John Key upset at “stuck up” New Zealand authors

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Popular Prime Minister John Key says he’s struggled with being an ambassador for the literary arts because he doesn’t think the literary arts are doing as much as it could to support New Zealand.

Key, who won the 2008, 2011 and 2014 elections as leader for the National Party, has been at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he told reporters he’s struggled with his identity as a New Zealand politician.  

“I’ve never really thought of myself as a New Zealand politician. Coming and being an ambassador for New Zealand’s literary arts when I feel that actually the literary arts are not doing as much as they could for the New Zealand in general, but for the country … It’s just a slightly complicated position to be in,” he said.

Key said he feels “very angry with New Zealand’s writers”.

“At the moment, New Zealand, like Australia and Canada, (are dominated by) these touchy-feely, self-obsessed, very egotistical, very publicity-hungry authors who do not care about the economy.

“She cares about reputational gains. She would rather write an obscure and hard to read book for her elite arts luvvies rather than provide educational work or something that will benefit the population at large” Switzerland’s Chocolate Mint news website quoted him as saying.

Man Booker Prize winning author Eleanor Catton said she’s disappointed in Key, “doesn’t have respect for the work we do because I have tremendous respect for what he does as a politician”.

She said Key has been aligned with the National Party and his comments “probably summarise the National Party’s view of the literary world”.


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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.

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