John Key PM, plus and minus


Key’s inch-by-inch retreat to the point where his imagined leftwing conspiracy turned into a rightwing one and he had to sack — sorry, accept the resignation of — Judith Collins has reflected a trading-floor culture, not the disciplined executive management required of a modern prime minister.

Our democracy is still in far better shape than that of the United States, a country Key fawns over. And Key is generally a man of goodwill and decency. If he gets a third term, he could, with guidance from his Deputy Prime Minister, retrieve his democratic authority.

‘The health pillar of good government’ (2.9.14) at

● Colin James is a social and political commentator.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: (Getty) – John Key PM


Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics

104 responses to “John Key PM, plus and minus

  1. It would be better for all concerned if our elected reps could sit around something better than a huge upturned toilet seat.

  2. Elizabeth

    Site Admin
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  3. Whippet

    John Key wins by a mile. Why ? cos there is no opposition, unless you count the union elected puppet.

  4. Elizabeth

    Prime Minister John Key today released the terms of reference of the inquiry as he announced Chisholm’s role.

    ### Last updated 12:31 05/09/2014
    Judith Collins inquiry led by ex-High Court judge
    By Hamish Rutherford
    Former High Court judge Lester Chisholm will conduct a government inquiry into allegations former minister Judith Collins was part of a smear campaign against former Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley. Collins quit as a minister on Saturday last week after emails dating to 2011 emerged saying she had been “gunning” for Feeley. The emails said Feeley was the target of a campaign to undermine him by Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater and Cactus Kate, whose real name is Cathy Odgers. At the time of the emails, Collins was overseeing the SFO, and the State Services Commission was investigating Feeley’s actions. According to the emails, Mark Hotchin, the former head of collapsed finance group Hanover who was being investigated by the SFO at the time, may have been paying the bloggers, who were also targeting the Financial Markets Authority.
    Read more + Video


    The inquiry will begin on September 12 and is to report back to Mr Key by November 28.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 5 Sep 2014
    Collins inquiry before election
    By Adam Bennett – New Zealand Herald
    The inquiry into allegations former Justice Minister Judith Collins tried to undermine former Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley will begin a week before this year’s September 20 election. APNZ
    Read more

  5. Elizabeth

    Whale Oil September 5, 2014 at 5:45pm
    Media Statement by Cameron Slater at


    ### Last updated 18:27 05/09/2014
    Court halts Whale Oil leaks
    By Ian Steward
    Blogger Cameron Slater has obtained an interim injunction blocking the hacker Whaledump from leaking anything further to media. Lawyers for Slater appeared in the High Court at Auckland today in a bid to stop media from revealing new information based on his allegedly hacked emails and Facebook messages. Slater, who runs the Whale Oil blog, yesterday served papers on Fairfax, APN and MediaWorks.
    Read more

    • Mike

      Almost all of this is moot of course, because the hacker dumped all the rest of his data onto journalists prior to the actual hearing, the judge gave the journalists the right to publish all of his data and he escapes with an injunction that means nothing.

      Meanwhile Slater has admitted before a court that all the emails are his, not Key’s imaginary “vast left wing conspiracy” at all. Of course the emails we’re yet to see must go to the part of Hager’s book that deals with the connections between Slater, Ede and Key, I guess the hacker was leaving the best until last.

      So Slater had better chalk up one to the law of unintended consequences and figure out how to save up to pay for his QC.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s quite amusing seeing the fearless bile-spewer today, whimpering “it’s not faaiiir”. Not an independent critic of what he thinks deserves criticism but a manipulated, paid puppet of friends and “best friends’ only one of whom has jutted a petulent lower lip and claimed to be loyal to her friends … while “loyalty” towards others is a sometime thing judged by her actions.
    Fearless, driven by conviction. Yes. and nice retainers and rewards-in-kind!

    “Principles and fearlessness for sale! Courageous attacks on your enemies by arrangement! Going cheap now!”

  7. Isn’t former High Court judge Lester Chisholm the guy who sat on the STS V DCC re the Stadium case at which both Jim Harland and Athol Stephens submitted ‘sworn affidavits’ to the effect that the finances were all sound and ‘kosher’? Also, wasn’t he the same guy who said even though he couldn’t understand the financial machinations he was going to rule in favour of the DCC? Looks like John Key has picked the right man. Watch for the “great whitewash.”

  8. Elizabeth

    Received from Hype O’Thermia
    Sat, 6 Sep 2014 at 10:58 a.m.

    Stuff cartoon 13.4.12 - Sharon Murdoch 'How to Lose a Moral Compass' (1)Stuff 13.4.12 – Sharon Murdoch

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s not just police in NZ who are so busy they have to delegate.

    “Criminals asked to push themselves down the stairs by ‘over-worked’ police”
    “An inspection of police forces in England and Wales has reported that crime suspects are being asked to racially abuse themselves, plant their own incriminating evidence, and if the police are really busy, push themselves down the stairs on the way to the holding cells….”

    …You can read the full story at !

  10. Peter

    Lester Chisholm is a safe pair of hands fpr John Key.

  11. Elizabeth

    Prof Andrew Geddis explores the legality and morality of Nicky Hager using Cameron Slater’s emails in his book Dirty Politics.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 9 Sep 2014
    Public interest crux of matter
    By Andrew Geddis
    John Lapsley’s “defence” (ODT, 8.9.14) of Cameron Slater (or, more accurately, prosecution of Nicky Hager) is long on rhetoric and short on the law. There are two initial points we can agree on. Mr Slater has been the victim of a crime, in that his computer system was accessed unlawfully and information was taken from it. Second, that material has been used by Mr Hager to write a book, Dirty Politics. Do those two facts then mean that, as Mr Lapsley alleges, Mr Hager is a “fence who received … stolen goods, [and] has on-sold them to all of us”? Not at all. In law, emails and other electronic messages are not “goods”. It is not a crime to receive them from the person who unlawfully obtained them, nor to use them to write a book.
    Read more

    ● Dr Geddis is a law professor at the University of Otago. His research interests include election law, constitutional theory, rights law and contract law.

    █ Nicky Hager on Dirty Politics at

  12. Elizabeth

    How to depress myself, opened my general election envelope tonight. Checked out the candidates for Dunedin North… while watching the leaders debates on recorded TV.

    Dunedin North has been poorly served in the past across most if not all parties – nothing changes that with this election on Saturday, 20 September.

    Depressing as all hell. Lack of shining, ethical, grounded, egalitarian, leading, professional, business-directed, export-orientated people.

    And no, nothing on this earth would make me vote for M. Woodlouse.

    With the boundaries now extended (larger rural geographical cover) you’d hope for more credible options in three years’ time, maybe. Going to be Hobson’s choice on the 20th.

    Wikipedia: Hobson’s choice is one between something or nothing.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Elizabeth, as long as you don’t give up and refrain from voting “as a protest”. That would get you into the stats not as “too disgusted to vote”, but lined up along with “too self-absorbed” and “I don’t know enough, THEY ought to communicate with us more”. To the third group – how about making a tiny effort to read and listen, and exercising the muscle that has been weakened by spoon-feeding – your brain, it’s for thinking.

      This rant spurred by seeing vox-pop on TV where a young person excused her status as a waste of skin by giving the “don’t know enough” reason for not voting. Another said she’d vote, probably, but her enrolment paper hadn’t arrived. God forbid it should take any personal effort.

      Where’s my Puree’d Life and the state-paid nursemaid to silverspoon it into my north’n’south, eh? Because I deserve it……..

  13. Cars

    Elizabeth, In Australia it is called a Buckleys, after the old Melburnian store, Buckleys and Nunn.

  14. Elizabeth

    Hype, am made of sterner stuff – voting is a chore and an obligation, if not my chance to protest !!

  15. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 13 Sep 2014
    GCSB spies on Kiwis – Greenwald
    Labour leader David Cunliffe says the Prime Minister may not be fit for office if he has misled New Zealanders about the extent of mass surveillance they had been subjected to from its spying agencies. This morning on TV3’s The Nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald said that New Zealand’s spying agencies had been conducting mass surveillance on New Zealanders as part of the Five Eyes arrangement between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
    Read more

    █ Mr Greenwald will be speaking at Kim Dotcom’s highly anticipated announcement, billed as the “Moment of Truth”, on Monday.


    ODT: Claims by ‘Dotcom’s henchman’ wrong – PM

  16. Elizabeth

    ‘Dotcom email is a fake’ – Warner Bros
    The Kim Dotcom “big reveal” is out – and has almost immediately been dismissed as a fake. The “reveal” is an email which purports to show Prime Minister John Key involved in a plan to get the internet entrepreneur into New Zealand so he could be extradited to the United States. […] It is the evidence which Dotcom is planning on producing at the Moment of Truth event tonight. It is also contrary to every assurance the Prime Minister has ever given about his knowledge of Dotcom.


    Dotcom deal denied by John Key and Hollywood studio
    The unverified email purports to be an October 27, 2010 exchange between Warner’s chairman and chief executive Kevin Tsujihara to a senior executive at the Motion Picture Association of America – the lobby group for the Hollywood studios. Key said he was only made aware of the email 10 minutes before speaking with media, but he would be checking with the relevant Hollywood executives the authenticity of the email.


    Who is Kevin Tsujihara, the Hollywood exec in Dotcom’s big reveal?
    Executive named in alleged email one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and was part of the team that persuaded PM to change NZ labour laws.

    • Elizabeth

      ‘You are being watched’
      A US website has published documents relating to New Zealand’s role in the Five Eyes intelligence relationship ahead of Kim Dotcom’s “big reveal” tonight. The first of the documents have landed on the website of US journalist Glenn Greenwald who has been embroiled in a war of words with Prime Minister John Key. Ex-US defence contractor Edward Snowden, who is due to appear by video at tonight’s event, says on the site: “If you live in New Zealand you are being watched”.

      Snowden: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Isn’t Telling the Truth About Mass Surveillance
      █ By Edward Snowden
      Like many nations around the world, New Zealand over the last year has engaged in a serious and intense debate about government surveillance. The nation’s prime minister, John Key of the National Party, has denied that New Zealand’s spy agency GCSB engages in mass surveillance, mostly as a means of convincing the country to enact a new law vesting the agency with greater powers. This week, as a national election approaches, Key repeated those denials in anticipation of a report in The Intercept today exposing the Key government’s actions in implementing a system to record citizens’ metadata.

      New Zealand Launched Mass Surveillance Project While Publicly Denying It
      By Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher @ggreenwald@rj_gallagher
      AUCKLAND, New Zealand—The New Zealand spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), worked in 2012 and 2013 to implement a mass metadata surveillance system even as top government officials publicly insisted no such program was being planned and would not be legally permitted. Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in secret to exploit a new internet surveillance law enacted in the wake of revelations of illegal domestic spying to initiate a new metadata collection program that appeared designed to collect information about the communications of New Zealanders. Those actions are in direct conflict with the assurances given to the public by Prime Minister John Key, who said the law was merely designed to fix “an ambiguous legal framework” by expressly allowing the agency to do what it had done for years, that it “isn’t and will never be wholesale spying on New Zealanders,” and the law “isn’t a revolution in the way New Zealand conducts its intelligence operations.”

  17. Elizabeth

    Kim Dotcom to reveal spying ‘bombshell’ tonight
    Tonight’s event will be live streamed on from 7pm

    Alternatively, watch The Moment of Truth on TV1’s Seven Sharp or TV3’s Campbell Live from 7pm

    • Elizabeth

      Fantastic evening at Auckland Town Hall – now for the John Key reaction…
      As Laila Harré says, time for him to find his diary!

  18. Cars

    Tomorrow will be very interesting. Dotcom organised an impressive group of speakers. Assange, Snowden and Greenwald all are interested ONLY in our privacy and human rights. It is clear that the US government by design and the NZ government and particularly the GCSB by acquiescence, are interested in enslaving our citizens and those of other countries.

    • Elizabeth

      Kim Dotcom’s lawyer (Canadian) Bob Amsterdam also impressive.*

      Has to be one of NZ’s most interesting pre-election periods in my lifetime… and (*intends to put information to Parliament’s privileges committee) before the next NZ Government is constituted…


      Dotcom’s moment of truth: NSA has Auckland facility + █ Video
      9:00 PM Monday Sep 15, 2014
      By Adam Bennett
      Renegade former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden claimed his former employer spy agency National Security Agency has a facility in Auckland. Snowden, who is sheltering in Moscow from US attempts to extradite him on espionage charges, appeared by video link before a capacity crowd at the Kim Dotcom organised Moment of Truth event at Auckland Town Hall this evening. The event took place shortly after Snowden claimed in an online article to have evidence of mass surveillance of New Zealanders’ electronic communications by this country’s Government Communications Security Bureau. That article was published by visiting US journalist Glenn Greenwald who has made the same claims and who introduced Snowden to the audience of about 1700.


      Snowden claims US spy sensor ‘in NZ’ + █ Video
      Last updated 20:28 15/09/2014
      Edward Snowden claims there is a US National Security Agency facility in Auckland and in the north of New Zealand. The former US contractor-turned-fugitive whistleblower was beamed into the Auckland Town Hall from Russia for Kim Dotcom’s “Moment of Truth” event. As an NSA infrastructure analyst he “realised the absolute scale of how deep this went.”


      Key releases GCSB documents
      7:55 PM Monday Sep 15, 2014
      By Brendan Manning, Claire Trevett, David Fisher
      Prime Minister John Key has released a series of documents ‘setting the record straight’ over claims the GCSB had spied on New Zealanders. Mr Key responded quickly to Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald’s freshest claims – that “if you live in New Zealand, you are being watched” – this afternoon.

      • Elizabeth

        Dotcom’s lawyer Bob Amsterdam: this is NZ’s Watergate (9:57)
        11:19AM Sunday September 14, 2014
        Source: Q and A
        Dotcom’s lawyer Bob Amsterdam talks about Glenn Greenwald’s claims against our Government, the TPP and…
        █ Video

      • Mike

        Key’s document release appear to be about a different system (an anti-malware system he claimed on TV the other day) rather than the mass surveillance XKeyscore system that Snowden and Greenwald are talking about – in essence by admitting to something that has little to do with the real topic Key’s using the “Wookie Defence” to try and dissemble – in short he’s telling another lie

  19. Peter

    Even if National slips back into office, it will be a troubled government from the start of its third term. This development is certainly not going to go away for Key and National.
    Winston Peters, if he becomes kingmaker, must be wondering whether it is worth supporting a stumbling, third term government which is likely to suffer further odium. Why tie his colours to that mast?
    His talk about a Labour/ NZ First led government suggests he may be aware of this possibility.

  20. Kim Dotcom has lost a lot of credibility by not providing evidence of the authenticity of the “Hollywood” email, which even some left-wing commentators are regarding as a fake. There are other allegations but little evidence.
    It is unfortunate that there is no time for a proper assessment before the election, but that seems the purpose of the timing. If the allegations could have stood up to scrutiny then they would have been produced sooner.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Kim Dotcom has lost a lot of credibility by not providing evidence of the authenticity of the “Hollywood” email” – no, Alistair, he hasn’t. Did he personally copy the email straight from Key’s or Tsujihara’s computer, is that what you’re saying? If not he is reliant on whoever obtained it for assurances of its authenticity.
      Given Key’s half-truths, fudging, shuffling, “I didn’t know, I was in Hawaii”, and eagerness to believe that Judith Collins was a person of near-enough-for-politics integrity, there’s a big loss of credibility from someone based in the Helensville electorate, it could be Kim Dotcom or it could be the politician who lives not far from the Dotcom Mansion yet “hadn’t known” anything about the big highly noticeable uncommonly rich man who got the OK to stop in NZ despite various officials opposing it … but never once, no not one of them, mentioned anything about him to the Prime Minister. And it’s Kim Dotcom who looks like Mr Dodgy-As in that 2-man line-up? Pffft!!!

  21. Elizabeth

    New post – [full video via YouTube] The Moment of Truth

  22. Peter

    I thought the Metro Editor, on The Paul Henry Show tonight, correctly brought the issue back to what Edward Snowden had to say, as a whistleblower, who has been involved in this world of mass surveillance. It’s not just about Kim Dotcom, whom I have reservations about in terms of his own motives/personality, it is the wider issue of a country spying on its citizens. It is this for which we have to delve deeper as a country to get to the ultimate truth.Who is lying here as to whether it has happened or not? (Remember recently it was revealed the USA, a Five Eyes partner, has spied on Germany, who is an ally.)
    I would believe a whistleblower, who has taken enormous personal risks to reveal the murkiness of the dealings of his former employer, over smarmy John Key.
    On The Paul Henry Show tonight Michelle Boag, former National President and Judith Collins clone, was frantically trying to defend Key, making herself look ridiculous. I loved her irrelevant line of two Yanks, an Australian and a German interfering in our affairs!

    • Elizabeth

      Agree, Peter – Simon Wilson (Metro) was right about what tonight’s event was all about, that New Zealanders need to have the debate on mass surveillance.

      Note: NZ being part of Five Eyes means it’s not just ‘us’ spying on our own citizens – it’s the other four Eyes, and well, others who for instance may be part of free trade agreements, multi-national companies who might impose (US-framed) legislation on New Zealand’s legal system (oh yeah, eg Warner Bros), quickly! Looking at you, John Key PM.

      Michelle Boag was her usual skank self on the show.

    • Judith

      You have certainly nailed your colours to the mast Peter. You may also need to take that patch from your right eye.

      • Peter

        Judith. I may be generally left-of-centre, but that does not make me a blind adherent to something that is bad, irrespective of which side of the political fence you are on. Many a time I have despaired with Labour and totally understood those times when, like all governments, it has reached its due-by date and the people boot them out.
        What I don’t like are those party footsoldiers who will tolerate dodgy or corrupt behaviour from their own side because they are brothers/sisters in the same cause. Boag last night was the archtypal example of this. She was hysterical.
        See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. It doesn’t work in the end.
        I approve of political commentators, like Chris Trotter, who are able to apply the blowtorch in both directions when needed.

  23. Elizabeth

    [back then]

    SIS OK Dotcom’s Residency Day after PM Met Hollywood Bigwig
    Wednesday, 10 April 2013, 2:12 pm
    Press Release: New Zealand First Party
    Andrew Williams MP
    New Zealand First MP
    10 April 2013
    New Zealand First says Prime Minister John Key needs to come clean about the full extent of his knowledge about the FBI investigation into Kim Dotcom. Andrew Williams MP today produced evidence that a director of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Kevin Tsujihara, was part of Government talks on The Hobbit in October 2010. [….]

  24. Peter

    The timeline supplied here by NZ First is illuminating and gives Key little or no credibility.
    You have to look at Key’s background to get some sense of his potential lack of loyalty to NZ and its citizens. He is an international money trader by profession where loyalties go beyond borders. His family background suggests an emigre family, struggling to make ends meet, who find themselves in NZ and with ambition ‘to get ahead’.
    Key’s well known sycophancy to the political and Hollywood interests of the United States illustrates a man who hates to lose and has a burning ambition to be seen at the top table.
    The man cannot be trusted.

  25. Peter

    An inconsistency. Key and the Warner Bros guy say the Hollywood email is a ‘fake’ and then accuse Dotcom of not coming clean with hard evidence that Key earlier knew about his existence in his own electorate… despite the large Dotcom mansion being less than a kilometre from his electorate office.
    If the Hollywood email is a ‘fake’, why hasn’t Dotcom also ‘faked’ another email to support his case? That fake email has to be verified. Now.
    I wonder if Dotcom is holding back, so Key fries himself further by making another lie.

    • Mike

      I think it was strange that the Dotcom email was labelled as fake by Warner Bothers so quickly, late on a California Sunday night – I honestly don’t think they had time to do much more than write a denial.

      However I also think that a single email is not enough to prove Dotcom’s case, without some other corroborating information

  26. Willyaway

    Peter I suppose that you will next be blaming John Key for that 51-20 thrashing that the All Blacks gave your team a couple of weeks ago. After all Key was seen at the game.

  27. Peter

    Yes, Mike, a very quick, ‘We’ll say this.’ Could we please get a track on that phone call/email between Key and his Hollywood chum. An OIA request?

  28. Elizabeth

    ### Stuff Last updated 15:48 18/09/2014
    Nats name staffer briefed over WhaleOil papers
    By Aimee Gulliver
    The prime minister’s office has released the name of the staff member briefed by the SIS over the release of information to WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater. A spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key confirmed former deputy chief of staff Phil de Joux was told by SIS director Warren Tucker under the “no surprises” policy that Slater would be receiving the declassified documents. […] Labour leader David Cunliffe said Key’s initial claims that the details should not be released in order to protect the staff member was not believable.
    Read more + Video

  29. Russell Garbutt

    I see that the mighty NZ Police have now decided to prosecute Nicky Hager over the fact that as a journalist he will not reveal who gave him copies of the emails that implicated so many of the National Party in downright crude manipulation and God only knows what else. Even that very friendly Speaker of the House has been forced to find that Key is a devious, slippery sod by not revealing his relationship with that scumbag Cameron Slater (watch the interesting exchange at yesterday’s question time here.

    Isn’t it extraordinary that the NZ Police – such an independent body of public servants – jump so quickly whenever Donkey Jonkey and his mates want action, yet they are pleading under-resourcing for really serious crimes? Remember the infamous John Banks (you know, the little forgetful coot from Auckland) cup of tea PR stunt with Key? Key lays a complaint about the recording and the cops jump immediately. Collins, Key and others are shown to be dirty manipulators in Hager’s book and the cops immediately follow up. And how many others could say that their well-documented complaints have been diligently followed? I know of a few for starters, but let’s start with the Crewe murders and the bent cops who planted evidence. Did the cops diligently pursue anyone else when Thomas was pardoned? Not even when Rochelle Crew asked them to do so. The two bent cops were praised for their integrity and diligence by the very top cop after they died.

    I could go on, but the perception out there is that the cops are politically driven.

  30. Russell Garbutt

    Tom Scott sums it up superbly.

    I see that Katherine Rich was mentioned in QT yesterday about her clear conflict of interest, but of course he who covers up his eyes cannot see. Meantime she continues to act on behalf of the big mates.

  31. Cars

    Russell, her job is a spinmeister to expect anything else is naive, she is a paid liar, there is a much better word which exactly describes her job it starts with b, has two ells and ends tter.

  32. Elizabeth

    Who??? Labour, who??? (non-entity status)

    ###ODT Online Tue, 18 Nov 2014
    Andrew Little new Labour leader
    Andrew Little has been elected the new leader of the Labour Party.
    Mr Little, who was elected by a majority in the third round of a preferential four-way Electoral College contest, said it was an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting ahead as a nation. NZME.
    Read more

    █ Mr Little is a lawyer and high-profile union leader who has risen quickly through Labour’s ranks.

  33. Simon

    I remember well when F/P closed its doors on the Taieri with 400 plus jobs down the tube. Helen Clark was Prime Minister at the time. Down came Mr Little and stopped the workers talking to the media. Leopards don’t change their spots.

  34. Elizabeth

    Loophole: National donors stay secret
    An analysis of electoral finance declarations shows more than 80 per cent of donations to National Party candidates were channelled through party headquarters in a loophole described as akin to legal “laundering”.
    National’s heavy reliance on funding candidates with donations from the party – shown in a Herald study to account for more than $1m out of $1.2m raised by their candidates for the 2014 general election – was a “striking use of electoral law that appears to be laundering the money”, said Otago University political science lecturer Bryce Edwards.

  35. Elizabeth

    Garrick Tremain – 3 Mar 2015

    garrick-tremain-our-mps-3-mar-2015Source: National Library of New Zealand

    The Remuneration Commission’s decisions about the pay of politicians, judges and top civil servants reflect what is going on in the wider economy.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 4 Mar 2015
    Key’s MP pay legislation magics problem from view
    By Peter Lyons
    OPINION John Key is a superb politician. A superb politician knows how to retain power. Mr Key has announced that politicians’ salaries will no longer be determined by the Remuneration Authority. The Authority has recently awarded politicians a 5.5% pay rise. This was very embarrassing for a government determined to cut public spending. Mr Key’ s legislation is retrospective which means the pay rise, which is backdated, no longer applies.
    Read more

    ● Peter Lyons teaches economics at Saint Peters College in Epsom and has written several economics textbooks.

  36. Elizabeth

    The inclusion of Parliamentary Service under the Official Information Act is long overdue.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 9 Mar 2015
    Editorial: Disclosing MPs’ allowances
    As has been widely recognised, Prime Minister John Key’s instincts soon tell him when he is on the wrong side of public opinion. There are occasional instances when he knows he must push through and hope voters catch up with policies. And there are regular examples of when he acts to defuse situations. On MPs’ salaries, he was smart when he came out early last week and announced plans to stop the 5.5% increase promulgated by the Remuneration Authority.
    Read more

  37. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 9 Mar 2015
    Law cutting MPs’ pay rise to be urgently passed
    By Audrey Young – NZ Herald
    MPs will pass a law under urgency on Wednesday to cut their latest hefty pay rise and to index future increases against the same measure that is used for superannuation rises. Prime Minister John Key said cabinet today decided that MPs’ annual pay rises will be measured against the quarterly employment survey – and taken each June for the previous year. NZME
    Read more

  38. Elizabeth

    One of John Armstrong’s more sensationally styled opinion columns to harass John Key PM, Bill English and the National Party.

    The Reserve Bank’s worry is that the trading banks, which have 60 per cent of their lending in residential mortgages, could find themselves in dire straits such that credit dries up with the result that the economy goes into a severe downturn.

    ### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Saturday Apr 18, 2015
    Rock-star economy loiters at rocky road to recession on quest for surplus
    By John Armstrong – NZ Herald chief political commentator
    OPINION A much-anticipated return to surplus somehow metamorphoses into yet another unwelcome deficit; dairy prices slump ever lower; the New Zealand dollar keeps rising ever higher; the overheated Auckland property market makes the South Sea Bubble of the 1700s look like an exercise in financial probity. Is this the so-called rock-star economy? Or the rocky road to recession? It is not raining on John Key and his colleagues. It is pouring.

    As Prime Minister, it falls on Key to be the principal salesman for the Government’s actions. But there is no back up.

    Still smarting at the mass defection of erstwhile supporters which the party took for granted in the Northland byelection, National is currently exhibiting the self-absorbed demeanour of someone who cannot quite work out what is happening to himself or herself and is not sure what to do about it.
    Read more

  39. Hype O'Thermia

    Whaleoil wrote the other day that Key/National were on the inexorable slide now. So I was intrigued to see Armstrong’s piece.
    “Still smarting at the mass defection of erstwhile supporters which the party took for granted in the Northland byelection….”
    From memory, a slide towards the trapdoor and comments on the slide seem to happen so close together it’s hard to tell which started first.
    Key has teflon’d his way out of all manner of sticky situations for years.
    What’s different now? What is the scent on the air that commentators, nostrils on high alert like beagles at an airport, are picking up now? A whiff of stress sweat, if not from Key then from his nearest and most deeply bound to his fortunes? Are they losing confidence, starting to wonder about embassy posts, taking more than usual notice of who’s retiring from those international posts that don’t depend on NZ voters’ opinions?

  40. Elizabeth

    We need to be asking ourselves collectively why we are one of the world’s debt basket cases. –Ciaran Keogh

    ### Last updated 05:00 19/04/2015
    ‘The answer to the problem of inflation is simple’
    By Ciaran Keogh
    OPINION The issue of house price rises in Auckland and Christchurch is prompting comment that it may be time for the Governor of the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates. It is noted in the media that an increase in interest rates will result in foreign money seeking higher returns to enter the domestic market and this will also increase the value of the already overvalued dollar.

    We are only being prevented from being another Greece or Cyprus by the dairy industry.

    What hasn’t been commented on is that an increase in interest rates will also penalise every business and household in the country, including every resident in Auckland and Christchurch who already has a mortgage and has no intention of buying or selling a home. There will be no beneficial behaviour change within that wide group who are not seeking to get further into debt, but it will impose hardship and constrain the rest of the economy.
    Read more

    Note comments after the opinion piece.

  41. Calvin Oaten

    I don’t believe it is the Reserve Bank at fault, but rather the banks themselves. Since all controls were lifted by Roger Douglas and the profit motive was given free rein, the banks have set out to impoverish the ‘plebs’. They have sourced untold monies from offshore at low cost due to our high comparative exchange rates. We’ve all heard the anecdote that the frugal Japanese housewife is financing our housing boom. Some truth in that I suspect. They get almost negative interest on their savings in their country so it makes sense for them. That is the supply side fixed, so now all that’s needed is to take those funds and using the minimal ‘fractional reserve ratios’ of today the unlimited potential for obscene profits, bonuses and salaries are there for the plucking. Out went LVR restrictions and the property market was off to the races. And my how the horses did run. The banks’ promotion programmes fired the demand for house ownership at any cost, because with the escalation taking place in the market no price was too high to pay knowing that in another year the capital gain would convince the ‘plebs’ they were getting wealthier. When they thought they were buying a house in fact what was really happening was that they were signing across higher and higher percentages of their ‘tax paid’ earnings to the banks, leaving them cash impoverished, thinking they were getting their own house. Many, if not most, would never own the houses, would retire still in hock to the banks which had deprived them of a standard of living they deserved. The government knows this, the One Percent don’t give a toss because they have gathered the poor sods’ hard-earned money. All will just get worse and worse till inevitably the music will stop. Then the whole house of cards will collapse creating hardship for the ‘plebs’ like they have never envisaged. It will be what is termed “returning to the mean”. When markets get out of whack that sooner or later happens, it’s a fundamental law of economics. The problem is each time everybody thinks this time is different. Just look at history starting with the Roman Empire and down through the ages. There is nothing new in what is happening here. The only constant is the foolishness and the greed.

    • @alvin Oaten
      April 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Calvin We have got a ‘tiger by the tail’ – just take a look at these figures. We are just paying the interest.

      NZ$ 84,931,575,392

      Source: NZ Treasury.

      Interest per Year
      Interest per Second
      Debt per Citizen
      Debt as % of GDP
      – and we are in good company.
      Fom the CIA country comparison Current Account Balance.

      Ranking Country Amount 2014 estimate

      178 New Zealand -$8,667,000,000 2014
      187 Australia -$37,000,000,000 2014
      188 India -$42,999,000,000 2014
      192 U.K. -$117,900,000,000 2014
      193 U.S -$385,800,000,000 2014

      What hope have any of us got against a system that is clearly broken. We are looking at it in the face in Greece with Europe right now. I hope Greece walks away.
      Bugger them all.

    • @Calvin Oaten
      April 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm
      On the other hand
      These guys have been daft enough to loan us the $. When it hits the fan how will they get it back? Will they go to war to get it back? I don’t think so. Meanwhile the debt mountain will just keep on growing until the magic carpet can’t cover it. So you say F*** off. And they will (after the obligatory huff and puff or 3).

      Rank Country Current Account Balance Date

      1 Germany $257,700,000,000 2014
      2. China $204,300,000,000 2014
      3. Saudi Arabia $108,700.000,000 2014
      4 Netherlands $ 79,000,000,000 2014

    • @Calvin Oaten
      April 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm
      Further stuff Calvin – read this!
      From By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Washington3:30PM BST 19 Apr 2015

      Caveat creditor as IMF chiefs mull unpayable debts
      The Fund’s Spring meeting has been dominated by the dangers of a toxic mix of sky-high debt ratios and old-age populations. The message? Something is badly out of kilter in the world.

      • Calvin Oaten

        You are quite right Mick. When one looks at the happenings in Europe right now, it seems obvious that the first domino is ironically Greece, the home of the beginning of democracy. The spin off will be enormous as the world’s debt starts to crumble. Here in NZ we will not be immune. I have long wondered what would happen to our banks which have borrowed so much from overseas, multiplied it many times, and loaned it out to the ‘plebs’ to grossly over inflate property prices. Then when those tranches of overseas debt come up for renewal or repayment, what if the insistence is for repayment as opposed to renewal? That is a likely scenario now with the signs all in place. The banks will face default if they can’t refund the monies. But the banks probably foresaw this happening so covered themselves by flogging of their obligations as ‘derivatives’ of which there are literally hundreds of trillions floating around the globe. It is all just a huge ‘bonfire’ set just waiting for the match to be lit. A small freehold place in the country with one cow some chickens and a garden will become the new paradise. We live in interesting times. Our DCC is a microcosm of the problems but still in denial.

        • Ha ha Calvin
          You say It is all just a huge ‘bonfire’ set just waiting for the match to be lit- Another brace of Bryant and Mays would do it.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Wasn’t there an old saying about situations like this?
          “If I owe the bank $100 I have a problem. If I owe the bank $1,000,000 the bank has a problem.”

  42. Hype O'Thermia

    The sad thing is that not only traditional patterns, but also the government, push “home ownership” as if it were always and naturally better than renting. It is if you can buy within your income – increasingly improbable. As Calvin says, home “ownership” means working till you’re old and worn out and still not paying off the mortgage.

    Why is it better to rent money (mortgage) than rent a place to live in?

    I’m all right Jack, I bought an unfashionable house in an unfashionable part of town a very VERY long time ago, it’s paid for, I love being able to do what I like to it and the section – but if I were in my 20s today in the kind of income bracket I was in then, and the place I wanted to live in was so expensive, I’d either decide to move somewhere I could afford to *live*, not work every available hour to pay a mortgage, or I’d rent. At least renting you’re free to change your mind with relatively short notice to the landlord, compared with selling an overpriced house in which you have little equity. By the time the agent’s cut and the bank’s cut for quiting the mortgage ahead of time are deducted, and the costs of moving/storing your stuff, the profit from ever-rising house prices won’t look too grand. Enough for a deposit on a villa in Kaitangata, perhaps.

  43. Rob Hamlin

    ‘The plebs’ are no longer in many property markets. Property is ‘hot’ in the UK at present. But the number of house sales is only 25% of what it was at the height of the first neoliberal bank-money-spout triggered UK property boom is 1987 – and that was with a smaller population.

    The vast majority of the 1987 purchases were ‘normal’ people who had to take out a mortgage to buy. Today nearly 70% of all UK properties are bought for cash. Plebs do not buy UK valued properties for cash, which suggests that some 90% of those who could buy in 1987 can no longer buy now.

    As the remaining ‘legacy’ pleb-owned properties are flogged off as nan and gramps die off, unless there is only one of them, the recipients of the proceeds will commonly not have enough to get back on the property ladder, and so the decline of the pleb property owning base will continue. A process that will be accelerated by health costs and takeup of these loathsome reverse mortgage products.

    In 1918, nearly 90% of all the houses in the UK were rented. Confronted with a militarised and adversity-hardened population of millions who were in no mood to continue putting up with that situation, the elite blinked, and things changed. Death duties were introduced and vigorously enforced. Millions of homes were disgorged onto the market. They blinked again in 1945 for the same reasons – good health and education, once the paid preserve of the elite, became available to the plebs on the basis of need and merit.

    It has taken just on 100 years for the UK elite to recover their original position re what the plebs are allowed to own, access and enjoy – which is basically diddley-squat. I suspect that the same will happen here, and here it may end up going well beyond the situation as it was in 1918.

    It is no coincidence that the Thatcher/Reagan/Rogernomics leaders who initiated this social reversal process in each country replaced the last of the leaders who grew up and experienced 1914-1918 & subsequently 1939-1945.

  44. Elizabeth

    Good work Media/Social Media. Unbecoming conduct of a/the Prime Minister. Pony-tail fetish. What does this say about John Key. So having the wife along also makes this OK. A drink problem like Muldoon?

    ‘….despite her obvious annoyance, Mr Key continued to touch her hair on visits to the cafe with his wife Bronagh in February and March.’

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Apr 2015
    Key says sorry after waitress’ bullying claim
    By Isaac Davison – New Zealand Herald
    Prime Minister John Key has apologised to an Auckland waitress who accused him of harassment and bullying after he pulled on her pony-tail on repeated occasions. In an anonymous article on the left-wing website The Daily Blog, the waitress said Mr Key behaved like a “schoolyard bully” when visiting her unnamed cafe in the last six months. NZME
    Read more


  45. Hype O'Thermia

    I do wish the word bully were used with a little more care. It has become the word du jour for all types and degrees of annoying behaviour, hassling and harrassment, and being a jerk. Schoolyard bullies in my day hit and pinched you, made you give them your lunch, caused you to try to convince your mum you felt sick (and you probably did, with dread) so you could stay home. This waitress didn’t say it hurt her scalp when John Key pulled her ponytail, nor was she afraid to go to work in case he came into the cafe. She wasn’t bullied, she was repeatedly hassled by a guy who should SO know better but chose over and over to be a jerk towards her. Her position was difficult, to say the least. Waitresses aren’t highly prized – look at their wages! Upsetting an important customer, one who added lustre to the establishment by his presence, could lead to a stand-down with no income followed by a period on the dole if her employer preferred a high-status customer to a staff member.
    So she behaved with dignity, trying to convey with expression and body language that she was displeased with the man’s naff behaviour.
    Her employer (bless him) told Key she did not like his behaviour. She herself eventually put her displeasure into words directly to him.

    His disrespect towards the waitress, this repeated (compulsive?) ponytail-pulling, happened not once, not twice. It went on for months.

    John Key describes it as banter, talked about a “fun relationship” with staff.
    “There’s always lots of horsing around and sort of practical jokes and that’s all there really was to it,” he said.
    Banter is never one-sided. Banter is by definition a give-and-take verbal game between people who whether of equal rank or not, are in that situation and for that period of time effectively equals. Not the case here.
    Fun relationships are – wait for it – fun, and relationships. If one person is having fun and the other isn’t it fails the relationship test. One person in this unequal relationship of highest ranked person in NZ customer and waitress was not having fun, not even pretending to have fun. If a man wants a woman who in return for pay pretends enjoyment of whatever he wants to do to her, a cafe is the wrong place to go.
    Practical joke? Fails that one on account of not being funny.
    Horsing around? Well. there’s a thing.
    Did you know, adult male fans of My Little Pony are known as “bronies”. This information was brought to you courtesy of WVVS (Wider Vocabulary Volunteer Service).

  46. Elizabeth

    Can’t really kick the PM in the shins but you can embarrass him by including Campbell Live footage of his touching the ponytail of a young girl. And let it fly on news and social media.

  47. Calvin Oaten

    I wonder if when he dines with the Queen does he have fantasies about grabbing her hair. It might be a fetish. He should simply grow a moustache and look like Richard Thomson. Now there’s a thought.

  48. Elizabeth

    Latest from NZ Herald, ‘Is John Key destined for court?’

  49. Rob Hamlin

    I hope not. Ridicule is far more toxic to politicians than outrage ie ‘What a prat’ hurts more than ‘what a monster’.

  50. Peter

    John Key’s behaviour towards this young woman was repetitive, to the point of compulsion. Have there been other young women, or little girls, who have been put in this creepy position?

  51. Peter

    I see Winston Peters, and others, have voiced the view that Key has a hair fetish. Googled it. Even Wikipedia has an entry if you type in ‘hair fetishes’.

  52. Night Rider

    I think some of those who are making the most noise about this, have pulled more than pony tails.

  53. Calvin Oaten

    “I did not have hirsute relations with that woman!” Apologies to the Clinton Foundation.

  54. Simon.

    Labour’s Annette King is making a big fuss tonight on TV about John Key pulling someone’s ponytail.
    I don’t recall her making any comment about the Carisbrook Hotel affair a few years back. I wonder Why ? More than ponytails were played with there..

  55. Alex Brown

    I wish NZ would wake up to our 130 odd bloated politicians that cost us 4.5 million people plenty. Their increasing lack of integrity and the media obsession with their every move only fuels their sense of importance while at the same time they continue to build a bigger firewall around their own perks and entitlements that all political parties just can’t seem to say no to.

    Haven’t heard much from King except the fact that she was recently involved in trying to protect the air travel perks for all MPs but now it seems the John Key ponytail incident is free game and any media comment gets her back into the limelight which is what they all love and strive for.

  56. photonz

    With the aim of making sure the PM is treated the same as everyone else, there has been a complaint to the Human Rights Commission and there will be a criminal complaint to the police about ponytail pulling.

    I’ve never heard of a complaint like this, or are there 10,000 weekly complaints to police and HRC that no-one knows about.

  57. Elizabeth

    Update Sat, 25 Apr 2015 at 2:42 a.m.
    ODT Online has removed comments from ponytail articles on John Key PM – but for now they can still be read at Comment archives (whatifdunedin has recorded these by screenshots).

    TomoNews US Published on Apr 22, 2015

    John Key ponytail pulling bully: New Zealand Prime Minister apologises to waitress
    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has apologised publicly for pulling a waitress’s ponytail after she complained about his harassing behaviour in an anonymous blog post. The saga of the John Key and the waitress’ ponytail started at a café in Auckland frequented often by the Prime Minister. At first, she thought he was just being a playful politician. The second time, she didn’t like it. The third time she made it clear she hated it, the blog post said. According to the waitress, Key didn’t get it, and hiding from him didn’t seem to stop him. “That’s a very tantalising ponytail” he told her. He would even lie and say his wife was the hair puller. To end this “amusing” game, the poor girl considered: begging him to stop, tugging his hair in return, punching him in the face, tell his security guard to stop him, posting a comment on his Facebook page. She eventually decided to tell his security guard and post comments on both his and the National Party Facebook page saying: “Stop pulling my hair – I don’t like it!” But Key allegedly persisted. No strategy could keep him away from that ponytail not the girl’s actions, not his security guard, not even his own wife! Exasperated, the girl was left with nothing recourse but crying. After months of what the girl considered harassment, the Prime Minister came to the café and apologised. He brought two bottles of his JK 2012 vintage Pinot Noir and told her “This is for you, sorry, I didn’t realise.” Really, John Key?


    Welcome to TomoNews, where we animate the most entertaining news on the internets. Come here for an animated look at viral headlines, US news, celebrity gossip, salacious scandals, dumb criminals and much more!


    ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Apr 2015
    Key: ‘I’ll learn from ponytail incident’
    Prime Minister John Key has talked about the ponytail fallout at the International Peace Summit in Istanbul. Mr Key said he was “silly” and “misread the tea leaves” when he repeatedly pulled Ms Bailey’s hair. NZME
    Read more


    Five video clips or photographs showing the Prime Minister touching people’s hair were screened on last night’s 3News.

    Serial litigant Graham McCready yesterday said he would file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and take the case to court.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Apr 2015
    Legal threat over PM’s hair habit
    By Nicholas Jones (NZ Herald) with additional reporting by Rebecca Quilliam (NZME)
    Prime Minister John Key’s touching of a waitress’ ponytail came after he let his guard down in a place where he felt comfortable, National MP Judith Collins says. Ms Collins’ defence of her boss came as more examples of him grabbing ponytails and pigtails emerged yesterday, as well as a threat of legal action. NZME
    Read more


    3 News article:–expert-2015042408#disqus_thread
    3 News clip:–expert-2015042408?ref=video#axzz3YEPoQDzR

  58. Elizabeth

    Quite simply, there has been nothing on a par in New Zealand politics as his bizarre and grotesque hair pulling.

    ### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Saturday Apr 25, 2015
    John Armstrong: PM’s hair-pulling has opened ugly can of worms
    OPINION The day is surely not far away when John Key’s gift of the gab is unable to talk him out of a political quagmire into which he has so needlessly dug himself. Whether that day arrived this week is very much in question, suffice to say that, if not, it came perilously close to doing so. A few belated words of contrition by Key for repeatedly causing distress to a waitress at an Auckland café he frequents may yet prove insufficient to allow such improper behaviour to melt away without some kind of sanction or punishment. This time, Key may have trouble shrugging off his latest calamity – real trouble. His harassment of Amanda Bailey, the waitress in question, is a very different can of worms to the ones that have otherwise afflicted his prime ministership. The latter have been borne of administrative flaws and failings – not personal ones. Whatever the findings of the various official and quasi-judicial agencies which Key’s opponents are demanding investigate his actions, his ponytail-tugging antics will end up staining his political legacy regardless.
    Read more


    ### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Saturday Apr 25, 2015
    Steve Braunias’ Opinion
    Secret diaries of … Ponytail-gate

    Martyn Bradbury:
    Rejoice, comrades, for I have glad tidings that may reverse the fortunes of mankind which has so long been downtrod by the jackboot of the evil right. Gather around. Come closer. Years of expert and deeply considered analysis of the political situation in New Zealand has led me to this moment where I can exclusively reveal the Prime Minister did have relations with that ponytail. I call upon the left to rise up as one and seize the opportunity to vanquish our enemies but let it be known that this shocking news is not politically motivated. It is simply stating the facts of the Prime Minister’s reign of terror which may be compared to Pol Pot or the Yorkshire Ripper.

    John Key:
    At the end of the day it was only a bit of horseplay. I really think people should lighten up! You should see what I get up to around the house. I just crack Max up and Bronagh never stops laughing. In fact I remember she laughed the first time I was at Rosie café and gave the waitress’s ponytail a gentle tug. “Oh, John!”, Bronagh said. The next time we were there, I pulled a bit harder on her ponytail, and Bronagh chuckled, and said, “Oh, John!” The third time, I pulled even harder, and Bronagh giggled, and said, “Oh, John!” The fourth time wasn’t much different. I don’t have any clear memory of the fifth or sixth time, I began to perfect creeping up on her unawares on the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th times, and I easily recall the 11th time because I wore camouflage gear, blackened my face, crept up on her using ninja techniques, and grabbed her ponytail with both hands. Then I pulled her towards me, took a deep breath, and sniffed the back of her head. I closed my eyes. She smelled of oranges and sunshine. “Oh, John!”, Bronagh said, and laughed hysterically until the security guys took her away.
    Read more

    █ Martyn Bradbury’s left-leaning Daily Blog –

    Key’s wife attempted to stop him (‘Leave the poor girl alone’) but in fact, it’s not her job to prevent men from chasing a waitress her around her workplace trying to touch her, sneaking up on her, humming the ominous ‘Jaws’ theme as he inched his hands towards her hair. –

  59. Hype O'Thermia

    Whether it was bullying or sexual or creepy may be debated. What’s for sure is that it demonstrated previously unsuspected inability to read a situation, coupled with entitlement to handle and disrespect a “lowly” (female) worker.

    The attitude towards lowly workers is not inconsistent with National’s view about zero hours contracts and minimum wages/maximum salaries.

    And then it came as a revelation to the man that his attentions were unwelcome! A revelation – after having had no signal from her that it was “fun” for her, just the opposite in fact. And her boss told him she didn’t like having her hair pulled, not by the Prime Minister even. Still he persisted. She told him herself: he didn’t comprehend. Months and months of loutish behaviour she had to endure. It was only when she blogged about it that he “realised” his gratification wasn’t welcome attention as far as she was concerned. How obtuse can a man be?
    ‘ “When I realised she took offence by that I just sort of immediately went back, gave her some wine, apologised and said I was terribly sorry,” he said.’

    “She took offence” not “I behaved offensively, over and over, even when I had been told she didn’t appreciate it”!

    “I just sort of immediately went back … apologised and said I was terribly sorry.” Sort of immediately, which from context appears to mean “I ignored being told directly that it was offensive to her because I sort of didn’t feel I needed to give a toss, but when it went public on the internet I had to sort of try to make the embarrassment sort of go away.”

    • Peter

      Lovely juxtaposition of The Ponytail Puller giving a serious speech on Anzac Day to the assembled crowd about bravery, honour, heroism….ra ra ra….while NZ’s most casual PM has people sitting there thinking back to just a few days previously with the spectre of Key hitting the International news for all the wrong reasons.
      Same man attends the cricket and not Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral.
      Even Tony Abbott had the decency to do that.

  60. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sun, 26 Apr 2015
    Key denies his credibility has been damaged
    By Lauren Priestley – NZME News Service
    Prime Minister John Key has apologised this morning for his ponytail-pulling antics, labelling himself “the most casual Prime Minister New Zealand has ever had”. Mr Key told TVNZ’s Q and A today he completely misread the situation where he repeatedly pulled the ponytail of a waitress at his local cafe. […] Mr Key also came under fire in the interview about the lack of transparency around the deployment of New Zealand troops to Iraq this week.
    Read more

    █ TV1 Q+A (videos) –

    The programme screens again tonight on TV1.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Wasn’t that an interesting TV appearance? Key is looking as charismatic as Bill Rowling on a bad day.
      And his face looked pasty, not bloated exactly, more like the ill-defined online-gamers’ look, which for anyone who doesn’t spend most of their waking hours indoors on a diet of pizza and coke and coffee indicates things sure ain’t going well one way or another.
      Didn’t come across well.
      Teflon doesn’t last forever, eventually [rotten] eggs stick.

  61. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 27 Apr 2015
    Editorial: Moral authority required
    OPINION The third term blues have set in early and hard for the John Key-led National Government with actions of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet being scrutinised and critiqued in earnest. […] Broken promises, a casual regard to the rules and the shrugging off of difficult questions are something not wanted or needed from any government.
    Read more

  62. Elizabeth

    ### Last updated 08:09, August 2 2015
    John Key leaves girl in tears after calling Maori language month ‘boring’
    By Josh Fagan and Simon Day
    A teenage girl was “upset and embarrassed” when the Prime Minister said her suggestion of a Maori language month would be boring. The 16-year-old asked John Key whether he would extend Maori language week, when he visited a school assembly at Waiuku College, on Friday. Key said he preferred keeping it to a week of Maori language celebrations and that people would get “bored” by a month.
    Read more

  63. Elizabeth

    Interesting commentary.

    The New Zealand ministers were “puzzled about the absence of an architecture for conducting the business of government”.

    ### Last updated 12:07, August 15 2015
    Good government needn’t be a punchline, Tony Abbott
    By Peter Hartcher
    OPINION: The leadership of the most successful conservative government in the Western world had a close-up look at Australia’s Abbott government a year and a half ago. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, and half a dozen of his ministers came to Sydney for a joint Cabinet meeting with his Australian counterparts. It was a friendly exercise, full of shared interests and personal warmth.
    Abbott greeted Key publicly “not just as a brother, but as soulmate. I do welcome him as someone, not just as a friend, but in very significant ways already a political mentor”. But when the Kiwis withdrew to Key’s suite in the Sheraton on the Park hotel at the end of the day, and discussed privately what they’d seen, a consensus quickly formed – they were unimpressed.
    If Key was the mentor, Abbott was a poor student. The NZ leadership foresaw that “it will all end in tears”, as one NZ participant put it to me.
    Read more

    ● Peter Hartcher is the Sydney Morning Herald’s political editor

  64. Peter

    Abbott has never been popular from day one as Opposition Leader to the present day as PM. Unlike John Key who has been popular…whether we like it or not. Abbott can’t do anything about this nor can his colleagues. He is still there because the Labour Government tore itself apart and now the Liberal Party (misnomer) face the same prospect of imitating Labour if they get rid of him, in the first term, a la Rudd.
    They must be hoping Labour self combusts by the next election. Australian politics is a pretty rough game, but great to watch!

  65. Elizabeth

    Hauraki Breakfast game: “Mr Key admitted that he’d stolen stuff, urinated in the shower and that he didn’t think the Virgin Mary was a virgin.”

    ### ODT Online Tue, 20 Oct 2015
    John Oliver mocking prompts invitation from PM
    John Key has invited John Oliver to New Zealand to witness one of his regular press conferences — after the Last Week Tonight host deemed the Prime Minister’s admission that he urinates in the shower the “greatest political interview of all time”. NZME
    Read more

  66. Elizabeth

    ### Mon, 21 Mar 2016 48 mins ago
    ‘Teapot tape’ saga ends
    Source: NZ Newswire
    The “teapot tape” saga has finally ended with acceptance by Prime Minister John Key that cameraman Bradley Ambrose didn’t deliberately record the conversation Mr Key had with John Banks during the 2011 election campaign. At the time, Mr Key said Mr Ambrose had deliberately recorded the conversation Mr Key had with the then leader of the ACT Party in an Auckland cafe. […] Mr Ambrose launched a defamation action against Mr Key in December 2013, suing him for $1.25 million. A two-week hearing was due to take place next month. An agreed statement between the two was released by Mr Key’s office on Monday, and the proceedings have been settled.
    Read more

  67. Hype O'Thermia

    “Mr Ambrose now accepts that Mr Key believed that the conversation had been deliberately recorded at the time Mr Key made his statements.”

    Hmmm, I wonder how long Mr Key has believed that the conversation was NOT deliberately recorded.

    “An agreed statement between the two was released by Mr Key’s office on Monday, and the proceedings have been settled.”

    A time prior to Monday? A long time before Monday? Back in, say, 2011?

  68. russandbev

    A few questions that need to be answered in this teapot saga. But won’t be.

    How much money did Key pay over to stop the court action occurring? Who actually paid the money? Key personally or the Government – ie you and I?

    If the court case had proceeded would the contents of the recording have had to be produced as evidence? If so, would they have been very embarrassing for Key?

    How much longer should this country have to put up with this guy who has a huge track record of having memory fades, and is evasive when it comes to the truth, continues to pour public money into irrigation schemes for farmers to continue to produce milk that no-one wants at the further cost of river pollution, and gambled on his rugby mates to swing the flag referendum? About time he got the old heave-ho.

  69. Gurglars

    The government did not take action against the photographer. The PM did for political reasons. He sues, he pays.

    Where does parliamentary services fit in to this equation?

  70. Elizabeth

    Leaked Teapot Tapes transcriptions from some time ago:

    via The Standard

  71. Elizabeth

    John Key said he intended to pay the settlement with the parliamentary leader’s budget

    ### 2 hrs ago
    Questions over Key’s settlement payment
    Source: NZ Newswire
    It looks unlikely Prime Minister John Key will be able to use taxpayer money to pay his confidential, out-of-court settlement with cameraman Bradley Ambrose. […] Mr Key on Monday indicated he intends to pay those costs using the parliamentary leader’s budget, which has already been used to pay other legal costs associated with the defamation action. He said if it doesn’t fit within the rules, the amount will be paid for through National Party fundraising. According to the speaker’s rules about when the leader’s budget can be used to pay legal costs, payments made to settle a legal action aren’t covered.
    Read more

    Why is a man of Key’s individual means seeking for others to settle the costs… HOW LARGE is the out-of-court settlement really that he is trying to downplay for having defamed Mr Ambrose ??!

    Oh wait.

    Tue, 22 Mar 2016
    ODT: Taxpayers won’t pay ‘teapot’ settlement – PM
    Prime Minister John Key will not pay his “teapot tapes” settlement with public money, his office confirmed this afternoon. […] The settlement costs, which have not be disclosed, would be met by the National Party or by private contributions.

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