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Johny on ice

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, January 14th, 2013 - 55 comments
Categories: Minister for Overseas Holidays, tourism - Tags:

After four weeks holiday in Hawaii, John Key will briefly land in New Zealand this week before popping off on a junket to Antarctica. Now, you won’t hear a lot about this in the media – because half the press gallery is going with him and they’re just excited to go to Antarctica – but there’s all kinds of buzz coming out of the public service about how and why Key set up this trip.

For now, take a look at the itinerary, and you’ll see it’s pretty, um, light: ‘promote’ a PPP, host a dinner, unveil a pou whenua, return some whisky … not traditionally the kind of stuff that we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars sending the PM and a retinue of reporters to the frozen continent for.

It seems like a strange set of cobbled together activities for the PM to be doing at a  time when he really ought to be doing some actual bloody work on the economy.

It’s interesting that Bronagh’s coming along. I’m sure she and John will enjoy seeing the sights.

55 comments on “Johny on ice”

  1. karol 1

    The itinerary includes a lot of sucking up to hobnobbing with US entities, also.

    Flying in a US aircraft, visiting the US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, including the prime minister will host a US dinner at Scott Base, and the PPP is for an enterprise supported by donations from a US “philanthropist”.

  2. geoff 2

    Johnny and the missus just want to see the polar ice cap before it’s all gone… Something to boast about at dinner parties in 2050.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      In Antartica in 2050 will still be there plenty of ice – copious wads of it in fact.

      Statistics also suggest Key’ll be well decomposed by 2050 just like many of us.

    • lprent 2.2

      They can always go to East Antarctica ice sheet. I’d expect that to have a significant increase in volume as more moist air breaks in and deposits as snow (eventually causing it to melt as well).

      However the NZ claim is in West Antarctica, where it looks likely that we’ll lose a big chunk of the ice mass over the next 40 years. I still think that they’ll have quite a lot of ice there, and some of it should be close to wherever they have to move the Ross base to.

      • Akldnut 2.2.1

        So Johnny and the Cook are scooting down to Scott to get a handle on how much lands gonna be available for his progeny to pilfer once the ice is gone, nice.

        Oh and it’s good how he takes his mates with him, would hate for any of them to think their tax dollars are being splurged – now they get suck up to him while he’s sucking up to the yanks.

  3. handle 3

    Maybe they will fit in some drilling negotiations as well.

  4. Nick 4

    I take it you were all similarly outraged when Helen Clark went to Antarctica in 2007 to smooze with Americans and conduct some ceremonies? http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0701/S00055.htm

    • higherstandard 4.1

      Just another slow news day.

    • Anne 4.2

      PM to visit Antarctica for Scott Base 50th anniversary

      Prime Minister Helen Clark will visit Antarctica from 18 to 22 January, accompanied by Sir Edmund Hillary, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Scott Base, New Zealand’s Antarctic research station.

      Yeah the 50th anniversary. Usually a date to be celebrated. Can’t see what’s special about the 56th though. Note she took an ailing Sir Edmond Hillary with her on his last chance to visit Antarctica.

      I doubt she visited the Antarctica based CIA out-post – assuming it’s still there.

    • galeandra 4.3

      Scott Base 50th anniv and Ed Hillary going….. yeah, just the same kinda junket. And, of course, back in 2007 the financials were such shock horror catastrophe that the country couldn’t afford it. Pin your badge a bit higher bro.

    • David H 4.4

      Yeah but she didn’t take half an army of guys in dark sunnys, and darker suits!

      • Ed 4.4.1

        The TV3 article linked from teh post says:
        “Thirteen mainly New Zealand-based reporters and television crew are also being taken along.”

        Does that mean that the government is paying the costs for the journalists?

        Thirteen sounds a much larger group than I would have expected – are there diplomatic protection officers as well?

        • Anne 4.4.1.1

          Yeah well, some of those penguins are a bit suspect you know. It’s the way they stand there watching. Who knows what they might do if given a chance. A bit of protection detail wouldn’t go amiss. Anyway they make him look real important…

  5. end o times viper shorts 5

    What is the obsession with returning whiskey to the pole?

    I’d be happy for the media scrum to be left behind but what a waste of what is possibly a very nicely aged drop

    Yet another example of this governments priorities being all wrong

    • David H 5.1

      They took it to get it analysed and remade

    • David H 5.2

      It’s the ultimate Scotch on the Rocks..

    • Herodotus (CV Supporter) 5.3

      I think you will find that the whisky had to be returned given refer Quote and link to Cant Museum we must follow international agreements we have signed don’t you think? …
      “Many people have asked why we aren’t drinking the whisky. Or why we aren’t keeping it in New Zealand.
      The Antarctic Heritage Trust manages a programme of heritage conservation in Antarctica, which involves the heroic-era expedition bases of Scott, Shackleton, and Carsten Borchgrevink. Each of these sites is protected under the Antarctic Treaty System and New Zealand is one of the 46 nations which abides by the Treaty System. Areas of biological or historical significance are called Antarctic Specially Protected Areas, and are governed by a management plan. The ASPA management plan for Cape Royds states:”
      http://whiskythaw.canterburymuseum.com
      But do not worry there is an opportunity to taste an impression of what was found
      http://www.whyteandmackay.com/blog.aspx?s=shackleton

  6. fustercluck 6

    A NZ/USA lovefest to celebrate the territorial (and natural resource) claims that come with the ongoing militarization of Antarctica. A little mutual admiration that would not have happened were it not for the military base the USA maintains in Christchurch that is key to its military occupation/operation in Antarctica.

    Seeing those drab gray carriers of war materiel hulking at Christchurch Airport makes me sick every time I fly into Canterbury.

    Send the warplanes home and close the Waihopai spy base now!

  7. Populuxe1 7

    FFS this is almost as desperate as the Hawai’i holiday beat up.

    (1) New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest Antarctic territories and part of the Realm of New Zealand – PMs are supposed to visit it from time to time.

    (2) It’s especially important that the PM makes a diplomatic visit to the Americans because the US doesn’t actually recognise the claims of any countries to Antarctic territories.

    (3) An official drop in (as opposed to a private holiday) highlights New Zealand’s commitment to Antarctic research and ecological preservation, and it’s a nice gesture to the boffins at Scott Base. It’s hardly his fault if it doesn’t coincide with a significant anniversary.

    (4) For all fustercluck’s whinging, the US planes in Christchurch also come in very handy searching for lost ships and people lost at sea – something they very generously do for us.

    (5) Whether you like it or not, the US is the world’s apex superpower and we are a tiny little country at the arse end of nowhere – a strategic relationship with the US is ultimately very important to us.

    (6) Tripe like this which as a matter of conscience forces me to defend PM dipstick, really annoys me because there is so much else that he is actually doing WRONG.

    • fustercluck 7.1

      Maybe it would be better to focus on the ascendent empire with which we actually have a free trade agreement, i.e., China, rather than focusing on the tottering, warmongering and collapsing empire that refuses such an agreement, i.e., the USA. Maintaining bases that are part of the USA encirclement strategy vis a vis China will do nothing to help and may well hinder our long term interests.

      And describing comments as whinging, i.e., ad hominem attacks, reveals the paucity of your own arguments’ strength.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.1

        That would be totalitarian, human rights abusing, invade Tibet and “test” missiles over Taiwan China, would it?

        • Murray Olsen 7.1.1.1

          You got that right, Populuxe. It’s definitely not the human rights abusing, invade Iraq and Afghanistan, kill with drones anywhere they feel like it, undertake cyber war in Iran China would it? Shit, my bad, that’s the US and A, which also wants to do away with our commercial sovereignty and destroy Pharmac. They’re pretty much the same as each other, but in terms of threatening world peace, I’d say the US and A wins hands down at the moment.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Don’t forget 11 years of Guantanamo Bay and forced renditions, along with newly approved unlimited eavesdropping and indefinite detention without charge of their own citizens. Militarisation of the police and use of 100% military capable drones in civilian law enforcement.

            • Populuxe1 7.1.1.1.1.1

              My point being that one hardly being more desirable in that regard than the other, our security interests are best represented by the devil we know.

    • Enough is Enough 7.2

      Agree with you Populxe1

      It is boy who cried wolf bullshit. This post shows how Key is criticised for anythingand everything he does. As I see it the problem with this negative whinging approach to opposition is the voice of opposition loses its effect and will not be heard when Key really does deserved to be slammed.

      The Hawai’i rubbish and this story distract from the real things which Key is doing to damage this country.

      If we cry “Key” everytime he opens his mouth, noone will be listening to us when he actually removes more rights from ordinary kiwis.

      • tracey 7.2.1

        pop over to the jobs thread and see the list of things he can “legitimately” be criticised for. Would be interested in any defence you offer on his behalf.

    • up2u 7.3

      bit dubious about your claim #4. the large grey american planes at christchurch that fustercluck was refering to are the C17 globemasters, heavy transport planes not outfitted for SAR. The (also grey) P3 Orions which belong to our own airforce tackle the task of patrolling the largest SAR regions for the size of our airforce (3 Orions), between peru to australia. The US takes no responsibility in patrolling outside its region in the north pacific.

  8. How about leaving him there, I’m sure we will not miss him.

    • Bill 8.1

      what in gods name did the penguins ever do to deserve such a fate? Although…the thought of one passing leopard seal taking one less penguin….

      • Andre 8.1.1

        Just drifted of to dreamland at the thought of the airplane making a forced landing and being’ Lost’ Then Pat Gower eats John Key He …He ..

    • TighyRighty 8.2

      You may not. But others will. What an appalling statement to make about a loved husband and father. Same to bill below. You lot really are just plain nasty.

      • Murray Olsen 8.2.1

        It’s nasty to joke about one guy getting killed while he dismantles the welfare state, health services for our kids and any remnants of sovereign independence? But motivated by total altruism when kids scream from glue ear, miss out on education because they can’t hear straight and have a much greater chance of ending up in a privatised prison system. Fuck you arseholes who call us nasty because we can see through your plastic hero. Go back to WhaleSpew and laugh at Jacinda Arden’s teeth or wank on about how autistic kids should be gut shot and left to die. Or how anyone with emotional or psychological problems is a weak panty waist except for your tough and macho Cam. I am not convinced by neanderthal protestations, save them for the KKK bar of your local pub.

        • TightyRighty 8.2.1.1

          I don’t agree with his carry on in those directions either. I just don’t like the hypocrisy, if you think those things are bad then you should think maggies statement is bad. Classic new “liberal” traits. The inability to sense your own hypocrisy is breathtaking. It smacks of intellectual dishonesty or just a lack of intelligence.

          • tracey 8.2.1.1.1

            “liberals” dont have a monopoly on “The inability to sense your own hypocrisy is breathtaking. It smacks of intellectual dishonesty or just a lack of intelligence.” although Lil johnny howard, sheriff of the south pacific fits the bill nicely.

      • mike e vipe e 8.2.2

        to many visits to whale oil!

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 8.2.3

        TR
        You are a great satirist. Someone cannot be criticised if that person is loved and is a loved parent. Many people criticising here are no doubt in that category. So apply your own strictures – stop attacking us and stop your own ‘nasty appalling statements’.

        • TightyRighty 8.2.3.1

          When have I advocated death, violence or the the abandonment on a desolate continent of someone who I am opposed to?

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.3.1.1

            It’s not desolate. There’s lots of oil there, which can be securitized and sold.

            • TightyRighty 8.2.3.1.1.1

              Desolate as in a normal human being could not survive there. But hey, agree with the sentiment of abandoning someone there. just because john key is the captain of the opposing football team that you cheer for. I suppose that’s all right if you are “progressive”

              • McFlock

                Key can stay with the Yanks. They’ll support him for services rendered.
                Call it “Southern Hawaii”.

              • felixviper

                Key’s a big boy I’m sure he can look after himself in a well equipped antarctic base. Plenty of other people do.

    • Maybe if he leaves his heart down there, it might save the ice?

    • Roy 8.4

      Aw damn Maggie, you beat me to it…

  9. Tom 9

    Nice pic, Maggie !

  10. xtasy 10

    When the ship is sinking – best way to keep the fools happy and entertained is to do just something like this.

    The media “court jesters” have been invited along, there is talk of three bottles of whiskey to be “returned”, but who knows, in those cold climes, more whiskey may well be “downed” ON ICE, which there is an abundance of down there, in Antarctica.

    TV pictures will be transmitted via satellite into our living rooms, the print and online media will report about the event, and Key can “pocket” a few more “media greasers” that will be happy to be allowed along.

    The progaganda machine is working full-steam.

    Next after that: A major policy announcement – on employment or education. Win, win, for Key, who is the greatest “entertainer” in the eyes of many from the press galery.

  11. Bronagh and John Key are the Pacific’s Asma and Bashar Hafez al-Assad, or think they are?

    In reality he isn’t even a skinny white Bainimarama ;)

  12. Headline from Antartica (Spoofy)

    ‘Johny on the skids, he dipped his toes into the freezing cold water,his protection squad
    was unimpressed’
    Johny doesn’t know why he did such a foolhardy thing, but he assured his protection
    squad his bright pink shirt would have saved him and to create attention he would just do
    the gangnam dance, cos they worked before.

  13. tc 13

    Get used to such diversioanary events with the MSM riding along

  14. A couple of years ago my husband found an interesting ad for electricians to apply for work in the Antarctic. The company? Raytheon Polar services who were at the time building a “research” Center!
    I believe that to be the Mc Murdo Station which of course has been in use for many years but with the ability to house a staggering 1258 residents (that we know off) I reckon it’s a hell of a lot more than that. I wonder if John Key has shares in Raytheon?

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  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray