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Talk is cheap

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, August 8th, 2011 - 34 comments
Categories: accountability, john key - Tags: , ,

John Key likes to tell people what they want to hear. He’s less good at keeping his word afterwards. This story appeared in The Press on Saturday:

PM sidesteps quake promise

Prime Minister John Key is refusing to reveal what assurances he gave grieving families of Christchurch earthquake victims soon after February’s disaster.

Comments Key made at private meetings after the quake have led to him being dragged into the furore over legal funding for the families at royal commission hearings. Quake Families group co-chairmen Dr Maan Alkaisi and Brian Kennedy maintain Key gave face-to-face assurances the Government would do everything it could to assist the families. Key met the families in the days after the quake.

Yet the Government refuses to underwrite the cost of an independent legal team to represent the group, which comprises about 50 family members and survivors of the February quake. …

The Press asked Key’s office to confirm what the Prime Minister had told the families and in what context his remarks were made. A spokeswoman said: “… out of respect for them [the families], we won’t be commenting on the details of the meeting.”

Out of respect for the families Key should keep his word to them.

Alkaisi said Key had met families twice in the first 10 days after the quake. Alkaisi’s wife, Dr Maysoon Abbas, who worked at The Clinic on the fourth floor of the CTV building died as a result of the building’s collapse.

“I personally stood and thanked him for coming, because it was really very touching to see the Prime Minister coming himself and addressing us,” Alkaisi said. “In the actual meetings he, for sure, said that he will give all his support [to] the families of victims.” …

Kennedy said Key had mentioned that the Government would do everything in its power to assist the families. “I think you’ll find there’s plenty of people who will confirm that.”

It doesn’t just come down to what Key said in meetings with these families. It comes down to what he promised the nation in his speech of February 23rd:

On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone. New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way.  Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test. I promise we will meet this test. …

As we look to the future, New Zealanders should know that the Government is going to do everything we can to support the recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch.

There are echoes here of Pike River, where families accused Key of breaking his promise to them (as the government later broke its promise on a stimulus package for the West Coast).  Why anyone believes a word this snake-oil merchant says is a mystery to me.

34 comments on “Talk is cheap”

  1. happynz 1

    On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone. New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way. Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test. I promise we will meet this test. …

    As we look to the future, New Zealanders should know that the Government is going to do everything we can to support the recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch.

    Yeah, I remember seeing that speech on the TV. Rarely did Key look up from the script he was reading. He squeaked and slurred his way through a speech that he likely didn’t write. Perhaps in his mind since he wasn’t the author of the piece it isn’t his responsibility to stand by the words.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    “out of respect for them [the families], we won’t be commenting on the details of the meeting”

    So ‘out of respect’ he’s just going to imply they are liars rather than say so. Which also means he never said it, so can’t be called on it. Wanker.

  3. Lazy Susan 3

    Tax cuts north of $50

    National is not going to be raising gst

    See how he talks out of the side of his mouth

    Meanspirited oportunist

    • felix 3.1

      He’s never been held to account for what he says at the end of that video either.

  4. Colonial Viper 4


    Key is letting the whole of the country down. He is happy to invoke the name of NZ, of honour and of respect at the drop of a hat. And within months it always becomes clear that he has no intention to follow through.

    He must be mad to think he can get away with this before an election. Look for the massive backpeddling on the issue the moment that it gains sufficient media attention.

    I reckon we need a weekly serial on television: “FAIR GO Prime Minister”.

    edit – 8:20am an hour after posting and it looks like the RWNJs haven’t figured out their lines for this issue yet.

    • jackal 4.1

      Let me guess what they will say… everybody loves John Key, just look at the brain fart polls. What a load of rubbish! Do those people who are not getting help in Christchurch “love” JK? Do the thousands of public sector workers who were laid off “love” JK? Do the families of the Pike River mine victims “love” JK for National destroying the safety inspectorate? Do the hundreds of thousands of unemployed and low waged who can’t afford to pay bills or buy food any longer because it’s to expensive “love” JK? Do the thousands who are no longer eligible for a benefit under new harsh criteria, who are effectively receive nothing “love” JK? Do the tens thousands of people National has made redundant “love” old JK? Do the 20% of children who continue to live in poverty “love” JK? Do the tens of thousands leaving New Zealand forever each week “love” JK? Do all the people who cannot afford the Kiwi dream “love” JK? Do the army personnel who have been laid off “love” JK? Do the woman and children who can no longer escape violent and abusive situations because National cut funding for Woman’s Refuges “love” JK? Do the foreign fishermen who are being abused and not paid “love” JK? Do the Iwi’s who were not consulted before seismic testing for deep sea oil drilling was undertaken “love” JK? Do Kiwi’s who were not consulted before huge amounts of forestry were sold to foreigners “love” JK? And what about the American’s “love” for JK when he was on Letterman, which resulted in a huge decrease in tourism? Do the 80% of student’s who think the VSM bill is dumb “love” JK? etc.

      • Deadly_NZ 4.1.1

        And all those who left because of the way the government has treated them can also still vote. And I bet they don’t “love” JK.

        • rosy

          Absolutely Deadly_NZ. I hope Labour and the Greens are using some serious news/advert space in expat newspapers/blogs/magazines.

          • jackal

            It was interesting that in 2010, National took the vote away from people sentenced to any term of imprisonment instead of the previous policy of restricting voting for those serving three years or longer. This goes against the direction of most other countries and even the Attorney General thinks its inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. Perhaps Nact will also try to limit or take the vote away from expats. I presume expats and the incarcerated would be more likely to support progressive parties being that one group is leaving en masse to escape and the other is more likely to be incarcerated because of the negative effects of right wing policies.

  5. freedom 5

    recall the PM’s statement on the day of the September quake? Live on camera, when he stated emphatically that the EQC had 15 billion dollars of cash reserves. Then within a week it was said to be 6 Billion then a few days later it had become 3 billion.

  6. When a Wall street banker opens his mouth he lies. Simple!

  7. vto 7

    Here you go…

    Compare Key’s forked tongue on refusing to help out earthquake victims….

    with this


    More money for the bureaucrats and less money for the victims. Sums it up really, and it is disgusting.

    • So VTO,
      How is the mood changing with regards to John Key in Chch?

      • vto 7.1.1

        Well not the best news for te left perhaps. There is still the lingering “I like John Key, he’s cute and cuddly..” approach. Not a lot of appetitie for change. It may well be that, in spite of some discomfort with the nats and their actions and plans and their long ago Ecan firings, people are preferring stability rather than change. That there has been enough upheaval and disruption, so just stick with what we’ve got. The desire for stability may well rule the day. 2c.

        • Puddleglum

          It’s important to remember that, in 2008, Christchurch Central still had about 53% support for Labour/Greens/Progressives and, in Christchurch East, about 54%. In Wigram, it was just below 53%, Port Hills just over 53%, Ilam 35%, Waimakariri 40%.

          I’d be stunned if support for ‘the left’ remains the same in 2011 (and I’d think the election was rigged if it decreased from that). It will go up. 

      • happynz 7.1.2

        Chatting with my neighbours in my Christchurch inner suburb I haven’t heard one positive word regarding John Key or the National government.

        Perennial also-ran National party hack list MP Nicki Wagner hasn’t fronted up to the public (that I am aware of), and like MP for Wigram wannabe Sam Collins, their literature has nothing about what they have done for Christchurch or any vision about what they plan to do. Both of them are vigorously coat-tailing John Key though.

        • felix

          Every Nat MP is vigorously coat-tailing John Key. He really is all they’ve got.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    Key is just a professional liar. His job is to protect vested interests and to promote economic arrangements that are riddled with corruption and lies.

    The key to dealing with people like Key is to never believe a word they say.

  9. KJT 9

    Key is a puppet for the NZ equivalent of these people.



    “”There are two ways of cutting a deficit: raising taxes or reducing spending. Raising taxes means taking money from the rich. Cutting spending means taking money from the poor. Not in all cases of course: some taxation is regressive; some state spending takes money from ordinary citizens and gives it to banks, arms companies, oil barons and farmers. But in most cases the state transfers wealth from rich to poor, while tax cuts shift it from poor to rich.

    So the rich, in a nominal democracy, have a struggle on their hands. Somehow they must persuade the other 99% to vote against their own interests: to shrink the state, supporting spending cuts rather than tax rises. In the US they appear to be succeeding””.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    NZ share market down 2% shortly after opening.

    This could all get very interesting. Not quite the death of global capitalism just yet, but the frauds in the system are starting to bring it down.

    I’m sure Mr Smileandwave will find someone else to blame for the catastrophe that underway in NZ.

  11. MrSmith 11

    This is typical Key, his minders will be only wanting him seen in a horse drawn carriage, waving to his adoring subjects from now on. Also this is a great diversion, so they should be able to spin this out for a few weeks.
    They will risk the bad publicity from the no-shows and no-comments, they are playing the odds and stats now, if the noise gets loud enough they may get key too throw some money at the peasants. Prince John will be the hero again and they all lived happily ever after.

  12. McFlock 12

    wot, no tories yet?

    I would have thought they’d at least have put some pickets out – one of their reflexive responses, like “shame on you, politicising TWO tragedies!” [answer: if the government cannot or will not assist its citizens in the most dire need, what the hell is it good for?], “Helen did it too!” [linking to some completely irrelevant article that will buy a couple of hours of peteG fudging, rationalising and equivocating], or even the idiotic “don’t be so negative!”.

    Must be a royal wedding on or something.

  13. JS 13

    Worrying that he is seeing the crisis as a chance to justify and make cuts to employment rights and conditions.

  14. Treetop 14

    When the government put their own fiscal interest before supporting the families of those whose loved ones were killed in a building which was deemed to be safe, I consider that not making money available to the families is so mean spirted to the point where I seriously question the government having genuine compassion for the families who require legal support.

  15. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Key works on an expedient operating principle of interpersonal deception.

  16. Tom Gould 16

    Did this story actually make it into the print version of the Press? The unfavourable stories on Key usually don’t, where as the others, like the one about him ‘being a massive hit with women voters’?

  17. tc 17

    on another subject but realted to the vacuous rantings of our PM…he now reckons the price of milk is OK….based on 3/5th’s of 5/8ths of S.F.A. but as usual the MSM lapdogs have licked it up creating ‘news’ where none exists.

  18. John Key should rename the Red Zone as the Dead Zone. Where has the money gone Gerry or should I ask Mr H. Frew? You pricks are filthy low down boys club c##ts. I know what’s going down Mr Key. [Don’t threaten the PM here please. r0b]

  19. Tombstone 19

    How much more evidence do Kiwi voters need before they wake up to this guy?! I mean his treatment of those families down here in CHCH is disgusting and no matter what your political leanings no leader should be afforded the luxury of being able to get away with that kind of ill treatment of people who have suffered so much in the most trying of circumstances. Where the hell are our morales as a society. Where the hell is John Key’s integrity?! He seems to know no bounds when it comes to treating people like shit and as a leader the guy absolutely sickens me. It also sickens me that people keep heaping praise on the guy when he has done nothing of any real value for this country and continues to turn his back on ordinary hard working Kiwis so as to keep his rich mates in pocket. God help the lot of us if this is the face of leadership and inspiration for the future!

  20. In Vino Veritas 20

    Jackal, you ask “Do the families of the Pike River mine victims “love” JK”. Well mate, they shouldn’t love anyone in the Labour Party, since it was those nobs that gave approval for the mine in the first place. These are the imbeciles that decided that coal was to be taken from the mine via a ‘drift’, a gently-sloping 5 degree tunnel 2.3 km (1.4 mi) long. Thats 2.3km long. The approval included four 1.5-metre (4.9 ft)-wide emergency escape shafts within the boundaries of Paparoa National Park. The mine was anywhere up to 200m deep, with most of the work at 160m. To escape an explosion and gas via a 160m vertical climb is nigh on impossible, as is running for your life in the dark for 2.3km. Had your nutcase Party allowed the access to be closer to the actual mine itself, who knows what may have happened. However, Chris Carter was more interested in getting $70K for conservation projects for you milksops than the safety of the miners. No number of mine safety inspectors is going to prevent something similar in future. Its a bloody risky business and whack jobs like you are always looking for someone to blame and perhaps you should be looking at blaming these twerps: Clark, Cullen, Goff, King, Carter and the rest of your wet party that were round at the time (2004).

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