Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, John Key. Which is the odd one out?

Sir John Key will be recognised with Australia’s highest honour at a ceremony tomorrow attended by his old friend Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Prime Minister.

Key will be appointed an honorary Companion in the Order of Australia in Canberra for his “eminent service to Australia-New Zealand relations”.

A Companion is the highest ranking grade in the Order and 35 Australians every year can be appointed. Honorary appointments have been made to international figures with a close relationship with Australia.

Fair’s fair – Key has been New Zealand’s best salesman.  But probably not so much when it comes to Australia where they have pretty much managed to keep us at arms length for some time.  

Australia’s Governor General, Peter Cosgrove, will invest Key at the ceremony.

The citation for Key said it was for “eminent service to Australia-New Zealand relations” and said in his time as PM between 2008 and 2016, Key had raised the transtasman relationship to “new heights of co-operation and mutual confidence”.

It pointed to measures such as trade liberalisation, Pacific relations and the work with Australia’s troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Turnbull said it was the highest Australian honour.

“My instant, dismayed, reaction on his retirement last year was ‘Say it ain’t so Bro’. He has been a great friend of Australia and has represented his nation, and our shared values, magnificently.

John Key ran away before the roof caved in.  There are a number of chickens that are coming home to roost, and they’ll all be on Bill English’s watch.

His timing was superb.


– Claire Trevett, NZ Herald

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