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Key on the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 16th, 2012 - 92 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Well, the same old lines just aren’t working now. Maybe its a factor of having 3 journos interviewing him (3 young, hungry journos enjoying the opportunity to take on a Prime Minister on the way down, not comfortable, old members of the club), but they are just rejecting Key’s spin outright – they know that the lines are fundamentally misleading, so they just brush them off and ask tougher questions. He’s getting his arse kicked on everything from schools to the economy. I predict this’ll be one of Key’s last long-format interviews.

Key has listed his domestic drivers of growth other than Christchurch and I note that none of them are working or would work – labour market reform (which actually depresses the economy by lowering wages), the convention centre (which is a net drain on the economy), open slather mining (which would take years, all the profits would go overseas, and ruin tourism), and return to surplus (which he won’t achieve, and actually depresses the economy if its done with austerity). No wonder the economy is so fucked.

Key has dismissed saving $3 billion a year from superannuation that could be put into eliminating poverty. It’s ‘only 0.7% of GDP’. Christ.

92 comments on “Key on the Nation”

  1. David H 1

    Yes was good to watch. And even the ‘scrunchy nose’ thing didn’t work either. Snake Oil salesman exposed!

  2. Dr Terry 2

    One simply hopes the populace will be intelligent enough to recognise exactly the direction in which it is going.

    • David H 2.1

      Straight down the crapper. And here he is harping on about being one of the only govt that’s stable in it’s second term, only because the polls are the same as election night, Yep they are, when they probably poll in your own electorate . How deluded has he become?? The country is getting ‘unhappier’ by the day over his arrogance on Asset sales. Acc Education. It’s going to be a scary ride boys and girls, unless Dunne gets turned around. And the chances of that happening are ?

  3. Foreign Waka 3

    The only way to really make things work is by having sufficient employment with a living wage for every adult person. No matter what age retirement is mentioned, until this has not been put on the forefront of the agenda nothing will change. In fact things will deteriorate and a big chasm between the have and have not will widen even further. This in turn will leave indelible marks on society in the future. No more egalitarianism, fair go, honesty etc. The kids will learn that the only way to get ahead to be like their idols, just don’t squirm when you step over the body of someone else. The scars will be deep and will take another 200 years to heal. Well done! A vision of society as we all like it?

  4. Jackal 4

    What’s up with Key likening gambling machines to alcohol? The big difference is that if you prohibit alcohol, people just make their own, whereas people can’t make their own gambling machines.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      A few garage poker games with a still handy will at least foster interpersonal communication and strengthen community links.

      • Someone 4.1.1

        “whereas people can’t make their own gambling machines.”

        Cards + money + people = gambling ‘machine’.

        • CnrJoe

          Really? a ‘pump money in relentlessly zing zing machine’ is comparable to a game of poker? or fish? or snap?

      • Rodel 4.1.2


  5. bbfloyd 5

    please excuse an old ignoramus that never watches tv except for rugby tests, and bob’s burgers…. what channel is the nation on?

    • aj 5.1

      9:30am TV3 Saturday

      Repeated 8am TV3 Sunday

      • deuto 5.1.1

        Here is a link to The Nation on the TV3 website, but today’s programme is not up yet on On Demand, and I think they don’t put it up until after the Sunday replay (but i could be wrong). As i also want to see today’s interview, will check again later today.


      • bbfloyd 5.1.2

        thanks ….

        • bbfloyd

          Looks like he has the wrong rug on today,,, or he’s using the wrong dye on what’s left…

          Usual weasel words… nothing new there…….

          Creepy watching him try to suck up to the blond john. the old insincere flattery trick…..


          • seeker

            “Usual weasel words… nothing new there……. Boring”

            Totally agree bb. Have just tried to watch the interview- I only lasted 5.37 minutes for the above reason, plus the weasel expressions. Had to log out as my repulsion and exasperation at his weaselness was beginning to cause a nasty sensation of rising blood pressure. Alex Tarrant seemed to be questioning him quite well, but the fact that John Key, imo, could not give a straight, honest answer if his life depended on it drives me mad.

            “I predict this’ll be one of Key’s last long-format interviews.” says Eddie. Good say I. The less I hear from this (unfortunately) repellent being, unless it is in a court of law with him in the dock for ‘confidence trickery and theft’, the better my health will be.

          • deuto

            Not a convincing interview at all IMO. Agree with all the other comments here including how refreshing it was to have three fresh and younger interviewers prepared to actually question some of his answers. I found their body language interesting in that none of them seemed convinced with and taken in by Key’s answers.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    I watched the whole interview live.

    It was noticeable that Key’s defence of Collins was lukewarm (“You’ll have to ask her about that”). He’s keeping his distance, with good reason.

    Most of all, it was remarkable how often he talked about the opposition – Labour the Greens and Winston all got a serve, repeatedly. Attacking your opposition is fine in an election campaign, but it’s a bit desperate so soon.

    Credit where it’s due, Key is a pretty skilled bullshitter though – with a weak moderator like Sainsbury, he would beat stumbling Shearer. (Just calling it as I see it, no rose-tinted specs. Shearer has to learn how to deal to crap in an instant, not constantly look like he’s thinking things through, as if he was having a reasonable conversation with like minds. That’s not how it works on telly).

    I agree with Eddie about the journos. They did their job. Makes a refreshing change.

    • BernyD 6.1

      I Agree, the opposition needs to come up with appropriate solutions and stick to them.
      Constantly rebutting the policies of the ruling party just make them look lame.
      They lost the election because of this I believe.
      It’s more than just a political direction, they need to apply themselves to actualy running the country, even though they are in opposition people won’t support them if they have nothing to offer.

    • Murray Olsen 6.2

      I think Key is a terrible bullshitter. He uses every slimy conman trick in the book and I can’t understand why anyone believes a word he says.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Because the conman tricks actually work. If they didn’t then the conmen wouldn’t use them.

  7. BernyD 7

    Even if National “Steal” the ideas, it’ll still help the country, and everyone will know it.
    The thing they have to watch out for is speaking “Evil” to them, they will act on it and then blame us for “Asking for it” ….. Thats the N**i way.

  8. BernyD 8

    They need to analyse John Keys’ responses , they are very limited.

    He basically just says “And how are you going to pay for it?”

    An appropriate answer is “We will find the money”

    • BM 8.1

      Which he would then reply
      “What, by raising taxes?
      Then Shearer would look like a bumbling arse as he tries to explain how all these promises would be paid for.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        “What, by raising taxes?

        Exactly. You raise taxes on the top 5% who own a third of the country, to pay for public services for all, and on the way, generate 50,000 new living wage jobs.

    • jack 8.2

      I like Winston Peter’s answer to Key’s question to “where’s the money?” during the debate with Goff. His answer if you recall is,” your mates got it.” Undo Key’s last tax cuts and we’ll see 1.2 billion a year more. My wife got 15 dollars a week in the hand more, but that was taken up by the rise in petrol prices and Key’s ets scam.

  9. BernyD 9

    If raising taxes is the only option then “Yes” would be an appripriate answer, the Nats are happy to increase them when it suits.

  10. BernyD 10

    It’s not scary for the public they happily accepted higher GST.

    As long as it helps this country to progress everyone will grin a bear it.

    The poroblem is the Nats should have done it 3 years ago, they’ve left it so long that the increase is really going to hurt people now.

  11. Ordinary_Bloke 11


  12. The unsurprising Winston stance on the Super age, plus a challenge from John Key that only paints himself further into his own super corner, as a double kick in the guts for cross-party super discussions.

    • BernyD 12.1

      Maybe a rethink on the definition of retirement is in order.

      Perhaps they could take an “Equivalent” pay for mentoring someone into the job they leave behind.

      It’s only a thought, some people need to retire for physiscal reasons, but many would be happy to pass on knowledge.

      • Pete George 12.1.1

        I think creative ideas like this are well worth considering in the whole mix. A mentor on super helping someone off unemployment could have many benefits. Especially if we want to allow for some people choosing earlier retirement.

        • BernyD

          Exactly, it’s a drawback of the Governmental approach, they think they have to tell people what to do, and always fall back on historical precedent when they do it.
          It’s a form of retrospective polling that isn’t valid in todays world.

      • prism 12.1.2

        Benny D
        Yes I’ve wondered about that as a useful job that experienced well-trained old people could do
        and be counted in the doing things in society group. I’m also for retired people having volunteer work being counted as at least being half the equivalent of paid hours. (My experience with older volunteers is that they can be patchy in work commitment and slow to update when there is some change in methods.)

        • BernyD

          Experience still counts, they may be out of date with current practices, but they understand what’s required, and that counts for a lot. And if it gives them a chance to retire a couple of years earlier then it’s a plus for them.
          Not everyone would be able or willing, but that’s why an incentive like this would work.
          The rest get to retire at 67.

        • Carol

          I reckon if it’s useful to society it should be paid.

          But we need to rethink the whole retirement concept.

          In my early 60s, with a little bit of retirement pension coming in from the UK, I’m happy to work part time, in a lower paid position than my main life career. I’m doing things that interest me, keep me motivated, keep up to date with stuff that I pass onto some other staff. I have no interest in a promotion but I have certain pressures to be part of the team, and do the best I can in the circumstances..

          Also, the value of work needs to be re-configured. It should be de-linked from notions of consumerism and dodgy GDP stats, and linked more to what is valuable for society as a whole.

        • Pete George

          Good to get ideas going here.

          Labour and United Future have specifically backed me to push for discussions on NZ Super. I have the support of David Shearer and Peter Dunne to encourage discussion and gather ideas (other parties have shown interest) and NZ Super Discussion has been set up to faciliate this.

          If you have specific suggestions to worth considering post them on Super ideas.
          If your ideas might justify a separate post email to nzsuperdiscussion@email.com

          • Colonial Viper

            Drop the super age to free up employment positions for the younger generation.

          • BernyD

            Your welcome to post it, I’ll keep thinking.
            Cost of living is the real driver.

            And we have to accept that Living is more than a roof over our heads and a full stomach.
            Ultimately we’re all going to retire, if we can afford it, we will do it when it suits us.
            Otherwise we wait , and hope we can survive on what we get.

            In the modern day, people could “Mentor from home” and a salary could be split.

            Allowing people to effectively retire and still have community/business input would be a civilised way to address peoples lives at that age doing it this way as Colonial Viper says may even allow us to drop the age limit.

          • RedLogix

            The best way to deal with any problem is to eliminate it at root. The best way to deal with ‘retirement’ as a problem is to eliminate the entire concept. No I’m not being extreme.

            The simple answer is a Universal Income combined with compulsory Kiwisaver accounts. A Universal Income set at around the current single unemployment benefit (say $12,000 pa) would be payable to all adults over the age of 18yrs. All other benefits and superannuation would no longer be required and thus become irrelevant to the discussion.

            The entire vexed question of a ‘retirement age’ would then become irrelevant as people could choose exactly when and how they chose to work… at any stage of life.

            At the same time we need to copy the Australian Superannuation system that would then provide a ‘top-up’ over and above the Universal Income and could be drawn down at any time after a person stops working at whatever age.

            Combined these two sources of income should yield a comfortable level and dignified life for every aging person while at the same time being both flexible and fair to everyone. It would mean that those who save for their old age and not penalised, those who choose or need to stop full-time paid work early can do so without being forced into unemployment for up to a decade while waiting for an arbitrary ‘retirement age’to kick in, while at the other extreme those who choose or are capable of working into their 80’s can do so as well.

            Simple, flexible and totally fair. Problem solved.

            • fender

              “The simple answer is a Universal Income combined with compulsory Kiwisaver accounts. A Universal Income set at around the current single unemployment benefit (say $12,000 pa) would be payable to all adults over the age of 18yrs. All other benefits and superannuation would no longer be required and thus become irrelevant to the discussion.”

              doesn’t sound too good for a single parent raising 4 kids

              • RedLogix

                I was only relating the details as they might apply to people reaching the end of their working life. Replacing the DPB would be very similar; the Universal Income would be received as of right by all adults then something similar to the current arrangement to top it up according to the number of dependent children could apply.

                We could go the next step and eliminate the DPB and WFF altogether by re-establishing the Universal Child Allowance we once had.


                and here


                • fender

                  WFF is basiclly child support with another name, but flexible so that the family income is taken into account when deciding how much is paid. This directs resourses to those most in need when raising children. But of course it doesnt address the poverty in the most needy of families because its not paid to a single parent on the DPB, so its not Working for All Families as yet.

                • KJT

                  What about a GMI for kids under 18 as well.

                  Discriminatory for it to only apply to adults.

                  $12000/year is too low. Should be set at what it costs to live. Starting point the current super level. 60% of the average wage.

                  • RedLogix

                    What about a GMI for kids under 18 as well.

                    Well that’s more or less exactly the same thing as I’ve suggested above KJT.

                    Virtually all the problems we have with our current tax system arise because we attempt to ‘target’ various groups whom we like to think ‘deserve’ helping. Which only results in inefficiencies, disincentives and resentments.

                    My ideal tax system gets rid of targeting altogether and treats all citizens exactly the same. It is the single most vital reform we could implement, it’s well known and well studied. We can afford it and it can be phased in incrementally. There is nothing stopping us from fixing a whole bunch of problems here except our own timidity.

                    • I agree with this. I don’t have a clear opinion on what the end result will be but I have a determination to push for wideranging discussions. I’ll add my two bobs worth, but if the process is good and based on weight of support I’ll accept whatever the outcome is.

                      There should be two common goals:
                      1. That we need more widespread discussion on major issues.
                      2. We need a durable process to enable informed decisions.

                    • RedLogix


                      Thanks… it’s a whole bunch better when you come right out and say what you mean.

                      I’m serious about the whole UBI concept. I originally dreamt it up on my own about a decade ago while contemplating the stupidly high effective marginal tax rates experienced while moving from a benefit to low paid employment.

                      But very quickly I discovered that the idea has been around for quite some time, and has very respectable intellectual roots. The more I’ve been exposed to all the issues around tax, the more convinced I am that it is the solution to most, if not all, the problems we currently have with the existing system.

                      The three crucial elements that make it so powerful are:

                      1. In terms of total tax the system it’s moderately progressive…. appealing to those with a left-wing perspective. While at the same time the marginal tax rate for everyone is exactly the same and totally flat, which appeals to those with a right-wing mind-set.

                      2. In treats every citizen, regardless of age, income or capacity exactly the same. It eliminates the humiliation and stigma associated with asking for what should be yours as a birth-right.

                      3. The tax system would become a neutral with regards to investment decisions, no longer would there be any incentive to game the system or distort decision-making simply in order to be more ‘tax-efficient’. The country could get on with being productive.

                      I’m not on my own here; lot’s of people already understand the elements of this and I truly believe that with a little political courage it could be phased in over the next decade or so.

                    • I doubt there will be enough political courage unless there is sufficient public pressure. And it would probably have to be implemented in good economic times – but that means preparing for it in advance of the optimum time.

                      Many campaigns are reactionary and not at a time they can have much effect. The TVNZ 7 campaign is an example, far too late. Same with Hillside workshops in Dunedin. Even the asset sale campaign is likely to be too late for at least the start of MOM and the first IPO or two.

                      I think it’s necessary to try and channel a reactionary people into visionary people power. With support and the extensive online and communication tools available the poortunity is there, if enough are willing to put aside minor differences to push for a major step forward.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Thanks… it’s a whole bunch better when you come right out and say what you mean.

                      Yep, he came right out and said that he agreed and then said that we need more waffling.

                    • fender

                      “My ideal tax system gets rid of targeting altogether and treats all citizens exactly the same. It is the single most vital reform we could implement, it’s well known and well studied.”

                      Without fixing the huge wage disparity that exists today this sounds like a widening of the gap, an ACT wet dream.

                    • KJT

                      Your last one arrived after my reply. But. Point taken.

                    • RedLogix

                      Without fixing the huge wage disparity that exists today this sounds like a widening of the gap, an ACT wet dream

                      Yes the reforms I’m proposing here are different to the existing system; but before you just react against them how about informing yourself about what is actually being suggested?

                      The basics of one possible UBI system for this country has been laid out by Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie here. It’s been researched and costed; it would unquestionably work.

                      It’s one version; there are many variations and tweakings possible.

                    • fender

                      Yes Gareth Morgan has said many things worth listening to in the past, but he might have become infected recently if yesterdays dribble and swipe at the Greens is anything to go by.

                    • RedLogix


                      I’m a long-term paid up member of the Green Party. But Morgan still makes sense on this issue.

                      Besides the Green Party has long had various policies closely aligned to the UBI concept.

                    • fender


                      Yes the UBI has merits and deserves serious consideration.

                      Cant see National supporting changes like this though, especially as Gareth Morgan costed it with a proposed Comprehensive Capital Tax. Gareth may have altered his view now that he is seemingly perplexed that the Greens havn’t entered into coalition with National at all.

          • Ed

            Pete George,
            Congratulations on your specific backing by Labour to “push for discussions on NZ Super.” I missed any announcement of such specific backing – do you have a reference to it, or is it more the tacit support for any discussion on the topic that many politicians are encouraging?

            • Pete George

              I’ve had direct contact. No reference to it, but as I and Labour and UF (and a couple of other parties possibly) are openly talking the same approach it should stack up.

          • mickysavage

            Labour … have specifically backed me to push for discussions on NZ Super

            I must have missed the memo …

            Petey stop trying to own the debate.   UF’s poodle status means that nothing beneficial will come of this.

    • Shona 12.2

      With an ever increasing constiuent base of superannuitants. A very large clearly defined and steadily increasing in size type corner Pete.

    • John M 12.3

      Yeah, just like how he and Peter Dunne have painted themselves into a corner over asset sales. Key’s already admitted a large number of people who voted National at the last election are against asset sales. The people are going to win this one, Pete, and I’m going to enjoy reading your drivel-fuelled pseudo-analysis of the back down.

  13. captain hook 13

    Nation, what nation.
    Key does not recognise NZ as a sovereign entity in any way or form.
    all he sees is the B-school case study of how to rip off the people of New Zealand and escape back to US asap and forget all about it like it was a bad dream.

    • BernyD 13.1

      B grade is right, I think that our politicians should have qualifications that are vetted before they can run for parliament

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Not qualifications as politicians actually need a broad understanding rather than specialisation but a psych exam to see if they’re psycho/socio-paths.

        • BernyD

          Absolutely, we as a civilisation need to analyse the actual Qualifications required. but it’s most definitely more than one degree.

        • BernyD

          An observational science degree would be a good start

  14. Carol 14

    TV3 news tonight is promoting Key’s car salesman pitch, that his asset sales policy is “edgy” and his (presumably meant to be heroic) spin that he’s prepared to take a slight popularity hit over it.

    Pah! Hair dye on an old bald geezer!

    • BernyD 14.1

      Indeed, He might as well say “They’re gonna hate me but I don’t care”
      Laughing at the questions means “I’m ready for that one :-)”

      The fact is they spent any “Fat” the previous Government acquired in his first year of office, including the Tax breaks for his buds.

      Then the recession hits and he’s selling off our assets , realistically to pay for his BMW

    • Carol 14.2

      And just like a performing puppy, this morning, John Armstrong came out with an “edgy” Key headline…. even before Key used the line on The Nation this morning.

      • BernyD 14.2.1

        He’s good a plagerising, one wonders why they love the man so much.
        It’s almost a knee jerk reaction as far as I can tell, their ides get shot down so much they just support him from spite

        • Carol

          But does JA have inside PR knowledge. He seemed to use the edgy line (posted online at 5.30am) before Key went public with it on The Nation.

  15. BernyD 15

    Occoms Razer should answer that 4 you.
    As far as I can tell it’s a 2 way thing. They’ll pickup on any direction he takes …. but ….

    Based on what I see when JK’s interviewed or making some statement, he doesn’t have any beliefs at all. It’s all just hype and it’s the right wing media are actually setting the direction that he takes.
    Only they’d know that for certain.

    But based on “Old School” doctrines, some smiley faced deal between them, spoken or not is very likely something that’s on JK’s mind.

  16. chris73 16

    IMHO united futures idea about having the retirement age start at 60 but at a lesser rate up to 70 at a higher rate is an idea that should be looked at as well as means testing for the pension

  17. Carol 17

    Peters is still on the ball when Key tries to attack him (as reported this morning by Stuff, but pretty much ignored by the NZ Herald):


    But Peters took exception. “Tricky am I? I never worked for a company that took the American people to the cleaners and then went broke and got the American people to bail them out,” he said, referring to Key’s time with investment company Merrill Lynch.
    Key was “running out of friends, support and excuses”, Peters said.
    “This is about people’s lives, not some sort of tawdry deal in the dealers’ room.”

    While super wasn’t a deal-breaker next election, he said asset sales were. “Everybody knows it’s a bottom line. We walked out over the sale of Wellington airport, and we would not go down that road again.”


    But Peters refused to be tied down yesterday on whether the pension age or even asset sales issues would be deal-breakers in any post election coalition talks in 2014, saying NZ First still had “options”

    • I’m disappointed to see the same old political pointscoring crap from both Key and Peters on this. Super is one issue that needs wideranging cross-party discussions – with open minds at this stage.

      Both Peters and Key have fobbed off addressing this now, saying nothing needs to hapen until next decade anyway. Except that many people who will retire next decade need to know what to expect and what to plan for.

      And it will take some time to discuss and work out how to go forward with Super for the next half century.

      If Key wins next election or Peters holds the balance of power in the next Government does that mean ignoring Super until 2017? Not if I (and a lot others) can help it.

      • jack 17.1.1

        I think Winston is right, don’t panic, calm down. Winston believes what he is saying, Key is posturing and manipulating with political questions. Calling Winston tricky coming from Key is like Hitler calling a petty thief a killer.

  18. Carol 18

    I am a bit disappointed that the interviewers let Key get away with more on ACC than ey did on the other issues. They didn’t contest Key when he said ACC had been in big trouble financially, but under Key’s government they had turned thigns around.

    Geez! But how easy is it to contest Key on all his spin and false lines…. wind him up and he’s moto-mouth, spin, spin, spinning away with all the con-man lines…. am I right, am I right?! Hard to ge a word in edge-ways.

    Desperate spinning, but unfortunately, his diversions and pseudo-facts will make some people, who are not up with the facts and arguments, think he’s telling it like it is.

    • yeshe 18.1

      Also he contradicted something Collins said in the House this week — I understood her to say that Hugh Rennie QC was a PRIVATE consult for John Judge, not ACC. Key today said it was ACC request. Anyone know ??

      Worth finding Think Tank on TV3 on demand also from this morning .. John Tamihere with guests David Shearer, Professor Jane Kelsey and Winston Peters.

        • deuto

          Thanks for that link – not a programme that I even knew about not being a regular TV watcher.

          Well worth watching, and I highly recommend it to others interested in the partial asset sales for the great discussion. Good performance by Shearer as well.

          • Anne

            +1 deuto.

            I stopped being a regular TV watcher years ago because of the deteriorating quality. The downside is missing good current affairs programmes because you don’t know they exist. Once upon a time TV stations used to regularly advertise them around the 6 – 7pm news time but it no longer seems to happen.

            Take note TV3. You are doing a superior job to your main rival when it comes to keeping the populace informed on current affairs. Please advertise these programmes more frequently so that the discerning amongst us get to hear about them.

  19. Ed 19

    Key cannot help himself with his lies. Regarding ACC he said “The corporation was in a real state of financial disrepair” – of course it was not; in fact Labour had improved its financial position from that which they had inherited.

    He also referred to wildly inflated numbers of jobs from the Casino buy-off.

    I was disappointed that he was not called on either of these – they are matters of fact that need not have taken much time to have at least raised a red flag for the audience.

  20. felix 20

    I predict this’ll be one of Key’s last long-format interviews.

    Yep. It’s also one of his first.

  21. jack 21

    Key is a conman, a real derivative trader, trading paper for money.. paper with no value. He’s sees an incredible opportunity to sell off New Zealand and he has no plan and could care less for the small niceties like education, health, welfare, the whole lot. I disliked Helen Clark but I wish she were back now.. Key is truly ruining this country and he has no conscience. He sold his sole to the devil long ago. How niave people are when they bring up his humble beginnings.

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