Waatea 5th Estate wrap up

I’ve had a chance to liksten to the final Waatea 5th estate of the year, possibly the final show altogether unless they receive NZ On Air funding for next year’s election campaigning.

In Martyn Bradbury’s introduction he said “where we wrap the most important news events with the best political panel on television. Joining us tonight to wrap the political year for our final show of 2016…”

He named a heap of people on the social media panel, saying “follow them tonight for the last time using the hashtag #waatea5thestate”. That sounds more final.

On the panel were deputy mayor of Auckland, Penny Hulse, union secretary Mike Treen, Marama Fox (Maori Party) and Grant Robertson (Labour).

The first issue discussed was housing and associated with that, welfare. The Government deserves a fair bit of criticism on housing but this was just about as over the top as you could get. It was a bashing.

The most notable comment was from Penny Hulse, saying that the Auckland council had given the Government the tools they needed via the Unitary Plan so the Government should just build houses now. The Unitary Plan took 6 years (although the building consents and land availability go back much longer) – has it even taken effect yet? To join in the Government bashing without a glimmer of taking any responsibility was a bit rich from Hulse.

Bradbury: “The second issue of the year was spin. Never before has information been so manipulated.” Pot (albeit a small one) calling a large kettle black.

He reeled of a number of justified and stupid gripes, one of the worst manipulation of information being “forty one thousand homeless people aren’t really homeless” – that was a dig at a supposed  claim from the Government but it depends on how ‘homeless’ is defined. University of Otago researcher suggests the actual number of what most people would view as homeless is about 10% of that:

If the homeless population were a hundred people, 70 are staying with extended family or friends in severely crowded houses, 20 are in a motel, boarding house or camping ground, and 10 are living on the street, in cars, or in other improvised dwellings.


Also “and the three hundred thousand kids in poverty aren’t really in poverty” is an ongoing spin, depending on what ‘poverty’ is defined as.

It was another Government bashing and Grant Robertson joined in but got a return serve from Marama Fox.

Bradbury: Marama what was your favourite political spin of the year?

Marama: Look ah actually Bomber you know what I’ve found as a newbie to politics is that these guys, Grant I love you, you know I do, but you guys are just as good at spin as the blue ones are as good at spin.

You guys spin this stuff out of control all the time to get some political leverage over each other. I am absolutely sick of the spin. Can we just tell the truth.

You know everybody moans about “oh you’re at the table blah blah blah, what has that got for you. Well I’ll tell you what it got for us because we’re at the table. Paula Bennett now spends $41 million on emergency housing….because we’re at the table. She is now implementing the Utah model that I gave her.

Bradbury spluttered a bit over that, then said “um, imagine all of the things you’re going to be able to do ah Marama if you’re at a Labour Party government next year, you’ll be able to do a hell of a lot more”.

Andrew Little has attacked the Maori Party recently and Labour want to obliterate them from Parliament.

Then, ironically, the third issue of the year was “the appalling state of journalism and the rise of click bait bullshittery”.

Bradbury then said “how can you get progressive visions out to the public when most of our media sound like Fox News?” Slater thinks the ‘media party’ bats for the other side. Perhaps it’s mostly somewhere in between these two extremists.

Bradbury: “I mean if you look at the coverage of the Unitary Plan it was literally the end of Western civilisation as we understood it, cats and dogs would start living together, planes would fall from the sky. None of that has occurred”.  None of that was hinted at or implied let alone claimed literally.

Hulse: “The Unitary Plan was landed despite the New Zealand Herald. The exciting thing for me is the rise of things like The Spinoff, then work that Gen Zero’s doing, the intelligent commentators who are now taking over that vacuum that’s been left by vacuous reporting”. She didn’t rate Bradbury or The Daily Blog as either intelligent or vacuous.

Bradbury: “Marama do you sometimes just want to slap Paddy Gower?”

Predictions for next year.

Grant Robertson:

I think we will see a change of government. The Labour Greens MoU is one of the big political developments in this year that we’ve just had and that will get it’s chance to come to fruition to lead that government. It’s going to get ugly next year as it always does when the right field…are on the back foot. It’s going to be difficult but we will come to the election and we will get result and then Marama will be able to join in with a change of government.

Penny Hulse:

If the Government don’t get Auckland right they are in for a very rough ride.

Marama Fox:

The Maori Party is going to take out four or five seats at least. [Exclamations from Robertson and Bradbury]

That’s probably no less realistic than Robertson.

We will be the king makers. Nobody wants to go to Winston. They want to see stable government. They believe in an independent Maori voice. And whether or not the Labour Party and the Greens’ MoU have said that they want us or don’t want us, when the time comes they’ll come knocking on the door and we’ll be ready with the things we  ‘re gonna negotiate to push our policies further.

Bradbury: Would the Maori Party be able to work with the Labour Party next year in government Marama?

Marama Fox: We’ve always said we will work with anybody, whoever is the government. Geez if we can work with blue undies we can sure as heck work with red undies.

Mike Treen:

I’m very hopeful that it’s going to be a change of government ah this year. I’m less confident that the change of government is going to produce the changes that we need, and I think that Labour needs to, ah  Labour and the Greens as sort of the joint parties of Opposition that are proposing themselves as an alternative government  at the moment need to come up with some things that will capture people’s imagination in terms of the type of change that is going to move the country forward.

At the moment I think it’s just a little too itsy bitsy and incremental, and it’s not telling people that it’s going to be a genuine alternative to the government that we have.

Labour in particular have nowhere near revealed their policies yet.

But what’s good at the moment is that this government is losing it’s image of infallibility, and the midas touch of John Key seems to have disappeared, and the housing issue has done that in the first instance. And so I think the chances of a change in government are much more realistic and I look forward to it.

Notably no mention of the mana Movement in any of the predictions.

Martyn Bradbury:

My final word. This is our final show. After seven glorious months a massive thank you to Andy at Face TV, the face TV crew, Will our director who’s a multi tasking technical superstar (I didn’t write that), Aaron and his team of metrosexual be-speckled uber nerds from Slipstream (I didn’t write that either), our amazing political multi functional Maori lesbian socialist friendly centre right producer and host Claudette (she totally wrote that).

Willie Jackson who shuts the bloody elevator door (I didn’t write any of this), to all our guest commentators, guest tweeters, amazing. Thanks also to our sponsors the Aotearoa Credit Union and Voyager Internet. Willie and I came up with this project because we couldn’t believe the diabolical level of debate from Seven Sharp and Story.

 In our seven months we have done more public interest broadcasting than Story and Seven Sharp combined.

Bradbury is not using comparable examples. Story and Seven Sharp are only partly political and I don’t think debate is a normal part of their formats.

Q & A and The Nation are better comparisons that are not mentioned.

We believe that democracy is only as strong as it’s media and if you are only hearing one side of the story then you have a one eyed electorate.

I hear many sides of many stories where I look.

We have a funding application in with New Zealand On Air, so we hope to see you next year as the election campaign heats up. We hope to see you next year.

So they are shutting down due to funding – I think Bradbury asked for donations recently.

Should NZ on Air fund a hard left political activist show? I wonder what Bradbury would say if the funded Whale Oil.


Waatea 5th Estate wraps up

Waatea 5th Estate started up in February this year as a great new Martyn Bradbury alternative to ‘mainstream media’ – see Waatea 5th Estate tonight.

Last night they announced:

Joining us tonight to wrap the political year for our final show of 2016…

That’s an early end to their political year. I somehow doubt whether they will start up again next year, unless they think that election year will somehow give them some reason for being.

Quite a bit of time and resource went into something that seemed to have minimal impact.

I sometimes watched 5th Estate and it was ok at times, but a half hour talk fest – almost a shout fest when Bradbury was centre stage – was an odd sort of old old school type format in a very fragmented modern media world.

Apart from providing live streaming little seemed to be done to promote the week day events, nor take advantage of anything interesting that eventuated.

The two mainstream political talk shows, Q & A (TV One) and The Nation (TV3) do a lot of pre-promotion on social media, they do what they can to engage in social media when they are on air, and they follow up with key quotes, they make news stories out of their interviews, and they sometimes provided transcripts.

Old media did more to provide modern multi media than Waatea 5th estate that ironically was promoted as the new way, a great new alternative.

Time and resources were probably an issue but if they wanted to make an impact they should have done more to promote and use the concept.

Nothing much changed while Waatea 5th Estate was running, and nothing much will change now it has wrapped up, except perhaps Bradbury will have time to promote his next big thing, whatever that may be.

The ‘final show of 2016’ (they even called it a show like the mainstream media do):

  • Deputy Mayor of the Auckland SuperCity – Penny Hulse
  • National Secretary of Unite Union – Mike Treen
  • Co-leader of the Maori Party – Marama Fox
  • Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and spokesperson for Finance – Grant Robertson

Perhaps I should record what Bradbury’s ‘2017 predictions’ were.

Internal polling shock

A surprise result from an internal political poll: “Do Bomber’s attempts at talking up a Green-Labour bloc perception have any credibility?”

  • No 100%
  • Yes 0%

Margin of error: 0.00
Sample size: 1

As predicted here Martyn Bradbury has followed up claims that ‘internal poll rumours’ would support his rants with Latest Internal Polling – National in trouble.

The impact of the Memorandum of Understanding has triggered something deep in the electorate if the latest internal polling is anything to go by.

Obliging the mainstream media to change the way they report politics from a first by the post perspective to an MMP one changes the way voters see the Opposition.

That change seems to be happening at an alarming pace.

The mainstream media aren’t obliged to report things the way Bradbury insists and they haven’t changed how they report polls, which is poorly.

Bradbury claims to have “the latest internal polling” without disclosing:

  • Who has done the polling?
  • What was the question asked?
  • What was the sample size?
  • When was the polling done?
  • What was the margin of error?
  • Is Bradbury making things up?

So what result is Bradbury claiming?

The latest internal polling has National free falling to 44%, Labour at 31% and Greens at 12%.

That means the Labour-Green bloc is at 43% and National is on 44% – that’s a mere 1 percent lead and the speed of the turn around suggests something has snapped in terms of voter apathy.

Even if those are actual results from a credible poll they aren’t particularly surprising or much out of the ordinary. All three party results are within the ranges they have been getting over the past year.

Bradbury has been making unsubstantiated claims and has been trying to talk up a political revolution for several days, ignoring more realistic assessments of polling by the likes of Phil Goff and Michael Cullen.

Bradbury actually had both Goff and Cullen talking about polls on Thursday night on Waatea 5th Estate.


Sir Michael isn’t the biggest change here the perception, we report polls like sports results, National 48, Labour 30, that’s an FPP view, and we are in an MMP environment. The combined bloc of Labour Green shows voters the election is a lot closer doesn’t it?


Well yes but not significantly different. I mean the poll out today, there was another poll from Roy Morgan which showed Labour up just one, Greens two, and they seem to be taking the votes off New Zealand First if you believe, ignoring the fact that it never works like that and polls bounce around.

Basically we’ve still got this gap between Labour Greens on one side and National on the other of about five to eight percent. 

And it still comes down to they key issue which I think the Greens privately recognise…but it’s Labour’s got to win votes off National for there to be a secure change of government, and so far we’re not seeing that.

I mean for Labour to go up and the Greens and new Zealand First to go down it just means that the sort of the same not large enough plate of beans is being passed around between three eaters.

And it’s a fact that National keeps sticking around  forty seven forty eight which is the thing that’s still got to be concerning for Labour and the Greens in particular because you can’t say that Winston’s locked into a change of government.

Anybody who thinks that doesn’t understand how Winston operates in any particular situation.

National has dropped into the low forties occasionally but also sometimes goes up into the fifties but as shown by the RNZ poll of polls “National’s average through this year has been between 44% and 48%, remarkably high for the midyear of a third term in government”.


Phil there are lots of rumours about the new internal party polling…

Substantive polling usually takes longer than two days to do (this was two days after the MoU announcement). And Labour or the Greens woukld hand their internal poll results over to blabbermouth Bradbury? (Possibly if they thought he would do a job for them)

…that would suggest the blocs are even closer. If you gain momentum could we see level pegging before the end of the year?

Roy Morgan:

During September (2015) support for National fell 6% to 44.5% now just behind a potential Labour/Greens alliance 46% (up 8%).

During April (2016) support for National fell 3.5% to 42.5% – the lowest for two years since April – May 2014, now only 2% ahead of a potential Labour/Greens alliance 40.5% (down 1.5%).

Labour+Greens have fluctuated in and out of level pegging so it’s already an unsurprising poll outcome.


Well I think that’s certainly what Labour wants to see. At the moment, ah,  you know National has been reasonably consistent in the public polls, around forty seven, forty eight.

On public poll of poll averages, yes they have been consistently in the high forties but not in individual polls as shown by the above Roy Morgan results.

Ah in our own polling they have from time to time dropped as low as forty three percent and Labour on thirty six. Ah then you can see that a Labour Green coalition could easily become government at the next election.

If Greens poll high when Labour do, but as Labour goes up Greens tend to go down (they have been as low as 8% in public polls).

And ah in the midst of all of that of course you’ve got Winston Peters who has that balance of power. I doubt that he’d want to come in with, ah, let the left if the left was still polling well behind National.

What Labour has to do as Mike Cullen has said, it’s gotta win some of those light blue votes off National. That’s what changes an election.

And ah I think there are a lot of things in that environment out there, I’m thinking of housing, and I’m thinking of transport problems in Auckland. There are a lot of things out there that people are really unhappy about in a way that they haven’t been over the last two terms of the National Government.

So the environment is there.

If Labour and the Greens look like a stable coalition force, and not like the, you know the Kim Dotcom Mana Internet mix that was at the last election, then I think there’s a prospect that Labour and the Greens can win the next election.

That’s probably an unintentional dig at Bradbury who promoted the Kim Dotcom Mana Internet mix as the supposed game changer last election.

Neither Cullen nor Goff mentioned the Memorandum of Understanding.

Some interesting and probably widely shared measured views on polls and election chances by Cullen and Goff, but since then Bradbury has ignored most of that (what would they know?) and continued on his perception building exercise that ignores basic facts about past polls.

The only shock would be if Bradbury’s claims and promotions were taken seriously.

“Memorandum is really paper thin”

Waatea 5th Estate looked at the Labour-Green Memorandum of Understanding, and Dr Wayne Hope said that with no Labour policies and therefore no shared policy platforms the agreement is just “a piece of paper”.

Martyn Bradbury: Wayne All Labour and Greens really want out of this is the perception of a bloc so that when TVNZ and TV3 (Newsbub) roll out that latest polling data they look far closer to National’s total than they do when it’s separated out. Will this announcement be enough to help remind New Zealander’s that the election is a hell of a lot closer than than is currently being perceived?

A typical Bradbury question loaded with his own opinion. The election is still well over a year away, probably closer to 17 months away, about half a term.

Former Alliance Party candidate, political media blogger and lecturer at AUT School of Communication – Dr Wayne Hope

Wayne Hope: The announcement’s too little too late in the absence of any shared policy platforms on key areas. And the key areas are taxation, housing policy, climate change mitigation, employment creation.

Now without a shared platform, costed policy platforms around those key issues, then this Memorandum is really paper thin, nd you can’t have one without the other.

And that’s why I’m a little bit cynical about it, because one of the problems here is that the Labour Party itself has not developed it’s own policy on those particular areas.

Labour have said they will work on their own policies, and on any joint policy agreements with Greens, some time in the future.

Wayne Hope: What is the labour Party policy on taxation as of now?

What is the Labour overall strategy to redress the housing crisis as of now?

What is Labour’s view on climate change as of now?

In the absence of developing settled positions on those policy areas we’re not going to get shared policy platforms with the Greens, and if that doesn’t happen soon enough then this memorandum will just be a piece of paper.

It’s hard to argue against that, unless you are a dedicated Labour or Green supporter with  ambition absent any substance.

Andrew Little and Metiria Turei have repeated their shared policy platforms:

  • Get bad John Key
  • Get that awful National Party
  • Change the Government
  • Change the Government
  • Change the Government
  • Don’t mention Winston

They want voters to dump the known and trust in the unknown.

They seem to hope that the voters don’t care that what happens after the election because the memorandum is just a piece of paper that gets ripped up on election day.

Source: Waatea 5th Estate  – Left Wing Jedi Council debate the Labour-Green MoU
– segment from about 6:40

Waatea 5th Estate

I got around to watching Waatea 5th Estate for the first time since their first week tonight.

Joining us tonight to discuss…

The Veitch apology
Faulty Housing data
Media Merger kills 4th estate
Cameron Slater
Key’s tantrum

Tax expert, feminist and Labour Party Candidate – Deborah Russell

one of this country’s best newspaper columnists – Rachel Stewart

Former Green Party MP and human rights activist – Keith Locke

And blogger, political commentator and author – Chris Trotter

Some of it was interesting enough.

Russell and Trotter made some good points – not leaning to port so hard they nearly capsize helps.

But Bradbury is terrible, his presentation and voice, and also his fairly extreme bias. His first programmes were tolerable but he is more opinionated and more overbearing and more high pitched. I don’t see him taking over from the 4th estate any time soon.

And the name screetched by Bradbury isn’t great, Waatea is pronounced something like Waah teah.

Waatea 5th Estate tonight

Waatea 5th Estate kicks off at 7:01 pm tonight.

Launching 7.01pm tonight live streamed on thedailyblog.nz, waateanews.org and simulcast on Face TV Sky 83. We launch tonight with the politics, economics and sovereignty issues of the TPPA.  

I’ll add some thoughts if the streaming works.


Can’t get it going there or at The Daily Blog. Ok, running at The Daily Blog now.

Hosted by Willie Jackson and Martyn Bradbury.

Featuring Marama Fox – Maori Party MP.

Bradbury asks Fox if Key was gutless (and more) not going to Waitangi. Cowardly now, Bradbury keeps pushing.

The Treaty clause – Jackson says “it’s not a bad clause” but Kelsey says there are many problems with it. And conceptual problems.

Fox points out the problems with the Government being responsible for defending Treaty obligations.

Kelsey – the concern is “the chilling effect”.

Fox wants distribution of wealth but that’s separate to a trade agreement.

Bradbury keeps feeding Kelsey talking points, no questioning of her at all.

At least Jackson asks her questions, but that just hands another talking point to Kelsey.

I’ve heard most of this before, having been to a Kelsey meeting.

Fox says that the whanau think there will be benefits from the TPPA, “everyone loves their stuff”.

Jackson: “the mainstream are listening to Key”.

Kelsey claims that people attack her because they are losing.

Fox chucks one back at Jackson and Bradbury damning attack politics, saying both of them have done quite a bit of attacking of the Maori Party.

To Fox: “can national take the Maori Party vote for granted” – Fox: “absolutely not”.

Kelsey doesn’t think the Maori Party can get any wins in time on the TPPA.

Kelsey “the internal dissension inside the Labour Party is going to cause them real problems”.

Kelsey is really optimistic about the groundswell and mobilisation and she thinks democracy is being reclaimed and Tino Rangatiratanga is being reasserted.

And that’s the end of it.

Jackson and Fox were ok at times, trying to explore and take different slants, but it was inevitable that Bradbury and Kelsey were so much on the same side that little of note would come from them.

Another one tomorrow night. I wonder how wide ranging that will be.

‘Waatea 5th Estate’ alternative

Martyn Bradbury has announced details of the launch of a media alternative, Waatea 5th Estate. Curiously, as massive media diversification continues, Bradbury has chosen a single programme streaming format going head to head with Seven Sharp on TV One and Story on TV3.

It appears to be more a clash of old school egos than an innovative alternative. Bradbury’s description:

Waatea 5th Estate – Announcing launch of new 7pm Current Affairs show

Current Affairs is going back to the future, with the release of a new on line current affairs show called Waatea 5th Estate.

It’s a discussion panel dedicated to giving as wide a range of perspectives as possible on issues affecting New Zealand. The nightly half hour show is a partnership between high profile Māori broadcaster, former MP Willie Jackson and left wing blogger, provocateur Martyn Bomber Bradbury.

Streaming live each night at 07:01 pm the timeslot is a chance for the public to see just what the mainstream channels aren’t telling you before clicking over to the real deal says Bradbury, “People are sick and tired of dumbed down tabloid trash served up as current affairs.”

“TPPA is a classic example of how main stream media silenced hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders by ignoring them.” Adds Bradbury

“Let’s not start with how mainstream totally ignores Māori issues or viewpoints.” Says Willie Jackson.

The pair see the web series broadcast on www.waateanews.com as a back to the future for current affairs.

The high profile political commentators both agree there’s a hunger for the old fashion in-depth, rational critique of serious issues. “These days more and more people are looking on line to get a wider broader critical view of events, unencumbered.” Says Bradbury.

The show will feature key figures from politicians, activists and academics, Māori and non-Māori.

The online world is a familiar place for the pair, Bradbury is Editor of popular blog site The Daily Blog with over 300k views a month. While Jackson is associated with www.waateanews.com the Award winning national Māori news service.

Waatea 5th Estate starts 22nd February.

Confusingly two comments cite different dates.


This is the start of getting our democracy back
February 24 the fightback begins


We will be all ready for the launch. Roll on 7:01 pm Feb 24.

Getting the truth out there at last. Something the establishment and its propaganda mechanism msm won’t like at all. No sir!

A few sleepless night are in store for the deceitful, lying tow-rags governing us! Great :-)

I’m not sure TV One, TV3 or the Government will be losing too much sleep over this – 7:01 pm is probably before their bedtimes, but they may have other things to do then anyway.

It will be interesting to see how Waatea 5th Estate manages “as wide a range of perspectives as possible”.

Bradbury describes himself as “left wing blogger, provocateur” – he has been a strong supporter of the MANA Party, the Internet Party and their amalgamated attempt at revolution last election.

Wikipedia summarises Jackson’s ‘political life’:

In 1995, Jackson joined the Mana Motuhake party, a Māori party which formed part of theAlliance. In the 1996 election, he stood unsuccessfully for Parliament. In the 1999 election, however, he was elected as an Alliance list MP. In 2001, Jackson successfully challenged Sandra Lee-Vercoe for the leadership of Mana Motuhake.

Jackson served as the leader of the Mana Motuhake party from 2001 to 2004 when most of the party’s membership then became part of the Māori party and Mana Motuhake disestablished.

When the Alliance began to collapse in 2002, Jackson sided with the faction led by Laila Harré and Matt McCarten, and remained with the party when Jim Anderton established his breakaway group. In the 2002 election, Jackson became Deputy Leader of the Alliance under Harré’s leadership, but the Alliance failed to win any seats

Harré was leader of the Internet Party. McCarten was associated with the MANA Party, but has been Labour’s chief of staff for two years for David Cunliffe and now for Andrew Little.

The high profile political commentators both agree there’s a hunger for the old fashion in-depth, rational critique of serious issues. “These days more and more people are looking on line to get a wider broader critical view of events, unencumbered.” Says Bradbury.

We’ll see if they can deliver.

Jackson could attract a following, but Bradbury is seen as increasingly frothing fringe, even on the left.