Next, I’m going to Disneyland

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, September 29th, 2009 - 47 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

I was surprised to see this at the bottom of John Key’s press release on the English housing allowance scandal:

“The PM is overseas and is not available for interview.”

The Acting Prime Minister is going down in flames and the Prime Minister won’t be interviewed? What’s he up to?

Turns out, Key’s doing something he does well and frequently, taking an overseas holiday. This time, it’s Florida.

For those of you counting, this is the PM’s third holiday of the year, including the mini-break he had that just so happened to make him unavailable for Melissa Lee’s by-election humiliation, and the month in Hawaii as the economic crisis reached its peak. Now, with his government in crisis and unemployment still rising by several hundred a day, Key’s soaking up some sun.

He’s up to about five weeks so far this year. Kind of ironic when he’s planning to take away your fourth week’s annual leave.

Once more, Key reminds me of Bush – there’s the verbal gaffes, the inattention to detail and trouble with the big issues, the playing the clown, and Bush, “the vacation president”, averaged nine weeks a year on vacation.

47 comments on “Next, I’m going to Disneyland ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    If your claims are true Eddie about Mr Key’s holidays (and I doubt they are) then it doesn’t say much about Mr Goff that he is so far behind in the polls against an absentee prime minister.

  2. Tigger 2

    Apparently this was in an earlier version of the press release – the stuff edited out is in square brackets. “It is important that Mr English is focused on the critical decisions he needs to make for New Zealanders, and this issue had become an unfortunate distraction [to my holiday plans. DisneyWorld is awesome! Bronagh has promised me some Mickey Mouse ears. Ace!]’

  3. Red Rosa 3

    While here at home, the nation’s biggest dairy farmer and thus largest supplier to its biggest export earner is embroiled yet again in scandal. Not pollution this time – animal welfare.

    With so far not a murmur from JK’s Minister of Agriculture.

    The EU and US farmers are not in a charitable mood. Many are staring ruin in the face this season with the lowest prices for a decade. We can only hope they do not seize on this to beat NZ over the head at the next round of trade talks.

    It is vital that senior ministers get a grip on this issue, and at least make some soothing noises and get the Crafar profile below the parapet. It is not a time to be ‘relaxed’ – a couple of quick phone calls from Florida are essential.

    • felix 3.1

      Unfortunately the Minister of Agriculture – following the lead of the Minister of Tourism – is busy at with some fences in the back paddock at the moment.

    • Mark M 3.2

      Isnt it good then that Mr Key is in the States meeting and greeting people who are important to our trade prospects.
      The bitterness from the left is astounding.
      Key is hounded if he is overseas promoting this country and he is hounded if he is not.

      Fortunately according to the polls , “mainstream” New Zealanders seem more than happy with the way he is running this country

  4. felix 4


    Which claims about Key’s holidays are you rebutting, specifically?

    The number of?
    The destinations of?
    The timing of?
    The existence of?

    Or was this just another “blahblah look, Goff! mumble mumble” comment?

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      Nah, he’s playing silly buggers.

      Eddie threatened to ban him . And lo and behold, here he is setting up the same ‘but I never called you a liar’ routine.

    • Tim Ellis 4.2

      Felix, Eddie said there were three holidays, “including the mini-break”…

      The mini-break was a weekend.

      I don’t know how Eddie reaches five weeks, but given how much time Labour MPs spent on “mini breaks” during the Mt Albert by election, not to mention the weeks that Len Brown’s communications guy spent on the campaign, I don’t think Eddie’s got a leg to stand on.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        Yeah and I spend time on the blog and by-election.

        Anyway, it is pretty easy to argue that in both of the cases you’re referring to, that both the MP’s and Conor were enhancing their professional skills. Mt Albert was a great place to trade skills on how to communicate with an electorate as well as campaigning techniques.

        It was noticeable that with the exception of Boscowan that the NACT MP’s and support people didn’t exactly appear to relish the opportunity. Probably helps explain their abysmal campaign and poor results.

        • Tim Ellis

          An alternative spin on that LP is that Labour had everything to lose in Mount Albert so that’s why they sent in so many MPs to campaign. Was Conor Roberts on holiday from Len Brown’s office when he worked on Mr Shearer’s campaign?

          • lprent

            Ask Conor. But it was good experience for the mayoral campaign. Probably one of the reasons that it got off to such a strong and early start.

            For that matter you could as easily ask rocky why she was spent so much time on the campaign while she was at uni. Or me when I was doing canvass targeting using a remote database and previously written code during my coffee breaks.

          • mickysavage

            I just received 10 demerit points from Kiwiblog for commenting off point.

            Tim stop trying to confuse the discussion.

            • lprent

              [BOFH mode on…] I’m not sure that I’d be that nice. When I’m nice I just go for a description of the clear inadequateness’s of the offender. When I’ve had a bad day I just ban. Of course I’d have to read the post to see if there was an offense of that type. It is bad enough reading the comments as well as the posts. But I figure it all evens out in the end with me having to do less work. The uncertainty ensures a significant level of self-moderation. [BOFH mode off…]

              Now on a complete move away from point (just like John Key). &^*(%*^%*^%$^#%$@@#@#!!!!!?? Orcon have managed to get my internet link working. They cut it off the line at the old house on friday evening, and connected here on Tuesday. It didn’t cut me off from the net because of the trusty iphone tethered to the 3G network. However it did chop server off including the mail server, several prototype websites, and from playing with the boost asio library. On the otherhand, I also got a lot of books back into bookshelves.

      • felix 4.2.2


        If your claims are true about Key’s minibreak (and I doubt they are) then it seriously undermines any credibility your claims might have had that you to tried to turn it into an artless, tactless attack on Goff.

        Desperate and weak, Tim.

        Maybe it’s time for you to take a break and get some auditing done.

  5. Of course Key is of to Disney land.

    He’s just done his masters bidding in joining the walk out against Ahmadinajad helping them to position themselves better in the pending attacks on Iran. He’s been instructed to and did talk about the nuclear issue and make New Zealand the biggest bestest example of how Iran should behave.

    We will no doubt see nuclear armed and driven war ships arrive on our shores in the next months and he’s been speaking with Nethanjahu and Obama, no doubt to get him to tow the official US line of Iran bad, Israel good.

    And now the Key camp (read international big boys who want to get their hands on NZ’s resources) wants to get rid of English.

    The only professional Kiwi politician in the entire party left and quit possibly the only one who, greedy and small minded and angry though he may be, might cause them trouble while they take whatever independence NZ might have left in order to loot the place.

    Of course Key stays out of the country.

    • Mark M 5.1

      Terrible that he didnt speak in favour of Ahmadinejad.
      Such a shining example to the world of how to behave.
      Mr Key should hang his head in shame

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    I posted this over at the dim-post, but it is worth repeating here IMHO.

    Thinking about Mr. Key’s holidays why on earth DOES a multi-millionaire who thinks being PM of NZ is an act of charity own a God awful psuedo-pink Mcmansion in the middle of sand dune up in Omaha?? Everyone knows his holiday home is in Hawaii.

    Is that place just a little dogwhistle to the aspirational white middle class, who approve of the achieving of one leg of the “three B’s’ trifecta that is the Kiwi dream?

    I suppose it wouldn’t do before an election to show your potential future PM taking the bulk of his numerous holidays in a gated community of privileged mega-millioniares in Hawaii. Better to buy a pile in Omaha, like the rest of aspirational middle class who voted for National at the last election.

    I wonder how much time since the election Mr. Key has spent in his Omaha holiday home? We all know he’s spent around month in Hawaii already.

  7. Mike 7

    On the other hand, Key’s holiday means we’ve been spared the indignity of him speaking at Howard Morrison’s funeral.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      Wasnt Key ‘on holiday out of the country’ when Hillary died ?

      • BLiP 7.1.1

        Nah – he was jumping up and down at the back of crowd shots trying shamelessly to get into the news. Remember, he let loose a release saying how bad form it was for HM QEII not to come out for the funeral? The only media outlet that gave him any decent oxygen was, surprise surprise, the New Zealand Fox News Herald.

  8. Victor 8

    John Key is happy to tell people that if not for going into politics, he never would have come back to NZ. Hawaii, Florida is all consistent with that.

    The evidence is that outside of personal ambition, Mr Key has little interest in NZ. There are plenty of places he could take his family here where his privacy would be respected.

    Given the crisis brewing with Bill English, he should have been back in NZ Monday morning. . .

    Mr Ellis, you cannot spin that one

  9. How puerile. The average worker works around 2,000 hours a year. John Key would easily be working at least 4,000 hours a year. Most weeks you are working from 7 am to 11 pm six days a week (that is over 90 hours a week) and a fair chunk of Sundays is spent reading papers and making phone calls also – so I suspect it is closer to 100 hours a week.

    And Eddie, who has no children as I understand it, is trying to suggest the PM is goofing off because he likes to try and get some quality time with his kids. Did you ever consider that is the motivation for the PM to take holidays – not for himself but for his family?

    But hey keep up this petty politics. Helen tried the same line before the election and it backfired massively on her as she looked petty and not in touch.

    [lprent: Eddie isn’t a politician paid for from the public purse.

    We don’t pay our politicians to be good parents as you’re suggesting for Key and Bill keeps suggesting for himself. We pay them to do a good job representing us. So please constrain the personally supercilious attitude especially when referring to one of my writers.

    Incidentally: I frequently do those types of hours during projects, except it is 7 day weeks. It isn’t particularly unusual amongst people with high skill levels. I just finished the last 3 month burst a few weeks ago. Good for the bank balance, but gives grey hairs faster. ]

    • Daveo 9.1

      Yeah, because Farrar would never engage in petty politics. He’s above all that, don’t you know?

    • felix 9.2

      Indeed, Lynn. Indeed.

    • singularian 9.3

      lprent – we don’t know who ‘Eddie’ is.

      ‘Eddie’ could easily be a politician or public servant.

      We have no idea because ‘Eddie’ wishes to remain annon whilst (lately) smearing left, right and centre. Ok, not so much left.

      ‘Eddie’ certainly seems to spend a lot of time writing posts and replying to comments. I really, really hope that ‘Eddie’ isn’t doing that on my (the taxpayers) dime.

      I’m not doubting your word, but if authors want to be annon then people will make guesses about who and what they are.

      I agree with DPF- the Standard is losing it’s mojo with all these envy posts. Sad.

      [lprent: The miracles of modern technology allow me to moderate and comment on the bus using an iPhone (or in this case on the couch waiting for a tech to connect my ADSL). They also allow me to write posts on a laptop tethered to the internet using an iphone while having lunch – which is why you sometimes find some scrappy editing in my posts. I suspect that you are simply a bit dated in your technological wisdom.
      There aren’t any politicians writing posts here under a pseudonym. We don’t allow it – they have their own blogs. ]

      • gitmo 9.3.1

        “I agree with DPF- the Standard is losing it’s mojo with all these envy posts. Sad.”

        Fran agrees …”….full of praise for Red Alert and said it has obviously replaced The Standard as the most influential and useful blog on the left.”

        • lprent

          Different audience. But you’d have to ask that using that criteria, where does that place the sewer? In fact where is the respectable blog of the right?

          • felix

            Ah I love hearing that people who never liked The Standard and never had anything positive to say about it pretend to lose their faith in it.

            It’s like me saying “I really think that latest Garth Brooks record is such a let down. Not what I wanted to hear from him at all.”

    • Victor 9.4


      Commenting on an absent PM is not peurile. Yes, it is school holidays but there is a job to be done, and it cannot be done from Florida. Are you suggesting the Minister of Tourism cannot think of any places to take time off with the kids in NZ?

      There is a pattern here, and it is politically fair game, as fair game as Crawford became. Your hysterical reaction says as much . . ..

    • Tigger 9.5

      Oh god, more of the ‘I’m only trying to keep my family together’ line. Why does National insist on running this argument? English yesterday and now Farrar running it for Key? Leave the kids out of it! They shouldn’t be used as a sword or a shield for politicians. Having a politican as a parent is hard enough without being trotted out like show ponies or used to explain away absences.

      Key is in the big seat. His Deputy is going under and he’s off on Space Mountain and won’t take any calls. That’s the issue here. Don’t make it about the kids.

  10. toad 10

    Eddie, I don’t actually begrudge Key his holidays. If only we all got his holiday “entitlement”.

    But National’s policy on holidays is to allow employers to buy back employees’ fourth week of annual leave. We’ll no doubt see legislation to enact that soon.

    It is just like Double Dipton preaching fiscal restraint when he’s personally rorting the taxpayer for every cent he can get – rank hypocrisy.

    • r0b 10.1

      personally rorting the taxpayer for every cent he can get

      Right down to the last $20pw. It’s the attention to detail that you have to admire.

  11. As disgusting as this behavior is, I don’t believe for 1 second that this would be going on if Bill were not in trouble, Labour seriously needs to consider weather it aught to sink this low next time around. The defining theme of this government is their top notch PR campaign. While it takes a very very competent PR operator to co-ordinate, I think that Labour aught to seriously consider sinking to Nationals level, as it’s yet to have back fired.

  12. TightyRighty 12

    Don’t civil servants in some government departments get 5 weeks holiday thanks to the last government?

    • Victor 12.1

      It is not his holidays. it is that JK’s clear preference is to be out of the country . . even when there are big issues going down. How can he be silent on Bill’s problems? . .. just extraordinary, and no amount of smokescreening can cover that up

    • Armchair Critic 12.2

      TR – like DPF you seem to have only read part of the post. The criticism is far from puerile.
      I expect most people are aware that the PM, like everyone else, is entitled to holidays and don’t begrudge him for taking them. The point is the timing of his absences – how is it that the leader of the National party (and the country, for that matter) is unavailable when he is needed? Once might be written off as an unfortunate coincidence, but three times looks like dereliction of duty.
      I’m thinking of Vladimir Putin and the Kursk, or the king of Tonga and the Princess Ashika. OK, the deputy PM of NZ being dragged from wallowing in his trough is something quite different to a national disaster, but the behaviour pattern is similar – the reaction of a leader to an important issue is slow, inappropriate, or both. Which indicates he is not really fit to be a leader.

      • gitmo 12.2.1

        “The point is the timing of his absences how is it that the leader of the National party (and the country, for that matter) is unavailable when he is needed?”

        Are you retarded ?

        He was in the US at the UN and for a bit of fluff for tourism, and parliament is now in recess, what exactly is the national emergency that he has too hurry back for.

        Why don’t you just post post “I hate Key, he is a retard because I didn’t vote for him.”

        • Victor

          Hey Gitmo

          Bit sensitive are you? Florida is not a good look. Being absent did GW in, and JK is showing the same sort of behaviour.

          Oh, and I voted for him. But at this rate that won’t be a mistake I will make twice.

          You guys are such a bunch of sychophants (DPF included) you can’t see the trend for the trees

        • Armchair Critic

          Oh yay, another RWNJ who doesn’t read the whole comment and then quotes selectively. I won’t waste bandwidth completely repeating what I already said. Like DPF and TR, you could try to read the whole comment and consider the full context before you start ad-hom attacks.
          And I wouldn’t “post post” (whatever that means) “I hate Key, he is a retard because I didn’t vote for him” because it isn’t true. While I didn’t vote for him, I don’t hate him and I am sure he is not retarded.
          I am concerned that he shows little in the way of loyalty to his team, and little actual leadership ability. It’s almost like his motto is “when the going gets tough, the PM goes on holiday”. Which is why I won’t consider voting for him in two years time..

      • TightyRighty 12.2.2

        Ah the commentary from the the worn arse groove of society. my question was not directly resulting from only reading part of the post. It was in relation to the notion that somehow when NZ got four weeks annual leave legislated, some civil servants got themselves five. probably supported by the PSA. whats wrong with the Right Honorable Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr John Key, supporting public service union action?

        • Armchair Critic

          You could be correct about the five weeks, but since you raised it how about you put up or shut up – links please, rather than your “vague notions”.
          No problem from me with the PM supporting public service union action, I don’t doubt you will have a problem with it, though. Surely it doesn’t gel with your “National good, Labour bad” mantra. Oh, and (minor flaw in your argument) he isn’t supporting public service union action, he is taking another holiday during another crisis with his government. The post is about this emerging pattern of absence.

          • TightyRighty

            your not asking a person at the service of the public to give up their enshrined entitlements are you?

            [lprent: If you’re going to raise a issue, then presumably you have some evidence – ie a link. By the sound of it you don’t. So we can assume that your pseudonym refers to your habit of farting in a falsetto squeal due to clenched buttocks. Fits with the rest of your behaviour as being all noise, a bad smell and no substance. ]

            • Armchair Critic

              No, I’m asking someone who I assume is a glazier to give up on their transparent distraction argument, and stick to the subject.

  13. greenfly 13

    TightyRighty – “farting in a falsetto squeal”

    Yes! Poetry!

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