The Working Group/Taxpayers’ Union Post Leaders Debate analysis live from Backbenchers Pub



Folks, The Working Group (NHS best weekly political podcast NOT funded by NZ on Air) are now into our season of live debates around NZ as part of our attempt at providing more democracy this election.

Last week we had a roaring debate in Northland, the week before that a rambunctious Party Debate, the week before that Ilam and the week before that Napier.

This week something very special. TVNZ are hosting their first leaders debate at 7pm, and we will be watching it live at the Backbenchers Pub and at 9pm we will go live with a panel of pundits to debate who won and lost the first debate.

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Backbenchers is the sacred home of pub politics in NZ ever since Wallace Chapman hosted Backbenchers for TVNZ7 from there.

Tonights panel of pundits to analyse the first ever leaders debate

Dr Bryce Edwards – Victoria University

Fran O’Sullivan – NZME Business 

Simon Wilson – NZ Herald Columnist 

Jordan Williams – Taxpayers’ Union

Damien Grant – Stuff Columnist 

Register your attendance here. because this will sell out!

It’s $10 on the door or watch live for free on Facebook, YouTube,, The Daily Blog or Juice TV Channel 200 Freeview and posted up afterwards on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Rova & YouTube 

That’s 7 live debates across NZ with unique polling live-streamed and simulcast on prime-time TV and now live streamed on the front page of the NZ Herald.

NO other news network is even close to doing what we are attempting this election, and all done without one red cent from NZ on Air!

It will be politics done differently.


  1. Why on earth a follow-up to the shambles of the leaders’ debate?
    Debate it was not!!
    Jessica was ill-prepared and out of her depth. And she was asking questions, and quick-fire questions that were demeaning and told us nothing. A debate it was NOT!
    Three people were talking at once many times – zero learned from those instances.
    TVNZ hogged most of the time with ads and incessant trailers of their own programmes. For God’s sake, we are not idiotic juveniles.
    No winners, no losers and the viewers are no better informed at all.
    Treat the viewers as the voting adults they are, TVNZ!

  2. where’s the worm? luxon to wiggle higher on decentralisation. (did anyone even hear it?) I have no confidence it will ever happen (except for his mates). that would make him a communist.

  3. The economic and political drivers of war are piling up.
    The preparations are being made

    Will New Zealand take part?

    The ‘War Parties’ have made that decision for us already. Our country will again be sending troops overseas and we will have no say in it.

    You think climate change is the big issue?

    You think the cost of living is the big issue?

    They are, but both these big issues will be pushed into the background immediately we commit to go to war.

    Does anyone believe the people in Ukraine fleeing from Russian bombs and missiles are worried about the cost of living, or climate change?

    “Are we going to war?”

    The obvious answer, the elephant in the room. That both men refused to answer is, of course we are.

    Both leaders shrugged off the question.

    And why?

    Because war is unpopular, and they know it.

    Both leaders avoided answering this question, because both leaders if pushed, would answer in the affirmative.

    Both Labour and National are the ‘War Parties’

    If pushed, their answer would be, “Yes”. Our decision will be to go to war, even if it wrecks our economy.
    “Yes”. Our decision will be to go to war, even if it means sending hundreds, or even thousands of New Zealanders to kill or be killed in another foreign conflict for no good reason.
    And if pushed further, they would inform us, ‘And you will have no say in it.’

    “Yes’. We both commit this country to going to war.
    We don’t want to tell you this, because we can’t risk having any democratic oversight or discussion over our decision, and we certainly can’t risk the question of war or peace becoming an election issue. Otherwise you might give your vote to an ‘anti-war’ political Party.

  4. Jessica was caught out saying we all know the “health system is broken” she quickly had to stop herself. Thats the sort of journalism we have in NZ. Another question how can a person speak so many words and not actually say anything?. From all your complaining Martyn these have been tough years for a government and when you are faced with inane questions and constant interruptions the whole debate thing is a joke. Plus you have corporate speak spokesperson ( who already thinks he’s PM) by your side it must be very tiring .

  5. The Labour Government Minister for War, and Atomic proliferation in the Pacific, Andrew, Nuclear Little.

    Against a backdrop of other Pacific nations attempting to follow New Zealand’s nuclear weapons free policy. David Lange infamously declared, “New Zealand’s nuclear free policy is not for export”

    As well as not supporting the export of our nuclear free policy into the Pacific, the Labour government now actively supports the export of nuclear weapons into this region.

    ….Australia wasn’t in the room to defend its ambition to acquire nuclear-powered submarines through the Aukus pact with the United States and Australia.
    …..So, Defence Minister Andrew Little – having just spoken strongly for a nuclear-free world – stepped in.
    ….he said it was a “poor understanding of the context” of Australia’s decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
    “I don’t see that creates risk in terms of the nuclear balance in the region, at this point.”

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