Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance:

Well done and thank you, Idiot/Savant!

I can now reveal more about the e-mail from “Charlie Taylor”.

It was sent to a person called John Third.

Following up this detail, I discovered that a John Lawrence Third is the sole director of a registered private company called Guinness Gallagher Corporate Advisory Ltd, based in Wellington.

I acquired Mr Third’s telephone number, called him, and, receiving no answer, left a message for him to call me back. He hasn’t.

I did not include this information in the posting above because I didn’t want to involve a potentially “innocent civilian” in a breaking political story.

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Idiot/Savant’s research has, however, obviated the need for me to talk to Mr Third because looking at the latest entry on the Elections New Zealand’s Register of Promoters whose name do I see in the column headed “Name of the person authorised to make the application where the promoter is not an individual” but that of John L Third – the very same person to whom “Charlie Taylor’s” e-mail was sent.

How did it come to me? I have no idea. Perhaps Mr Third’s name was just the first of dozens on a mass e-mail distribution list among which my own – for some unfathomable reason – was included.

Whatever the explanation, we now know that the campaign is real, and that it is being run under the collective identity of “The Opinion Partnership” among whose members are Mr Third and Owen Jennings – former head of Federated Farmers, former Act Party MP (1996-2002) and currently the joint owner (with Mr Third) of the registered private company Ideal Energy Holdings Ltd.


According to Daily Blogger, Frank Macskasy, the first of these billboards has already appeared in the Wellington region.

We await further developments.


  1. […] …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the amount of damage #whaledump has still to wield and it will be because their internal polling is haemorrhaging. Key has to cauterise the legacy of Dirty Politics somehow. Key does this as a new smear campaign against the Green and Labour funded by the right is being exposed. […]

  2. The billboards exemplify how private money colonises our thought processes through the use of privatised space. It’s very hard to fight back against this sort of stuff when subverting the messages falls under vandalism of private property.

    • Vandalism?? What vandalism – private company using public space to promote a political ideology. It is your duty as a citizen to remove this corporate propaganda trying to interfere with the democratic political process.

      You are morally compelled to remove these signs. To not to do so – makes you a glove puppet of vial, godless, egoists who represent the interests of hate, over humanity.

      • The only hate here is coming from you, Adam. (I’m suppressing mine – not easy when I see so many people condoning vandalism.)

        Just so you know: a privately-owned billboard is not public space. If you are going to say, “but it’s visible to the public”, are you suggesting we ban advertising?

        I wouldn’t put that past you either. Then let me ask another question: if you will not allow companies to advertise their products and services, how do you expect them to attract customers?

        And if that doesn’t faze you, how do you expect them to continue to employ their staff?. You do care about people having jobs, don’t you Adam?

        Or are you a Green?

        Joining the dots is hard work, but if you start practising it now it will help people respect you when you grow up.

    • So TV and radio advertising for Labour, National, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the Conservatives, ACT, United Future and NZ First paid for from the public purse is fine?

      And ads paid for by private individuals out of their own pocket as a result of their own efforts to find ways to please their customers “colonise our thought processes”?

      You guys are proving with every dumb and immoral comment precisely why New Zealanders are entitled to the benefit of a “Labour means 30% Greens” campaign.

  3. We all know where the dirt is and it’s not Labour and Greens. As usual the rich right fight dirty, just like schoolyard bullies. If you fight dirty it will come back and bite you. I would be happy to deface such billboards if they appeared where I live. Do those who put them up have any permission they might need from the local authority? If not then they are fair game!

    • And what if they have permission and are perfectly legally displayed on private property, Judith? Do you still consider yourself justified in vandalising other people’s property and interfering with their freedom of speech?

      Would you be happy if the targets of your vandalism did the same to you?

  4. I’ve taken a pic of the billboard on the motorway, southbound, just before the Murphy Street turn-off. It has an authorisation statement on it (John Third, as Chris has pointed out in his update), and will be looking further into it.

  5. Someone must have got council resource consent to put the billboards up?
    If there is no resource consent then council will, and must take them down.

    If there is resource consent, then there will be a name on it.


  6. This needs to be spread far and wide..and yes Ansell was totally bizarre in that interview…
    Some of the obvious current Act supporters on Slater’s bog as bad too though
    and are now claiming in true right-wing fantasist form that even Collin’s calamitious fall on her claws today, all part of their ‘cunning plan’ for re-election to woo women voters by gaining sympathy for her???
    Must be snorting ‘angel dust’ with their bolly if they think decent women will feel sorry and vote National surely.

    • Care to explain how, Jax?

      I said that the Labour ad was appropriate because it featured a bunch of people standing around wanting stuff, and a bunch of MPs standing around with no idea of how to give it to them, yet claiming to be positive.

      Meanwhile the National ad didn’t just talk positive, it featured a bunch of energetic people up early in morning down at the lake working hard and pulling together for a common goal.

      I said I loved the cameo of all the Labour and Green MPs pulling in different directions, and said I hoped the Nats would be following up with ads pointing out that a Cunliffe cabinet would be 30% Green, and that we could soon have, for example, the people behind the philosophy which led to the $14 billion leaky homes crisis in charge of our housing, etc.

      What was bizarre about that? Do you find the truth bizarre?

      • Ummm the people behind the leaky homes fiasco have been in government for the last 6 years. How many of your other comments are factually wrong I wonder.

    • DOWNWITHNATS: We are simply stating facts. If people are panicked by the truth about the Greens, so they should be.

      Panicking and exaggerating is what the Greens do, as you will soon be seeing on a billboard.

      • No you haven’t stated any “facts” John. Your billboards use cliches without any foundation (except concrete around the support ) and that’s the sum total of it. Referring to people isn’t an argument using facts, it’s sloppy short-hand name calling.

    • Thought of that, Fern.

      And while the police are reviewing our camera footage of the offender, we will put a sticker over the top saying, “Defaced by the Greens – see what we mean?”.

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