Dumb and Dumber

The advent of alternative media is not recent in New Zealand and we have seen its current presence to the extent we see overseas only since the 2020 Election. We draw a distinction with new media that is a consequence of changes brought about by technology and adequately represented by the recent launch of a database radio channel, Reality Check Radio.

It is not lost on our major political parties, that following the loss of faith in the NZ mainstream, audience attention is drifting towards new sources of information beyond that which can be dismissed as misinformation from citizen journalists.

As pictured above ‘the need to connect’ with the new industry audience and potential voters has not escaped the realm of gaining political momentum in major parties either.

Minor platforms welcome the attention and the boost to their potential.

What neither the interviewer or the guest are immediately aware of is that they are replicating the outcomes of activist media.

Looking back to this post about David Seymour being “set up” as some would say by activist media outlet Counterspin we see how alternative audiences quickly become aware of this spectacle and can form a groundswell opinion giving more potential to growth in what the major parties call the wasted 5% vote

The subject matter mentioned above the picture is essentially the reason for the interview but otherwise immaterial to this discussion.

Other questions are asked, in this interview to give a more balanced view.

Without bringing another discussion into this post one asks why Luxon would see Defence spending as commendable (and not that it isn’t) when the budget covertly decreases police spending, not only in real terms but by continuing to compromise operational independence.

This interview will leave more questions hanging over Luxon’s head while National’s shadow police spokesman Mark Mitchell was busy in Parliament yesterday explaining how we’ve found ourselves with another incompetent police minister appointed by Hipkins.

I’m not taking sides here in respect of either polical party, but I am pointing out the consequences for police and their ongoing effectiveness when this is happening in the political leadership of our two main parties.

The media model we see now in competition with what’s left of Adern’s “Central Source of Information” as it was historically called shows how political leaders become vulnerable to their own incompetence.

That’s the public benefit, including for those who work in the public service, as opposed to protecting political incompetence through a propaganda system of media control.


The Rising Women

The promotion of Willow-Jean Prime to the vacant 20th spot at the cabinet table not only gave “equality” to the cabinet table but opened the door to some interesting electorate battles.

Northland aside, which is always a complicated discussion and as Sean Plunket puts it “Māori politics does my head in” so who knows what might happen there, especially if Labour does another stand aside for NZ First.

Another contest heating up in the North Island Heartland is for the Taranaki-King Country electorate currently held by National’s Barbara Kuriger, looking for a fourth term as their MP.

Kuriger was previously part of the Farmers’ stronghold in National but if she is lucky enough to be returned to parliament she may be one of only two farmer mps left in National, neither of whom hold the agricultural portfolios.

Kuriger after being demoted has worked her way back from a lengthy conflict-of-interest inquiry, and into the Conservation Portfolio which she currently campaigns around rather than farming.

Angela Roberts (Labour) and Lee Smith (DemocracyNZ)

Labour List MP and Teacher’s Union representative Angela Roberts hasn’t posed any threat to Kuriger in what is one of the country’s largest provincial electorates made up of farming families and a string of rural service centres stretching from Hamilton in the north to New Plymouth in the south.

Roberts brings with her a reputation for being rude and aggressive in campaigns and coincidentally the former ACT candidate is understood to have said privately that he’s not particularly interested in getting involved in this year’s campaign.

The dark horse here is DemocracyNZ candidate, Lee Smith. Born and raised in Taranaki and a former farmer with a local business career spanning some 25 years, managed alongside her family of six children.

Lee Smith, who has an established popularity in her Taranaki-King Country electorate, also brings with her a passion for education reform and is the education spokeperson for DemocracyNZ.

Smith launched her campaign back in September last year and is not a would-be-if-I’m-lucky candidate like the majority on minor party hopefuls.

Tell me that doesn’t present options for the Taranaki-King Country electorate to give serious consideration to?

Smith approaches her campaign with real determination and genuune concern for the well-being of parliament – there is no reason why she could not be part of a wave of new members of parliament coming from a minor party entering parliament.