To: Sir John Key (former PM of NZ)
Address: Somewhere warm and comfortable
Date: August 6, 2026
From: New Zealanders born from 2002 to 2011, living in New Zealand, Australia, UK, US and Asia.
Subject: Happy 65th birthday
Dear Sir John
We congratulate you on your 65th birthday.
We hope you are enjoying your retirement after your 24 years of service as an MP and your 12 years as Prime Minister.
We understand you are due to receive the New Zealand Superannuation from the taxpayers, which when combined with your wife Bronagh's pension still works out at 66% of the average wage.
We also understand you will also be receiving a pension on top of that from the government from your years of service as an MP and Prime Minister. And we understand you have retained your wealth from your years as a successful foreign exchange trader and investment banker, including the tax free capital gains made on the various properties you owned.
We had thought of buying you a present to go with your pension, the NZ Super and your own private savings, but we're a bit short of cash at the moment.
In fact, we're not that thrilled with some of the decisions you made 15 years ago, which mean we're not feeling that flush right now.
We are the generation born between 2002, when you became an MP, and 2011, when you won your second of four terms as Prime Minister.
We wonder why you insisted on spending our inheritance to ensure you were voted back in.
We're now either about to graduate, are unemployed or have just started work. Our taxes are about to go up to pay the interest costs on the debt you incurred and to pay for the healthcare and pension costs of your generation.
We understand your government borrowed NZ$20 billion alone in the 2010/11 year. We remember the appalling earthquake, but most of this was to pay for middle class welfare measures that both Labour and National used during the 2000s to get themselves elected.
The tax cuts you delivered to your fellow wealthy New Zealanders had to be paid for with borrowings of NZ$2.8 billion in the 2010/11 year alone. What happened to that money?
What did the rich spend that money on? Imported cars? Houses?
All we see now are excruciatingly high house prices in Auckland in particular.
We can't afford to even think about buying a house here.
Those people of your generation that owned property when we started being born in 2002 became fabulously wealthy and paid no tax on those capital gains.
You and your generation then decided to keep the retirement age at 65 and the payment for a couple at 66% of the average wage, even though the Retirement Commission, Treasury and a host of other experts told you that you could not afford to keep doing it, particularly now.
We understand you even said you would resign if you ever increased the retirement age or changed the 66% payout.
We had a look through hansard and found a quote from October 4, 2011 where you were asked about extending the retirement age said you weren't concerned about the economic outlook beyond 2025.
The government was comforable that the costs imposed by the retirement age, which were modeled out to 2025, were affordable, Key said in parliament on October 4.
"That's about as far out as we need to go," he said.
Why don't you care about what happens to the economy and the generations working after your retirement?
Why didn't you?
The youth born from 2002 and 2011