Patrick Gower

Paddy goes over the top again as SIS does its job

The Media party is in a frenzy, but none more so that Patrick Gower who has gone full retard over the SIS actually doing what they are paid to do.

New Zealand SIS agents spied without a warrant by using an rarely used act reserved for the prevention of a terrorist act.

A release by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service shows it used a Section 41D Authorisation which enables the spies to carry out surveillance in an “emergency situation”.

The legislation, the Security Intelligence Act 1969, says use of the power is necessary for detection, investigation, or prevention of any actual, potential, or suspected terrorist act or facilitation of a terrorist act”.

It was used sometime in the six months between July and December last year.

Minister responsible for the SIS Chris Finlayson confirmed use of section was “rare”.

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Gower: same number of haters are hating John Key even more

In spite of the odd dildo and some organised booing, the John Key juggernaut marches on.

There is no doubt the Prime Minister is experiencing a more visceral hatred than ever before this year.

He was booed by a big section of the crowd at the Auckland Nines — that was a shock.

Then a rowdy crew drove him off the stage at the Big Gay Out — another surprise.

And finally, an enemy within National’s inner sanctum leaked confidential emails about the flag change to damage him and the campaign   that was unprecedented.

It’s this kind of thing that’s got many of his critics saying “it’s over for Key”.

But the Prime Minister is also capable of pulling off the previously unthinkable too, such as the deal he got out of Malcolm Turnbull for Kiwis in Australia.

It was a symbolic response to his critics, effectively John Key saying “it ain’t over”.

It’s the Media Party and Gower himself who are the biggest problem here.  They are bored to tears.  They can’t report on things going well, so they have to cover the mind-numbing ineptitude of the opposition as if it has some degree of credibility.  Read more »

Gower: “Labour is swallowing an enormous, filthy, stinking, rotten, maggot-infested dead rat called the Trans-Pacific Partnership”

Patrick Gower published this opinion piece yesterday afternoon, but it was deleted and replaced with a revised version.  I think the original was a bit more direct.

Labour’s 32 MPs looked deflated and rattled in Parliament’s question time today. It was like 32 individual TPP rats were served up as a ghastly afternoon feed.

Labour looked as if it had nowhere to go when attacking the TPP the Government had agreed to.

In fact, the TPP seems pretty much okay and it looks like Labour should be supporting it.

Problem is, Labour said it would not support the TPP unless its five non-negotiable bottom lines were met.

And, by leader Andrew Little’s own admission, at least one bottom line has not been met – that “New Zealand maintains the right to restrict sales of farm land and housing to non-resident foreigner buyers”.

The TPP will impinge on the right of New Zealand to restrict housing sales to foreigners, so Labour has painted itself into a corner.

Either Labour’s non-negotiable bottom lines were a load of codswallop, or it will not support the TPP.

At the moment, Little is trying to play both sides, refusing to say whether Labour supports the agreement or not. Basically Little is playing word games as he plays for time, knowing that National is going to rub his nose in the TPP dead rat feed.

My pick is that Labour will continue to play out this silly game for a while before finally giving its support to TPP. Labour wants to try and trick its base supporters that it is still against the TPP, but let the public think it is for it. Read more »

The sad state of the New Zealand Media Party

Late yesterday, I wrote

At today’s post-cabinet press conference, Andrea Vance asked the Prime Minister a really pertinent question. What does he think about the allegations that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has had his meat and two veg inside a dead pig’s mouth?


The fact that Vance thought that was the sort of thing that would get her the valuable answers needed to write for her newspaper is bad enough, but it would have died a nice death in the awkward silence of others who were thinking “did she really just ask that?”, if it wasn’t for her tag-team partner and Media Party communications spokesperson, Katie Bradford, spewing it out for all to see on the Twitter machine.

Now we know that Vance and Bradford are now BFFs because Vance will soon be gracing TVNZ’s partially taxpayer-funded payroll with her.   But this tag teaming of the Prime Minister was also picked up by the TV3/Radiolive/Mediaworks stable who are pushing the smear for all it’s worth.   Read more »

Not just a Little melt-down, a massive one

Andrew Little has had a melt-down in front of the cameras, arguing with Patrick Gower about his “cooked up” chinky bashing figures.

Andrew Little has lashed out at TV3’s political editor Patrick Gower, calling him a “desperate journalist”, as he got angry over questions on Labour’s foreign buyer campaign.

Earlier this month Labour used leaked data based on Chinese-sounding names as proof of a foreign buyer problem in Auckland.

It said 39 percent of the names where of Chinese origin, while only 9 percent of Auckland’s population was Chinese.

Little was asked this morning about a TV3 story last week, in which 3 News visited some of the people on Labour’s list only to find they were actually New Zealand residents.

The Labour leader took exception to a question which included the phrase “cooked up data” – telling Patrick Gower

“I’m not going to stand here and have a desperate TV3 reporter use inflammatory language on this, cooked up – what was cooked up?!”

Little added: “You don’t understand, you’re making stuff up”.

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Does John expect a message from John? Media want to know

Prime Minister John Key believes that now New Zealand has committed troops to the fight against IS, we could be next to receive a message from the man known as ‘Jihadi John’.

“Well I can’t rule [that] out – what would be more likely in the first instance is some sort of threatening video,” says Mr Key.

So Kiwi John is ready for Jihadi John.

There have been at least six recorded beheadings so far. British aid worker Alan Henning was one, and his family want much more than the unmasking of Jihadi John. Mr Henning’s daughter has called for a “bullet in the head”.

Japan didn’t even send troops to fight IS – just money for humanitarian aid. Yet within days Jihadi John hit back with a video showing two hostages and a ransom demand.

Japan didn’t pay, and the hostages were beheaded.

So there you go.   1) They’ll take hostages from any nation.  It’s all about opportunity.  2)  You never pay a ransom.  Never.   Read more »

Did McCarten drop Little down a hole?

I’m starting to wonder if Andrew Little has been set up over his non-payment of an invoice from journalist David Cohen.

I’m starting to think that Matt McCarten, who doesn’t exactly have a stellar record for paying things like tax, has set him up.

Patrick Gower reported last night:

3 News has obtained emails that further embarrass Labour leader Andrew Little over his failure to pay a contractor.

The emails show Mr Little’s closest adviser and fellow unionist, Matt McCarten, knew about the outstanding debt before Christmas. Despite promises, Mr McCarten did nothing about it.

Mr Little failed to pay the bill for the worker for almost four months. The exchange is all in the emails from freelance journalist David Cohen and show Mr Little’s chief of staff, Mr McCarten, promised to fix up the debt before Christmas.

But referring to Mr Cohen as “a worker” has made Mr Little grumpy.

“Your commentary talked about a worker,” says Mr Little. “He was a contractor.”

Mr Little’s a former union boss, and Mr McCarten was too. But this was one worker whose rights they failed to defend.

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Crikey. Even Red Radio is to the right of TV3

3 News and Paddy Gower specifically have spun their poll results as a huge win for Andrew Little.  But as we’ve seen, it’s hardly anything substantial, especially when you compare the results with National and John Key.

This is how Brent Edwards sees it

Public support for the National Party is going up just a few months after the start of its third term in Government.

In the latest 3News-Reid Research poll National got 49.8 percent, compared with the 47.04 percent of actual votes it won in the election last September.

In the final 3News poll before the election National had scored 44.5 percent support.

This most recent poll surveyed 1000 people and was conducted between January 20 and 28. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percent.

A Roy Morgan poll out earlier in January put National on 52 percent support.

Usually political parties going into their third term on the Treasury benches begin to lose public support.

But there is no sign yet that the public have begun to tire of Prime Minister, John Key, or his Government.

In the 3News poll support for Labour was 29.1 percent, compared with its election result of 25.13 percent.

Labour’s gain appeared to come at the expense of the Green and New Zealand First parties.

Apart from the fact that we have such level-headed reporting from Radio New Zealand, doesn’t it just draw a stark contrast with the extreme left position that 3 News seems to have put itself in?  All rather remarkable, to be honest.    Read more »

I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

Read more »

Patrick Gower on Andrew Little and today’s announcement

Not surprisingly, the Labour fanboi is excited as the new Labour leader has managed to make it through 3 pressers and 2 interviews.  Yes, that’s all it takes to call a winner.

Little has barely put a foot wrong in his short time as leader, and the conservative reshuffle announced is another example.

I’ve now watched Little get through three press conferences, two major interviews and a reshuffle with no black marks.

With the reshuffle, Little has shown considerable political skill as he goes about building the complex latticework of loyalty required to run the Labour caucus.

The reshuffle is what John Key would call an elegant solution.

I think it has the right mix of a good deputy, Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe in the right spots and an effective front and mid-bench.

If it wasn’t Monday, you would be forgiven for thinking it was Throwback Thursday, given he has chosen Annette King as his deputy.

King was of course on Team Grant and hardly screams next generation.

But I actually think King as deputy is a good call. Aunty Annie is a cross between Labour’s Mother Hen and a Courtney Place bouncer. She is highly effective in Parliament, incredibly loyal to Labour Inc, doesn’t want to roll him and will be a good mentor to Little now he has plonked her in his inner circle.

Due to the time of year, I think Little will get the benefit of a few months of performing under very low pressure.  This will lead to a false impression and sense of competence.  One thing that Paddy forgets is that it isn’t just a case of being a steady leader – his talent below him will continue to be the gifts that keep on giving.  Let’s see how he survives a few scandals.   Read more »