Key’s Bitter Legacy; Gareth Hughes Nails the PM’s Vanity.

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, February 12th, 2016 - 218 comments
Categories: brand key, class war, Economy, leadership, Politics, same old national, slippery - Tags: , , ,

Gareth Hughes from the Green Party gave PM John Key a solid serve in the PM’s statement debate. Hughes raises some interesting questions about how Key is going to be regarded historically. And Key is soon to be history. He’s either going to give it away pre-election or he’s going to lose on the night. He’s tired, bored and boring. The schtick is wearing thin and miss-steps such as pissing off conservatives over the flag are signs that he’s losing his touch.

Hughes talked of  Key’s legacy:

“Your desperate, lumbering, grasping attempt at building a legacy with a flag won’t mask the realities.

Hungry kids up
Inequality up
Pollution up
Debt up
Housing costs up
Electricity costs up
Foreign ownership up
Corruption up

Once you may have been a national leader but now you look like just a National Party leader.”

Yup. Just what is that Key stands for? What has he acheived? Does the National Party have any principles or they merely TradeMe politicians who will sell out NZ to the highest bidder? When Key goes next year, will we even care?

The video:


The transcript:

Kia ora

Prime Minister, I’ve sat and listened to all your speeches opening Parliament and I’d like to congratulate you on delivering your 8th speech.

It’s a real accomplishment and you must be now thinking how history will remember you.

Just outside of this debating chamber are the portraits of our great leaders.

From Seddon, to Savage and Fraser to Kirk how do these giants who established universal suffrage, a caring state in the midst of a depression and world war and a modern independent, bicultural New Zealand compare with you?

Is the flag it?

Your desperate, lumbering, grasping attempt at building a legacy with a flag won’t mask the realities.

Hungry kids up
Inequality up
Pollution up
Debt up
Housing costs up
Electricity costs up
Foreign ownership up
Corruption up

Once you may have been a national leader but now you look like just a National Party leader.

Once you attacked the nanny state of efficient lightbulbs but then presided over the most wide reaching mass surveillance state in our country’s history, passed the Skynet law, sacked elected councils and then refused elections.

You’re our first selfie PM, our first comedian PM – a derping, planking, rape-joking expert at getting us on late night American comedy shows.

At a time of growing inequality, rapid global change and systemic economic problems we got basically a chilled out entertainer.

On Election night 2011 you first thanked your pollster.

You are our most poll-driven PM ever, yet after all these years we still don’t know what you stand for bar the jokes and three line slogans.

Do you see more for New Zealand than just China’s dairy farm and America’s spy station?

Prime Minister, why, just last week, on our national day did you run from debate at Waitangi – once again into the arms of rugby players.

To the 300,000 kids growing up in poverty are you saying ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for Serco, Sky City, Saudi Sheiks, Media works, Warners, and Rio Tinto?’

Under your leadership scientists have been ridiculed and silenced and NGOs have had their funding and voice cut.

Rape crisis centres are closing and food banks are doing a brisk trade.

Kiwis are noted for their generosity and hospitality but Prime Minister, under you, New Zealand has become more welcoming to oil companies than refugees.

Whenever there is a Government scandal, extreme benefit measures are floated, and ‘look over there – pandas.’

Prime Minister, you may not have a plum in your mouth like your hero Holyoake, but you’re exactly the same – an arrogant, born to rule, out of touch, short-term, kick the can down the road style of leadership.

You delivered tax cuts the country couldn’t afford and leave $120 billion in debt, a superannuation crisis, crippling student loans and a generation locked out of home ownership.

You might call that a legacy, I call it intergenerational theft.

Once, we were one of the richest nations in the world. Now Kiwis work some of the longest hours, for some of the lowest wages and pay some of the highest costs of living in the developed world.

After selling our assets you are now selling out our sovereignty to corporates and the Hollywood industrial complex.

Your small army of spin doctors tell us again and again you grew up in a state house but now that you’re on the 9th floor you’re even selling them too.

But you seem like a good guy to have a beer with. No one else in this room could have got away with your stunts, gaffes and antics.

How have you gotten away with it? We could ask Crosby and Textor and point to the biggest of big business bucks and the dirtiest of dirty tricks operations in New Zealand history.

Kiwis are a good people, a caring people and we can reclaim our democracy from big money and dirty politics.

One of your legacies is what you cynically call the rent a crowd is growing into a real political movement for change.

Another legacy of your term is a Green Party stronger than ever before. Thank you Prime Minister.

Prime Minister as you reflect this may be one of your last opening speeches to Parliament I have no doubt you will go down in history as one of the most successful politicians of a generation. By ‘politician’ I mean the way it’s written on the Stuff comments section.


218 comments on “Key’s Bitter Legacy; Gareth Hughes Nails the PM’s Vanity. ”

  1. Macro 1

    That speech says it all!
    Listen to the deathly silence from the Media however. Missing in action yet again.
    Thank you for posting this TRP.

    • Paul 1.1

      It can be spread on social media

    • savenz 1.2

      +1 everyone. Excellent speech by Gareth! Good on him, show the anger that many of us are feeling!!!

      Key is not going to be remembered well that is for sure!

      Back to Labour. It is interesting that in the Labour speeches they always go back to Savage – we never hear about what they did that was so great for NZ in the last 30 years apart from sticking it to the US over nuclear free. Did that harm our international relationship – nope! Sometimes friends have to say no to each other! Now our government is so keen to give everything to the US, NZ is not longer a friend to the US, more a subordinate under Key.

      Great to see Greens are getting stronger. Great to see they are flexing their disapproval of Key. The public want and demand independence from National from the opposition parties.

      If all the opposition parties campaigned on ‘send National a message’ they would have the next election in the bag.

      NZ First ‘send National a message over selling off our country’
      Greens ‘send National a message over selling off our environment’
      Labour ‘send National a message over running up the country’s $120 billion in debt”

      The next election should be all about sending National a message!!!

      • wild katipo 1.2.1

        Now that could be organised through a tri party summit.

        In which case policy’s can be discussed and tailored in particular so that each party leads a spearhead,.. as well as ensuring candidates are placed strategically to maximise the impact against National.

        It could be done and would put the frightener’s on National for sure … as well as their support party’s.

        • savenz

          Yep, if the opposition can collaborate (aka Northland) they can beat the Natz, who like to use distraction and nit picking on the opposition to keep the trivial in focus or to muddy the issue (Labour did it too) and the widespread damage of their reign off the radar.

          The widespread reign of damage from the Natz needs to be put onto the radar by the opposition!!

  2. opium 2

    Brilliant speech

  3. A fantastic speech Mr Hughes and on the button in every aspect.

    Now the follow up from Labour please.

    • rhinocrates 3.1

      Now the follow up from Labour please.

      Don’t worry, next week, Goff or some other drone will claim to have given it.

  4. Mosa 4

    Vote for a brighter future we were told in 2008
    We have been deceived ever since
    That speech should be reported in every media forum to remind New Zealanders that we are entitled to be governed better than this
    Well done Gareth at least you give a damn

  5. Big Dog 5

    Very hard to disagree with any of that!

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Key has not just run a two track dirty tricks operation, NZ has structurally become a two tier society in many ways

    Nat political orthodoxy is to say anything based on polling regardless of the facts, “Labour supports rapists and murderers” was one of the nastier recent examples, Key belatedly apologised but he knew the claim was untrue when first uttered in the house

    Nat HQ media co-optiing was illustrated again when Max ‘Keydashian’ landed a DJ slot at George FM as various veteran DJs were being shown the door by Mediaworks, those remaining were instructed to not criticise Key jnr if they wanted to keep their shows

    hopefully the TPPA issue has been the wake up for the core of New Zealanders not totally captured by consumerist opium dreams

    • I really think there is grounds for the employment courts here, – unfair dismissal for a start.

      As for the unsavoury aspect of the employer issuing a gagging order …that wont stand up to much as it is wokplace bullying . A grown man has lost his job after years of service by dismissal – and that was not even explained precisely just why – to make way for a noob. And mitigating factors are that there is a high political profile with the newcomer whether they like it or not.

      Which only aggravates the situation.

      I think there’s a case here and its being downplayed quietly.

  7. Smilin 7

    Having had thoughts myself that fit into the context of Gareths speech being reiterated in parliament reminds me of what democracy is all about Good one Gareth. Real representation, not the BS we get from CT Natcorp

  8. Jones 8

    Brilliant speech. Right on the mark.

  9. Whateva next? 9

    Just gonna keep adding my 100% support for this speech, so heartening to hear it said out loud, and in parliament.glad it’s being shared everywhere, despite MSM’s deal they hush

  10. Rosie 10

    Far out. Previously I had only just read the transcript but have just heard the entire speech being played on the radio as a form of public service and duty to their listeners.

    At the time when I had only read the speech I mentioned earlier on Open Mike that this could be a performance piece that local musicians or someone could work with but, wow, it IS a performance piece in itself.

    What a delivery – it came from some part of Gareth Hughes that has been deeply affected by what he has witnessed under the Key regime.

    What else if there left to say about Key + Co after that?

    Huge respect Gareth.

    • weka 10.1

      +1000. Viewing it is essential to get what he is really doing.

      • weka 10.1.1

        sorry, I meant hearing Hughes’ words direct (video or audio, although I think his calm demeanor is worth watching too).

    • whateva next? 10.2

      “….have just heard the entire speech being played on the radio as a form of public service and duty to their listeners….”
      Can you say which radio station Rosie?

      • Rosie 10.2.1

        Radio Active 88.6fm Wellington. Independent radio for over 35 years 😀

        I only tuned in this arvo and heard it but apparently they played it on the breakfast show and discussed. The DJ on the breakfast show identifies as being a leftie and the craic is always lively. They have “the Scoop report” every Thursday morning with the editor from Scoop and Grant Robertson joins in every week for a bit, as the MP for Wellington central.

        In the old days they used to have the National Wellington central opposition on every week too, “for balance” but it was Chris Finlayson that put an end to that.

        It’s a station for independent music first and foremost but it’s always been a politically chatty station. They were only one of the two stations in the country that were banned from playing Planet Key by Darren Watson.

        Where ever you are in the world you can listen to the scoop report on line on Thursday mornings.

        • whateva next?

          thanks for that, another place to visit, and great to hear the speech was broadcast on the airwaves!

  11. esoteric pineapples 11

    I think at this stage a lot of people still think John Key will be remembered as one of New Zealand’s most popular Prime Ministers. But if nothing serious gets done about climate change (which looks highly likely at this stage), Key and other present leaders will be remembered by future generations with nothing but contempt.

    • rhinocrates 11.1

      One reason that I am sure that time travel is impossible is that our grandchildren… er, grandnieces and grandnephews are not coming back and murdering us.

    • vto 11.2

      Agree pineapples.

      Just like Muldoon.

      Muldoon was hugely popular (among the same sorts of people no less)…… but pretty much immediately after he departed he was regarded with contempt and is most definitely not regarded as one of NZ’s greats. Like Helen Clark for example (that will piss Key off).

      Muldoon is regarded very poorly.

      Key will be regarded very poorly.

      you reap what you sow

      • weka 11.2.1

        good point ep and vto. Mind you I grew up in a family that loathed Muldoon so that’s another parallel 😉

      • ? Helen Clark is still highly respected by New Zealanders. While she may have lost an election, she actually seemed to regain some of her esteem to the public after she departed.

        • vto

          Sorry, on a re-read I had worded that quite poorly. My point was that Muldoon was not regarded well, and certainly far from a great, pretty much immediately after being dumped – whereas Helen Clark has been highly regarded since departure.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    This was the speech I was expecting from Shaw and Turei.

    Both were huge disappointments for me.

    With Hughes as The Green’s spokesperson, the party could get some electoral traction.

    • weka 12.1

      One of the strengths of the Greens is that they have a range of good people. Shaw, Turei and Hughes’ speeches together cover a lot of ground where any one of them alone isn’t going to be all things to enough people. For instance, I have a lot of respect for Shaw, but he’s not speaking to me. He’s speaking to the urban professionals and business people who want to hear green concepts and politics presented in their own language and in a context that makes sense to their lives. I’d be interested to know what it was about Hughes that worked for you.

      • AmaKiwi 12.1.1

        What it was about Hughes that worked for you?

        “Key is the enemy.”


      • Molly 12.1.2

        Hi weka,

        Like you – Shaw leaves me cold.

        What appeals about Gareth Hughes for me – a sense of integrity, passion and informed knowledge.

        • weka

          I actually quite like Shaw, although I can see he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I was more meaning that I’m not part of the suit and tie brigade and that’s his natural home. If we’re talking CV’s ‘cultural fit’ then I could probably pass in the those circles if I had to (and had some decent clothes), but it’s not who I would hang out with 😉 This is probably a different thing than you and Ama are talking about, which seem to be more around qualities.

          • Colonial Viper

            Cultural fit is one of the most important determining factors of political success, I think.

            And how has mercilessly attacking Key as a self serving yet incompetent agent of the elite served the Opposition over the last 3 terms?

            Well, I expect the same result to continue. IMO Greens 12% +/-1% come 2017.

            • weka

              And I expect you to say that over and over and over unless the left does exactly what you want.

              “Cultural fit is one of the most important determining factors of political success, I think.”

              yeah, but you also think that it’s ok to waste a vote than to vote strategically for a party that isn’t a good cultural fit. And you slam Labour and the Greens for not winning an election when you won’t even vote for them 🙄

              “Well, I expect the same result to continue. IMO Greens 12% +/-1% come 2017.”

              So? You want them to instead pander to the centrist vote? Go right to steal some of National’s vote? Abandone their kaupapa completely and become the party that serves the common man?

              • Colonial Viper

                “So? You want them to instead pander to the centrist vote? Go right to steal some of National’s vote? Abandone their kaupapa completely and become the party that serves the common man?”


                My position is that the Greens have long ago given up on their principles of the 70s and 80s in order to pander to the centrist vote. Bradford gone. Ftizsimons gone. Shaw in.

                “serving the common man” is not something that Kiwis think about the Greens.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You don’t speak for anyone.

                • weka

                  “Ftizsimons gone”

                  Yes, she retired, you numpty. Nothing to do with getting rid of the radicals from the party. When you sprinkle such disingenous arguments in your comments it makes me have to think about what other points you make might be misleading. There’s getting to be too many of them.

                  My position is that the Greens have long ago given up on their principles of the 70s and 80s in order to pander to the centrist vote. Bradford gone. Ftizsimons gone. Shaw in.

                  “serving the common man” is not something that Kiwis think about the Greens.

                  One point at a time then,

                  1. I asked you what the GP should do. You haven’t answered. Another example of your intention to poison the well. All damning and no construction. The bit about kiwis not seeing the GP as being for the common man is a straw man.

                  2. If the GP used to be more aligned to the principles of the Values Party but have dropped them, and if this is relevant to their ability to increase their vote, why did the Values Party peak at 6% and the GP is now on 11%? Your argument that they should have stayed with their values in a radical way as a way of increasing their vote is a nonsense.

                  3. But you’re wrong about the abandonment of principles anyway. As I’ve pointed out before, the Greens kaupapa is still firmly based in the principles of the Values Party. It’s visible on their website in their Charter etc. It’s also visible to those of us who are a better cultural fit. What they’ve done is adapted their policy, their approach, and how they present themselves to suit a more modern, and yes, mainstream electorate. The reason they have done this is because while many NZers value the things that the GP do work on, they’re also much more conservative than the Greens or the Values Party. If they want to have more representative power and influence they need to have more MPs in parliament. They’re a political party, that’s what they are there for.

                  The people who already understand the Values Party manifesto, can see the principles still there underlying what the GP currently do. The people who would be scared off by steady state economy/teotwawki type talk don’t have it shoved in their face and can instead vote for the the more surface issues that appeal to them. This serves everyone in that scenario, win/win/win. It’s a smart move on the Green Party’s part.

                  4. Cultural fit. If this is so highly valuable to you as a voter and a politico, why would you be suggesting that the Greens bring to the fore principles that aren’t a good cultural fit for many more mainstream Green voters? Again, it’s a nonsense argument, unless you want to see the Green Party collapse in the way that you want to see Labour collapse.

                  5. Cultural fit. Likewise, if you want to criticise the Greens for not being a good cultural fit for the common man, how does that fit with your criticism that they should have stuck to their old style, more radical politics, which were even less suited to the common man than what they do now?

                  6. Cultural fit. The GP doesn’t have to be all things to all people. It’s successful at what it does. For instance, despite being not dominantly centrist in cultural terms, and despite never having been in government, it’s managed to shift the culture in NZ around environmental issues so that even the common man is now more aware and more willing to take them seriously.

                  7. The common man meme is a myth. People don’t vote for all sorts of reasons and trying to lump the million non-voters into one mass of people who don’t vote because they are no longer represented by Labour or the GP is another nonsense.

                  8. Having said that, I do agree that there is a good chunk of NZ not being represented in parliament currently (eg working class white men), and that this is in large part due to not having adequate representation or political power. That’s neither the fault of the GP nor their particular responsibility. That one is on Labour and NACT.

                  9. For people such as yourself who are not a good cultural fit with the Greens, but who also have the political capacity to look beyond the rhetoric and see that the GP holds the most left wing policies of any party currently in government, why would you not vote for them? Because you have an abstract principle around wanting a political party to suit your personal needs. That’s fine until you bring it into a political forum such as this in the way you are currently doing, which is basically running round smearing the few people doing some good in parliament with the vain hope that you can somehow burn down the house so it can be rebuilt. It’s a daft and patently failing strategy on so many levels.

                  10. to go back to the original point of this subthread. Molly and I had started talking about how different people in the GP don’t speak to us, but that it doesn’t matter because the GP has a range of other competent people. You then come along to hijack the conversation with more of your bullshit memes and contradictory slogans and almost zero useful political analysis. It’s boring cul de sac and I know I’m not the only one sick of it. You’ll get a few more miles from shifting your focus from Labour to the Greens in choice of who to damn, but ultimately very few people here appreciate the approach of spraying negative and misleading pseudo comments around the place (which is why the RW trolls get such a hard time). You’re quite capable of doing good political analysis, so I hope you get past this particular bitter phase.

                  tl;dr, your analysis is bogus, up your game mate.

                  • Rosie

                    well said weka

                    • weka

                      Thanks Rosie, it was good to get that out.

                      I’m also thinking that I’m sick of this idea that parties have to change to suit people who don’t vote for them. It’s so FPP. In the age of MMP the GP should be doing what they’re doing (except they should also be more supportive of Mana) because they’re the party that represents that part of the electorate. That’s the point of MMP. And Labour should be doing what they’re meant to be doing but aren’t ( 😉 ) . I’d love Labour to be better on environmental issues, but not if it comes at the expense of them gaining the votes they were made for. The problem here isn’t that the GP aren’t better for working class folk, or that Labour isn’t green enough, it’s that the two parties haven’t yet learned how to work together while being distinct and different parties who represent different parts of the electorate.

                      This doesn’t mean there aren’t issues for the Greens to work on. I’ve heard Turei talk about the non-vote and how they need to be listening to those people about what those people believe and feel about politics (and how often that doesn’t fit into traditional notions of the left/right spectrum, or even what is important about politics). But it does mean that it’s ok for them to not be the party for everyman. Ditto Labour, should Labour eventually get back on track with who it is meant to be.

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha


                      “I’m also thinking that I’m sick of this idea that parties have to change to suit people who don’t vote for them.”

                      Completely agree. The alternative is to believe in your policies and values and then explain and promote them to bring voters to you. Changing beliefs is what political leadership and social progress is all about. It might be harder, but NZ needs that, rather than trashy poll-chasing.

                  • greywarshark

                    A very thoughtful piece weka that no doubt will give Col Viper something to think on.

                  • Karen

                    Weka, I mostly agree with your thoughts but I am perplexed by no.8.

                    What do you mean by “working class white men” not having adequate representation in parliament? I know a lot of working class white men – friends, family members etc. I haven’t ever heard any expressing that thought, although their political views range from a complete lack of interest, conservative with a small c (in-laws generally), leftish, and very left wing. The same for my Māori, Pasifika, and female working class friends and family.

                    “Working class white men” aren’t some kind separate group with set views and experiences, but maybe that isn’t what you meant.

                    • weka

                      Thanks Karen, and fair call. That was me being lazy and shorthanding something to try and meet CV’s idea of the common man being part of the missing million. I’ve probably fallen into the Waitakere Man myth too 😉 It’s also about the ongoing argument about economics politics vs identity politics and how the politics that CV often espouses is to my mind white bloke politics (because it focusses on the things important to white men and tries to exclude other people’s priorities).

                      My own politics say that all groups of people deserve representation according to their own needs and politics (hence ‘identity politics’). In terms of class and ethnicity it does seem like there are groups of people let down by Labour beyond the ways that many people in NZ are i.e. the people for whom Labour would have been a natural fit in the past, but now it’s too middle class. I’ve seen ex-Labour voters/supporters comment on ts with a great deal of anger and that does seem rooted in class issues. But I think it’s also more complicated than that with changes in what class is.

                      Having said that I’m open to all of that being squashed by an argument that says the missing million are evenly spread across the political spectrum and don’t vote because of reasons other than party politics. I’ve not seen any research that looks at that, and it did seem for a while that Labour and the GP both believed the idea that more of the missing million were ex-left than right.

                  • Karen

                    I think we are all guilty of generalisations Weka.

                    Personally I find middle class people like CV and Chris Trotter pontificating on what working class men believe really irritating. As I said, working class white men have a range of views and I find the attitude of CV and Trotter patronising to say the least.

                    As for the missing million there are many reasons for people not voting and there has been research that indicates they aren’t predominately left wingers looking for a party that will inspire them to vote.
                    I actually think that a large proportion of the NZ population are just not interested in politics at all, and have no real interest in finding out the policies of various parties. When it comes to election time a growing number just don’t get round to voting, some just do what they have always done, some are influenced by their friends and families and some pick up on the attitudes of the commentators on TV or radio.

                    As someone who became interested in politics at 13, I find this really frustrating, but I can’t see this situation changing any time soon.

            • alwyn

              I imagine that they would be absolutely rapt to get 12% at the next election.
              That is more than they have ever achieved in the past.

  13. Mrs Brillo 13

    Respect to Mr Hughes. That is how to make a speech.
    Labour, please take note.

  14. Expat 14

    Ahh, perhaps the tide is turning, Gareth Hughes has done an excellent job of describing NZ’s most overpaid second hand car dealer, this information needs reinforcement from all the like minded parties too really hammer those points home.

    • Macro 14.1

      I think your comment is a little unfair to car dealers quite frankly.
      I have just bought a car through a dealer and am very happy with both the vehicle and the way the dealer treated me.

      • Expat 14.1.1

        Macro, I almost submitted “no offense to second hand car dealers” but I felt most would get the jist.
        I have commented before on what an excellent “salesperson” key can be, problem is, he keeps selling us a “lemon”.

      • RedLogix 14.1.2

        We’d been in Aus for two weeks and needed wheels.

        Finished up in a dingy basement office, down in a carpark under a tower block in downtown Melbourne. The cynic in me was part screaming ‘WTF is going on here”, and part chortling at my naivety for even being in the place. Top it off the guy was a tough talking Greek, unbuttoned shirt, missing only the gold medallion. Paranoia meter pinging off-scale.

        Well like Macro, the car is the best I’ve ever had, the deal was straight and the finance a steal. Couldn’t be happier.

        So maybe it’s just me and Key is the real good guy half the people think he is?

        • whateva next?

          Opposite reading for me, the suits, bodyguards in shades and photos with celebs do not tell me he is a someone you can trust.
          A guy in a basement, face to face, talking straight, no baubles, no frills…..what”s the comparison RedLogix?

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      this information needs reinforcement from all the like minded parties too really hammer those points home


      This tactic has shown zero success over the previous 7 years, yet you are lauding it now?

      Do you expect the opposition to show any lift in the polls by continuing along these lines?

      • Expat 14.2.1

        Hi CV,

        The points made by Gareth are actually true, even though there are many who choose to either disagree or close there mind to it, reinforcing the truth by like minded parties helps to counter the lies reinforced in MSM.

        My preference is to attack the policy not the member, but as you know, Key always attacks the member, not the policy, publicly belittling opponents is his MO, even you would agree with that, the man is a bully, has poor leadership skills and doesn’t appear to really care about ordinary Kiwi’s.

        “You delivered tax cuts the country couldn’t afford and leave $120 billion in debt, a superannuation crisis, crippling student loans and a generation locked out of home ownership.”

        These are relevant points that need public airing.

        • Colonial Viper

          “The points made by Gareth are actually true, even though there are many who choose to either disagree or close there mind to it, reinforcing the truth by like minded parties helps to counter the lies reinforced in MSM.”

          I am not arguing that Gareth’s points are untrue; I am arguing that his speech is not what NZ is looking for, despite what the activist Left thinks.

          • McFlock

            and what is NZ looking for, oh great voice of New Zealand?

            • whateva next?

              I am looking for the end of the petty squabbles, and for people to stop the machine that National have created by ALWAYS obeying Crosby Textor. We don’t have to be a machine, being decent human beings, but do we have to fall for the “divide and rule”, EVERY TIME guys?
              I can compromise and cooperate for the greater good, I don’t have to like someone personally to work with them, so can you guys bickering above just stop?

              “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

              ― Aristotle

              • McFlock

                And how do you work with someone who refuses to work with others unless he gets exactly what he wants and no effort is spared on objectives that he, personally, doesn’t value? If you know the answer to that one, I’d be interested.

                • whateva next?

                  Ignore him

                  • weka

                    that only works if everyone does it. I think a better, or additional, strategy is to start conversations we want to have, not just call out the bullshit ones.

                    For instance, McFlock raised an interesting question and I don’t think it was entirely rhetorical.

                    Myself, I happen to like CV, so it’s not a personal thing about him as a person, it’s about his behaviour and how that impacts on the site and on the movement of left wing politics. I don’t know of a way to deal with that other than to name the behaviour and call him out on it. This would be the same if he were doing this in a political group that met face to face, or if he were doing this down the pub each time we all got together. I can ignore him, but if he is disrupting the meeting how is my non-action going to help?

                    I’m curious about the CT reference. I see the problem here as independent of the right.

                    • whateva next?

                      I concentrate on working out the intention of the person when trying to reach a decision/direction/agreement etc, if they have no intention of finding anything but their own opinion worthy, then it’s a waste of time?

          • Korero Pono

            @ CV, I know I have asked this a few times but you assume you know what New Zealanders want. Please tell us what we want (politicians have been doing it for years btw). Once you tell us what we want, then justify it.

            The problem with most politicians is they think they know better than the people, fail to listen to the people and have successfully disengaged approximately a million voters (whether by design or as a consequence).

            “I am arguing that his speech is not what NZ is looking for, despite what the activist Left thinks” So you know better than the ‘activist left’?

            It is quite oppressive when a small minority think they know what is best for the opposing majority and act accordingly. How is your thinking different from this?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              CV wishes he was a small minority.

              • Korero Pono

                Ah that explains a lot. With that type of thinking he will fit right in with the Natzis or even Labour. That is the problem with politicians they need to stop thinking they know what the rest of us want.

              • weka

                I know I shouldn’t encourage you, but lol.

          • weka

            “I am arguing that his speech is not what NZ is looking for, despite what the activist Left thinks.”

            Has it occurred to you that the speech wasn’t designed to be what NZ as a whole is looking for? I can think of a number of other good reasons for that speech.

          • Expat


            You know what I find interesting, is that there has been NO disagreement around the accuracy of the comments (from Gareth Hughes) from people like yourself, and particularly the one (comment) in my blog, not a sole has tried to argue that it isn’t true, obviously, I can only assume every one knows it to be true, and not even Nat supporters want to dispute this.

            I don’t disagree with you about the content to some degree, and the fact that there was almost no one in the house at the time of the speech doesn’t really help the cause either, but for most here (ts), it was heartening to hear the comments often made on this site repeated in a public arena by someone with enough fortitude to say it like it is.

            I think the exercise was more of a morale building one more than anything, and at the end of the day there’s nothing really wrong with that.

            • weka

              The absence of RW trolls and astroturfers is interesting. Even ordinary right wingers.

              I doubt that Hughes is too worried about the lack of people in the house. He’s of the generation that automatically knows the reach is now via electronics as much as anything. He’ll also know that there are important people to reach via social media.

              • McGrath

                All we see is the “business as usual” unsuccessful personal attack strategy that we’ve come to expect from the Left for the past eight or so years. Beyond that, it’s not worth any further commentary.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Too funny: you think Hughes’ speech is a personal attack.

                  When the Prime Minister lied to Parliament that 20% of NZers are illiterate, perhaps it’s just the company he keeps

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Don’t get me wrong: it’s quite clear that Hughes has a low opinion of Dear Leader, it’s just that he makes that clear by describing Dear Leader’s behaviour.

                  Dear Leader is trash, and so are you. Now that was a personal attack: can you see the difference?

                  • McGrath

                    I rest my case.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      😆 You don’t have a case: you’ve barely even got any evidence.

                    • weka

                      He does have a point though. In the absence of you demonstrating that you know the difference between a personal attack and a political one it’s not hard to assume you don’t know. Or that you do know but are just trolling rather than engaging in meaningful debate.

              • Expat


                “The absence of RW trolls and astroturfers is interesting. Even ordinary right wingers.”

                Yeah, I was quite surprised, perhaps it is resonating with them as well. lol

                I just hope that the Hugh’s speech does resonate with a whole lot of people, through all types of media, now we just need them to get out and VOTE.

      • Lloyd 14.2.2

        Trouble is not that the progressive political parties haven’t set out the crimes of FJK and his cronies during his regime, but that when they do it is ignored or distorted by the majority of the media which the vast majority of New Zealanders get all their news from.
        Viper if you want to produce a healthier country you need to get stuck into the way the message gets spread, not the persons who message is identifying the problem. If you are not helping spread the real story, you are part of the problem.

  15. feijoa 15

    I have been waiting 7 years to hear a speech like that…………..

  16. Kelly-Ned 16

    Wow – Who is that guy!
    He said it all and richly deserves a beer to go with the pat on his back!
    I just how Key was actually in the house to hear it.

    • Molly 16.1

      Gareth Hughes has been around for a while.

      Always has been someone who speaks knowledgeably and well when approached for comment.

  17. keyman 17

    just another speech from the mouth of rent a mob john key is out there holding the line keeping new Zealand afloat we are in deep economic trouble and only john key ability to lie and bluff the players is stopping new Zealand from becoming Greece if labor had left more money john key may have been able to hold back the waves of the great rescission a bit longer the problem is there are to many poor people and they smell so there nothing that can be done.

    [Enjoying Friday drinks, keyman? It appears you’ve peaked, go and have a lie down, there’s a good chap. TRP]

  18. Richard@Down South 18

    Excellent speech…

  19. Hami Shearlie 19

    Gareth Hughes has created a legacy for himself with this one speech that was very pithy and greater than anything Key could come up with in all his years in Parliament – the little word is integrity – Key has never had it and never will. David Cunliffe also gave a tremendous speech before Parliament broke for the summer break – that and Gareth’s speech are the two best speeches I have heard in Parliament for a long long time.

  20. Ben 20

    Yet Key still retains 5 x the popularity of Little. Must be frustrating for all but the majority that support National. If Key is so bad, then it simply reflects on the gross inadequency of the ‘opposition’ that the polls are not shifting.

    • Expat 20.1

      Ben, just to remind you of his popularity, 60% don’t like him.

      • Ben 20.1.1

        Expat, just to remind you of his popularity, 90% don’t like him. Including most of his caucus.

        • te reo putake

          Shit, Ben, didn’t realise things had got that bad for Key. Thanks for the update.

          • Ben

            It will happen TRP, but just not as quickly as you hope, and not before Little is dispatched, and quite likely his replacement.

            • te reo putake

              Given that we don’t elect a President, the poll you’re relying on doesn’t make much difference to anything, Ben. The next PM will still have to put together a coalition. Little seems well placed to do that at the moment. Key … not so much.

              • Ben

                Labour’s not all that good with playing the coalition game, and the Greens and NZF have a long way to go to make that happen.

                You may underplay the polls (except when in your favour) but Labour will be eagerly awaiting the next round of results to see if their roll of the TPPA dice has paid off. Early indications are that Labour’s roll will start with a 2. Little is desperate to find a point of difference with National, but the divided caucus and MPs openly supporting TPPA shows that the TPPA was not the issue to oppose. The string-pulling unions swayed the day for Little, and time will tell if he is still around to be told how to think on the next major issue.

                • Ben, clearly you’ve never met Andrew Little. People don’t tell him what to think. Well, they don’t do it twice! As for Labour’s coalition building skills, you seem to forgotten that Helen Clark managed three very different coalitions in her time. Negotiation has been how Little made his living prior to become an MP, so I have no doubt at all that he can do the same, if the numbers allow it. His is a simple equation; 3 parties. Key has a trickier task.

                  The PM, assuming he’s still in the job next election, has to make do with 2 individuals and a party now being told by it’s constituents to walk away from the Nats. That’s assuming National can muster enough votes to scrape over the line again. Don’t forget how much the right crowed on the night of the last election that they could govern alone. By the next morning, that pipe dream had gone. After blowing it in Northland, they’re two down on election night.

                  If National lose even 2%, they’re gone. Which probably explains why Key and the Nats are so very quiet about the flag referendum these days.

                  • This persons got it – hear hear!!!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TRP is dreaming, mate. Labour is cruising to a 20-something percent result 2017.

                    • Cheers, wild katipo! And CV, I’ll be fine with Labour in the twenties, as long as the Greens are in the teens and NZF aren’t far behind. And those three parties then get to form a Government. The point of MMP is to get a coalition to govern. Your FPP thinking has been irrelevant for decades.

                      But as for Labour’s actual result, I’m working hard to make it as high as possible so a change of Government happens. I’m not alone. I believe I share that ambition with every Labour Party member, bar one.

    • whateva next? 20.2

      Oh the polls, the polls, the polls

  21. Colonial Viper 21

    Geeezus, the Left continuing to be highly impressed by ‘great speeches’ from Labour and the Greens. What is this, a speech and drama competition?

    • Korero Pono 21.1

      CV, what’s your problem?

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        Simple: while the activist Left love a great moving speech from the pollies, the electorate don’t give even the slightest shit.

        • Korero Pono

          CV, do you assume to know what the electorate want? If so, what do you think they want?

          For my part as a member of an electorate, hearing speeches like the one Gareth Hughes just gave, or the one David Cunliffe gave a few months ago, gives me hope that not all politicians are shit. In fact Gareth Hughes almost made me want to vote Greens. David Cunliffe gives me hope that not all Labour MPs are idiots.

          CV you sound almost disparaging of what you call ‘the activist left’, do you have an issue with them?

        • Chuck

          CV sums it up very well. The activists love to hear “great speeches” from their idols…the average person will either see it as sour grapes or simply not agree with the contents (if they even bother to listen in the first place).

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            So, it will have no effect whatsoever, other than giving heart to activists. If you know what you’re talking about. Meanwhile people are sharing it on my Facebook feed who don’t normally “do” politics.

            Perhaps you and CV are a bit full of yourselves.

            • weka

              And quite a few people in the two threads on ts sound surprised by Hughes. It’s not like he’s an idol.

              I suspect that Chuck likes John Key though, rather than being a fan of CV’s 😉

            • Expat


              “Perhaps you and CV are a bit full of yourselves.”

              They aren’t full of themselves…… they’re full of SH*T

    • Incognito 21.2

      Strangely, I find myself having possibly a slightly similar view. My first reaction after reading the transcript was one of amazement, in a good way. It was flawless as others have commented. But on second thought I cannot find anything new or original in the speech; I’ve heard it all before. I can and do (!) nod in agreement with Gareth Hughes.

      But I am also looking for something more than a deconstruction of Key, his style, his politics. I look for something that I can set my teeth in and get challenged by, something new, progressive and perhaps unexpected (!) that is not necessarily ‘flawless’ but that needs work. This bit was missing from that speech.

      • weka 21.2.1

        Yeah, but the beauty of the speech is that it was designed for other things. Despite Key’s casual, yeah nah projection, that speech was sticking the knife in and twisting it. Not in a nasty, National-esque way, but in a here’s the truth, doesn’t it hurt way.

        We all need reminders that there are people in parliament who can see the truth and who can speak truth to power.

        The speech will also have been heard by the Press Gallery and I would hazard a guess that it’s the kind of speech that makes some people stop and think for a minute, not because of the things you name as needed (which are all good too), but because it’s come out of left field. That’s irrespective of whether the journos cover it or not.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It was couched in Parliamentary language and will enter the permanent record. Will Hughes be dragged before the privileges committee for misleading the house? No, because everything he said is true.

          So, part from being true, and giving heart to activists, and goading the press gallery with their sycophancy, and getting Key’s low standards on permanent record, what have the Romans ever done for us?

        • Incognito

          Fair comments by you and also by whateva next? @ 21.2.2.

          However, they say that a week is a long time in politics so what lasting impact, if any, will this speech have? It is not in the same league as Don Brash’s Orewa speech, is it?

          After a brief flutter of excitement I felt a little disillusioned to be honest. It was all done in the great tradition of NZ politics. Likewise, our hopes are pinned on parties on the left working together to unseat this Government at the next election. With a bit of luck (!!) National will go down a few seats and the (centre-)left bloc, whatever that might be, will go up a few. Inevitably, a coalition will be formed and we will happily get on with our lives (‘business as usual’) till the next MMP elections, and so on and so forth.

          The Perpetuum of Polls, Parties, Politics, Populus. Is there a system imaginary that does not vitally depend on two of those components? The same two that are relatively recent developments in the evolution of humankind and human society.

          I am not looking for people (politicians?) with the ‘right’ answers – these don’t exist – but for those that ask the ‘right’ questions.

      • whateva next? 21.2.2

        I don’t think we will get everything in one speech, or one person..

    • Sans Cle 21.3

      I am happy that this is on record, in the Parliament.
      It may not change matters, but a line is drawn in the sand and there is a clear coherent articulation, on record, in opposition to our Prime Minister, John Key.

      • Colonial Viper 21.3.1

        Well, that’s cool. it’s now on record. Cool. That’ll make all the difference to voters.

        • marty mars

          get a grip or maybe release your grip a bit.

          You don’t give a shit about voters faker.

          • RedLogix

            For someone with such delicate and sophisticated sensibilities marty … you sure know how to dish it out the nasty.

            • marty mars

              “For someone with such delicate and sophisticated sensibilities…”

              “dish it out the nasty”

              not mutually exclusive
              plus my sensibilities aren’t delicate
              and that wasn’t really very nasty
              in addition I’m pretty sure cv doesn’t mind

              good wingman stuff though, well done you

              • RedLogix

                No-one actually minds marty. I’ve been burned by your nasty so often I really don’t care. Nor does CV. But despite the fact you know it’s ineffective you just can’t help yourself can you?

                Just pointing out the hypocrisy, because yes they are mutually exclusive. You cannot loudly stand for one set of values one moment, and then act contrary to them the next without at least some people noticing.

                • Notice away, and the only reason you feel my nasty is when you imo act like a dick – in every sense of that word.

                  Your presumption of my values is laughable – so thanks for that lol.

                  • RedLogix

                    Again .. the arbiter of all good progressive values on this site immediately reaching for a nasty sexist slur.

                    Oh well.

                    • alwyn

                      Just ignore him RedLogix. Marty isn’t worth it.

                    • ha classic alwyn to the rescue – and I am worth it numbnuts.

                      As for red – why not just say what you want to say instead of trying to be sneaky and subtle – come on, I can take it.

                      I never see myself as progressive – I don’t know what it means really and not a label I’d use for myself, ever. As for values – yep I cannot stand bigots, racists, misogynists, and other assorted distortions – if you’ve received some blow back from me – good.

                      My issues with you have been around sexism and your pontificating as if you know what men think rather than what just one man (you) thinks – you are a bit like cv with that, “Listen to me for I have the truth…”. I often don’t agree with either of you and I suspect both your motives – sorry probably not going to have that beer now eh. I’m okay with that.

      • whateva next? 21.3.2

        Agree, it is on record, and will go down in history of parliament, rather than just (?) social media, and one day when we are akshully sans cle, we can reflect on how this speech helped!

  22. Rosemary McDonald 22

    Good on Metiria Turei for delivering her speech in Te Reo….

    translation here…

    “How can we remain aligned to this productive, educational, and knowledgeable land of ours, knowing there are children over the beyond suffering from hunger at school. How can we, who live with the resources and knowhow sit by, when over yonder, there are people suffering as a consequence of damp homes? How can we, who sit here in Parliament setting down protocols for the betterment of all, not feel the lacerations of our spirit as a consequence of the repulsive actions made in this House, nor feel the pain. That is the hunger of the spirit, and this spiritual hunger craves the justice! If you do not hunger for the justice, you are wasting time sitting here in this House—wasting time.”

    I am weighing up Shaws speech, Hughes’ speech, Turei’s speech and this letter from Kennedy Graham…

    and I’m seeing a concerted effort being made here.

    Different, but complimentary styles…basically sending the same message to Our Leader and his band of thieves….

    “First, I am not ‘protesting’ – a pejorative term you use to undermine those who disagree with you.

    I am refuting your Government’s policy.”

    Now, for the substance.

    • Macro 22.1

      Thanks for that comment Rosemary – very pertinent and yes – it puts the thrust of the Green response all together. Metiria speaking in Maori just adds weight to the whole thing. What a pity our media have not picked up this.

      • Rosemary McDonald 22.1.1

        From what I could see from the video…the House appeared to be practically empty when Hughes and Turei delivered their speeches.

        The National benches especially.

        So…why not deliver such messages to the faces of those being criticised, in real time?

        And…in both cases, ensuring the transcripts are readily available?

        My guess is that it is us, the voters, who were being addressed.

        Each GP speech/ letter will speak to particular groups of potential GP supporters. Very good tactic.

        The GP and New Zealand First are each presenting a solid and united front.

        Maybe attention on them will give Labour some space to sort it’s shit out.

        Because it really, really needs to.

        Then..we can look forward to an election in 2017 producing a solid government of Labour, Greens and NZF.

        The Maori Party will die the death it deserves after buttsnorkelling National for the past eight years, with no discernible benefit for the average Maori New Zealander.

        • Macro

          The Maori Party will die the death it deserves after buttsnorkelling National for the past eight years, with no discernible benefit for the average Maori New Zealander.

          Interesting comment.
          I wonder (and I have been severely critical of the MP as well.) There is new leadership in MP after Turia and Pita have departed, and I certainly learned quite a bit at the TPPA Auckland town hall meeting – not about the TPPA – I knew already and understood all that was being said by the speakers. But the one thing that made me sit up and listen was to hear Marama Fox also speak as to the reasons why the Maori Party were also solidly opposed to the TPPA, and not only why they were opposed to this abomination, but also why they choose to sit alongside the Govt. I’m not sure I entirely agree, but there is some logic. The MP are of the opinion that they need to be on or by the treasury benches whoever is in government because that is where the money is; and where they can get the most influence and traction for Maori who for so long have been the back end of funding. They have provided some figures on this, and there is some evidence that they have achieved some improvement in funding for Maori.
          The Maori Party are strongly opposed to the TPPA – Marama Fox’s words to the gathering in the Auckland Town Hall were “Welcome to our world”. They understand more than any of us just what loss of sovereignty is like.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            I watched with some horror as the three MP members added
            their vote to the Part 4 amendment to the PHDAct in 2013.
            After Tariana has supported the case through the HRRT and the courts.

            In the run up to the 2014 election both Turia and Favell denied voting with the government on that Bill. How could you forget voting for legislation that removes disabled people’s rights?

            Easy…sell your conscience for nearly 3 times the $$$ for Maori initiatives than the previous budget. I have linked to this before…a skite newsletter from Naida Glavish listing MP gains over about five Budgets. I had the linked bookmarked…but, bugger me, the link is gone and “page not found.”

            I was a supporter of the Whanau Ora concept. Yet…I have spoken with Maori all over the North Island who could really do with such a wrap around service to help them sort out shit…much of it not of their own making….only to find that they have never heard of WO, much less know how to access such a service. And these are people living in some of the most economically deprived parts of NZ.

            Big Fail.

            This wee justification for hopping into bed with the Enemy of All is still up on their website…

            Mana stands a better chance…IMO…but have some ground to make up after the unfortunate KDC liaison.

            • Macro

              Yes I understand completely – Government spending on health and welfare issues has not increased at all under National in real terms – so the increase in funding that Maori have secured has obviously come from elsewhere – which is why I say I do not entirely agree with their approach – and there are other issues as well.
              I am also of the opinion that Mana represented a far better deal. But that is in the past now unfortunately, and I m not sure that the energy there can be revived in the short term.

          • weka

            “The MP are of the opinion that they need to be on or by the treasury benches whoever is in government because that is where the money is;”

            Not hard to have some sympathy for that, all things considered, even if it does go against the grain of traditional left wing politics.

  23. upnorth 23

    really sorry but hughes broke the greens policy of no personal attacks. I have written to green party and have asked them to ban hughes and make him step down from the party..

    • whateva next? 23.1

      Oh, “really sorry” are you? anyway, it wasn’t a personal attack, but a statement of facts, An example of personal attack is provided by Chris Bishop soon after, thanks very much.

    • Macro 23.2

      He was responding to the Prime Ministers speech in which he praised himself and his government.
      Gareth was simply laying down the legacy that Key and his government were actually leaving this country.
      Key should take it personally because ultimately as the Prime Minister he is responsible. That is his job – although he does not like to do it.

    • Wensleydale 23.3

      Calling a proven liar “a liar” isn’t a personal attack. It’s a statement of fact. But I’m sure Gareth’s “really sorry” that he might have hurt Key’s feelings.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 23.3.1

        The speech seems deliberately phrased to antagonise wingnuts:

        Prime Minister, you may not have a plum in your mouth like your hero Holyoake, but you’re exactly the same – an arrogant, born to rule, out of touch, short-term, kick the can down the road style of leadership.

        By the final three words they’re too busy frothing at the mouth that anyone dare speak to Dear Leader like that, to notice that it’s his style of leadership that coming in for criticism.

        And it’s not like we’re talking about people with a significant command of the English language.

        • weka

          “The speech seems deliberately phrased to antagonise wingnuts:”

          Esp his peers in parliament 😈 Although, being the touchy feely greenie that I am (as opposed to your more whack ’em in the shins with a hard stick style), I’d say it wasn’t designed to antagonise so much as put on notice.

          I haven’t reread the speech to see if Hughes did get in any personal attacks but I can see how some people might mistake calling a liar a liar, or a disgrace of a PM a disgrace of a PM, for an ad hominem.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The speech confines its criticisms to his actions, otherwise it would be “unparliamentary”. The words ‘liar’ and ‘disgrace’ appear precisely zero times.

            “A hard stick to the shins” – if only! It’s well-nigh impossible to destroy human rights and the rule of law when you’re lying on the floor in pain, and that’s unparliamentary too.

            • weka


              “The speech confines its criticisms to his actions, otherwise it would be “unparliamentary”. The words ‘liar’ and ‘disgrace’ appear precisely zero times.”

              Which is the beauty of it. He got to name Key’s behaviour as that of a liar and a disgrace without crossing the line.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.4

      Too funny. Do you understand the Speaker’s function not much?

      Hughes’ used Parliamentary language throughout. Your comprehension fail lends credence to Hodson & Busseri and that’s all.

  24. Rob 24

    I think this post really explains the very obvious gap in how you miss what the majority of NZ’ers care about.

    Hughes making a speech, however inspiring it may be to you, does not mean he has actually done anything. Stop patting each other vigorously on the back.

    For those people who actually work all day, and shock / horror have dirt under their finger nails, don’t actually give a flying f*ck, except wonder at why they are taxed so much to have to pay for so little.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      “Hughes making a speech, however inspiring it may be to you, does not mean he has actually done anything. Stop patting each other vigorously on the back.”


      Most working NZers don’t give a shit about this fabulous speechifying.

      • Korero Pono 24.1.1


        “Most working NZers don’t give a shit about this fabulous speechifying”


        What makes you think that you know so much about what people really want?

        I am interested in these broad sweeping generalisations that assume an ingrained knowledge of what people are thinking.

        I find it incredibly interesting how politicians have this way of thinking that assumes they know more than us, they know what is good for us and then label us as somehow ignorant, misguided or irrelevant when we disagree with them.

        Perhaps the disenfranchised populace need to hear ‘fabulous speechifying’ (and some good policy to boot) to get them off their apathetic arses on election day.

        • Rosie

          Thanks Korero Pono. I get a bit tired of CV’s generalisations about “what the electorate want” etc and assume readers and commenters on TS are all ivory tower intellectuals with only an idealogical interest in the needs of the citizens.

          I’m an unemployed unwell worker whose well being has been affected by the policies of the nat regime (employment law changes, ACC changes) and I’m ultra resentful about that.

          I have a partial tertiary education but couldn’t afford to continue.

          So to hear Labour’s announcement about free tertiary education and to hear Gareth Hughes amazing speech really cheers me. It gives me hope. It shows us that the opposition is finally ready to push back.

          CV you think these things are meaningless to the “ordinary worker” but I can tell you they mean a lot to me, so please, stop putting words in our mouth.

          • weka

            That’s the irony of CV’s current crusade. He doesn’t seem to realise how insulting and patronising he is to ordinary people.

      • marty mars 24.1.2

        “Most working NZers don’t give a shit about this fabulous speechifying.”

        What would you know 1%er

      • b waghorn 24.1.3

        Well this little old worker enjoyed it greatly. Fuck key and he’s filthy methods ,he’ll never forget having his true colours nailed to the flag pole.

      • greywarshark 24.1.4

        Col Viper
        To be clear, do you mean that working NZ’s will only recognise actions that improve things for them rather than speechifying, which registers as just more pretty pollie talk.

        • weka

          Would love to know what working NZers are. Is that anyone with a job?

        • greywarshark

          Col Viper
          When you come back to the blog would you comment on my attempt to plumb your mind for your thoughts on your previous comment.

          Weka also wonders about the NZs who are unemployed, and where they fit into your comment.

        • greywarshark

          Colonial Viper
          I’m putting your name in full as the search doesn’t pick up part names as I thought – Col just doesn’t show up in in your archive. Can you fill out your thinking on this.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.2

      those people

      Speak for yourself: you certainly don’t represent my views. And clean your fingernails.

    • Gangnam Style 24.3

      I work all day, have dirt under my nails, & pay an obscene amount of tax because of old Student Loan, & I loved the speech. So fuck you.

      • Korero Pono 24.3.1


      • marty mars 24.3.2

        +1,000,000,000 yep pontificating bullshit pretend carers get up my nose – fucken pretend carers fuck over everyone with their ego-driven fake-tears.

      • weka 24.3.3

        Well said Gangnam Style.

      • alwyn 24.3.4

        ” pay an obscene amount of tax because of old Student Loan”
        You surely aren’t under some sort of illusion that repaying a loan is taxation are you? What a peculiar idea.
        I suppose you think that if a bank gives you a mortgage and you pay it off the repayments are “taxes”?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Since when is user-pays not a tax, dimbulb? Joined a housing ladder any time recently?

        • weka

          “tax, a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.”

          Student loan fits that pretty well. Mortgage doesn’t at all.

          • alwyn

            My God. I hope you and OAB aren’t representative of the economic nous of the left. If the left think that repayment of a student loan is a “tax” I hope for New Zealand’s sake they never get near the Government benches.
            “User pays not a tax”.
            “Student loan fits that pretty well”
            You really are crazy aren’t you?
            Or perhaps you are joking? Please tell me your comments are just a joke?

            • weka

              I think OAB and I are both of the generation that had the choice of access to free tertiary education. It looks a bit different when the government has provided for something and then decides to start making some people pay for it. Before everyone was taxed, now some people are taxed extra.

              Can you please at least try and put some decent argument into your comments? Ones that just go “I’m right, you’re wrong and stupid and therefore the left is blah blah” are just boring.

              • alwyn

                But Weka, in the case of you trying to call the repayment of student loans a tax, and my pointing out how stupid that claim is, you have described it beautifully.
                “I’m right, you’re wrong” sums it up perfectly.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Does making people cover more of the costs of their education affect the government’s books?

                  It does, eh. Are you suggesting that the figures in the government’s book are derived from some source other than taxation?

                  Or that education has no value to anyone other than the individual who receives it?

                  Perhaps you mean that since neo-liberal fuckwittedness inevitably costs society’s dearly, the whole policy should go on the “massive liability” side of the ledger.

                • weka

                  But Weka, in the case of you trying to call the repayment of student loans a tax, and my pointing out how stupid that claim is, you have described it beautifully.
                  “I’m right, you’re wrong” sums it up perfectly.

                  Now I’m wondering if you are as thick as you appear to be. I gave a rationale for my argument. You’re still yet to put up any argument at all.

                  Or course you might just be trolling, in which case I’m as happy to call you a troll as I am to call you a liar when you lie. Your choice.

            • Lloyd

              Alwyn, you obviously need to go and do economics 101.
              Yes student loan repayments are a tax on the whole country’s future as well as a personal tax. They were introduced with a perverted assessment of the distribution of the real costs of education and have placed a financial cost on students which should have been placed on those who have already received an education and are earning a good income based on that education.
              User pays is tax. Muldoon tried to pretend it wasn’t. I think all New Zealanders except you accept that ‘users pays’ is almost always a justification of tax. If you have to pay for something that should be a lot cheaper in an equitable economy, then that payment is not only a tax, it is a regressive tax, favouring those in the community with greater capital and therefore increasing inequality.
              Inequality will choke an economy and reduce growth.
              Student loans are bad for students, the economy and the country. Sooner they are abolished, the better.

              • alwyn

                Oh dear.
                Trying to explain all the fallacies in your comment would require a great deal more time than I care to give it.
                I also think that, given the silly ideas you are espousing you wouldn’t understand it.
                “go and do economics 101” you suggest. In your case I suggest that you start with whatever they teach at the lowest level in the secondary school system. ECON 101 would be far beyond you.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That’s because you have failed to consider the value of tertiary education to society. Which is a pretty basic economic error.

                  • alwyn

                    The benefits of tertiary education accrue to both society AND to the individual concerned.
                    At the moment by far the greatest part of University costs is paid by the taxpayer, ie society.
                    A much smaller part is paid by the individual. Thus the costs and benefits are in fact split between the beneficiaries. If you are arguing for the taxpayer to pay the lot you are implicitly claiming that all the benefits accrue to the state.

                    That is, however, a vastly wider subject than what I was objecting to in Gangnam’s original comment and then your own, and Weka’s comments that followed. To reiterate what I said. The repayment of a loan is just that. It is simply repaying a loan that was freely entered into by the student. In no way can it be called a “tax” as you did.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The student bears more of the costs, the benefits to society haven’t changed (except inasmuch as the entire policy is a dogmatic fuckwit liability). Try exchanging goods of similar value then telling IRD there’s nothing to see here.

                      Your pedantry might give you a sense of satisfaction, and everyone knows what taxation feels like.

                      “Freely entered into” under massive societal. financial, emotional and peer pressure, as a direct consequence of deliberate government policy, spurred by employers complaining about a skills shortage…

              • Expat


                Good assessment, right in line with the IMF, the World Bank and economists like Nobel Prize winner in economics 2014 Jean Tirole.

                The redistribution of wealth from the poorest to wealthiest is the leading problem with the global economy today, by far the most prosperous monetary policy is to put the wealth into the hands of many, history has proven this method over and over again over the last 200 years of analysed global economic data.

    • ropata 24.4

      Rob, if you are concerned about the iniquitous tax regime in New Zealand why not try voting for a party that has a proven track record of fiscal management, i.e. Labour.

    • whateva next? 24.5

      “For those people who actually work all day, and shock / horror have dirt under their finger nails, don’t actually give a flying f*ck, except wonder at why they are taxed so much to have to pay for so little.”
      ……and what do those people propose to do do about paying so much for so little?, not giving a flying f**ck, is exactly why we are having to “pay so much…..”
      If you don’t take an interest in politics, it WILL take an interest in you.

      (before you presume, I have worked for 30 years in the health service, so VERY shop floor, AND very interested in Gareth’s speech)

  25. Kevin Churchill 25

    It was an excellent Speech, an accurate summary of the effects of the last seven or so years of National party rule. The following should be repeated often.

    “Hungry kids up
    Inequality up
    Pollution up
    Debt up
    Housing costs up
    Electricity costs up
    Foreign ownership up
    Corruption up”.

    It’s a pity James Shaw didn’t make it. Well done Gareth.

  26. John Shears 26

    Thank you for the transcript TRP, great speech Key may not take any notice but I have and hopefully a lot more will also.

    • ianmac 26.1

      I doubt that Key would ever see/hear the speech. And his minders would keep him safe. Key hates to be near dissenters.

      • whateva next? 26.1.1

        He did look very uncomfortable when they were booing him at the Nines, I was hoping he would finally get the message, and flounce off to Hawaii

  27. cowboy 27

    I wouldn’t underestimate the power of a great speech… especially when the alternative is a mediocre one. It wont change the world but it is a step in the process.

    The job for those who are trying to change the govt is not helped by this sort of sycophantic rubbish though!

  28. b waghorn 28

    Hughes has inadvertently or not? Made a green coalition with keys national next to impossible with this speech.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1

      No, Green Party members make a coalition with the bought party next to impossible, because they decide the party’s direction and it isn’t with a bunch of incompetent grasping vandals.

  29. S 29

    This speech is the kind deserving be played on The Daily Show – just the facts, to show the bitter reality behind the spin-doctoring from the bought media.

    Thank you Key, for your mockery of concern for the ordinary NZer. The experience of your leadership will be a decisive inoculation for my children against politicians of your stripe, when they reach voting age.

  30. pat 30

    listened to Focus on Politics on RNZ this afternoon in the hope they would play Gareth Hughes’ speech……not a whisper…very disappointing….find it difficult to believe this was an uninfluenced decision

    • whateva next? 30.1

      Aye, they couldn’t have “not heard” about the impact it is having, so I am curious how they justify not even mentioning it? People are still talking about it, and it is making a big impact, ignoring it in MSM will not make it go away.

  31. UncookedSelachimorpha 32

    Fantastic speech! Well done Gareth Hughes.

  32. Ad 33

    The speech has done its limited job – given Green activists a surge.

    If he were up in Auckland, I’d go see him do another. But I’d also go see Winston Peters as well. In fact if someone spliced Gareth Hughes and Winston Peters, that would be an interesting politician.

    All I want in a politician is coherence and a few jokes.

    • weka 33.1

      Looking at social media, including the standard, it looks like it’s meant something to more than Green activists.

  33. Tautuhi 34

    Looks like a Labour/Green/NZF Coalition is the only alternative to another National Party win in 2017 hence the leaders of these 3 Parties need to start putting their heads together now for the sake of New Zealands long term future otherwise we are STUFFED?

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