Your chance to ask John the hard questions

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, May 26th, 2011 - 47 comments
Categories: newspapers - Tags: ,

Back in 2008 The Standard put readers’ questions to party leaders and then asked those leaders to write a post answering them. To their credit most leaders were happy to provide us with a guest post. Winston politely declined and John Key refused to reply despite multiple emails and phone calls (Kevin, if you’re reading this we’re still keen to hear from your boss).

Fortunately it looks like we’ve got another chance to put some questions to Key. The Taranaki Daily News is hosting him this coming Tuesday and offering readers the chance to ask their questions either on the night or via an email or letter to the paper.

This is the third Fairfax-hosted event for the PM, there’s previously been one run by the Press and one by the Timaru herald. Of course it’s a little dodgy to have an independent newspaper hosting a political leader and of course the only reason Key is there is to help a lame-duck MP get some profile but to quote the Naki News editor:

I think the media should be proactive in ensuring the community is both well informed and has an opportunity to enter into debates beyond the letters to the editor column.

I heartily agree.

That’s why I think it’s important that we, the community, get together and help the Naki News ask John Key the hard questions.

You can email them to and we’d really appreciate it if you copied your question (and any response you get from the TDN) into the comments.

And of course if you’re in the Naki on Tuesday night please try to get along to ask John the hard questions in person. the details for the event are:

Venue: TSB Showplace
Time: 7pm
Date: Tuesday May 31

We’ll try to get a video camera along so you can watch Key answer your questions but we’re making no promises.

47 comments on “Your chance to ask John the hard questions”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Didn’t last time the papers ran a public Q&A session on it was full of flippant questions? Including a hard-ball question that a commenter here wrote that was edited by the moderator, making it easy for Key to dodge?

  2. ianmac 2

    My question has been sent. I assume that you meant to publish in these comments Bill?

    Mr Key. Do you agree with Bill English that building prisons is “fiscally and morally wrong?”

    Edit:”The recipient’s mailbox is full and can’t accept messages now.” That didn’t take long!

  3. Tigger 3

    Key still do that softball interview thing on Veitch’s show every week? Another private enterprise making sure Key gets free PR?

  4. Chills 4

    Please excuse my cynicism but what makes you think the Taranaki Daily News will buck the NZ media norm and ask the Prime Mincer any hard questions??

  5. Daveo 5

    “There is a four billion dollar difference between IRD and treasury forecasts of government tax take. You’ve taken the high treasury forecast. Do you have a plan to deal with the multi-billion dollar hole in revenue if IRD is right and treasury is wrong and, if so, what is that plan?”

    • RobC 5.1

      Asked and answered by the shonk already – “ectually, treshury fourkaasts are in the midrange and other ekonomishts like banks and Goldmen Scheks hav more (bullshit) optimishtic ones than the treshury”

  6. ron 6

    My q’s:
    Mr Key

    Your Government seems to have made a habit introducing programmes and initiatives that seem to be based on the uninformed opinion of your Ministers rather than evidence.
    Examples include Ane Tolley’s introduction of her National Standards despite all advice; Paula Bennetts insistence on diverting huge funds to the near useless LSV and molre useless Community Max instead of addressing the real causes of youth unemployment and crime; Nick Smith’s public insistence that research on water quality and declining species is “wrong”; Tariana Turia’s diversion of substantial social service funds into the vague and unproven Whanau Ora programme.
    You yourself make some pretty unsubstantiated comments – such as your belief that increasing the minimum wage leads to unemployment and that bringing farmers into the ETS earlier will lead to increased milk prices. Every one of these policies and comments is clearly shown to be contrary to the evidence.

    My question is: When will you and your Ministers start to introduce policies that are based on evidence instead of policies that seem to be based the “opinions” of Ministers and their supporters.

  7. arandar 7

    Prime Minister, do you expect the Taranaki Daily News will offer exactly the same support and service to each of the other parties’ leaders? If not, why not?

  8. daveo 8

    You have said “The Government won’t throw farmers to the wolves by forcing agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2015 without other countries doing the same” but if farmers don’t pay for their emissions the cost doesn’t go away, instead it has to be covered by tax-payers.

    Why do you think taxpayers should subsidise farmers emissions?

  9. Rob 9

    He still probably won’t answer people’s questions…

  10. ferdinand 10

    I’ve put a few questions through but I’d rather not post them here as I suspect Key’s staff will be monitoring this thread and I don’t want to give them a heads-up.

  11. Here is a question for ya:

    Dear Mr Key,

    You own a home in Hawaii.

    According to

    An open letter from dairy farmers on the Big Island of Hawaii shares some solutions for working with radiation problems in milk.

    Dear Milk Share Members,

    Our goal to offer high quality safe food to our community has recently been challenged in the reality of the radioactivity being released into our environment. In the past weeks radioactive levels have increased in Hawaii, with high spikes and a more current leveling off of radiation levels. Milk from the large dairies in Hamakua and Hawi has shown elevated levels of radiation, from 400 to 2400 times the recognized safe levels.

    Radiation on Hawaii is many times over the maximum safety levels. I assume that such information is important to you as you take your family for holidays in Hawaii and you might not want to expose your children to milk or other dairy products containing such levels of radiation.

    While according to most scientists the worst of the fall out of the (Now acknowledged) meltdown reactors will stay on the Northern atmosphere radiation 10 times more than the Chernobyl fall out has been detected more than 30 km of the Japanese coast in the Pacific Ocean and today the news reached us that another leak is feared in a part of the Fukushima nuclear facility but imports of goods of Japan are still permitted and planes fly from Tokyo to Auckland on a daily base added to that we are importing huge amounts of foodstuffs from the Northern hemisphere (America, China etc.) on a daily base. Russia stopped the import of Japanese cars after a transport of cars was found to be radioactively contaminated.

    My question to you is:

    What kind of precautions are taken to minimise radioactive contamination of our soils through imports such as cars, electronics and foods and why does the site of the National Radiation laboratory not place updates to inform us about the current state of the Fukushima plant?

    The last update was on the 23th of March indicating that the site serves to inform us about the events in Japan yet the fact that three reactors are in meltdown surely an important development, is not mentioned.

  12. It is like pissing into a tornado expecting Key to answer any real questions. The man is an utter jerk, but no different to any other politician.
    They can not tell the truth.
    The main reason being the general dumb public couldn’t handle it, as seen time and again on this blog, when several of the .06% of awake people post the truth here it is ignored or attacked.
    About the only question these clowns will answer truthfully is what they had for breakfast or did it rain yesterday, all other questions will be ignored or just out and out lied about ie our 100% green PM – Prime Masturbator
    In the end it is only blind fools that listen to the scum.
    And this is exactly what most want to hear, so they can keep having babies and shortening the lives of all of us.
    The whole system is based on lies.
    We are committing infanticide
    Alas your children

    Robert Atack

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The main reason being the general dumb public couldn’t handle it, as seen time and again on this blog, when several of the .06% of awake people post the truth here it is ignored or attacked.

      Wow you really know how to win over a crowd.

      • Afewknowthetruth 12.1.2

        Robert’s point is perfectly valid.

        Whenever the truth is pointed out on this forum it is ignored or attacked.

        That seems to be because there are basically two kinds of people: those who seek the truth and those who run from it.

        Robert’s assessment that those who seek/speak the truth amount to 0.06% of the populace may be on the low side. It’s probably closer to 0.1%.

        Here are a few truths that will be ignored by people on this forum. And John Key most definitely will not address any of them. (Nor will Phil Goff, of course.)

        1. The world is in gross population overshoot ( 5-6 billion too many) and there will be a population collapse over the coming two decades taking the population back to a more suitable number or around 1 billion.

        2. Industrialised society is totally dependent on oil, and oil extraction peaked over 2005-6. The system is being temporarily propped up by unconventional oil which has a poor energy return on energy invested. Complete collapse of industrialised society is inevitable and will take place over the next two decades (perhaps one decade, depending on policial events) .

        3. Acidification of the oceans and plastic gyres (more plastic than plankton) suggest the oceans will be killed by humanity within two decades. Dead oceans = largely dead planet.

        4. The CO2 content of the atmosphere continues to rise (now 393ppm), due to burning of fossil fuels, and positive feedbacks seem to have been triggered: they lead to self-reinforcing warming and a largely uninhibitable Earth some time in the near fuiture (2060 ? ). Most people would rather have a dead planet than give up their addiction to fossil fuels. And energy companies will continue to mislead everyone, since their very existence is dependet on maintianing the myths surrounding fossil fuels.

        5. Noen of the so-called alternatives stack up (all have poor or negative EROEI). so increasingly vicious wars will be fought to control the last remaining fossil fuel reserves -especially in the Middle East. The west will use the pretext of delivering freedom and democracy, while Russia and China will probably use the pretext of liberating ME nations from western control. And there will be a great race to loot whatever oil can be found in the Artic region, as the great meltdown there accelerates -thereby pushing the climate system into total chaos.

        6. The globalised economic system is on its last legs, due to the bansksters Ponzi scheme unravelling. Current levels of high inflation will morph into hyper-inflation, and most people will be ‘wiped out’. (It’s already happening in Europe and the US.

        7. Most people are ciught in the web of deceit and think that meeting the needs of the industrial economy, especially corporations and bankers, and maintiaining their own profligate lifestyles (based on using resources at 100 times the rate the Earth can supply them) are more impotant than having a habitable planet, so they continue to vote for destruction of their own and their children’s futures.

        These are irrefutable facts which are ignored on a daily basis by most people on this forum, and by 99% of the populace. Needless to say, the corporate-owned media never mention them, since that would be ‘bad for business’.

        NZ society will therefore continue straight off the cliff, just like every other western society until the food stops arriving at the supermarkets. Then people will say: “What happened? Why didn’t anyone warn us?”.

        • Colonial Viper

          How about some workable answers then?

          If you don’t have any please kindly step back from the predicted crash impact point and let the rest of us get on with it.

          • oilcrash dot com

            How about some workable answers then?

            If you don’t have any please kindly step back

            CV there are simply no ‘workable answers’
            The only way to reduce future suffering is to reduce future sufferers.
            But as we see by the actions of idiots like the Greeds this option is ignored, they would rather use the shotgun approach, which is fire enough people at the future, and hope some of them will get through.
            A rubbish bin full of cockroaches have as much sense.
            This is not doom and gloom it is fact
            Would you tell the captain of the Titanic he should step back or shut up because he wanted to say abandon ship?
            Global governments have locked us in steerage, and we are just pointing out our balls are getting damp.

  13. J Mex 13

    My question to John Key:

    How do you have 67.7% percent support as PM? Does that mean that you are the preferred prime minister for a lot of Labour voters? How does that work?

  14. here’s a simple yes/no question…

    Ayo John, do you think you could be an even bigger lying fuckwit ?

  15. ferdinand 15

    I’ve already sent through a few questions. If someone else is keen to send through the following I’d appreciate it.

    “Your government released the crown law advice on the hobbit dispute to Warner Brothers. Why won’t you release it to the taxpayers that paid for it?”

  16. How do you deal with the 4% parliament that trys to control the other 96%

  17. Daveo 17

    The 4% being Joyce, Key and Brownlee?

    • Brett Dale 17.1

      Nope the minor parties, on both sides of the fence.

      • Daveo 17.1.1

        That’s odd because it seems it’s the less than four percent I mentioned that seem to dictate what government does nearly every time.

        • Afewknowthetruth

          Most government policy is dictated by global corporations and banking cartels. What happens in parliament is just a stage show, designed to keep the masses deluded and believing in the system.

          The trick works extremely well on most people.

  18. I doubt Helen Clark would answer questions from the site Whale Oil or even kiwiblog.

    • Daveo 18.1

      Clare Curran guest-posted on whaleoil. Perhaps the standard should offer Joyce a guest post to even things up?

      • r0b 18.1.1

        I wouldn’t really like to see us positioned as the Left’s version of Whaleoil thanks!

        • Brett Dale

          Your getting that way, I have always thought that the standard was newzealand’s left version of Faux news.

          • r0b

            Your getting that way

            Yeah when we start photoshopping people’s heads on to gay porn, and breaking the law, and posting gun porn perhaps. Until then, ahhh, no.

      • lprent 18.1.2

        Frankly I’m not interested in following Whale. We have no idea what rubbish he has been handling recently…

        And yes that could be Joyce..

    • lprent 18.2

      They have never tried. But Helen usually went on almost everything she was asked. She didn’t have Key’s cowardice that media might ask questions that he had not prepped for. She usually knew the material because she’d read it.

  19. randal 19

    if all else fails start a sheep stampede!

  20. Afewknowthetruth 20

    As anyone who has been to any of these meetings knows, the whole game is rigged from the start. The DN will carefully select questions that can be answered with platitudes and bin the rest.

    Questions from the floor will only be permitted if they are from the party faithful.

    After the event it will be presened to the deceived masses as an example of democracy in action.

  21. Charlie Parker 21

    Mr.Key, your 90 day trial act was an startling attempt to normalise cowardice through legislation. Are the seats of the parliamentary Beemers real leather or part upholstery?

  22. Craig 22

    Mr Key, will you stop abusing urgency to pass questionable legislation without adequate consultation, which requires remedial attention from either parliament or the courts at a later date? And why does your government engage in untendered exchange of contractual obligations and money for programmes like Parent Inc’s Toolbox programme without prior transparency of proceedings?

  23. Mrhappy 23

    So Mr Key, just why did Richard Worth resign? Excatly?

  24. Rob 24

    The difficulty in having Joyce posting anything is no body else wold be able to breath let alone comment
    When he is unleashed on radio or other media there is no space for anyone other than him so don’t even consider breathing when he is there!!

  25. Armchair Critic 25

    Which charity, or charities, do you donate “a good portion” of your salary to?

  26. Armchair Critic 26

    What is the current estimate of costs saved by reorganising local government in Auckland? To the nearest $10 million will be fine.

  27. Colonial Viper 27

    Mr Key, should you be re-elected as Prime Minister in November, how probable is it that you will serve out more than 18 months of your new term?

  28. Gina 28

    Seems Key is electionairing on the taxpayers time. The official campaign hasn’t started yet.

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