The John Key Biography – the early years

June 26th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

NZ Herald editorial writer has published the first biography of John Key, Portrait of a Prime Minister. It’s a fascinating insight into Key’s childhood, business career and then political career. There’s a lot of material that hasn’t been in the public domain before, as not just Key, but Bronagh and Key’s sisters agreed to be interviewed for the biography.

People often wonder why Key gave up his business career to become a backbench MP. He had been fantastically successfully in business. In fact the book reveals that he was seen as a candidate to become the global CEO of Merrill Lynch. Why give that all up, to enter politics? It wasn’t a deep ideological conviction like Ruth Richardson or Norman Kirk. It wasn’t because he wanted to be famous like Kevin Rudd. It wasn’t because he needs the money. It wasn’t because he defines political success as critical to his self-worth like Helen Clark.

I’ve had the occasional contact with John Key, and like most, think he is a pretty amazing guy – both as a political leader, and as a normal Kiwi, who is devoted to his family and treats everyone around him well. This is rare than it should be in politics.

But despite that occasional contact, I have never been able to work out what motivated him to enter politics. He was on track to become a global CEO, and was succeeding in a role which didn’t require  interrogation  by media every day, or 17 hour working days.

The book helps answer that question. I’l get to it in the third part of thsi review, but in my opinion it relates back to his mother and her expectations of him.

The book is an easy read at 248 pages, but there’s a lot of material in there. I’m going to summarise and review it in three parts – Key’s early years, Key’s business career and then Key’s political years.

It starts with an interesting and amusing tale about how Obama came to invite Key for that round of golf. Tony Abbott asked Key to introduce him to Obama at Mandela’s funeral, and that is where Obama asked Key if he was going to be in Hawaii in January, and if so would he be keen to play some golf. The amusing part is that Key only told MFAT about the invitation two days before it occurred. I can just imagine the panic it set off!

Key’s early years

  • Key was born on 9 August 1961, when by coincidence they lived at 9 August Place, near One Tree Hill
  • His parents had a contract to run the cafeteria at a milk treatment plant
  • When Key was six, his mother Ruth left his father George, and they moved to first Wellington, but then Havelock North where they lived in a caravan. They then moved to Christchurch where Ruth Key got a job as a night porter.
  • George Key died when John was 7. His mother said he shouldn’t go to the funeral, and in fact he doesn’t know where his father is buried. Roughan discovered it is at Waikumete Cemetery in a soldier’s plot.
  • Key missed not having a father when he was playing rugby, and only his mum was there. Also a funny story about how he went to a father and son sex education talk with a family friend, and it was far more graphic that they expected, and quite uncomfortable to be having that talk with a man who is not your father.
  • George Key left Ruth with a debt of around $40,000 in today’s money.  She had the choice of bankruptcy but decided to pay the debt off. The only mitigating factor is as a widow, she now qualified for a state house. She managed to pay off the debt by 1973.
  • Ruth actually supported Labour, and John started debating politics with her around age eight. It was their debates that fueled his interest in politics.
  • When he was nine, he told the family he was determined t do two things in life – make a million dollars, and be Prime Minister – in that order.
  • At age 13 John wrote to Bill Rowling asking what should he do to become Prime Minister one day. I presume the answer wasn’t wait for Big Norm to die!
  • To wind up his mother, he presented her a National Party rosette when Muldoon won in 1975 (she did not like him at all). He thought it would have been long thrown away, but they found it in her collection when she died.
  • Ruth used to smoke, and John nagged her for around five years to stop smoking as he didn’t want to lose her, and at age 15 he won, and she did stop.
  • Ruth never spoke about her time in Austria (my grandmother was absolutely the same) and John only found out what happened to her relatives in 2010 when Murray McCully mentioned his ancestry to the President of Austria. He found out that sadly her uncles died in the holocaust
  • Later in life, John phoned his mother basically every day, no matter where he was in the world.

In the next post, I’ll cover his business years.

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86 Responses to “The John Key Biography – the early years”

  1. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    “Merrill Lynch Chief Executive Officer John Thain made roughly $83.1 million in salary and other monetary rewards during 2007, making him the highest-paid CEO for the year, according to Associated Press rankings released Sunday.”

    Thats a lot to give up!

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  2. stephieboy (2,172 comments) says:

    The early years are always fascinating and it seems John Key walked a similar journey to Abraham Lincoln -from the struggles and relative poverty of childhood to onwards and upwards.
    I hope John Roughan covers the P M’s relationship with Obama given the fact he was a Mitt Romney supporter back in 2012.The observations and conclusions could be fascinating.

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  3. Manolo (13,357 comments) says:

    The divas and queers at The sub-Standard are foaming at the mouth over this book. Some KB regulars are a bit shocked, too.

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  4. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    LOL! John Key walking a similar journey to Lincoln. I doubt the man has ever been near a theatre outside of parliament. That’s the fucking limit, man.

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  5. RRM (9,445 comments) says:

    dime (9,166 comments) says:
    June 26th, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    “Merrill Lynch Chief Executive Officer John Thain made roughly $83.1 million in salary and other monetary rewards during 2007, making him the highest-paid CEO for the year, according to Associated Press rankings released Sunday.”

    Thats a lot to give up!

    :shock: HOLY SHIT – I’d have given that job a go for a couple of years, and THEN gone home to save NZ from socialism!

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  6. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    “:shock: HOLY SHIT – I’d have given that job a go for a couple of years, and THEN gone home to save NZ from socialism!”

    yeah i woulda rode that bitch til the end.. which was 2008 or so i guess hahaha

    who knows, maybe once ya hit 50 mill, its enough!

    JK should be nudging 100mill in another 10 years..

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  7. gump (1,479 comments) says:

    One of the best things about the John Key story is that it demonstrates the possibility for social, educational, and professional mobility in our society.

    I hope that we never lose that ability. It’s one of the many things that separates us from the old-world.

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  8. Unity (283 comments) says:

    Interesting to hear of John Key’s aspirations – make a million dollars and then be Prime Minister. I have long said his ‘bucket list’ went far further than that. I would say after Prime Minister, he would want to be knighted. Don’t forget that’s the first thing he did on coming to power – brought back the knighthoods etc!! Last, but not least, he will want a job in the United Nations. Let’s wait and see how right I am.

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  9. gump (1,479 comments) says:

    @dime

    “Thats a lot to give up!”

    ———————

    Merrill Lynch came within days of failing in 2008 and was only saved when Bank of America acquired it (under scandalous circumstances) and sacked the executive leadership.

    So there wasn’t really a “top job” for John Key to go on to. If anything, leaving Merrill allowed him to dodge a bullet.

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  10. Lance (2,448 comments) says:

    Interesting insight to John Key and the basis for his values.

    Of course any mention of this was going to draw out the lemon sucking bitter and twisted. Unity and Dom Knots as fine examples.

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  11. Odakyu-sen (440 comments) says:

    “When he was nine, he told the family he was determined t do two things in life –”

    It is a little unusual for a youngster to have such clear objectives so early in life. But then, many who achieve were once such children.

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  12. Colville (2,079 comments) says:

    dime.
    Key is reported as having had the $50 Mil by his 40th birthday, so 2001.
    He has to be way North of a hundy Mil by now.

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  13. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    i’d have said the same if the similarity was drawn between any New Zealand politician and Lincoln, lance. Maybe Gerry Brownlee wears a hairnet to bed – does that make him similar to Ena Sharples?

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  14. thePeoplesFlag (172 comments) says:

    My tip: Skip the book, save your money and read the “Humans of Remuera” Facebook page.

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  15. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    Dom Knots: so, you’ve met the PM have you? How often? In what kinds of settings?

    What, you havent?

    Another socialist blow-arse…

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  16. mikemikemikemike (309 comments) says:

    Regardless of your political leanings…(and I lean towards National)…he is one exceptionally interesting guy who has led a pretty cool life so far (he probably saw a few ‘wolf of wall street’ moments).

    I think I’ll buy the book when it comes out. If for no other reason than to piss my folks off :)

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  17. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    ‘walking a similar path to Lincoln’ is pretty out there, David.

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  18. RRM (9,445 comments) says:

    thepeople’sflag –

    I’ve read that facebook page, nothing in it is at all like anyone I knew when I actually lived in Epsom / Remuera, it is just a whole lot of lefty political student’s weird ignorant fantasies about what they imagine Act voters must be like.

    In that regard, it’s so unfunny that it’s almost funny. Almost.

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  19. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    gump says”One of the best things about the John Key story is that it demonstrates the possibility for social, educational, and professional mobility in our society.

    I hope that we never lose that ability. It’s one of the many things that separates us from the old-world.”

    The first sentence is correct ,the second is bull.

    Also,while I think Key is a “progressive” I like the fact that he has done so well for himself. The left hate him as they see him as a “class traitor”. In my book he’s proof that hard work and dedication is the key (sorry) to success. Also his life disproves the leftist theme that “diversity” and “adversity” are the sole province of non white ,indigenous or visible minorities.

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  20. stephieboy (2,172 comments) says:

    it would be fascinating if someone like Ian Wishart or Redbaiter did a similar biography on Collin Craig. The chapter on the moon bat conspiracy years could be captivating.

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  21. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    yeah well im not the one blow arsing my kids popularity, dave. keep your hair on.

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  22. Grendel (951 comments) says:

    Dont know about “wolf of Wall St” moments, but from a friend of mine who worked with JK back in the day, they were at some hotel in OZ, for a sales presentation or something, and JK went to the barman, gave him his credit card and told him to keep the banana daquiris coming until no one could stand.

    it got hazy fast apparently :)

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  23. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    Any blow arsing I might do is under my own name you clown…

    And yes, I am very very proud of my children…when you have some, and they’ve learned the words to “The Peoples Flag” no doubt you will be too….

    Mikey: As I read it, DPF is NOT saying “as a leader Key is equal to Lincoln”, but rather suggesting they both overcame adversity and poverty in their respective youths and later did great things…quite a different comparison…

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  24. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    It’s was actually stephieboy’s OTT comment.

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  25. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    Unity
    It’s amusing you find a knighthood the peak of ambition and transfer that to others.
    It seems to me that John Key is the kind of guy who wouldn’t give a toss about being a Sir. He sets his aims much higher than that.
    Of course, in my opinion, he should be made at least a Duke if not King!

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  26. thePeoplesFlag (172 comments) says:

    “…gave him his credit card and told him to keep the banana daquiris coming until no one could stand…”

    Banana daquaries? Are you fucking taking the piss my lad? Bahahahahaha!

    Deepest uncool, meet John Key.

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  27. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    your name is ‘you clown’? meds time, dave

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  28. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    banana daquaries are used to cure a hangover.

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  29. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    I see you are a relative newcomer…I confidently predict you won’t last long (but not by way of banning, that very rarely happens here)…You have neither the intellect nor the wit to foot it here for long…

    But at least you have tacitly confirmed that you have never met the PM, and know nothing of his artistic interests…as I said, another (anonymous) socialist blow arse…

    Which Uni are you at?

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  30. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    “Humans of Remuera”

    the humor is fuckin weak.

    i might start a “bros from northland” page.

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  31. OTGO (512 comments) says:

    Envy. The worst of the 7 deadly sins IMHO. And never more keenly on show when the left appear on this blog.

    Envy[edit]
    Main article: Envy

    Envy
    Arch in the nave with a gothic fresco from 1511 of a man with a dog-head, which symbolizes envy (Dalbyneder Church (da), Denmark)
    Like greed and lust, Envy (Latin, invidia) is characterized by an insatiable desire. Envy is similar to jealousy in that they both feel discontent towards someone’s traits, status, abilities, or rewards. The difference is the envious also desire the entity and covet it.

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  32. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    DG

    I suspect Numb Nuts,aka Dom Knots is not new. I get the feeling he is Luc Hansen (Israel and Jew hater) in drag.

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  33. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    there’s the you’re a newbie card AND the i can ban you if i want to card. you’re making a spectacle of yourself, dave – youre not going to draw me into a lawsuit gunfight. this isnt tombstone, me old mucker. tufts health plan ring a bell?

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  34. lurcher1948 (51 comments) says:

    I was made redundant for the last time in my working life under KEY (the living god) get piles cunt opps fuck my MP who is a whore, if a long legged dog was on the list,dunny you would be fucked

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  35. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    @Dom Knots: Lift your game, FFS – you’re giving genuine morons a bad rap. 8O

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  36. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    I’m having a tough time getting your point, lurcher…

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  37. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    I am not particularly interested in Keys personal life. What I am interested in is his ability as a politician. He hasn’t got it all right by any stretch but he has got it more right than wrong and he has been an effective leader through a difficult economic period. What I have noticed is that Key has got a slightly harder political edge now. When he came in it was a bit of smile and wave stuff whereas now he is less inclined to humour the fuckwittery from journo’s and the opposition.

    Key has also had a bit of a charmed run as the opposition has been in complete disarray since Clarke scuttled off to the UN. It could be argued that Key has had a big hand in Labour’s woes but the reality is he has done much to destabilize Labour at all. They manage to do that part with great refinement all by themselves.

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  38. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    @lurcher1948: You’ve strayed onto KB by mistake – the Stranded is that-a-way… <<<<<<<

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  39. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    elaycee: stick your head in a bucket of shit three times and pull it out twice, you crawler. lol.

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  40. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    Bwahahahaaaaaaa…. Thank you ‘Dom Knots’ – for confirming I struck a chord. I love it! :D

    PS: Are you really Luc?

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  41. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    yes, you certainly gave the better of that exchange, elaycee. tee hee.

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  42. Ross12 (1,148 comments) says:

    Why is it all the lefties see a job at the UN as the ultimate for a politician leaving Parliament ( or anyone for that matter) ? It is the most useless organisation around and I’d think it is the last place someone like John Key would want to go to.

    He has already said he’ll want to go into commerce in some way — I doubt it would be in the form of a job either.

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  43. srylands (386 comments) says:

    Wow who are these new trolls?

    What fascinates me is that the Left do not simply under-estimate John Key. That would hardly be unprecedented for a political opponent to be under-estimated. What amazes me is that self-appointed leading lights of the New Zealand Left are so disconnected from reality that they ignore overwhelming evidence about what John Key is, what he believes in, and how he deals with issues. So it is not under-estimation. It is delusion on a scale that I have never seen before in my observation of politics.

    This today from Lynn Prentice. It is incredible:

    “The guy [John Key] is [a] simpleminded fool and generally a dickhead. Rather than understanding an issue and dealing it, he prefers to act like a mumbo-jumbo clown.”

    This is from someone who portrays himself as the hard edged enforcer of intelligent Left debate and policy discussion.

    So then the Left start looking for ways to explain why a simple minded clown can be an immensely successful and popular PM. So we get conspiracy theories – like the arch right wing MSM led by the New Zealand Herald (Seriously there is another delusion right there). And on and on it will go, until there is a circuit breaker.

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  44. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    you’re correct, ross. the un is a toothless tiger. mainly brought about by the u.s veto rights.

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  45. dime (9,423 comments) says:

    srylands – its hilarious eh!

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  46. srylands (386 comments) says:

    “It could be argued that Key has had a big hand in Labour’s woes but the reality is he has [not] done much to destabilize Labour at all. ”

    I think you meant “not”?

    If so I disagree. John Key has done two things that have seriously destabilised the Labour Party.

    Firstly, he has inherent characteristics that have led the Left to portray him as some combination of villain/liar/fool. Why, I have no idea. Hopefully psychologists and historians will ultimately explain to us why this happened. But the upshot is that the Left can’t understand why he is successful and popular. That causes them to experience cognitive dissonance. Which is, by definition, destabilising.

    Secondly, he has forced the opposition to shift a long way Left. That makes middle New Zealand nervous. That in turn makes the opposition unpopular, which causes stress and instability in its leading lights. In turn that leads to bizarre behaviour and poor judgement (Oravida etc.). Which leads to a further cycle of decline.

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  47. Ross12 (1,148 comments) says:

    With no GD today I think this thread maybe an appropriate place to link this from W/O

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/06/internetmana-kids-think/

    The video is great and this young guy has researched Kim Dotcom very well. ( I did not realise how many convictions KDC has had )

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  48. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    srylands: Sort of says it all doesn’t it? Although I am sure he was/is no fan of the She Beast, I cannot imagine DPF ever referring to her in that fashion…Nasty shrill lefties….I’m sure it wasn’t like that once upon a time when I delivered leaflets for them in New Plymouth in 1984..

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  49. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    first we had a similarity to Lincoln and now psychologists and historians will hopefully detail for us reasons why opposition parties attacked his unknown inherent characteristics! This guy is headed for ubermensch status.

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  50. SHG (362 comments) says:

    The thing I find amusing about Labour is that they can oscillate between claiming “John Key is a ruthless machiavellian mastermind who hides from us what’s really going on!” and claiming “John Key is a clueless smiling-waving corporate lackey who doesn’t know what’s really going on!” without any sense of self-contradiction. One day they claim he’s Littlefinger, the next day he’s Hodor. But each day it’s like the thing they said yesterday never happened.

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  51. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    SHG: Well you have to remember that these guys are from the end of political spectrum where, in other countries, they do actually rewrite the history books, and literally (in the days before airbrushing, much less photoshop) cut people out of group photos..I remember the late Prof. Keith Jackson showing us some soviet era text books where someone had literally cut out the faces of the disgraced ones with a none too sharp scalpel… from the photographic plates from which the book was printed I mean, not the book itself…fucking hysterical…

    And of course since we are talking historical figures, George Orwell…leftie hero prior to “animal farm” to disgraced zero after its publication…So far so unsurprising..

    Are the unis on holiday just now? Seem to be some unfamiliar inept trolls here today…

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  52. Unity (283 comments) says:

    A leftie I most definitely am not and I wish to explain the reason for my cynicism. I have been a National Party supporter all my life apart from about 4 years since 2008. Leading up to the 2008 election I practically wore my shoes out walking the streets and putting leaflets in letterboxes for our local National Party candidate. I had such faith in John Key. However, immediately upon getting elected he opted to include the Maori Party in a coalition when he didn’t need to. From then on I have been hugely disillusioned. I grant you he did need the Maori Party in 2011 but not in 2008. So I’m very cynical where John Key is concerned. I left the National Party after 2008 but have now rejoined because I had the forlorn hope that I could perhaps achieve more from within than from outside. That hasn’t proven to be the case however. Politicians just don’t listen to the people especially when they are in power.

    Ever since 2008 the Gravy Train has accelerated and this country has more or less now become an apartheid State. Privilege granted on the basis of race is apartheid. Billions are being given away on racial initiatives. There are many settlements being conducted up and down the country which bear no relation to reality or our true history. The Waitangi Tribunal is just a rubber stamp for whatever the claimants dream up. It is corrupt and should be disbanded immediately. John Key has shown himself to be an appeaser and he is either very naive with regard to racial matters or has an agenda. I give him the benefit of the doubt and believe he is naive on this subject. He has allowed himself to be advised by biased bureaucrats with an agenda. Chris Finlayson is an utter disgrace having been totally rejected by his electorate at least 3 times. But he has come in on the List. He used to be Ngai Tahu’s attorney before he came to Parliament. Now he is not only Minister for Treaty Settlements but Attorney General. That, to me, is a gross conflict of interest. He is doing deals from his office without having to go through the Courts. There is no place where the rest of us can appeal decisions.

    I could go on and on but basically I won’t rest until we are all treated the same under the law in this country, and move on – together as we were supposed to do under the Treaty. Having said that, mock me if you want to but those who do have it so wrong. There are many Sheeple (people who behave like sheep) in this country who either have no idea what is going on or just don’t want to know.

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  53. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    cuts to a shot of don brash being peppered with poop.

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  54. gump (1,479 comments) says:

    @kowtow

    “The first sentence is correct ,the second is bull.”

    ———————–

    Have you ever lived or worked in a country with an entrenched class system?

    The new world has largely left that type of shit behind, and is better for it.

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  55. Ross12 (1,148 comments) says:

    I’ve just seen this from Tracy Watkins on Stuff. Talk about misleading comments from poll results. In typical Fairfax style she also highlights what were comments probably made “on a bad” and tries draw the long bow on Key’s future. The author of the book said on radio this morning that Key is committed to seeing out a 3rd term and he ( the author) would not be surprised to see him go for 4 terms if he can.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/10202337/Will-Key-hang-around-through-third-term

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  56. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    gump

    Both my parents came from very ‘umble backgrounds in the old world and through the benefits of your first sentence did very well indeed.While there was and is “class” there was no holding anyone back.

    Only marxists harp on about the negativity of it all.

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  57. holysheet (268 comments) says:

    Just saying:
    When we eventually become a republic guess who will be in the running for our first president. Sir John Key. Baron Aooteeroa
    As the country’s most popular prime minister ever, he will be the first choice

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  58. Nostalgia-NZ (4,907 comments) says:

    What a mum he had, no wonder he may feel he can move mountains. That debt she recovered from was the value of several homes at the time. Having once played rugby doesn’t go amiss, I think that may explain his happiness at the WC celebrations at Eden Park. Have to give the man credit he has much up his sleeve that many kiwis would admire but he’s never tried to sell himself on such things.

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  59. Akaroa (538 comments) says:

    Well, I hope we see more and more of PM John Key for many years yet.

    IMHO he’s in a class of his own – especially when you look at the barren wastes of practically nil talent or political nous in teh NZ Political scene ranged against him.

    (And before you ask i am not a one-party-one-eyed-Nat-new-to-politics-bunny)

    In my 70+ years on this fine green planet of ours – and 40 in this pleasant Southern land – I’ve watched politicians of all political complexions come and go, here in NZ, throngs of ‘em in UK, in Malta (Dom Minto anyone), In Cyprus (Are you still around President Makarios and Mr Denktash?)

    Your average politician is often basically a bit of a shyster, has to be, but just occassionally one comes along who really does seem to cut the mustard and project a genuine persona – and into that category falls John Key.

    Provenly intellectually and business-wise smart, successful, down-to-earth, unpretentious and – possessed of that quality that so many politicians cannot project – humility together with the ability to instantly communicate with anyone at whatever level. No ivory tower academic pollie him, he’s the real deal.

    Good man, Key!!

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  60. stephieboy (2,172 comments) says:

    Dom Knots (69 comments) says:
    June 26th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    US veto rights. ??

    e.g Syria.??

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/22/un-security-council-vetoes-betray-syrian-victims

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  61. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    who is the president of the falklands?

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  62. Akaroa (538 comments) says:

    And I was just going to add to my comment at 5.19 above – in case anyone thinks i’m just looking through candy-coloured spectacles – that I did spend time at VUW in Wgtn obtaining a Political Science degree. -”So what?” I hear you cry – Well, I like to think it helps me sort the wheat from the chaf politics wise – and JK is all wheat IMHO!!

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  63. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    not sure how you’re trying to weld that to my comment, stephie – but whatever butters your wheels. im a fan of h.r.w. btw.

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  64. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    Unity: that is a very well considered post…On the treaty settlements stuff, FWIW, I think you are right to give Key the benefit of the doubt…he has certainly relied to a great extent on Finlayson… I have it on good authority that he virtually accepts anything treaty related which Finlayson puts in front of him..Because of my precarious relationship with the Law Society – and Finlayson’s waspish nature – I need to be very careful about what I say about him…let me just say that nothing I would say would be complimentary…

    I believe – as you do – that the Waitangi Tribunal should be wound up, or at the very least, have its jurisdiction returned to what it was originally: able to adjudicate on supposed breaches of the treaty by the Crown after 1975. Given the fact that Finlayson says the historic grievances will all be settled (Tui billboard) by 2015, that is the perfect opportunity for that change in jurisdiction to happen…it won’t.

    I was having such a good day – juvenile trolls bouncing off like ping pong balls – and then along comes a POS who belongs in a cage…Bugger…

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  65. Unity (283 comments) says:

    Akaroa, I think many feel as you do, because they are not looking underneath at what is actually going on in this country. The day you have to pay to go to the beach may bring to you the realisation that you were indeed looking through candy-coloured glasses. John Key does have the ability to appear humble and connect with the people, but if what he is doing is destroying our democracy and making non-Maori people second class citizens in their own country, then perhaps all is not as well as it might at first seem.

    However, I do agree with you that the others in the mix just don’t bear thinking about. That leads me to feel that we should perhaps have MPs so they can represent us in Parliament instead of having to toe the Party line. We also need binding referenda so that we can take our democracy back. We only have a democracy once every three years. The rest of the time we may as well save our breath if it isn’t to John Key’s liking. He and all the other politicians only listen when they are in opposition. Once in power, they are a law unto themselves.

    Yes, I’m very disillusioned and dread to think where this country is going to end up if we don’t get rid of racial privilege and these ever fanciful so-called Treaty settlements which are actually fraudulent. Another wrong is being created for the rest of us.

    So as wonderful as John Key may seem to many, if you look under the layers, all is definitely not well.

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  66. mikenmild (10,681 comments) says:

    Don’t be such a scaredy cat.

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  67. Floyd60 (87 comments) says:

    David seems to have published his own forward to the book. Next there will be a plug on ‘Nine to Noon’.

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  68. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    someone needs therapy. Lots and lots of therapy.

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  69. niggly (799 comments) says:

    Crikey Unity sounds a bit like John Ansell. Do you check under your bed each night for “Maoris” Unity?

    I think you blew your credibility when you said billions have been spent …. and like the munters at the Standard blame your woes on John Key. Sheesh.

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  70. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    Unity: To quote (I think) Harry Truman, you are about half right. We do indeed have what is effectively an elected dictatorship, with three yearly rights to remove the dictator(s). I think it was Bolger who admitted that even if in a CIR on the reintroduction of capital punishment 95% of the people voted “Yes”, there is no way his government would enact the electorate’s clear wish.

    I say you are half right though because all governments – and this one is no exception – rely heavily for their direction on polls. For example, although people here have been very kind to me about Three Strikes, I am under no illusion that Key may not have gone for it if one of their polls had not revealed 87% of those polled were in favour of it…and ACT’s effective version, and not Power’s watered down one…During my time in parliament I recall significant public opposition to mining – or even prospecting – in Conservation estate land…The Nats quietly dropped the proposal…So to say that governments completely ignore public opinion is not quite accurate…

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  71. hj (6,350 comments) says:

    gump (1,400 comments) says:
    June 26th, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    One of the best things about the John Key story is that it demonstrates the possibility for social, educational, and professional mobility in our society.
    …..

    http://www.safehaven.com/article/6790/the-highway-men

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  72. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    Niggly: Has anyone actually added up what has been spent on these second and third “full and final” major settlements, and the numerous lesser ones, since the treaty gravy train (almost gave it an undeserved capital T) began in the late 70′s? If it’s not a billion or two it would be close..

    I was out of the country at the time, but my recollection is the Tainui got TWO second “full and final” settlements didn’t they? They blew most of the first one made in ’92 or ’93 on dubious investments like the Warriors rugby league club, and then the government very kindly paid them again – I think – someone will correct me.

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  73. ross411 (220 comments) says:

    Am I wrong to picture The Standard posters as shrill delusionals who would buy this to have an object to vent their hate towards anything that prevents Labour from gaining power and then.. cutting out words, blacking out others, glueing particularly grating pages together with their bodily fluids?

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  74. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    unity

    This is a good ‘un.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/212056/complaint-industry-still-rambles

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  75. Pete George (22,804 comments) says:

    @tmurphyNZH

    At John Key biography launch: Key says it is a great night because he’s been wondering all year what to buy English and Joyce for Xmas.

    English replies: ‘Good because I wasn’t going to buy one’

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  76. big bruv (13,271 comments) says:

    I simply cannot fathom how the wankers at the Standard can manufacture so much faux hatred for Key. Yes one can take issue with his policy, yes I imagine that those on the hard left might disagree with pretty much everything he does but I defy anybody to actually hate the man.

    Key is not arrogant, smug or a bare faced liar (as is Cuntliffe). Key is not a control freak who will do anything (including break the law) to maintain control of the treasure benches (as did Clark). Key is a genuinely good guy.

    I did not like the policies espoused by Goff or Shearer but not even on their worst days could I conjure up any real hatred for the pair of them, Shearer in particular came across as a genuinely nice guy.

    I guess the morons at the Standard are simply programmed to hate who ever is the leader of the Nat’s, they don’t have the mental capacity to see through the politics and look for the real person.

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  77. srylands (386 comments) says:

    The wankers at The Standard are experiencing severe cognitive dissonance.

    From one of their regular commentators today:

    “Radio New Zealand is staffed with manques, infantilised and basically just a mouthpiece for rightwing idiots.”

    That’s right. Radio New Zealand is a mouthpiece for Right Wing Idiots.

    Now if you believe that, you have lost your ability to reason. Yet this guy says that and the comrades all nod. You would think one of them would say “umm comrade can you just back up there” but I guess those types have all fled. :-) It is really hilarious.

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  78. Crusader (278 comments) says:

    ^^ couldn’t have put it better myself big bruv.

    I’ve met him face to face. I meet enormous number of people from all walks of life in my daily job, and I need to sum them up quickly. JK is genuine and truly wants to make a difference. He has a sense of perspective and sense of humour. That’s about all I want from anyone. His policies are not perfect, but mostly to my liking, and more so than any other party’s right now. What’s not to like?

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  79. David Garrett (6,396 comments) says:

    srylands: What is a “manqué” ?? Genuine question…my Concise Oxford ( my ownership of which others purport to find most amusing) does not seem to know this word…

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  80. srylands (386 comments) says:

    “man·qué” adjective \mäⁿ-ˈkā\

    “having failed, missed, or fallen short, especially because of circumstances or a defect of character”

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  81. goldnkiwi (992 comments) says:

    Ironic that a Herald writer was allowed to write the authorised biography. I do not think I saw that stated but due to access to Bronagh etc I have made that assumption.

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  82. goldnkiwi (992 comments) says:

    David Garrett (5,974 comments) says:

    June 26th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Polls work as a de facto referendum then to a degree if they have an influence.

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  83. Gulag1917 (651 comments) says:

    Anybody that hates the opposition that much must be from the lunatic fringe.

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  84. deadrightkev (275 comments) says:

    I think JK is to be admired for his rags to riches story but it is his legacy he leaves NZ that I do not find one bit appealing.

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  85. Engineer (67 comments) says:

    Key’s story is not particularly admirable.

    He did not invent anything , was not an entrepreneur (Graham Hart), was not even a particularly talented investor (like say Bob Jones), nor come up with an original idea (Sam Morgan).

    He simply positioned himself in an industry where the loot is concentrated, and licked balls and greased poles like all corporate types do and climbed the ladder. Being genetically a member of a certain small tribe would also have helped. Basically a parasite.

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  86. itstricky (1,556 comments) says:

    David Garrett,

    Although I am sure he was/is no fan of the She Beast, I cannot imagine DPF ever referring to her in that fashion…Nasty shrill lefties….

    I’m sure he’d say nothing at all like:

    As I said, I’d forgotten how nasty Clark could be. My God – she thinks it is all about her. And yes this nasty vindictive Government that fully supported her campaign for the UN job, and appointed Michael Cullen to an SOE.

    And… in case you’re wondering… I found that one in about 5 minutes. Given that, I’m sure there are plenty more. Get down off the horse, David & David, someone else’s turn…

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