Keith Holyoake

Looks like Labour will be able to continue their plan for a 4th term

Labour’s only plan has been to attack John Key and hope that voters will see him as they do…a reptilian, baby eating, demagogue.

Unfortunately the public see him as “that nice Mr Key” who is just like me…and Labours smears anda ttacks fall on deaf ears.

No matter, they have tried for three electoral terms to smear him that way, and now it appears they will get a fourth term to keep on trying.

John Key has moved to silence speculation he could quit in his third term if National looked like losing, after admitting he considered stepping down when things got tough in 2012.

Key has said he intends to serve a full third term, and yesterday said he would like to win a rare fourth term too, although that would be tough.

“I would like to, but in reality I’ve got to win a third term and the party has got to win a third term and elections are really difficult to win.”   Read more »

Key is “a twenty-first century Holyoake” – Chris Trotter

Chris Trotter has written a very good post about why he thinks John Key may well go on to become NZ longest serving Prime Minister…but for the foibles of MMP.

IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2 months) would be surpassed and the title of longest-serving National Party Prime Minister would pass to the incumbent. How tempting it would then be for John Key to set his sights on “King Dick’s” (Prime Minister Richard John Seddon’s) crown of 13 years and 2 months. Just imagine that – a fifth term! By then the youthful Jacinda Ardern would be 41 years old!

Some will dismiss Key’s musings as yet another example of his celebrated political bravado. But there is another message to be drawn from his speculations concerning a fourth (or even a fifth) term. The Prime Minister’s suggestion that he and the National Party are good for another two or three election wins may also be read as his pledge to the electorate that any government he leads will be moderate and restrained in its policies.

Sir Keith Holyoake could not have governed New Zealand from November 1960 until February 1972 as anything other than a consensus-seeking prime minister. By indicating that he is not adverse to such a lengthy term of office, John Key is signalling to us that he, too, is a consensus politician.  Read more »

Garner on the muppet show of minor parties

Duncan Garner writes about the idiot, the crook and the rooter.

There’s a reason why Kim Dotcom, Brendan Horan and Colin Craig are getting so many headlines right now: All the other politicians are on holiday, and simply don’t give a stuff.

They’re either at their beach houses or overseas, and politics is the last thing on their mind. This has happened for years.

The political year kicks off when politicians pretend to care about the Ratana Church celebrations at the end of January and when the first Cabinet meeting takes place. Parliament doesn’t actually sit until February.

So, right now those three are taking their chances with the media, but they will soon have to compete with the big boys and girls for space. It will get that much harder.

Duncan is dead right…most MPS I know are still away or in shorts and jandals. If there is a vacuum it will be filled.

Colin Craig can only say so many crazy things and may have shot his load already. But I’m picking he’ll get into Parliament under some kind of deal with National and John Key.

Read more »

Was this wise?

I don’t know what the board of the National party were thinking in authorising this little purchase.

Today Fairfax Media revealed that the National Party had paid more than $2 million for a 41 Pipitea St, mansion in Thorndon which was previously home to a string of prime ministers. The house will become the party’s headquarters.

Party president Peter Goodfellow said the red-brick house was “perfect” for the party.

“It’s very appropriate. It’s got historic places designation on it . . . and it’ll be the perfect home for the party for the next 78 years,” Goodfellow said.

The sale price was $2,156,000, some $256,000 more than the property’s rateable value.

It was the former residence of Sir Sidney Holland, National’s first prime minister, and Sir Keith Holyoake, the party’s longest-serving prime minister and New Zealand’s third longest.

It has also been home to Labour prime ministers Sir Walter Nash and Sir Geoffrey Palmer. More recently it was lived in by Cabinet ministers, including Nick Smith.  Read more »

Sir Brian Talboys, RIP


Sir Brian Talboys has died aged 91. I think I actually met Sir Brian at one time in the 80s.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Brian Talboys has died at the age of 91.

Sir Brian, who represented the Southland electorate of Wallace for eight elections from 1957, served as a Minister in the National Governments of Sir Keith Holyoake and Sir Robert Muldoon. He was Deputy Prime Minister under Muldoon from 1975 to 1981.

Born in Whanganui in 1921, Sir Brian served in the air force during World War II. After the war, he settled in Southland as a farmer and entered politics, winning the Wallace seat in 1957.

He was agriculture minister, science minister and then education minister under Holyoake, before becoming deputy leader of the National Party in Opposition in 1974, under Muldoon.

After National’s victory in the 1975 election, he became deputy prime minister and served in that role for the first two terms of the Muldoon Government, retiring in 1981.

Holmes on the tragedy of Phil Goff

Paul Holmes outlines Phil Goff’s tragedy:

You can talk about policy until you’re blue in the face, but in the end I wonder if people vote on policy. I don’t think they do. Most people don’t give a rats about policy. If we like the leader we vote for him.

Except of course Phil Goff hasn’t talked policy at all, he has only shown us the nasty.

When Holyoake was National leader, we voted for Holyoake. When Kirk came along we voted for Kirk. When Muldoon came along, we voted for Muldoon.

Rowling had a silly voice, so people continued to vote for Muldoon.

The tragedy for Phil Goff was that when his time came, he’d been around too long and he’d been too many different things, projected too many hues depending on the vogue.

It’s not his fault. It’s the price of longevity. He does have a tendency to sound like the talking-book version of the documents he has to read, and there is a preachiness about him that the country has no time for.

Yep, no time at all. See ya Phil. The people will vote for a John Key led government.

Can John Key match Keith Holyoake?

John Key is the most popular PM since polling began, and he now has the chance to build a career as enduring as Keith Holyoake‘s. Kiwi Keith won the elections in 1960, 1963, 1966 and 1969 before standing down on his own terms in early 1972.

Labour’s inept and crippled campaign manager, excessive dead wood and shambolic first term in opposition mean Key is going to win this election easily. Unless Labour radically cut out the dead wood they will continue to struggle through the next term, and without a strong leader it is hard to imagine them rebuilding to achieve parity with Key in 2014.

The problem for Key is the electoral system. He might be able to win a majority in 2011 but in 2014 Labour can’t be expected to be as inept, and some of National’s own inept ministers will cause the National vote to fall. National’s support parties, ACT and the Maori Party, look like being greatly diminished in 2014 and may not make it back into parliament. John Key has hoovered up so much support from other parties that only Labour and the Greens looks like having any strength and even for them it is a race between the two to see who will command the opposition after the election. There is a remote chance that the Greens may get close to out polling Labour.

By 2014 John Key could still be a very popular Prime Minister and still poll well ahead of Labour. His problem, and the thing that will affect his legacy, is that under MMP he will not have coalition partners, so Labour and the Greens could easily take power.

Interesting Trivia – High School Drop-outs

I was doing a bit of googling the other day, it’s one of the ways I find interesting stuff to blog about. Anyway I came across some very interesting information about high school drop-outs. The information was really about how many successful people there are out there that have no formal qualifications above high school or who dropped out in high school.

I found a list of 751 Names of famous people who dropped out of high school. In that list there are:

Billionaires: 25
Millionaires: uncounted
U.S. Presidents: 8
Astronauts: 1  (Valentina Tereshkova)
Nobel Prize Winners: 10  (6 Literature, 2 Peace, 1 Physics, 1 Chemistry)
Olympic Medal Winners: 8  (7 Gold Medalists, one Silver Medalist)
Oscar Winners: 63
Oscar Nominees: 104  (includes above)
Best-Selling Authors: 55
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients (U.S.’s highest civilian honor): 14
Congressional Gold Medal recipients (U.S.): 12
United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors: 2  (Roger Moore, Angelina Jolie)
Knighthoods: 28
Damehoods: 3

It includes:

Benjamin Franklin: American politician-diplomat-author-printer-publisher-scientist-inventor; co-author and co-signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence; one of the founders of The United States of America; face is pictured on the U.S. one-hundred dollar bill (little formal education [less than two years]; home schooling/life experience).

Arthur Henderson: Nobel Prize-winning British Politician; co-founder of the Labour Party; Foreign Secretary 1929-1931; peace conference president (1934 Nobel Peace Prize) (dropped out of school at age 12 to work in a locomotive parts iron foundry).

The Guardian even did an article about some famous and successful people back in 2008. You’d be surprised at the names there.

Here is a list of some of their notables:

Simon Cowell: left school before the sixth form. He took a few menial jobs, but did not get along well with co-workers and bosses, until his father, an EMI executive, managed to get him a job in the mail room.

Richard Branson: Though he was a poor student, Richard Branson stuck it out at Stowe school until he was 15.

John Major: pilloried during his time as British prime minister for being boring, left school at 16 with three O-levels: history, English language and English literature.

Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr, aka Michael Caine: left school at 16 after gaining four O-levels and did his national service, serving in Germany and in combat in the Korean war.

Of course in New Zealand we have our own people who left school who made a success of themselves, particularly in the political:

Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake, KG, GCMG, CH, QSO, KStJ: The only person to have been bothPrime Minister and Governor-General of New Zealand. At age 12, having left school after his father’s death, Holyoake worked on the family hop and tobacco farm in Riwaka.

Jim Bolger: He left Opunake High School at age 15 to work on the family farm and went on to be the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Walter Nash: He was born into a poor family and his father was an alcoholic. Nash performed well at school and won a scholarship to King Charles I Grammar School but additional costs associated with attending prevented him from accepting. Nash began employment as a clerk, initially with a lawyer in Kidderminster and then at a factory near Birmingham.

Just  goes to show that a list of degrees doesn’t automatically guarantee you success in life in your chosen profession.