Skip to Content »

Clean campaigning and Wellington Central’s last MTC meeting

  • November 1st, 2008

Tomorrow evening is the last multi-candidate suburban meeting, at Kelburn’s St Michael’s Church hall at 7-30 pm. I’m sorry there are not more opportunities for open comparison.

The widely anticipated second Karori meeting was cancelled under pressure. Oddly you’ll have to read an Auckland paper to find out why. It was reported in the Herald, but not our local DomPost despite the wonderful opportunity to to report on sinister US intervention in Karori politics.

The DomPost seems to have abandoned substantive local reporting on Wellington campaigns in favour of sports-type commentary on the election game.

The DomPost also dropped its own major MTC meeting when their initial hall booking clashed with the Aro Valley fixture.

Now that open comparison is nearly over, and most candidates have spent up to their caps on written material to be circulate, my Labour opponent appears to be the intended beneficiary of a night postering effort that comes straight from the Helen Clark school of politics – smear, make wild allegations, do not worry if they are unsubstantiated – some mud will stick, especially if the target is drawn into rebuttal.

He asserted a few days ago on TV3

"We’re trying to run a clean campaign"

I worry that it merely shows how long he worked in the Prime Minister’s office. Mr Robertson’s campaign has been by far the dirtiest of the four local campaigns I’ve been in, based on slurs, innuendo and deliberate misrepresentation.

One of my supporters who happens to be gay described as "evil" the tactics involved in Grant’s attempt to paint me as anti-gay  – which I’m not. The  smear was raised at four ‘meet the candidate’ meetings. Those responsible kept asking questions containing false statements when they already knew the answers.

The sad thing is that no one in Mr Robertson’s team may have anything to do with the postering, but I would now have no reason to trust any denial. I fear that he has taken  a lead from his mentor, Helen Clark. She sticks with Peters despite knowing him so well that today’s revelations by Phil Kitchin would be no surprise. The H fee neutron bomb failed, as did her accusation that  John Key shouts at his family at home, but they presumably still think it works for them.

No election ushers in a millenium of sweetness and light. Politics will continue. But National success will replace a cunning but unprincipled gang, with people who believe there are bottom lines.

National people believe in boundaries that must not be crossed. They guard conventions that must be preserved. The other side may call that naive. I hope the voters will say clearly that the dirty tactics are repugnant.





Stephen, I’m yet to see, hear or read anything from Grant that compares with this post of your’s. You’ve said you have no evidence to back up your claims of dirty tactics, and aside from a couple of your posters being defaced, you don’t elaborate on what the tactics are (moreover the posters were defaced by people unrelated to Grant’s campaign).

The only point you’ve made is that somehow you’re perceived as anti-gay. I’d suggest that’s because of your ridiculous comments on civil unions. You’ve not been smeared, you’ve simply been held to account.

Campaign on what you will do, not on what you think someone unrelated to Grant might have done to you.

Your claims that National people don’t cross certain lines implies Labour people have no such boundaries. That’s obscene and frankly ridiculous. It reminds me of Brash’s comments about Labour people not being mainstream NZers. At the start of this piece you claim you’ve been smeared, at the close, you’re the one doing the smearing.

  • James
  • November 1st, 2008
  • 6:07 pm

“My Labour opponent appears to be the intended beneficiary of a night postering effort that comes straight from the Helen Clark school of politics – smear, make wild allegations, do not worry if they are unsubstantiated”

Stephen, the posters are only highlighting ideas that you were pushing for in the form of a Supplementary Order Paper you introduced while you were in Parliament as an Act MP.

How something that is based on fact, no matter what your verbose legal argument justifying it may be can be called ‘wild accusations’, ‘smear’ and ‘unsubstantiated’ is beyond me.

And from what I have heard and seen, the person behind the posters has no association with Grant’s campaign, as do the people who raised your comments on civil unions.

You have shown in the past week, starting with your “Mr Big” conspiracy and now this, just why the people of Wellington Central don’t need any “evil tactics” or posters to make them not vote for you. You are doing a perfectly fine job at that yourself.

  • Kylee
  • November 1st, 2008
  • 6:57 pm

As I’ve commented before, Stephen, the main issue here is your lack of emotional intelligence on this issue – which means you just can’t understand why your comments during the select committee process may be offensive to people in the rainbow community. You think describing your legal stand negates that you seem to have taken a moral stand. Robertson doesn’t need to be (and as I understand it isn’t) involved in highlighting this issue at MTCs or in any other way – voters are doing it themselves. As Paul said – they are holding you to account for something they don’t agree with you on. That’s called democracy. Over the last few weeks since I posted, you’ve done nothing to convince me to vote for you. As of today, I’ll be Party voting National, but electorate voting Robertson.

  • Jenna
  • November 1st, 2008
  • 7:55 pm

Having spoken to the authoriser of the poster campaign to smear you it is clear that she and her trade union mates are intending to continue their libellous campaign till polling day. They have full endorsement from the Labour team as they are a large part of the Labour team.
Your first commenter Paul Williams was I recall recently on Kiwiblog having a rant at the public disclosure of Grant Robertson’s reported views on putting New Zealand blood transfusion service at risk of HIV contamination. Scary!
Commenters 2 and 3 have been on this website before spewing their twisted views. They do realise that you are not anti-gay or bigoted in any way. They are not interested in accuracy. Their sole aim is to defeat you next week. They are hoping that some mud might stick from their posts. Given that you are a man of honesty and integrity they do not realise that decent people admire and respect you and will make you the next Member of parliament for Wellington Central

  • James
  • November 1st, 2008
  • 8:20 pm

This is my first time on this Blog Jenna, but who really cares.


Paul, I suggest your location makes it difficult for your comments to be accurate, it was you may have not made your comment “a couple of your posters being defaced, you don’t elaborate on what the tactics are.” Anyone watching NZ news would know that Stephen has undergone one of the worst, calculated, poster-defacing campaigns I have ever heard of and that is saying something given my lenghty involvement in student politics!

Further as for your defence of Grant Roberts are you forgetting what you suffered during your campaign for President at Waikato at the hands of Grant Roberts’ former co-president of NZUSA?

As for the insane charges that someone is anti-gay if they didn’t support state sanctioned endorsement of private relationships go and look up non-sequitur, then take your foot out of your mouth.

  • Jacob Diggle
  • November 2nd, 2008
  • 12:30 am

Madeleine – Grant Roberts? Who’s he? If he’s the Labour candidate for Wellington Central I have been campaigning for the wrong guy!

The truth is, Stephen is getting desperate. He has left ACT in a desperate lunge for power, he is desperate to win Wellington Central because the powers that be in the National Party obviously can’t stand him (hence his list ranking) and is twisting himself in knots to try and conform to Key’s ‘Cosy Conservatism’.

I think good examples of this contortionist act are Stephen’s comments regarding the public service. On more than one occasion, Stephen has been caught frantically peddling the line that National want to ‘cap’ the public service NOT cut it, at the same time that the Nats release their infamous “less (sic) bureaucrats” billboard!

Of course the defacing of billboards (regardless of party – and Grant has been targeted a number of times as well) is unacceptable and contributes nothing to the democratic process HOWEVER the try and accuse Grant’s campaign of being responsible is far more slanderous than any (factual) posters on lampposts (especially when they are not part of Grant’s campaign either!) If you are going to start accusing your political opponent of dirty tricks (or worse) at least have some shred of evidence, some slight factual base, something more than desperate mud raking! Jenna talks of Labour’s attempts at running a “libellous (sic) campaign” by proxy and some mud throwing by its supporters. However, it appears that Stephen is the mudslinger – stirring up baseless accusations in a far more substantial ‘smear’ campaign!

See you in Kelburn Stephen…

P.S. I hope the Wellington College political debate is included as one of the valuable opportunities for “open comparison”.

  • Nicola
  • November 2nd, 2008
  • 12:42 am

And by “There’s not unsubstantiated” I mean “there’s NOTHING unsubstantiated”. It’s too late at night to speak English properly..

  • Chuck
  • November 2nd, 2008
  • 5:24 pm

Well don’t forget s 199A of the Electoral Act. It doesn’t apply yet .. but when it does, you can put your money where your mouth is (

  • Paul Williams
  • November 17th, 2008
  • 6:22 pm

Further as for your defence of Grant Roberts are you forgetting what you suffered during your campaign for President at Waikato at the hands of Grant Roberts’ former co-president of NZUSA?


I’d not seen this comment until just now (a friend alerted me to it). I can confidently say I suffered no injustices from Grant Robertson in any way whatsoever. Quite the opposite in fact.

I suspect you’re thinking about a letter that criticised me and which was anonymous (circa 1993). I later discovered the author was a local rival who was in no way connected to Grant.

Leave your comments:

* Required fields. Your e-mail address will not be published on this site

You can use the following HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>