John Key

Karl du Fresne on National’s betrayal of Israel

Karl du Fresne writes about National’s betrayal of Israel by sponsoring UNSC 2334:

Is there any more intractable issue in international affairs than that of Israel and Palestine? Offhand, I can’t think of any.

It’s tricky for a whole lot of reasons. One is that the competing claims of the two sides, Israel and the Palestinians, both have some weight.

The Jews, having suffered centuries in exile, mostly in countries where they experienced relentless discrimination and persecution, have a right to a homeland where they can feel safe and secure. But the Palestinians feel aggrieved because to provide that Jewish homeland, they were displaced from land that they regarded as theirs.

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Good News for Winston

John Key doesn’t get his numbers wrong very often, and he has made this prediction for the post election negotiations.

Key told Roughan quitting was the hardest decision of his life but he remained convinced it was the right call. Read more »

Rodney Hide on John Key’s no principle government

John Key governed for himself. There were only three things he wanted after becoming Prime Minister, he wanted four terms, to beat Sir Keith Holyoake as National’s longest serving Prime Minister and a knighthood.

Really, he was that shallow.

When it became apparent that he could get a fourth term but only if he cut a deal with Winston it all got too much for him. That nagged away at him and it also would have meant almost no chance of scoring his second ambition, to beat Sir Keith Holyoake’s record. So he cut a quiet deal with Bill English, gave him several months to set up his palace coup, so to speak, giving any other contenders almost no time to marshall the numbers. The deal is that Bill English will hold an election sometime after Queens Birthday Weekend. Why? Well because it would have been unseemly to give John Key his knighthood in the New Year’s honours, wouldn’t it?

So John Key will get his knighthood and not much else. He did, however, build a cult of personality around himself which Bill English is stupidly trying to insert himself into.

What did John Key leave us with policy wise?

Well, not much according to Rodney Hide.

John Key resigned after eight years as our most popular prime minister. He came in on a high and he stayed there.

There are many aspects to his great success but policy is of the most interest. It’s what government does that determines a nation’s success. Read more »


Dotcom says he could have proved the Moment of Truth, but decided not to

Laila Harre has popped up in the news giving tame interviews to friendly journos to try and do some image repair after her high profile crash-n-burn with Dotcom’s Internet party.  Apparently, the “Moment of Truth” email was genuine, but Dotcom held critical information back.

Yeah, really!

The Herald approached Dotcom on the issue [yesterday], receiving an emailed response. He said: “I’m 100% sure that the email is genuine. Unfortunately it was leaked without headers.

“My lawyers advised me against using it at the Moment of Truth. They suggested to use the courts, at the appropriate time, to seek discovery and depositions.”

He said it had been difficult to get all the discovery which he believed was necessary for his case and was hoping to address that in a case before the Human Rights Tribunal shortly.

The so-called email was dated October 27, 2010 and was purported to be from Warner Brothers chairman and chief executive Kevin Tsujihara. The content of the so-called email claimed it had been sent to a senior executive at the Motion Picture Association of America – the lobby group for the Hollywood studios. Read more »

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 »


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 »


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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