web analytics

Ex leaders

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, March 3rd, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: helen clark, john key, leadership - Tags:

I was stuck recently by the contrast between the (most recent) ex leaders of the Labour and National parties.

Helen Clark stood down on the night of the 2008 election. She soon had a new job heading the UN Development Programme. Still popular with the public she was voted the greatest living New Zealander, and listed as one of world’s 100 most powerful women.

On her recent trip back to NZ Clark received two honours, the Order of New Zealand (our highest honour), and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Auckland (in recognition of her contribution to New Zealand). Media coverage also stressed Clark’s high profile role (“Clark takes the world in hand”), and her comments on some aspects of current issues (“Discussing mining on TVNZ’s Q&A programme, Helen Clark said: ‘Some things are more important than money'”).

Don Brash stood down in 2006, one step ahead of a coup, amidst swirling controversy over lies and dodgy dealing during the 2005 election campaign. He dropped out of public sight until 2009, when he resurfaced as the Chair of the Government’s 2025 Taskforce. As soon as the first report was released it was evident that the Taskforce was a farce and a waste of taxpayers’ money. The Government disowned it. Analyst Rod Oram tore it to shreds, not just for the findings, but for the quality of the work (‘At every point it has unbelievably facile analysis and, in fact, substitutes rather generic assertions for detailed analysis’). Even Garth George came out calling for the report to be recycled into toilet paper.

Don’s most recent mention in the media was for calling voters “not only venal, but ignorant” – a statement which tells us much more about Don Brash than it does about NZ voters.

In short, comparing the post-leadership careers of Clark and Brash is a study in contrasts. Clark’s has been stellar, Brash’s an embarrassment. But the world of difference between these two leaders is much clearer with the perfect hindsight of 2010 than it was when they were locked in a tight electoral battle in 2005. My point is, I guess, that there can be huge variations in the skills and personalities of our leaders, strengths and weaknesses that are very real, but not necessarily obvious to everyone at the time. Like G W Bush, a weak leader can be immensely popular, until events and the emerging perspective of hindsight show them up for what they are. Something for John Key to ponder perhaps, as unemployment rises and the much touted wage gap with Australia grows

27 comments on “Ex leaders ”

  1. Agreed entirely.

    Hearing Helen on Radio New Zealand reminded me of what a prodigous PM she was. She knew her stuff, spoke lucidly and candidly, had a solid grasp of the issues and had a game plan.

    Brash on the other hand speaks like someone who has had a lobotomy to remove his compassion chip.

    Challenging post however. The Standard server should brace itself for a wingnut frenzy.

  2. Chuck 2

    Would it not be better comparison between Jim Bolger (who has a respected post PM career) that a person who failed to get the top job?

    • vidiot 2.1

      Now that would just be too obvious. Next she will be compared against the former leader of the Christian Heritage Party, who’s only failing is that he got convicted.

  3. Onomatopoeia 3

    Helen’s job isn’t as big as the culturally cringing New Zealand media would have you believe. Her outfit’s budget pales into insignificance when compared to that of WINZ. It allows our media to pretend we are important on the world stage and lefties to pretend that the rest of the world appreciates our former glorious leader in a way that the New Zealand electorate was too stupid to. It’s just not true.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      From Wikipedia:

      “The UNDP Administrator has the rank of an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. While the Administrator is often referred to as the third highest-ranking official in the UN (after the UN Secretary General and the UN Deputy Secretary General), this has never been formally codified.”

      Clearly this is the highest international position ever held by a NZer, and substantially hitting above our country’s ‘weight’ in terms of GDP and population.

      • Onomatopoeia 3.1.1

        Clearly this is the highest international position ever held by a NZer

        Mike Moore’s job at the WTO wipes the floor with Helen’s. As probably did Muldoon’s at the World Bank.

  4. T 4

    Tangentially, John Howard, the former Australian Prime Minister, has been nominated by the New Zealand cricket board, and that of Australia, for the job of President of the International Cricket Council.

  5. To answer the question – Key will likely be remembered as the Pied Piper of Politics, who rid the country of the “notorious” PC [rats], only to force low-medium earners [children] to look to Australia for work in the ever-widening gap, ne’er to be seen or heard from again.

    • The Baron 5.1

      I highly doubt that that name will take on, as it is possibly the most convoluted analogy I have ever heard. And wrong in fact too, given the latest net migration numbers.

  6. BLiP 6

    It seems unlikely King John The Clueless of Charmalot gives a single flying fling about his legacy, not so long as the media portray him as some kind of rock star.

    Perhaps, sitting back in his luxurious dotage as the tide laps at the doorstep to his Hawaiian mansion he can regale the grand children with tales of the days he made little school girls go weak at the knees while pensioners went hungry.

    Wattaguy!!

  7. Ex Leader and Ex Non-Leader
    Current Somebody and Ex Never Was

  8. Bored 8

    Colossus versus midget (who in turn was replaced by pygmy prince Charmalot).

  9. Red Rosa 9

    The Hollow Men still selling steadily – a good form guide to the current Cabinet.

    No doubt Brash was consoled by the Nats’ giving him the Task Force job, as we’ve had no more whining about his ‘stolen’ e-mails.

    And no doubt also, his mates in the Brethren are consoling him too. Or are they the proverbial Job’s Comforters?

    • blacksand 9.1

      I don’t think they’ll have much support left for Don ‘Family Values’ Brash these days. Talk about backing a bad horse!

  10. Peter 10

    Brash, a leader ? surely thats an Oxymoron ?

  11. Leopold 11

    Yes, the fairer comparison would be between Bolger and Clark – both held power for a considerable period, and did something in their afterlife
    Brash couldn’t win even when he had every venal and ignorant voter on his side..
    Seeing the immediate past and present leaders of the Nats, I feel quite nostalgic for Jim…

    • Ari 11.1

      The point is that the comparison is not fair. Read the post.

      You could make an arguement for comparing Brash to Bolger, however, which I think works just as well.

  12. The Baron 12

    Wow, the fandom here has reached a new low. Get your hand off it eh.

    Though does anyone wanna pick how their replacements – John Key and old whats-his-name – are gonna do in the same comparisons?

  13. randal 13

    john key was head hunted by the boagey and like all guns for hire when the dough is gone so will he be..gone that is.

  14. vto 14

    what a bizarre post

    • vto 14.1

      Comparing the post-Parliament careers of Simon Upton and Taito Phillip-Field is quite a study in contrasts.

  15. Santi 15

    I have no regard for Clark, the staunch socialist she is. Key is a non-entity, a forgetable person with little leading abilities. Soon to be forgotten.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Next steps for Christchurch Hospital campus redevelopment
    Canterbury DHB will be better placed to respond to future demand for services and continue to deliver high quality care, with the next stage of the campus redevelopment programme confirmed, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New Year border exception for seasonal workers in the horticulture and wine industries
    2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week while in isolation From January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government increases support for New Zealanders to work in seasonal jobs
    The Government is offering further financial support for unemployed New Zealanders to take on seasonal work. These new incentives include: Up to $200 per week for accommodation costs $1000 incentive payment for workers who complete jobs of six weeks or longer increasing wet weather payments when people can’t work to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government receives Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mos...
    Minister for Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti has today received the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, and will table it in Parliament on Tuesday December 8. “I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency
    The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today.                                       “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Call for urgent action on Pacific conservation
    A declaration on the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis and the need for immediate, transformative action in the Pacific was agreed at a pan-Pacific conference today. The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is taking place this week across the Pacific.  Minister of Conservation Kiritapu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech from the throne
    E aku hoa i te ara o te whai, Kia kotahi tā tātou takahi i te kō, ko tōku whiwhi kei tō koutou tautoko mai. Ko tāku ki a koutou, hei whakapiki manawa mōku. He horomata rangatira te mahi, e rite ai te whiwhinga a te ringatuku, me te ringakape ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to consider recommendations on DNA use in criminal investigations
    The Minister of Justice has received the Law Commission’s recommending changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations. The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Wakatū Nelson regional hui on trade
    First, I want to express my thanks to Te Taumata for this hui and for all the fantastic work you are doing for Māori in the trade space. In the short time that you’ve been operating you’ve already contributed an enormous amount to the conversation, and developed impressive networks.  I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Primary Industries Summit
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the significant contribution the food and fibres sector makes to New Zealand and how this Government is supporting that effort. I’d like to start by acknowledging our co-Chairs, Terry Copeland and Mavis Mullins, my colleague, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
    Around 7,500 students are set to benefit from the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “The election delivered a clear mandate to accelerate our economic recovery and build back better. That’s why we are prioritising construction projects in schools so more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
    Ten years after the Pike River Mine tragedy in which 29 men lost their lives while at work, a commemorative service at Parliament has honoured them and their legacy of ensuring all New Zealand workplaces are safe. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the event, along with representatives of the Pike ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
    New testing measures are being put in place to increase the safety of border workers and further strengthen New Zealand’s barriers against COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These strengthened rules – to apply to all international airports and ports – build on the mandatory testing orders we’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ReBuilding Nations Symposium 2020 (Infrastructure NZ Conference opening session)
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. Can I acknowledge Ngarimu Blair, Ngati Whatua, and Mayor Phil Goff for the welcome. Before I start with my substantive comments, I do want to acknowledge the hard work it has taken by everyone to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand's biosecurity champions honoured
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. “These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa Conference
    speech to Tourism Industry Aotearoa annual summit Te Papa,  Wellington Introduction Nau mai, haere mai Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, Ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Thank you Tourism Industry Aotearoa for hosting today’s Summit. In particular, my acknowledgements to TIA Chair Gráinne Troute and Chief Executive Chris Roberts. You ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets announced as Government’s second market study
    The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries.   “Supermarkets are an integral part of our communities and economy, so it’s important to ensure that Kiwis are getting a fair deal at the checkout,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago