Newsletter 28

More dirty politics

Looking at the headlines of the last week it’s pretty clear it’s the media, not political parties, that are setting the election agenda. The media’s obsession with Dirty Politics means that politics, not policy, has continued to dominate the headlines, with the media searching for new angles and new conspiracies. Instead of revealing policy promises and asking the hard questions, much of the week has been about semantics – whether saying the PM has been advised means the same thing as the PM’s office being advised. Largely it’s silly stuff.

What has become clear is that Judith Collins is unlikely to be a real contender to take over as the next leader of the National Party.  Kiwi’s generally have no time for dirty politics and those associating themselves with dirt digging don’t come out as winners.

Here’s a message to politicians. Just do your job. Keep it simple. Don’t indulge in muck raking or dirty politics. Play things straight, talk straight, do what you were elected to do and that’s to improve the welfare of New Zealanders. That’s it. Nothing more is expected so don’t let status get to your head and don’t think you’re better than the rest of us. You’re not, and voters will be very quick to point that out when it comes to casting their vote.

Maori seats

When is a policy not a policy? Apparently, when it’s the National Party policy to abolish the Maori seats.

For some time now the National Party has had a policy of abolishing the Maori seats. It will therefore come as a disappointment to those who believe in one law for all, that National’s policy is to abolish the Maori seats – but only if Maori want to!

Speaking to the NZ Herald a couple of weeks ago John Key is reported to have said, “It [abolishing the Maori seats] would divide the nation…Despite the fact that a lot of people say they don’t like it and they were there for a particular reason, actually it would be an incredibly divisive thing to do to New Zealand and New Zealanders” and result in the “hikoi from hell”.

The Herald then reported, “the Prime Minister said that while it remained National Party policy to abolish the seats, even if he had enough numbers to do so, he would abolish them only with the agreement of Maori.”

That’s a cop out. We fail to see why non-Maori should be excluded from having a say on this important matter. It is a major constitutional issue that affects all New Zealanders, so of course all New Zealanders should have a say – not just those who enjoy the present constitutional privilege. The removal of the Maori seats was after all a recommendation of Royal Commission on the Electoral System in 1986. They rightly predicted reserved seats  would not be necessary under MMP to gain a fair representation of Maori in Parliament.

It is quite clear that National’s only reason for changing their position on the Maori seats is because they don’t have the bottle to confront the opposition that would invariable arise.

While appeasement may avoid a confrontation in the short-term we believe the lack of political courage to stand up to bully tactics is certainly not in the best long-term interests of a country founded on the rule of law. Ceding to bullies is a recipe for anarchy and the eventual outcome will be control of the country by bullies – not something New Zealanders would want.

See Herald article HERE.

More to Kia Ora than hello

During the week there was a lot of fuss made about a young lady in Whangarei who resigned her job because she was instructed not to address customers with “Kia Ora”. Apparently the store had a script to follow and Kia Ora was not part of it. Saying Kia Ora or Hello is an insignificant matter in our view, but we think it fair and reasonable that a business has every right to require its staff to greet customers or answer the phone in a certain way – most businesses have these sorts of protocols.

The problem we have is with what followed. The young lady resigned after three weeks in the job – which was her choice (and it is not entirely clear whether she resigned because she so desperately wanted to work in an environment that greeted customers in Te Reo), but that was not the end of the matter. She, either through her own initiative or the encouragement of others, went to the media with her concerns. The next thing the store owner knows is that there is a protest at her shop front – TV cameras and a large gathering of school kids from the Maori unit of the local intermediate school doing the haka in protest to what they claimed was racism.

It now transpires that the protest was a staged event. The Northern Advocate reports, “Yesterday’s protest was organised by Hone Harawira and the Mana Party, and protesting teens came from as faraway as Auckland. At lunchtime, chants began to lift while hordes of pupils from Whangarei Intermediate School marched on to Cameron St and began a passionate haka…The pupils from Years 7 to 8 were part of the bilingual Te Whanau O Waimirangi team.”

Of course our recently appointed race relations conciliator, Dame Susan Devoy, could not stay out of the issue and has suggested the aggrieved young lady should contact the Human Rights Commission. She is reported to have said, “I had thought the days of people being censured for speaking Maori were over but perhaps I was wrong.” The Maori Language Commission chairman Erima Henare also pitched in and said the store owner should apologise.

Clearly the protest was politically motivated, and unlikely to have occurred if the country was not in the midst of an election campaign. But there are some very disturbing factors in this case.

First the use of bully tactics. Secondly the use of school children, in school uniform and with the consent of the school, to undertake a political protest. Usually school kids are mobilised to wave flags on Royal visits. Using them in a protest to advance a political agenda is quite another matter. We wonder if the Ministry of Education has anything to say on this matter – or are they, like John Key, afraid of being the target of a hikoi from hell?

Where does the intimidation end? What next – would anyone who ejects a trespasser from their property find a haka chanting mob of schoolkids at their doorstep if the trespasser happened to be Maori?
This is the sort of behaviour National needs to confront, instead of cowering in a corner.

See Advocate article HERE.


Many thanks to those who donated to 5PM in support of an advertisement against race-based seats on the New Plymouth District Council. We are supporting the campaign to abolish the Maori seats and the Maori electoral roll, and the advertisement will appear in the Taranaki Daily News next week.

5pm Polls

Last week we asked: Do you think the publication of the emails by Nicky Hager will damage National’s party vote?

We had a big response to this poll, and a lot of passionate comment.

33% said YES, 67% said NO.

Comments included:

Temporarily and when the dust settles things will revert back to normal. Mike

Some people have gone off John Key, this could tip them into voting for another party. I went off him after the Foreshore and Seabed Act. As long as they pander to Maori – he won’t get my vote. Sheena

Unfortunately, some people will just look at the headlines and believe what they read. David

Any intelligent person will know that this is: a) a money maker for Hager; b) Hager is a thief and cannot be trusted. I am, however, worried that are too few intelligent people of voting age! Elsie

I think the underhand way in which these incriminating e-mails were obtained would tend more towards discrediting the book and its author rather than any righteous indignation being directed at the National Party in general. Scott

The National Party is big enough to withstand any damage from Nicky Hager’s book. David

It was Herman Goering who stated something to the effect: “If you tell the people they are in peril they will believe it and you can tell them anything you wish and get away with it”. It works the same in any country. Joseph

Its all BS anyway, why publish private stolen communications? Everyone has said something in confidence to a friend they would not like to see in print. Just imagine – the divorce courts would be overrun!  Dave

This week’s poll asks: Does the decision by National to allow Maori only to decide on the retention of the Maori seats make you less inclined to vote for National?

To vote, please visit and look on the RH sidebar.

The 5PM Facebook Page

The hundreds of poll comments from last week can be seen on the 5PM Facebook page HERE.

And finally, please don’t forget to help us spread the message about 5PM! Our policies, see HERE, would have a very positive impact on the future of New Zealand.

Frank and Muriel Newman
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