Big Gay Nowt

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, February 4th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: gay rights, john key, spin - Tags:

It’s almost Big Gay Out time again which also means it’s time for some new images of John Key dancing (if you can call it that) with drag queens and cuddling up to lines of shirtless hunks.

I know I’m supposed to admire the fact that a National party PM would take time out of his busy schedule to be seen with us homos (what a tolerant guy that nice Mr Key is!) but there’s something utterly dishonest about him appearing at the Big Gay Out.

History has a lot to do with this. Key leads a party that has rarely been our supporter and very often our oppressor. I still vividly remember the mid-1980s when the National Party and their supporters tried to kill homosexual law reform. Norm Jones, National MP for Invercargill, famously told us to ‘Go back into the sewers where you come from’.

And more recently in 2004 the Nats overwhelmingly voted against the civil union legislation. Some like Judith Collins conveniently claimed she would have voted yes if it had been gay marriage, the same logic that would see you denying bread to a starving person because it isn’t as good as caviar.

To be fair to our PM, his voting record does contain some gay positive ticks. He voted for both the Property (Relationships) Amendment Act and the obliteration of the provocation defence. But did the public register these as gay-related legislation? Or did Key’s polling tell him he could get away with these votes without drawing any fundamentalist fire?

Polling was certainly in his mind with the civil union legislation on which he voted no. He explained that it was a conscience issue and that’s how the people of his electorate would have wanted him to vote. “Personally I have no problems with Civil Unions” he said but explained “I had done some polling, I wouldn’t say it was extensive, but I did some polling in my electorate and on the basis of that polling I voted against civil unions.”

I interpret Key’s remarks as an insinuation that he wanted to vote yes but had to vote no because his electorate demanded it. And right there we have some classic Key – not quite sitting on the fence (though he’s good at that also) but more a case of jumping down on one side of the fence while eloquently explaining that he’d dearly like to step down on the other but simply can’t for the following excellent reasons. Oh I’d dearly love to give you some rights but those nasty people over there won’t let me, but you still love me right?

Can you blame him for wanting to play this game? For politicians, pursuing legislative advances for gay men and lesbians is a relatively thankless task.

Key has made much of his pro-gay stance. He’s claimed he has gay friends (though I’m not sure your hairdresser and Chris Finlayson count as ‘friends’, John) and supports gay couples bringing up children. He even joked that he’d ‘go gay’ for Brad Pitt (coupled with his recent remark about wanting to bang Angelina Jolie I’m foreseeing a steamy threesome in our PM’s future!). And, of course, there’s that yearly date with the Big Gay Out.

But if he truly supports our rights then why didn’t he vote with his conscience on civil unions? I don’t want to get into a debate over whether a conscience vote should be guided by anything other than, well, one’s own conscience because it’s a complex issue. But if you’re going to vote against your own personal beliefs to follow the wishes of your electorate I would think you’d want more evidence than could be gleaned from some ‘not extensive’ polling.

Why, when asked about gay adoption in 2009 did Key say we have bigger problems, like the economy, and we shouldn’t rush into changing the law? Are human rights only something we deserve in times of financial boom? And I don’t remember this economic test, or the ‘big enough’ test for that matter, being applied to other pieces of legislation. He certainly found time to strip voting rights from prisoners.

We know why Key has talked the pretty talk but won’t walk the walk on gay issues. Because Key isn’t really gay friendly, not in a political sense. He’s saying all the right words but his actions in Parliament are no better than those of Norm Jones. It’s just the same old National in rainbow drag.

But will you respect me tomorrow?

This is why Key soaking up adulation at the Big Gay Out leaves me crying hypocrisy. Key has done nothing to deserve being greeted like some conquering conservative warrior. Even worse, we’re actually welcoming a man who voted against our interests, who continues to sideline advances in gay equality.

But surely, some will argue, cosying up to him will convert into gay-friendly legislation? Eventually we can win him over! That’s as ludicrous as the other conversion myth. Key’s got us right where he needs us. We’re just a freak show photo op to show the world how ‘everyman’ he is. Key might be good for some gaiety but forget about him delivering us any rights.


69 comments on “Big Gay Nowt”

  1. kriswgtn 1

    Totally agree
    I remember not long ago re Blinglishes Son and his anti gay blog and Blinglish defending his sons right to do so

    Nact hates gay people and basically are a disgrace to the human race

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I think Key is just exploiting the gay vote, as gay households will tend to have much more discretionary money to spend, and generally higher incomes, than heterosexual ones. So much like the vaunted gay advertising market that has ramped up in the last decade, Key’s spotted a small section of the population to which his right-wing economic policies might appeal and is marketing to them. It doesn’t matter that his might ultimately not be in their best interests in terms of social policy.

    But having said that, there really doesn’t seem like there is much discrimination left on the law books. Whether or not Key voted for civil unions is water under the bridge at this point, so he might as well exploit the social platform that Labour has set up to further his right-wing ambitions: all he has to do is stay the line on current social policy, not promising any changes but also not repealing any previous changes.

    • Xanadu 2.1

      “as gay households will tend to have much more discretionary money to spend, and generally higher incomes, than heterosexual ones.”

      M’kay. Proof of this?

      Are you taking into account the school drop out rate of gay kids, family/sometimes financial rejection, the “finding ourselves” much later on in life, expensive fertility treatments, legal fees making sure we’re covered, I could go on.. = lots of “fun” stuff comes with being gay.

      I hear this comment often, and I wonder who or what it’s based upon? .. a handful of gay/lesbian celebrities or politicians? The (false) core belief many straight people have, that LGBT live this “carefree”, single, childless, with apparently no birth family responsibilities, winebar lifestyle? … or is this the opinion of a minority of gay or straight people, who live in an ivory tower & don’t mix with all the gays who have “everyman” jobs?

      I can’t speak for gay men and their situation/s, but (politicians aside) every lesbian I know is broke. BROKE.. Even the most highly educated, qualified, artistic, practical & ambitious Dykes are living pay-day to pay-day. This is not due to living the high life or beyond our means (bar spoiling the cat/s). The reasons are complicated, maddening and require their own blog post.

  3. Bill 3

    Both Labour and National exploit the gay vote. Labour goes one better and exploits the union vote too. Meaning that important facets of the left have been neutered. The union movement and the gay movement have been co-opted, reduced to the status of parliamentary pressure groups that are courted for votes they can deliver, but given as little as possible in return.

    • Bii, where do I start?

      For decades Labour was the supporter of gay rights and National bitterly opposed any advancement. Do you remember homosexual law reform in the 1980s. All the major improvements for gays and lesbians happened under Labour.

      As part of its strategy for the last election National decided to be “all inclusive”. They stuffed up in 2005 when Brash announced that National stood for “normal New Zealand” which excluded gays, maori, immigrants, most women …

      They learned in 2008 and chose Smile and Wave because he would do things like go to the big gay out and do a bit of a dance. They also put ethnic candidates in winnable positions. They did this to look as much like Labour as they could and it worked. Much of the electorate is still confused and think that Key is a benign leader.

      And don’t get me started on the unions.

      History goes like this, Labour is elected and continuously takes steps to strengthen protection of workers rights and to improve wages and conditions. National is elected and continuously takes steps to weaken protection of workers rights and to lower wages and conditions.

      There is no exploitation. Exploitation suggests that nothing gets better or worse and history shows that this is definately incorrect.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        I think you’re missing my point. It’s not argued that advances haven’t been made. My point is simply that advances have occurred…and will increasingly occur…. as a result of lobbying rather than as the result of meaningful and inclusive political action.

        What chance then for the formation of a left movement if gains are brokered by a select few in dialogue with government? Can you not see that this disempowers the left even as some (perfectly ‘managed’ and ‘safe’) gains are made?

        What happens when government reverses concessions previously ‘gifted’ by government? Where is the resistance from within the general populace going to come from? Know what I mean? eg. Reversing Annual Leave entitlements that had been fought for, or that workers had been mobilised around, would be a far more difficult proposition for a government,than is the case when the entitlements have resulted from lobbying.

        It’s fairly easy to keep a lid on demands emanating from a lobby group. Tacit understandings of what is and what is not going to be within the parameters of acceptability, should the lobby group (or the individuals constituting the bargaining component of the lobby group) wish to preserve its/their preferred status, soon mark out permissable parameters of contestability.

        There’s an old cartoon that offers a nice example of the reality of co-opted organisations. It pictures a group of workers standing outside two doors. One door is marked ‘union’ and the other ‘boss’. And the workers are wondering who they should negotiate with first.

        So union and gay lobby groups etc can wrest more concessions from a Labour led government than a National led government. But the whole process relegates the people who make up those constituences to the role of spectator, and so ultimately weakens the left.

    • kriswgtn 3.2

      Both Labour and National exploit the gay vote.

      Actually No they dont
      If it wasnt for Labour and Fran Wilde,we would still be classed as criminals for who we choose to have sex with

      As a young gay teenager in the 80’s I remember the homophobic National party and their horrible crusade against us

      Guess you had to be there and experience the hatred

      Labour also have Rainbow Labour who work endlessly on behalf of Gay people in NZ
      Where is Nationals?

      • Bill 3.2.1

        Wasn’t there a highly politicised gay movement during the 80’s here in NZ? Which is where exactly, these days?

        Your appeal that Labour also have Rainbow Labour who work endlessly on behalf of Gay people in NZ. merely reinforces the point that lobby groups have replaced or supplanted political activism; that large elements of the left have been co-opted and the political activism of the left correspondingly weakened.

  4. rjs131 4

    If John key voted against the civil unions he may have also been voting to represent the wishes of his electorate, you know the group of people that elected him into Parliament or are you suggesting he should ignore them. Of course you dont refer to those Labour MPs that also opposed that bill.

    [lprent: Use OpenMike if you want to raise a different topic. ]

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “Of course you dont refer to those Labour MPs that also opposed that bill.”
      Because the post is about Jonkey gaying it up at the Big Gay Out, not about Labour MPs that voted against the bill doing so.

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        Read it again rjs, or at least read the whole thing this time – I don’t think he should ignore them at all but I’m saying if you’re going to vote against what is apparently some deeply held belief in order to reprsent your voters you’d better know what your voters think. Key admitted he only had a cursory idea of what the Helensville electorate though.

        Might be a good time for someone to post on conscience voting though…it’s an interesting issue.

        • Rosy

          Saying he voted the way his electorate thought about civil unions is just an excuse IMO. If he really thought it was an important principle to do what the electorate thought he wouldn’t have got national on board on the repeal of S59.

      • grumpy 4.1.2

        However, he seems pretty gender and orientation neutral to me when you look at his Front Bench.

        • Carol

          key and dominant front bench positions to men. Women get the more controversial ones related to social welfare, education, police etc and will probably mostly be replaced next term. And how come Wilkinson didn’t go to the Hobbit meetting with Warners’ execs, when it turned out to be related to employment law?

          I remember Key voting against civil unions and supporting an unrepentant partner-basher. Fair-weather friend. He is NOT welcome at my Big Gay Out!

          • Lanthanide

            Giving the key roles to men probably has a large part with the women being featherweights (except Paula – I am making a pun, but she is the most competent and intelligent woman they’ve got in cabinet).

          • higherstandard

            When’s the big straight out ?

            • Tigger

              No one’s stopping you hs…

            • QoT

              Every other day of the year, when hetero couples get to walk down the street hand-in-hand and not have “f#ggot!” screamed out the windows of passing cars.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Actually, on issues such as this he should be voting on what’s right and not on what his electorate wants. Voting to ensure that everyone has the same rights would be the correct thing for him to do, anything else is BS. If his electorate didn’t want it then he should have got out there and told them why it was right for him to vote in favour.

      • TightyRighty 4.2.1

        yes, your right for once DTB. bugger the will of the people he represents. what do they matter. he should just do what is “right”. your orwellian language and overbearing arrogance are symptomatic of why the opposition can’t even come close to challenging the most inclusive leader we have ever had.

        • Draco T Bastard

          So, you think the government should do everything that the people want even if it’s wrong and can be proven wrong rather than educate the people?

          • TightyRighty

            Rather fallacious argument there. What government has ever done everything the people want? and is it education if there is no consultation and it’s force fed to you?

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Sheesh I hate these debates because the progressive part of me says “do what’s right” and the democratic part of me says “follow the wishes of the people who elected you” (albeit with more foundation than “not extensive” polling) and I reckon both parts are right.

            I think DTB has arrived at the right answer to the dichotomy though – educate the people, then vote. Hopefully you’ll sway the majority, or at least take the heat out of the issue so there’s a large “don’t care either way” component, and you can vote knowing you’re not telling the majority of people who elected you to stick their opinions.

            If those efforts fail, and the majority still oppose what it is you want to do, then our system allows you to stick your neck out and vote against that majority. But if an MP has truly polled their electorate and votes according to their wishes, then I find it very hard to condemn them.

            • Draco T Bastard

              But if an MP has truly polled their electorate and votes according to their wishes, then I find it very hard to condemn them.

              So do I which is why I said to educate them. Hell, that’s why we have government ministries – so that decisions can be based upon fact and what is morally right rather than opinion. Opinion is not a viable base upon which to base decisions.

              And, yes, I’m going to get flamed for putting morals in there as well but I’ll just point you to Plato.

              The first horn of the dilemma (i.e. that which is right is commanded by God because it is right)

        • The Baron

          “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

          Though Draco, you are an arrogant and overly simplistic jerk – and your attitude shows exactly why noone will ever vote you and your frankly bizarre ideas anywhere near any sort of representative position.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Baron, what do you hope to “prove” with a quote from the 1700’s, when those elected to Parliament were likely to be the only people who had any sort of education and the peasants they represented wouldn’t have known much beyond pig husbandry. And if they wanted to know more, they’d have to wait till someone rode through town who’d been to London months earlier.

            A time when women, amongst others, couldn’t vote so the views of 51% of the populace were held to be worthless before they were even uttered. A time when the people had no effective means to communicate their wishes to their representatives and had to rely on their judgment.

            In those days it was true in a practical sense if not a philosophical one; today education and technology make it a quaint look at an outdated view of Parliamentary democracy; nothing more.

            • The Baron

              I disagree, Rex, but I think we are talking about different philosophies about what representative government means. And I wasn’t trying to “prove” anything, apart from that it is quite an elegant quote that was wholly relevant to the debate above – and illustrates that these philosophical differences are as old as representative democracy itself.

              Have these factors changed. Education and technology arguably enable a more informed role to representation, but not one that is perfect. In other words, judgement is still required, with the ballot box as punishment for when you get it wrong.

              alternatively, those factors enable a wholly different style of democracy, yes. But that is a different debate.

        • Tigger

          So TR, here Key voted against what he thought was ‘right’…he voted how he imagined he should – how was that inclusive? Or decent? Or sensible?

          And he’s not inclusive about gay rights – he just says he likes the gays then votes to exclude us. His ‘everyman’/inclusive stance is utter crap.

          • TightyRighty

            Its not the same as voting in favour of what is wrong.

            How is having an openly gay minister being anti gay? Its more likely he doesn’t care what your sexual preference is, as long as you contribute to society.

            This is just another desperate smear. Basically calling the prime minister a homophobe beecause you don’t like his political creed. Weaker and weaker with every week. By November someone on this site will have another conspiracy about john key being under the whip of evil Aussies Crosby textor from birth as he prefers Vegemite to marmite.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Its not the same as voting in favour of what is wrong.

              Considering that he voted to exclude a minority of the population access to the same rights that the majority already enjoyed he, effectively, voted for what was wrong.

              • Tigger

                Who has called Key a homophobe (nice try at spin there TR)? Just called him a fraud – pretending to be gay friendly when his actions have been the opposite. I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what Key does so long as his actions match his rhetoric. I’d prefer someone who would honestly and openly say ‘no gay rights’ rather than Key who trades on being inclusive but votes against gay rights.

            • Colonial Viper

              How is having an openly gay minister being anti gay? Its more likely he doesn’t care what your sexual preference is, as long as you contribute to society.


              Are you talking about Finlayson? Frak tonnes of his caucus colleagues only realised he was gay very late on.

              And are you saying that being gay is only OK with Key as long as you ‘contribute’ to society? And if you don’t, what then mate? Coz you seem to suggest that if you’re not contributing to society, then Key will consider your sexual preferences a problem.

              • QoT

                Nah, CV, TR’s saying Key can’t be homophobic, some of his best friends are etc etc.

              • Weizguy

                Finlayson’s only OK because he’s a “non-practising gay.” Y’know, because sexuality is a thing you do.

                • Lanthanide

                  Frankly I’d count that as a mark against him – he’s either a saint, or really screwed up in the head, or deeply ashamed of himself.

  5. I look forward to someone asking John Key which male rugby players he’d include on his list of hotties.

    • grumpy 5.1

      That question may well have been better put to his predecessor as PM.

      • mcflock 5.1.1

        Damn, so yet again the MSM failed to do their job and we had a prime minister go by without discussing their turn-ons rather than, oh, actual policy?

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, obviously.

      He went for the obvious and well-known Jessica Alba/Liz Hurley/Angelina Jolie triumvirate, so surely his taste in men wouldn’t be any more nuanced or eclectic.

      As Tigger posted above, he said he’d “go gay for Brad Pitt”.

      Actually someone should ask him at the Big Gay Out if this means he does want a threesome. I’d like to see him squirm his way out of that question as being ‘inappropriate’ given that he’s the one who effectively brought the subject up.

      • Blondie 5.2.1

        “He even joked that he’d ‘go gay’ for Brad Pitt (coupled with his recent remark about wanting to bang Angelina Jolie I’m foreseeing a steamy threesome in our PM’s future!)”

        I foresee nothing of the sort; if Brad and Angelina felt inclined towards menage a trois they’d probably find someone far hotter than John Key. Fairly certain it’d be a female too (Angie likes the ladies, doesn’t she?). Actually I’d volunteer for that spot…..

  6. the sprout 6

    nice work Tigger, well put

  7. gingercrush 7

    The Civil Union legislation was a disgusting piece of legislation. For it maintains the status and ideal that two people in a relationship must make that relationship formal. Instead of providing legislation that gave more legal rights to de facto couples. It instead prescribes a 20th Century mentality to relationships.

    Also as a gay person I am quite comfortable with any politician that decided to vote against the Civil Union Bill whatever their reasoning was. Also I’d be quite interested to see stats that show who gay people vote for. Because I think while the left would enjoy the majority of those votes I’m not convinced it’ll be an overriding majority.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      There really is very little difference between De Facto couples and Married/Civil Union couples, so I’m not sure what you’re specifically objecting to here.

      I also think that while they would tend to vote left, it’s probably only a slim majority, and I’d expect it would be eroding with time – the new young gay set take all of their freedoms for granted and so vote for whoever promises them the most (with National supporting higher net-worth individuals as gay couples tend to be, that helps National), while the older generation remember the struggle and know who it was they should thank for the freedoms they now enjoy.

      • Blondie 7.1.1

        Um, I think the difference is the formality involved in becoming a married/civil union couple, as opposed to the fluidity or flexibility of a de facto relationship.

        Love, trust, respect, and compatibility should be what keeps a couple together – not a piece of paper. Paper burns.

        • Lanthanide

          From a legal perspective, there is little difference, is what I was saying.

          captcha: misunderstand

  8. Carol 8

    I have always thought that JK has foregrounded his heterosexual married/fatehrhood status, reinforcing the kind of “communist, barren, lesbian” helengrad discourse that the right used to undermine Clark’s government. As soon as he was made leader of the Nats, JK appeared on CloseUp with his wife in a way that foregrounded his heterosexuality. He hardly ever has included her since,a s she’s mostly kept in the background. Also indicative of the way he uses his wife as a support when it suits. JJ’s het, married, father status was also foregrounded in TV political broadcast vids during the las election.

    I don’t like the way Goff joined in the preferred hotties gossip. But at least he put his wife top of the list, and tends to talk about her as an equal partner.

    • The Baron 8.1

      I’m sure she has her own objectives in life, Carol – rather than being paraded around like our first lady. Being in the background probably suits her quite nicely.

      Doesn’t suit your fresh consipracy theory though huh.

      • Tigger 8.1.1

        Key is well known as being very ‘American right wing’ in his family values. He decries misbehaviour amongst his group, especially sexual antics (want a reason why Worth was dumped – there it is). So I have no doubt that the father/husband image projected is real. The ‘I want to pork Angie’ line however is bull. And the ‘going gay’ (could write a piece about that stupid line) for Brad line was equally crap. They’re just spin to sex up his image.

  9. BLiP 9

    Polling was certainly in his mind with the civil union legislation on which he voted no. He explained that it was a conscience issue and that’s how the people of his electorate would have wanted him to vote. “Personally I have no problems with Civil Unions” he said but explained “I had done some polling, I wouldn’t say it was extensive, but I did some polling in my electorate and on the basis of that polling I voted against civil unions.”

    This angle really annoys me, and I’ve seen it from Labour as well as National Ltd™ in terms of the civil union and other legislation. Not everything my MP has voted for/against has been to my approval yet when I put my tick against their name on the ballot paper, I was extending my trust in their judgement. Quite often when I express my disapproval I’m told of other factors I wasn’t aware of, or behind-the-scenes machinations and concessions, which, sorta, kinda temper my annoyance. In this instance, and in relation to some of prostitution by-laws, I’m still furious. I understand all about representing the wishes of the people and being a voice for the many – but when it comes to social justice issues if that concern had been prevalent at the time, we’d still be employing a hangman. Further, John Key, inter alia, are not just MPs, they are supposedly our leaders laying down the pathway for a better society – as such, the owe their allegiance to the future all of New Zealanders. I can understand some marginal back-bench CV-groomer pandering to the religious bigotry of his Local Electorate Committee, but those who should be leading us still using that excuse are, in my mind, cowards.

  10. johnm 10

    I like John Key!!! It’d be great to be playboying in Gay Paris with him enjoying the can can at the Moulin Rouge! Come on John give up that miserable PM Chore and let’s visit Paris together! Oh and break out the Champagne!

  11. NX 11

    As the Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson probably holds the highest office ever attained by an openly gay man.

    New Zealand is fortunate the leader of the main conservative party is socially liberal. It’s former leader was a social liberal too – Don Brash expressed regret in his valedictory speech that he voted against the civil union bill. I also believe Rodney Hide is socially liberal.

    Winston Peters is a known social Conservative & I suspect so is Peter Dunne. It’s ironic they were Labour’s collation partners in the last government.

    Gay people, like all New Zealanders, who believe in small government, lower tax & more personal freedom don’t have to vote left-wing.

    And that is the real vicTory.

    • QoT 11.1

      Of course queer people don’t have to vote left-wing. They just have to be aware that John Key will simply use them like he uses every other demographic: nice to them when he wants their votes, dumped as soon as a bigger subgroup doesn’t like it.

      (And of course the mainstream left’s position on this is pretty fucked anyway what with selling the “identity politics” groups down the river because We Need To Reconnect With Real People.)

      • Tigger 11.1.1

        Exactly QoT. Log Cabin Republicans anyone?

      • NX 11.1.2

        Sub-group? Oh, you mean New Zealanders.

        • QoT

          Jesus, NX, next time just say “I hate gay people” up front and don’t waste everyone’s time pretending to be constructive.

          • NX

            Your comment says more about you than it does me.

            • QoT

              It’s been a while since I played this game, is my line “I know you are but what am I?”?

              • NX

                QoT – Your comment above was so unbelievably unfair & a personal attack of the highest order.

                lprent – I suggest you remove the comment, I don’t think it’s helpful to anyone.

                [lprent: Outside my guidelines – see the policy about robust discussion. I terminate comments that are judged to be pointless abuse. I usually don’t intervene when people are just feeling insulted because I’d be here all day*.

                Her point had a point whether you agree or not. Up to you or others to refute it.

                * and anyway I would have to moderate myself because I’m not above putting the boot in when I’m not moderating for instance this morning. ]

                • QoT

                  Oh, I’m sorry, NX. Was I meant to give you the benefit of the doubt after you literally said “Sub-group? Oh, you mean New Zealanders.” and thus explicitly ruled “gay people” out of the category “New Zealander”?

                  ‘Cause that seems pretty darn homophobic to me.

                  • Tigger

                    NX – bottom line is your comments are nothing than a scattershot selection that totally miss the point. No good in voting for small government if that government continues to deny you basic human rights. Personally I wouldn’t call you a homophobe but it’s clear you’ve drunk the Kool Aid.

                  • NX

                    and thus explicitly ruled “gay people” out of the category “New Zealander”?

                    ^ you are right, that would be pretty darn homophobic.

                    At first I couldn’t work out how you extracted that from my comment.

                    You thought I was referring to ‘New Zealanders’ as the “bigger subgroup” that J Key would favour over Gay people.

                    Your interpretation is way off the mark. I was confused by your use of the term ‘subgroup’ to begin with. By saying “a bigger subgroup”, you implied that gay people were also a subgroup.

                    So to reword my comment:

                    Subgroup WTF is that??? We are all New Zealanders.

                    We all eat, sleep, and pay taxes. Pigeonholing people into subgroups is bad practice in my opinion & results in bad policy.

                    And also, even if you were to use the term, New Zealanders aren’t a ‘subgroup’. We are the group!!

                    lprent – grudgingly I agree. Sorry for dragging you in.

                    • QoT

                      Pigeonholing people into subgroups is bad practice in my opinion & results in bad policy.

                      That’s all well and good but on a post discussing specifically how John Key targets specific demographics when it’s convenient for his image it’s pretty irrelevant.

                    • QoT

                      Also, in terms of my mention of “another subgroup”, have you never witnessed the hypocrisy of a politician going to the Big Gay Out or similar event one year and then decrying the breakdown of “traditional family values” as soon as a fundamentalist Christian group throw a conference? Because that shit happens a lot

                    • NX

                      I think it’s good Key is willing to go to the Big Gay Out. Brash went as well. I don’t think English has been – not really his cup of tea I suspect.

                      With regards to your second comment – that’s politicians for you.
                      I’m interested to see what line Goff takes on family values. The Pacific community tends to vote Labour & ‘family values’ is their thing.

                      I don’t even know what ‘family values’ actually means.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      ‘Family values’ is what US politicians harp on about as a distraction from anything meaningful when the economic and social conditions faced by the working poor continue to deteriorate.

                • Tigger

                  NX, ‘willing’ to go to the BGO? See comment in main post about how grateful I\’m expected to be that he would lower himself to be seen with me.

                  ‘Cup of tea\? It\’s not a damn sex orgy – it’s a family picnic! Full of couples, parents, kids – so Blinglish isn\’t into that kind of stuff?

                  I know I’m just firing off side shots during this little squirmish you’re having with QoT but hell mate, you clearly know nothing about gay politics.

                  • NX

                    Is gay politics different from regular politics?

                    And yes, Blinglish should go.

                    I don’t think John Key thinks he is lowering himself by attending the BGO – not what he’s about. That’s your interpretation.

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  • Government to progress Control Orders for community safety
    The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill will have its first reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. “The control orders Bill will mean our community is better protected from the risks of the very small number of New Zealand citizens who have engaged in terrorism related activities overseas. ...
    5 hours ago
  • World-first plan for farmers to reduce emissions
    The Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in one of the most significant developments on climate action in New Zealand's history. Today farming leaders and the Government announced a plan to join forces to develop practical and cost-effective ways to ...
    5 hours ago
  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    8 hours ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    22 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    24 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    1 day ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    1 week ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    1 week ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week ago