options on the right, apart from continuing his with his enmity.

Bridges versus Bennett continued

The current state of the race to the deputy prime ministership as recorded by Claire Trevett:

czqci-kucaagcyf

More at the Herald:

Paula Bennett is on the cusp of becoming Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, but may have to lobby for a few more votes over the weekend to secure the job.

Based on publicly declared votes, Bennett has 23 National MPs on her side, though numbers are changing often. Simon Bridges trails behind, having secured the support of 10 MPs. A candidates needs 30 votes to become deputy to Prime Minister-in-waiting Bill English.

If no clear winner between her and Bridges is found by Monday – when a caucus vote will be held – it is understood both candidates will give speeches to the party before a private ballot takes place.