John Key

We need to talk about our government’s attitude towards terrorism

The Bill English led National government I am very sad to say, does not speak out against terrorism if it is terrorism against Jews.

When an Islamist drove his truck into a crowd in Nice last July, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key spoke out against the terror attack. When an Islamist drove his truck into a crowd in Berlin last December, New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English spoke out against the terror attack. An Islamist has just driven a truck into a crown in Jerusalem and the New Zealand government is silent.

While Kiwi politicians are yet to make comment on the terror attack, there was condemnation from around the rest of the Western world following the tragedy that claimed 4 young lives and injured 16 others.

The US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, the UK’s ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, Australian envoy Dave Sharma, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all condemned the attack.

…In Germany, Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag on Monday, in a show of solidarity with the victims of Sunday’s Jerusalem truck-ramming attack, and Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote “The federal government condemns this terrorist attack. I can assure you that we are on the side of Israel in fight with terrorism,”

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Former Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer has decided not to contest the Helensville selection

The man hotly tipped to seek selection to replace former Prime Minister John Key in the Helensville seat has ruled himself out.

Rodney Local Board member Cameron Brewer says it’s not the right time for him.

“After much consideration and after consulting a lot of people, I have decided I won’t be standing for National Party selection for the seat of Helensville,” Brewer says.

The Helensville Selection is going to be the most open and interesting of all the selections in Auckland. Read more »

Why not? All his other dreams are gone

Barry Soper writes about the possible knighting of John Key.

There were a few tearful politicians witnessing John Key’s last walk down the old majestic steps of Parliament buildings, the only thing missing was the clarion call of the trumpets that usually ring out at Parliament’s opening from the balcony above, such was the enthusiasm of the occasion.

It was difficult to be sure, though, whether the tears flowed from fear of job security, and some of them now have good reason for being fearful, or from a genuine emotional farewell to the leader who, like no other in recent times, put the National Party on a secure footing.

On reaching the bottom of the stairs to the waiting limo, Bronagh and John Key embraced Mary and Bill English and they were whisked off to Government House, one to resign the the other to be sworn in as Prime Minister.

Standing, taking it all in and talking to the youngest male of the English brood, and there are a dozen of them, Connor English looked at his big brother and exclaimed with affection that he was now comfortable in his own skin, and it’s hard to argue with that.

Earlier, English presided over a rambling media conference, just after being endorsed as the National leader.  Read more »

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Key – a man for the times

Jono Milne explains why Key was right for the country then, but no longer now

Those less generous than me have asked, what of a legacy? Did you make New Zealand a better place – or did you, in the immortal words of your predecessor Robert Muldoon, leave it “no worse off than you found it”?

What they fail to recognise is that you were, proudly, a conservative leader. You never sought to be recognised as a progressive, as a visionary.

The task of a conservative (whether on the left or the right) is to conserve that which is good, to protect the best things about New Zealand, to keep HMNZS Aotearoa on course through sometimes choppy waters.

Inheriting the premiership in the depths of the global financial crisis, confronted with the enormous and wrenching tragedies of the Pike River mine disaster, the Canterbury and the Kaikoura earthquakes, you kept us sailing through and out the other side.   Read more »

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Rodney Hide on John Key

Rodney Hide writes about John Key in his NBR column:

Leadership guru Warren Bennis declared, “leadership is like beauty: hard to define but you know it when you see it.” When you see Prime Minister John Key, you see a leader.

He has a perfect blend of charisma and confidence.

People gravitate to him and look to him for direction. He knows what to do without being bossy. He has the honesty and integrity that’s necessary to inspire confidence and trust. He’s warm and believes in people. He’s smart, super smart but, unlike most politicians, has no need to prove it.

He is our most popular prime minister by far and arguably our most successful. He leaves politics just as he entered: on his own terms and on a high.

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Audrey Young on Key

A commonly asked question of leaders when they enter office is what is your vision? A commonly asked question when they leave is what is your legacy?

Considering Prime Minister John Key had neither, he had a remarkably stellar career and history should treat him well.

Wanting to leave a country in a better state that you found it is not a vision.

Nor is being ambitious for your country. If that were so, everyone has the same vision.

This week was about John Key’s legacy after eight years in office.

Much of the reflection blurred the concept of a political legacy with his leadership style, how he made people feel and what he will be remembered for.

A legacy is an achievement that will endure beyond the next leader and beyond different Governments.

It is for example the welfare state, ACC, deregulation, MMP, Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Kiwisaver, and the Cullen fund.

When I’ve asked people this week what they thought Key’s legacy was, many have said he gave New Zealanders a greater sense of confidence, especially about New Zealand’s place in the world.

That is true but it is a state of mind. It could just as easily disappear through circumstances well beyond our control.

It has been said that Key’s handling of the global financial crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes was his legacy.

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John Key’s legacy is one of under-achievement

Eric Crampton at the NZ Initiative says John Key’s legacy is one of under-achievement.

New Zealand has had a pretty decent eight years under John Key. The rest of the world’s descent into madness accelerated sharply, and New Zealand’s has looked better by comparison.

But Festivus is almost upon us. And the Festivus tradition is not the giving of thanks but the airing of grievances. I have a few.

John Key’s National Party provided superb opposition to Helen Clark. It is not hard to imagine what the John Key of 2006 would say about the past eight years – if they had happened under a Labour government.

Auckland’s housing affordability problems exploded into a housing crisis. Central government refused to amend the RMA to allow easier urban expansion, failed to improve council incentives to pursue growth, and pursued a supercity agenda that did nothing to get more houses built.

While Key blamed coalition politics for blocking RMA reform, National had the numbers to do it after the 2008 election. And National failed to provide any substantive support for a return to First Past the Post, which would also have allowed it to get the job done.   Read more »

Collins withdraws and Bully Bill gets to be PM

Bill English’s bullying of MPs has worked, he has the numbers to become leader of the National party. As a result Judith Collins has quit the race.

He has threatened MPs still waiting on selections that they would be rinsed if they didn’t declare, he’s promised others jobs, and now the retribution will start.

After months in the plotting, the plan didn’t go as smoothly as Key and English hoped but he has got there in the end.

A great many bridges have been burnt with John Key’s petulant quitting and there exists now deep divisions inside National.   Read more »

National MPs should be careful who they select as leader, otherwise this nasty witch gets to be Deputy PM

My commenters climbed in on her:

Isherman: It’s a pretty painful 8 minutes of viewing, but for anyone who doubted the sheer lack of class from some of the opposition in the Urgent Debate today on Keys resignation, doubt no more.

Hookerphil: What a horrible person she is

Michelle: 17 seconds was enough for me and l bet John Key will be glad when he no longer has to listen to that voice and gutter talk

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Why do gallery journalists say such stupid things?

The gallery has lost their collective shit with the resignation of John Key.

There are all sorts of idiot prognostications and assessments. It is so bad that it is starting to annoy me.

Do these people, who are supposedly “trained and skilled” actually understand the process of how National selects their leaders?

Or are they trying to insert themselves into the process?

Richard Harman, who usually has sensible things to say, has also lost his shit:

Prime Minister John Key’s resignation has caught his Caucus unprepared.

They have no agreed replacement.

At a telephone conference call with the caucus yesterday, one participant said the MPs greeted his news with a stunned silence.   Read more »