John Key at Canterbury University

September 23rd, 2011 at 4:21 pm by David Farrar

Some cunning engineering students at Caterbury University managed to lure the PM in to their building with a large sign in the window saying “John mate, come for a yarn with your country’s future engineers”.

The PM diverted from his schedule to do just that, and popped in. He told them a story and said they need to “get off their arse” and study harder.

Then they challenged him to pit his best security guard against their best arm wrestler – a large student known as “Maddog”. The played ball and the wrestle off occured, with a fine victory to “Maddog”. The PM did quip that if he had known of the challenge he could have bought down some truly enormous officers!

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49 Responses to “John Key at Canterbury University”

  1. mikenmild (12,393 comments) says:

    Awww, isn’t he just super?

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  2. Inventory2 (9,381 comments) says:

    Note to Phil Goff; if you want to have a good weekend, do NOT watch the video above!

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  3. sthn.jeff (101 comments) says:

    Fuck me University students cheering and clapping at the National Party Leader. Shows how unpopular government reforms are with the students.

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  4. m@tt (636 comments) says:

    Now maybe Key could get of his arse and be a PM harder? Too much to ask?

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  5. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    m@tt. If you could take the red coloured blinkers off, you might see that video for what it is, and that is a consumate display of political leadership and communication to a demographic that was poison to the Nats not that very long ago, although I would doubt he would be so warmly received in the liberal arts department.

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  6. Inventory2 (9,381 comments) says:

    @ m@tt; why don’t you bugger off to Red Alert and join that other little cheer-germ, Trevor Mallard.

    Face the facts; John Key is like no other PM in New Zealand’s history, and Labour’s sole focus now should be to avoid going lower than Bill English did in 2002. The tide is still going out on Labour; in the meantime National just got another classroom full of voters today.

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  7. lofty (1,317 comments) says:

    In the BOP times tonight…JK stopped at a womans table in a cafe, when cheekily asked if he was going to wish the woman happy birthday, he stayed and chatted for 1/2 an hour.
    I would link but don’t know how.
    Would Clarke have done that? I don’t think so.

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  8. Pete George (23,823 comments) says:

    and Labour’s sole focus now should be to avoid going lower than Bill English did in 2002. The tide is still going out on Labour;

    I don’t remember National being so inept in 2002. Bill English looked a try hard doing the boxing thing, and he hardly has oodles of charisma, but from memory wasn’t it mainly that National were caught against the tide?

    Labour appear to have no leadership, they have a bizarre campaign manager, Cunliffe is busy plotting his takeover, Jones is trying to have his own post election chances talked up, and poor Phil Goff is left wit no support in a hopeless situation.

    I think there’s a real chance of a major shift in our politics this election. One major, two midsized and several smaller parties?

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  9. trout (957 comments) says:

    This guy is amazing; affable, personable, and at ease with any Kiwi. I heard him speak at a lunch recently; his speech was funny and wide ranging; his recall of facts and figures was impressive (all off the cuff). It must be galling to the career politicians that a relative newcomer is so able to overrun them and leave them looking tired and boring. Remember when he said he was afraid of dining with Tuhoe because he may be on the menu. It was a joke that so many pollies would be afraid to make in fear of offending the precious; but it was a quip that was pure kiwi irony and would have been enjoyed by many Maori.

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  10. Fisiani (1,052 comments) says:

    This sort of unscripted scenario has been happening for three years. John Key is the most admired PM in living memory. A National PM getting rapturous praise from university students. Wow.
    Labour still think voters dont trust John Key………
    Is there still time for National to add some more people onto their Party list. It only originally had 67 then it rose to 75 in case of a landslide. looks like 80+ could be needed.

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  11. mikenmild (12,393 comments) says:

    I’m pretty sure he is a genuine prophet of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I expect him to walk over Lake Waikaremoana and turn L&P into wine shortly.

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  12. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    LOL, would love to see the original mad dog Prebble have a go with Canterbury’s!

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  13. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    This is pure electoral gold – and in a few short minutes this clip schools Labour on why Key is so popular and why they are languishing so badly. Key is a natural at stuff like this – he banters easily, is perfectly at ease despite all the attention and students’ laddish humour and makes plenty of quips. Over the years he’s made comments that are a bit un-PC (like the Tuhoe joke that trout mentioned) and the lefty chattering classes get all in a lather over while middle NZ smiles and says “he’s one of us”.

    His State House to Merrill Lynch trading room story is known by everybody and rather than elicit the class warfare rich prick response from the jealous left, the rest of NZ hopes that they or their children can emulate his success. Goff has no answer. The sad thing is the real Phil Goff that I knew in my Labour years would’ve done well in this sort of setting but he is hemmed in by Labour’s electorally offputting ascendent feminist, union and rainbow factions.

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  14. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Fisiani>John Key is the most admired PM in living memory.

    He is. And everything he does just seems to add to his popularity. Compare him with Obama who, when elected, was winning Nobel Prizes, holding rallies to vast crowds of Germans, and being talked about in almost religious terms but now looks like a hopeless case and is turning in to a joke.

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  15. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    m@tt – as an ACT supporter I dislike Key more than most people (even from Labour). But do you really think that your comment was necessary? How would you feel if this was Goff instead, and a bunch of Nats came in and made comments similar to the one you have? It’s just pathetic.

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  16. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,704 comments) says:

    L & P IS wine!

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  17. Steve (4,537 comments) says:

    Have you gone Green mike? Green with envy. It’s just John Key being John Key and we like it.
    Phil and Trev will be spewing, as will the twisted Red Blert and Sub Standard. I guess txts from NY will be hot.

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  18. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    Key’s got a good touch, it’s obvious. It’s also obvious he’s confident of the reception, which is a little surprising. Certainly it’s a far better look for National than when Lockwood had to leave via a window circa 1993/4. It’s also worth noting that the PM is entirely safe in most situation in most of NZ, in many countries that’s not the case (and is something we should value).

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  19. mikenmild (12,393 comments) says:

    Not envious Steve. Key is the most popular, most ‘ordinary’ (in a good way) Pm since Muldoon.

    Thought m@tt was okay in his comment – popularity is fine, electability is everything, but hopefully he’ll go on from that do to useful things for the country.

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  20. George Patton (352 comments) says:

    NZ students cheering on a National Prime Minister?

    57% in the general election – National will have 70 MPs in the next Parliament. All thanks to this guy who has charisma by the bucketload.

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  21. Manolo (14,172 comments) says:

    Good on Key for mingling and listening to our future professionals.

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  22. NX (443 comments) says:

    It must be galling to the career politicians that a relative newcomer is so able to overrun them and leave them looking tired and boring

    Agreed. Especially when the left still seem to be underestimating him.

    Remember back in 2008 when the left were triumphing that Clark would make mince meat out of him during the election campaign.

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  23. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    @ Pete George: Labour have it incredibly easy compared to Bill.

    Bill’s party president was taken to court for fraud by a former president.

    Bill had NZ First, United Future and Act, with Winston Peters, Peter Dunne and Richard Prebble all in their political primes taking the Right vote. Labour has only the Greens and Russell Norman (who doesn’t exactly compare to those former 3 on the pantheon of politicians for brio or ruthlessness).

    Jim Bolger accepted a job for Helen Clark’s government, which really solidified her position and undermined Bill’s.

    The National party were completely broke, and didn’t have Unions to provide anything.

    Gerry Brownlee, Murray McCully, Lockwood Smith, Don Brash, Maurice Williamson, and a number of other self-absorbed, selfish, over-ambitious, lazy (at the time) MP’s were strenuously and very publicly undermining Bill, almost daily, rather then doing any work.

    People have moved on and some of those above have improved, a little. However, a lot of people in the National party haven’t forgotten about those individuals undermining not just their leader but the party. The undermining that went on is absolutely nothing compared to what Phil is dealing with.

    The media at the time were virulently anti-National. It is hilarious, because Bill was saying all the same things then, that John is now, it’s just a different time.

    Bill English was a really young man when he took over the leadership, not even 40. Phil Goff was/is one of the most experienced people in parliament, he was not far from 60. Bill had six kids under 13 as leader, Phil – not as many or as young.

    John key is the Peter Snell of our political generation. Anyone who looked good prior, no longer looks good. Helen Clark was the most overrated PM in NZ’s history. I used to often wish Cullen would note his own spectacular amount of talent compared to her and take over or be an activist finance minister, because everything turned when she poked her nose into finance in 2004.

    Student’s really like National, it’s pretty sweet to witness :)

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  24. GPT1 (2,021 comments) says:

    Times have changed since Max Bradford got chased off the campus. That kind of spontaneous support must be pretty tough for Labour. Clark was respected (only a fool would underestimate her) but even at her peak I doubt she engendered that kind of support.

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  25. SHG (321 comments) says:

    I can’t add anything to the comments on Key’s charisma above – the guy’s a natural.

    I would just like to say that I think it’s great that a group of students saw nothing wrong with addressing the leader of the country as “John, mate” and he seemed perfectly OK with it. And good on the DPS guys for rolling with what would have been, in any other country, a stupidly dangerous situation.

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  26. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    John Key is a star. Our best PM next to Keith Holyoake but with far greater media skills. He is my ideal PM.

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  27. dion (95 comments) says:

    > How would you feel if this was Goff instead, and a bunch of Nats came in and made comments similar to the > one you have?

    Courage Wolf – there would be much righteous indignation, and muttering that there should be a law against this sort of thing.

    With regards to the actual topic of the thread, Labour’s problem is that the country’s just had 9 years with a government that intellectualised politics (filling their caucus with ex-teachers, academics and lawyers) and took itself way too seriously.

    John Key provides a welcome contrast to this – which is why the government is so insanely popular at the moment. Labour has the mood of the country – which is cyclic- and themselves (actually, mostly themselves) – to blame for this.

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  28. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    >Obama who, when elected, was winning Nobel Prizes, holding rallies to vast crowds of Germans, and being talked about in almost religious terms

    That was his problem. Don’t know how much he sought it and how much was just global hatred of Bush that would have made anyone else seem like the Messiah. But it set the bar too high for anyone to live up to. And Obama wasn’t the Messiah, just another naughty boy.

    Key succeeds because he comes across as an ordinary bloke and one of us – and it’s effortless, not forced.

    >Our best PM

    Hard to think of a more popular PM anywhere at them moment, I’d say. Not Gillard, for sure! Or any PM or president in Europe.

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  29. David Garrett (7,700 comments) says:

    without wanting to sound like a name dropping wanker, I might be the only commenter so far who has met the guy and talked to him…he IS a natural, and within the constraints of ‘primeministership” he is the genuine article…someone earlier commented about his joke about being on the menu if Tuhoe were hosting him at that dinner..the fact he had to apologise for that pissed me off hugely…but the commenter was right – most Maori would have thought it bloody funny…but I too wish he would actully USE some of that huge political capital he has and make some painful changes….perhaps in the second term…

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  30. DJP6-25 (1,390 comments) says:

    I simply can not imagine his predecessor doing this.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  31. kino flo (83 comments) says:

    Didn’t look like one of his regular DPS officers. Maybe he’s from the SI, but in the past a detail away from Auckland and Wellington is often supplemented with local officers who have had some limited secondments to the DPS in the past.

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  32. rightrightbloodywellright (14 comments) says:

    I think H2 was Clarkensteins DPS officer, she could have taken Maddog down, shit I think It could have taken Mike Tyson.
    Saw this on TV3 and it warmed my heart, a genuine man of the people

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  33. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    DJP6-25 (563) Says:
    September 23rd, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I simply can not imagine his predecessor doing this.

    In case you forgot what happened the last time:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2005/09/clark_at_canterbury_university.html

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  34. DJP6-25 (1,390 comments) says:

    Courage Wolf 11:55 pm. Thanks for the link. It sure looks as if Msssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss Clark was not well received.

    cheers

    Daavid Prosser

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  35. Monty (899 comments) says:

    Oh dear – Labour really are buggered. They are fools – at present their very grumpy Campaign Manager will be hunkered down with Gollum trying to work out an angle for attack – lets think – Key wasting time by meeting with Students instead of working, maybe Something to do with the VSM.

    Problem there is absolutely no one within the wide ranks of Labour who could pull this off. EVER.

    No Labour MPs simply do not have the capability of doing this. Expect a lot more spontaneity like this from Key – but also other popular National MPs over the next couple of months.

    Also note however that it is not just The university Students who love Key – he is getting similar reactions at Rugby Games, in Factories, and at every single public encounter. Maybe Key should turn up at a League game?

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  36. mikenmild (12,393 comments) says:

    Monty
    I’m curious, who are these ‘other popular National MPs’ of whom you speak?

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  37. Inventory2 (9,381 comments) says:

    @ Monty; he doesn’t need to turn up at a league game; Sir Peter “Mad Butcher” Leitch has given him his seal of approval, and South Auckland is about to turn blue on Sir Butch’s say-so!

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  38. slightlyrighty (2,098 comments) says:

    Remember what Clark had to say in ’05?????

    “Clark told one interjector that his leader does not have the courage to front up to students.”

    Really?

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  39. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “Clark was respected (only a fool would underestimate her) but even at her peak I doubt she engendered that kind of support”

    Respected yes, but not really liked, certainly not the way Key is. And those that liked her tended to be ‘the usual suspects’, feminists, homosexuals, tax payer funded “artists”, in other words urban latte liberals.

    I spent the first term of the Clark years working in an electronics factory. It was interesting to note that Labours old constituency, the working class, at least those I knew, respected her and agreed with the parties policies, but did not particularly like her. She was not one of them. And she often made that clear in arrogant and pompous ways.

    Key on the other hand seems to be liked across the board, and by a serious majority of people. Only the shrinking diehard Left seem not to.

    From the very beginning when he took over the leadership of National some commentators on both the left and right warned Labour not to underestimate him or assume his easy going manner was a sign of weakness and superficiality. They ignored those warnings, and they still are. The results in the polls are plain to see to anyone with more than two braincells to rub together.

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  40. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    Engineering student have always been pretty conservative. So it was an easy choice for key. He knew that and got the superb footage he was looking for. Who me he asks. Yes you John, we know you can work these situation with consummate skill and the labour party just do not get it.

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  41. Monty (899 comments) says:

    Milk – I am not saying all the National MPs are popular – but for starters I would say
    Paula Bennett
    Simon Bridges
    Judith Collins
    Simon Power
    Amy Adams
    even Tau Henare

    and in the popularity stakes from Labour ….. ummmm …. ummmm ahhh

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  42. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Monty (770) Says:
    Sep0tember 24th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Milk – I am not saying all the National MPs are popular – but for starters I would say
    Paula Bennett
    Simon Bridges
    Judith Collins
    Simon Power
    Amy Adams
    even Tau Henare

    and in the popularity stakes from Labour ….. ummmm …. ummmm ahhh

    Umm WTF Monty you seem to be living in some kind of la la land there. Those are some pretty pathetic National MPs you’ve listed. Simon Power – are you fucking serious? The MPs you have listed are so irrelevant (bar Bennett – who is hardly liked and regularly gets booed) it’s not funny. If anything the only one who has any appeal is that Auckland Central MP whose name I don’t even remember and the only reason is because she is a MILF.

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  43. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    Heh, that old thread is interesting. You forget how the old Labour supporters used to claim even the worst looks as “wins” for dear leader.

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  44. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    David Prosser said:

    I simply can not imagine his predecessor doing this.

    cheers

    I’ve seen her first hand do it. Yes, she’s not likely to swear but she was very comfortable in one to one situations including with students.

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  45. Chris R (71 comments) says:

    What would the official policy towards this encounter from the compulsory student unions be…I wonder?

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  46. mikenmild (12,393 comments) says:

    Paul
    Agreed, Clark was actually very good in person with the public, completely different from the TV persona or the yelling at officials stuff.

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  47. mavxp (483 comments) says:

    It’s great to see, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. University students who are politically active, moan about student loans, allowances, fees, compulsory student membership etc. are overwhelmingly left and far left, and study political science, history, sociology and other left favoured programs at university, and have average chances of getting a decent job (usually working for the government in some capacity) when they leave.

    These guys in the video (and the odd women engineer), are normal students (with above average ability in maths and physics) who are at uni to work hard and get ahead in life. Engineering students are by and large not political (Nick Smith being a rare exception). They will *all* get good jobs when they graduate, earn good salaries, many will work overseas at some point, some will invent cool stuff and run companies – and will probably vote right of center most of their lives. John Key fits in just fine with all of that – this is his crowd.

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  48. tas (655 comments) says:

    Since when did the “University of Canterbury” become “Canterbury University”.

    I agree with mavxp. Outside of political science and the like, no one has time to moan about politics. (Some economists are an exception and represent the right on campus.)

    Key’s policies have been relatively inoccuous. That’s the other half of what makes him popular. His government lets the (productive) students get on with their non-political lives, just the way they like it.

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  49. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    Bought for bRought…..!!!!!
    Becoming very common ,even the PM does it!

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