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‘Too stroppy’ ACT creative director quits

Ansell wanted stronger wording on ‘Maori radical' ads.

NBR staff
Mon, 11 Jul 2011

Act creative director John Ansell has resigned. Mr Ansell told Radio New Zealand he was “too stroppy by half for Don Brash.” But although he had a clash of styles with the Act leader, Mr Ansell continued to support him.

Over the weekend, the party ran a newspaper advertisement asking if people were “"Fed up with with pandering to Maori radicals?”

The original headline for the advertisement, created by Mr Ansell, was “Apartheid Aotearoa.”

Mr Ansell agreed this wording could be taken the wrong way, but was disappointed that his suggested alternative, "Fed up with with the Maorification of everything?" was watered down further.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples aid Act had become increasingly negative toward Maori since Don Brash became leader, and the weekend’s advertisement has crossed a line.

Mr Ansell said his preferred version of the advertisement would have “magnitised” people.

“I’m too stroppy by half for Don. Don is a gentleman,” Mr Ansell told RNZ. “I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing put the truth.”

Any backlash would see Act fall in the polls from "about 1.7% to 1.3%," Mr Ansell said. But he suspected Dr Brash taking a stronger line on "one law for all" would have a more positive affect.

Asked to explain his earlier comment about “white cowardice,” Mr Ansell said guilt over the “perceived sins committed by their great, great grandparents” was allowing a “small group of Maori aristocrats” to manipulate the government.

Mr Ansell is best known for "Kiwi/Iwi" billboards he designed for National's 2005 campaign.

NBR staff
Mon, 11 Jul 2011
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‘Too stroppy’ ACT creative director quits