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Key decked over supercity

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 pm, May 5th, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, john key, Parliament, phil goff - Tags:

A much better performance from Goff today in the House today. Finally, after weeks of fluffing, he managed to score a direct hit on Key.

Goff’s questions on the Auckland supercity had Key denying the obvious, that the people of Auckland do not like his government’s supercity and do not believe they have been adequately consulted on the plan. We also learnt that Key hasn’t talked with Rodney Hide about his suggestion that the supercity council should sell Aucklanders’ public assets to pay the costs of setting it up. Key must be comfortable with that happening.

Finally, too, Key was forced to admit he is against giving Aucklanders their referendum.

Key’s excuses? The same old rubbish that every competent political commentator has long dismissed.

  • A supercity is too complex for a yes/no answer – funny, that wasn’t a problem with the MMP referenda and it wasn’t a problem with referenda for other council mergers.
  • The Royal Commission and the select committee are enough consultation – even though its clear that all objections through those avenues will be ignored and a few submissions is no substitute for a referendum.

Key continued made an arse of himself trying to tack on smart arse comments to his answers. It was cute when he was opposition leader but its just not fitting for a PM, it makes him look like a child playing at big boys’ games.

He ended up burning himself anyway. The opposition was laughing at one of his poor answers so he put his snarky tone and said to Goff “That is one of the things that New Zealanders liked about the former Prime Minister—at least she knew her mind”…

…um, unlike the current one?

40 comments on “Key decked over supercity ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Yes and too bad that Goff becoming upset over something Key (undoubtedly it was a smart arse comment) then threatened the speaker that if he doesn’t do something, the opposition (Labour) will effectively bring the house to disorder. It makes Goff look utterly pathetic.

    • gingercrush 1.1

      Though I am in agreement that Goff scored well today in the house.

    • calltoaccount 1.2

      Yes, I momentarily noticed that when I read transcript.

      But then Goff was bang on target for all of the supplementaries and forced a memorable concession out of Key, “at least she knew her mind”. Seems like he’s waiting for Hide to fill in his blanks.

    • Eddie 1.3

      Key was asked about a poll showing Aucklanders reject the supercity, he started going on about Goff’s poll ratings.

      Last week he was asked about the supercity and started going on about David Shearer.

      Both times Goff interrupted him with a point of order and the speaker, National’s Lockwood Smith told Key to stop.

      He’s not good enough or knowledgable enough to provide serious answers without losing the argument, so he resorts to smart arse stuff instead. Goff is quite within his rights to warn the speaker that Labour will get rowdy if he persists and Lockwood doesn’t stop him. National did it all the time. in fact they were so bad they would try to drown out ministers before they could start their replies.

      • gingercrush 1.3.1

        How is Goff within his right to warn the speaker that Labour will get rowdy. They’re rowdy anyway. What it shows is that Goff can’t handle the answers he gets directed back at him. Meaning, bhe ultimately loses his ability in the house because he is unable to compose himself. That speaks of weakness.

        What Key does is nothing new. Helen Clark did so numerous times. Lets not pretend, that Labour addressed the questions or addressed the questions without adding to it. Its a natural habit. As for Smith telling Key to stop. We’re lucky we have a speaker that is actually doing his job instead of the pathetic speaker that was Wilson.

        • Eddie

          Lockwood wants to set a higher standard. Goff is holding him to it but saying Labour won’t hold back if that means giving Key a free ride to give bullsh*t answers to serious questions.

          One of the few tools an opposition has to counter ministers avoiding answers is to interject loudly, raising the pressure and causing the minister to yell, which sounds bad on tv. National brought the tactic to a new high last term, parliament had to install new speakers so answers could be heard over the constant din they made.

          You say Clark avoided answers too? Well, did you think it was Ok then? If not don’t you want to see Key set a higher standard?

          • gingercrush

            The speaker isn’t giving Key a free ride. Key has been told numerous times to stop it. But Key is essentially allowed to answer questions like he did. He addresses the questions and adds to it which Goff provides by asking some of the questions he does.

            I was quite happy for Helen Clark to answer as she did. But what we got in Labour’s nine years in office were times when they didn’t even address the question whatsoever and the two speakers, Hunt and Wilson allowed it to happen. Lockward applying the rules better means the questions are being answered. Of course, they’re not as good as they could be. But unless both sides of house could decide on numerous new speaking rulings we’re stuck with what we have. And what we have now, is a huge improvement over what we use to have.

            What you don’t do which Goff has done several times now is threaten for his party to commit disorder. Its an empty threat that just shows his weaknesses even more.

          • felix

            It’s a bit of a stretch to say he “threatened disorder”.

            It sounded to me like he said the house would become disorderly as an observation, not a threat.

  2. mike 2

    Is that the same phil goff who has today invigorated labour’s line up with twin fossils mallard and O’Connor.

    He was positively chuffed when telling us of the fresh faced mallards return as a youthful Annette king beamed on.

    Sorry the Key / goff exchanges didn’t make the news.

    • Eddie 2.1

      ‘what makes the news’ has never been the standard for whether we post something or not. People come here because the news is so crap.

      But good to see you parrotting those Nat lines, mike. your contribution is to repeat just what Key said. how clever of you

    • calltoaccount 2.2

      It’s made the news here Mike. Staying with Goff, nice supplementary at the end from him asking what Key knows about how Hide’s looking to pay for it all (privatisation).

      Looks like Key is a blank on that too, or at least saying it’s a blank until proven otherwise. Leaks please!.

  3. Zaphod Beeblebrox 3

    National improved its national vote last election on the back of a huge surge in Auckland. this issue will dog Key for the next three years. Everyone I go (with the exception of central Auckland) people are really pissed. I don’t know why but they are.

  4. mike 4

    “People come here because the news is so crap.”

    Whe the news is all bad as it has been for the red faction lately I can hardly blame you for seeking some sort of refuge.

  5. gingercrush 5

    It was the right move to put Mallard on the front bench. Despite what he’s done outside the house his ability in the house is excellent. Before moving him to the front bench. He was almost on a one-man mission where he would sometimes act as the Opposition leader. Goff moving him to the front bench with the education portfolio makes a lot of sense. Carter had to move from education because his ability there was a joke. He wasn’t very good as the minister and he certainly wasn’t any good in opposition as the education spokesperson. Anne Tolley isn’t shining as the education minister. More to the point her talent has been wholly underwhelming. Perhaps, Carter can do better in the Foreign Affairs portfolio but I just can’t see him being effective there either.

    The problem Labour still has is most of their members that were previously ministers just can’t seem to perform in opposition. That and the newcomers to Labour are outshining them and clearly have to by next year be moved up.

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    Its a bit rude to sell our assets before we have even had a chance to vote anyone in yet. In know there’s $28 Bill of goodies to give away, but who would have the cash at the moment to buy an airport, a port or a swimming pool. Just make sure they aren’t located in Mt Albert, Port Chev or Avondale.

  7. Pat 7

    ginger said: “The speaker isn’t giving Key a free ride. Key has been told numerous times to stop it. But Key is essentially allowed to answer questions like he did. He addresses the questions and adds to it which Goff provides by asking some of the questions he does”.

    gc is right. Goff needs to stop turning a direct question into a political question. Lockwood seems to have to constantly coach Labour on how to phrase their questions correctly if they want a direct answer. As Lockwood says “If you ask a political question, you can expect a political answer.”

    Why does Goff constantly try to score points off his first question? Why doesn’t he try to lure National into a corner first by several carefully crafted direct questions? It amazes me that in the house Key looks like the old pro and Goff looks like he’s taking part-time politics classes after school.


  8. SPC 8

    A vote for National in Mount Albert is a vote for privatisation of Auckland.

  9. marco 9

    Did anyone notice the three press releases from Auckland City Council, HNZ and MPIA this afternoon on the Tamaki Transformation Project. Rather interesting stuff, $52 million over 3 years spent upgrading the suburb and providing local jobs.
    Got no traction in the media which is exactly what happened when Labour announced the same policy pre election.
    I believe Marion Street put out a press release that wasn’t picked up by significant media. It certainly didnt have the ringing endorsement of John Banks as this repackaged policy has. Wonder which side he likes to butter his bread on…..

  10. jarbury 10

    I did read that marco, very interesting to see what’s going on there as I did a lot of the planning background work for HNZC redevelopment in Glen Innes.

    I also read through the questions for today, and realised that I was mentioned!!!!!!


    Pity my name was spelt wrong 🙁

  11. jarbury 11

    There’s a great line in Sideswipe today:

    Speaking at a local government conference about the potential Super City in July 2004, Michelle A’Court got a big laugh with this one: “I hear there’s a proposal for the formation of a Super City – the amalgamation of all Auckland city councils into one. The word is Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey and Auckland Mayor John Banks will job-share. Harvey will be the day mayor and Banks will be the … “

  12. burt 12


    As much as I agree with you about this whole debacle, I think your approach of talking about referendums etc is flawed. Start by producing a list of the referendums that Labour initiated during their 9 year rule.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right but without a position of “we did it better” it’s pretty difficult to point out how “your” opposition are making a hash of it.

    If this thread was titled “Major parties self serving as usual” I would agree with you 100%.

  13. r0b 13

    Burt – you’re running the “it’s OK because they did it too” line! Shall I quote you on what a childish line that is Burt? Quite apart from the fact that you’re ignoring the relevance of the local government act’s requirement for a referendum.

    If this thread was titled “Major parties self serving as usual’ I would agree with you 100%.

    Major parties Burt? Through National are ultimately responsible it is your party, ACT, and your leader, Hide (minister for local government), who is diving this abuse of democracy. Hide who is fronting the process and insisting on no referendum. Your party ACT that is “self serving as usual” Burt.

    So how about it – going to defend ACT now?

    • r0b 13.1

      I’d be delighted to answer your questions (below) Burt. But since I asked first, you go first. What do you make of your party leader Rodney Hide and his abuse of democracy in Auckland?

  14. burt 14


    You are desperate… I said “two wrongs don’t make a right” but I guess that was too complex for you to understand.

    While I have you here rOb. Apparently Bradley is looking into the legality of the purchase advisors. If Bradley reports that laws have been broken will you be saying retrospectively validate what National did or will you be calling for prosecutions?

    I’ll be calling for prosecutions.

  15. burt 15


    Just remember how many links you have made saying Bradley ( aka the ref ) made a bad call and parliament know more about the intent of the law than anyone.

    Carefull how you hang yourself rOb.

  16. ak 16

    Yes pay attention r0b: burt clearly threw in a “two wrongs don’t make a right but -” before saying “you did it too”. I’m sure it works for his four-year-old. Just like screaming off on an irrelevant diversion when cornered.
    No disrespect burt, but you’re still a dork. Wow, look at that camel.

  17. burt 17


    It’s shabby. But I’m delighted to report that since the Green’s have stopped being Labour’s bitch they are back on my list of “might get my vote” parties.

    Rodeny is doing his best to put me off ACT with all of this.

    I’m quite worried that all parties in govt are self serving so perhaps I’ll be an opposition supporter. Move over rOb, I might need some room on the lovers of big govt seat.

    Your turn.

    ak – weak, very weak and misdirected. Now how about you – still a big supporter of “move on” when the govt break laws ?

    • r0b 17.1

      Rodeny is doing his best to put me off ACT with all of this.

      Well spoken. So eternal opposition it is for Burt. Well, it is always easier to destroy than to create I guess.

      Your turn.

      Jolly good.

      If Bradley reports that laws have been broken will you be saying retrospectively validate what National did or will you be calling for prosecutions?

      As you well know Burt, because we discussed it at ever such painful length, retrospective law is wrong, except in the case of a well established exception called Validating Legislation, which both National and Labour governments have used when required. Labour used it, following the advice of Treasury, with respect to overspending by parliamentary services after the 2005 election, the case which you have been boldly banging on about ever since, and as discussed at the links above.

      So, if Treasury recommends that retrospective validation of spending on “purchase advisors” is appropriate, then consistent with my earlier position, I won’t have a problem with it. But I don’t think the possibility even arises (it’s a case of “laws have been broken” not “unplanned spending”), let alone that Treasury would recommend such a thing, so I suspect that I’ll be joining you in calling for prosecution.

  18. burt 18

    So if Treasury say the spending on purchase advisors needs to be validated AND Bradley states that laws were broken will you just take the position of “Treasury said validate” and ignore the bit about laws broken like you did for Labour?

    It will be good to be on the same side of a principle all the same. Lets see what the ref comes up with this time. Remember that it’s the way National have always done it – status quo and all that. I’m going to enjoy this 😉

    • r0b 18.1

      I’m not going to re-litigate your misconstrual of Bradley, we have already thrashed it out at length in the thread that I linked to above.

    • jerry 18.2

      Not sure why everyone’s knickers are in a twist about the purchase advisors – a good opinion piece here makes a sensible case for them.

      While the author is not from the same side of the fence as me he makes fairly good sense.

    • burt 18.3

      So what you are saying rOb is that you and I might agree on the process that should be followed this time?

      • r0b 18.3.1

        As is often the case Burt, I’m not at all sure what you’re saying, so I’m in no position to agree or disagree with it. However, if you are intending to oppose the current arrogant government, then it seems likely that we will be agreeing in future. Which I think is one of the signs of the apocalypse.

      • burt 18.3.2


        I’m not sure that any laws have been broken, time will tell.

        However to clarify – I have not changed my position on what I think is OK and what is not with regard to accountability of MP’s when laws have been broken because we had a change of govt. Not all people who have told me to STFU about RV can say that.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Another sign of the apocalypse is when APN are playing the good guys.

    Check out the campaign against the Supa-City …


    Not holding back, are they? 🙂

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