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Clips (6)

  1. Part one of five from this full length documentary.

  2. Part two of five from this full length documentary.

  3. Part three of five from this full length documentary.

  4. Part four of five from this full length documentary.

  5. Part five of five from this full length documentary.

  6. The credits from this documentary.


This Alister Barry-directed documentary is about the National Party and the 2005 election; it was made in conjunction with Nicky Hager’s book written from leaked party e-mails. Barry follows novice MP, and then leader, Don Brash through a hyper-charged era in NZ politics as National attempts to reconcile a political agenda with electability, and to unseat Helen Clark’s Labour government. Speechwriters, advertising agencies, pollsters and party donors all feature, as do Brash’s infamous Orewa speeches, Exclusive Brethren “attack” pamphlets and Iwi/Kiwi billboards.

Credits (8)

 Alister Barry
 Shane Loader
 Dave Holley

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Comments (16)

 David Russell

David Russell

Isn't amazing how nothing really changes. John Key was lying back then, and he still lies in exactly the same way. At the end of the documentary, as Brash is thrown out (lost the election because of the Exclusive Bretheren's actions) and John Key takes over, in reply to a question, he says " I never received any correspondence with the Bretheren, I was not aware of their campaign, I stand by everything I said, I have nothing to hide, if I did I would tell you up front, .. I am not stupid enough to know that these things don't come out" ..... but he forgets that earlier in the documentary he was filmed having a meeting with two Exclusive Bretheren members.... but of course,then as now, he remembers how important it is, that he has a very bad memory.




Because the National Party (at this time, though I have no doubt that all major parties continue to do so) gives a greater degree of influence to some portions of the constitutency than it does to others. This selection criteria is made without reference to the relative and legitimate 1-vote-per-person grundnorm of western democratic society. It is made on the basis of financial profitability.

How could this not be unethical? As contextual moral guidelines, political ethics direct politicians to accurately and fairly reflect and represent their ENTIRE constituency. Just because the problem is endemic in every political party does not make it "a dull narrative", it makes it a crucial problem which is generating a significant democratic deficit in this country.



I have finished the first two clips, I am 40 minutes in, and I still don't see the purpose of this? How does this discredit Don Brash and the National Party? Is this a dull narrative about standard political practice in a rather inconsequential period? This documentary really does not provide any strange or unfamiliar dirt on a political party, a political party is supposed to represent a commonly held opinion and influence the constituency to vote in favour of that opinion, and therefore that party. That is what Don has done. That is what all politicians do, this is not unusual, this is not unethical. Labour does the same, ACT does the same, NZ First does the same, The Greens does the same, The Maori party does the same. There must be better dirt than this? I'll keep watching.



John Key has flat out lied about his knowledge of the exclusive bretherens campaign. I don't mind their campaign because they paid for it but what strikes me is how Key can lie which shows me this man has no integrity. It has showed these last three years and it will continue the next three years.. I voted for National in 2008 but instead voted for Winston Peters in November. Now I am waiting for the master to cut John Key in small pieces. Winston has the facts to do the damage with.

 Oliver Peryman

Oliver Peryman

I'd like to pick out the documentary's final comments if I may. Here they are again:

"A week after he became leader, John Key flew to Canberra, a meeting had been arranged with the political strategists 'Crosby-Textor'. Key signed them up, and work began immediately on his two-year campaign to become Prime-Minister.''

The passage buttresses my own suspicion that the 'hollow men' have never actually gone away. It wouldn't suprise me if similar personnel and practices remain. Similarly, I wouldn't be suprised if the ongoing activity was captured by a kind of Hollow Men 'sequel'.

A wee story to end: In 2007 I attended a political science lecture where National's Simon Power was guest-speaking. I asked him if he knew of any continuing relationship between the National Party and the PR firm 'Crosby Textor'. He said no..

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It would be disingenuous to be shocked by what’s revealed. But in an election year where “secret agenda” has suddenly become a buzzword, this is a vital work for wising us up to what lies behind the scenes in our political process. 
Based on thousands of confidential emails, reports and memos written by Brash and his closest advisers, The Hollow Men is an extraordinary story of unprincipled and anti-democratic politics.