web analytics

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…

      And

      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]

      *yawn*

      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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Duke of Edinburgh
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time.  On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Five Country Ministerial Communiqué
    We, the Home Affairs, Interior, Security and Immigration Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (the ‘Five Countries’) met via video conference on 7/8 April 2021, just over a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Guided by our shared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inspiring creativity through cultural installations and events
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the opening of the first round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events. “Creating jobs and helping the arts sector rebuild and recover continues to be a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 response,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Drug-testing law to be made permanent
    Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Research by Victoria University, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, shows that the Government’s decision in December to make it legal for drug-checking services to operate at festivals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better rules proposed for freedom camping
    Public consultation launched on ways to improve behaviour and reduce damage Tighter rules proposed for either camping vehicles or camping locations Increased penalties proposed, such as $1,000 fines or vehicle confiscation Rental companies may be required to collect fines from campers who hire vehicles Public feedback is sought on proposals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government backs Air New Zealand as Trans-Tasman bubble opens
    The Government is continuing to support Air New Zealand while aviation markets stabilise and the world moves towards more normal border operations. The Crown loan facility made available to Air New Zealand in March 2020 has been extended to a debt facility of up to $1.5 billion (an additional $600 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building gifted for new community hub in Richmond red zone
    Christchurch’s Richmond suburb will soon have a new community hub, following the gifting of a red-zoned property by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to the Richmond Community Gardens Trust. The Minister for Land Information, Damien O’Connor said that LINZ, on behalf of the Crown, will gift a Vogel Street house ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific languages funding reopens
      Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will make sure there is a future for Pacific languages. “Language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people. It affirms our identity as Pasifika and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • ERANZ speech April 2021
    It is a pleasure to be here tonight.  Thank you Cameron for the introduction and thank you for ERANZ for also hosting this event. Last week in fact, we had one of the largest gatherings in our sector, Downstream 2021. I have heard from my officials that the discussion on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strengthening Māori knowledge in science and innovation
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has today announced the 16 projects that will together get $3.9 million through the 2021 round of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, further strengthening the Government’s commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation.  “We received 78 proposals - the highest ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers next phase of climate action
    The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth
    Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The National Education Growth Plan is making sure that sufficient capacity in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two more Christchurch schools complete
    Two more schools are now complete as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, with work about to get under way on another, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Te Ara Koropiko – West Spreydon School will welcome students to their new buildings for the start of Term 2. The newly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Independent experts to advise Government on post-vaccination future
    The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination strategy which has been successful in keeping our people safe and our economy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting Māori success with Ngārimu Awards
    Six Māori scholars have been awarded Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial scholarships for 2021, Associate Education Minister and Ngārimu Board Chair, Kelvin Davis announced today. The prestigious Manakura Award was also presented for the first time since 2018. “These awards are a tribute to the heroes of the 28th ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Global partnerships propel space tech research
    New Zealand’s aerospace industry is getting a boost through the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), to grow the capability of the sector and potentially lead to joint space missions, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. 12 New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backs more initiatives to boost food and fibre workforce
    The Government is backing more initiatives to boost New Zealand’s food and fibre sector workforce, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “The Government and the food and fibres sector have been working hard to fill critical workforce needs.  We've committed to getting 10,000 more Kiwis into the sector over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes Bill to remove Subsequent Child Policy
    Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill in the House this evening. “Tonight’s first reading is another step on the way to removing excessive sanctions and obligations for people receiving a Main Benefit,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mental Health Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Government has taken a significant step towards delivering on its commitment to improve the legislation around mental health as recommended by He Ara Oranga – the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whenua Māori Rating Amendment Bill passes third reading
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill passing its third reading today. “After nearly 100 years of a system that was not fit for Māori and did not reflect the partnership we have come to expect between Māori and the Crown, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman bubble to start 19 April
    New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little welcomed ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi to Parliament today to witness the third reading of their Treaty settlement legislation, the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill. “I want to acknowledge ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown negotiations teams for working tirelessly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent group announced to advise on firearms matters
    Minister of Police Poto Williams has announced the members of the Ministers Arms Advisory Group, established to ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms that is independent of Police. “The Ministers Arms Advisory Group is an important part of delivering on the Government’s commitment to ensure we maintain the balance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiri Allan to take leave of absence
    Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management will undertake a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment for cervical cancer, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I consider Kiri not just a colleague, but a friend. This news has been devastating. But I also know that Kiri is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Excellent progress at new Waikeria prison build
    Excellent progress has been made at the new prison development at Waikeria, which will boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for people in prison, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Kelvin Davis was onsite at the new build to meet with staff and see the construction first-hand, following a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expert panel proposes criminal limits for drug driving
    To reduce the trauma of road crashes caused by drug impaired drivers, an Independent Expert Panel on Drug Driving has proposed criminal limits and blood infringement thresholds for 25 impairing drugs, Minister of Police Poto Williams and Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Covid-19 imgration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for mums and whānau struggling with alcohol and other drugs
    The Government is expanding its Pregnancy and Parenting Programme so more women and whānau can access specialist support to minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “We know these supports help improve wellbeing and have helped to reduce addiction, reduced risk for children, and helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition Field Day – Tātaiwhetū Trust at Tauarau Marae, Rūātoki
    *** Please check against delivery *** It’s an honour to be here in Rūātoki today, a rohe with such a proud and dynamic history of resilience, excellence and mana. Tūhoe moumou kai, moumou taonga, moumou tangata ki te pō. The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition is the legacy of a seed planted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts again better than forecast
    The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup to open in New Zealand
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash have welcomed confirmation New Zealand will host the opening ceremony and match, and one of the semi-finals, of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. Grant Robertson says matches will be held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1 April changes raise incomes for 1.4 million New Zealanders
    Changes to the minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates that come into force today will raise the incomes for around 1.4 million New Zealanders. “This Government is committed to raising the incomes for all New Zealanders as part of laying the foundations for a better future,” Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu approved for fast track consenting process
    The New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu has been approved for consideration under the fast track consenting legislation.  The decision by Environment Minister David Parker signifies the importance of the project to the health of the people of Otago-Southland and to the economy of the region.  “This project ticks all the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Auckland light rail
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is getting Auckland light rail back on track with the announcement of an establishment unit to progress this important city-shaping project and engage with Aucklanders. Michael Wood said the previous process didn’t involve Aucklanders enough.                       ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tourism fund to prioritise hard-hit regions
    The Minister of Tourism is to re-open a government fund that supports councils to build infrastructure for visitors, with a specific focus on regions hardest hit by the loss of overseas tourists. “Round Five of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will open for applications next month,” said Stuart Nash. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Governance Group to lead next phase of work on a potential new public media entity
    A Governance Group of eight experts has been appointed to lead the next phase of work on a potential new public media entity, Minister for Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi announced today.  “The Governance Group will oversee the development of a business case to consider the viability of a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New funding to keep tamariki and rangatahi Māori active
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today helped launch a new fund to provide direct financial support for tamariki and rangatahi Māori throughout the South Island who is experiencing financial hardship and missing out on physical activity opportunities. “Through Te Kīwai Fund, we can offer more opportunities for Māori to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Single tāne, sole parent dads supported into papakāinga housing
    Six whānau in Pāpāmoa receive the keys to their brand-new rental homes today, in stage four of a papakāinga project providing safe and affordable housing in the regions. Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson congratulates Mangatawa Pāpāmoa Blocks Incorporated on the opening of three affordable rentals and three social housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Disarmament and Security Centre
    Kia ora tatou. It’s great to be here today and to get a conversation going on the disarmament issues of greatest interest to you, and to the Government. I’m thrilled to be standing here as a dedicated Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, which I hope reinforces for you all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago