Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government





Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off.

I had noticed the billboard mid-last-week, and today had an opportunity to take the following images;


election billboards - hoardings - Greens - Labour - dirty politics


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The authorisation statement does exist – but is barely legible on the bottom left of the massive billboard.

Combining the distance from the motorway and an obstructing motorway barrier, the authorisation statement is not visible from the road. The large green and red lettering, though, stands out clearly to all passing traffic.

Even by zooming in, the authorisation statement is barely legible;


election billboards - hoardings - Greens - Labour - dirty politics


The authorisation statement, with maximum zoom;


election billboards - hoardings - Greens - Labour - dirty politics


Someone has a lot of money to spend, to frighten voters away from a Labour-led government.

Is this what John Key meant when he opined that we were focusing too much on Dirty Politics and not enough  on policies and issues?! And if so, will he condemn these billboard(s) with the same gusto  he slammed Nicky Hager’s book?

I doubt it.

Final question: is an authorisation statement that is barely legible to drivers, as well as obstructed by the motorway side-barrier, actually legal?

I will seek an answer from the Electoral Commission.




The Daily Blog: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the targets of a major negative advertising campaign?

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20 september 2014 VOTE

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =


  1. I note that John Third’s business partner at Guiness Gallagher, Shaan Stevens, who was convicted of tax fraud in 2011 and served 10 months home detention in 2012
    It’s a murkey little rabbit hole

  2. The thing that struck me from the first photo was the amount of concrete and metal involved in putting up that sign – John Third is anti-green in action as well as in word.

  3. Unfortunately Frank, all party’s authorisation statements are as small as possible. (As they should be, no authorising agent wants to be harrassed by the public) The authorisation statments are only there so that if the billboards are in breach of the electoral Act or local bylaws that they can be contacted by the electoral commission, or the council.

    The other purpose served by the authorisation statement is that it prevents shadowy unaccountable figures, or secret lobby groups anonymously interfering in our democracy, immune from scrutiny from the fourth estate and the public as to their motives and goals.

    What has to happen now is that our media has to do their job, to serve the public interest and report on the people and parties behind these billboards, and if possible approach these people to get their position on the public record.

    The question is will they?

    To date this vital watch-dog role is not being done by the tame cat MSM, thankfully for our democracy the new electronic media (like this blogsite), and people like Nicky Hagar are filling the vacuum.

  4. It’s one expensive billboard, what with the position, and the fancy lights and things. Hopefully Wellington voters won’t be scared off by the idea of a Labour-Green coalition. There are many who welcome it.

  5. The director for the opinion partnership is Owen Jennings and the first name that pops up in a search for Owen Jennings nz is a former ACT MP. This might be a coincidence but………

  6. Hmmmmm, I just had an interesting response from a non-political person when I showed her the images. She thought it was a Labour-Green billboard promoting a new coalition government.

    If this perception holds true for other voters, the authors of the billboard may’ve shot themselves in both feet.

    • A Labour led government that’s 30% Green is pretty much the outcome of the election that I’m hoping for. Hegemony is always unstable as Gramsci would say.

    • Nice try Frank, but this billboard is aimed at those male soft Labour voters who can’t stand the Greens, and at potential female Green voters normally at home on the right who can’t stand Labour.

      We’re not surprised Labour and Green voters like the sign with all the red and green on it, but they were always going to vote Labour or Green anyway.

      Damn right we intend to frighten voters about the communist agenda of the Greens – and the predicament a victorious Labour Party would find themselves in, through no fault of their own (apart from stupidly dumping Phil Goff and winding up with their most unpopular leader ever) in being forced to appoint up to seven Green ministers.

      That is frightening. It’s also the truth.

      As hard as it is for a typically immoral lefty to understand, everything about this billboard is 100% legal, including the size of the authorisation.

      (Doubtless you’d prefer it bigger than the headline, but from our enthusiastic feedback so far, voters seem to be enjoying it just the way it is!)

      Expect a lot more where this came from. (I was going to say where, but with you vandals on the prowl, maybe not.)

      • “the communist agenda of the Greens”

        such as?

        cmon you clossal ignorant blowhard – your so sure of yourself that you have obviously got some sort of.. you know… factual evidence?

        and that means policy that is undeniably communist* – not what they did many years ago and not some loony fantasy from your underpants

        * ie: not socialist, not environmental but actual state communism stuff – “we will forcibly seize all land from the capitalist running dogs” – that sort of thing

      • Well said. Any involvement of the Greens in Govt would be toxic to NZ, even Helen Clark realised that. And then there’s IMP……

        • “Any involvement of the Greens in Govt would be toxic to NZ…”

          Indeed. We can’t have the State going around cleaning up our fouled rivers, now, can we, Anonymous ACT Supporter Intrinsicvalue!

          Next thing you know, the bloody RMA will stop me burning rubber tyres in a disposal depot in Remuera, or a fat-rending plant in Khandallah. Blimmin commos, eh?

          You funny little man. 😀

      • John, have you ever left the Cold War era?

        I mean – “communists”? Really?!

        Perhaps you should have placed that on your billboard – “Communist Alert” instead of “Red Alert”.

        Anyway, you can “aim” it at whoever you like. The first response, showing the images I took, from an apolitical person was that they thought it was promoting a Labour-Green coalition.

        Perhaps in this day and age of attack politics, your subtlety has gone over peoples’ heads?!

        Anyway, not that I really care. It’s a very silly ad campaign and any supposed message is lost…

  7. We need other billboards then. Anyone for :
    “Papakura will do its bit to not vote for Judith Collins, but she is 6th on the National’s party list. Do your bit. Don’t Party Vote National”

  8. My initial reaction was like that too. Are Labour and Green forming a coalition – and of course they will after 20th September.

    Don’t think this sign is much to worry about.


  9. The cost for hiring these commercial billboard hoardings until the eve of election day, (When they all have to come down), is roughly $20,000

  10. Hi Frank
    At the same time you’re seeking clarification on the authorisation, could you ask whether this hoarding constitutes a part of the amount allowed to the National Party for its campaign. I think I remember Greenpeace and Forest & Bird having hoardings or advertising and being told by the Electoral Commission that they consisted as part of the left’s campaigning and had to remove them. Can’t remember all the details – but this Green/Red hoarding should fit into that same sort of slot.

    • This is clearly an endorsement of the anti-Labour anti-Green coalition of National Act and United future so should come off their electoral spending quota.

    • It’s nothing to do with the National Party or any other party. It’s pointing to a problem. The solution is up to the voter.

          • Read Chapter 12 of “The Hollow Men”, Iwi/Kiwi (p180 ff) and guess who John Ansell means by “we”.

            (Who will benefit most by people voting as the billboard suggests? Maybe not National exactly, just right-wing money.)

      • that doesnt matter – there is already a precedent

        there was a song and a website that have fallen foul of the electoral law so far in this election for pretty much the same kind of thing your saying here.

      • “It’s nothing to do with the National Party or any other party”

        Yeah… nah.

        That’s a silly thing to say, John, and if you were to be more upfront, it’s an underhand agenda to support the current government.

        I mean, really, if people don’t vote Labour-Green-IMP, then who?

        NZ First?

        United Future?

        Colin Craig?


        You must be advocating so kind of “solution”. No one throws thousands of dollars at an advertising campaign because you’re bored and there’s nothing on telly tonight.

      • “It’s pointing to a problem. The solution is up to the voter.” – John Ansell

        “Succinct messages … cleverly presented the essence of a problem and its solution” – The NZ Herald, “Clever election tricks that fit the bill”, 24 September 2005 (quoted in Hager, The Hollow Men, p 186) on John Ansell’s series of National billboards, especially “Iwi/Kiwi” that falsly implied New Zealand’s beaches were at risk of being taken from “Kiwi” by “iwi” (as if iwi were not Kiwi).

        The Red Alert billboard is neither succinct nor clever. It presents a problem only to the right and opponents of MMP (which strongly overlap).

        As John Ansell admits, it offers no solution. In fact, the claim “30% Green” depends on both the Labour vote and the Green vote. Voters can push the Green proportion down – if they want – by voting Labour or a third coalition partner.

  11. Did they get a resource consent to erect all the concrete and supporting infrastructure for that billboard? Perhaps a complaint to Wgtn City Council would also be in order.

    • WCC has actually advertised on that billboard (albeit when it was a smaller size) so I dare say it has resource consent.

  12. Thank you John Third!You have really helped me make my mind up! I like the idea of supporting the greens while voting Labour.Good work!!! You’re ar champ!

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