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Campaign (documentary film)

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Campaign is a documentary film following the five main candidates contesting the Wellington Central electorate in the New Zealand General Election of 1996. It was released as part of the NZ International Film Festival in 1999.

The film was co-produced and directed by documentary film-maker Tony Sutorius.[1] The documentary received several awards,[which?] including the Wallace Award in 1999 for contribution to public understanding of MMP (mixed-member proportional electoral system)[citation needed] and the ITVA Silver Monitor Award for 1999.[citation needed] The entire documentary is available to view online at NZ On Screen.[2]

Following the release of Campaign, media attention focussed on the role of National Party candidate Mark Thomas and the decision by National Party Leader and Prime Minister Jim Bolger to support the ACT candidate Richard Prebble. Under newly established MMP electoral system, the election of one person from a political party as a Member of Parliament (MP) in an electoral seat allowed that person to bring into Parliament an additional number of list MPs that matched the proportion of the total vote for that party across the entire country. Richard Prebble won the Wellington Central electorate[3] and, with 6.10% of the vote, the party became eligible for seven list MPs.[4] Ironically, MMP rules allowed for the same proportion of list MPs for any party gaining over 5% of the total vote. The National Party did not need Richard Prebble to win in order to help bring ACT into Parliament.

Twenty years later, Thomas reappeared as a candidate in the 2016 Auckland Mayoral election.[5][6] Unsuccessful in that year, Mark Thomas stood again in 2019.[7]


  1. "Tony Sutorius | NZ On Screen". www.nzonscreen.com. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  2. "Campaign | Film | NZ On Screen". www.nzonscreen.com. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  3. "Part III - Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  4. "Election results 1996" (PDF). New Zealand Chief Electoral Office. 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  5. Murphy, Tim (2016-05-05). "Throwback Thursday: On the return of Mark Thomas – the tragic, unforgettable star of Campaign". The Spinoff. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  6. Manhire, Toby (2016-09-13). "Mark Thomas, the most tragic man in NZ politics, just became more tragic". The Spinoff. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  7. Niall, Todd (31 May 2019). "Former Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas seeks council seat". Stuff. Retrieved 2020-01-12.

External links[edit]

  1. 'Knock Down the House', RNZ, 20 June 2019

Category:New Zealand documentary films Category:1996 New Zealand general election

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