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Key people

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 pm, March 29th, 2012 - 50 comments
Categories: brand key, same old national - Tags: ,

I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that several of the people named in the Sovereign insurance letter as being part of Bronwyn Pullar’s support team are also people that were critical in bringing John Key into the National party when he returned to New Zealand and in grooming him for leadership.

In fact I recall an article in Metro in 2005 that profiled Key and how he came into the party which named names and laid out how Shipley in particular was instrumental in Key’s rapid rise to the top. Apparently he was headed for politics or running Air New Zealand (oh to be the elite, eh?)

That being the case, it’s not surprising that that same clique of party nobility would come together to help another one of their own in an insurance claim and it makes Key’s claims he had no part in it seem a little thin.

If Collins was behind the leaks that started this mess, then it seems to me that she was either deliberately going to war with an old and powerful faction of her own party or she had no idea of the can of worms she was opening.

It’s a funny game, politics. I think I might go have a look for a copy of that Metro article now.


50 comments on “Key people”

  1. Adrian 1

    God, this is FUN !!!

    [Tone it down. Gloating is ugly regardless of where it’s coming from..>RL]

    • burt 1.1

      It was fun doing it to the Labour muppets as well – well that’s unless you were busy defending the indefensible like the blue team are starting to do now.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        oh burt turns out you’re one of those sad sack fair weather political friends. How shit of you.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Not its the mock palazzo in Parnell.
          The layout fits the aerial photos, the tennis court will be behind the photographer. With the pool house to one side.
          The place should never have got a code of compliance when it was built. In fact it may still not have one.

  2. Blighty 2

    Unrelated but there’s no way that Key’s pool is legal. Where’s the fencing? A pool fence must be present in a residential pool, it must enclose only the pool and related facilities (ie not the patio) and, if it includes the wall of a building as part of the fence ,that wall must not have doors unless they are self-locking.

    • Clashman 2.1

      The Hawaiian pad perhaps?

    • mac1 2.2

      “It’s not a pool! It’s a reservoir for water to fight fires and for irrigation for the… ah …. farm, ekshully. Yeah, those two grape vines out the back……. Look, it’s got to be a put up photoshop job, right. I mean, look at the picture. Who would wear their watch while swimming in the pool?”

    • Hami Shearlie 2.3

      Blighty, the fence IS there! It’s just invisible, like the integrity of the Nats! So rivetting on the news at the moment, it’s like a huge bomb exploding over the Nats, but it’s in super-slow motion. Labour knows something else too, I saw Trev smiling when he said he wondered how Judith Collins would feel next week re her legal action against him and Andrew Little? Wonder what Ducky knows?

    • Tc 2.4

      Yes but he’s got an opinion that says its legal orbits an old picture before the rule came in.

      Running Air NZ geez that’s a scary thought talk about the born to rule set with no regard for any actual ability at operating an airline.

      • ianmac 2.4.1

        I’m damned if I can find anything that could be construed as defamatory in Trevor’s interview. No wonder Judith is refusing to elaborate. Weird.

    • David C 2.5

      You can alarm the pool or have a cover that can be walked on. Expensive alternatives but legal.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.5.1

        Spa pools can have locked covers but not pools !
        This part may provide an out.
        “Buildings, for example, a wall of the house, may form part of the fencing if it complies with the Act. But if the wall of the house has a door into the house, the door will need to be self-locking.”

        There may be a fence behind the photographer

  3. Ad 3

    Collins/Slater/Smith vs Key/Boag/Goldsmith is the caucus war where all can see who has the best troops still standing at the end.

    This is Collins means of ascent – not THE moment but the moment that cuts the steps into the ice – and Key’s explicit and unequivocal blessing today means he recognizes her power and can do nothing until the Police and Privacy investigations report back.

    Joyce has figured out he is no match for her and is content being the Minister of The Deal. He is the Cullen-like figure, except quieter and more commercial and potentially with a more powerful legacy.

    With English forgotten, Parata is the loser because she knows she simply doesn’t have the capacity to as Richard III said “to smile, and murder while I smile”. Brownlee is the biggest loser, firstly he has burnt his goodwill with Key making him apologize to the Finns while in Korea, and secondly because Christchurch, the House, and Transport were too much. Local Government is a responsibility with a bad grief-to-reward ratio. It means stuff all, but you cant whip Mayors, they control the regions, and many regional Councillors are National donors and members and potential candidates. Brownlee is death by burial.

    Key will use the ACC-related reports to explicitly cut Boag off, require Collins to cut Slater off internally, and Key then will use the Budget as a re-launch the government as love-fest. He has plenty of public goodwill to burn through before he is remotely threatened i.e. in total co-opt Collins and Cabinet back.

    But not even the Budget will be enough icing to cover this scale of tectonic cracking.

  4. Georgecom 4

    A war with the old and powerful or inadvertently opening a can of worms?

    Maybe a bit of both.

    Collins is certainly feeling the pressure. If everything was above board and the Government (or at least Collins) was on firm ground it would be wise simply to take a firm line and stick with it knowing the public would side with you. Collins isn’t. The simple referral to litigation indicates she is feeling pressure, either the comments are a little close to home for her, or its essential for some future game plan to keep her image intact and clean, or some other reason.

    This may have started as a succession plan by Collins. Take out Boag et al. However Nick Smith also got taken out. I can’t actually see how that would have been part of Collins direct strategy, if she has one. It doesn’t pay to piss people off and create scores that need settling if you want to rise to the top. Taking out the opposition money men is one thing that smacks of a bit of warfare. But taking out a colleague and having a sharp knife foreever hovering over your back smacks of a can of worms opening before her eyes, if Collins did initially orchestrate things in her (seeming)favour.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      But Key giving Collins full backing for her defamation action? What’s that about? Whether she wins or loses the cases its going to be drawn out and inconvenient.

      He already has an exit plan in place for when Collins starts looking like a liability (could be pretty damn soon). What is it?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        It probably goes along the lines of

        “My support for Judith was based on her outstanding track record and the explicit assurances she gave me around this issue. Regrettably, and much to my personal disappointment, revelations over the last 24 hours have shown that there has been much more to this issue than I had been led to believe by her. At 19:30 tonight, I called her and asked for her resignation from all the portfolios she holds, which I can confirm that I now have. New Zealanders have a right to demand the highest levels of integrity and performance from my Cabinet, and that is the same expectation that I have. The NZ public can rest assured that the National Government is one which takes issues of Ministerial responsibility and accountability with the utmost seriousness.

        That is all.”

        Good for a 2 point boost for ShonKey, I reckon.

      • Carol 4.1.2

        I wouldn’t call it Key’s “full backing” for the defamation action. Key is reported as having “not discouraged her”:


        But Ms Collins was backed by Prime Minister John Key, who said he had not discouraged her from taking legal action.

        “She feels very strongly that people have said things about her that aren’t correct and she’s well within her rights to take action against that,” Mr Key said.

        He’s standing back and letting her do it on her own intiative. So if it blows up in her face, Key has already distanced himself a little from her actions.

    • Jackal 4.2

      I think there may have been some initial scheming going on, but they are all definitely just reacting now… and very badly in the case of Collins. I mean threatening a defamation case? Please!

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.2.1

        SNAFU not conspiracy, I agree.

        At the moment I’m thinking two possibilities

        1. Collins passed hard copy to Key and he or his staff leaked it.

        2. Boag or Pullar leaked it.

        If 2. is correct, Mallard and Little et al have egg on face (Labour look nasty, etc), so why bother suing them?

        If 1. is correct, now everyone can refuse to answer questions.

        I’m going with 1. at 80%

        Unless it’s some third thing – an actual spy/mole, sneaking around offices after lights out maybe? lol

        PS: speculation is entertaining, but not half as entertaining as just sitting back and watching them all run around like that 🙂

  5. Eduardo Kawak 5

    I always wondered why Key wanted to build a cycleway.

  6. JamesGeorge 6

    If this did begin as a whirl by Collins to knock out Key’s first support team

    while securing her own position; the most likely reason is naked self interest

    having persuaded Collins that Key’s need to fulfil the demands of his backers was

    too dangerous.
    Insisting on all of the ‘reforms’ ranging from the introduction of Charter Schools

    to floogin off all our sustainable energy sources is grinding down the once huge

    Collins prolly had no parrt of the deals that brought in the funding for the 2011

    campaign so as far as she is concerned keeping those deals is all bad news with

    little or no upside.
    If she can chase some of the original architects of the deals outta the shop she

    will have a much better chance of persuading jonkey to take his foot off the

    pedal. No Boag around to remind jonkey of the promises made, might be all key

    needs to give a “see my fellow kiwis we do listen to you” speech and pull back on

    some of the neo-liberal lunacy.

    Collins and any other careerists pols have just gotten to observe up close what

    happens to ambitious pols whose run was left too late. The fate of Phil Goff is

    bound to have many of the careerists thinking hard about their strategy for ruling

    The World New Zealand.

    Imagine if Collins goes does that make the next cab off the rank Paula Bennett,

    queen of the Kelston superette?

    No! no! come back Collins – all is forgiven.

    Nah I didn’t really mean that – still it does give ya pause eh!

  7. Carol 7

    IrishBill said:

    several of the people named in the Sovereign insurance letter as being part of Bronwyn Pullar’s support team are also people that were critical in bringing John Key into the National party when he returned to New Zealand and in grooming him for leadership.

    Actually Cameron’s dad, John Slater, brought Key into the Nats. But under his watch Key was unsuccessful in getting Key into parliament. Then Boag rolled Slater as Nat Party prez. Under Boag’s watch Key became an MP for Helensville.


    And it seems that getting Helensville was a messy business that must have upset a few Nats:

    The battle to win the National candidacy for the Helensville electorate has gone down as one of the messiest scraps in the party’s history. In the process, long-serving MP Brian Neeson was cast aside, loyal party members felt they were ridden over roughshod, and there were accusations of rule-breaking.

    • Yes, and I think Nicky Hager (‘Hollow Men’) goes into the details of the remarkable process of ‘turning around’ the delegates in the electorate from Neeson (who was well-liked and widely supported) to Key – done in record time, too. 

  8. RichWhite&Fey 8

    I hope the script writing course at Toi Whakaari is taking note.

    This would make a great reality TV show.

    Whose move is it next ?

  9. Sanctuary 9

    It is hilarious that Cameron Slater, of no identifiable achievements or reputation beyond his fathers name and his political patronage, is so viciously railing against and attacking Bronwyn Pullar – a woman of no readily identifiable achievements and reputation beyond her friends and political patronage.

    Coming up next: Takapuna Grammar old boy accuses AGS old boy of cronyism.

    • There must be deeply worried National Party operatives wondering what they are going to do with Slater.  The trouble with using a wrecking ball for a blogger is that if they get out of control the damage can be completely indiscriminate.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        Slater’s useful coz he’ll say anything, and he’s not worth suing.

        It’s interesting that the last nights leak fit so perfectly into his narrative about Boag.

        • mickysavage

          Aye PB and he has admitted meeting Pullar and receiving emails from her.  He also knew about the Sovereign payout.  I wonder if he had a copy of the Sovereign letter?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Don’t know, don’t care.

            but he doesn’t get called “a useful tool” by media pundits for nothing.

            Who cares what a hammer might think?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.2

        he has had his own well known battles with an insurance company over disability payments. But in his case he went ballistic and threatened a fight to the finish but it appears to have ended with a whimper , as expected.

      • RobertM 9.1.3

        Capitalism is creative destruction. High class journalism or even comedy is basically destructive, an acceptance that much of the modern media’s role is to be a strong opposition. Unfortunately in NZ the anachronistic idea exists it is somewhow the media’s role is to assist the government to govern and not to expose its incompetence and inertia.
        At their peak British comics like Peter Cook and outlets like Private Eye were brilliantly destructive and did immense damage to the MacMillan and Alex Holme governments. But MacMillan had the courage to go to the Cook, Dudley, Millar shows sit in the frontrow in 1963 and eyeball them. Here the politician or some ordinary idiot would just call the cops and say it was immoral outrage.
        Obviously media freedom and radical political action is easier the larger the society, because in large socities and cities it is far more difficult for an ignorant and almost always wrong ordinary people to effective oppose, given the opposing force of ten of millions of intelligent people and annonyminity and individualism of a large society. You probably need to be as populated as the UK for radical change. It is always easier in Japan and Germany and in Russia or the US letting obsolete cities like Detroit disingergrate is easy. So size matters more than the political system.

    • Deb 9.2

      Ms Pullar is hardly presenting as a sainted victim in all this. It could be argued that interested parties could pursue her under S252 of the Crimes Act, with respect to the notification she is getting as to when her correspondence to ACC is being viewed and by whom.

      ‘Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, any computer system without authorisation, knowing that he or she is not authorised to access that computer system, or being reckless as to whether or not he or she is authorised to access that computer system.’

      If software has been introduced by Pullar and as a result unauthorised receipts are being forwarded from ACC’s system, that sounds to me like “access”.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    Bronwyn Pullar, Michelle Boag’s gal pal, at one stage at least may have had more ‘pull’ than a Fort St masseuse going by the impressive number of nat luminaries in the Sovereign letter. Quite an extraordinary line up going in to bat for one party member.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Its referred to as ” Nationals Nomenklatura”.

      • Tiger Mountain 10.1.1

        fair enough comparison ghost, certainly patronage going on, but membership of the original Nomenklatura was not always a good thing for peoples careers or longevity….

    • Frida 10.2

      yeah I really want to know what’s so special about her that she manages to get all these venal Tories lining up to help her LOL.

      It also amuses me greatly, as it did with Whaleoil, that these RWNJs are so “anti-bludgers” until they’re in need of assistance themselves….

      bank bailouts anyone??

      It would be funny if it wasn’t so goddamn pathetic and damaging to NZ.

  11. ak 11

    Nerrida – gimmee everything ya got on family connections Joyce Slater and Lusk ASAP, oh and crossref Garrett perp Radioworks canwest. STAT doll gotta run

  12. the sprout 12

    What i would like to know and what seems to have been overlooked, is whether pullar received the acc client file in pure error, or was that error manufactured by her national party buddies to help strengthen her bargaining hand against acc?

  13. captain hook 13

    it looks very much like the final days.
    Key and his credibility and goodwill have just about run out.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    Well, according to Pullar, it looks like Key is off the hook on this one.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      False declaration by Pullar to an insurance company then? That’s helpful to know.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      Pretty odd development for them saying it was her that leaked it I reckon.

      • Carol 14.2.1

        Well, I reckon it definitely puts Pullar and Boag in the Key camp… or vice versa. So Collins can’t count on Key acting in her interests. And it indicates it was someone in the Collins camp who leaked the Sovereign letter.

    • Puddleglum 14.3

      The problem with trying to get someone off the hook is that you often end up inserting another hook somewhere else if you’re not careful.

      Tangled webs and all that. 

    • Edos 14.4

      Yeah, Pullar using his name as a threat to Sovereign “people who were aware of my dispute with the insurer, and who the insurer may encounter in the course of their business” – just sounds fine and dandy, eh?

      Cronyism in the Nats.

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