Hos interview with John Key

The Herald on Sunday also interviews John Key. Some interesting stuff:

How would your voters feel if you turned around and supported the entrenchment of these seats, when your policy is to abolish them?

I think there would be very mixed views. Some people would accept that, but others would have real concerns, I think… MMP is inevitably about compromise – compromise from smaller parties and compromise from bigger parties.

That is one of the ironies of MMP – all manifestos are starting positions not final positions.

You don’t live in Helensville. Your electorate vote is in Epsom – Richard Worth or Rodney Hide?

I’m voting two ticks for National.

So presumably you’ll be advising all other National voters in Epsom to do the same? To give their electorate vote to Richard Worth?

We’re running a party vote campaign around the country. It’s no secret that we have a good relationship with Act. Obviously we’d encourage anybody to give two ticks to National, but we acknowledge that there will be people who split their vote in Epsom.

That was delicately handled!

After the past week, are you fairly comfortable with your decision to rule out Winston Peters?

Ultimately a Winston Peters government is always one that has dramas and scandals around it, and I think that New Zealanders want a fresh start.

Why do you think Helen Clark has been willing to wed herself so closely to Winston?

I think she’s desperate for power. She’s trading away the principles she campaigned on in 1999 that she was going to hold ministers to account. She’s fired ministers before Winston for a lot less… The only reason she hasn’t [fired him] is because he’s her only hope to get a fourth term.

You know I can’t actualy think of what more Winston could do, that would cause Clark to fire him?

You said you regretted your slip-up over the Tranz Rail shares. Why shouldn’t that erode voters’ trust in you?

Because that was a genuine mistake, and when I made it I fronted up about it. What I did find out about a week later was that I had more shares than people had originally thought, but they were for the same time period… Now, for good order I should have gone back and corrected that, and if I was faced with that situation again I would.

Could people perceive that as you being “economical with the truth”?

Well, they could do, and that was certainly why Labour went to such great lengths to find that information about me – but people make mistakes.

I like people who can admit their mistakes. I don’t think Helen has ever admitted an error – not even signing a painting done by someone else as her own. She just tried to claim she autographed it, not signed it!!

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