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Key: out of touch, using RNZAF as personal taxi service

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, April 28th, 2011 - 19 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , , ,

In the past year and a half John Key has clocked up nearly a full week of flights on RNZAF aircraft. The bill for the more than 125 hours of flights extends into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Apart from a few flights to Christchurch, it appears the main reason Key has been using our air force as his private taxi service is to get to photo-ops.

[Papers] show Mr Key has used the Iroquois helicopters 10 times for a total of 29.9 flying hours over the period [August 2009 to the end of March]. That doesn’t include the trip he took two weeks ago from Auckland to Hamilton in order to attend the V8 Supercar races and be back in time for a golf club dinner… The Herald understands the flying hours do not include the choppers’ flying time between their base in Ohakea and the Prime Minister’s departure and arrival points.

Well, that puts paid to the lie Key’s office was spreading earlier this week that Key had used to Iroquois only four times in total. They cost at least $900 per hour to fly, so that’s $30,000 worth of flights, not counting the hour or two the choppers have to fly to and from their base at Ohakea by Palmerston North to wherever the pick up and drop-off points are.

The total does include five Iroquois flights taken in and around Christchurch since the February 22 earthquake.

And the other 7 – photo-ops:

Mr Key’s non-emergency Iroquois flights include a November 2010 trip to Karapiro for the World Rowing Championships, and in January this year to the Parachute Christian music festival near Hamilton where he appeared and sang a song.

A couple of thousand to fly Key in and a few hundred in his wages at the same time. Did we elect the world’s most expensive karaoke act in 2008? Or did we employ a Prime Minister?

Mr Key’s use of the Iroquois, however, is dwarfed by his use of the Air Force’s Beechcraft Kingair twin engine aircraft which he used 32 times for a total of 96.6 hours. Most of those flights were to Wellington.

So, Key is ordering the Air Force well in advance (this clearly isn’t a last minute operation) to fly a plane from Palmy to wherever he is and then fly all the way back to Wellington. What an extravagant waste of resources. There can be few places in New Zealand where it is easier to get the Air Force to come pick you up than either drive to an airport and get a commercial flight or rent a private aircraft. And Key is doing this about once a fortnight.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain so that moving from photo-op to photo-op is slightly more convenient for Key. When he cuts some item of spending that matters to you in next month’s budget, remember this.

19 comments on “Key: out of touch, using RNZAF as personal taxi service ”

  1. ianmac 1

    “Well, that puts paid to the lie Key’s office was spreading earlier this week that Key had used to Iroquois only four times in total.”
    It will be interesting to see how Key’s office spins this contradiction. It wasn’t a quote from John Key so he can always blame the office if he has to. The office had to have known exactly how the trips were used. (Enter the trolls who will argue that this is insignificant and change the subject.)

  2. randal 2

    so old Key has been corrupted by power already.
    broom broom broom.
    see me go in the free toys put on by the groaning taxpayers of new zealand so I can brrm brrrrm baranch managering around the country in the company jets.
    what could be better than this?

    • ianmac 2.1

      I expect that Key will trade in a couple of BMWs on a helicopter and name it “Must Have.”
      Actually I think Helen wondered if there should be a PM dedicated flight service of some kind after she was hammered for her use of Airforce flights. But now in a time of Austerity………

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      I suspect you’ll find that he was corrupt before he left NZ to gallivant around in the Halls of Power in the US.

  3. JS 3

    Prediction: MSM will ignore, and concentrate on royal wedding photo ops instead.

  4. Bored 4

    Key should use the helicopters to deploy himself to Afganistan, make himself directly (as opposed to indirectly) culpable for human rights violations.

  5. Russell 5

    in the scheme of things this is not important, why is David Shearer and Labour bothering, it is a distraction not a real issue. Hit the impt issues Parliamentary Labour Party!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I think the fact that Key’s office and Key himself are lying is important.

  6. Mac1 6

    Russell, lying and the waste of resources are not real issues?

    The scheme of things is based on these two issues. Capture the resources for the rich and lie about how you have done, are doing and will do.

    For example, how many trips did I make in an Iroquois? I promise no increase in GST. I don’t know what’s in my blind trust. I don’t live in Wellington, I live in Dipton.

  7. Luxated 7

    Explains why Key was so keen on keeping Whenuapai an Air Force base.

    Edit: Has captcha gone AWOL?

    • lprent 7.1

      Nope. I had a problem with the existing one after a wordpress upgrade. Found one that worked that integrated with the anti spam. It will ask you to do the anti spam iff you look like a spammer.

      Killed 120 spam entirely correctly in the last four hours. No false positives.

  8. Shaun (sean) 8

    There are 55 hours a year allocated for government use – and it hasn’t changed since Labour was in power – so whats the point in whinging? You look like one-eyed hypocrits……

    On the day in question the traffic build up meant that Hamilton to Huntly was taking 3 hours. Add into that the fact that he donates a sizeable chunk of his salary to charity, and you guys end up looking like a bunch of petty douche-bags, to paraphrase Howard from BBT.

    • Luxated 8.1

      There are 55 hours a year allocated for government use…

      In the past year and a half John Key has clocked up nearly a full week of flights on RNZAF aircraft. The bill for the more than 125 hours of flights…


      On the day in question the traffic build up meant that Hamilton to Huntly was taking 3 hours.

      Then perhaps Key should have allowed for changed traffic conditions, it isn’t like either the V8s or the dinner were actually remotely important for the PM to attend. Or he could have flown commercially, or paid for a charter out of his own pocket. There are other options apart from commandeering military aircraft on a whim.

      Add into that the fact that he donates a sizeable chunk of his salary to charity…

      [Citation Needed]


      P.S. It’s hypocrites.

    • felix 8.2

      Not this “charity” shit again.

      Find a quote or a report that says anything of the sort. No-one has managed to find one in 3 years but still these fucktards roll out the same old tripe.

      “a sizeable chunk” WTF does that mean? And how do you know anyway? You don’t, it’s bullshit.

      Anyway back to the post, answer me this: If there’s nothing wrong with what Key is doing then why did he lie about it?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Find a quote or a report that says anything of the sort.

        I don’t want to see a quote or a report – I want to see the receipts.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      so whats the point in whinging?

      He’s using them when he doesn’t need to which, get this, costs money. He also appears to be using it to get to photo ops on time rather than important PM duties. Using the Airforce to ferry him around is far more expensive than using commercial transport or the governments BMW. The ideal amount of that 55 hours budgeted (BTW, got a link for that?) for the PM to use is zero.

      • Luxated 8.3.1

        I must be feeling remarkably charitable today considering I’m doing Shaun’s job, page 18 under DPMC, 2010 nominally budgeted 70 hours in the 757s, 25 in the Hueys and 100 in the King Airs.

        Whether those numbers include ferry hours or not isn’t clear, I would have thought so though as it will effect the RNZAFs training and maintenance schedules. Those are also the only hours I can find allocated to VIP transport so that would cover the entire government and not just Key.

  9. Vinsin 9

    Well I heard that he gave a Maori girl two dollars for some chips. She asked if he had any jobs for her and he said, ‘yeah I’ll have a look at it,’ then she asked for two dollars for some chips, then he asked one of his handlers if they had any cash. See he doesn’t carry cash around because he gave it all to charity, also the girl wouldn’t accept a platinum visa. I don’t know if this has any truth to it because I also heard on the same day he blew three goats. I mean what can you believe.

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