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2005: New Zealand’s Right Wing Populist Moment

The Most Revolutionary Act

The Hollow Men

Directed by Alister Barry (2008)

Film Review

This documentary, based on leaked emails cited in Nicky Hager’s 2006 book of the same name, the delivers a blow-by-blow account of New Zealand’s 2005 election campaign. In that year, pro-corporate New Right champion Don Brash nearly became prime minister via shrewd “populist” anti-Maori, anti-welfare, Islamaphobic campaign messaging

The film mainly focuses on Australian political consultant Bryan Sinclair (whom Brash hired as a personal assistant) and Australian social research strategy group Crosby Texter (which adapted the shrewd negative campaigning style of Bush advisor Karl Rove) in crafting deceptive political messaging to make Brash’s his pro-corporate ultra-right wing leanings appear mainstream.

The infamous Orewa speech Brash delivered in January 2004 was based on a cynical  Crosby Texter strategy to boost poll ratings by tapping into white resentment towards Maori.

In a second Orewa speech in January 2005, Brash blamed New Zealand’s…

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