TVNZ 1st Leaders Debate Winners & Losers – Judith won the battle but lost the war


Political junkies like me have been waiting for the debates to see Jacinda and Judith clash one on one.

We expected Avengers Infinity War but got Star Wars The Phantom Menace instead.

I know. Harsh call.

The debates matter more than ever before because this truncated campaign process under pandemic rules has made it impossible to have the same level of access to politicians we would normally have.

So who were the winners, who were the losers?

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Judith Collins: Out of 6 rounds, I rated it 3 rounds to Judith and 3 rounds to Jacinda, but seeing as the expectation was for Jacinda to smack her down, for Judith to draw close is a win to her. Sure Judith’s content was gibberish and abrasive and interrupting, but she looked more aggressive and confident. This matters to a TV audience. The fact she’s egregiously pushing for tax cuts we can’t afford and wants to privatise the border on top of a turbulent 6 months for an erratic National Party means she shouldn’t be over 30%, yet she is. Judith had a very good night.


Jacinda: Speaking with people inside Labour, her prep wasn’t to fight Judith but speak over her. This worked for the 200 000+ 45 year old women who have voted National since Key was leader but it will have made many of her own base feeling flat. She was off tempo and didn’t match Judith’s energy.

I mean – where the hell was THIS Ardern?

Ardern: “Mike, if in your view there’s a perfect model here, you are welcome to that view.”

Hosking: “No you are being too linear. It’s not a matter of a perfect model or a non-perfect model, it’s about nuance and subtlety.”

Ardern: “Mike, if you’re saying you’re now a person of nuance and subtlety, bless. I am not going to claim perfection but I will stand by our response.”

John Campbell: Where the bloody hell was the JC we know and love? He had all that effervescence we adore kicked out of him and instead of providing questions with insight, was a mere mouthpiece for TVNZ. It was like a bunch of TV Exces had spent a week electro shocking him into saying nothing and being as little as possible. I watch John because he is the best Broadcaster in NZ who can ask questions that demand answering – tonight he had all the joy of him as an intelligent communicator amputated into a gelded eunuch. Bring back the real John Campbell you evil TV Execs!


I know what you will tribally say, ‘But Bomber Jacinda do good good in answer question question, Judith bad grrrr”.

Sure, but this is TV – it’s about more than competent answers that genuinely attempt to answer the question, it’s TV, you don’t bring cuddles, you bring smack.

The debate itself was a draw, but Judith won because it shouldn’t have been a draw. She’s won the battle, but it won’t change the outcome of the War. Labour will still win a majority Government because the political loyalty Jacinda has obtained won’t return to National just because Judith had a good night on the Telly.

Judith was a B+, Jacinda was a C+.

Unfortunately for Judith, Jacinda is an A+ student.

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  1. Judith landed many blows but Jacinda was a true “shield maiden” with a high rate of deflection, and now Judith has nothing else. What about a live “monopoly game” contest, compered by Michael Barnett.

    • What did The phantom menace do to deserve being compared to this! I love watching that movie drunk.

      Attack of the clones is the worst prequel!

      Yeah. Jacinda was far too on autopilot and far too spinny, side stepped every single question and when asked point blank about welfare working groups findings spouted rubbish and quite frankly borderline lies.

      This was not the let’s do this, let’s be bold in a word yes jacinda we saw three years ago. It was … A spinny moderate who didn’t wanna say anything to alienate a single voter. The infrastructure question bugger me.. she’s a genuine master at not answering a question now.

      And welfare… Wow… Unprecedented unemployment crisis and it barely got thirty seconds and the only mention of mental health was about farmers…

      Labour has no ideas national has bad ideas

      • Corey I could not agree with you more. We have people who cant afford to buy medicines. We have people with long term illnesses being refused welfare help. Our whole health system is in a almost total state of collapse and it got the ho hum brush off. 3 articles on stuff in 3 days on the chronic state of Christchurch hospitals chronic underfunding and capacity to get operations done due to lack of access and staffing. This should be a national talking point but no one gives a damn .

    • Yes Kat, I noticed that. Jacinda is very strong. But it can take a fair bit of energy to keep the shield up under such an onslaught of poisonous darts and directed malice.

      (After seeing what went down I’m back to voting Jacinda both ticks – the Greens can look after themselves. That fanged creature must never be anywhere near the levers of power.)

  2. Yes Jacinda seemed a bit waffely at times, and a little verbose, but Judith seemed up to her usual form , and almost Muldoonish at times and certainly as oafish ( in my opinion) but in Collins defense she was the more aggressive and assertive, – however that coupled with speaking over, interrupting and gesticulating belongs to an older way of doing politics that we’ve all since grown tired off. I just don’t think that bully boy style is going to cut it anymore. Not since Adern has set a totally new precedence. And she is world recognized and respected for it as well.

    But if I was to be honest, it seems to me Collins is the Thatcherite while Adern is the Blairite,… both different forms of the neo liberal… but yet there were small signs Adern is thinking more along the lines of pre 1984 than any other PM we’ve had since. And she has to tread carefully,… because look at what happened to David Cunliffe when he was talking what was essentially Corbyn’s ” for the many, not the few”…

    One thing that struck me in the after show interviews was Aderns incredible ability to control how she felt , that she is very much in control of herself,…despite how she might have been feeling on the night, – tired perhaps,- and yet still politely and with good humour deftly field questions,… she is quite an extraordinary person capable of much stamina and fortitude. And I believe New Zealand is incredibly lucky to have her.


      I see those same qualities. Once you’ve been around a while you can truly appreciate just how rare her qualities are. On top of being a thoughtful, sincere, kind, empathetic and lovely human being, she’s also extremely intelligent.

      I found it virtually impossible not to be a Jacinda fan.

      As you know, we live in a world where kindness is often mistaken for weakness.

      I can recall two big moments that I wished she wasn’t as kind and empathetic. The first involved the JLR recordings of Slime-on Bwidges. So many things came to the surface. Married politicians having sexual liaisons with colleagues highlighting a lack of personal integrity within the National Party. Recordings showing dodgy intent with donations. A National Party leader making despicable comments about his colleagues etc etc. Ardern should have nailed them to the wall and highlighted the skullduggery but her kindness kicked in and she gave them all a free pass and instructed all her colleagues to do the same. JLR ensured he received a free pass when corned by raising the issue of imminent suicide. National cast JLR to the sodomites so they could say he’s not in the National Party now so not our problem and no reflection on us. They should have been hung out to dry. No consequence = more of the same.

      Second major blunder was when she was on the receiving end of a diabolical crusade that she knew all about an alleged case of farcical sexual abuse but remarkably covered it up. Both Bennett and Bridges steered that vile crusade despite there being zero evidence. They even demanded Ardern step down as PM. The usual suspects in our alleged media all had Ardern convicted and crucified. That “news” went all around the globe. Evidence came out highlighting what a scam it was after a computer was farcically examined. Ardern requested that evidence be held back as she feared it may prevent genuine victims of sexual abuse from coming forward in the future. The very serious allegation hurt Ardern in the polls that followed so National and their trolls were gifted a despicable victory. When Ardern was eventually fully cleared of the farcical allegation, she should have highlighted all the skullduggery involved from all the usual suspects…..but she gifted all involved a free pass. In my opinion, this type of kindness only encourages such conduct especially when there is absolutely zero consequence for those involved in the diabolical crusade. Ardern being cleared got a 20 second slot as the 8th news story in the TVNZ news. 15 of the 20 seconds were taken up on how Labour should avoid such situations in the future.

  3. Every time Judith Collins opens her pie hole, I roll my eyes & hit the mute button. Chucky’s Bride Judith just doesn’t do it for me & the creaking National Party are so 1980’s retro with their Tax cuts for the Rich, Pork belly bribes & Privatisations & now they want to Privatise our Border security, what a joke? If they get their way, you might as well open up the Borders to everyone & dose the whole Country with Covid 19, it’ll be game over NZ, National will destroy this Country & we’ll end up like Trump’s America! Also, Collins ludicrous privatisation the Border means the costs of securing the Border will skyrocket 10 x more like every other thing National previously sold off & farmed out to the private sector such as the Railways, Forestry, Water & the Energy Sector! Judith, can’t you get it into your thick head that Neoliberalism, this Voodoo Economics theory, over 40 yrs, has been a unmitigated disaster! Covid 19 has really exposed this Disaster Capitalist Model as being completely Bankrupt in dealing with Pandemics or Recessions or Depressions! It has to be Jacinda & Labour, all the way!

    • And the complete and utter arrogance of hypocrisy of Collins in saying a tax cut will support middle income earners like teachers and nurses when for years her and her party National, underpaid the true worth of those professions. When Campbell challenged Collins on the fact low income earners will get $8 a week and it was meaningless, Collins answered “but middle income earners will benefit”. Collins is an elitist, evidenced by her high property profile, pro business, anti worker/ tenant bashing monologue. Is it hardly surprising that half her caucus despise her and she was the last cab off an uninspiring rank.

      • Bert,

        You’re correct as per usual. Collins brings a new level of divisive and toxic hypocrisy to the Nat leadership.

        Couldn’t possibly care less about nurses and teachers etc when in Government but now she attempts to sell herself as their champion. Those professions would have been reaching for a bucket when she spoke or laughing until it hurt. Clearly she believes people in those professions are as thick as two short planks or they have absolutely no memory…or both.

        Using the Covid emergency funds for diabolically timed tax cuts to benefit those doing well spoke volumes about Collins and National. It is beyond doubt even to blind Freddy that the tax cuts are not a stimulus to the economy. They are nothing less than a cynical buying of votes by a party desperate to get back into Government at all cost.

    • I agree. Collins and National are so old school, there’s no real place for retro archaic politicians and policies. National lost me with the tax cuts using borrowed funds to deal with Covid. Nice to know Judith lived in a state house on a Matamata farm and she doesn’t own a second property because her trust owns the property. As for running a small business, I thought she was a lawyer, who are heavily protected and have a license to print cash
      She just too dam nasty to be credible. .

    • There should be a health warning before Judith Collins appears on television screens in New Zealand.

      I had milk on my tea tray near the TV and Collins’s “grimace” curdled the milk.

      My cats took one look at that “smile” and both of them bolted up the curtains and cowered, mewing by air-con unit, quivering in fear. I had to turn off the TV and used about a packet and a half of Cat Temptations to get them to come down to the couch again. I blindfolded the cats, so I could continue to watch the debate. I have the constitution of an axe, so Crusher’s ‘smirk’ did not phase me too much. You all must remember, that I’m old enough to remember Muldoon, so have grown accustomed to elements of the macabre and rudeness in politics.

      I had irate calls this morning, from the parents of my nephews and nieces, who all had had nightmares last night watching the debate and I am currently penning a broadcasting standards complaint against TV One’s John Campbell for the lack of warning.

      Most horror shows give a warning to viewers about content likely to offend, and all subsequent debates involving Crusher Collins should give a warning to viewers about vulnerable pets and sensitive young children.

      Even Jacinda looked squeamish and my pussies and I empathise with her.

  4. Judith was very happy with herself. She succeeded in frequently talking over Jacinda. Campbell didn’t control this and cut Jacinda off himself a few times. Jacinda stuck to principles and a calm demeanour. The whole debate was an exercise in pushing the unscrupulous ahead of the one with scrupules.

      • Collins was so very well-rehearsed. It was like, “Oh yes, here’s that question”. I wonder if someone leaked them to her in advance. (I’m NOT saying that’s what happened. Just that, something’s not quite right about it all.)

    • Agreed and Stuffs political reporter said…

      “Collins came out with nothing to lose: swinging, heckling, interrupting and taking the fight to the Labour leader. In response, Ardern largely stuck to her talking points, emoted and generally reflected Labour’s risk-averse campaign.”

      “Swinging, heckling and interrupting” true leadership qualities! No wonder the world adores Jacinda Ardern.
      Several times Collins resembled Muldoon and her tax policy matched. Healthy homes she’s not interested in only bad tenants. A horrid, horrid women Collins is. I can only conclude that her leadership through Covid would have resulted in hundreds if not thousands of deaths.

      Jacinda also focused on the future, the next generation, quite rightly arguing it will take more than 3 years to clean up the previous 9 years of Nationals mess. I also admired Ardern for telling Collins that Collins policy on environmental issues are outdated and backward. Collins snarled at being accused of being “old and past it”.

      • So if the ‘mess’ isn’t cleaned up in 3 years – what then? Can we hold you to that Bertie – that the ‘mess’ will be cleaned up in 3 years? That the housing crisis and child pover(d)y will be a thing of the past within the next 3 years.

        Or do you think Jacinda will just wander down the path worn bare by English, Key, Clark and NZ’s dumbest PM, Boldger……..

          • I saw similar delusion during the reign of Key. Oh boy the comedown for you lot is going to be soooo much worse given the pedestal you have put the blairite on.

            • Politics is a pit of vipers at the best of times, and I fully expect Jacinda to leave politics looking considerably older and seeming perhaps not quite so idealistic. She’s not perfect. Nobody is. She will fuck stuff up. Having said that, I believe she’s sincere in her desire to make this country a better place for all New Zealanders, and she’s a damn sight better than Collins, who can barely utter a sentence without sneering and rolling her eyes, and seems to hold vast swathes of the population in contempt.

              From what little I saw of the debate, Jacinda wasn’t firing on all cylinders. She appeared tired and as though her heart really wasn’t in it. But everyone has days when they’re just not feeling it, even Prime Ministers. (And jousting with a miserable sack of vinegar like Collins would ruin anyone’s evening.) Hopefully, she’ll bring the big guns next time.

              • “and she’s a damn sight better than Collins, who can barely utter a sentence without sneering and rolling her eyes, and seems to hold vast swathes of the population in contempt.”

                There’s those constant raised eyebrows also( constant lying).

      • Yes I agree farmers are waking up to the fact that quality over quanity is the future and the same old same old is no longer tenable.

    • Reflecting on the claim by some media commentators that Judith won the debate, I offer on example to show she lost.

      A young Samoan woman in school uniform asked the leaders a question: how would they stop the trend for Samoan students to leave school without qualifications and get a job so their wages could help support their families. Judith’s answer was considered good. She said her Samoan husband in the same predicament had left home and gone to live with an aunt who could support him continuing his education. Absolutely no thought about how this might work for hundreds of students. How many would have such aunts? How many would abandon fa’a Samoa and leave their families like this? I cannot fathom why this answer was good.

      Jacinda responded about the need for a living wage and other measures to support education for our young. I am sure which response the young woman valued.

  5. It was an extremely disappointing and flat affair but the format and host ensured it couldn’t have been anything but.

    The format is contrived and sanitized, the exact things they should have avoided at all costs. It was dominated by Campbell and the clock. It resulted in a inevitable absolute snore fest. It was billed as a “debate” but that was the very thing they avoided doing.

    The Colmar Brunton poll an hour earlier set things up beautifully. Labour maintaining a huge lead. Ardern as popular as ever. The Greens looking to be back in the game. ACT taking National’s votes. National failing to get traction at the very time they needed momentum. Collins own popularity actually going backwards when it didn’t have the luxury of room to do that. Her then being the only party leader who refused to be interviewed after the poll, instead sending The Buffet Table man who not only eats everything on the table but also eats the table it’s self. He was about as inspiring as milk that was forgotten about and is now well past it’s use by date.

    Everything was set up for an exciting debate that sadly never materialized.

    To my eye even the guests asking the questions appeared to be a setup for Collins benefit. A Matamata dairy farmer who obviously despised the Government. Collins was able to talk about being the daughter of a dairy farmer from Matamata herself. What a coincidence. Nowhere near enough time of course to get stuck into this all important subject. Just an opportunity for Collins. Pathetic.

    A question from a young Samoan girl that allowed Collins to state her husband was half Samoan. Another coincidence. For as long as I can remember, young Pacific Islanders work to help their parents and wider family. These are exactly the type of people who benefit from the raising of the minimum wage yet time constraints dominated. Who raised the minimum wage? Who wants to put a stop to that?

    The tax cuts situation epitomizes how pointless the debate was. The inequality of Nationals tax cuts went on the table. The people who will spend their money and stimulate the economy are those at the bottom. The very people who will receive an insulting $8 a week. Those who will get the most are those most likely to save it or put it on their mortgage which of course won’t stimulate the economy. Collins response was that those people work hard which of course suggests Collins believes they actually work harder than those at the bottom. This desperately needed to be challenged but slipped by due to the format and time restraints. The tax cuts are nothing more than a cynical vote buying exercise by National at the worst possible time. You vote for me and I will gift you $$. No coincidence that those who get $8 a week at the bottom are most unlikely to be National Party voters. More class warfare from the divisive National Party.

    Collins talked about people losing their jobs with her obvious faux concern and the tax cuts helping them. Really? If someone has lost their job, a tax cut would be utterly useless to them. All it would do is guarantee they save their gift from the National Party. Economic stimulus my arse.

    The funniest moment of the night was Collins expressing faux concern for people on benefits. These people are the despised enemy who have been National’s punching bag for decades.

    Ardern is determined to be kind and play nice but this game is politics and she’s up against the queen of toxic, divisive dirty politics. I question who the faceless and nameless people are behind the scenes feeding advice to Ardern. They are nullifying Ardern’s qualities. If she is going to be kind and play nice at least let her do it on her terms. Same BS happened in the first leaders debate in 2017.

    Collins is desperate and should have been allowed to show that desperation more and her true nature. Instead, everything was sanitized.

    The most powerful moments were the looks of hatred and total contempt directed at Ardern by Collins. No respect whatsoever for Ardern or her position. The recent abuse directed at Ardern online by the obnoxious partner of Collins was mirrored by the looks Collins directed at Ardern. No wonder Collins refused to condemn the abuse via a bunch of bullshit excuses. Collins and her partner hate and despise Ardern in equal amounts. Hate has no place at the top of NZ politics.

    The supporters of Collins will have enjoyed the debate. All they want is to see Ardern who they hate with passion being attacked.

    For everyone else the result of the debate was clear.

    An extremely boring and pointless, nil – nil draw.

    • The most powerful moments were the looks of hatred and total contempt directed at Ardern by Collins.

      Not just looks, those were poisonous daggers of malice being fired. (Shudder.)
      There is no way that the Queen of Dirty Politics should ever again be allowed near the reins of power.

    • …’ It was an extremely disappointing and flat affair but the format and host ensured it couldn’t have been anything but’…

      Bearing in mind also there was no live audience , that ambience was not there for obvious reasons.

    • Agree with ya Jacinda fan I did not like the format and Campbell who was trying to be fair spoilt it with his waffle. I would like to see a penalty for interrupting. So if someone interrupts while another person is speaking they miss out on a few minutes to talk, like a time out. We teach our kids not to do this at school yet our Politicians and some of our mainstream journalist do this when its rude and bad manners.

    • Under National, Samoans were some of the most marginalized kiwis in NZ. Minimum wage which is against Collins beliefs but it’s okay, she’s married to a Samoan

      • Interestingly, a story on TV 1 news tonight whereby a strawberry company owner complained that the government won’t open the border for immigrant workers. She complained that kiwis refuse to do the hard work of picking strawberries. She then went onto say that she will now be employing immigrant Samoan workers to fill the positions if she can bring them across the border.
        Another thing, this women stated she would pay for private security at an accommodation facility to house these people. She then went onto say that if this does not happen, kiwi’s will be paying hiked up prices for their strawberries.
        Which begs the question, how much does she pay the Samoan staff? What is the hourly rate? If this person can afford to pay security staff then why does this business owner not just pay a higher hourly rate and employ locals( a wonderful incentive to employ kiwis)?
        There is a stench of greed and exploitation going on here and fronting the TV cameras and pleading innocence and anti government is just plain corrupt.

    • Perhaps Jacinda would command more respect had she actually been elected Prime Minister by leading the party that gained the most votes rather than being merely ‘selected’ because she was leader of the second placed party by the vengeful leader of the third placed minor party on the strength of how much she was prepared to kowtow to his demands. AHHH – the vagaries of MMP.

  6. Two friendly pieces of advice to Jacinda for the future debates.

    1) Please don’t wear such an ill fitted jacket again. Whoever picked that out has no idea about colours or the importance of correct sizing.

    2) Please keep your hands down when talking. You’re a magnificent communicator but when you wave your hands around attempting to emphasize your point, you end up making it appear that your powerful words are not powerful enough.

    • Controlling gestures is hard to do if it is a natural way for you, or you were Italian in a previous existence. I would also advise her to put her hair up, it dragged her down last night. Yes to the clothing, the jacket looked fine from a wider angle but close up, it just hung on her

    • Actually I didn’t like her entire outfit and the colour and style did nothing for her when she has a lovely figure. People look with their eyes first and it effects whether they listen. Also why was the cameras showing her(Jacindas) backside too much and focusing on Gollum when Jacinda was talking. Bad camera man bad.

    • @ Jacindafan … The lighting was awful and uneven last night, putting Judith in a radiant glow, while on Jacinda’s side, it was dark and gloomy. Something definitely not right in the whole set up. Deliberate or accident, who knows?

  7. It was a debate not an afternoon tea with cake. JC had plenty to say and said it well. You either like the policy direction or not. JA was never going to be comfortable in this forum because she was going to have to justify was labour said they were going to do at the previous election debates but didn’t. JA will win the election but will loose the war in the next three years in my opinion.

  8. It was much the same with Muldoon and Rowling – when you take away the technological gloss of the Facebook age.
    Muldoon looked to land body blows, but unfortunately Rowling allowed him to score freely.
    Judith also looked to land body blows, but Jacinda made them look like pats on the head.
    That’s my take on it.

  9. This whole debate thing is so old hat. It’s a show for the oldies, that like argument and attack. This is taylor-made for National party boomers, nobody else is even a tiny bit interested. Yawn. I have read that JA was off her game and maybe a little disinterested, good. My sentiments exactly. Something new is badly needed. What about all the younger people? Why the fuck would they want to watch this rubbish. This type of gotcha tv is utter crap and means nothing except it probably excites the old Natz supporters. Complete turn off for the younger generations and totally irrelevant reality bullshit.

  10. Now comes the second debate. National will get some energy and if there is really 14% undecided out there there is a chance of this tightening up significantly. What tonight showed was that Jacinda has to actually play ball and that will be tough given Labour’s strategy has been to take the ball home with them and ruse to come out and play.

  11. Campbell overcompensated for the perceived (maybe real) bias he has.
    The camera angle was dreadful, often with Ardern in the foreground puting her point across while Collins could be seen in the background, smirking and sighing, they better consider not doing that again.
    Collins interrupted constantly, and referring to my first point, was not pulled up on it.
    Collins seemed to be debating from the 1980s, paid scant regard to the different world we live in now.
    Someone seriously needs to ask Collins about wetlands whenever she mentions the environment.
    Collins was the pigeon at the chessboard.

    • FoldArt,

      Excellent points.

      Collins despises Ardern and it’s clear for everyone to see. She sends a powerful message to all that support National that our PM is worthy of contempt only. She leads the way with divisive hatred for others to follow. This is not the sort of NZ most of us want alleged leaders teaching Kiwis. We’ve already had three years of our PM having her name relentlessly butchered, being on the receiving end of incessant misogynistic abuse, having her daughter referred to as a bastard etc etc etc etc. Collins ensures there will be much more of the same. As a result, I now have no problem referring to Collins very appropriately as “Chucky”

      Because of her hatred and contempt, Collins can’t even bring herself to say the words “Labour led Government”…she instead describes them as “this lot”.

      All through the debate, Collins referred to Ardern with a snarl as “Ms Ardern”…until at one point she slipped up and uttered the name “Jacinda”. No doubt Collins lost sleep over that slip up.

      NZ will be a better place when Collins disappears from the political landscape. That can’t happen fast enough.

      • If you listen again you will find the Ms becomes Miss, and that, to me, was fairly pointed and directed at Ardern’s family status, weaponizing Ardern’s child.
        Pretty much, she could have summed her whole stance up by stamping her feet and crying “It’s mine, it’s my turn, let go!”

  12. Winner? Winners? We’re all losers.

    There’s a vicious rampant virus and so you have to keep away from other people. So everyone goes down to the beaches at Bondi and Miami and you can’t move on the sand or on the water.

    The leaders ‘debate’ is the same sort of unimaginable shit. Government by the people, for the people bringing together the best of minds for the good of all? Stuff that, let’s get on the sand, get in the water, lets’s turn it into a UFCfest!

    It’s no good being pissed off with standards, reason, and higher ideals and intellect and poor political climates and shit politicians if we’re making the ring, building up the circus getting in the there and then encouraging everyone else to join in.

    It’s fucken madness. It’s all about a look Collins gave or what Ardern was wearing (or her weight) or the guy running the show? Once we pedalled our cars towards the cliff but now all feet are on the floor of gas guzzlers heading to the inevitable. Is this is what it’s all about?

    That’s entertainment folks. America has a fuckwit multi-failed property developer come reality TV host Pres. Next stop here. Well, how about Mike Hosking for PM.? That’d fit the trend line we’re on, the one we’ve chosen to go down.

    ps. (He’s too gutless to stand though with his different brand of narcissism.)

  13. Impressive trunk rolls from John plus short jabs, right hooks and uppercuts.
    Did Judith have a couple of wines prior? Jacinda a touch of indigestion I suspect.
    Donald Trump wpould have required a drug test for all parties.

  14. Great to read the comments and opinions offered here. I was looking forward to the ‘debate’ … and fell asleep with my eyes glazed over after watching 15 minutes.

    • @ John. Yep. Me too. In fact, I fled like a startled dog after about four words out of Adern.
      I hope Jacinda Adern was just a bit off colour. I mean, it’s hard to be anything other than be in fight or flight mode with the Blue Demon so close as it changed colour like an octopus. White,pink,red, then a kind of purple, then pink…Was collins wearing an electric blanket on 3? Her face part was that usual stucco colour but it was her wattles that gave her away.
      Jacinda Adern should have simply walked over and knocked collins out. Get it over with. Of course john campbell would have gone full Aunty and started crying into his tailor made monogrammed hanky at the fuss.
      It’s funny. Our politicians, our spineless media and our ability to tolerate greedy fools shows us up for who we really are because just out the studio door there are wretched homeless people gagging for a turn on the mike.
      If society can be judged on its treatment of those most vulnerable then how fucked does that make us?
      The thing is, I guess, is that our politicians know we’ll not react no matter what they do. They’ll know that we’re a soft target. They, can please themselves while selling us out without fear of recrimination.
      Our politicians are fucked because so are we. Sobering.

      • Jacinda Ardern should have simply walked over and knocked collins out.

        Indirectly, she has done that already to a good many Nats. Think of all those who took a long look at Jacinda’s governance and left the ship, often in a hurry. And those who had to step down when they could not measure up; those may still be there but are further back down the line now.

        All she needs is a little more time, and a little less running interference from the vested interest media and self-styled right wing ‘pundits’.

  15. Objectively these debates are put together as entertainment, for another era. They are supposed to be full of shouting, interruptions and gotcha moments. Most politicians must hate them.

    I agree with some that this is for an old audience or political junkies.

    To me it was crap. It did not suit Jacinda or her public persona, she looked awkward. It suited Collins but she came across as smug and her usual repulsive self.

    I also recall Key not being the most polished of debaters but voters didn’t really care.

    All and all, boring as bat shit to be fair.

    And I well recall one David Cunliffe winning a debate or two according to Fran O’Sullivan and Audrey Young or depending on who was asked. That, as history showed us, mattered not. Dave led Labour to its biggest defeat.

    • Dead right except for one bit; “entertainment, for another era.”

      It’s put together for today’s era!! It’s put together to keep us heading the same mindless way!

      Next election they’ll have water girls and boys running on, physios, Head Assessment Injury checks whatever the particular blood lust stage we’ve turned ourselves into.

  16. I agree the debate was a win for Judeth and TVNZ, but it was set up as spectacle of a competition to see who could talk all over the opposition’s speaking time and drown them out. It was not a competition Jacinda would want to win. A competition of rudeness and bad manners so Judeth was in her element. The punters who like that stuff will have loved Judeth’s performance. Jacinda was right to retain her reserve and her dignity.
    D J S

    • it was set up as spectacle of a competition

      Exactly. “Debate” is a misnomer. There was no debate. It was a game show format, with 20 questions fired and 30 seconds to answer then cut-off, even halfway through a sentence.

      Serious debate or in-depth discussion in any form was non-existent. As in zip, zilch, zero, nada, nuffink.

      Is this really the best that AO/ NZ can do? Good grief. (Our education system really does need an overhaul.)

  17. How can it be called a debate when one participant is constantly interrupting and talking over the other one and that was just Campbell almost every time Adern was trying to answer a question or present a rebuttal to Collins who just kept heckling her the entire time.
    It was just another National party broadcast and that was obvious right from the start. Campbell made it very difficult to follow let alone watch with his O.T.T presenting style. Why can’t we have a moderator who can ask hard questions of these people who want the top job and should be held accountable for their record and i just don’t mean the last three years. Foreign nations can conduct a series of debates without the rudeness , obscene interjections and inherent bias of the media outlet that is hosting them.
    Kim Hill please come back , you are the closet thing we have to a professional moderator but you control the debate not the candidates.
    I found the constant ad breaks more enjoyable even with the mute button on.

  18. Collins has no grace, she has no courtesy and is just trashy trailer trash. Describing Jacinda Adern as “a poor wee thing” says it all. Ms Adern should never have to be subject to Collin’s vile bad manners again. Uncouth is another way to describe Collins and as my old grannie said “all hair oil and no socks”. What a terrible thing it would be if she ever had the opportunity to lead a Government of this country and to be our representative of this country abroad. We would be a laughing stock. Trump and Collins are perfect bed fellows. We need her in our House of Representatives like a hole in our heads.

  19. wat was it, the people on 96K a year deserve an extra $50 a week because they would spend it because they have lost their jobs!!!

    Probably all doctored by now, but good bloody grief! lol

    • I earn over 100K and I am embarrassed to be targeted for tax relief, I’d save it or straight on the mortgage, I don’t need or want a tax cut that National has promised to pay from the borrowed Convid fund. It seems the only economic lever National has is tax cuts to those that don’t need assistance.

      • Thank you for that.

        But it may be that what was being said (?), was that under National you will have lost your job if earning 96K ( or more) and then you will spend a given tax cut ( I’m not sure what from) that gives an extra $50 dollars a week.


        Tax cuts given by right wing ‘mobs’ are usually of the type that increases indirect taxes, thus ‘increasing the tax burden’. The overall tax burden on society is being attempted to be lessened by the current govt. ( i.e. offsetting the dumped indirect increased taxes of the last National lead period, via direct taxes where appropriate ) IMO

    • I see, like your hero Donald J. Trump, you feel compelled to manufacture your own reality. There, there, you’re only going to have to endure Jacinda for ANOTHER WHOLE TERM. Bless.

  20. campbells falling all over himself not to appear biased. the camera is more interested in judith’s eyebrows and gesticulations. i found the whole thing a bit of a bore, we know what they stand for, labour, politically palatable neoliberalism with a kinder face, and national? god knows what all over the place. Certainly no real solutions. Accept investing in training kiwis for the tech sector maybe…. but how they want to deliver it? And everything else? yeah nah, ultimately they cant be trusted. And i think kiwis know this.


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