Best opposition Budget quotes

27 May 2016

Most comment on the Budget has been predictable and quite boring, but the leaders of the opposition parties did at least have a few interesting quotes/sound bites between them.

In this day and age, it’s no longer enough to make an interesting point. You have to dress it up in an interesting way so the news media will use it and people will remember it.

Here are what I consider the best ones from opposition leaders.

Andrew Little: “This is very pedestrian. There’s nothing particularly ambitious in it, it is the classic sort of plaster on a compound fracture.” This clearly got used because the interesting analogy brings the point to life and makes it more concrete.

James Shaw: “It’s not just boring, it’s disappointing. This Government is the political equivalent of Milli Vanilli. Lip syncing when it should be leading.” This is another great analogy that allowed reporters to add an extra layer of interest to the story.

Winston Peters: “To those who want a house that they can afford to both buy and keep, to those in pain desperately needing an operation, this Budget says: Get stuffed.” This uses both emotion and conflict to make the point. That’s gold to media and will be remembered by audiences.

These leaders would have had these comments prepared and known they would be used by the media. By knowing what language the media like to use in their sound bites and quotes, you can have a major say in what they select from your interview to use in their stories.

Check out my book: “Media Training for Modern Leaders” at and my online practical training course at

Filed under Media Training

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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