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It is unknown how many single-issue voters will be casting their ballots solely on Jack Tame based policy. (Image: Tina Tiller)
It is unknown how many single-issue voters will be casting their ballots solely on Jack Tame based policy. (Image: Tina Tiller)

PoliticsOctober 2, 2023

The minister responsible for Jack Tame

It is unknown how many single-issue voters will be casting their ballots solely on Jack Tame based policy. (Image: Tina Tiller)
It is unknown how many single-issue voters will be casting their ballots solely on Jack Tame based policy. (Image: Tina Tiller)

Alongside the cost of living and crime, Jack Tame is emerging as a critical issue in election 2023.

There is no better tool to compare pledges this election than It is disappointing to see, however, as of the time of writing, at least one glaring omission: Jack Tame. As close observers of the 2023 campaign will be aware, Jack Tame, host of the TVNZ programme Q+A, is emerging as an important election issue. New Zealanders are entitled to understand just what the alternative governing groups have planned for Jack Tame. 

While the Ipsos Issues Monitor does not – again, disappointingly – invite those surveyed to rank Jack Tame among the subjects that matter the most for election 2023, it seems likely that he’d be right up there. Lower than the cost of living, sure. Probably somewhere between law and order and climate change.

Winston Peters and Willie Jackson have helpfully laid out comprehensive Jack Tame manifesto positions by choosing, in conversations with Jack Tame, to talk a lot about Jack Tame. Jackson is, of course, the current broadcasting minister (encompassing Jack Tame), and presumptive broadcasting minister under a Labour-Green-Te-Pāti-Māori coalition of chaos. Peters, meanwhile, revealed to Jack Tame yesterday that he would seek the ministerial warrant for broadcasting in a National-Act-NZ-First coalition of chaos. 

Top of Peters’ list for Jack Tame reforms is stopping Jack Tame being “corrupt” and, as he put it, “trying to get rid of New Zealand First because your masters told you to”. It is unclear whether, under a change of government, Jack Tame would be permitted to try to get rid of New Zealand First if his masters did not tell him to.

Responding to questions about NZ First policy and how much it would cost, the former deputy prime minister indicated that he had news for both Jack Tame and also Jack Tame’s unnamed masters and that news was bad. Later in the interview he reiterated that the news for Jack Tame was bad. 

Elaborating on his Jack Tame work programme, Peters indicated he would strive to stop:

  • Jack Tame being vindictive and being desperate, especially with the lies and the deceit
  • Jack Tame engaging in the buying or selling of dirt
  • Jack Tame arguing
  • Jack Tame using bulldust.

The NZ First leader’s “promise” that he would seek the broadcasting portfolio has prompted speculation that in a coalition of chaos Peters may be eying up a portfolio mix that would see him as minister for foreign affairs, racing and Jack Tame. 

The incumbent minister for broadcasting, Willie Jackson, ripped into Peters’ appearance with Jack Tame yesterday. Little wonder: he too has very strong feelings about Jack Tame, and has left little doubt that a third-term Labour government would look to focus on the Jack Tame issue, perhaps through the appointment of a Jack Tame ombudsman, a “national conversation” about Jack Tame or by collaborating with international allies in establishing a special rapporteur for Jack Tame. 

In a December interview, Jackson indicated that should the TVNZ-RNZ merger be scrapped, Jack Tame would be installed as “the front man for Treasure Island”. He said: “You might end up there because there might be no Q+A the way that we’re going, because the audiences are declining, the revenue is declining.” One of the first things Chris Hipkins did as prime minister, just a few weeks later, was scrap the merger. 

According to one industry source it would be “fun” if Jackson’s coalition of chaos installed Jack Tame on Celebrity Treasure Island because then they would have both Tāme Iti and Tame Nui. 

Jackson is expected to announce as part of his Jack Tame policy:

  • Jack Tame stops doing negative interviews
  • Jack Tame stops disappointing Willie Jackson
  • Jack Tame stops hating New Zealand.

Both men are united at least on one point: while they are comfortable with their A’s, the Q’s leave a lot to be desired. If nothing else, this leaves open the potential for a cross-party working group to establish what the Q’s are instead of Jack Tame.

Glimpses of a post-election negotiation fault line emerged this morning when Christopher Luxon publicly disagreed with Peters on whether Jack Tame is a dirt merchant. For his own part, Luxon may insist in coalition talks that Jack Tame quit asking him about his houses, while Chris Hipkins is expected to require that Jack Tame desist from banging on about economists and GST. 

Sources suggest Peters will also require that Jack Tame end the gaslighting and abandon the pretence that his name is Jack when, demonstrably, his name is James.

One leading commentator, speaking on condition of anonymity, urged politicians to “stop using Jack Tame as a political football”. They said: “That lanky frame would barely move if you kicked it around a field. Better to think of him as a political kayak or a political billiard cue or maybe even better a political javelin, code name Tame Impaler.”

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