This is what a failed live chat looks like – #pmchat Prime Minister John Key

Stuff.co.nz had a live chat with PM John Key today – I initially just watched but then thought of a few Questions I wanted to ask. Nothing particularly volatile, more opinion and just asking if he had plans for stuff (ie i was not trolling or being a dick).
I was somewhat disappointed my question did not get moderated, in fact the ones that did get moderated included a LOT of this

Moderator: First question from Rebecca: How much time a week do you get as ‘downtime’? Ie: to sit and read a book, see your family etc?
John Key: Monday to Friday is very limited downtime if any – primarily because my family is in Auckland and my commitments are all around NZ. I try to make some time in the weekend to spend with Bronagh and the kids.

Last time I read a book was over Christmas.


Moderator: Alex asks: Do you perfer normal chips or kumara chips?
John Key: Normal chips! Kumara chips are too sweet, and they over-engineer a simple concept.


Moderator: Betsy asks: What is your golf handicap?

John Key: 25.


Moderator: Blair asks: If you were stuck on a deserted island, which other NZ Member of Parliament would you want to be stuck with, and why?

John Key: It’d have to be someone from our side, because I wouldn’t want to spend time with the other lot!
We’ll go with Paula Bennett, because I can be totally confident she would do the talking, and I’d just have to do the listening.


Moderator: Kells asks: what’s your favourite colour?

John Key: Yellow.


Moderator: Richard asks: Vegemite or Marmite?Ford or Holden?

John Key: Vegemite. And Holden.


Moderator: Phil asks: What are you having for lunch today?

John Key: Toasted cheese sandwich.

Now, whilst not ALL the questions were stupid things like this, out of 40 or so Questions I found 15 totally stupid ones like the above, and 6 semi stupid questions. This makes about 50% the questions answered pretty much useless.
Now, totally stupid questions mean ones which have no relation on politics or really anything at all. Semi stupid ones are related but not overly interesting to anyone else (ie How can i become a PM?).

I thought it was just me, then i checked the feedback on twitter …

Turns out other people felt just as ripped off as I was.
Stuff.co.nz response was “Remember: the public asked these Qs” and “Appreciate what you’re saying, however not every question was going to make it through. Cheers”
It seems they entirely missed the point that they were doing the moderating, and public clearly also asked questions they viewed as more important which did not get answered.

Update: Turns out Facebook got a blasting also

  • Good post. To some extent I can see why they wanted to post some lighter questions – there would be a real danger that it would turn into a substantial ‘Primeminister’s Question Time’ and they were trying to limit the responses to very short snippets. I’m glad that Stuff did this and definitely into the concept but you are right – they went over-board with the ‘light’ questions which were actually very dumb and a supreme waste of our country’s leader’s time! I mean ok, make the guy seem more human and approachable but don’t force him to answer questions about his favourite colour and what he’s having for lunch today. Not on his hourly rate and not with people waiting to post some quality questions.I noticed on Twitter that @NZStuff said “There are no stupid questions” but in reality, yes there most definitely are!Hopefully Stuff either a) learn from this and make the next one even better or b) more clearly state what can be expected of the Live Chat if they insist on posting ‘novelty’ questions in the future.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed – some light questions are great, but they just went overboard.