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Key’s solution for Maori problems: prison

Written By: - Date published: 6:22 am, January 25th, 2011 - 101 comments
Categories: crime, john key, Maori Issues - Tags:

John Key on Radiolive yesterday: “There are a lot of factors at play sometimes socio-economic, so there are a lot of negative statistics for the want of a better description that that Maori dominate and we need to make changes there whether it’s prison, incarceration or whatever”. Key thinks all Maori are crims. Welcome to your brighter future: it’s behind bars.

This calls for a little Johnny Cash

(hat-tip: Fabregas4)

101 comments on “Key’s solution for Maori problems: prison ”

  1. vto 1

    Perhaps Key was actually meaning changes need to be made to assist Maori. Perhaps you have mis-read him.

    However, I do like the way shallow-man-key refers to both “prison” and “incarceration” as if they are somehow two different things. Ha ha ha ha – did that man actually go to school? Because it seems from his grasp of the english language that he would struggle to get school cert today. Sharpen up Key.

    Also, tough subject to discuss without gatting labelled all sorts of things all over the place.

    And also again, often oppression etc is blamed for their high incarceration and imprisonment rates but such a reason has never been attached to the male in general (white brown red etc). I have never understood why not.

    some 2c

    • Bright Red 1.1

      perhaps Key actually means he’s going to return Te Urewera to Tuhoe.

      perhaps Key actually means he’s going to give us all ponies.

      It’s prety sad when we can’t just take the words of a PM by their clear meaning.

  2. just saying 2

    Frankly, I think this subject is for too important for this kind of shallow, score-a-quick-point, post Eddie.

  3. stever 3

    I like the “whatever”—he clearly just couldn’t bring himself to mention any carrots, only sticks. I guess he had an eye on his supporters, rather than saying anything constructive.

    He did slip a bit at the beginning by saying “socio-economic”, but managed to get back on-message by the end!

    Anti-spam word: quit

    • Tigger 3.1

      Yeah, the whatever is my fave bit too. Because you so know Key is using it to name another ten synonyms for prison.

  4. fabregas4 4

    Prison, incarceration or maybe …Jail, John?

  5. Rosy 5

    OMG I thought you were doing a bit of a beat up… but that’s unbelievable! So somewhere he’s made the link between socio-economic conditions – specifically high unemployment – (getting a bit socialist there john), lack of educational achievement and then moved straight on to prison without pausing for a breath! Has anyone (media/Maori commentators) picked him up on this? Is this going to be the justification behind Maori running private prisons softened (i guess) to ‘retraining establishments’?

    And then a move on to the next topic – was Marcus Lush even listening? No wonder they don’t let JK loose in a real interviewing situation. This is appalling.

    • fabregas4 5.1

      Lush reminded me of Key himself when confronted with Paul Henry’s rant about the Governor General – no comment at all – more concerned about Key’s Hawaiian holiday golfing experience (though I note that Hawaii wasn’t mentioned at all – I guess to paint Key as the common man golfing with his son on his two week break from the grind of the office!).

  6. I listened. His intent was making improvement to the Maori incarceration rate. I better spell out ‘improvement’ as you would will probably claim I mean an increase. By improvement I mean ‘decrease’.

    • fabregas4 6.1

      I’ve listened several times – Lindsay’s read on it could not be more wrong. Key without shadow of a doubt saw the appropriate solution to Maori under achievement as any form of prison, incarceration, jail, gaol, whatever, that he could think of at the time. Not a thought to real solutions to real problems affecting Maori – lock em up!

      • vto 6.1.1

        Seriously fabregas? Do you really think that is what he meant as a solution?

        Sounds all crackpot to me. One of you has this completely and utterly wrong.

    • Bright Red 6.2

      what do you base that on Lindsay?

      If I came up to you and said “there are a lot of negative statistics for the want of a better description that that Maori dominate and we need to make changes there whether it’s prison, incarceration or whatever” you would rightly interpret me to be saying that prison, incarnation or ‘whatever’ are the solutions I’m proposing to these negative statistics.

      • vto 6.2.1

        Not at all bright red. Quite the opposite. The “prison, incarceration, whatever” is clearly an example of the “negative statistic” not the solution. Sheesh.

        It is quite astounding the interpretation that has been put on this by some.

        Quite flabbergasting by flabergas4 imo.

        • Bright Red

          If Key was saying that incarnation is a problem, why is he changing the law to lock up more people?

          You can have it one of two ways:

          Key says prison is a solution to the Maori problem

          Key hypocritically mouths platitudes about reducing incarnation while locking up more people

          • vto

            Well yes you are quite right about that, and that is where he should be hammered. But putting ludicrous interpretations in his mouth does the standard no good.

            And as for interviews on radiolive.. ha ha, how useless. This is the Radio Talkback PM. No wonder he gets little cred from those in the serious world.

  7. Hilary 7

    That Johnny Cash clip is still so powerful.

  8. Bill 8


  9. john 9

    yeah i think it was paula bennett doing john keys voice

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Someone make sure you record an MP3 of the interview before it mysteriously disappears…

  11. Lindsay 11

    He says there are a whole lot of negative statistics (at which point he is probably mentally thinking of examples – low education qualifications, high teenage birthrate, high welfare dependence, high imprisonment rate) and picks the last to actually verbalise. He was describing what needs to change – not how to change them. Your interpretation points to an acute political paranoia leading to, or a result of, an over-fertile imagination.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      LOLz mate you are the one with the “over-fertile imagination”

      Trying to tell us that you know as a mind-reader what the PM was trying to say as opposed to what he actually did say 😀

      Granted, it may not be the only “solution” Key thinks about for Maori, but it is clear that prison is one of the top ones our National PM has in mind for underachieving Maori. And, I would hazard a guess, underachieving Pasifika too.

      Time to throw these scoundrels off the Treasury Benches.

      BTW also a huge laugh from Key – he reckons the US economy will improve this year. Yes it will, but only for the rich.

    • fabregas4 11.2

      No, he is talking about Maori under achievement, deigns to suggest (briefly) that there may be socio economic reasons then says something has to be done about Maoris high representation in negative statistics – then he says they need ‘prison or incarceration or whatever’. The statement is very clear.

    • Anne 11.3

      So you can read other people’s minds can you Lindsay. Wow… that’s some talent!

      • Lanthanide 11.3.1

        It doesn’t take a mind-reader to work out when someone has misspoke or spoken unclearly.

        • Colonial Viper

          No it doesn’t Lanth that is true. David Cunliffe vs David Caygill for instance. But it does take a mind reader to then go on to create a brand new speech for someone who has misspoke, including content that they did not actually deliver.

    • Lanthanide 11.4

      I 100% agree with you Lindsay, and I think others here are interpreting it the way they are as it makes Key look the worst.

      Obviously he could’ve been much clearer in how he spoke, but I have no doubt that he was saying the incarceration rate is the problem. I haven’t listened to the interview myself, but this being a jokey, ‘buddy buddy’ type interview with a few token questions thrown in to make it seem serious, Key wouldn’t be in the same mindset as he would be when having a proper interview with someone on NatRad, and as such wasn’t precise in the point he was trying to convey.

      • Colonial Viper 11.4.1

        OK, so we have a guy who is PM now and then, and the rest of the time he’s happy to not be on his A game and instead be a little bit flippant and unfocussed with his remarks on political issues even though it going out on national media.

      • Rosy 11.4.2

        Maybe you should listen to it. There is no way that is an acceptable piece of work by the PM or the interviewer. He doesn’t even know what he is saying – which leaves it open to interpretation, and the interviewer doesn’t help at all. He’d be hauled up before the boss if he gave that sort of ramble in his previous life.

        • Lanthanide

          Exactly. I think Key is incompetent, not malicious.

          The old saying: “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately
          explained by incompetence”.

        • orange whip?

          Not so sure about that last sentence, Rosy.

          In the world of corporate culture that kind of meaningless, open-to-interpretation waffle is de rigueur. Words don’t have to mean anything in particular as long as you use the right catchphrases. Corporate conversations can often consist of filling the space with buzzwords until the next guy speaks.

          I think that’s the problem. He treats us like a bunch of corporate air-heads when we actually want him to say something worthwhile.

    • Roger 11.5

      The interpretation is a direct response to the exact words that came out of his mouth in the order that they came out. He is the Prime Minister (who earns almost $400,000p/a doing this), speaking on a public medium, about an important issue. I earn about far less than what he does, dealing with the public, and I take considerably more care about what comes out of my mouth. But lets look at your interpretation which I can only gather is based on your imagination.

      “He says there are a whole lot of negative statistics (at which point he is probably mentally thinking of examples – low education qualifications, high teenage birthrate, high welfare dependence, high imprisonment rate) and picks the last to actually verbalise.”

      He did verbalise low education qualifications. Why in particular did he choose to verbalise the high imprison rate. If these other examples were going through his mind, why did he say “whatever” in his response? Why did he mention solutions preceding the jail comment and not the others?

      “He was describing what needs to change – not how to change them.”

      He is in the last year of his first term, not in opposition. The Maori Party is his party’s coalition partner. What are they doing to find and act on solutions? John Key cannot even articulate them. The 90 day trial period isn’t working. I’m still waiting to see if the remaining 3750 jobs on the national cycleway forecasted in the job summit of 2009 will exist. Has giving tax cuts to the rich worked? Did the increase in GST which raised food prices make any Maori (or other people in lower socio-economic positions) hungrier and more aspirational? His time is long over for describing what needs to change.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    Key is probably involved in the setting up a private venture -if not for himself, then for his mates -contruction of prisons and the running of them for profit by commercial interests.

    ‘he reckons the US economy will improve this year.’

    What a laugh! But then that is what neuro-linguistic programming is all about: all politicians do what he does, keep telling the lies to obscure the truth and maintain the illusion.

    The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, the fastest falling standard of living, and the biggest wealth gap. No wonder Key wants to emulate them.

  13. Bill 13

    My memory is shite, but wasn’t Sharples all over some initiative to do with prison and Maori? Something about prison regimes being better targetted for Maori needs? Or was it dedicated Maori prisons, ie exclusively Maori prisons?

    My guess is that that was what was going on in JK’s ‘mind’ at the time.

    In other words, incarceration rates are not a problem (surprise, surprise). And Maori centric prison regimes are a solution. (cough)

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      He was on Summer Noel last week, refusing to talk about Hone and instead wanted to plug the new prison that is opening somewhere in the North Island after “25 years of planning”.

  14. M 14

    Clearly from the interview you have to wonder about Key’s thought processes as he seems to cobble together random ideas off the cuff. I can’t imagine Helen Clark being bereft of ideas as she was able to make good points in a way that showed she had thought about things and always seemed prepared for interviews.

    Incarceration of people needs to be completely overhauled and I think an excellent starting point would be to look at Scandinavian prisons. Inmates with alcohol and drug addictions need treatment in hospital or rehab centres. I’m of the opinion that many men in prison have undiagnosed ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome and have probably been pushed to the sidelines or beaten as kids which sets them on a path to violence and ruin.

    As to Key’s prediction the US economy will improve this year – does he mean there’s going to be QE5?

    Anti-spam: holdings

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      “I’m of the opinion that many men in prison have undiagnosed ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome and have probably been pushed to the sidelines or beaten as kids which sets them on a path to violence and ruin.”
      My sister is finishing up her PhD in psychology and has done the clinical psychology course also. As part of the clinical course they do internships, she spent 6 months working at the sex offender prison we have in CHCH. The name is something like Kiamarama, but I think it’s the only one in the country. Prisoners are treated a lot better there (more privleges, better food etc) but they also get lots of psychotherapy. She said that most of the people have got some sort of mental disorder or another, and rates of mental disorder are generally significantly higher in prisons, especially for disorders that are uncommon in society at large (like 1% might have schizophrenia, but in prison it’s more like 40%).

      I’m sure you could fine all sorts of detailed stats on this if you googled for it.

  15. Rosy 15

    Bill, yes – about Maori aspirations to own prisons
    Kelvin Davis has written about this:



    He also spoke very eloquently about it. I think I heard him at backbenchers – the Maori language week special.

  16. Zaphod Beeblebrox 16

    He’s the PM. What is he doing about it?

    • Yes, I think that’s the point, surely.

      I don’t share Eddie’s completely negative read of Key’s comments. To me it’s just another empty-headed bereft-of-solutions word salad response of the kind that would have done George W Bush proud… akin to saying “there are a lot of factors at play sometimes socio-economic, so there are a lot of negative statistics for the want of a better description that poor people dominate and we need to make changes there whether it’s jobs or employment or whatever”. Meaningless gobbledegook.

      The real point it demonstrates isn’t that he thinks “all Maori are criminals” as Eddie claims, it’s that he hasn’t thought at all.

  17. Joe Bloggs 17

    Eddie says:
    <i."Key thinks all Maori are crims."

    Cite your source or withdraw the comment.

    Clearly there’s no source – this is just another pathetic attempt to smear John Key with the morass of social disfunctionalism left by the last Labour administration.

    • BLiP 17.1

      Clearly there’s no source – this is just another pathetic attempt to smear John Key with the morass of social disfunctionalism left by the last Labour administration.

      Aaahh, “social dysfunction” . . . gotchya! I mean, what else could explain the Prime Minister of New Zealand linking the word “Maori” with the word “prison” or using a tourism conference as a vehicle for referring to Tuhoe as cannibals? Its all falling into place now. Thanks.

  18. Tracey 18

    Driving to work yesterday I heard a news report about Ratana. John Key was described as intending to “speak off the cuff”. I’m sorry but that isnt credible, and I am not sure it is newsworth, did someone really put a press release out stating that?? I suspect he has never spoken off the cuff at a public meeting.I am not attacking him for it, not many people are great public speakers, and his former career wouldnt have called for much public oratory. He always seems uncomfortable and a lil reluctant when speaking. I have no doubt he would be anything but off the cuff at a pre arranged speak.lmost

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      There was a story on stuff that had a quote from him saying he “spent all [Sunday] afternoon practicising [his] [Te Reo] speech, but wish [he’d] spent more time on it”.

  19. Roger 19

    To give John Key the greatest benefit of the doubt you could interpret this as a horrendous gaffe. But if that is the case, he clearly does not believe in any real solutions for reducing the Maori academic failure and does not have any idea what to do about it. The linkage he makes between Maori and “prison, incarceration, or whatever” just highlights the ingrained prejudices he holds for them.

  20. randal 20

    the problem here is that Maoridom has invested its mana in intellectuals who are intent on rewriting history instead of examining objective facts about the transition of their culture from the stone age to the capitalist industrial present.
    by focussing on grievances to the exclusion of all esle then everything becomes lopsided and the untruths and the falshoods gain currency and fester.
    And white people are no better.
    Remember Jerry Korewha.
    fobbed off with 4 drug treatments after a lifetime of walking on the other side.
    Nobody could be bothered to help this man.
    Its all ad hoc and brushing off anything thats too hard or that requires effort and commitment.
    too many ignorati shouting and yelling that they know all the answers when all they really want is piower over others.
    nice wortk if you can get it.

  21. tsmithfield 21

    What a beat up. Totally taken out of context if the conversation is taken as a whole.

    Firstly, Key was discussing his visit to Ratana, so it was clear that he was focusing on Maori issues. Secondly, Key was talking in the context improving educational outcomes for Maori when he made the comment. It is clear he meant for Maori in a wide variety of circumstances, including Maori who end up in prison due in part to lack of education.

    I am sure he would say the same about Pakeha if he was talking in the context of Pakeha educational achievement and addressing educational issues of Pakeha who end up in prison.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      I am sure he would say the same about Pakeha if he was talking in the context of Pakeha educational achievement and addressing educational issues of Pakeha who end up in prison.

      I see we have another Prime Ministerial mind reader here.

      You claim, through your mind reading, that Key was talking about education. But the institution he mentioned was prison. Not secondary schools, polytech or university courses.

      And we already know that National like prisons, and wants more of them, for profit.

      • tsmithfield 21.1.1

        Did you actually listen to the conversation? Its pretty clear what he was saying, unless you want to deliberately take it out of context to ascribe a meaning you would like it to have.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep, listened to it.

          Key mentioned prison and incarceration for Maori. You claim he was talking about education but he did not say anything about the performance of secondary schools, polytechs or university for Maori. Just prison.

          • tsmithfield

            Just look at the quote above. The first part of his statement was:

            “There are a lot of factors at play sometimes socio-economic, so there are a lot of negative statistics for the want of a better description that that Maori dominate…”

            Unfortunate, but true. He then goes on to say:

            “we need to make changes there”

            That is, we need to make changes to the negative statistics referred to in the first part of the quote.

            “whether it’s prison, incarceration or whatever”

            Examples of negative statistics referred to in the first part of the quote where changes need to be made.

            So, even in the context of the quote above, which itself has been taken out of context, it is clear that Key is talking about making changes to reduce/eliminate negative outcomes such as “prison, incarceration, or whatever”. It is a total stretch and misrepresentation to claim that Key wants to see Maori in prison. But I guess thats the way you want to read it because it suits your own prejudices.

            • BLiP

              You’ve made the same point four times in a row now, Smithfield. Please, be a good little Tory Troll and give the wallpapering a rest. Its coming over a little desperate. Just adopt the Key-advisor’s primary position: hold your head in your hands and cringe. Either that, or come up with some evidence to counter the assertion that Key’s “solutions” for Maori are “prison”. Handy-hint: psychic readings of actual intent don’t carry much weight.

              • tsmithfield

                Basic english comprehension obviously isn’t one of your strong suits.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yet you believe that Key was talking about Maori education as a solution, not prisons as a solution.

                  I’m interested in how you came to that specific comprehension. Where exactly does Key talk about schools, polytechs or universities?

                  • tsmithfield

                    Yes he does talk about education, in the audio that is not quoted above.

                    If you actually read my analysis above, you will see it is quite clear that he was talking about prison etc as symptoms that need to be reduced, not solutions to the problem.

                    How about you actually read my analysis with unblinkered eyes. You will see it is actually very plain and clear what Key was saying.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Does Key even mention a single thing about Maori performance in the education system? Or is the only Govt institution for Maori he mentions, prisons?

                • BLiP

                  The advantage I have over you, Smithfield, is that my politics are not controlled by the brain’s fear centre which, logically, would indicate a greater ability to review material from an objective position.

                  • tsmithfield

                    So, instead of slagging off, how about you point out where my analysis is faulty, if you can.

                    • Speaking Sense to Unions

                      tsmithfield, most people have long given up on the Stranded. It’s a very unpleasant little world.

                    • BLiP

                      You “analysis” is faulty in that seek to attribute psychically-obtained intent so as to link non-sequitur statements. FAIL.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  “Basis English comprehension obviously isn’t one of Key’s strong suits.”

                  All fixed for you TS! If only you could admit that Key can’t speak to save himself, your points might have some validity. It is vaguely possible that his words mean what you say they mean, but only if you accept that what he meant isn’t what he actually said.

                  And I reckon you can’t bring yourself to say that Key’s grasp of the English language is so poor that he is capable of saying shit he doesn’t mean. Which is only slightly better than saying shit that he doesn’t believe, which is his other speaking mode.

                  • tsmithfield

                    BLiP “You analysis is faulty in that seek to attribute psychically-obtained intent so as to link non-sequitur statements. FAIL.”

                    Nah. Its just basic textual analysis mate. The word “there” obviously points to something. The something is symptoms such as prison etc that unfortunately afflict a lot of Maori.

                    TVOR “It is vaguely possible that his words mean what you say they mean…”

                    Thank you. I’ll take that as a grudging admission that my analysis is correct.

                    Of course Key could have been clearer. But it was in the context of an off-the-cuff, light-hearted chat on the radio. Under those circumstances anyone can come out with what a statement that could be interpreted ambiguously. It wasn’t a prepared speech or anything.

                    • BLiP

                      What’s light-hearted about sending Maori to prison as part of a solution to the education statistics?

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      “I’ll take that as a grudging admission that my analysis is correct.”

                      Er, no, TS. Nothing grudging about it, I’m perfectly happy to accept that Key is a bumbling idiot. That’s not the same as agreeing that this is what has happened here, but it’s accepting that it is a possibility based on previous examples of him mangling the English language. I’m just being charitable to you, in the same way I’m charitable to people in tin foil hats who reckon that 9/11 was an inside job. Both scenarios are ‘possible’, both are very, very unlikely.

                      Being a gambling man, I’d put the odds of it being your explanation (bumbling Key mispeaks) as a 20 to one long shot, as opposed to the more likely explanation (bumbling Key says what he thinks) at evens.

  22. tc 22

    TS is right, to even think for a microsecond that our dealing room leader had anything of relevance to say is pure fantasy, if he did it’s an accident.

    It’s just another PR stop with some compliant media chums….in this case one that’s washed up and semi retired in the deep south after addling his brain with too many chemicals.

  23. SHG 23

    This thread and its parent post are comedy gold.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    So you agree its a beat-up then?

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Frankly, for saying that the Maori solution is prisons and incarceration, it should be a frakin thrashing.

  25. fabregas4 25

    I just listened to this again – there is no doubt that Key stated that prisons and incarceration are the solution to Maori being a large number of those in ‘negative’ statistics. No doubt at all. To suggest otherwise is pure spin. Whether he means it or is simply talking out of his arse is another thing but he certainly was not talking about more creditable solutions to Maori underinvestment.

  26. bobo 26

    Key said “Maori incarceration” by accident, when what he was meaning to say was “Maori Castration”, anyone could have made the mistake, give the guy a break.

  27. vto 27

    This whole thread is just pure nuts.

    There are two interpretations being suggested, which are right at opposite ends of the spectrum. Clearly one interpretation is correct, and the other, well, is by definition just nuts.

    Here is a test to see which is correct – if Key meant to say that the solution to Maori problems is more prison then why not get Goff to come out and question Key on it? After all, if that is what Key said then such a statement is more than big enough to make headline news. But what’s the bet Goff will not go anywhere near it? Reason: its just nuts.

    You guys are nuts. Especially you flabergast4.

    • orange whip? 27.1

      You’re correct, there are two possible interpretations. But remember, Key is a pro at saying things that different audiences can interpret in different ways.

      One of those audience is made up of racists, authoritarians, and Kiwibloggers. They’ll just hear “lock up the maaries” because that’s what they want him to say.

      Most regular people will hear the more reasonable sounding version. Textbook dogwhistle really.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        Ahhhh. Of course.

      • BLiP 27.1.2

        Here is a test to see which is correct – if Key meant to say that the solution to Maori problems is more prison then why not get Goff to come out and question Key on it? After all, if that is what Key said then such a statement is more than big enough to make headline news. But what’s the bet Goff will not go anywhere near it? Reason: its just nuts.

        Your test is what’s nuts. Why would Goff give anything Key says any oxygen? Goff at this stage appears to have more sense than stir up the latent racism amongst the white trash, unlike National Ltd™ and its Iwi/Kiwi politics. Anyway, Goff is giving a State Of The Nation speech today, he’s got to get ready for running the country later this year.

    • fabregas4 27.2

      Thank you vto, if you agreed with me I would indeed be very worried. Seems to me if you start interpreting someones statements then they may as well not make them. I have listened plenty of times – it is clear what he said. What what he said says about him is the big point.

  28. tsmithfield 28

    Its not enough to claim that Key wants Maoris locked up in prison simply because he dared to use the words “Maori” and “prison” in the same sentence. You actually need to read through the sentence in a logical fashion.

    Hint: What is the “there” where he wants to make changes?

    • BLiP 28.1

      Hint: the plural of Maori is Maori. Tell me, what’s your favourite Maori tribe . . . Nga Wha?

    • Rosy 28.2

      “You actually need to read through the sentence in a logical fashion”.
      You actually can’t read through the sentence in a logical fashion. It isn’t a sentence and it isn’t logical – there is a big gap in what might be the middle. Fill it up as you wish. Multi-choice.

      • tsmithfield 28.2.1

        Not really.

        He starts by referring to general social afflictions where Maori are disproportionately represented.
        He says changes need to be made.
        He gives examples of a specific social affliction (prison) as an example of where changes need to be made.

        Its not actually that hard.

        • Colonial Viper

          Which one was Key’s sentence saying that prison needs to be changed? And how do you change ‘incarceration’ anyway, since he mentioned it as something to be changed?

          Maybe Key is talking about a Two Strikes Law now, since that is the kind of thing he likes.

          • Lanthanide

            CV – The “incarceration rate” needs to be changed.

            His specific use of that word is pretty revealing, really. It is almost always heard in the phrase “incarceration rate”.

    • orange whip? 28.3


      You shouldn’t be trying to claim some sort of “victory” or “pwning” just because someone acknowledges that your interpretation is within the bounds of possibility. It’s only one of several possibilities.

      As Rosy says, it’s not even an English sentence and you’ve had to insert new material into it to make it read as one.

      As Key spoke it, it literally means nothing at all (which incidentally I suspect is just the way he intended it. )

      • tsmithfield 28.3.1

        The only reason there is any apparent ambiguity is because this sentence has been extracted from the context of the whole conversation. When it is seen in that context there is no ambiguity at all IMO.

        That’s not Key’s fault. Its Eddies fault because he decided to clip and paste the juicy bit rather than include the whole transcript. Most people who are claiming the statement is ambiguous are not making any association whatsoever to the wider context of the conversation.

        • ak

          …and when put in the even wider context of other statements from the Greasy Grin on similar subjects such as “DPB mothers….breeding for a business” and “if all benefits were cut… bugger-all would starve”, certainly, ts, no ambiguity whatsoever.

        • orange whip?


          No, the reason for the ambiguity is that the words – like much of the vacuous corporate management-speak that Key utters when he doesn’t have a script – are a garbled mess of meaningless syntax-free waffle.

          This leads to the interpretation being open, with yours being one of many.

          As ak points out, the wider context of his stated philosophies tend not to back your interpretation, but it certainly remains possible.

          As usual, Key wants you to hear what you want to hear.

  29. SHG 29

    And if John Key is not destroyed by the media over this piece of racism, then it’s obviously a massive coverup conspiracy orchestrated at the highest levels of government.

    The only alternative would be that Key’s statement is entirely innocuous and that Eddie has invented a controversy where none exists. And that’s crazy talk.

    • Colonial Viper 29.1

      No no no not a massive cover up conspiracy orchestrated at the highest levels of Govt, simply with a few editors over lunch and bubbles at Chicane.

      You’re being so dramatic!!!

      • SHG 29.1.1

        If we don’t see a brutal dissection of Key’s breathtaking racism on Red Alert, then we know Labour’s in on it too!

  30. Irascible 30

    The speech and Key’s inarticulate mangling of any language he tries to speak in is an important demonstration of the need to ensure that one’s brain is engaged to one’s tongue when in public life. An public utterance is predicated by the understanding that what is said is what is meant and that no amount of spin can change the meaning of the uttered words.
    These words are Key’s thoughts, Key’s reasoning, Key’s beliefs, Key’s philosophy, Key’s rationale for action and therefore his policies and no re-interpretation or claims of “mis-speaking” can alter.

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