Ardern versus Collins in online Stuff debate tonight

Another leaders debate to be live streamed at 7 pm tonight.

Stuff: Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins go round three in The Press Leaders Debate tonight

Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins are in Christchurch tonight for the South Island’s only election debate, live on Stuff from 7pm.

It will be moderated on Tuesday evening by The Press editor Kamala Hayman and Stuff’s political editor Luke Malpass. The Press is part of the Stuff family of newspapers.

The Press Leaders Debate will be held with a lively sold-out audience of 750 at the James Hay Theatre.

The debate will be split in half with a 15-minute intermission, when Stuff’s head of video Carol Hirschfeld will discuss the debate with Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce CEO Leeann Watson and Canterbury University senior political lecturer Dr Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald.

Henry Cooke will also live blog the debate here.

Casting the live stream worked for a short time but them went wonky so i mostly just listened to it streaming on my PC.

Ardern was generally very good. There was plenty of under-achievements she could have been challenged on but that wasn’t done very well.

This was Collins’ worst debate. She started too shouty, and then she seemed to fluctuate between loud and weak with a bit too much smarmy thrown in. Her repeated reference to her opponent as Miss Ardern sounds out of whack this century. Generally I think she didn’t come across very well for a lot of the debate.

Ardern attacked much less but when she did she made it count.

This won’t have anywhere near the audience as the televised debates, which is probably just as well for Collins and for National. Especially with their ongoing ructions in the party I don’t see how they can get close to Labour.

Stuff, the debate

Last night’s Press/Stuff leaders debate was another step in the campaign contest between Jacinda Ardern.

The first debate last week was fairly cautious and tame. English stepped things up a notch in Monday’s Newshub debate, but Ardern was the improver in last night’s Press/Stuff debate in Christchurch.

Stuff Leaders Debate: Jacinda Ardern wins with our pundits

Associate Professor Grant Duncan, who teaches political theory and New Zealand politics at Massey University’s Albany campus, called it a narrow win for Jacinda Ardern.

Social commentator Emma Espiner gave the debate to Ardern.

“Her debate performance is improving in sync with her poll numbers. I had her losing the first TVNZ debate, drawing even in the Newshub debate and I gave the Stuff debate to her on the basis on her dexterity, ease, humour and command of detail.

“If English debated the whole evening the way he did from about 36 minutes in, when he got angry about Labour disparaging farmers, it would have been closer.”

Political commentator Liam Hehir also gave Ardern the win.

“This debate threw the difference between the two candidates in stark relief with English talking numbers in long sentences and Ardern offering general aspirations but few specifics.

“Ardern was much more aggressive tonight (sometimes to the point of churlishness). But the combination of a hostile audience and issues like the fiscal ‘hole’ fiasco favoured that approach – so Ardern was the winner.”

Stuff’s online survey:

  • Jacinda Ardern 61%
  • Bill English 39%

Vernon Small: Bill English holds his own in even debate, after another polling blow

English had a clear edge talking about water and clean rivers, as well as – less surprisingly  – on the uncertainty of Labour’s tax working group.

But Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, even hampered by a crackling microphone in the first segment, scored points against English over trust and his finance spokesman’s debunked claim that there is an $11.7 billion fiscal hole in Labour’s plan.

There were none of those game-changing moments this time…

English is looking like needing a game changer but not of the Joyce kind.

But perhaps the most telling development of the night was Ardern’s new attack: variations on the idea that the bigger risk is in continuing as we are, the risk is in the status quo.

It is a clear attempt to neutralise National’s key theme – that a change to a new government with an untested leader and an uncertain economic plan is just too risky.

If Labour can harness the mood for change and present itself as the less risky option, then that poll result could soon be baked in.

With just over two weeks to go, English is fighting hard but with early voting starting next week he may be running out of time to slow and reverse Ardern’s momentum.

There is a small party leaders debate tonight, and another debate between Ardern and English next week.

RNZ: Leaders trade blows in feisty third debate

Stuff – raw, uncut, and error ridden

The Christchurch leader’s debate should be good. It is being promoted by Stuff:

‘Raw, uncut’ election debate to hit Christchurch

Organisers of Christchurch’s party leaders’ debate are guaranteeing it will be the “grittiest” of them all.

The debate on September 7 – one of four to be held around the country before the election – will feature Prime Minister Bill English facing off against Labour leader Jacinda Ardern.

The Press Leaders’ Debate has emerged as the most hard-nosed of the election debates because of its traditional soapbox style in front of a heckling audience.

But the Press could do with being less raw and uncut in their self promotional blurb.

Press editor-in-chief Joanna Norris, who will moderate the debate along with Stuff political editor Tracy Watkins, said it would be the toughest of them all.


Cunliffe participated in the 2014 debate.

The Christchurch debate between John Key and Phil Goff in 2008 went down in political history, Norris said.

“There was a real turning point in the debate when John Key said to Goff ‘show me the money’ and basically the debate descended from there where Phil Goff couldn’t get traction back because Key just kept saying that over and over again.

 “It was pretty powerful, dramatic moment which became a bit of a turning point in the whole electoral campaign.”

The debate between John Key and Phil Goff was in 2011.

“This debate is not about the personality of the hosts and that sets it apart again from the TV debates. It’s about the leaders themselves and we’re very careful to provide a neutral platform and ask hard questions from both leaders,” she said.

Norris should ask hard questions of her writers and editors about their accuracy.

Suffocating mainstream media

Newspaper circulations continue to slide around New Zealand, which won’t surprise anyone.

The latest Press Audit results are here.

Twelve month movements:

  • Dominion Post -13.70%
  • The Press -8.32%
  • NZ Herald -5.69%
  • Otago Daily Times -3.51%

I’m part of the ODT decline, I dropped my long time subscription last year.

All but one provincial newspaper are down, the exception being the Northern Advocate which rose 1.59%.

But this is just circulation (and large reductions in print advertising revenue). All the large newspapers also have online sites.

It may seem obvious why print news is in decline, but one person claims to be suffocating mainstream media.

One thing is for sure, no one wants yesterday’s papers.

My audience is growing. I guess you have to be relevant and reflect society. The mainstream media have not done that and their sales are sliding to oblivion.

I hope to be able to help suffocate them further.

The Dominion Post is dead on its feet. They have less circulation daily than I have readers on Whaleoil.

Except that comparing print circulation with online readership is a bit silly – the Dominion Post has a substantial online readership via Stuff.

Alexa New Zealand rankings:

  • Stuff: 6
  • NZ Herald: 10
  • Otago Daily Times: 123
  • Whale Oil: 170

Even a tumbleweed provincial ODiTy outranks the niche blog.

(Alexa is only a rough indicator but that surprised me).

Winston’s media itinerary

ANDREW GUNN – SATIRIST at Stuff/The Press:  Who needs the media? No-one more than Winnie


New Zealand First advises media of the following itinerary of Right Honourable Winston Peters as he canvasses the Northland electorate in the New Zealand First campaign tour bus – which, we might add, is New Zealand- assembled and not some cheap Asian import that puts ordinary New Zealanders’ jobs at risk.

Because Mr Peters wants to spend his time listening to the concerns of real New Zealanders and not the blathering under- researched quibbles of beltway scribes who spend half their time interviewing their typewriters, sound-bites will be provided in advance to cut and paste into your story. Quite frankly we’re doing your job for you, but what else is new. Media seats on the campaign bus will be allocated on a first- come-with-Jack-Daniels-first- served basis.

MONDAY: Obligatory game of cat and mouse with reporters on the subject of whether or not NZ First will do a deal with Labour in which Labour’s Northland candidate steps aside in return for NZ First’s support of Labour at the next general election.

Soundbite: “Look it’s as clear as day: We’re not doing a backroom deal with any other party.

“But if another party ends up doing a backroom deal with us, well that’s their business.

“Can you not get that in your head?”

TUESDAY: Bombshell revelation that cashed-up Chinese developers are making a land grab for kauri giant Tane Mahuta.

Soundbite: “You mark my words, it’ll be cut down, turned into woodchips and replaced with ten stories of pokey little one-bedroom apartments with all the profit going overseas. Without a shadow of a doubt. And what’s the government doing about it? Absolutely nothing.”

It’s a current article so go to the link if you want to read the rest.

The Press editorial is anti flag choice

The Press makes it clear in an editorial that they oppose changing the New Zealand flag. They don’t want the people to choose for themselves, they want to fob off any debate by waiting for “an organic deeply felt discussion about who we are”.

In other words they want to put off any debate and any choice.

The editorial runs through the standard anti-change arguments in Do we know who we are?

They don’t like how John Key is proposing to see if the people of New Zealand want a flag change, they have the usual anti-black arguments (it’s easy to come up with arguments against most colours), they are anti-silver fern.

And they want to postpone any flag debate until we have some vague exploration about “who we are”.

So far the question of whether New Zealand actually needs a new symbol to represent itself has not taken place. This attitude seems to reflect the general indifference to any change to the constitution found by the panel set up to elicit views on that subject a few years ago.

Given that the flag will be the symbol to represent the country virtually in perpetuity, a wider, more deeply felt discussion about who we are needs to occur first. That must be organic. It is not something that can be generated by prime ministerial fiat.

That sounds like a long-winded way of saying they want to put off a flag debate indefinitely.

There’s no reason why we can’t have a discussion about whether we want to change our flag and decide whether to do so. It is not dependent on vague notions of “who we are” that can never easily be answered. We are many things and are continually evolving as a country and as a people.

One thing is for sure, we have evolved long past having close ties with the United Kingdom and the Union Jack.

And we have evolved way past wanting to be confused with Australia.

A flag debate can easily happen on it’s own. Trying to involve constitution and national identity are excuses to not have a debate.

People who don’t want a flag change don’t want a debate. They want to deny choice, presumably because they fair that the people will choose something different to what they want, no change.