Key takes aim at hostile, aggressive and antagonistic media, but not worried about it; Highlights 'tabloid and sensationalist' NZ Herald

Key takes aim at hostile, aggressive and antagonistic media, but not worried about it; Highlights 'tabloid and sensationalist' NZ Herald
Prime Minister John Key

By Alex Tarrant

'Tabloidisation' of the New Zealand Herald, Sunday Star Times headlines, and the way radio and television news outlets pick sound bites for their articles are under fire from John Key, who says the media has become more antagonistic towards the government.

But the PM says he is not worried about the media being more aggressive as the government's second term rolls on. He told Newstalk ZB listeners on Tuesday morning he had expected the hostility and was not thrown by it.

Second-term-itus has become a buzz word for media commentators as they cover the National-led government's second term. Many are noting Key appears more tired and weary than during his first term as Prime Minister as he tries to sell policies like the Sky City 'pokies for convention centre deal,' welfare reforms, and further public sector budget cuts.

Speaking on Newstalk ZB's Leighton Smith show this morning, Key said the news media had a more aggressive and hostile mood towards the government.

“Contrary to their opinions, I’m not that bent out of shape by that. I expected that. In fact, Helen Clark came up to me when I was at the swearing in of the government in 2011 – she came as a former Prime Minister. She said, ‘I remember what it was like: First term was okay, second term was disastrous, and the third term was diabolical.

“That’s just what happens. Pressure comes on governments more because the media become more antagonistic. It is what it is,” Key said.

That was not a complaint, “just a statement of fact.”

This different approach from the media, together with a number of “slightly controversial” policies the government was trying to push through, underlying challenges, and the government’s desire for urgency when enacting policies meant there was a lot of pressure on the government.

Tabloid Herald

On specific media organisations, Key said the New Zealand Herald had turned more tabloid since Shayne Currie had taken over as editor in November last year.

“They won’t like it if I say that, but that is absolutely is statement of fact,” Key said.

“What they are doing at the Herald is very clear. They have decided they need to get their circulations from stopping falling, or at least maybe try and go up. They have a new editor, and the new editor’s turned the front page of the paper into a pretty sensational sort-of front page," he said.

“That’s a deliberate strategy to get more sales at the dairy. The volatile bit won’t be their home distribution, because you’re buying the paper whether you get it or not. The volatile bit is whether you go into the dairy or the supermarket or the service station and buy the paper.

“You look at it, the entire front-page is always one story, fairly sensational, and then the rest of the paper’s probably a bit more traditional Herald, although still a bit more aggressive," he said.

Key noted the Herald had brought journalist David Fisher over from the Herald on Sunday, “as an investigative journalist, so-called,” while new editor Shayne Currie was taking a different approach than former editor Tim Murphy.

“And they’re just doing that to try and stop the decline in sales,” Key said.

The changes were not something people should overly worry about.

“And I don’t, despite what they think. I actually don’t worry about it. What I worry about is making sure that we’re doing the right thing for New Zealand. But there has to be some urgency because the international environment is still extremely fragile, if not weak,” Key said.

Fisher has been leading the Herald’s coverage of the government’s convention centre deal with the Sky City casino, as well as the Kim Dotcom-John Banks saga. See his articles here.


Meanwhile, later on in the one hour-long talk-back slot with Smith, Key took aim at Fairfax’s Sunday Star Times, and the way broadcast media reported his statements.

“I go on 20-something radio stations a week. I do post-Cabinet press conference [on Monday afternoons], and I’m with the press every single day. I’m pretty much on the nightly news every night, and when I’m not on it, my Ministers are," Key said.

“But I can’t control the bit that they cut out – the seven second sound bite they choose to use. And you just see endless headlines, I mean they’re endless, where they are delivering an angle," he said.

“The Sunday Star Times a couple of weeks ago ran with, Key locks in former Prime Ministers’ entitlements. Well I hate to tell them the bad news, I’m not locking anything in. It’s been in the [legislation] as long as I’ve been on this earth.”

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So, what is he saying here. Could it be that without the media drawing attention to, oh let's say, the Sky City deal, then there would not be the hue and cry, which would then be interpreted as an okay from us. Is he saying that we really don't actually find trading our laws for favours for such an outfit as a casino, distasteful, that we should be perfectly happy to bolster the already outrageous profit of such nasty business as this.
And as far as online gambling goes, I bet your bottom dollar (pun intended) that the bulk of people who do go online to gamble do not do so via online pokies. Why not, well all the factors that get put together to hook you into them just don't apply at home and they don't have anywhere near the appeal. Also you can go online and gamble with play money, try that in the casino.
No sorry, John we can think for ourselves, even though I am just as sure that a lot of the initial reaction to this was actually visceral, but we need to trust our gut instinct as well, you know.
Then there is his dismissal of the old rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, he can couch it any way he likes, but until he faces the fact that there needs to be more things in place to re-distribute wealth we will see no change in the situation. Growing the pie will do diddly, as the damned thing will still get divvied up the same way
Then there's asset sales, say no more

PM – please face the facts, before starting the blaming game.
 raegun - some good points.
It is obvious the NZpublic and the NZgovernment are divorcing from each other and democratic processes are decreasing. This is of general unsatisfactory. It seems John Key isn’t aware of that.
I also think Key’s often sloppy, arrogant, even untruthful and childish answers during interviews have not only done damage to his image as PM, but also provoked the NZpublic and the NZmedia.

Isn’t interesting what our politicians said in the past and then translate it into the today’s issues.
another good one – listen what he’s is saying on Kiwis moving to AU.

Speaking on Newstalk ZB's Leighton Smith show this morning, Key said the news media had a more aggressive and hostile mood towards the government.
Cripes, a whining PM - another disappointment to add to the rest?

at least the herald have been calling for pat lam to go unlike the waikato times who were joined at the hip of ian foster despite his appalling record.
however key is right ,most nz papers are more tabloid  and sensationlist than they use to be.
waikato times headline all black in mourning
then you read and find that his uncles sons girlfriends neighbours  dog died.
give me interest any time

He frankly doesn't give a rat'sass what the stupid media are talking about as long as it's anything but SOE sales.......
 Just don't talk about it ..don't bring it up....don't mention it......stay distracted with every pithy thing he and his minions have doled out to the media.........or is it more sinister than that..?
What about the SOE's Cambo...? uh...? surely theirs some public interest there..!  twat.

He must ignore the media ... he needs to get on with the SOE sales
We need to not lose sight of the fact Kiwis spend more on the LOTTO and the TAB than on Pokies , and wanyway  Sky City is jam packed with tourists and Asian punters many of whom actually bring money into NZ.
I am surprised that the Government does not highlight these anomolies and use these facts to their advantage  
People must get over it , the economy needs to get off its knees and the injection on fresh capital from SOE sales into the economy would be welcome.

Yes. "Fresh Capital" from asset sales. So very different from the staler capital from the government's borrowing.

Why not take the money from asset sales and try and double it at the casino?

John Key has had nothing but s&!t from the leftwing media ever since he was in opposition .
Remember the Hue and Cry over his shareholding in Public Companies?
He should simply have pointed out that all NZX Listed Companies Shareholder Registers are public documents  , and the reporter should hasve been sent scampering along to research it on his own, instead of trying to " catch him out ".
Not even I can remember which Companies I held shares in 5 years ago, if someone asked me   .
I could not beleive TVNZ having this as a News Headline one evening.
And , whatsmore , he should sue those leftwing arseholes who run that disgrace called the Sunday Star Times for lying , and breaching media ethics , attempted defamation , and everything else that comes to mind .

Boatman, that whole outcry over Key's Tranz Rail shareholding started after I wrote this story in my previous life at Fairfax.
Some parliamentary reporter(s) subsequently cottoned on to the fact that these weren't the only Tranz Rail shares he owned (which I'd known and dismissed as irrelevant for my story) and got all hot under the collar over it. I agree it was ridiculous.
I thought it was much more interesting that he'd bought into Tranz Rail as Fay & Richwhite sold out. History, and his investment banking background, probably should have told him that wasn't a good punt.

Come on Boatman tell us what you really think....!!!!!

'Twas the night of the election , November 2011 ...... and John Key rushes home , all excited ......
" Bronnie , Bronnie ..... they've re-elected me ! "
Bronagh : " Honestly ? "
JK : " Well there's no need for you to bring that up ! "

@Gibber , borrowed money is not Capital , its Debt .
And dont lose sight of the fact that the Goverments biggest expense in the budget is Social Welfare....... The Benefit 
We are borrowing money to give it to KFC and McDONALDS ( both of which United States controlled Multinationals and who remit their dividends back to the US ) via unemployed  layabouts who dont know when to stop shagging and having babies 

Give it up Boatman - all money/deposits are debt in our current state of operation - net debtor nation status, don't you know?  

Superannuation is the biggest cost for the Ministry of Social Development, yet Key has already refused to address this... 

Superannuation is the biggest welfare cost for any country. Always has and always will be. And NZ is no different in that. 30 years ago National Superannuation was the biggest single item of expenditure for the government even then and nothing has changed.
Your comment that Key, by somehow refusing to 'fix' this, therefore implying some sort of failure on his part, is particularly queer. Why didn't your darling Chairman Helen 'fix' it? Or maybe she didn’t want to see New Zealand's elderly reduced to living in poverty as presumably you do just to make a political point.
You do understand, Plutocracy, don't you, that by international standards, New Zealand's old age pension as a percentage of GDP is one of the cheapest?  And you want to make it even cheaper? Well you are a New Zealander I suppose. Everything in this country is done on the cheap. I guess we've got the likes of you to thank for it.

Well David, the fact that Helen didn't address this is irrelevant as Labour were governing in a time of relative 'surplus'. Had a Labour government been in power now, I would expect them to address this issue also.
Believe it or not, good leadership should to be flexible and be able to adapt to changing situations, yet Key consistently fails to show any concern about the huge burden that superannuation will place on the taxpayer as the babyboomers retire. Not only this, but he fails to address other social welfare costs such as the benefit, interest-free student loans, working for families, and the accommodation supplement.
In my post above I was just highlighting that when you right-wing fanboys start foaming at the mouth about beneficiaries you should also acknowledge super, the largest of our social development costs and the other elephant in the room. No need to get your knickers in such a twist!

The desire to reform National Super is entirely about the future, it's not about the present, so your argument that Labour had no reason to make any changes to it as they were governing during a time when the outside world delivered them endless surpluses (which they irresponsibly squandered I might add), holds absolutely no water whatsoever. The future potential cost of National Super is the same today as it was 6 years ago. As for the other social welfare costs that you claim he is doing nothing about, all of those were brought in by you and your mates on the Left. You have no moral authority here; just a profound depth of self-serving hypocrisy so typical of Labour and the Greens, and vain old queens. 

.. maybe she didn’t want to see New Zealand's elderly reduced to living in poverty as presumably you do just to make a political point.
The problem with this line of argument is that it implies that all 65+ yo would be reduced to living in poverty were adjustments made to NZ Super.  However, many elderly do not rely solely on NZ Super for income.  For example, the 65+ yo age group (if I recall correctly) was disproportionately represented in the investor losses in recent finance company collapses. 
So to alleviate the concern you have, David, for the poor - what do you think of means testing super? 

She and Cullen tried to, its known as the Cullen fund....which National promptly knee capped.
Or Muldoon?
Clear failings of the idealogical right.....
What is one of the draw cards to OZ? the compulsory super scheme. I know several good workers who are about to or have left and that is one of the main reasons.

There are many reasons why a person might prefer to live in Australia, but the fact that super is compulsory there is a bizarre one.  If you want to put 12% of your salary into a retirement savings fund, you can do so.  Why would you want the Government to force you do it?
(Go on, tell us that you genuinely believe that the contributions are made by the employer and not the employee.  I dare you.)
Is there any evidence to suggest that Australian super funds make better returns, or charge lower fees, than KiwiSaver providers do?
Note also that Australia's record on old age poverty is far worse than New Zealand's - over a quarter of over-65s with less than 50% of median household disposable income there, compared to less than 2% here.

yep sure....happy now?
URL for OZ poverty?

OECD "Pensions at a Glance" 2011, table on p 149.  Australia's figure is the fourth worst in the OECD.

yep found it....though its the state pension that is so poor...not bad perforance of the compulsory scheme.

I'm taking it that the report is from this link
Income poverty rates defined as "Percentage with incomes less than 50% of median household disposable income"  (p149)
and "For international comparisons, the OECD treats poverty as a “relative” concept. The yardstick for poverty depends on the median household income in a particular country at a particular point in time. Here, the poverty threshold is set at 50% of median, equivalised household disposable income."
26.9 % of Aussies >65 are living in poverty under that measure
1.5 % of NZ > 65 are living in poverty under that measure
On P 168, discussion about mean Vs Median earnings
Mean and median earnings Most of the results presented in this report are based around mean earnings. However, many of the key indicators are shown also using estimates of “median” earnings, that is the level below and above  which half of workers’ earnings lie. The table also shows, from the OECD Earnings Distribution Database, median earnings as a percentage of mean earnings. There is significant variation between countries
From P 169,  I can find average household income. And towards right, percantage of average that median hits at
The Average earnings for Aussie were 60,400 AUD. Median is 83% of that. or 50,132 AUD
The Average earnings for NZ were 46,700 NZD. Median is 87% of that. or 40,262
To be living in poverty in Australia, you need to be getting < $25,066 AUD  ( $31,000 NZD at a conservative cross rate based on today's cross rate)
To be living in poverty in NZ you need to be getting < $20,131 NZD
Feel free to correct my calculations

Income poverty rates defined as "Percentage with incomes less than 50% of median household disposable income
Which for me at least is a possibly dubious measure.  To me poverty is where you dont have enough of the basic necessities which are food, shelter and your essential outgoings costs > disposible income.   Now in NZ is strikes me that if we take electricity as an example we pay more for it than the USA, yet their incomes are higher then that 50% may not work as a measure.
Interesting thing is it looks like NZ state pension is more generous, so it makes sense for NZers to go to OZ, get the compulsory pension paid over their working lifetime and come back here to retire and get full NZ -pension.  So they can pay no NZ tax in that time period?  yet waltz back in and get a state pension plus the OZ pension transferred?  Now in the UK your state pension is based on how many years you paid UK tax I think (it was anyway) if you only paid tax for say 10 out of 40 years you only got 25% of the OAP....

You have to have lived in New Zealand for ten years after the age of 20, five of those years after the age of 50, to be eligible for NZS.  Once you have passed that test, yes, your entitlement to  NZS is completely unrelated to how long and how much you have paid tax in New Zealand.   It may, however, be reduced if you or your spouse are receiving a state pension from overseas.
Yes, if you save up for your own retirement, then you will get the benefit of that saving in addition to your NZS.  But you don't have to move to Australia to do that.  In fact, if you save up for your own retirement in Australia, you will be penalised for it if you retire there.  Your state pension is reduced.
Australians don't "get their compulsory pension paid".  Whatever the formalities, in effect it comes out of their wages.  It was clearly understood at the time the policy was introduced  that the employer contributions to super were in lieu of wage increase.

Whatever the "understanding" (URL?), whether individual or not today the package is clearly better and is a draw may not understand it, but clearly others like and want it.

(Wearily) Yes, the package is better.  Total remuneration, including employer contributions to super, is higher.  That is what is more attractive about Australia.  Not the fact that you are required to fund your own super.
"Some older union officials like to portray money diverted compulsorily to super as a free gift from employers. It is not. It is money that could otherwise be paid as wages – a point that the superannuation minister (and former Australian Workers’ Union secretary) Bill Shorten candidly acknowledges."

Gibber:  I've got no problems with your calculations.  You are simply saying that earnings are higher in Australia.  That is true, and that is a good reason why a person might prefer to live there than here.  The fact that financing your own superannuation is compulsory in Australia is a bad reason to prefer to live there than here.

Hmm. Not sure I agree with you.  Sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face. 
(That is, I don't want to live some where where I would get more money because some of it is locked up in a Super Fund so i am more likely to be able to fund my own retirement. So I'll stay earning less money in a country that is going to have to put up the retirement age and seeing as I'm earning less and saving less, I was sort of relying on that National Super...)
You can set up your own Super Scheme and have the contributions directed to your own scheme. Pros and cons depending on level of income, cost of compliance, knowing what asset types are ok to invest in.  But there are a lot of self-directed super schemes in Aus.

I don't think we are disagreeing particularly.  Earnings are higher in Australia, and that is a good reason for wanting to live there.  Many people would agree with you that it outweighs the fact that you don't get any choice about how much to put towards your retirement and that when you do retire you are penalised for having saved. 
I wouldn't bet against the Australians having to raise the retirement age as well.  And  if you want to save up for your own super in New Zealand, over and above your NZS entitlement, you can do so.  You don't have to do so entirely through KiwiSaver.  You don't have to do so through KiwiSaver at all, and then you can self-direct to your heart's content. 
The Australian super system does not offer advantages to individuals that are not available to individuals here.

I wouldn't bet against the Australians having to raise the retirement age as well.
From page 193 of that OECD Pensions link
The Age Pension1 is payable from age 65 for men. Women’s pensionable age – currently 63.5 – will increase gradually to become 65 by 2014. Pension age will then be increased by six months every two years from 2017 until it reaches 67 by 2023. The minimum age for withdrawing superannuation guarantee benefits is currently 55, but this will increase gradually to 60 by 2025.
In other words, you can get at your own money earlier that you can get paid a pension
And Pensions are means tested. So you either retire on your own super. Or you wait until you qualify for a pension.

If you want to get at your own money earlier than the pension age - put it into a private savings scheme instead of (or as well as) KiwiSaver.  Then you can get at it whenever you like. 

Can Judith Collins cobble enough support to out Key?
Just promise to halt asset sale and she would have the country with her. 

Boatman said
People must get over it , the economy needs to get off its knees and the injection on fresh capital from SOE sales into the economy would be welcome.
  Boatman.......the people "need to get over it" attitude is the tough love on an economy rhetoric..!  That's just what the Greek administration said a short while back... about  the helpful IMF Austerity plan.
Give the people a plauaseable basis for the sales that will not be detrimental to the people down the track.........unfortunately Power has become a necessity of life as we know it Jim..
I have watched you post over quite some time here...I certainly don't think your stupid by any stretch ...but I do think you are mistaken on this one ,both now and down the track...sad thing is ,it looks like you'll get to prove me right or wrong rather than vice versa.
The capital injection will do very little indeed  when you measure the impact global change in circumstance will have upon  our economy.....your begining to see the iceberg appear through the fog now with our very own Goliath Fonterra.....and they are stumbling.

The capital will disappear into Opex, fixing leaky schools etc...its one huge con IMHO.......sad to see that really National is still old National under the hood with a smiling front man. Bereft of anything more than old failed blinkered ideology but prepared to sell their souls and lie to get into power.  On the other side of course Labour is no better, just like Greece this leaves the voter with no where to go except the extremes....

Given he has the most gawd awful sentence structure and grammar - I think he'd be best advised not to do the 20-something radio shows per week.  
They have decided they need to get their circulations from stopping falling, or at least maybe try and go up.
The volatile bit won’t be their home distribution, because you’re buying the paper whether you get it or not.

It's not very funny when he is 'our' statesman - he certainly does the New Zealand Education system no favours by speaking as though he crawled from under a rock. 

Should we take from statement No 2 - that there's a problem getting good paper boys in Remmers?

Bit geographically sexist of you Kate
(and go ahead and correct my sentence structure ...)

Yeah, I thought about political correctness prior to posting ... but 'paperpersons' just didn't do it for me :-).

But what do you have against remmer's?  Doesn't the DonK have a place in Parnell?

Come on, Kate, own up to it. You fancy the man something awful. What else explains this moody adolescent pout you have for the Prime Minister?

DB, he's an embarrassment - simple as that;

Careful David B.  Kate might end up accusing you of projection...

No thanks, he's not my type. He'd look very funny in a dress.

I actually agree with Key - the media seems absessed with tapping into the negative part of our Kiwi psyche, which (if we're being completely honest) can be very nitpicking and at times unambitious. It seems like they traul over every story and issue, determined to find a hardship story, or some government conspiracy. The entire news broadcast at night these days (Campbell etc included) seems more like a glorified episode of Target or Fair Go.

If there wasn't so much pus to drain, the media wouldn't be so absessed

Here's a tweet I just spotted: "john key must be joking. he's had the most right-wing media in decades: holmes, henry, hosking, laws, williams, smith, woodham, maggie barry"

And what do you know Joan Withers (ex Fairfax) get the Chair of Mighty River Power just before privatisation.
One hand washes the other.

agreed. Add Fran Sullivan and John Roughan to that list
I think the Nats are getting off lightly, given their absymal economic performance.
Key should look at the slaughtering that GiIllard is getting before he whinges. And she's got unemployment to drop below 5% and is achieving economic growth!

He and the Governement had the greatest free pass with the media for its first term I have ever witnessed. Too Funny.

Credit where it's due , JK has done the one thing Helen Clark could only dream of doing ( not " slept with a woman " you dirty minded bloggies ) .......
...... no , he's had his teeth fixed ...... durn't he look purty when he's all smiley - wavey !

In the Internet age I suppose the newspapers in NZ would be concerned about falling readership and therefore need attention grabbing front pages. 
Why buy a NZ newspaper when you can get Straits Times, New York Times and delivered to your iPad?
The only time I buy a printed newspaper is to line the cats litter tray. I really cant imagine printed newspapers being around in 5 years time. 

Instead of crying and whining why don't the pollies try a bit of honesty for a change......did I just say that!

Honesty is an occupational hazard.

C'mon HUGH .. you do KNOW the tap on the shoulder comes eventually .. regardless of colour .. the challenge is to know who the POWER is who sends the messenger ..

The status-quo will be maintained until another power-mad Muldoon-headcase achieves power, who will then pave the way for another Lange-Douglas duo.

Why did Key go off the rails? I dont know exactly and would appreciate others INFORMED perspectives on this.
Hugh, its a good question. As to the answer - not sure. Maybe the ChCh earthquake has distracted the govt from its reform priorities. Although I would argue that the world shouldn't stop because of the earthquake - some DELAY of reform might have been expected, but NOT seemingly DEATH of reform
In terms of planning reform, well the Nats are just really Labor in drag. They have always seemed interested only in ineffectual tweaking rather than fundamental reform. By tweaking they can say "we have done something", even if its not very much   
I hope the answer is not a more cynical one. That goes like this. Key and his mates have high value homes and investment properties, and they want to minimise planning and housing reform so that housing supply remains highly constrained and thier own property values are enhanced.  I suspect (hope?) such selfish motives are not the reason, but I wouldn't bet my life against it.

I think it is a matter of possum in the headlights as issues that have not been addressed in the past will steamroll over them.

I think National spent their last 2 terms in opposition coming up with what they were going to do when they got into power. When they got elected they found the world had changed from what they planned for. 
National had no plan B, and a cabinet incapable of creating one. So not only do they resemble  possums in the headlights, they also came with no ability to learn and adapt.
The earthquakes and some luck saved them from the first car - but they are still sitting there on a differnt part of the road waiting to see if they will be as lucky with the approaching truck and trailor unit.   

Hugh, I think the rot was always there and definitely well before 2009 - just perhaps not visible on the surface to someone who wanted to believe in them. 
You were conned, but had yourself already summed up the NZ National Party with your rewriting of their Mission Statement:
The Mission of the New Zealand National Party is to tip toe through life - quietly - hoping to reach death - safely.

The media has been chomping at the bit to find something to complain about that people will actually read, but so far hasn't found much.  Even asset sales weren't enough to keep people voting for Key, who is still very popular. 
Convention centres and free contraceptives won't cause most people to vote Labour either, but I'm sure the media will keep trying.  Thats what the media does in the absence of a real story and everyone needs to get over it.  Its actually a good sign, it means the country is otherwise chugging along mostly fine. Not perfect, sure, but would the other guy do a better job?  
Most industries have a political bias, bankers are mostly right wing, and the media mostly left.  
That is old news Mr. Key.  If you don't care about it, why are you commenting on it to the media?

media mostly left, havn't seen it in the past three years. It has seemed the media are allies rather than objective. There has actually been plenty of issues the media don't even try to touch. Still i think most of the public is too introverted to care.

LOL, Ohhhh Johnny boy, the hostility has not even started mate. Media AND public. Your honeymoon is well and truly over. The NZ media are too stupid to even know when they are being played by the poly's ( all poly's) and they assume the public can't see through the BS they put too print or on air in this country

I'm not so sure that public hostility is going to grow much. The opposition has little to offer, and Key seems to have charmed large swathes of the population inexplicably. And he continues to delay making the necessary hard and unpopular decisions that could truly cut into his popularity (things like the convention centre / asset sales are really only mildy controversial as they don't affect most people directly, if you compare them to things like cutting WFF, raising pension age, introducing land taxes etc). Whilst he lacks creativity, vision and true courage and leadership, he is a master of populism. 
Mind you if unemployment keeps increasing upwards then pressure might mount. Conversely, mild increases in unemployment is kind of a political blessing, as it is a factor in keeping the OCR low and therefore keeping the home owning / mortgage paying punters happy. So, there would probably need to be an increase to say 7.5-8% unemployment for Key's popularity to really start to suffer.  Remember too that with marginal increases in unemployment many people who lose their jobs are traditional labour supporters ie. factory workers, public servants etc
a few months ago I thought Key would be a two term PM. I'm not so sure now. There's a long way to go, but I think a continuation of NZ's bumbling mediocrity in terms of eocnomic performance will not be bad enough to dethrone him

Whether he said it, or Helen Clark said it, I'd agree with them both. Unfortunatey the sheeplee are easily manipulated by the media in this country, as they are in many others, and whilst there may be alot who can think for themselves such as on this blog, there's no doubt that a carefully scripted bunch of sound bites can oh so easily form public opinion
Boatman, throughly agree with you on all you said. It is so frustrating when you see the opportunities this richly resourced country has with only 4 million people to share it, yet the negative attitude of so many to actually being able to get off our butts to make it work for us all is hugely frustrating - Key's frustrations must be equally huge
Raegun - your attitude is typical of the problems this country faces. It is not the job of Govt to redistribute wealth. Yes it is their job to assist the private sector in trying to grow the pie, and yes it is their job to have a reasonable safety net for those genuinely disadvantaged by their situation - redistribution has been tried in communist countries and failed, and it been tried in europe and is now in the process of failing

Boatman is fundamentally right. We kiwis need to accept the fact that we can't keep dishing out money to all and sundry. NZ needs to lift its productivity and this will only occur if we begin investing in productive assets. Having copious amounts sitingin the bank earning a measly few. % ain't too smart. John Key is trying bloody hard to look at ways of pulling iin foreign capiaital. Every time he suggests something which frankly is a good idea he gets shot down by a bunch of half wits. I can understand why he is beginning to wonder why he is bothering. He is the best thing for NZ.  It is becoming clear however that bewtween our left leaning media and those individuals who haven't gotten over HC and Cullen it is inevitable we as a nation are f^#^d

And you know what Kane, with all the xenophobic clap crap about the Crafer farm sale (anyone who thinks its not xenophobic is then obviously just plain uninformed if they didnt realise previously about the German, Dutch Americans etc before them in far greater volume), I almost wish that the Chinese would stop supporting the Govt bond tenders to the huge extent they have been in recent times, and let bond rates raise along with retail mortgage rates which would directly follow it - of course they would have no idea what caused it, so I suppose no lessons there for the uninformed

I do like SoreLoser's stream of consciousness stuff.  It's almost poetry, sort of a cross between Finnegan's Wake, e e cummings and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Sorry folks, head hit the keyboard there for a bit...

Yawn, arguing about to which side of politics the 'media' is more biased toward. Another big timewaster ...

Then maybe key should stop outright lying to the public about how his tax cuts didnt create a 2 billion whole in the public finaces.
Key's legacy is going to be one of the most poorly managed economic periods in NZ's history.

Mr Key. I tell my kids this same thing - stop lying to me and I will start to trust you. If you lie, you lose trust

"Those who live by the sword die by the sword"
All politicians need publicity like a fish needs water.  The trouble is, it is a two-edged sword, & will always come back & bite you in the bum.
Late last year I read an opinion piece in the NBR discussing how Key had had a dream run from the media, they had lapped him up totally, & were due to turn on him any time.  Within a week or so they took the opportunity to turn feral over the tea party.
I have said this before: Key seems more & more like Muldoon every day.  Snapping at the media is just the latest iteration of that.

Teflon John

Key has this attitude like as if he just accross comes accross as a nice guy we should just accept whatever he does, guess what there more to being a PM that the front you put in public, the actions you take matter more than anything else.