Argh crap. I warned him about this


John Key may get good advice but it doesn’t mean he accepts all of it.  He’s breaking one of the golden rules for starters:  explaining is losing.

Prime Minister John Key and Labour Party leader Andrew Little are both poised to deliver keynote speeches tomorrow, but Mr Key has got in first, setting the agenda with the issue closest to everyone’s heart – housing, but specifically selling off the ones the state owns.

Potentially thousands will go on the block. The question of exactly how many will be answered in Mr Key’s State of the Nation speech tomorrow.

There are 68,000 state houses – a combined asset worth $18 billion. The Government says about a third, or 22,000, houses are the “wrong place, wrong size”. That amount is worth about $5 billion, but Mr Key says that many won’t be sold and denies it’s an asset sale.

“It’s definitely not [an asset sale],” says Mr Key. “The overall focus here is to accommodate more New Zealanders in social housing.”

“This is a sell-off,” says Mr Little. “This is the Government abdicating its responsibility to make sure that the most vulnerable and the poorest actually get a stable, certain house, a place to live in with a good landlord.”

The PR and comms on this Housing New Zealand housing stock management has been appalling from day one.  National constantly play into Labour’s hands, this time even opening the door by using the “A” word.  For crying out loud…

And the likes of Paddy Gower are leveraging this for all it’s worth, even putting “Asset Sales” into John Key’s mouth when he didn’t even say it:

“It’s definitely not [an asset sale],” says Mr Key. “The overall focus here is to accommodate more New Zealanders in social housing.”

Front footing this should have started six months ago, with a competent comms strategy.  Now all National are doing is saying that Labour aren’t right about Asset Sales, making the phrase Asset Sales sink in even more.

Who’s running that show, anyway?

– Patrick Gower, 3 News

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.