A Message to Winston; A Message to John Key; and a Message to the Regions



NZ First – National Coalition announcement, 11 December 1996



Message to Winston Peters: don’t stuff this one up.

If you get too close to John Key’s government, voters will perceive you as another “satellite” party to National in the same vein as ACT, Peter Dunne, and the Maori Party. None of the three have done particularly well in  elections;

  • ACT won Epsom only at the pleasure of John Key
  • Peter Dunne remains a one-man band – essentially a National-lite clone
  • The Maori Party lost another MP last year, as voters deserted it in droves

Be wary of supporting National’s legislative programme (even with “major” changes).

Be wary of being perceived as being too close to National.

Be extremely wary about throwing National a Parliamentary “life-line” – voters will remember that in 2017 (if not earlier).

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

How many times can you repeat the same mistake?



Peters 'sorry' about coalition - NZPA - 14 September 1998





Message to John Key: a reminder of your warning on 21 September, 2014, about the perils of third-term arrogance creeping into government;

“I won’t be wanting to see any hint of arrogance creeping in.

In a way, having an absolute majority could exacerbate that situation, so I don’t intend to take the party veering off to the right.

One of the big messages I’ll be wanting to give incoming ministers and the caucus is that it is incredibly important that National stays connected with our supporters and connected with the New Zealand public.”

The arrogance from National was demonstrated when they  kept secret the Police investigation of Mike Sabin – prior to last year’s election. It was only four months later that some (but not all) revelations regarding a police investigation became public knowledge and Sabin was forced to resign.

Voters in Northland had good reason to consider they had been deceived – by their own Party-in-power!

National’s further arrogance was again demonstrated when Key flippantly dismissed Peters’ presence in the by-election with his “absolutely zero” chance remark. It is not for government MPs, Ministers, or the Prime Minister to tell voters who has or has no chance of winning an election. That privilege is reserved solely for voters, who make that decision on the ballot paper.

More arrogance when a brace of Ministers suddenly appeared throughout Northland, in taxpayer-funded Ministerial limousines, to prop up their lame-duck candidate. Not exactly a good look for a region racked with poverty, one would have thought?

As  Green Party co-leader, Russel Norman, said,

“It’s pretty extraordinary that National is not only pork barrelling the electorate, but accessing the pork themselves to get themselves around the electorate.”

More important still – why wasn’t this kind of attention bestowed on Northland over the last few decades whenever National was in power? Did they really think citizens would not notice? Really?!?!

The arrogance of National was even more jaw-droppingly breath-taking with it’s blatant electoral bribes of up-grading ten Northland bridges to two lanes; speeding up broadband introduction to the region, etc. Is that how National really perceives voters – that they think we are too thick to recognise the stench of electoral bribes when  shoved under our collective noses?

Then again, the tax cut bribes did work for Key in 2008. (Which, nearly seven years later, we are still paying for.)

And threatening to withdraw one of the bribes, if voters decided not to choose the National candidate – as Key clumsily announced on 13 March – was arrogance cloaked in paternalism. Paternalism is best left to parents with rebellious teenage children. It rarely works on voters.

Five days later there was more arrogance yet, when a National backbencher thought that threatening New Zealand citizens, was a really, really clever idea. It was not, as Shane Reti discovered to his cost. Real Stalinist-stuff. Doesn’t go down well with Kiwis.

Finally – John Key’s most brazen act of arrogance  illustrates how deeply “concerned” he felt  about Northland’s dire economic and social circumstances, and how “greatly”  he supported his own Party’s candidate to win the by-election;



PM to attend the Cricket World Cup Final


I’m sure Northlanders are equally delighted to have a new Member of Parliament to represent them.




Message to the Regions: if New Zealanders living in parts of the country that have missed out on the country’s “rock star economy” feel sufficiently aggrieved, they should do something about it.

As always, the power is in their hands. They have the vote.

Use it.

Northlanders did, and they have just sent National a clear message they will not forget in a very long time.


Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender


Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes





NZ Herald:  Election 2014 – Triumphant PM’s strict line with MPs – Don’t get arrogant

Fairfax media: Government’s wall of silence over Mike Sabin

TV3 News: National MP Mike Sabin resigns

TV3 News: Peters launches Northland campaign with ‘The Force’

TV1 News: Taxpayers forking out for ministers limo rides in Northland

Fairfax media: Northland by-election – John Key admits National pulled back on promises

NZ Herald: Nats to borrow for other spending – but not tax cuts

Fairfax media: Nats – Roads in doubt if Winston wins

Radio NZ: Dusty road group claim bullying

Scoop media: PM to attend the Cricket World Cup Final

Previous related blogpost

Teflon Man No More

When the teflon is stripped away

Witnessing the slow decay of a government past it’s Use-By date

Letter to the editor – Northland voters have been warned



planet key




= fs =


  1. Even if the Black Caps lose today, they have still achieved a great deal in the minds of most New Zealanders. Contrast that with our PM – a self-deluded non-achiever and loser.

  2. Congratulations Frank on reminding us about Winston’s decision in 96, Personally, I have never forgot, which is why I consider Winston our greatest ever politician in opposition! I don’t know weather I would trust him in Government though.
    But hopefully as one blogger quoted earlier, “this is the beginning of the end for Key”
    And really, would you expect “shonkey’ to be any where else but the cricket world cup!

  3. Hi Frank,

    Yes a great pressure come off us (in the deserted provinces)
    that Winston talked about this morning on Q+A and the Nation.

    it was good he mentioned that in the “Two tiered economy” the East coast provinces of Gisborne/Hawkes Bay, were disastrously being left out of the gains made by Auckland and Christchurch since the recovery from the 2008 global financial crash, when Government said we will sell off some assets to help our economy.

    Well Gisborne/HB have since slumped and are both hurting and the loss of our rail has made things worse still, so national need to wake up as they have lost Napier to labour and next election they will loose Gisborne, and Winston has vowed along with the greens and Labour to save our rail and fix it and get it going again.

    Our community groups sent 104 emails to John Key for to come talk to the communities there without any response ever over three years after he had said in Wairoa in 2012 that because the rail line had been disabled by slips after a storm lots of traffic, (Trucks) were on the road, and Quote J Key, ” I don’t want road to be the only option to be road”.

    Three years later they have refused to fix the rail washouts they caused through lack of rail drain/culvert funding of the tracks.

    We do mot ever trust this Government for their inaction as Northland don’t either it seems.

  4. Great reminder to us all regarding Mr Peters and his political history.
    The fantastic win in Northland is, as you wrote, also great for the neglected regions. Here in Thames/Coromandel, I’m very happy about that.

  5. Thank you Frank for a well stated commentary which I’m sure speaks for most of us this side of the political fence.

    Hopefully Northland folk have set alight the fires of change in this country. I’d like to think this is a new awakening for NZ politics.

    As for Key. His recent action – going to Melbourne to watch the cricket final – speaks volumes about the calibre and integrity (or lack of) of the man as a leader.

    A strong, dedicated leader of his people worth his sort would have remained in NZ throughout the byelection, more so on the night of the voting count, to support his candidate, whether he won or lost!

    But no, not Key.

    The vile, corrupt and treasonous planted Yankee creep is as self obsessed and shallow as ever!

    Will we see the demise of Key as PM, between now and 2017? We can but live in hope of the prospect.

    • You will see his demise – and quite possibly before his term is up. The weight of scandal after scandal will collapse the unity among his inner circle…there are others waiting in the wings….

      A read of Roman politics will demonstrate this quite clearly. One of Keys top generals ballsed up. He lost a major campaign due to haughty arrogance and assumptions.

      Two things a general should never succumb to.

      The same charge can be laid at Key ” Peters has zero chance”.

      How foolish.

      This defeat will indeed set on fire a growing confidence among the provincial voters that Key can be defeated , …..that there is a formula to it , that unity on the Left IS important , that concerted co operation will achieve these ends.

  6. I can’t believe that STILL no one on the left of the Natz has mentioned, or countered Natz B.S comments re:

    They started 2 weeks late and that was a significant factor in them loosing. And as proof ‘look how our vote increased 10% in the last week of election’……..utter B.S that is ALLOWED to be passed off as fact because it’s not challenged.
    THEY KNEW about Sabin, so it is then incompetence if they were indeed 2 weeks late in this campaign.

    This was an election of JK versus Winston. Almost ALL of the Natz signage had JK on it, the sort of Team JK angle, and JK and god knows how many ministers (sucking of the public teat) and 1,000’s of helpers shipped in from every where. YET they STILL lost. And the press ALLOW the Natz to claim ‘this was due to unusual circumstances’. …..YEH……..the most effort probably put into one by-election, legally and otherwise, and yet they turned a 9,000’ish majority into a 4,000 loss. GREAT work if you can get it, and still be employed after being in charge of that train wreck.

    The NZ press is an appalling bunch of amateurs and/or paid for hacks. They let Natz get away with utter rubbish replies, BUT stop Winston (and others left of Natz) mid sentence countless times to try and do the ‘gotcha’ moment, when in fact the Natz give one every other sentence, but ‘under orders’ the ‘journalist’ (in the broadest sense) don’t ‘go for the throat’…..they are pathetic and it is a clear sign that NZ democracy is all but dead. The fourth estate is really an extension of the Natz Publicity department.

    • Key was so sure of Northlanders doing the same thing and voting for him no matter what,that he didn’t make an effort until he saw Winston
      being lauded , then Key thought he had better do something.
      Patrick Gower being rude to Winston and fawning all over Stephen Joyce shows the Media for what they are,losers.

      • That shows the media as continuous Nat sycophants, who have no idea that good journalism requires neutrality. Or do they, like Hosking, all have lucrative sidelines to fatten their back pockets. There are only a few notable exceptions.

  7. “I am delighted to be attending the final between New Zealand and Australia,” says Mr Key.

    Yes, because a weekend in Hawaii to escape the cameras and the pesky questions would be too obvious, but a weekend over the ditch to support our boys? Why, that’s just patriotic…

  8. Winstons apology for betraying voters in the past means nothing.

    It’s like when he held up his ‘NO’ sign that we later found out to mean yes.

    Or when he claimed to have no knowledge of Owen Glenns donation.

    Or when he claimed to have no knowledge of the Vela brothers donations.

    Or when he claimed to have no knowledge of Bob Jones donation.

  9. Good to see other regions saying ‘hey we’ve been forgotten too!’
    I would say most of the country has been ignored, had their funds cut, or been sold out, in the ‘reign’ of National. It is clear who they are helping, and it sure ain’t New Zealand.

    • I keep thinking have we got any other Winstons to beat National?
      Im sure there are plenty of good candidates, But who!?

      • A good question for right now, is do we have any other Nat/Act Sabins to give the immediate boot. Another by-election anyone??

  10. Kim Dandy, & Frank,

    Yes Winston is our hero for us in the other forgotten provinces of Gisborne, HB which is second from the bottom in employment now and with a broken railway National have caused and wont fix.


    We have Winston now aiming at this as his next Project.

    Then possibly Taranaki also as seen in this news clip on Maori TV tonight.

    Sir Winston as he is the principal man that has stood up always for neglected provinces, so a knight hood is in order in future for this man who has compassion and vision so few politicians have as richly as Winston has.

    see this 2012 article how Winston cuts to the chase when a devastating event occurs.


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