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John Key’s NZ: the nasty side of the “brighter future”

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, May 5th, 2013 - 45 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits, class war, jobs, john key, poverty, slippery, spin, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

John Key promised a “brighter future” for NZ: one where they wouldn’t wave good-bye to loved ones heading to Australia; one where he would require a higher standard of his MPs; one where he wouldn’t deliberately avoid telling the truth to the public on controversial issues.  Of course this was just well-crafted spin, targeting the insecurity and hopes of of large numbers of Kiwis, living in diverse circumstances around the country.

So Key opened his 2008 election campaign, claiming Helen Clark had avoided telling the whole truth about the Owen Glenn affair.  Then ended up admitting to a secretive meeting with Lord Ashcroft.

Now that spin is unraveling exposes the deserts of the real that have become increasingly barren under John Key’s watch.  Today the Steve Kilgallon has a further story in the Star Star Times on battling Kiwis who went to Aussie, hoping for a new start, and finding unemployment, nowhere to live, and no access to benefits.

Expat Kiwi Christine Adams, who works with homeless families in south Sydney, says 60 per cent of her clients are New Zealanders.

Almost all are affected by the 2001 law changes in Australia that deny most Australia-resident Kiwis any access to state benefits – and few knew of the rules before they emigrated….

Adams, who moved to Sydney from Auckland in 2007, has advised many recent arrivals simply to stay just for a holiday then return home.

“I’ve talked to several families who have spent every last cent flying their family to Sydney for ‘a new start’ and wonder why another nine people cannot live indefinitely with a family member who has a three-bedroom rented property,” she says.

“There have been families evicted due to overcrowding, because stressed, recently arrived big families are suddenly seeking accommodation with their stable, housed relatives.”

Adams says those who have made a success of the transition have “done their homework” but most of her clients emigrated without guaranteed employment or pre-arranged accommodation or even their paperwork in order, she says.

Many have no family support, while others soon exhaust it, couch-surfing between different homes. This stress can cause domestic violence, relationship breakdowns and financial issues, driving them into homelessness.

This followed Kilgallon’s story last month, on Kiwi Park, and the plight of homeless and jobless Kiwis in Australia.

homeless Kiwis in Sydney Kiwi Park

Not-so-lucky country: So many homeless New Zealanders gather at Sydney’s Bourke St Park, colloquially known as Kiwi Park. Sunday Star Times 14/04/2013

Far from stemming the tide of Kiwis moving to Aussie, the year to September 2012 saw record numbers of Kiwis moving to Australia.  Of course, Paula Bennett is probably happy that this is keeping her beneficiary numbers down.

Meanwhile, Aaron Gilmore continues to show the underbelly of National Party MPs callous sense of entitlement. Some people have come forward to accuse Gilmore of unfair tactics towards his housing tenants.

The Ovendens have lived in the Temple Lane home, in the small South Island ski town of Ohau, for about a year but are moving out. They’ve had enough of Gilmore, who is involved in the trust that owns it. They say he:

• Threatened to tell other landlords they were poor tenants, despite saying in a letter they were good people.

• Recorded their conversations without telling them.

• Emailed their lawyer, telling him to “stop making a fool of himself”.

The Herald on Sunday has emails which appear to show Gilmore and long-term partner Jenny Dickinson disagreeing over which of them has rights to manage the property.

The pair have two children.

Neither could be contacted last night.

This is not the “brighter future” that John Key promised all New Zealanders.  It’s a sleazy world of divisions: a brighter future of entitlement for the callous and privileged elite, and dis-entitlement and Struggle Street for too many honest Kiwis battling to find a way to improve their meagre lot.


45 comments on “John Key’s NZ: the nasty side of the “brighter future””

  1. Jane 1

    Should this –

    …on battling Kiwis who went to NZ, hoping for a new start, and finding unemployment, nowhere to live, and no access to benefits…

    Be … went to OZ, hoping….

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    No wonder Australians laugh at us with disrespect. We beat their rugby union team (a code they don’t care about anyway) but throw away our people.

  3. johnm 3

    The brighter future is fading in Australia as well. Privatisation, austerity, and assaults on entitlements for the unemployed and disabled are already operating or will do so. Working class Aussies are not so far from dispossed Kiwis. The Gillard government is selling out its Labour constituency just as Labour here did in 1984.
    Of course Yankey is an elite sc*mb*g. The next trick down the line will be: “We don’t have the money cut back public services!” Selling off our Power company assets throwing away much needed tax revenue to the already rich and borrowing to enrich his foreign banker mates and then bringing in draconian welfare persecution is right in his book. If you asked the selfish bastard what is the “Common Good” and offered $50,000 for the right answer the bastard wouldn’t have a clue though the “common good” is the basis of any decent society.

    For those interested in the fading Aussie dream here are numerous links all of which show that the Gillard Government is being wagged by the tail: the greedy mean spirited business class.

    Australia: The fraud of Labor’s NDIS and Gonski “reforms”
    Australia: Queensland government offensive against public sector
    Australian PM declares “grave” budget crisis as cuts prepared
    Australian youth pushed into unpaid work
    Australian thinktank demands “tough” health and welfare cutbacks
    Australian big business launches campaign for austerity, market “reform”
    Unemployment deepens in Australian working class areas
    By Mike Head
    Australian business, media step up campaign for austerity cuts

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    “We came across the West Sea
    We didn’t have much idea
    Of the kind of climate waiting
    We used our hands for guidance
    Like the children of a preacher
    Like a dry tree seeking water
    Or a daughter
    Nice ‘n’ sleazy
    Nice ‘n’ sleazy does it
    Does it every time.”

  5. Brian 5

    Key and his govt. take hypocrisy to new levels.

    • Ruobeil 5.1

      Just following the example of the last Labour govt.

      How many MP’s sacked was it? Nine.

      • karol 5.1.1

        You miss the point. Key’s election claim was that he WASN’T going to following the last government’s example, and be so much better.

  6. DH 6

    What bemuses me is both National and Labour still place a large emphasis on more education. We’re spending over $12 billion each year on education already, almost double what was spent 10yrs ago. Our youngsters get qualifications, they can’t find a job here so they head overseas. And they want to spend more on education.

    If that’s not bizzarre enough we end up importing lesser educated workers because our lot have flown the coop. Our universities have turned into factories producing skilled workers for wealthier countries and they want more of it. Too much of what we spend on education ends up benefiting other countries who have more money than us already.

    What the hell is the point in educating people for jobs that don’t exist? They put the cart before the horse & then wonder why it’s not moving. There’s only one thing they should be focussing on. Decent jobs.

  7. infused 7

    lol, it’s John Keys fault that New Zealanders go to aussie, without a job, then become homeless? Pretty sure John Key is responsible for the war in Syria too.

    I don’t know when people are going to wake up that the world is never going to be the way it was, ever again. They better soon though.

    • johnm 7.1

      Hi infused
      It is Key’s fault that he is following the now completely discredited neoliberal dogma: 1. Privatisation 2. tax cuts for the already wealthy 3. No Capital gains tax 4. harassment of the unemployed and disabled to find jobs that don’t exist, 100000 to be removed in 10 years 5. A refusal to share the wealth of NZ with less well off kiwis. Could go on and on.

      In this new age of contraction, peak oil, climate change and environmental destruction requires a sharing, not punitive, social system which drives young kiwis overseas. He takes no responsibility—the market rules all. Yes we need a socialist system not a system that rewards profit and greed.


      Referring Afewknowthetruth. Yes the Industrial system and civilisation is in collapse, growth is over, and we have multiple increasing problems. That’s why it’s criminally stupid to pursue an ideology which is celebrates inequality and the rush to the bottom of the resource pile.


      The greed of the Nacts has been clearly shown to everyone by their wealth grab to privatise MRP. They were virtually slavering at the mouth at the guaranteed rentier incomes they were going to make. Key has -0 vision he’s a mere money trader puppet.

      • Ruobeil 7.1.1

        1. Privatisation? Remind me how many state assets Labour sold?

        1a. Still no word on whether Labour would buy back the publicly held shares in Air NZ.

        2. What tax cuts for the wealthy? Stop telling porkies.

        2a. The last round were across the board.

        4. Harrassment of the unemployed? No, it’s called accountability. So you get benefits from the taxpayer and do nothing in return? Yeah right.

        4a. Jobs that don’t exist? More porkies.
        I have just checked Trademe and there are over 11,000 jobs available.

        5. Share wealth? Which wealth are you referring to in particular?
        Or do you mean stealing from taxpayers to give to bludgers?

        Privatising MRP?

        At least they campaigned on it and in the infamous words of Michael Cullen, “We won, you lost, eat that.”

        Don’t recall Labour campaigning on scrapping the air combat wing of the RNZAF or numerous other things.

        • Draco T Bastard

          1.) Yes, Labour is just as guilty, if not more so, in the ruination of this nation.
          2.) The tax cuts were for the rich – the increase in GST proved that. GST is regressive and thus mostly falls on the poor.
          4.) What National are doing is abuse.
          4a.) 11000 jobs, 170,000 unemployed. Do you see the difference?
          5.) The nations wealth that the rich have persuaded people actually belongs to them.

        • rosy

          4. Harrassment of the unemployed? No, it’s called accountability. So you get benefits from the taxpayer and do nothing in return? Yeah right.

          People who become unemployed have, by definition, been employed and paid tax. They are accountable to themselves, as previous and probably future taxpayers. Kids who come out of training and can’t get a job most often have parents who have paid tax, these parents are likely to hold their children accountable.

          Let the unemployed get on finding a job (or upskilling, or improving literacy, or whatever it takes) and start harassing the government to improve the climate for employment – including jobs that provide a living wage – and stop bullying individuals.

          • DH

            “People who become unemployed have, by definition, been employed and paid tax. They are accountable to themselves, as previous and probably future taxpayers. Kids who come out of training and can’t get a job most often have parents who have paid tax, these parents are likely to hold their children accountable. ”

            Agree with your comments Rosy and I’ll add a bit. The social welfare system has become an integral part of the economy and peoples’ wealth. If benefits were to stop or even be sharply reduced the residential property market would suffer a catastrophic collapse, imagine what would happen to house prices if 300-400k people could no longer pay their rent. We’d also see consumer spending fall drastically and huge numbers of businesses go to the wall; that would collapse the commercial property market & flow on to big falls in share prices etc.

            The whole tax system is grossly misrepresented by many people. Those who pay more tax get more back by virtue of the welfare system and how the NZ economy works. Spending drives our economy and welfare beneficiaries spend all their money.

            The most striking imbalance in the system at present is property investors. They receive far more in benefits from the state than they pay in tax.

        • karol

          “accountability”? If only John key knew the meaning of the word!

          • David H

            “accountability”? If only John key knew the meaning of the word!
            He does how else do you think he keeps the accountants under control that are looking after HIS millions ??

        • freedom

          re 4a: a very large % of those jobs are duplicate postings, have already been filled or are not actual jobs, but ‘opportunities’ to add your details to the ever-growing number of employment agency lists. Do a random sampling of any region and the examples above will be exposed as glaringly as your hollow words.

          If a proper investigation was done of the entire 11,000 job ads on trade me, I predict as many as 10-15% would be found invalid.

    • North 7.2

      Get real Infused. ShonKey Python is responsible for NOTHING.

      And ShonKey Python’s world is never going to be the same when the whistleblowers come out darling. When he is denigrated and reviled for the lying, pathologically greedy toad he is.

    • Murray Olsen 7.3

      It’s John Key’s fault that he went to Oz, supposedly to address the differences in access to government assistance, and achieved nothing except giving the Queensland government access to official information on Kiwis.
      I wouldn’t say that the parlous state of the Kiwi job market is his fault, although he plays his part.
      It’s our collective fault if we accept your view that change for the worse is inevitable and do nothing to change things.

  8. Clockie 8

    But, but, the future was supposed to be brighter wasn’t it? So many people believed lovely Johnny boy when he told them about the brighter future. Was he just making stuff up to get elected when he actually knew that things would “never be the same again”? Or was it just his diction and people misheard him when he actually said “blighted future”..

    • North 8.1

      I like your questions Clock. I honestly believe that after the ’99 election a National Party and related think tank (Boag, Roundtable, Gibbs et al) sat down and agreed:

      “We’ve got 6 years to prepare. We’ll import someone we can ‘sell’. Once we’re back we’ll wrought/rort fundamental and not easily reversed change to the psyche and fabric of New Zealand.”

      Their plans were retarded by 3 years but once they got there that’s the vein in which they proceeded. Sadly for them their champion Shonkey Python has proved to be congenitally clay footed and gauche. Even the facile, biddable, cocksucker yuppies comprising 95% of the MSM see that now. Consistent with their contemptible natures they are now hedging their bets and it’ll get worse.

      Brand Key is stuffed. Things are salvagable still. Power to Kiwis. Down with greedy, entitled, “born-to-rule”, bastards ! Slurrin’ Erron Gilmore is emblematic. It’s an exponentially ugly look.

    • Ruobeil 8.2

      Considering the mess Labour left when they were booted out he’s done a good job.

      What was it? A decade of deficits amongst other things.

      • Paul 8.2.1


      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2

        A decade of deficits amongst other things.

        That only existed in National’s fevered imaginations. Of course, with National in charge we’ve actually had far worse deficits than even what they predicted.

      • freedom 8.2.3

        Ruobeil , looks like you could do with a math lesson also
        table 17, page 20 (24 of 36)

        read, learn, digest then go away until you can face up to the truth that you have been lied to by your masters and you are just a rube who wants the oil

      • adriank 8.2.4

        Slightly off topic, but as a recent arrival in Melbourne it’s fascinating to see the 2008 Crosby-Textor playbook back in action here in preparation for this year’s elections – the opposition here have been frequently shouting about the ‘decade of deficits’ predicted due to the Labor government’s policies. It’s going to be testament to the incredible economic skills of Abbot et al. once the economic outlook magically brightens after they are elected.

  9. georgecom 9

    Strange how Mister Key has been unable to apply the same advice to himself which he gave to Clark. Even as he is telling Clark to come clean he displays great reluctance to speak about Ashcroft. Tranzrail shares, ‘blind’ trusts, cup of tea tapes, Dotcom raids, John Banks, appointing Spy chiefs…Even before this we had the EB case which Key slipped out from underneath. Clark needs to tell the truth, everyone else needs to tell the truth. Not him though.

  10. xtasy 10

    A media and other information sourced summary of how a ‘BRIGHTER FUTURE’ promised by John Key and his National Party led government looks a bit like this:

    Tax cuts for businesses and individuals, but GST up for all, hitting poor and middle class more than high earners:

    Sickness beneficiaries included into work testing:

    Harsh new requirements on sole parents to be available for work:

    Youth benefits stripped and tight controls on young persons’ spending by introducing “payment cards” and other requirements:

    Student allowance cut for post grad students and those studying longer than 200 weeks, plus increase in expected minimum loan repayments:

    Highest youth unemployment in 2012 – supposed to be addressed by introduced cut minimum wage to $ 10.80 an hour:

    “Social obligations” to be introduced for beneficiary parents, discriminating against them, as obligations do not apply to other parents:

    Drug testing of beneficiaries despite of privacy and human rights concerns:

    Major benefit reforms will force sick and disabled to look for work:

    Planned work capacity assessments along UK Atos Origin Healthcare style, there done for the Department for Work and Pensions:


    Kiwis leaving their own shores in ever larger numbers:

    Sadly, so far the agenda has been pushed through relentlessly and ruthlessly, in front of the eyes of a rather powerless, and also partly poorly led opposition in Parliament.

    The public is overwhelmed, does not quite get it due to mostly limited media coverage, most duck, run for cover and play the blaming game, leaving beneficiaries as the scape goats bearing much of the brunt.

    Bennett and Key laugh and smile, dodge real questions and a drunk Gilmore is over boisterous, I do not wonder.

    When hammering and governing becomes so easy, one can easily get drunk, silly and let off more steam than can be excused, on weak, dependent, anxious waiters in a hotel.

    P.S.: I did above not bother getting started on the planned further restrictions and abolition of worker’s rights. Do not get me started, thanks.

    • Ruobeil 10.1

      And your answer is? Free money (taxpayers money) for all with no accountability.

      That’s why your lot were booted out of power.

      [lprent: Ummm trolling…. Yep. Classic stupid two line trolling. We’re interested in people’s opinions and dialogue here, but you don’t qualify as being a human on the basis of your mechanical and reflexive comments and your apparent inability to deal with replies to date. Read the policy. ]

      • Ennui 10.1.1

        No Ruo, free tax payers money with no accountability…that’s the preserve of bankers and those legitimate scum who used the SCF to clip the ticket Key guaranteed. You can stick your inverted Mr Moral up your jacksey.

        • Paul

          This person just comes on this site to interfere with discussions about the issues.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Person? There’s something oddly robotic about Ruobeil’s trolling that suggests otherwise.

            • freedom

              Ruobeil is a joke, never gives any detail, any evidence or any examples, just a ‘one lie for all’ kind of banter.

        • Rogue Trooper

          E’s noisy in reverse

  11. BrucetheMoose 11

    Yep, the future’s so bright that you need rose tinted shades. The Key’s prescription model that is. The pair he uses during his speeches. In fact, since things haven’t been so great lately, I sent for a pair from the National Party recently. When it’s all looking too gloomy, just slip them on and WOWW everything suddenly looks marvelous. Unemployment is not so bad , tens of thousands leaving the country is a good thing (afterall they won’t be keeping the jobless numbers up or voting for Johnny anyway), kids living in poverty are harder to see (it’s the out of sight out of mind thing) and…I can’t remember what else. They come with built in amnesia. It works on the what you don’t know you won’t worry about it philosophy. You are now viewing the world in rose colour 3D Planet Key

    • xtasy 11.1

      “You are now viewing the world in rose colour 3D Planet Key”

      Hah, for sure, that is much of the mainstream media journalists and editors for a start, writing the “rose tinted” script for the rest of the public out there. Cooking shows, other contests, infotainment, the newest fad, gig and performance enhanced sporting success.

      Distraction galore, if the glasses are lost, there is always plenty of earth and sand to stick your neck and head in very deep!

    • Ruobeil 11.2

      Built in amnesia?

      Wasn’t one of Helen Clark’s favourite lines “I have no recollection”?

  12. vto 12

    Yep the Nats have been openly shown for the peeps they are – nasty nasty nasty nasties

    Thanks Aaron Gilmore for exposing the true nature of most Nats.

    And now it all makes sense – you can see it all the way back to Key’s first appearance.

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    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago