She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!



ballot box


NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once.

In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has never held any interest for her and she was always busy with raising a family. To her, politicians were all “the same” and of no relevance to her life. Her family and close friends were her world.

All that changed on 14 August.

‘Tina’ surprised me one evening, the day after Nicky Hager released his book “Dirty Politics“, when she asked me,

“Frank, how do I go about voting?”

I was somewhat taken aback. I was fully aware that ‘Tina’ was without doubt the most apolitical person amongst my friends and acquaintances. Her out-of-the-blue query left me surprised, and somewhat lost for words. (Unusual for me.)

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I asked (almost knowing the answer) if she was enrolled. ‘Tina’ wasn’t.

I replied that the easiest way would be to wait for Early Voting to open to the public, where she could enroll and vote at the same time. I reassured her it was a relatively easy process and would take very little time.

I was curious, though, what had motivated her,

“What’s brought this on,” I asked?

She said she had seen a “guy on television” and asked if John Key was the Prime Minister. I replied, yes, sadly, he is.

“Why do you ask?”

‘Tina’ replied,

“He was going on about some book and they were asking him questions about it. I don’t know what it was about, but I know he was lying.”

This is the TV3 interview ‘Tina’ saw;


Video - John Key talks Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics


Despite having little interest or knowledge of politics, ‘Tina’ picked up very quickly that Key was not telling the truth when questioned by reporters. Especially toward the end of the interview. And ‘Tina’ was pissed off that Key was treating the public as fools if he thought his dishonesty was not obvious to the casual observer.

Our following discussion was which party should she vote for that got rid “of that man”. I replied that Key’s party was National – so don’t tick that box. I listed ACT, the Conservatives, United Future, and the Maori Party as parties that supported Key – so avoid them like the plague.

NZ First was a question mark as there was no way of guessing if Peters would support Key or Labour. So forget that party.

The only three parties guaranteed to get rid of Key were Labour, the Greens, and Mana-Internet.

‘Tina’s’ next question was the one I dreaded;

“What’s the difference?”

What followed was a short, crash-course in the difference between Labour, the Greens, and Mana-Internet. Which, when trying to explain it to someone out loud seemed ridiculous. The differences seemed minor. Almost trivial and meaningless.

Choosing the electorate candidate was straight forward – vote for the Labour candidate.

On 15 September, I received the following txt-message from ‘Tina’,

“U be proud of me Frank. I just voted.”

I was proud. ‘Tina’ had seen something from our elected Prime Minister that she did not like – and she set about doing something about it. Despite never having voted in her life, my friend made the decision to learn what the process was; what the parties were; and which option best matched her beliefs.

Later that day, ‘Tina’ sent me this photo. She proudly pointed at the little sticker they gave her at the Voting Station; “Yes, I have Voted“.  She txt-messaged me,

“The beehive needs a maturity injection. Its seems there is a lot of school yard bullying and antics going on.”



T just voted



Tina hasn’t told me which party she voted for, and I won’t ask.  But one of the “Missing Million” is no longer missing.

And one of three parties is now one vote stronger.

The moral of this story?  Sometimes it is not the policies or personalities that impel a person to vote.

Sometimes it can be as simple as a flash of insight.

And doing something about it.


* Not real name




TV3: Video: John Key talks Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics

Previous related blogposts

“Dirty Politics” – the fall-out continues




20 september 2014 VOTE

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =


  1. Thank you Frank for giving us TDB readers the opportunity to meet Tina.

    Tina is obviously a very intelligent woman, to be so influenced by the body language of FJK, to the extent of going out to vote this time. Obviously a Kiwi who cares deeply for her country.

    Go Tina 🙂 We need more people like you on the side of NZ.

    • A friend residing in a tiny ‘old’ rural blue supporting community were openly talking at the club about ‘teaching National a Lesson and voting Winston’ apparently they all were nodding in agreement.

      There is a sense of revolution in the air.

      I predict Winston will be leader of the opposition.

      The decimated Team Key will sit on the opposition back benches and the remnants may never recover from the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

      Craigi Crazies will reach 4.9% and like a losing high rolling gambling man will spend millions during the next three years trying to justify their losses of the last two elections. Good. Grown ups will get on with running the country without them buggin us.

      Nationals bumboy parties will disappear as they should have years ago.

      Mr Cunliffe you are front runner for PM but it might be co Green Leaders… Greens are doing everything right they may just lead. My point.. be inclusive.

      and of course the sleeper party.

      Internet/Mana. I declare my interest. I voted for them today. I think they will win two electorate seats and 6 to 8% of the party vote.

      I like their cannabis policy… so sue me… that’ll be cheaper and nicer than being sent to jail… believe me.

      But it’s much more than that. I know you guys. David, Russel, Metiria, Hone, Laila, you are a natural team of Leaders representing talented teams.

      You will form a Government with Heart, Soul, Honesty and Ethics.

      The people need you after these life changing revelations. Politics can never be conducted in this fashion again. We as a Nation are better than our recent past..

      You guys need to lead the country through a healing process where we can emerge as a stronger more united, friendlier and dare I say it, we need to chill a little. Stop being angry with each other and chill a little.

      So David, Russel, Metiria, Hone and Laila, how about you guys come together and be our new ‘FIVE AYES’

  2. My Dad (84) belives in small government and small parties. In the past has voted NZ First and Act. This year, he is voting to get rid of John Key for similar reasons to Tina and is going with labour because he thinks that the CGT and the raise in the minimum wage are both really good ideas. He has been delivering labour party pamphlets in the New Lynn electorate, his first politocal activity ever. Go Dad !!! They won’t know what has hit them on September 20.

  3. You rock “Tina”!!

    I’m speaking to as many people as I can and urging them to vote. Hoping for a big turnout Saturday!

  4. A heart warming story on how to influence the politically illiterate via propaganda campaigns based on lies, smears and illegal hacks.

    So proud
    So proud

    So proud
    Way to go NZ!

    • AndyS – as usual, your stupidity has made you over-look what I wrote.

      ‘Tina’ wasn’t basing her views on “lies, smears and illegal hacks”. She hasn’t read the book.

      What she saw was John Key being interviewed and the responses he gave.

      Your Leader was condemned by his own words – no one elses.

    • so your saying tina is to stupid to understand that what frank told her was his opinion then andy?

      to stupid to listen to frank then make up her own mind?

      so proud off you champ.

      stop being a dick

      – she said she didnt like key and asked for a bit of info to help her figure out how to vote him out – she received that info and then made her own choice – the result of which was never asked to be disclosed –

      what exactly is your problem with that?

    • Tell us what you really mean Andy. You don’t want Tina voting for anyone except a party you approve of. Pure and simple.

    • Andy- as one of NZs ‘political illiterates’ I was wondering if what you just posted is what they are calling dirty politics.
      It just seems to bear the hallmarks of a smeary smudgy diversionary obfuscation.

      But then again I could be Right.

    • Don’t be a dick Andy. We get enough of that from National’s TV ads.

      Tina – good on you!! I wish my gran voted. She’s 70 something and never cast a vote in her life either. I’m hoping to persuade her to do it this Saturday. especially as she doesn’t like that “smarmy man Key’ at all!

  5. This is great! In my mind it almost doesn’t matter who they vote for because each vote does make a difference and therefore is a small victory in itself.

    People are really hurting with low incomes and high housing costs. We need change more than ever before. Thanks Tina for being a part of that.

  6. Hi Frank , Things to do with the election are certainly changing. for the better I hope. A week or so ago my 86 y/y mother asked me if I had read “dirty politics”? I told her I had, then to my amazement she asked if she could borrow it. Never in my life have i ever heard my mother ask ,or comment about anything political.

    • My Dads the same, never discussed politics with me before but he’s keen to borrow my copy of DP in order to make his own mind up.

  7. Has an ‘Emperors new clothes’ ring to it. Tina being the little boy who shouted’ “but he’s naked” or in this case “lying!”

    • A person exercising their right to vote is something to shed tears over, Patrick McGuire”?

      What a strange world you right wingers inhabit. You almost sound like you’d be quite happy living in a One Party state?

      I understand that elections in Albania, under the old One Party system, used to return 100% votes supporting The Party. Would that make you happy?

      Regardless whether we win or not is immaterial.

      When people vote, we all win. I hope you can understand that. Do you?

  8. How do you get to 50 and not know the basics about how to vote?
    Every 3 years it’s rammed down our throats on tv, radio, the backs of buses.

    “Tina” may have a gut instinct to not like Key, all good, but if I voted purely on how people come across on TV there would be no voting. About the only politician I’ve seen do well on the box has been Kelvin whatshisname on Maori TV.

    You have to get past the personalities, the personal preferences, the past betrayals and think through the ramifications of each proposed policy. It’s not about what benefits you, but what benefits the whole country. Has “Tina” really gone through it all?

    • Not everyone is the same Sarah. I know a few people who’ve never voted and no amount of advertising will persuade them.

      What works for you doesn’t necessarily work for others. until you understand that, you’ll never get people to vote because you don’t get their motivation (or lack of).

      Personally, i say good on Tina. She found her motivation and stuck with it. Bravo!

      • I know people who haven’t voted but it’s always been a conscious decision based on distaste for the process rather than not knowing how.

        Tina and I are the same age so we went through school at the same time and we were taught about local and central government etc. It’s all around you – if not our elections then angst over other peoples, right now there are 2 more reported actively in the news on radio and tv and we’re even getting stories about will Clinton run for US President again.

        It just beggars belief that a grown woman could be so self absorbed not to notice the world around her.

    • Sarah, it’s not for me to determine if ‘Tina’ has “really gone through it all”. If she wants to discuss matters with me, she’ll let me know.

      She also knows my political leanings and if she wants an alternative view, she has other options such as family and other friends.

      I gave her answers to questions – the rest is up to her.

  9. Well done Tina… Im glad that saw in JK what a very large number of the public fail to see, he is actually very easy to read, he has 2 major traits when he lies, strokes his nose however he has managed to curb that of late and a nod or a flick of his head to his left everytime he lies. the flick of the head is something that he has not managed to curb, it flicks in direct correlation to the size of the lie, the bigger the lie the more pronounced is the flick.

  10. I have listened, I have watched and I have been thinking….every day I think I have made up my mind and then something else happens or is reported that I dont like, or that I am reminded of that has or, hasnt been done. I am like Tina…I cant remember the last time I voted but thought actually I think I will this time.
    I remember what it was like when the Others were in….people talked about the Nanny State all the time. So they voted them out. Now its not the Nanny State….what State is this that we have? The Godfather State?….and yet, something keeps niggling. I dont much like The Godfather….never have but, heres the thing. If we arent on the side of the Americans and the British and the EU, then whose side are we on?

    If we are left out in the cold, while the Pope is saying we might already be in the middle of the Thrid World War…then who is our Big Brother?
    Putin? IS? China? Hamas?
    ….you see its not just about us and who is snooping on who…its about Them and what they might be doing to Us….and I dont want to be a passenger on a other MH17…. Nor do I want Them to think they can walk into lil ole sleepy NZ and I wont have a Big Brother who I might call on to help us.

    So….this week when I would never have dreamed that I would vote for The Godfather (JK), now I am going to.
    … He might be lying and he might be snooping, but I have to ask myself WHY? To keep NZ and NZers safe from some very very nasty people around the world, who if they thought they could get away with it, would be marching right through our front door.
    Look at Ukraine…who is lifting a finger to help them? Russians buying up our lovely land…Putin was democratically elected, but he aint going anywhere anytime soon!

    So if I am wrong, can someone tell my why?
    I think I will sleep a lot more peacefully knowing that the government IS watching over me, and those that could seek to harm me and my family maybe stopped before they can hurt us. I haven’t heard any other Party say, they WONT be snooping, have you?

    • Well SAndy- I’ve given you a tick for trying.
      Thanks for your honestyu.

      I’ll tell you why I think you might be wrong.
      Because the UK, the US and your own Government have deliberately done two things-
      Thing 1: they have lied lied lied about Russia, about Hamas,about N Korea,about the Soviet Union, about Communism, about democracy, about everything.
      Thing 2: They have made damn sure that the “Other side’ have not ever been able to tell their side of the story.

      Remember when you thought Russians were trapped robots slaving in the snow? It turns out they were quite happy, some even quite nice, and some quite rich.

      Remember when you thought China was just a big rice farm full of slaving peasants? Turns out it has cities bigger than new york (which you and I were never even allowed know about) full of very happy millionaires.

      So I’m not pretending that everything is clear cut- but if both sidese of the story are being told by the one side – something stinks.

      In NZ that stink is coming from National. Don’t vote for them.

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