Rock Enrol: Non Partisan or not?

We have an issue in New Zealand, our voter turn out is declining, it has been for a while. We need to do something about it. A group of young voters have started an organisation called Rock Enrol. It is based on the Rock the Vote campaign in the US.


They have started a Pledge Me campaign, and are trying to raise between $5,000 and $10,000 to fund their get out the vote events during the campaign. On this page they make the following claim “Rock Enrol is a non-partisan campaign”. But there are some things that indicate this may not be the case.

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The three people behind Rock Enrol are Laura O’Connell-Rapira, Sam Dyson and Lizzie Sullivan.

Laura O’Connell-Rapira has been in the media before, ‘Business hippie’ plans $1m eco retreat, she also runs Our Place Events, who claim to be “tree huggers”.


Sam Dyson is a key person in the Generation Zero campaign.

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Lizzie Sullivan has been a little harder to track down, however a Elizabeth Sullivan made a submission against the VSM bill on behalf of The Victoria University Young Greens:

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I also found a linkedin profile in the same name that has a number of details that indicate it is the same person. Who has worked for Caritas.

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So far we have an organisation claiming to be non partisan that is being lead by 3 people who all have clear left wing leanings in their background. However, what their claim even more questionable is the role of Home Brew Crew in the start of this campaign, and the fact that Rock Enrol seem so keen to have them as part of it.


In the press release, hosted on Scoop, Laura specifically mentions a post by Home Brew Crew.

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The Rock Enrol Twitter account has also been actively tagging Home Brew Crew in on their Tweets.

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As well as openly talking about the Facebook post mentioned in the press release above.

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So who are Home Brew Crew? They have been on the record, more than once, expressing clearly anti National, anti John Key sentiment. At the Vodafone Music Awards in 2012, while receiving an award, the members “referred to the Prime Minister as a cunt, and said he should suck their dicks.” After David Farrar posted his blog about that incident, one of the members took to twitter, tweeting such things as:

  • Hey David Farrar lick my balls asshole. You mad coz you ain’t at the awards you fuck face.
  • @dpfdpf Sorry we don’t do 9XL Listen To Homebrew t’s, otherwise I’d send your biter ass one.

If you feel that need, you can read the even worse ones here.


Home Brew Crew have continued to express their dislike of John Key:

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Even when presented with evidence of the nature of Home Brew Crew, Rock Enrol fail to respond.

Rock enrol 5(Tweet from protected account used with permission)

The banner add for their  Pledge Me is being carried on Scoop and Public Address, both website have a left wing/anti National bent to them:

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Now if they were trying to reach as wide an audience as possible, why did they not approach David Farrar at Kiwiblog to carry the ads, or Cameron Slater at Whale Oil?


So to recap,  we have an organisation trying to do something good, to encourage young people to enrol and vote, who are claiming to be non-partisan, but in fact are lead by three people with clear left wing backgrounds. Who came up with the idea after being prompted by a member of a band who, on more than one occasion, have engaged in abuse towards those who don’t hold the same views as them. The organisers are engaging with a band that has clear anti National sentiment, who they want to have perform at their events. Does this sound like a non partisan organisation? If they really did want this project to be impartial, why did they not get a wider cross section of the political spectrum on board to hold key roles in the governance structure. Or do they plan on using their events not only to encourage young people to enrol and to vote, but also as a campaign platform for the parties they support?


Now I commend people who are trying to get out the vote, but be honest about your intentions.


Update: Rock Enrol replied to the tweet sent when this post was published.

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I still stand by the questions I asked and the conclusions I have drawn. There is a difference between reaching out to other parties, and actively working with them. The background of those involved is clare, their wish to have Home Brew Crew involved is clear. I will reserve judgement on the question of them being non-partisan or not until later in the campaign. But the question is a fair one to ask.


Their official statement is below.
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  1. You’d be hard pressed to find any young, politically engaged people who don’t have a side of the fence to sit on.

    Surely the only thing that matters is the nature of their campaign. If they were to come out with an actively anti-anybody slogan it would defeat the purpose of what they are trying to do.

    Judge campaigns on their merit.

    You yourself Matthew have declared your right wing allegiances pretty openly – but that doesn’t mean your research is worthless.

    • True, it would be hard to find someone who wasn’t on one side of the fence or the other. Therefore, if you wished to appear non partisan, you would have a number of people from across the political spectrum involved. Which Rock Enrol doesn’t appear to have.

      Also, the band they keep engaging with, and mention in their press release have known anti National sentiment. Add to this they are only advertising on left leaning blogs. They haven’t approached either of two biggest blogs in NZ, that just happen to be right wing, to advertise on there.

      So I am judging them on their actions as at the time the blog was written.

      • You could quite easily make the argument that advertising on Whale Oil would be as partisan (if not more) than doing a show with Homebrew.

        It’s an active decision financially support what is quite often hateful, violent content. Remember the ‘ferals’ incident?

        Scoop may be left leaning, but the news and opinion sections are clearly marked.

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