ACT vertebrae visible in agreement

spineACT promised to give the Nats a spine. And they’ve made a great start.

At least eleven ACT ‘vertebrae’ are visible in the agreement reached with John Key. 

To cynics like John Armstrong who say Rodney won no firm concessions, consider this…

National has signed up to some or all of these eleven points of ACT’s 20 Point Plan for New Zealand:

1.  ACT’s main goal: Close the $500-a- week income gap with Australia by 2025. Now the government’s goal.

2.  Point 1: Cut government waste. Rodney has a hand on the scythe.

3.  Point 2: Cut tax. All centre-right parties endorse United’s 30% rate for both personal and company tax. A good start.

4.  Point 3: Limit local government and cap rates. Rodney in charge.

5.  Point 4: Reduce bureaucracy. Well, not growing it is a start.

6.  Point 5: Cut red tape. With Rodney on scissors, the cuts should be deep and meaningful.

7.  Point 6: Reform the RMA. 

8.  Point 7: More choice in health. Heather to help make more use of private hospitals.

9.  Point 17: Get tough on violent crims. ACT’s 3 Strikes Bill to go forward.

10. Point 18: Review the ETS. ACT wins a stay, and time to convince the public of the high costs and zero environmental benefits.

11. Point 19: Strengthen the constitutional framework.  Rodney’s  Taxpayer Bill of Rights goes forward.

The cynics may say that Key is just stringing its feisty junior partner along.

But John will know the cost of enraging the likes of Rodney Hide, Roger Douglas and John Boscawen.

He knows ACT aren’t poodles seeking baubles. They’re pitbulls with principles. Best keep them well-fed or government could get ugly.

The agreement is a credit to the negotiating skills of both John and Rodney.

The National caucus may have agreed quickly. But not, I suspect, lightly.


It’s the Keyhive (with the ACT 5)

Clark gone. Peters gone. ACT more than doubling its share in a week (as we predicted). Rodney romps in in Epsom (as predicted). Not a bad night at all.

The two most corrupt politicians in New Zealand history have left the building.

And two selfless patriots – Roger Douglas and John Boscawen – have entered.

(I’ve only spoken to ACT’s fifth MP David Garrett once by phone. But his standing in the Sensible Sentencing Trust suggests he’ll be a strong MP.)

The sad thing for me was seeing my friend Stephen Franks not only miss Wellington Central, but also miss getting in on National’s list.

By one lousy place. 

What a waste of a thoughtful and talented man to rank him 60th.

I am inspired to see John Key realise his 35 year goal to be PM. If he looked  euphoric, it’s because he’s been planning for this day since we was 12.  

John is the nice guy he seems. It’s incredible what he’s achieved, both in business and in politics.

If he can run the country the way he’s run his life so far, we’ll be in good shape. 

Let’s hope, with ACT’s support, he can.

Advertising, Politics

On Sunday programme tomorrow

TVNZ’s Cameron Bennett came to the flat on Thursday to interview me for this week’s Sunday programme.

It was a busy time with the laptop chirping with ACT business, so I hope my distractedness wasn’t too obvious.

My job was to rate Labour’s campaign, while Tom Scott will be rating National’s.

(No pressure!)

Then a panel will be rating our ratings. I understand.

When Cameron asked me to rate Clark’s campaign out of ten, the first word out of my mouth was ‘Two.’ Then for the next take I upgraded her to a six.

My 2/10 was for the way her Slippery John attacks backfired and just made her look like Sleazy Helen.

But taken as a whole, including her surprisingly human performance in the last debate, and strong Labour branding on the ground, I thought a 5 or 6 was fairer.

If I’d been asked, I wouldn’t have ranked the Nats much higher, if at all. I thought the big ad battle was pretty close to a nil-all draw.

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If a child asks a parent for endless lollies and the parent says no, we call them a good parent. If a politician does the same, we call him a heartless right-winger! It’s crazy.

If you keep letting politicians bribe you with your children’s money, you’ll get the government you deserve. 

If Labour and National had adopted ACT’s 1994 tax cut strategy sooner, we’d all be a lot richer now. We pay a very high cost for waiting for timid conservatives to see sense.

Give ACT the numbers tomorrow, and Rodney Hide will make sure National stokes the engine of economic growth and gets us all richer quicker.

No more communism by stealth. No ruinous Emissions Trading Scam. (That’s likely to leave the Greens’ little girl without a job as her mum shovels $3000 a year to the Russians.) 


If ACT’s ‘3 Strikes’ policy had been in place earlier, Emma Agnew, Karl Kuchenbecker, the trio murdered in the Panmure RSA and many other poor souls would still be alive.

William Bell had amassed 102 convictions when he killed Mary Hobson, William Absolum and Wayne Johnson.

Antonie Dixon had been found guilty of 160  offences when he killed James Te Aute.

If ACT had been running things, they would have both gone to prison for life after their third violent assault. Before they killed. Not after.


It’s not just in the crime area where the difference between voting ACT and Labour/National could be the difference between life and death.

ACT’s 20 Point Plan for the economy would boost Kiwis’ pay over time, not by $10 or $50, but by $500 a week.

We’d grow the economy, so we can afford the full year course of Herceptin that richer countries can afford. Under Labour mismanagement, a New Zealand breast cancer sufferer must find $100,000 – or die. 

And the Labour government would rather you died than let a private hospital save your life. That’s not mad. That’s bad.

Other parties say they care. But only ACT has the cure. 


Normally-socialist Sweden has been implementing ACT’s school scholarship system since 1994. 

Today, only one party in Sweden doesn’t support it, and that’s the Communists.

Each parent gets a scholarship from the government for about $100,000 per child – the same as the state spends on your child over thirteen years of schooling. 

You’ll have to spend that money with schools. But you can choose whether they’re public or private schools. Or even home schools. 

The point is, those schools will have to do what you want, not what bureaucrats want. And in Sweden, that’s led to a flourishing of new, smaller, schools and a surge in education standards. 

(And the areas that have benefited most have been the poor areas, where they had no choice but bad schools before.)



Do you want a government of change? Or just a change of government?

If you want real change, you won’t get it from National alone. You’ll need to strengthen the coalition with a spine of principled, experienced, gutsy ACT MPs.

With Rodney Hide ahead in Epsom by 56% to 27%, your ACT party vote will definitely count.
It will have the same power to flush away Helen Clark as a National party vote.
But in improving New Zealand, it will be much more powerful.
Because by adding more ACT MPs to the National/ACT coalition, you’ll be boosting the chances of getting the above results for you, your family and New Zealand.

ACT is peaking at the right time – as usual! If National get 47% of MPs and ACT 4%, Rodney Hide is going to have a lot of clout with John Key.

Once, ACT’s founder had the guts to do what was right for New Zealand, and our modern, energetic society with its wonderful array of choices is his legacy. 

Now it’s your turn.


Advertising, Politics

ACT couldn’t use these – but you can!







If only ACT really was a party of millionaires, you might have seen more of these.

Feel free to email them to your friends and family, as long as you include the authorisation below.

For the press ads below, the body copy was never written, so what’s in there is just filler.








If you send them on, don’t forget to tag your emails: ‘Authorised as demanded by Labour’s, NZ First’s and the Greens’ outrageous assault on free speech by Nick Kearney, 37 Beach Haven Road, Auckland.’

Advertising, Politics

Adding the Key blessing


 Advertising writers know that people do read body copy if they’re interested in the product.

This ad is written for those who want to know the truth about the ETS.

It points out yet another important difference between populist National and principled ACT.

But today we’ve added the Key/Hide ‘cup of tea’ photo. This sends two other messages.

It tells all ACT supporters around the country that their votes will count. Because they know it’s also telling National voters in Epsom to vote for Rodney.

Why doesn’t John Key just come out and say this?

Because much of National’s funding comes from the mansions of Remuera, Parnell and Epsom.

And many of their blue-rinsed residents have yet to appreciate the tactical nuances of this new-fangled voting system called MMP.

Put simply, the idea of not voting blue would make them see red.

ACT has a big challenge in the next few days. We have to convince centre-right voters that to achieve their goal of getting rid of the odious Clark, they have two choices.

Not just one.

To change the government, they can vote for either National or ACT. It’s the National + ACT total that counts. Not the National total alone.

If the National/ACT total exceeds 50% of MPs, we get a National-led government.

It doesn’t make the slightest difference to the centre-right’s numbers whether National get the entire 50+%, or ACT gets 10% of it.

That’s what people don’t get yet.

But it sure as hell will make a big difference to the country.

ACT’s thrust for the next few days will be getting voters to recognize the huge difference between a change of government and a government of change.

That difference is ACT.

Stay tuned for those ads.

Advertising, Politics, Uncategorized

Press relations restored

I’ve just had a phone call and exceptionally gracious apology from a very pleasant advertising director.

It seems she is no comfortably-shod feminazi out to sabotage the ACT campaign, but just wanted to protect her client from itself after the Green spoof controversy.

And contrary to my prediction, the ad appeared in an excellent position for a run-of-paper placement.

This restores my faith in God (AKA Alan – Wellington’s god of retail advertising, Alan Martin), who’s catch cry was ‘It’s the putting right that counts.’ 

The late Mr Martin once put something right for me – a faulty fridge connection which nearly electrocuted me.

I rang him on a Sunday in a somewhat agitated state. He was as good as his word and said he’d ‘sack the bastard’ who’d left the wires exposed.

(I had to plead with him not to put things quite that right and let the poor man keep his job.)

In the same vein, I will now praise this woman to the heavens whenever I get the chance.

Advertising, Politics

Voting ACT: a matter of life and death

These three ghoulish faces will greet you in tomorrow’s paper.

They nearly didn’t make it.

This post was so very nearly going to be a whistleblowing story of a sabotage attempt by an overzealous newspaper advertising director.

Right at the death, she spooked us with a long list of reasons why you shouldn’t be allowed to see this ad in her publication.

First, we delivered it a few minutes late. This happens in election week, when strategies are a bit of a moveable feast. We did our damnedest to hit the deadline, but just missed.

(My remembering that I’d spelled Teresa Cormack’s name with an ‘h’ didn’t help.)

Then she said our cheeky authorisation line breached the EFA.

(This despite both the NBR and the Sunday Star-Times – hardly the right’s best friend – having no problem with the same line last week.)

Then Miss Bossy-boots said we needed to get the permission of the murder victims’ families before we could mention their names. 

How this is any business of a bloody advertising director, God only knows. Surely it’s our lookout if one of the families takes offence, not the paper’s.

Oh and I’m sure the paper’s journalists faithfully ring for permission every time they write a story about the same victims.

Yeah right. 

Next hoop she made us jump through at the end of a long and stressful day was to question whether the Privacy Act would let us publish the number of convictions each killer had accumulated before being let out to kill.

Since that was one of the very points I was making in the ad, she may have had a point there, I don’t know.

But by then, I was smelling a stinky, rotten, blood-red rodent. I felt like Don Brash trying to get Helen’s private police force to investigate the theft of his emails.

As I said in my intemperate reply, we’ve come to a pretty pass when a newspaper defends the ‘rights’ of killers not to have their atrocities exposed. 

Somehow, someone got this busybody to see sense and the ad is supposed to be running uncensored.

That said, I’m not expecting to see it anywhere near the front. (But then in this particular paper, the back is quite near the front.)

I’d just completed Plan B when I got the good news. Plan B was to go ballistic in the other media with the story of bias against ACT.

Let’s hope Saturday marks the beginning of the end of this sort of nonsense.

Another good day at the factory from Mike Boekholt, and special thanks to media buyer Gwyn Jones for fighting our corner superbly.

Hope you like the ad.

Advertising, Politics

Helping Rodney scupper the ETS

You read it here first. ACT’s new ad for the Sunday Star-Times tomorrow. Poking the borax at parties who tell it like it isn’t.

John Key is a genuinely nice guy, but I doubt I’ll be getting a Christmas card from him this year after this.

While I don’t like upsetting my friends at the Nats, I just can’t agree with someone who knows that man-made climate change is a hoax, but would rather waste billions of our dollars on a fix that won’t work, than use his public platform to explain the science.

John thinks explaining is losing. Maybe he’s right. Maybe not. But surely if you’re really ambitious for New Zealand, it’s right to try

Rodney and Roger are made of sterner stuff, and I’m proud to try and explain their position. I hope this ad helps get ACT the traction they deserve.

If it doesn’t, it’s my fault. They approved the copy as written.

The photo of Rodney – which I really like – was by ACT Hutt South candidate and artist Lindsay Mitchell.

(I remain mystified why such a passionate and knowledgeable candidate as Lindsay is ranked only 14th. Bob Jones launched her campaign, and Bob doesn’t come out for just anybody.)

Thanks to Mike Boekholt, Lance Tomuri and Andrew Rundle-Keswick for the artwork.