ACT Party candidate David Seymour – revealed



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On TV3’s  ‘The Nation‘, host Lisa Owen set about discussing the Epsom-ACT-John Banks issue with Green candidate, Julie-Anne Genter; Labour candidate Michael Wood; ACT’s David Seymour, and a bag of flour standing in for National’s, Paul Goldsmith (the actual difference between the bag of flour and Goldsmith is still a matter for debate).

At first glance, Lisa Owen seemed hopelessly unable to extract straight answers from ACT’s David Seymour.

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My mistake. She was allowing Seymour plenty of rope by which to hang himself, as he burbled on and on and on and… about how fricken marvelous he was, going from door to door. Evidently Seymour has knocked on 7,000 doors thus far? (Doesn’t he have a regular day job?)

The most illuminating aspect of the panel-discussion was that we gained insight into the three candidates.

Michael Wood – Labour

Probably a very nice guy but his Wikipedia entry has less content than a list of ingredients for vegemite.

Julie-Anne Genter – Greens

This woman oozes class, intellect, wit, and confidence. She ran rings around Seymour, giving Lisa Owen flanking support to handle the young ‘up-myself’ whippersnapper.

Ms Genter is the kind of politician New Zealand desperately needs – but doesn’t deserve.

Paul Goldsmith/Flour – National

Goldsmith refused to take part in the debate because, evidently, he was “out campaigning for the Party vote”.

Really? So appearing on a current affairs programme to promote your Party’s policies is not considered “campaigning”? Never mind. His stand-in – a bag of flour – made more sense than Goldsmith himself.

David Seymour – ACT


Unwilling/unable to answer a direct question.

Yelled over others who happened to be speaking.

Did not listen.

In short, a perfect Tory politician.

If this is what he’s like now – outside Parliament what the devil will he be like as an actual MP?! Another Aaron Gilmore?

Listen to the panel yourself;


david seymour - 7 june 2014 - TV3 - The Nation - ACT
David Seymour – avoiding answering questions on behalf of his electorate.


Listen at 3:01 into the interview. The big *sigh* you can hear, as Seymour drones onnnn and onnnn and onnnn,  is probably Lisa Owen. If she’s thinking “My brain-cells are dying. God almighty, I don’t get paid enough to listen to this self-indulgent verbal diarrhea” – then I wholly sympathise. It was like listening to a blander, vanilla-version of Winston Peters. But at least Peters is entertaining. And often has a point to make.

Seymour could win Epsom outright by  anaesthetising the entire electorate with one of his interminable, monotone speeches, and then winning with just one vote cast. His own. Cunning bunch, these Tories.

At 6:30, Seymour attempted to deflect attention from ACT and John Banks by referring to Green Party co-leader, Russell Norman’s meeting with Kim Dotcom. It was a pathetic attempt, and he was shot down when  Julie Anne Genter pointed out the vain attempt at distraction. As she quite rightly pointed out, there is nothing illegal or untoward about elected representatives talking to New Zealand residents.

In fact, it is what MPs are paid to do.

Does Seymour plan not to talk with anyone should he be elected to Parliament? What kind of elected representative would that make him?

That attempt at evading the issue made Seymour look… dodgy. And god knows ACT has had plenty of dodgy characters within it’s ranks over the years.

At 7:50. Michael Wood refered to the dirty deal being done between National and ACT. At which point Wood brought out the bag of flour.



goldsmith - flour - The Nation - Epsom


A bit tacky.

John Campbell did it with much more style last year when he used a cardboard cutout of Hekia Parata when the Minister (often) refused interviews;


Campbell Live - 5 February 2013 - Hekia Parata - No show - novopay


But note Julie Anne Genter at 8:28. She all but took over as the host of the show by pointing out  some salient facts about Paul Goldsmith’s strange absence.

Poor Seymour. His response was to try to “stay on message”as he burbled on about “low taxes and stable centre-right government”. He was hopelessly outclassed by a Green MP who has been battle-hardened in Parliament’s debating chamber since 2011.

His inexperience showed when he made a major faux pas at 8:55, stating,

“And they do not want their neighbourhoods intensified with eight story towers next to their homes…”

That was almost too easy, and again, Genter jumped in, highlighting the policy contradiction between Seymour’s ranting against  “neighbourhoods intensified with eight story towers next to their homes” – and ACT’s new leader, Jamie Whyte, railing against the Resource Management Act;

There are far too many powers currently being given to various times of groups and bureaucrats around the country to interfere with people and the use of their property.” – Jamie Whyte, 28 February 2014

So we want to repeal the RMA and replace it with a law that addresses only real market failures, not fantastical injuries to Gaia or the sensitivities of people with no real interest in your land. It will be a very small law.” – Jamie Whyte, 1 March 2014

Perhaps Seymour hasn’t looked close enough at his own party’s policies – but allowing neighbourhoods to be intensified with multi-storey dwellings is precisely what would be allowed under ACT Party policy to do away with the RMA.

This ill-considered remark may come back to haunt him in the next three months of the election campaign. Epsom residents may be very interested to learn if ACT supports or rejects property rights when it comes to developing established urban land and neighbourhoods.

At 9:49, Lisa Owen asked the NZ$64,000 question;

I’m wondering if National and ACT are going to buddy up, why don’t you guys [Labour and Greens] buddy up.”

Wood replied;

We’re running a principled campaign [shouted interuption by Seymour]… We’re running a principled campaign. We want this to be a straight out contest of ideas and of parties. But we have a situation in which the National Party and the ACT Party are manipulating the system. And of course Labour voters and Green voters in the electorate will think about their options as the campaign goes on [shouted interuption by Seymour]…”

Seymour attempted to deflect focus from the National-ACT Epsom deal by demanding to know from both Genter and Wood if they would be encouraging their supporters to vote for Paul Goldsmith, to lock out ACT from winning Epsom.

Genter attempted to remind Seymour that since 2002, the Green Party has always only campaigned for  the Party Vote, not Electorate Votes. But Seymour was obviously not interested in listening and instead was more focused on deflecting focus from his own “arrangement” with National.

Wood responded with something less clear.

Several  interesting points emerged from the panel discussion;

  1. Seymour is nowhere as clever as he thinks he is and Julie Anne Genter ran rings around the baby-faced Tory Toff.
  2. Who is Michael Wood?!
  3. Who makes better pancakes – an absent Paul Goldsmith or a bag of flour?
  4. No matter how much Labour tries to rise above “dirty deals” and  “want this to be a straight out contest of ideas and of parties” – National/ACT will persist in tarring them with the same brush that has tarred Right as “dirty deal makers”.

With regards to #3 – it serves National/ACT’s purpose to throw as much mud around as possible – thereby increasing public cynicism and de-motivating voters to consider voting for a Left alternative. After all, what is the point of voters considering a Labour-led alternative if Labour, et al, are no different to the National-led bloc?

National does deal-making (whether one sees it as “dirty” or not) very well.

National wants to prevent similar deal-making between  Labour; the Greens; and Mana-Internet.

National therefore has engaged in a  covert strategy to paint all deal-making as dirty – even though they have no hesitation in doing it themselves in Epsom, Ohariu, and soon with the Conservatives. If the media questions this – they will deflect to Labour Greens, Mana, and the Internet Party doing the same thing. (Even though thus far only Mana-Internet have done any deals – two parties barely registering 2% between them in any given poll.)

National wants Labour to play by FPP rules –  which certain Labour MPs have obliged (see:  The secret of National’s success – revealed).

Meanwhile, National builds and supports deals with other parties as coalition partners for a post-2014 Third Term National-led government.

Meanwhile, the media focuses on perceived “dirty deals” by the Left, including Mana-Internet.

No wonder David Seymour kept banging on about alleged deal-making between the Greens and Labour in Epsom. That is the script he has been handed to read and speak.

The media dutifully oblige by repeating.

Just ask Patrick Gower.





Wikipedia: Michael Wood

TV3: The Nation

NZ Herald: Act wants Resource Management Act dumped

ACT: Leader’s Speech to ACT New Zealand Conference – Saturday 1st March 2014

Previous related blogpost

The Daily Blog: The secret of National’s success – revealed







Key Banks - party anyone

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =


  1. Watching David Seymour was more interesting than flour, but only just.

    The erstwhile Aaron Gilmore and currant David Seymour were moulded and cloned from the same white self-raising flour. Both will be remembered for their self-aggrandising slogans….”Don’t you know who I am?”

    Their respective personal arrogance clearly represents what should be the slogans for their respective parties, but reduced to reflect core right-wing values … “I am”.

    • Both will be remembered for their self-aggrandising slogans….”Don’t you know who I am?”

      I was thinking about using that phrase, McChristchurch, but I suspect most readers (eg; like you) got the implications regardless. 😉

    • MCCHRISTCHUCH -rabid ACT supporters will love him to bits.

      All tarred with the same arrogant, self pissing important brush!

  2. who is Michael Wood? he is the labour poli that buys his flour from countdown.. that very organisation that his party is meant to be leading the charge on corruption at the tills

    • Wow, what a cutting insightful comment there. No, one person was leading the charge against Countdown, Shane Jones, and unless I’ve forgotten something, it was the only charge he ever led during his tenure at Parliament.

      • Jones is big in the fishy department now, but I doubt if he’ll get a job in any Countdown Deli.

        But, Jones is OK for a while since Murray McCully created Jones a fishy sinecure kwango job in the Pacific. Will Mr McCready or Penny Bright be taking out a private prosecution against McCully soon?

        With the election coming soon, Murray McCully might need to make a pre-emptive resignation too, or he might have to wait and resign from the opposition benches after the election.

  3. The fact of the matter is Epsom is the smallest, and the voters are the most intelligent, of all electorates in the country. It was painful to watch stupid Lisa Owen try to conduct an interview which completely missed the point as have most of the MSM and media commentators. Epsom people are continually wondering when they are going to wake up to the fact that, in reality, there is no deal in Epsom. We don’t need to be told by John Key or anyone else what to do. We are quite capable of working out for ourselves what needs to happen and to suggest otherwise is an insult.

    • Which would suggest “the most intelligent electorate in the country ” chose John Banks to represent them.
      The guy who was just found guilty of electoral fraud.

      What’s painful is watching the right frantically trying to spin a defense for the indefensible.

      • What’s painful is watching the right frantically trying to spin a defense for the indefensible.

        Dave – interesting you say that. I have a blogpost on that topic, ready in the next day or two.

    • Epsom voters are the most intelligent in the people in the country eh.

      If you ever wondered why N.Z. is in such a parlous state, this one sweeping statement says it all.
      The ignorance and arrogance defies belief.
      Equally ignorant or arrogant, I could say, Epsom voters live their because they have received the biggest financial legs up and inheritances than anyone else in the country.
      Any group of people who voted such intellectual lightweights like Rodney Hide and John Banks into power did not make their money through being intelligent ,that’s for sure!

      • If it wasn’t for their arrogance and intelligence, ACT voters would be damn near perfect. Maybe Epsom voters could donate at sperm banks throughout New Zealand in order to create “a decent society”. I’m sure it would lower the crime rate and lift the intelligence of voters to the point where Kiwi voters will readily vote for a 17.5% flat tax rate ….

        Orwell hinted at it in 1984 “Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm.”

    • JC:

      Epsom people are continually wondering when they are going to wake up to the fact that, in reality, there is no deal in Epsom. We don’t need to be told by John Key or anyone else what to do.

      Riiiiight. Keep saying it over and over and over again, JC, and you might just start believing that.

      So just remind us – what was that “cuppa tea” all about, then?!

  4. People should vote for The Greens in Epsom then considering the candidate is so much better than the alternative.

    • People should Party vote for The Greens in Epsom then, considering the candidate is number 8 on the list. Genter is so much better than the alternative.

      The electorate vote should be used more tactically – even if means voting for a sack of flour.

  5. It’s really funny when some left list MP gets up the nose of the supporters of the right. They are the “scummy, no-one voted for them list MPs who shouldn’t be there.” List MPs the scourge of our system.

    When list MP Steven Joyce does something like the behind the scenes SkyCity deal to cut some out of the convention centre deal, he’s one of the apostles doing the Lord’s work.

    So in the order of things Paul Goldsmith is simply the Ordained Acolyte.

    David Seymour though?
    For years we have looked at kooks and cretins who have been elected or sought election in the various parts of United States democratic process. We have been awestruck that in the biggest, bestest, brightest, nation on earth there is the absurdity that some idiot puts himself up hoping and expecting to be elected. Expect the voice of the people will emanate from the somewhere in them, having at first traipsed through what counts as a brain, and engaged with it enough to put a tick by their name as the person who represents them and what the aspire to be.

    David Seymour shows we are getting more like the good old US of A. David Seymour will offer the opportunity to (excuse me J Banks) the “good folk” of Epsom to reflect on what they have become. Anyone watching his performance with no knowledge of the electorate would be bemused. Anyone with the knowledge might think that the dunce with no friends has been elected as the class leader.

    So there is a strange beauty about Seymour. Hats off to him though. With him we don’t need political satire. With him we don’t need caricatures of weird American wannabe politicians. With him I can drive through Epsom with a smile on my face not thinking of affluence but instead, effluence.

  6. The absence of Goldsmith on the debate indicates that National are really worried about what they should do in Epsom. Do they really still want ACT to win and coat tail a couple more voting automatons into parliament under a party with a credibility of less than zero? Or now have they changed their minds and want their own man Goldsmith to win? If so, they are going about it in a strange way by making him the invisible man.

  7. Funny how the media is hysterical at the Mana-Internet alliance, but when it comes to Epsom or Ohariu, it’s “business as usual”??

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