National election ad where Bill English defeats Andrew Little in climactic rap battle ‘just a massive coincidence’

PICTURED: A Poster for National’s leaked web ad, State Highway 6.

PICTURED: A Poster for National’s leaked web ad, State Highway 6.

A National Party web advertisement that depicts Prime Minister Bill English as he grows up in a caravan with his single mother and eventually defeats Labour leader Andrew Little in a climactic rap battle that puts him on the path to fame is being defended as “merely a coincidence” by the party’s lawyers.

The leaked ad, which is 1 hour 58 minutes long and not meant for release until later this year, is set on a holiday park near Dipton in Southland.

The working title for the ad is State Highway 6, a reference to the road that runs through Dipton and divides Dipton West from Dipton East, a division that largely acts as a border between the town’s warring rap factions.

Critics have blasted the ad, saying it bears striking resemblance to the 2002 Eminem semi-biopic 8 Mile, but National’s lawyers are hitting back in a statement today, saying any similarity to that film is “purely a coincidence.”

“In the advertisement – which is an advertisement, not a motion picture – the Prime Minister is represented by the protagonist, B. English,” the statement read. “B. English is a promising young rap artist who writes and performs excellent rhymes about STEADY LEADERSHIP and PROVEN RESULTS FOR REGULAR NEW ZEALANDERS (themes are denoted in bold).

“This is a story based on true events, and the EXPERIENCEs of the Prime Minister growing up in Dipton, and while partially fictionalised, is in no way based upon any other work of the same time of exactly 1 hour 58 minutes.”

In the advertisement, B. English takes on a rap gang – known only as the Labour Union – after they attack him outside his mother’s caravan.

English struggles to find the confidence and motivation to outrhyme the Union, but with the help of his best friends Steven Joyce and Big Gerry, eventually finds the inner strength to take on their leader – Andrew Little – one on one, in a rap battle to end all rap battles.

Little ultimately loses, and the credits roll with an appeal to party vote National, which plays over the advertisement’s theme song. The song features the following lyrics:


His palms are sweaty, arms weak, tray is heavy

There’s pineapple on his pizza already, canned spaghetti

He’s nervous, but after eating he’ll be calm and ready,

For a walk-run. He’ll keep on leading steady.

The accusations of plagiarism will come as bad news for the party, which is already defending a copyright case over its similarity to the Australian Liberal Party.