Uncomfortable reading for Key

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 12th, 2015 - 40 comments
Categories: john key, Minister for International Embarrassment - Tags:

Two opinion pieces yesterday make uncomfortable reading for Key. An anonymous editorial on Stuff:

Budgets and broken promises

The Government is preparing the voters for a dull, do-little Budget. There is nothing new in that, of course. But nothing can disguise the fact that this Budget also brings a big broken promise. It won’t supply the Budget surplus that National has promised for so long.

The Government also lacks the funds to do much about the issue of child poverty, a running sore and a disgrace which Key has promised to tackle. He knows that not only is there a serious need in this area; he also faces a very well-informed lobby.

Presumably, the Budget measures on child poverty will be small and disappointing. This might not damage Key much by itself. After all, his supporters are probably not personally much affected by the problem.

But, if more and more promises are broken and there is a slowdown in growth, the Key formula will begin to fray. The peculiar business about ponytails might also start to affect Key’s personal standing.

All this might prove harder to dismiss than the promise of a Budget surplus.

And (knock me over with a feather) John Roughan in The Herald:

Inaction on housing shows end is in sight

It is usually obvious when governments are coming to the end of their useful life. The good they’re doing becomes outweighed by glaring problems they have found too hard to fix and have decided not to see.

We will know in less than two weeks if the present Government is coming to the end of its useful life, when it reveals the first Budget of its third term.

I don’t have high hopes for the Budget. If the Government was getting serious about the housing market at last, we would have had a hint by now.

Instead, we had another sideshow with the Auckland Council this week over the supply of services to outer subdivisions.

Unless we are in for surprise, the end is in sight for the Government’s natural life.

Plenty more in that piece on the unfairness of the Auckland property market.

Exposed on dirty politics and mass surveillance. Defeated in Northland. A laughing stock for his hair “habit”. Breaking his core economic promise. A growing narrative of third-term decline. No wonder Key’s heart doesn’t seem to be in it anymore.

40 comments on “Uncomfortable reading for Key ”

  1. CnrJoe 1

    I stand for….the remainder of this govts term. If there’s another I’ll take to my bed.
    If Key touches 1 more head then I’ll be roflmao of course.

  2. philj 2

    What are the Tab odds on JK being PM at the next GE?

    • Puckish Rogue 2.1

      Better than the odds of Little being PM after the next GE I guess

    • cathy holloway 2.2

      well, the way labour are going, it could happen.

      we really desperately need a change of government, but we keep shooting ourself in the foot.

      who was the mental giant who decided to suggest withholding tax credits for people who don’t enrol?

      oh no, i said when i read the headline. i couldn’t bear to read it for two whole days. then finally there was a herald editorial suggesting in the mildest possible terms that it might backfire ?? why so slow? i think granny was so gobsmacked that it took to days to believe it.

  3. Tracey 3

    I wonder if National’s fingers are itching over the ACC books? Little has thrown open the door hasn’t he with his notion to change it up and back…?

    Would National do a Muldoon (but cleverer with CT messaging attached) and go pay as you go and use the bulk of the amassed funds to wipe debt, reduce taxes and maybe buy a poor kid a lunch? And if they did (as long as enough was left to ensure ACC future viability), would it be a bad thing? Or even if Labour campaigned on doing it?

    “We have all this money waiting for a rainy day when for some NZers it is pouring now, and their rooves are leaking (metaphorically speaking and literally) and they have no shoes and no heating. We can preserve ACC AND help improve the lives of NZers today. Why wouldn’t we do that?”



    • Ad 3.1

      Little is stupid to open ACC up for debate just days before the budget. It’s an obscure issue, debating one of the last sovereign assets on the government books. Shut the hell up Little.

      At the same time, there’s a massive crisis between Auckland Council and the government, and a really interesting report on regional economic disparity. The Opposition appear to be nowhere in the media on either of them, and utterly sidetracked.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        I wondered what was behind his strategy to go after ACC as an issue… But then over the weekend it was revealed in a newspaper that Labour is snuggling up to business (again)… cos business owners are really the ones struggling in NZ, right???

        The massive crisis is between the spokesperson for a few developers (including Fletchers) – the Government and Auckland Council (trying to represent pesent and future Aucklanders).

        No news headlines that Smith misled the public or that Bridges misled the public, so within 24-48 hours two lies became the truth.

        I note that some property owners want tax payers to pay for the upgrading and earthquake proofing of their buildings… I say wait 5 years and then offer 25% but only to those who fit very tight criteria and will exclude about 95% of such buildings (that is what happened to leaky home owners…

        Despite the Christchurch quake happening on a previously unknown faultline to “save money” the Government is now making 3 categories…

        Auckland ( a big voting constituency ) has 35 years to bring their buildings up to earthquake standard. How many will do it in the last 5 years? Have they done THAT survey?

        • Raf

          “… cos business owners are really the ones struggling in NZ, right???”
          Well yes actually, some of us are. Not all ‘businesses’ are multinationals you know; small lefty publishing outfit, me. A cut in ACC wd be most welcome, to most of my small business neighbours, too.

      • ankerawshark 3.1.2

        Not true Ad. Robertson was on Q and A about this issue.

        • Eralc

          It should have been the leader talking about this issue though. Robertson appears to be usurping Little at every turn to the point where Little is left with little but the crumbs. He does not seem to know how to grab the low-hanging fruit. I heard Little on the radio this morning getting quite hot under the collar about ACC – but even when he’s animated he still mumbles. He’s not getting his point across on the issues relevant to the cross section of voters.

    • alwyn 3.2

      I wonder if Andrew is going to be consistent in his proposals?
      Change ACC so that there is not attempt to raise funds for future expenses and convert to a pay as you go system.
      Will he also say that we can scrap the Cullen fund and revert to a pay as you go National Superannuation scheme?
      What would the difference be?


      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        ACC was and always should have been a Pay-Go system. This is because there’s no such thing as putting money aside for a rainy day. The only thing that can be done is that there’s enough capacity in the health system and the economy in general to cover accidents. If that capacity isn’t physically there then no amount of money is going to make it available.

        • alwyn

          Would you also abolish the Cullen Fund though?
          Shall we go back to pay as you go Super?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes and yes. Super would actually be removed and replaced with a UBI.

            Then I’d get serious about automating as much of the economy as possible and not through private enterprise but through government so that the benefits of that automation accrue to the general populace and not the capitalists. This would ensure that the capacity is there to ensure that services don’t take a hit as the Baby Boomers retire.

            Also, I have no problem with the government running a deficit so long as the government creates the money that it needs and taxes are raised appropriately.

  4. Ad 4

    This government is offloading the blame for Auckland quite successfully onto Auckland Council.

    I believe Key is well on track for a fourth term, because he will keep the regions, and continue to convert Auckland electorates from housing equity into votes. After all, cruelly, the only people that are having a housing crisis are those without one. Those with a house already are laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Brendon Harre 4.1

      I call BS on that one.

      John Key is getting hammered on neutral websites like interest.co.nz and transportblog for his attitude about housing and transport.

      The public can see through this constant blaming everything on local government while being deliberately oppositional to giving councils any power to solve the housing and transport problems.

      Kiwis are now saying they thought John Key was different, that they though he was more mature than this, that he understood how modern cities worked but now they realise he is the same as all the other National clones.

      John Key hasn’t changed National’s thinking about cities from their 1950s viewpoint.

      This is going to end badly and it is John Key’s fault. We can all see it.

      • Ffloyd 4.1.1

        My husband was talking to an elderly, staunch National party member who has for a year or two argued with my husband that john key was the best prime minister ever. Absolutely no doubt! She was now telling him now how deeply disappointed she and many of her associates in the party are with key and party and their overall behaviour. Not only with the constant physical attacks by key on Amanda ? by singling her out for his juvenile attentions, but many other things they are doing. For this lady to say negative things about key is huge for her and we don’t see her changing her mind in the near future.

        • Brendon Harre

          I definitely am seeing more and more people realising that John Key isn’t special. That the friendly, familiar, laidback persona is just that. Underneath those ‘new clothes’ there is nothing new. It is the same old same old National party…..

          I think a combination of events for John Key -denying there is a housing crisis, his attitude to Auckland Council regarding transport issues, ponytail pulling, the repeated ‘brain fades’, his desire for news to be entertainment not news, being cute about whether he is the PM or not and so on has meant more and more people are having a ’emperor has no clothes’ moment.

          They are beginning to see the reality on the ground not the spin.

          • Brendon Harre

            Also in reply to Ad. The Auckland issue is a regional issue. While the housing crisis continues the Reserve Bank cannot lower interest rates to match our overseas competitors. This means our exchange is too high, especially now that dairy and other commodity prices have fallen.

            The regions are doing it tough -places like Northland are not happy and that is why National lost the by-election.

            National is making a huge gamble that they will get over the line based on support from voters only considering their short term self interest in rising house prices.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              What huge gamble? John Key gets one election where voters will hold their noses and vote for him because they don’t see any real, stable, dependable alternative. That’s the election to come.

              Thorndon Bubble Labour is waiting for the tide to come back in so they can coast back to power. Just like UK Labour was.

      • Ad 4.1.2

        It will certainly end badly.
        Sadly, as we saw last year, there aren’t that many New Urbanist voters.

        I don’t yet see any polls indicating that government, rather than Council, is taking the blame for it. Key is ruling this media cycle with ease.

      • Brigid 4.1.3

        And the posts to standfor.co.nz are still mostly against wasting money on the flag. The tone is generally agin the govmint

  5. felix 5

    Uncomfortable reading?

    Pffft, when did Key start “reading” reports?

    • Tracey 5.1

      He reads them with a different hat then tells his PM hat if it is good or bad… I thought he had a big head not four of them!

      You can tell when he is uncomfortable, otherr people have to front the media…

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Nah. Key won’t read them. His close minions won’t tell him either because his ego must be protected. At all costs!

  6. Sable 6

    Guess the MSM can’t be biased all the time or their slip would start to show. That said they are not telling us anything that is not public knowledge.

    • tracey 6.1

      and not tellin gus stuff that isnt full public knowledge… like

      Smith lied about figures to exaggerate Council’s responsibility for housing crisis in Auckland
      Bridges misrepresented figures to exaggerate Council’s responsibility for housing crisis in Auckland

      You’d think it would be headline grabbing stuff, especially if you compare it to, say , Little’s 13 year old letter about an immigration application timetable being resign-worthy….

  7. BrianBoru 7

    National and Auckland council would appear to be in a game of pass the bubble (housing) – who’s going to be holding it when it goes pop??.

    All beginning to look like Dublin – and not in a good way.



    Frankly Key / National might be relieved to lose the next election – if it means things finally turning to custard on Labour’s watch.

  8. Old Mickey 8

    Great to see that ACC has recovered after years of poor financial management. No need to privatise ACC now.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      These are very poor quality lies. Is your IQ so low you failed to concoct any better ones?

  9. Enough is Enough 9

    You take great delight in trawling the web looking for negative stories about Key don’t you.

    I am pretty sure Key is far too arrogant and removed from reality to even feel uncomfortable reading this.

  10. Colonial Rawshark 10

    If the Herald is turning against Key, it’s because they have an acceptable transition plan agreed upon, or simply, that it is quite safe to do so in the first half of a new National term.

  11. SMILIN 11

    Why is it that every time theres an economic downturn we get a wise guy who pushes the panic button and sells everything he can get his hands on and blames welfare spending plus the education system and any other left leaning institutions of power in view as the cause o the problem not the rampant population growth of Auckland and it inability to sustain its growth economically without costing the rest of the country Auckland aint as rich as it makes out it owes
    If some of these clowns every had to run there own business they’d know that selling your best assets is to be avoided unless youve made a complete cock up of all your options and if that had happened why the hell were you able to survive that long anyway
    But as we know this present mess was engineered in 2008 to cover up the huge debt the US raked up thru the gulf wars and the subprime lending cons and the fact that the US and Europe owed its survival to China so that they could keep the family silver
    And to get value into NZ housing of course they have to create a bubble so that all the huge immigration deals to get overseas money into the country can pay off at the expense of the indigenous residents mainly those with no dosh of any great significance
    Key for instance reputed to be worth over 100 mil now unofficially and is the master of panic mongering he learnt it off R D Muldoon who did the same thing in the recession after the 1967 war which goes hand in hand with the first wave of corporate take over of NZ land ownership which ensued untill the reorganisation of the 80’s by ratbag Douglas and his funny money value which was instrumental in allowing the crash of 87 to occur
    And we all know how its gone since then
    Keys playing the keep them guessing game how many Royal visits are we going to have to pay for till we finally get the fuckin shyster out of office
    Key cant do anything cause theres nothing left to sell but our sovereignty thru the TPPA which will be the nail in our coffin
    because we now owe more than we can produce to repay but Key will never admit that because he wont have to worry about it He’ll be in Hawaii retired collecting snot money for being the fuckin PM instead of payin reparation to this country for the mess hes made

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.1

      Disaster capitalism. Manufactured or actual crises, each used to further the goals of neoliberal capitalism.

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