web analytics

Key’s special announcement

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, November 27th, 2007 - 37 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

John Key has now been leader of the National Party for a year. But while his salesman’s smile and general novelty factor have pulled him through to date, talk around the gallery is that he’s gone off the boil a bit lately. His profile has dropped, his sensible nice guy image has taken a hit and the agenda has started to turn Labour’s way.

This isn’t good news for a man suffering the scrutiny of his first anniversary and about to head into an election year. Which might explain why the National Party website is advertising a ‘special announcement’ this morning at 10.30.

If John Key’s advisers have any sense they’ll try to use this announcement to propel Key back into the spotlight and put a dent in Labour’s poll resurgance. So what kind of announcement will it be? The need for popularity rules out any of Key’s more hard-right policies like privatisation or industrial relations – they’ll want to keep the latter especially quiet after seeing what happened to John Howard on Saturday. It’s too soon to move on tax cuts, law and order’s just been done, and all that can be said has been said on the Electoral Finance Bill (which his deputy is handling anyway).

What’s far more likely, if Key’s strategy with the ‘underclass’ speech is anything to go by, is he’ll attempt to outflank Labour in its own core constituency with a warm fuzzy message that’s short on detail but big on aspiration. This gives the advantage of softening the edges of Key’s hard right agenda while requiring no concrete action. It’ll also paint Labour as having failed the poor, undermining its key strength as the party of social justice and tying into the spin that the government is old and tired and out of ideas.

Key’s mentor David Cameron is a master of this strategy. He’s followed a similar script in the UK and it’s one that Key hasn’t been afraid to borrow from over the last year. Looking at what Cameron’s done recently, two possible themes for Key’s announcement are housing affordability for low-income families or a promise to eliminate child poverty through tax credits and welfare reform.

The housing affordability theme is something that Key mentioned in his conference speech but has gone quiet on since, and it’ll give National a chance to get the jump on Labour on what could turn out to be a major election issue. Meanwhile, the child poverty theme will dovetail nicely into his ‘underclass’ speech and give him a chance to use some more of that aspirational Cameron-style rhetoric that the media are so fond of.

Then again, I could be entirely wrong. What do you think?

37 comments on “Key’s special announcement ”

  1. JamesK 1

    A good analysis. Of course with anything like this there’s a good deal of guesswork involved. I agree though that there’s a good chance his speech wil be about housing affordability. Maryan Street is a new and highly competent housing minister with a heap of ideas. I saw her speak about it at the party conference and she was bloody dynamite. There’s no way John Key will want to let Street take the agenda in this area.

  2. Wayne 2

    Dear god, I hope if he pulls that underclass shit again the media call him on it this time.

    There’s also the possibility he’ll announce he’s chucking it all in and handing over to Bill. Haha, that’d be sweet.

  3. Thomas 3

    I saw Maryan Street speak on Friday at her Nelson campaign launch She said Labour were going to announce policy around the housing afford ability area very soon.
    And I agree, she is bloody good speaker

  4. Susan Deare 4

    Just taking a stab in the dark here, but what are the chances he announces a meaningless ‘aspiration’ that requires no real policy work? A target, a goal, a broad principle? The possibilities are endless.

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    Well we all know John Key is very ‘special’, maybe he’s got a fingerpainting he wants to put on the nation’s fridge.

    I can’t wait to hear another shipwreck full of warm platitudes 😉

    P.S. My Captcha was “Bloodedly Belted” – why didn’t that come up during ‘family fist‘?

  6. dave 6

    May you allow me to rewrite the first paragraph of your post for you

    Eight years ago today was the last time this government changed hands. Although Helen Clark has now been Dear Leader for eight years, her airbrushed profile pictures with associated novelty factors such as her closet lesbianism and barrenness have pulled her through to date, talk around the gallery is that she’s gone off the boil a bit lately. Her profile has dropped, her party`s polling has taken a hit because public opinion has started to turn National’s way.

  7. Robinsod 7

    Dave – that kind of filth has a home mate and it’s called kiwi blog – fuck off back to it you sad little man.

  8. Thomas 8

    Dave is DPF 🙂

  9. Tane 9

    Dave, you lost me at Dear Leader.

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    What Robinsod said Dave, try to post something useful.

    OTOH, nice summary of National’s impotence, you’ve modelled that off your idols nicely – no substance and no style.

  11. I think you’re right, Tane – it would be very easy to outflank the Labour Party on the left, as it’s now so incredibly centrist. There’s just so many areas in which Labour have failed it’s so-called traditionally constituency, that National has an open field.

    A good indication of this is the new report on child health and poverty. See:
    “Wealth gap leaves our youngest at most risk”


  12. Tane 12

    Bryce – I agree it would be easy to outflank Labour on its left, seeing as it’s merely introduced social democratic elements to the largely neoliberal framework introduced in the 1980s. It’s certainly not going about nationalising industry or anything.

    But the issue here is that National don’t actually want to become more left-wing than Labour. If they did it’d be a very different story. Instead, they want to throw the poor a few media-friendly crumbs to create the perception that they care, while simultaneously ramming through extreme right wing policies like privatisation and attacks on work rights.

  13. redbus 13

    Well we all know John Key is very ‘special’, maybe he’s got a fingerpainting he wants to put on the nation’s fridge.
    – Ahahahaha… Well it can’t be any better than the cover on their discussion documents.

    Dave, I remember when the nation first elected our lesbian and barren Prime Minister… What a great day that was, and what a great time its been since she came into office. Thanks for reminding me! 😀

  14. redbus 14

    Oh, and there is still no ‘National News‘ from National… Ten thirty has been and gone. It’s bad enough that their policies have no substance, but for them to be late is a step to far!

  15. Tane 15

    Wow, so that’s John Key’s announcement: he’s ambitious.

    I know I said he’d be short on substance, but maybe that was giving him too much credit.

  16. Susan Deare 16

    You’re not being fair Tane. He’s got aspiration as well as ambition.

  17. redbus 17

    … and audacity and accountability-issues and amateur-leadership and antagonism and …

    Just thought I’d throw some descriptive ‘a’ words out here about Mr. John Key MP.

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Susan do you mean respiration? Yep, he sure can breathe! 😉

    That was a strange feeling of deja vu – there was nothing new in there at all, but a collection of warm fuzzies.

    However, his strength is meant to be the economy, so I can’t see why he’d try to link NZ to Ireland, unless he thinks we’re all stupid out here. Last I heard, NZ didn’t have free access to the world’s most prosperous market (which was incidentally at its doorstep) and billions of EU subsidies. Maybe I missed all that…

  19. Nih 19

    10:30 has been and gone, no announcement. Maybe Key is running a “nothing” theme in some sort of nouveau-comedy political platform. He’ll go on releasing invisible policies and statements right up until the election, to keep it simple for his simple voters.

  20. Sam Dixon 20

    Bryce – i’m sure many of the readers here are all for outflanking Labour to its Left – bu the fact is National is the part of capital, they will never move Left of Labour in any other way than a bit of hollow rhetoric.

  21. Nih 21

    Wait, that shitty side-banner is his announcement? He can’t even put it under the News section of their site?

  22. Tane 22

    Maybe Key is running a “nothing” theme in some sort of nouveau-comedy political platform.

    Nih, you’re more right than you imagine. Go have a look:

  23. Patrick 23

    I have to say I’m honestly quite surprised by how vacuous John Key has been for the last, oh, nine months or so.

    Given how badly all of their recent policy launches have gone, I assume this is the sort of tactic they will take into the election campaign: release warm fuzzy statements about ambitions and aspirations and hope that the public don’t realise what their policies actually are.

    Luckily for Labour it seems the media and the public have tired of this approach already (though it did carry National quite well for most of this year) and won’t be satisfied by these empty PR stunts.

  24. Nih 24

    I know! I was sort of surprised he’d release such a rubbish bit of face time. It was incredibly awkward watching him talk awkwardly in his awkward seating position, awkwardly grabbing at the dash in a sort of failed comfort move. Worse, he was relating an awkward story that made his kids feel awkward. Is this the best National can put forward? Aaaaawkward.

    Did I get this “a” game thing right?

  25. Thomas 25

    That was vegies Bean case you want to increase your visitor rates

  26. Thomas 26

    Oh my post disappeared
    It was something a about Ireland and lots of Euros

    And John Key sniffing vegies

  27. gobsmacked 27

    From Natstalk ZB:

    “John Key is celebrating his first anniversary as National Party leader.

    He is setting out today for a nine-day road trip around the country, where thousands of DVDs will be handed out promoting himself and the National Party.

    Mr Key says it is a sign election campaigning is already beginning, despite the election still being a year away. He says National is hitting the ground running for what will be a long campaign.”

    A political news story without a single word of substance. Like, promoting what?

  28. the sprout 28

    like, promoting Key Corp – Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence for a Durable and Sustainable Future Moving Ahead with Foresight and Vision.

  29. Lampie 29

    special annoucement – and still the little girl waits

  30. chris 30

    Listened to Hone H with Willie and JT last week, HW reckons Keys’ a “smiling snake” and “brash with a smile” with the exact same agenda.HW seemed to hinting that there is no way his party would go with the Nats if Key was still their leader.
    In my perfect world someone will dish the dirt on the prick and he’ll be gone by lunchtime, leaving little Billy E holding the can.

  31. Lampie 31

    sorry, totally off the subject here but that stupid Herald has linked a “old git” Garth George rant and moan (country has lost its soul) with the news of finding the body of the deaf girl in CHCH. Talk about “leading” people in a tactless way!!!!

  32. redbus 32

    Did I get this “a” game thing right?

    – You did better than everybody else!

    I reckon that his end bit was the most ‘aaaaaawkward’; “In the end, it’s over to you”. Well yes, I suppose that could be true because if in the end National forms a government, then it is over for us!

  33. Sam – I agree with your points.

    But in addition, what makes you think that Labour isn’t intrinsically ‘part of capital’ too? After all, Labour has no real organic links with the union movement anymore, only really elite links. Can you say in any meaningful sense that Labour is more worker-friendly than capital-friendly?


  34. Pascal's bookie 34

    Do you think that there is any merit in the idea that the Labour movement of the early and mid 20th Century actually achieved most of what it set out to do? I do.

    By that I mean not just the dramatic strikes and lockouts and steet battles against the scabs and capitalist special police; but rather the deeper, more important but less dramatic battles. Like broad based support for the elderly and sick so that unforseen circumstances didn’t always lead to living and dying in the gutter; generally available, comprehensive education, and wages that enabled working people to not just survive, but save and be able to have some capital of their own.

    If one does accept that those battles were largely won, (which is not to say that we live in utopia), does it not make sense that Labour parties would change to reflect that? Become less militant as the enemy becomes more impotent?

    You seem to want the Labour party to be more purely ‘leftist’, which is fair enough. But you would have to accept I think, that we would not have Labour govts, or even Labour MP’s.

    Perhaps I am misreading just how radical you would like the Labour party to be. So give us some clues about what you would like them to be doing. A nationalisation of the means of production and exchange? Compulsory unionism?

  35. PhilBest 35

    How about No Tax on the first 20 grand or so of annual earnings, like Ireland and Aussie?

    Is Labour the “Workers” party or not?

    If some of you “workers party” traditionalists got up a “New Labour” with this as your platform, you’d take a lot of support off the “Sisterhood Labour” that we’ve got at the moment.

  36. Nih 36

    How about No Tax on the first 20 grand or so of annual earnings, like Ireland and Aussie?

    Now that’s a constructive and workable idea. One of the problems with tax is the difficulty in organising and paying it, particularly if it’s only a pittance and especially if you’re new to business.

  37. Razorlight 37

    Patrick commented that “Luckily for Labour it seems the media and the public have tired of this approach already”

    Where are you getting this from. The media has been going to town for the past 3 weeks on the EFB and Labours complete inability to defend it.

    We can only judge the Publics opinion through the Polls and it has been some months since Labour were within the margin of error of Nationals support.

    So please tell me how you have come to the conclusion that the media and Public are tiring of Nationals approach.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago