Trans-Tasman on Key

Trans-Tasman (an invaluable weekly newsletter) looks at the week for Key:

John Key had three striking successes in the past week. All three demonstrated his capacity to take hold of a germ of an idea, nurture it and turn a political profit on it. The Jobs Summit hammered home the theme saving jobs is a top priority of the Key Govt. But its important achievement was to get sectors previously in conflict to work together. The Govt is willing to take on more debt, the banks are willing to lend some more money, the unions are not calling for pay rises, and employers accepted plans to reduce hours rather than jobs. As union leader (and presumably politically opposed to Key) Laila Harre put it: “In term of my political experience this was the first time I have personally been engaged in a genuinely tripartite process at a NZ level. I’ve never seen anything like that in NZ.”

The other two sucesses are putting the travel to Australia as domestic passengers on the fast track, and the decision to launch a Korean FTA.

At some stage, Key will have a really bad week, and it will be interesting to see how he handles it. But he is displaying very good political instincts to date.

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