John Key’s legacy

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, December 6th, 2016 - 224 comments
Categories: climate change, Dirty Politics, ETS, john key, national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Key-Slater-Farrar

One day on and the repercussions of John Key’s resignation are already being felt.  You get the feeling that the reverberations are deep and I suspect that National’s caucus is a seething backstabbing mess of ambition as various MPs jockey for position and backbench MPs that until now have been ignored and used as lobby fodder suddenly have some power.

John Key’s manufacturing of the situation so that a successor is anointed within 7 days is clearly to increase English’s chances.  The Labour Party has a fully democratic system where candidates have to justify their candidacy to the party at large and talk to all sectors of the party.  National clearly could not sustain such a system for the election of its leaders.

The obituaries are already starting with some suggesting that Key was one of our best Prime Ministers.  I beg to differ.

Style wise he was pretty phenomenal but substance wise he was a deep disappointment.  Not only to me but to people on the right such as Matthew Hooton and even Don Brash who is reported to have said this:

Former National party leader Don Brash says John Key has enjoyed being Prime Minister and ego-boosting meetings with world leaders but he has been guilty of tinkering rather than making major changes.

He says Mr Key has not dealt well with crunchy issues of narrowing the wage gap with Australia, superannuation and housing.

Mr Brash gave him a five out of 10 for his time as Prime Minister, saying he had not done anything that Helen Clark would not have done.

Much has been made of how Key dominated politics and how under his leadership National remained ultra popular.  Yes they did poll over 50% often.  But in the poll that counts, election results, their best result was 47%.  This is impressive but we live in an MMP environment.  National has only survived because of puppet MPs put into the Epsom and Ohariu seats in the past two elections.  National’s supposed dominance has needed two puppets and the bending of the electoral system to close to breaking point to maintain power.

It has totally cannibalised its support parties.  ACT is a frail shadow of its former self as is United Future.  The Conservative Party has disappeared.  On the right there is this Borg like entity that sucks all support into itself.

Key has perfected the aw shucks blokey persona that some clearly like.  Although this was only skin deep.  His management of dirty politics and the Cameron Slater Jason Ede axis of evil won him the last election but at the cost of his soul.

As to the substance he did not really achieve or create anything.  He saw off the Global Financial Crisis and the Christchurch Earthquake rebuilds basically by borrowing money which New Zealand could because Michael Cullen had so assiduously paid off debt.

His economic development policies were crap.  Expanding dairying only polluted our rivers and increased our output of greenhouse gasses. The growth of tertiary education for foreign students only caused the mushrooming of marginal providers.

The primary economic growth policy now appears to be ballooning immigration.  Auckland’s population grew almost 3% last year.  The symptoms are clear, rampant house price increases, homeless caused by ordinary people no longer being able to afford inflated rental amounts and a whole generation shut out of the property market.  And services are stretched as budgets are held but demand increases.

And child poverty has ballooned.  Key was great with the visuals and the talk of an under class and the trip to Waitangi with Aroha Ireland before he became Prime Minister was a major PR event for him to show that at least superficially he cared about the underclass.  But the reality?  Over a quarter of a million of children now live in poverty and kids are living in cars even though their parents have jobs.  There is something deeply wrong in New Zealand.

Key was great at the pirouette and the change of the direction and the grabbing of opposition policy as well as the micro policy, the change that had little practical effect but which could be announced triumphantly as evidence that National was different.  The increase to benefits was one of those policies.

But he was appallingly bad at dealing with big long term issues.  Despite an aging population he refused to do anything about superannuation either by contemplating a change to eligibility or by restarting Cullen fund contributions so that at least it would be more affordable.  And he gutted the emissions trading scheme while overseeing the increase in dairying so that the country’s emissions are now out of control.

Economic prowess is the one area where Key claimed special ability.  Yes the economy is growing but having to rebuild the country’s second biggest city twice is good for growth.  And national debt is just short of $90 billion when under Cullen and Clark the debt was pretty well paid off.  Key claiming that the country was not well placed to deal with the Global Financial Crisis is utter bunk.  The accounts were in sound shape back in 2008.  Running up debt may give the illusion of wealth but it will have to be paid back.

Overall Key was great at the spin and the PR but appallingly bad at dealing with the reality.  Despite his hopes the country is now in a far worse situation under his stewardship than it was when he took over.

224 comments on “John Key’s legacy”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Very well said, Sir.

    I’m certainly not feeling the alleged “feelgood” – when I see the homeless on the streets and in their cars.

    Simon Wilson

    And yet he did a great thing for New Zealand. He made us feel good about ourselves. A sense of wellbeing infuses the national consciousness and a lot of that is down to him.

    Wilson must be living in a different country from me and many near to me.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Lazy drug addled ferals who choose to live in their cars aren’t real people. /sarc

    • Karen 1.2

      “Wilson must be living in a different country from me and many near to me”.

      I think this is very true and has become more so over the past 20 years. There is a major disconnect between sections of the population in this country who are doing okay and those who are struggling. I cannot even imagine how anyone could ignore the increase in poverty and serious suffering to claim “a sense of well being infuses the national consciousness” but unfortunately this is a view that is repeated over and over again in the MSM.

      As a result this view is quite widespread, particularly because more and more people are living in their little bubbles pretending everything is just fine as long as their friends and family are okay. The right claim that the left live in bubbles but I think the opposite is true.

      • mosa 1.2.1

        NZ has a parallel reality between what they are told to believe and what really exists.

        People like Simon Wilson is talking to them.

        Wealth real or imaginary keeps away the harsh reality of living and seeing the real New Zealand.

        That is a far away country and not the one they live in.
        Its closer than they think.

        We were good once at keeping people informed of issues that we all had to take ownership of and be aware of the effects on our country.

        Not any more.

      • To be fair, it’s entirely possible that there are bubbles on both sides. Sometimes the ultra-libs on the left in Wellington are surprised when the rest of the country doesn’t agree with us. Other times it’s the neoliberals in Welly and Auckland who get surprised that there isn’t an economic consensus anymore, and don’t understand why people dislike deals like the TPP.

        The thing about bubbles is that it’s actually quite difficult to realise when you’re living in one.

        • WILD KATIPO 1.2.2.1

          Yes , however , …. bubble or not,… the fact remains that per capita people were far more well off pre 1984, and that was because we still adhered to a form of Keynesian economics. Unlike today where we have a neo liberal based economy and are just like the madman who keeps trying to get a different result by doing the same old thing.

          • Jenny Kirk 1.2.2.1.1

            + 100% Wild Katipo

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.2.2.1.2

            Indeed, it’s objective reality that things are worse for working people since the 1980s, and that we’re accelerating into the same grotesque inequality other developed countries are experiencing. (It isn’t as bad here primarily because a lot of our rich people don’t own the local businesses, rather they’re owned by Australians or other foreign investors, so the money goes overseas instead)

            The problem comes when you think of upper-middle class as the only “working people,” and everyone else as whingers who didn’t educate themselves enough and lazy drug abusers, all of which are opinions that have come out in varying degrees of brain farts from this government’s ministers. Once you start explaining away hardship that way you can basically oppress whoever you want.

    • Galeandra 1.3

      Carolyn_nth Read what Wilson wrote. He referenced many Key-did-nothing concerns within his piece but points out how important in today’s world of unravelling societies Key’s legacy of a ‘sense of wellbeing’ is.

      Disagree with him if you will, but accept the probability that he’s a better writer than you are a reader.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.3.1

        Galeandra, I did agree with some of what Wilson wrote about the ills of our society. But then, when he went on about the feelgood thing, I strongly disagree. And it kind of contradicts the coverage of the awful stuff by Wilson: education, homelessness, housing crisis, etc.

        How can anyone be living in a society knowing those awful things are going on, then focus on the feelgood of “us” and our society as a whole – while also saying many have missed out on the “wellbeing”? There’s is a major disconnect in Wilson’s analysis, that aligns himself with the feeling-good “us”, and somehow diminishes the experiences of the large numbers left out in the cold.

        • WILD KATIPO 1.3.1.1

          Its called the ‘ Bean Counters’ mentality , Carolyn_nth.

          Devoid of empathy . Measures everything in its fiscal quantity’s and nothing in its sociological impacts.

          I dont know about Wilson , but for far too long weve have had a surplus of those sorts of talking heads wreaking damage on our population. Hopefully with Key gone their insidious influence will be weakened somewhat… one can only hope.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    He is New Zealand’s version of Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States from 1923 to 1929.

  3. tc 3

    His legacy will be obvious once the next govt starts working through their wrecking ball approach across health, education, r&d, transport, leaky buildings etc

    The lid has been kept on areas that lack choice in employers (health and education) so the unravelling of the ‘brighter future’ will run awhile.

    • SpaceMonkey 3.1

      The tables will turn and the next Government will be able to blame National for everything for the foreseeable future… it’s that bad.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 3.2

      Could be messy when the next Government has a look at the books?

  4. john 4

    Key is and will always be a class act.
    Will not lie to the people and stay on, then quit after promising (by running an election) to be there for 3 more years. Gone at a time of HIS choosing.
    Unlike Auntie helen, who arranged a job at the UN 1 year before the election and quit with in hours of the loss an left the country to a bi election within days

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      “He bailed when it suited him”.

      A truly ringing endorsement 😆

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.2

      Oh please John Key is like the guy in the family that plays a mean guitar at family get together’s and always brings heaps of beers, yeah uncle John he is the fun guy so popular with the nieces and nephews. Only problem is all the adults know what uncle John really is like .. he is debt, owes money all over the place, his kids don’t get the basics and Aunties life is shit because she gets physically and emotionally abused and is stressed to the hilt because she struggles to put food on the table. Yup uncle John he is a real class act.

    • michelle 4.3

      John he left before we got rid of him class calls act that is tired from wrecking our country and telling pokies and he is looking old good job he deserves everything he gets that is what happens when you tell so many porkies

    • wellfedweta 4.4

      I agree with you on Key, but not on Clark. Resigning after an election loss is entirely understandable, and having a ‘plan B’ in the event of a loss is actually what most intelligent people would do.

      • framu 4.4.1

        i would be willing to bet Key has a plan B already

        im no fan – but i wouldnt call him stupid (or bereft of options)

        • wellfedweta 4.4.1.1

          He may well have, and why not? I just don’t understand why people would think that intelligent people would not have options.

        • mosa 4.4.1.2

          What do you think he has been doing for 8 years.

          All networking and no governing.

          Key- i have no plan B
          Key- i dont want to mislead the people of New Zealand.
          Key i decided to stand down and told Bill, then why not go then, answer no plan B

          The greatest Hollywood actor of our generation.

          Bullshitting still.

        • Doogs 4.4.1.3

          He’s not intelligent, just has a low animal cunning that sees him through crisis by crisis. No plan, he’s the ultimate reactive.

      • alwyn 4.4.2

        Having a plan B? But Helen kept assuring us that there was no plan B.
        You don’t mean she was lying do you?

      • Jenny Kirk 4.4.3

        How sure are you that Clark had a “B” plan ready ? I think she was as surprised at the 2008 election result as anyone else was.
        Whereas Key has known for some time he was going to quit, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he ended up with some cosy job somewhere comfortable – Hawaii, maybe ?

    • framu 4.5

      “Key is and will always be a class act.”

      all i see is an oily con man who has a pathological lying streak a mile wide

      • wellfedweta 4.5.1

        Then you have something I saw described some time ago as ‘key derangement syndrome’. It seems to fit many of the inhabitants here.

        • framu 4.5.1.1

          KDS is just a really lazy way for people with no argument to try and shut down debate – i suggest you drop it, quickly

          Try pointing out why you think otherwise.

          heres my reasoning

          exhibit 1) Keys frequent use of language that allows him to change his position on a dime

          exhibit 2) keys frequent porkies and brain fades

          its on these two points that i form my opinion and not due to some deranged functioning of my brain

          • wellfedweta 4.5.1.1.1

            KDS is real and evident in your post.

            Your accusations about Key are nonsense, and could be applied to any politician.

            • framu 4.5.1.1.1.1

              KDS is just a really lazy way for people with no argument to try and shut down debate

              • wellfedweta

                No, KDS is alive and well and obvious in your commentary.

                • framu

                  get an original line, make an argument

                  actually bother trying and stop using mental illness as a cheap shot

                  • wellfedweta

                    It’s not a cheap shot. It’s a very real phenomena. You’re exhibiting it in spades with you original comments, which could be applied to any politician. I saw this over and over again from the right with Helen Clark (although I have to say the loopy left has excelled itself in it’s invective on Key). It was irrational then and it’s irrational now.

                    • framu

                      you’re calling me mentally ill, thats what deranged means – its a cheap shot

                      Thats my final word on your childish laziness

                    • wellfedweta

                      “you’re calling me mentally ill, thats what deranged means – its a cheap shot”

                      No, I’m saying you have a derangement when it comes to John Key. You;re being a little sensitive.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It was one of Stalin’s favourite tricks too. That’s another of his traits you share.

                    • wellfedweta

                      “It was one of Stalin’s favourite tricks too.”

                      Don’t be silly. Key wasn’t even born when Stalin was in power.

                    • KDS,… how very interesting, I wonder, however , if there is reference to it in modern psychiatry and if it is also included in official English language usage…

                      Somehow I doubt it.

                      What I don’t doubt is that it is a modern contemporary acronym invented by certain of the neo liberal right wing to use as a cover all smokescreen to justify shutting down criticism and thus deflection of the issues at hand…

                      Let us use another word perhaps, … that IS included in modern day English and DOES have a bonifide meaning , … and to which we can easily apply to Wellfedweta as he/she amply displays ALL the symptoms of having that condition.

                      And that word is SYCOPHANT .

                    • wellfedweta

                      “KDS,… how very interesting”

                      How very real. It is the same as we saw during Clark’s premiership (CDS), and many comments here show the same signs of irrationality.

                  • Tamati Tautuhi

                    He is using trolling 101 tactics?

    • Johan 4.6

      To John:
      Tell someone who is gullible enough to believe your BS!

  5. john 5

    I don’t think…” then you shouldn’t talk, said the Hatter.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
    and Andrew Little

    • ropata 5.1

      Appropriate reading for narrow minded pillocks who *still* think the sun shines out of FJK’s rectum

      (despite the tsunami of damning evidence, that is about to obliterate the Gnats)

  6. David C 6

    Why do authors at The Standard use such old photos? The pic at the top of this post has to be 8+ years old.

    Maybe its the Labour way, always looking backward for an answer.

    • Carolyn_nth 6.1

      Legacies are like that – they hang around long after their use-by dates.

    • Sorrwerdna 6.2

      Labour has no answers. A National voter is not suddenly going to vote labour because JK has resigned. National is more than a one trick pony.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Lies.

        National is only a one trick pony and it fails badly at that trick.

      • Labour has no a plethora of answers. A National swing/centrist voter is not quite likely to vote Labour because JK has resigned. National is little more than a one trick pony.

        FIFY

      • Carolyn_nth 6.2.3

        National Party (alleged) contenders for PM – English (36 years as MP), Collins (14 years), Joyce (5 years) , Bennett (8 years)- some long term pollies in there.

        then there’s Andrew Little (6 years) – in his 2nd term…. and now there’s a very promising Michael Wood.

        • john 6.2.3.1

          “then there’s Andrew Little (6 years) – in his 2nd term…”…as a loser, 2nd term as a loser,,,and still no clue as to what to do.

        • wellfedweta 6.2.3.2

          Hilarious! Labour supporter claims Labour have rejuvenated using a new MP and a perennial election loser as examples!

          Annette King, Labour Deputy Leader. 32 years.

          Grant Robertson, Labour Finance Spokesman. 8 Years.

          David Parker. 14 Years.

          The you’ve got Trevor Mallard, 32 years, Ruth Dyson, 23 years….

          • DoublePlusGood 6.2.3.2.1

            I have no problem with long term MPs, as long as they are doing a good job.
            So, of those, most of them should go – but not because of length of time, but because they just aren’t doing anything useful.

            • wellfedweta 6.2.3.2.1.1

              I’m with you. National has done a far better job at rejuvenating, and they’ve had a much larger Caucus to manage.

              • Well, they’ve certainly done a better job at moving people along, I’m not sure I agree that most of their new talent is any good. The only one of substance really is Nikki Kaye. Compare with Bridges or Parmar for instance.

                • wellfedweta

                  Quality is difficult to gauge until people are given greater responsibility. My comment was direct at carolyn.

                  • I’m sorry, you’re arguing we should promote Simon Bridges because the responsibility will make him better? LOL. That’s literally the same kind of BS people are trying to sell on why Americans shouldn’t practice civil disobedience against their President-elect.

                    Someone who is out of depth in a small job doesn’t get better when given more responsibility, they only “get better” if their responsibilities are better matched to their talents. It’s pure guesswork at this stage to speculate that Bridges has other talents that might be better suited to him being in a senior role, and actually implies John Key is a bad manager for making him a minister in the wrong area.

                    Well done, you’ve caught yourself in a catch 22.

                    • wellfedweta

                      Clearly you didn’t understand my comment. I was referring to ‘new talent’ (responding to your term). Bridges has done a good job, but he is not ‘new talent’; he has been in Parliament since 2008.

                    • Ah, in terms of people who haven’t been ministers yet, that makes SOME sense. People can be surprisingly good ministers from time to time, although by and large bad MPs make bad ministers.

      • Marcus Morris 6.2.4

        Key survived on something called charisma – he charmed many of those he met, including some ardent left wing thinkers I know of (they didn’t vote for him of course). Before he came on the scene National was in the doldrums so Sorrwerdna who are you suggesting from the current National crop has similar pulling power? “Crusher” Collins, Jerry Brownlee, Paula Bennett, Sheepgate McCully, Brian Joyce. Key has endorsed Bill English but he has already had a shot and Helen and Michael wiped the floor with him.

        I will never forgive him or his party for the forty nine percent “sell off” of our vital assets (much of which is now owned by overseas interests .Do we actually own any insurance companies – you know, the big institutional players), for allowing the Auckland property market to get hopelessly out of control and refusing to consider a CGT so that, while that measure mightn’t have made a great difference at least the speculators would have contributed something to the national good. His government’s ‘hands off” position on the Auckland traffic issue was Nero-like in its arrogance and seen by many as petty political point scoring.

        Possibly the most far reaching legacy will be the amount of prime agricultural land that is now in foreign ownership (and not necessarily Asian) as a result of grossly inflated land prices – affordable when dairy returns were high but disastrous with the downturn and for those with unsustainable mortgages and the subsequent mortgagee sales.

        Every expert recommended a raising of the super qualification age – good old John knew better. I’m alright Jack but how will my children and grandchildren fare.

        And that’s just for starters.
        Cheers.

        • ropata 6.2.4.1

          He was a total and utter banker. I can’t think of one promise that he has kept.

          Tax cuts? Not really, raised GST
          No asset sales? Yeah right
          Brain drain? Record emigration under the FJK regime (with fluctuations)
          Balance the books? Complete fail
          Help the underclass? Somehow forgotten about

        • wellfedweta 6.2.4.2

          Where to start?

          “… but he has already had a shot and Helen and Michael wiped the floor with him.”

          How did Helen’s first shot go?

          “for allowing the Auckland property market to get hopelessly out of control”

          This had virtually nothing to do with the government. It was the result of decades of poor planning by Auckland Councils.

          “while that measure mightn’t have made a great difference”

          So you admit that your own policy prescription, and one of Labour’s main policy platforms of the last election, would not have made a blind bit of difference.

          “Possibly the most far reaching legacy will be the amount of prime agricultural land that is now in foreign ownership”

          Actually, very little.

          • Marcus Morris 6.2.4.2.1

            I did not say that at all and you have ignored my second part of the comment.
            I said that it “mightn’t” simply because we will never know. Housing and transport in Auckland are going to dominate the political scene for some time to come.

            How much is “little” – but we can debate that for hours which I am sure we don’t intend to.

            As I recall it Helen’s “first shot” went pretty well. She certainly wasn’t replaced “mid stream” and if the king maker Peters had moved in the right direction she should have been the first PM under MMP. You don’t recall that??

            • wellfedweta 6.2.4.2.1.1

              “As I recall it Helen’s “first shot” went pretty well. ”

              Really? 1996 general election. Labour Leader = Helen Clark. Labour vote = 28%, down 6.5% from the previous election. Did you not know that?

              • Marcus Morris

                After all these years it would seem that you still do not understand MMP. 1996 saw New Zealand’s first MMP election. National received 33.87% of the party vote, down slightly on the previous FFTP election. Labour received 28.19%, down some 6% from 1993. NZF received 13.35%.
                Actual seats National 44, Labour 37, NZF 17. I stand by what I said. Many expected NZF to go with Labour and perhaps you have forgotten the interminable wait while Winston made up his mind. He certainly won a good deal for himself from Jim Bolger and I can’t recall NZF getting anywhere near that number of seats since. I suspect that many who voted for him were former Labour voters but I have no way of proving that. I suggest that you read what I actually said.

                • wellfedweta

                  After all these year it would seem you don’t understand basic maths. Clark’s first tilt at PM was a disaster, as my post demonstrated. She lost 65 of Labour’s vote at a time when the government was vulnerable.

        • Nessalt 6.2.4.3

          Just refresh my memory Marcus. what year was it that a John Key led National Government sold a minority stake in the Insurance companies the state used to own?

        • To be fair, the insurance companies aren’t Key’s fault. State Insurance was sold under Rogernomics.

          None of the big Insurance players are kiwi-owned. Most NZ insurance is through IAG New Zealand, (which comprises the brands State, AMI, Lumley, and NZI, which is just naming the big ones. It also includes smaller brands like Lantern) an Australian-owned company.

          Its big competitors are AA and Tower, both of which are at least partially owned by Australians.

          If you have insurance through your bank or through Trade Me insurance and are thinking you don’t have insurance through one of those three, you’re probably wrong. ANZ Insurance is through AA, BNZ and Co-op is through NZI, Westpac is through Lumley and Trade Me Insurance is through Tower.

          I would absolutely be in support of the government making some capital available for a state-owned insurer, budgets permitting, as there is room for an option that doesn’t send most of its profits overseas.

          • Marcus Morris 6.2.4.4.1

            Thanks for all that. It was precisely my point – what proportion of the sale of state-owned assets went to the kiwi “Mums and Dads”.

            • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.4.4.1.1

              There’s a sort-of argument that middle NZ (the “mums and dads” of the middle class) benefited from the sales funding the measures to stop a collapse of the NZ economy. The issue, of course, is that as always the methods used to stop that collapse were violently elitist.

        • Jenny Kirk 6.2.4.5

          + agree with you totally, Marcus Morris. You just left out the extremely depleted waterways – ones that haven’t yet been polluted by his RMA restructurings.

          • Marcus Morris 6.2.4.5.1

            Thanks Jenny – I did say “just for starters”. The next twelve months are going to be extremely interesting – not one of the trio listed as a likely successor has J.K’s mastery of obfuscation.

            The real issue for much of the world is the gap between rich and poor that widens by the day. It underlies the so-called Brexit result in the UK as well as Trump’s astounding victory in the US. The awful irony in each of those situations is that those who voted for them are going to be cruelly disillusioned when they discover that nothing will change for them as a result.

      • Tricledrown 6.2.5

        They will stay home.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Economic prowess is the one area where Key claimed special ability.

    He wouldn’t know what an economy was if he tripped over one. He sees only the money and not the resources or the people that those resources are there to support. He sees the economy as something that’s there to make rich people richer rather than as an essential process that supports everyone at a reasonable living standard while being sustainable.

    Overall Key was great at the spin and the PR but appallingly bad at dealing with the reality.

    None of the National MPs or caucus can deal with reality as it is counter to their beliefs.

  8. wellfedweta 8

    “The Labour Party has a fully democratic system where candidates have to justify their candidacy to the party at large and talk to all sectors of the party.”

    The Labour system is actually no more democratic than National’s, perhaps less so. A significant say is given to the Union movement, who consist of members who do not all vote Labour. Andrew Little is not a democratically elected leader – he owes his position to the unions, and so is beholden to them. He received a tiny minority of votes from his own caucus, so the system is a nonsense.

    A National leader is elected by his Caucus, who are themselves elected by the people of NZ (in electorate seats) and selected by the wider Party. That is arguably more democratic.

    Finally, consider this. Within 1 week of the PM’s resignation we will most likely have a new PM. Under Labour’s system the country would have no PM for weeks, assuming the same system is deployed if in government. Please tell me they have a different system for that eventuality?

    • Carolyn_nth 8.1

      And next week we will have a new PM that no member of the public will have elected in that role.

      • john 8.1.1

        Every member of the public had a vote or chance to, at the last election. So all MP’s are in exactly the position the voters chose for them.

      • Gosman 8.1.2

        Why should the public be able to select the leader of a political party? We are a representative parliamentary democracy NOT a Presidential one. You don’t become a better democracy in our system by electing the leaders of each political parties.

        • WILD KATIPO 8.1.2.1

          So Gosman …. you are in whole hearted agreement about having coups , then ?

          Refer back to the bloodless coup of Jenny Shipley in rolling Jim Bolger.

          Jenny Shipley … assumed power on her own auspices and not of that of either the caucus or the general public.

          Well done , mate , well done.

          You’ve just helped identify the sort of viscous , anti democratic types who inhabit the rotten corpse of the neo liberal movement.

      • wellfedweta 8.1.3

        That will always be the case, whichever the system is deployed. When David Lange stood down in 1989 he was replaced by Geoffrey Palmer, who the public had not elected as PM. What would you suggest, a new general election when a PM resigns?

        • mosa 8.1.3.1

          Shipley was not elected either and did not seek a mandate until Nov 27th 1999, 24 months later.

          It would be an interesting scenario to test the water in this governments case as its so apparently popular with these 50% ratings and all the Nat MPs are convinced at their own impressive track record over the last eight years is a winning formula, why not test it at a general election with a new leader ?

          They would win wouldn’t they ?

          The only thing is they hated it when Helen Clark went early but hypocrisy does not count for much in politics.

          • wellfedweta 8.1.3.1.1

            I don;t have a problem with early elections. I wouldn’t have a problem with a new Nat leader testing the electorate. All I’m saying is there is no constitutional imperative for them to do so.

    • left_forward 8.2

      Boy, you Natz are working really hard to convince yourselves of this twaddle aren’t you – you guys must be really hurting.

    • Jenny Kirk 8.3

      ” Andrew Little is not a democratically elected leader – he owes his position to the unions, and so is beholden to them. ”
      This is a total nonsense, wellfedweta. Yes, the unions backed Andrew Little but so did thousands of ordinary Labour Party members. The unions don’t have the numbers these days to pull the sort of punch you’re suggesting.
      What you’re forgetting is that Andrew Little achieved his leadership on an STV vote – second choice for some people, first choice for others – all of these sufficient for him to win the Leadership. And many of us ordinary members voted for him because of his organisational and facilitation skills – the skills needed by a Leader of a diverse political party to get it sorted out.

      • wellfedweta 8.3.1

        Little only won because of the unions.

        Little received only 6.25% of the caucus votes (less than both Robertson (17.5%) and Parker (8.75%)), 10.28% of the members (less than Robertson (15.3%), but 12.82% of affiliates. Without the unions, Little would not be leader.

      • Anne 8.3.2

        wfw isn’t the only one running with the tired old ‘unions’ meme Jenny Kirk. Matthew Hooten is also pushing it big time. It’s an indication of what is coming next year. They are going to try and use the age-old union scare tactic again, but something tells me it won’t wash this time around.

  9. Gosman 9

    Will you stop with the whole rampant government debt nonsense.

    A couple of facts on that matter.

    NZ government debt as a percentage of GDP is low compared to the rest of the World. See table here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

    Government Debt hasn’t increased at a significantly faster rate than what was predicted by Treasury in 2008 BEFORE National took over.

    • Sabine 9.1

      http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand

      it’s just peanuts, no worries, she’ll be right,

      i’ll be dead when history comes around to judge me

      it’s only debt when the others do it.

      oh my oh my oh my

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        You are not addressing the point I made. Compared to other nations our Government debt as a percentage of GDP is low. The rise in debt was also predicted due to the fiscal situation in place BEFORE National took power in 2008. The debt is as much Helen Clarks legacy as it is John Key’s.

        • wellfedweta 9.1.1.1

          I’ve commented on the same matter elsewhere. There is either a fundamental lack of understanding of economics or alternatively willful dishonesty in comments such as Sabine’s.

          • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1

            How so? You have mine and Andrew’s data that shows Government debt in NZ is low by World standards so where is the evidence this is somehow a bad thing for NZ?

            Do you know that Sabine’s debt clock isn’t an actual reflection of official government debt?

        • Psycho Milt 9.1.1.2

          The rise in debt was also predicted due to the fiscal situation in place BEFORE National took power in 2008. The debt is as much Helen Clarks legacy as it is John Key’s.

          Yes. That’s one of the few things Key got right – not completely scrapping Labour’s spending programme. We’d have at least this much debt if Labour had remained in power, and likely a lot more, because their programme naturally involves more government spending than National’s. That’s not a bad thing if you’re trying to cope with a global financial crisis and resulting collapse in demand. That $90 bil reflects National taking a reasonably Keynesian approach to the crisis and it’s insane to attack them for doing that.

    • Andrew 9.2

      That wiki article has very old data. This is more up to date:

      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/government-debt-to-gdp

      140th out of 170 countries. At 24% of GPD we are waaayyy down the list. There is no “rampant government debt”, that argument is complete nonsense.

      • Gosman 9.2.1

        Yet that is not the story many on the left push. I presume that isn’t lying or dirty politics though because the left NEVER engages in those sorts of things /sarc.

        • Andrew 9.2.1.1

          Well it’s easy to look at the debt and go, waaaaaa 90 billion dollars!! Without actually understanding what has happened. Yes, sure, we have borrowed a lot of money, and yes our debt was low when National took office, that’s what a decade of record surpluses gives you.

          But understanding why we have this debt is the bigger picture that people seem all to happy to ignore.

          Government spending in the last 5 years of the Labour government increased by 50% in 5 years. Now, that’s all well and good if the economy is going to keep growing. But there was a small issue of the GFC which destroyed the governments income base for many years and we are still coming out of the other side of that recession. Many countries around the world are still very much in deep trouble.

          When revenue decreases you can either slash spending, or borrow to fund spending. This is what the government did, and you would be completely ignorant if you think that Labour would not have borrowed the same if not more than National has.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1.1

            you can either slash spending, or borrow to fund spending.

            Or raise taxes, like Lab5 did. Then the sky fell on your head, Diddums.

            • Gosman 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Raising taxes during a recession has the same impact as cutting government spending, You generally cause a deeper recession

              • DoublePlusGood

                [citation needed]

                Government spending keeping the domestic economy afloat should lessen the effect of the recession.

                • Gosman

                  Ummm… you are aware higher taxes reduces spending and investment aren’t you? If all government is doing is replacing the investment and/or spending that the private sector would usually carry out the net effect of higher taxes is zero. The only real net benefit (short term) is if government borrows to fund it’s operations.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Nope. Higher taxes on the rich returns more money to the economy and thus boosts it. It’s why we had more growth under the previous high tax regimes after WWII than we’ve had since the neo-liberal reforms of the 1980s.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I think the weasel word in Gosman’s comment is “generally”. Translation: it happens according to Gosman’s opinion.

                • Gosman

                  Where pray tell do you think Rich people keep their money Draco – Under their mattresses?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What’s that got to do with it?

                    Haven’t you read Piketty?

                    Returns to the rich through interest and share holding accelerate the amount of money that they withdraw from the economy resulting in poverty, recession and finally collapse of the economy and society.

                    The rich simply cannot spend their ill-gotten money fast enough to keep the economy going.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummm… where do rich people keep the money they make from interest and the like Draco? I’ll give you a clue. They keep them in financial institutions which can then lend them out again. Given YOU have a problem with the (imaginary) inflationary effects of this then you should see that taking money from the wealthy would actually have a correspondingly greater effect on reducing the money in circulation.

                    • ropata

                      You mean they put their money onto productive investments that help the economy?
                      HAHAHAAHA gimme a fucken break

                      Most of the ill gotten gains are parked in illegal tax havens.
                      Some of it goes to rigged investment vehicles run by insiders like Goldman Sachs.
                      Some of it is parked in high end property investment, causing global bubbles.
                      Some of it is wasted on superyachts and mega mansions or other obscene displays of narcissism like Trump Tower.

                      This is nothing near as productive as government spending into public services or infrastructure. It is beyond debate that the wealth effect of demand side investment is paid back many times over.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      They keep them in financial institutions which can then lend them out again.

                      Well, we know that’s BS as banks create money when they create a loan.

                      Given YOU have a problem with the (imaginary) inflationary effects of this then you should see that taking money from the wealthy would actually have a correspondingly greater effect on reducing the money in circulation.

                      And that’s BS as well.

                      Money needs to flow from creation -> work -> destruction.

                      It’s not the amount of money that’s important so much as how much it flows. And money pooling in the pockets of the rich isn’t flowing.

                      And what Ropata said.

                    • mikes

                      @Gosman

                      You really have no clue. You believe financial institutions actually lend out depositors money? If banks only ever lent out depositors money then how do you suppose new money is ever created to expand the money supply to keep up with an expanding economy?

                      Every single ‘loan’ taken out from a bank or other financial institution creates ‘new money’ (bank credit) which is added to the overall money supply. Every new bank loan has an inflationary effect. This is how money is created. Inflation is an increase in the overall money supply, nothing more nothing less. The inflation figures the public gets like the cpi, etc showing price rises are actually showing symptoms of inflation.

                      Why can right wing people like yourself simply not seem to understand this.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummm… I’m not even arguing against what you are stating you muppets. While I think you’re nuts for thinking what you do I’m actually stating that if you are right then taxing rich people has an inversely negative effect on the economy as it reduces the amount of money banks lend based on your own warped theory.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      While I think you’re nuts for thinking what you do I’m actually stating that if you are right then taxing rich people has an inversely negative effect on the economy as it reduces the amount of money banks lend based on your own warped theory.

                      What you’re doing is warping what we’re saying to try to justify maintaining rich people when it’s obvious that we can’t afford rich people at all.

    • Tricledrown 9.3

      Private and govt debt has gone through the roof under National.
      Paying for tax cuts by borrowing.
      Gooseman the right whinger.
      Don Brash doesn’t agree with your opinions yet you have claimed you are right of right.

    • adam 9.4

      I love how you talk so much doodoo Gossy. Such a funny read, I particularity love when you reach for Keynesian explanation over and again, which I see you done in this tread, had to laugh.

      Also you missed that national increased taxes, rather substantially for the poor. But no doubt you will try to create some spin on that too.

      It’s the right who don’t understand economics, and what it actually there for. It is for the betterment of people, not ideology, which you seem to think it is.

      Mind you what do expect from someone who worships Pinochet for his economics.

  10. John Key is backing his favourite, Bill English for new leader just as he backed his favourite design for new flag.

  11. ianmac 11

    As Mickysavage so clearly outlined the other day, Key was expert at giving several different answers to a question so that in retrospect, maybe one of them might be right or at least partly right. It was the reason that it was so hard to hold him to account. Slippery. Devious. What a legacy.

    • john 11.1

      and yet, the people chose him. Keep guessing as to why won’t you and just like Mr Little you will be in opposition AGAIN….POLICIES that work, knowing that the money earned is owned by the people that earned it & NOT the govt.’s to spend as it sees fit.
      Labour have yet to come up with a policy that can’t be dis proven on the back of a napkin, by a 5 year old with a pocket calculator.

      • framu 11.1.1

        yet nationals campaigning was always light on policy, VERY light on policy detail and VERY heavy on Key

        • ianmac 11.1.1.1

          So true framu. In 2014 the National policy was almost non-existent while the Key smile, smirk and meet the supporters was refined. Avoid all the non-supporters down to a fine art.

      • Tricledrown 11.1.2

        Spin was Nationals policy

      • Marcus Morris 11.1.3

        So property speculation (unearned income) is fine in your book. No doubt you will tell me that the amount concerned is “peanuts”.

    • ‘ Giving several different answers to a question ‘

      Classic American style CIA / Military techniques . Its called among other things – ‘Plausible Deniability ‘.

      And they use it to get around Congress all the time.

  12. Scottie 12

    Greg,
    Good post but labour needs to keep telling the voters what they will do in office and not bang on about how bad Key was. Keep showing the voters labour policies and prove that you are a credible power. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Andrew Little and the Labour Party.

    • ropata 12.1

      Misguided criticism, The Standard is not a Labour Party vehicle, Scottie. Go check the LP site and Little’s public statements.

  13. Whispering Kate 13

    I have commented in another post that he couldn’t even own the decision for himself when he resigned and had to imply there was pressure from the missus as if she could ever influence him. Bloody typical blame the poor little Stepford wife. Not for one minute do I believe it was family reasons, She chose to live in Auckland and I wonder why sometimes – how many wives would choose for themselves to live apart from their partner. John only ever does what John wants and he has something up his sleeve in the way of another job or he knows there is shit coming to hit the fan and he wants out. Selfish from the beginning and selfish to the end. Won’t miss him for a minute and he quits the day before my birthday – what a great present.

  14. Kay 14

    All the Natz apologists have been so quick to leap on the raising benefits as one of his wonderful legacies and repeat it at every opportunity. THEY DID NOT!!!! Ask anyone on jobseekers, Supported Living Payment- the unemployed and disabled and ill people of NZ who need need a benefit to survive, short or long term, didn’t get a single cent. We’d love to have any sort of increase and $25/week would be heaven. Even the sole parents who allegedly get that- very few will get the full amount.

    What reduced me to tears was John Campbell’s interview with Key yesteday evening when even he got caught up in the echo chamber and mentioned the benefit increases as one of Key’s accomplishments. I was too upset to fire off an angry email to Checkpoint.

    Please everyone- counter this “legacy” every time you hear it. Key and his cohorts are no friends to beneficiaries, they have NOT increased benefits, certainly not across the board like their PR suggests.

    • Karen 14.1

      Exactly Kay. I would love to know exactly how many on benefits actually got $25. A tiny percentage I suspect.

    • Sam C 14.2

      I’m looking forward to all those massive benefit increases under Andrew Little, Kay.

    • ianmac 14.3

      I suspect that the Campbell interview with Key yesterday was more than just the polite superficial that it seemed.
      “Why now Mr Key?” This is a question yet to be answered.

    • Rosemary McDonald 14.4

      “Please everyone- counter this “legacy” every time you hear it. Key and his cohorts are no friends to beneficiaries, they have NOT increased benefits, certainly not across the board like their PR suggests.”

      My man and I went to see “I, Daniel Blake” the other day….(now off the SLP and onto the respectable Super…big difference to us after years of breadline living.)

      Anyway…the movie…not so different to what happens here.

      I downloaded the application form the the SLP last night to send to a mate who has a mate who can no longer drive or work because of a poorly managed head injury…https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/documents/forms/supported-living-payment-application.pdf

      The damn thing is 52 pages long.

      It opens, on page one, with…

      “You may be able to get the Supported Living Paymenti f you are:
      • permanently and severely restricted in your ability to work because of a health
      condition, injury or disability. This means:
      – your condition will last more than two years, OR
      – your life expectancy is less than two years AND
      – you can’t regularly work 15 hours or more a week
      • totally blind
      • caring full time for someone at home who would otherwise need hospital level or
      residential care (or equivalent) who is not your husband, wife or partner.
      If you are applying because you:
      • have a health condition, injury, disability or you are totally blind; you need to be
      16 years or over
      • are providing full-time care; you need to be:
      – 18 years or over with no dependent children, or
      – 20 years or over with dependent children.
      You will need to meet your obligations and some other conditions. The information we collect on this application form will help us work out what assistance we can give you.”

      and concludes page 1 of 52..

      “You must give us all the information we need.
      If you do not have all the information we need,talk with us and we may be able to help.
      If we find out later that any information you give us is not true, or that you knew information you should have told us and did not tell us,we may stop paying your benefit.You might need to pay money back,we may impose a penalty, and you could be prosecuted.”

      Now, friend of a friend has a head injury…about this point how’s he going to be feeling? Eh?

      How’s that brighter future there John Key?

      • Ethica 14.4.1

        Under Key (and lackey Pullya) the benefit system has become much harder to access and much more punitive. The desperation and heartlessness displayed in the movie by I, Daniel Blake, reflects much of the NZ system.

    • mosa 14.5

      Your dead right Kay well put.

  15. Bob 15

    “The Labour Party has a fully democratic system where candidates have to justify their candidacy to the party at large and talk to all sectors of the party”

    Mickeysavage, why do you keep peddling this when it is clearly false!
    In what world does a “fully democratic system” involve one sector of society (lets call them Union Delegates) get to decide the results of a vote like they did with Andrew Little?

    If you look at the last “fully democratic” leadership vote, the Union Delegates overwhelmingly voted Andrew Little as their first choice, and Grant Robertson as their last choice. This means that even though Grant Robertson was the first choice of the Caucus and the Membership (with Little actually receiving the least votes in the caucus for round one voting), and even by round 3 votes when Grant Robertson had 56.25% of the caucus vote, and 55.23% of the membership vote, he still lost.

    This compares to Nationals process, local members vote on the local representative. At the election the general public votes on whether the candidate is the best person for the region. If there is a change of leadership, all representatives that have made it through the first two criteria get to vote for the person they feel is the best to lead them. All three stages are a one person one vote scenario.

    Now, which of these is more democratic to you?

    • ropata 15.1

      No system is perfectly democratic, but National’s is akin to the USA electoral college that spews up some pretty awful results from time to time.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      All three stages are a one person one vote scenario.

      And yet the third stage excludes the membership and is thus anti-democratic.

      National’s process is all about removing the power from the members.

  16. Bob 16

    Mickeysavage, again “Key claiming that the country was not well placed to deal with the Global Financial Crisis is utter bunk. The accounts were in sound shape back in 2008”

    Rubbish, from treasury forecasts 2008 (bold mine):

    A sustained period of operating deficits
    is forecast…
    The operating balance is forecast to be in
    deficit over the forecast period. The
    deficits peak in the June 2009 year at
    $4.3 billion, primarily owing to losses on
    financial instruments resulting from the
    recent financial market turmoil.
    Beyond the June 2009 year the operating
    balance recovers slightly as the rate of
    return on financial instruments is assumed
    to return to long-term benchmark rates
    from 31 October 2008 and as a result
    income increases.
    The OBEGAL, which represents the
    operating balances before gains and
    losses, is also expected to remain in a
    deficit position over the forecast period,
    peaking at around $6.3 billion in the June
    2013 year</b

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/eff2008/eff08.pdf

    This means that even before the GFC had completely kicked in (it had just begun) Labour had overspent leaving us in a hole that was forecast to grow every year for the duration of the forecast, how is this "sound shape"?

    • ropata 16.1

      lolz nice cherry pick. try looking at the net debt position, not the projected operating balance in the middle of the GFC

      • Bob 16.1.1

        Here is Mickeysavage’s full quote: “The accounts were in sound shape back in 2008. Running up debt may give the illusion of wealth but it will have to be paid back.”
        So yes, I am looking at the debt position because that is what Mickey blames on National.

        Plus, in 2008 the GFC was just beginning, the full depth wasn’t felt until at least 2009, so these forecasts were optimistic.

        Edit: Here is the Net Debt position you asked for also: “Core Crown net debt is also expected to
        rise to $44.7 billion or 20.7% of GDP by
        June 2013”
        How does that help your position?

        • ropata 16.1.1.1

          Even Bill English acknowledged that Clark and Cullen did a good job of paying down the national debt, and prepared for the “rainy day” of the GFC.
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10548753

          In contrast, National offered “bait and switch” tax cuts and asset sales. Clueless.

          • Gosman 16.1.1.1.1

            Ummm… the fiscal position now is better than that predicted in 2008 by Treasury. So therefore the National led government policies have made things better not worse.

            • ropata 16.1.1.1.1.1

              “made things better” for whom?

            • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.1.2

              So, Treasury predicted that debt would rise to 20.7% of GDP and National have actually raised it to 24.6% of GDP and you think that’s a better position?

              And there’s no way to really say that Labour would have made it worse. After all, they wouldn’t have lowered taxes the way that National did and so government income would have remained higher than under National. And with the higher spending from government that labour would also have done it’s likely that we would be in a better position now.

              • NZJester

                The other thing that would have kept government income higher under a Labour government as well would have been money from the SOEs that National sold off.
                The money that would have been earned from those shares by now if they had stayed in the state coffers is already more than what they sold them for.

              • Gosman

                What was the net effect of the tax changes introduced by National in their first term Draco?

            • Tamati Tautuhi 16.1.1.1.1.3

              Please provide evidence?

    • Rubbish, from treasury forecasts 2008 (bold mine):

      It’s OK, John Key told us just the other day that Treasury are useless at forecasting and you shouldn’t take those numbers seriously. So those 2008 projections are worthless.

    • mickysavage 16.3

      You are joking? Treasury’s comment was a forecast on the future and the actual predicted effect the GFC would have on New Zealand’s books. Your comment only makes sense if Clark and Cullen caused the GFC.

      • Gosman 16.3.1

        Incorrect. Treasury couldn’t forecast how long the GFC would last. Indeed the worst effects of the GFC on NZ had largely dissappated by 2011. We had a dairy boom till quite recently. The Treasury forecasts were based (as their long term ones were) on structural factors in the economy. The debt was mainly due to that not the GFC.

  17. Skinny 17

    Key will be remembered for widening the inequality gap by lining the pockets of the rich and inflicting hardship on the poor, homelessness and corporate welfarism.

    • David C 17.1

      Funny way of looking at it.

      I will remember Key for looking after the country well, keeping the economy ticking over well and have the heads of four Labour leaders stuffed and mounted above his fireplace.

      • framu 17.1.1

        thats the thing about opinions 🙂
        (i think we all know how the rest of that saying goes)

      • ropata 17.1.2

        You mean, deceiving the country well, and sullying NZ political debate with smear tactics and media manipulation, avoiding serious questions and confusing politics with a game of rugby. You sucker, now a generation of Kiwis will pay the price for repeatedly electing an irresponsible fuckwit to office. We don’t really know the true state of the government books but I guarantee that this government of knaves has indulged in some rather creative accounting.

    • Gosman 17.2

      What was the gap at the start of his time as Prime Minister and what is it now?

      • Johan 17.2.1

        Its a pity that John Key will always be best known as a serial ponytail pulling pervert.

        • Sam C 17.2.1.1

          only by bitter and twisted people like you.

        • mikes 17.2.1.2

          I reckon. Jeez i saw a video clip for the first time last night of him talking to a little girl about her ponytail……creeeepy!

          As for me, twisted? Yea pretty much, especially Friday nights. Bitter? Not so much.

  18. save nz 18

    Great sum up to his legacy MICKYSAVAGE!

    Key is going to become a Tony Blair like character in history. “Popular” until he leaves and then the fucked up train wreck behind him is discovered.

    Each year another disclosure of what was sold in the NZ name and what price everyone else has to pay, for it.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 18.1

      $24.6 Billion of State Owned Assets sold under Labour and National, it would be interesting to know what those assets are worth now and what sort of revenue streams they are generating?

  19. Pat 19

    what odds an election in the new year?

  20. BM 20

    What did Labour spend on infrastructure last time they were in?

  21. BM 21

    I think this is the legacy that John Key will be remembered for and thanked for in years to come.
    Well worth a read.

    http://www.infrastructure.govt.nz/aboutniu

    • ropata 21.1

      How come all the new govt departments are called “National” this and that? 😉

      But yeah can’t deny that the Gnats largely followed a Keynesian spending approach, as Ad perceptively outlined a couple of days ago (can’t find the particular comments).

      It really annoyed the far right radicals like Hooten and Kiwiblog alt-right nutjobs, who just want to slash and burn.

      • BM 21.1.1

        They’re no different than the hard left loonys, you don’t take any notice of them.

        That’s another legacy of Key, first PM to straddle the center and demonstrate that a political party can appeal to both sides successfully , hopefully future PMs can learn from Key and carry on that sort of approach.

        • Johan 21.1.1.1

          What rubbish, John Key may have been popular with the masses because of his clownish behaviour and the fact that many people achieved a inflated property portfolio.

        • NZJester 21.1.1.2

          John Key was only center-right of the right wing, not center of the political spectrum.
          A lot of the true centrists in the National party got hatchet jobs done on them by Whaleoil and his mates using their dirty politics methods.

  22. Guerilla Surgeon 22

    Is that that smug bastard Matthew Hooton on the left? Christ he looks like the ‘fat owl of the remove’. 🙂

    • ropata 22.1

      it’s David Farrar of Kiwiblog infamy

      • David C 22.1.1

        Yip its DPF but its nothing like he looks now.

        JK with two of NZs best read bloggers.

        • ropata 22.1.1.1

          Not sure if “read” is the correct word for inciting mob behaviour and ignorance.

          Hooten and Ede should be in this picture. And a bloodthirsty Judith Collins creeping up behind Key. All the dirty politics crew in one place.

          • David C 22.1.1.1.1

            Kiwiblog is easily NZs best run political blog.

            Informative and run almost without moderation quite unlike here or Whale Oil where you can get banned for speaking out against editorial bias.

            • KJT 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Where the looney tunes get to run unfettered.
              As can be seen by the Kiwiblog tragics who pop up here.

              • David C

                LOL yeah but a quarter million more nutters* run about KiwiBlog per month than run around here.

                *non unique visits.

            • Guerilla Surgeon 22.1.1.1.1.2

              Shit, you can get booted from whale oil for saying something like “Well actually the science shows that…..”. I know because it’s happened to me twice.

              • David C

                I have a lifetime ban.

                • Guerilla Surgeon

                  What is this, my dicks bigger than yours? 🙂 I’m sure I could get a lifetime ban if I could be fucked to going back there which I can’t.

                  • David C

                    Hey I didnt need to do much to get it. I just made a comment that the OTT moderation and banning of people was inhibiting conversation.

                    Man did they get the last laugh 🙂

                    • Guerilla Surgeon

                      I must say, they are distinctly twitchy over at whale oil. Chris Trotter is moderated but tends to rule with a light hand. In fact some of his posters get a damn sight more upset than he does. But then there are a number of right wing nutters who come and go over there. Still, it’s nice not to have an echo chamber right?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.1.1.1.3

              There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. You won’t like it but…

  23. Ad 23

    I can’t think of too many things that have happened to our society or economy that wouldn’t have happened if PM Key didn’t exist.

    The earthquakes and their recovery would have happened.

    The Treaty settlements would have happened.

    The TPP would have died irrespective.

    Under a National government, inequality would have happened just the same without him.

    The economy would have grown no matter what, as would the housing boom.

    Pike River would still be a disaster, and Health and Safety would still have been reformed without him.

    Dairy would still have boomed and busted, and tourism would still have skyrocketed.

    Motorways and rail would have been improved, no matter who was running the joint. Even Auckland’s City Rail Link would have still happened without Key.

    A simple measure at any job is: what difference would you make if you weren’t there?

    In terms of actual delivery, Prime Minister John Key may as well not have been there.

  24. ianmac 24

    Wow! This sums it up for me. Well worth a visit – publishing?
    Great work Toby Morris on The Wireless:
    “Farewell to the Everyman Prime Minister.
    …..And he was like that as a politician too. A shapeshifter who’d appear as whatever the public needed him to be on any given day. He was adaptable, unflappable. Fluid even……”

    http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/john-key-everyone-and-no-one

  25. mosa 25

    We are all talking about Keys legacy but PMs come and go, but the real legacy of the last eight years in particular is how our media have performed.

    Once a great fourth estate has been hi jacked by corporate interests that Key has always been more than comfortable with and i dont see that changing under the next despot or eventual change of government.

    Total right wing bias is the real legacy that does not resign or face general elections or up to now democratic principles or accountability.

  26. Tamati Tautuhi 27

    Most popular PM ever rivalling Seddon and Mickey Savage?

    Saved NZ from the GFC and turned NZ into a Rock Star Economy?

  27. Arthur 28

    Every layby a toilet.

  28. Tanz 29

    Most of all, he assuredly wrecked the Auckland housing market for young Kiwis.
    We now have a situation of many houses standing empty, of investors owing a whole raft of Auckland homes whilst people sleep on the streets and gen rent will rent forever. It made sitting home owners rich, but oh, at what cost. You may own your home, but will your grandchildren or even children. Key does not care, it will never affect his kids.
    Also, I can’t believe the flag failure is his biggest regret. It’s a piece of material, ffs. What about the hoardes of poor kids he never helped. Deep thinker, not.

    • ropata 29.1

      Nothing was more important to Key than his inflated ego, the underclass were just an accessory to his 2008 election campaign, quickly tossed aside.

      Being a shallow populist, Key never developed a political philosophy other than whatever was convenient and looked cool so he could attach himself to it.

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  • 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    3 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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. ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    4 days 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 ...
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    5 days 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 ...
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    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    7 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    1 week ago