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Spinning Key’s India fail

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, October 28th, 2016 - 35 comments
Categories: International, john key, spin - Tags: ,

Key’s India trip started off going nowhere fast, and ended up the same way – New Zealand’s as close as it’s ever got to a free trade deal with India – John Key. Translation, no trade deal.

Today the same loyal scribe (Jo Moir) doubled down with this effort – John Key’s time in India was ‘short and sweet’ but will be chalked up as a success

While a free trade agreement hasn’t been signed and sealed in New Delhi this week, Key has got New Zealand closer to it happening than ever before.

Meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was an important step in the process as face-to-face relations are paramount in India when it comes to striking an agreement.

While Modi, a serial hugger, didn’t embrace Key he did seem to genuinely enjoy his company and is keen to visit New Zealand and see it for himself – a sign of mutual respect.

As for the delegation of 35 business leaders who travelled to New Delhi with Key the experience was priceless.

Not only did the trip allow an opportunity to discuss business opportunities in a country with an exploding population but time spent with other influential Kiwis was just as valuable.

One industry leader spoken to said it was almost impossible at home to meet so many powerful people all at once, so it was no wonder they all jumped at the opportunity to spend hours together on a plane.

Are you feeling the love?


35 comments on “Spinning Key’s India fail ”

  1. Kevin 1


    Lets have a free trade agreement with yet another country where manufacturing wages are below the basement level to destroy whatever is left of NZ manufacturing that China and others haven’t already destroyed.

    Being a wage slave will just get harder.

  2. CnrJoe 2

    Was Max Key sent to the social media rescue? Squirrel! 😊

  3. saveNZ 3

    What was even scarier is that Key seemed to be keen to bend the Nukes rules for India in return for a free trade deal.


    “In the lead-up to the trip, Indian media have focussed on a sensitive point in the two countries’ relationship: New Zealand’s stance on an American-led push for India to join a club of countries that control access to sensitive nuclear technology.

    The 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) sets global rules for international trade in nuclear energy technology, and was established in 1974 as a response to India’s first nuclear test.
    New Zealand is a member of the NSG.

    India wants in, despite not being a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires members to make commitments on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

    It needs a unanimous vote to join, and has been blocked by Beijing, who has argued signing the non-proliferation treaty is a pillar of the group, and the rules shouldn’t be bent for India.

    Key has said New Zealand and other “like-minded” countries had said it was possible for India to join without signing the treaty, but that would require them to agree to meet similar conditions.”

    • Wayne 3.1

      The Clark govt proposed a similar solution in relation to a nuclear matter some years ago.

      The view was taken that it was better to get some level of compliance from India, rather than ostracizing them on this issue.

  4. Ad 4

    First New Zealand government to go backwards and achieve absolutely nothing of note in many decades.

    • Wayne 4.1

      New Zealand has not gone backwards. In fact there has been an advance on trade issues, but a way to go yet. As I noted a couple of days ago a full free trade deal with India is impossible given India’s level of protectionism. So we won’t get the type of deal we have with China.

      Incidentally the deal is mostly about access for New Zealand goods to India. We essentially have no trade barriers against India. The cheap goods from India are already here.

      And if Kevin wants to oppose the free trade deal with China and the prospective deal with India on the basis they hurt New Zealand, fine go ahead. After all there is no need to be bothered by pesky facts getting in the way of your argument. Same approach as Trump.

      • saveNZ 4.1.1

        Look around internationally, there is zero public appetite for free trade deals. When both Trump and Clinton both say they will not ratify the TPPA – there’s a reason. With the pirate party looking like they might take out Iceland and the UK Brexit – the reason is, Free trade has failed the people.

        The way free trade has panned out, the only people enriched are global individuals, politicians and multinational organisations. The rest of the population and the environment has had to pay, with higher costs of living, and less jobs to make the .1% richer.

        India is ahead of us on home ownership, and solar investment.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        New Zealand has not gone backwards.

        Yes it has as the increasing poverty brought about by this governments policies shows.

        In fact there has been an advance on trade issues, but a way to go yet.

        It’s those ‘advances’ that are helping cause the increase in poverty.

        As I noted a couple of days ago a full free trade deal with India is impossible given India’s level of protectionism.

        And they’re going forwards. Not nicely or equitably but their people are slowly getting better living standards. Just like we used to.

        Incidentally the deal is mostly about access for New Zealand goods to India. We essentially have no trade barriers against India. The cheap goods from India are already here.

        Yep, which has added to our increasing poverty.

        After all there is no need to be bothered by pesky facts getting in the way of your argument.

        The facts show that ‘free-trade’ as envisioned by the rich causes serious damage to the rest of us.

        • Wayne


          China, which has been much more open than India for trade and investment over the last 30 years, has done a lot better than India. Not just for the wealthy but for everyone.

          And New Zealand has benefited from the China FTA, again not just a few, but just about everyone. It is a key reason why NZ was not too badly hit by the GFC, and is a reason why we are near the top of the OECD for growth and employment.

          Anyway you believe what you want.

          I would note that even the the Europeans believe the Wallons have gone too far in opposing free trade with Canada, though I guess you would say they are right on the money, given your total opposition to free trade.

          What that means for Brexit is interesting. Maybe there will be no deal at all with Europe once the Brits leave. In that case the WTO rules will apply.

          In fact the EU could even oppose the UK joining the WTO, though that could get very nasty indeed. If the EU did that, the UK would be free to impose selective tariffs against Europe, specifically aimed to hurt particular European industries. Such an approach would probably damage NATO as well. It could easily lead to some odd outcomes. The UK may specifically befriend Russia with the intent of hurting vulnerable members of the EU.

          Some pretty brutal realpolitik is possible if Europe and the UK decide to go crazy.

          • Draco T Bastard

            China, which has been much more open than India for trade and investment over the last 30 years, has done a lot better than India. Not just for the wealthy but for everyone.

            Yeah, that would be why the managers put fences around factories to stop suicides.

            And most NZers are worse off after the FTA with China as rising house prices prove.

            I would note that even the the Europeans believe the Wallons have gone too far in opposing free trade with Canada, though I guess you would say they are right on the money, given your total opposition to free trade.

            I don’t oppose free-trade – I don’t think that the present system has any relationship to it. It’s more forced trade than free trade.

            In fact the EU could even oppose the UK joining the WTO, though that could get very nasty indeed.

            The UK has always been part of the WTO so, no, the EU couldn’t do that.

            Anyway you believe what you want.

            It’s not a question of belief but looking at the facts and you’re in denial of those facts because those facts go against your beliefs.

            • Wayne

              The UK is a member of GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) rather than the WTO. Most of the tariff rules are through GATT rather than the WTO. However, the more modern aspects on services etc are are through WTO.

      • Ad 4.1.3

        Go right ahead and set out those trade achievement from this government Wayne.

      • pat 4.1.4

        “Incidentally the deal is mostly about access for New Zealand goods to India. We essentially have no trade barriers against India. The cheap goods from India are already here.”

        don’t forget services Wayne…how many Indian students do you think we could “educate” here?….and on what terms?

        India are not going to liberalise our access without something in return

        • Muttonbird

          And where would we house them? Ten to a container at Avondale racecourse I suppose.

          That’s the thing with this government – no planning for infrastructure after they open the tap.

        • Wayne

          Fair point. India will want something. But the overseas education market already looks pretty open. Maybe an bigger relationship with Pharmac?

          One of the issues of New Zealand and free trade agreements is that we tend not to have much we can offer because our market (goods, services and investment) is already very open.

          For instance in the case of China they essentially had open access to the New Zealand market (in all of its respects) already, so the agreement was largely about them opening up their markets.

          • pat

            “For instance in the case of China they essentially had open access to the New Zealand market (in all of its respects) already, so the agreement was largely about them opening up their markets.”

            Hardly open access..
            “In the period 2004–2006 the average annual revenue collected on imports from China was NZ$193 million. As tariffs are phased out over the transition under the FTA, the New Zealand Customs Service will progressively collect less revenue from duty payments.
            The exact amount of duty collected will be influenced by the pattern of actual imports and the proportion that qualify for preference under the agreement Rules of Origin. The majority of current duties collected on imports from China are on textile, clothing and footwear products, which will see gradual tariff reductions over a 7 or 9-year period, depending on the particular product, through to 2014 or 2016.
            Based on current trade patterns, around 40 percent of the tariff revenue on imports from China is already being foregone under the domestic tariff reduction programme in place for the period 1 July 2006 to 1 July 2009.”


      • Stuart Munro 4.1.5

        “New Zealand has not gone backwards.”

        NZ home ownership headed for 40%. Men out of work now in numbers comparable to the great depression.

        Systematic corruption in CERA so outrageous even Treasury are protesting.

        Christchurch still in ruins many years after the event – and thousands of fake repair jobs failing, but Gerry the crook arranged liability immunity for those responsible.

        Have a drink from Lake Forsyth Wayne – it wouldn’t just make you sick, it would actually kill you. Friend of mine used to fish in that lake not too long ago.

        The government are not addressing any of NZ’s real problems. They launch swingeing attacks on public services “to save money” and then blow the money by poor governance of commercial providers. The whole place is going to rack and ruin.

      • Red Hand 4.1.6

        “The cheap goods from India are already here” I don’t want them. What I want are good quality, durable goods made in NZ by New Zealanders paid a wage adequate to afford them. There are many examples of excellent quality goods once designed and produced here. Bicycles, toasters, oven and table ware, boats, outdoors clothing and equipment, footwear and many other goods. I am baffled that you would support cheap, poor quality imports when you know your fellow countrymen could produce the goods needed and of a high quality.

  5. this dismal journey sums up the key leaderless’s legacy well – plane broken, spin bullshit, try to make money, spin bullshit, come home, pretend it was so successful – repeat…

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    One industry leader spoken to said it was almost impossible at home to meet so many powerful people all at once,

    Typical authoritarian reaction – kowtow to the richest person around.

  7. Smilin 7

    Isnt great in this day and age that we have to keep an EYE on these leaders like our Mr Key in the hope that they might actually do something good for the country other than sell it out which seems to be the mode since Lange left, or maybe it started with the Rainbow warrior
    Which ever way you go its really is a pain with this Key that we usually find hes dropped us in it somewhere, fuck em he aint worth the money we pay him

  8. mickysavage 8

    That is pravda quality writing. Utterly appalling.

    • Incognito 8.1

      That’s unfair to Pravda; it was written professionally and consistently (!) with an air of objectivity and matter of fact. This piece, however, was fawning and superficial as if it was an entry into a high school girl’s personal diary (with photos, of course). There appears to be a small ‘inner circle’ of female (…) sycophants journalists that regularly accompany John Key on his overseas trips and spout this kind of blatantly-unprofessional fluff. It also highlights the incestuously-small pool of journalists & reporters in NZ. To remedy this I’d suggest that on his next trip John Key will invite a bunch of bloggers into his entourage.

  9. mary_a 9

    So a failed trade mission by dear leader is considered a success in right wing circles? FFS!

    Blued tinted glasses on everyone! All’s well on Planet Key.

    Should be interesting what Key has to say about it when he arrives back home.

    • “Interesting”?
      Really? In what way?
      I find myself in no way interested in what Key might say when he arrives back home in New Zealand.

    • dukeofurl 9.2

      Findlay McDonald says not even the PMs press department would spin it so blatantly.

      “didn’t embrace Key he did seem to genuinely enjoy his company and is keen to visit New Zealand and see it for himself – a sign of mutual respect”

      It seems like Key himself wrote it- Jo Muir isnt a name that rings a bell writing for stuff before, maybe the PM has a ‘pen name’

    • Muttonbird 9.3

      Anything he has touched recently has turned to shit.

      Air Force One
      Errant son
      India trade deal
      Lockwood flag
      Mixing with Bananarama who then locks up the Fiji opposition.

      Seems like he’s desperate to get something equivalent to the last Labour government’s ground-breaking deal with China. After all, this is his thing – wheeling and dealing with the elite on big financial deals. Wayne Mapp tells us Key is highly regarded by international leaders because of his longevity in the backyard on NZ. Why then can’t he get the deal done – any deal?

      Why indeed would he go to China with McCullum in tow and talk up a free trade deal with India when, as Wayne Mapp has also admitted, such a thing is impossible?

    • mosa 9.4

      “Should be interesting what Key says when he gets back home”
      Not Really it will be the same predictable spin and bullshit we always get.

      I hope it was worth it for the rest of the entourage i am sure Keys generosity with tax payers money made the trip bearable.

  10. mauī 10

    What would be better than being booed off Eden Park by League-ies.

    Being booed off Eden Gardens by Indian cricket fanatics in a foreign country.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    I’m sure the sheep are already on the plane for Delhi.

  12. ropata 12

    As seen on the unmissable “Beehive Letters” … the letter is classic Key-ism https://t.co/Z9bBZDUilF

    John Key to Todd McClayRE: India Update… sigh….#nzpol #Satire pic.twitter.com/Z9bBZDUilF— Beehive Letters (@BeehiveLetters) October 27, 2016

  13. Thinkerr 13

    Key had the wrong person doing his spin for him.

    I would have hurredly set up a meeting for Key with the Mayor of Townsville and got a free trade agreement between NZ & Townsville (possibly with Townsville taking a maintenance contract on our air force fleet). Success story #1.

    Next, I would have spun the hours spent on the Tarmac as a top-secret meeting of NZ business leaders & politicians. It had to be kept secret, even from the participants, so that the GCSB wouldn’t automatically have a transcript of everyone’s opinions, as happens in Dogzone country, but now it could be revealed. Silk purse from a sow’s ear, and Success story #2.

    Then, I would have offered India the use of NZ’s thought-police, to engage with and take names at India’s own euthenasia debates, as a sweetener to the fair trade deal. India could never find another western country with its own thought-police, and would surely want to opt in.

    Also, a couple of free tickets to the next John Key fundraiser dinner, which would have sealed the deal. Success story #3.

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