Monday, August 2, 2010

John Ansell: Iwi/Kiwi - the Sequel and the Prequel

Come back Helen Clark, all is forgiven.

You may have thought Ethics was a county in England, you may have trampled on our free speech in election year, but at least you locked in our right to a free beach.

Just yesterday we learned that John Key can no longer guarantee that right.

He can't be sure a group of part-Maori, part-Pakeha New Zealanders won't one day tax you for the right to swim, sail or fish in your own bay.

By Christmas he may well have traded away tens of thousands of square kilometres of New Zealand coastline for a resource he prizes more highly than all the oil in our territorial sea.

Five Maori Party votes.

There's a word for that, and it's not trader.

There was a time not so long ago when the National Party could say it was to the right of Helen Clark on matters Maori.

It had a leader with principles for whom I was proud to create advertising.

As the billboard below made clear (but was cynically misinterpreted by the left), there was never any doubt who Don Brash stood for.

As any dictionary will tell you, Kiwi means all New Zealanders, which includes those represented by the last three letters - iwi.

But when John Key gives iwi the right to negotiate directly with the Crown - meaning former Ngai Tahu lawyer and strongly pro-Maori minister Chris Finlayson - who will speak for Kiwis?

Critics on the left thought it dishonest to characterise Helen Clark as 'Iwi'. After all, did her Foreshore and Seabed Act not claim the coast for the Crown?

It's a fair point.

But it was not the way the National Party saw things at the time.

They viewed Labour's bill as deliberately embedded with fish-hooks that iwi could use to eventually hook the resources they craved.

Below is the long copy forerunner of the Iwi/Kiwi billboard, which I wrote a year earlier to spell out National's concerns. It talks of their fear of vague concepts like tikanga Maori and customary rights.

In 2004 the Nats believed those concerns to be real, but it would now appear those fish-hooks were blunt.

In the six years since, few if any tribes have succeeded with their coastal claims.

So while Clark may have been Iwi next to Brash's Kiwi, alongside Kaumatua Key she's 'Kiwi as'.

Key's foreshore and seabed plans are frightening, as he's repeatedly shown he's willing to sacrifice the national interest for the interests of the National Party.

For a fascinating insight into principles as a tradable commodity, click on the magnified image at the very bottom and read my 2004 body copy.

You may need to pinch yourself as you do.

Yes, this is the National Party trying to scare you about Labour's coastal management - when most of the same fish-hooks are now part of their own policy, but sharper.

Enjoy the exquisite hypocrisy.


Click on the below image to magnify the body copy.

Visit me at

[And visit the Coastal Coalition, an umbrella group that is opposing the repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed, at where you can support an advertising campaign using John's brilliant ideas!]


Anonymous said...

Very well done! I Love the new Iwi Kiwi billboard!

Anonymous said...

So many are disalluded by the actions of a few rednecks, to whom some will loose out, as they will not have their private carvoting beach. Now we will be able to protect our enviroments and traditional right of all New Zealanders.

Anonymous said...

Very disturbing this Maorisation of the country by stealth. Unfortunately with no other Party showing any measure of support to roll this crowd, JK will take the next election victory as a mandate that what he has done is right and we can expect more of the same. A lefty liberal in a blue coat!

Anonymous said...

This country belongs to ALL of us

this John Key disgust me this guy is a traitor of his voters a sheep in wolfs cloths

Anonymous said...

Well written in typical John Ansell brilliance.

Deborah said...

Glad to see you are still kicking John and this is an ass that needs kicking.
Great new billboard

John Ansell said...

Thanks Deborah, but I must give credit where it's due - Iwi/? was Muriel's idea.

Anonymous said...

ACT, like all other parties, is complicit in this tradgedy by their silence. I hope they loose Epsom for it.

Anonymous said...

Dear John {Key] oh how I hate to gripe,but my love for yousis gone like a romp upon the shore of the land you call New Zillind.

You played me false,dear John.You got into a sea bed with a minor,you made your promises, and the sandpiper is now calling the tune.

Oh dear John, you have sold your Soul,made your nest so you had better get used to lying in it.It's great how you can lie and smile at the same time.Where did you learn to do that?At Rangiruru? No no.That is a girls school.

Oh dear John,I must be sounding like a vitriolic termagant.Do forgive me.It is the relief of being rid of you that is making me so exuberant.

On that note,dear John,I will leave you to paddle your own canoe,upstream,into an oncoming storm.

Anonymous said...

With this national govt debt growing & growing, (a perverse, indirect, self-inflicted form of colonialism), wait for the inevitable fire sales. JK likes chinese as well. Be great seeing the PRC govt,(ones with the money), taking stakes/owning swathes of "kiwi' resources.Won't it?
These John Ansell statements, quite apart from the truth,incisive brilliance, principles, clarity, succinct economy, are highly attractive. Can we get some limited edition prints? Would be highly desirable.And get the message(s) out.Lots of proud owners. I reckon.

Anonymous said...

John Key and the Nats are toast if they continue with this foreshore folly. Winston Pooh will again be the pollie with his face in the honey pot.

John Ansell said...

Now you're getting it.

What's needed to solve this and other problems is an advertising blitzkrieg - to show the dozing public exactly what's being done to them.

While these issues are confined to think tanks and blogs and long-winded newspaper articles, the government knows it can do what it likes.

But I know from experience working with both main parties that politicians will do anything to avoid having their voters bombarded with truth.

We just need to marshall the power of short words and simple pictures and plaster them where the voters are watching.

And voters are not watching think tanks and blogs. We're just talking to ourselves in forums like this, valuable though it is for reaching the believers.

What's needed is a 'teach tank' - a retail arm of the policy wholesaler think tanks.

The teach tank's sole job would be to boil down the excellent research and development done by think tanks into info morsels that busy Kiwis will actually want to devour.

This could be done with every issue we care about, from economics to the foreshore and seabed.

We're confident that our truth will catch on, so we just need to get it out there in language people can readily grasp.

But the success of this strategy depends on the wealthy people on the right. They need to stop moaning about the state of the country and realise they are uniquely placed to sort out every problem.

If they will write the cheques, the ads will do the rest, believe me.

That's the key to changing Key: devastating ads, properly funded. A teach tank to support the think tanks.

So who will step up to the plate? Who is the next Alan Gibbs, Douglas Myers, John Boscawen or Colin Craig?

The rockets are on the launch pad. All we need now is the fuel.

Sally said...

This is what some of us in Southland have been saying for quite sometime.

A friend reckons we need billboards from North Cape to Bluff and your message would be brilliant.

T Shirts, bumper stickers with your message.

Anonymous said...

I agree Sally. Besides donating to the newspaper campaign I am getting some core flute signs printed using the Beaches Iwi Kiwi image and putting them around my town (and in front of the local newspaper, and National Party office!).

John Ansell said...

Sally: believe me, we've got more powerful ads than that in the pipeline. If you want to see them, just get those Southland cow cockies to send money!

Anonymous (6.21am): please don't blow up the above image as it's only an amateurish PowerPoint draft.

I've just asked an artist to design it properly for your purposes.

Anyone who wants a printable version please email me on