John Key sums up Statements on Iraq

Ministerial Statements

Iraq— Deployment of Troops

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister):

I take this opportunity to sum up the statements that have been made in the House. On Monday the Government made a decision to send New Zealand forces to train Iraqi forces. It made the decision to send 106 people to Taji for up to 2 years.

We made the decision to stand up to the evil and barbaric behaviour we have seen from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant .

I want to focus not on political parties that have either well-established positions or fundamentally not much to add to the debate, but I want to focus on Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition .

The interesting thing is this. Labour in New Zealand, when it comes to sending New Zealand forces for training says no—it says no.

But the interesting thing is that the Labour Opposition in the UK says yes. The Labor Opposition in Australia says yes, and the equivalent of the Labour Opposition in Canada says yes. So every Labour Opposition in like-minded countries says yes, but, apparently, the Labour Opposition in New Zealand says no.

But hold on a minute, the Labour Opposition, when it was the Government, said yes to sending 60-odd engineers to Iraq. No debate, no vote—“You’re going, boys.”

And the Labour Opposition, when it was in Government, said yes to the combat forces of the SAS , and it did not tell the country; it just said yes.

I listened to Andrew Little’s speech, and here is the bottom line: he did not believe it, and I do not believe him because he knows that these people are barbaric and evil.

He knows that there are 35 to 40 New Zealanders at risk of a domestic threat. He knows, like I know, that the number of people on the list is growing to 60 or 70.

He knows, like I know, that New Zealanders are in the region. He knows, like I know, that New Zealanders travel prolifically, and he says that he cares about New Zealanders and he says that he wants to stand up for them.

Well, in Government he would be making this decision. You see, the reason he is not is this. It is not that it is not the right thing, because Phil Goff, when he was the Minister of Defence, used to do all this stuff with bells on.

The reason he is doing it is that he wants politics to win over what is right for the people. I will not—will not—stand by while Jordanian pilots are burnt to death, when kids execute soldiers, and when people are out there being beheaded. I am sorry, but this is the time to stand up and be counted. Get some guts and join the right side.

Leave a comment


  1. Shaun Cooper

     /  24th February 2015

    Key would have earned much more respect if he had only said: we are sending New Zealand forces, and here are the reasons why. Too bad that most of the speech was spent on belittling Little, as has become Key’s style.

    Key’s main argument is that Little’s arguments not to send NZ troops are false, therefore we will send troops. Not a very respectful or morale boosting message to those who are actually going.

    • Yes, this aspect of Key’s speeches was disappointing. His summing up was uiltra political tagetiing just Labour and Little. He said Little should stand up but he lowered himself to do this.

      He could have made his point far more effectively if he acted more like a leader and less like a partisan larrikin. This seemed more like a rant than anything.

  2. Budgieboy

     /  25th February 2015

    Oh bollocks, they lay into him at every turn and it’s absolutely right for Key to point out the utter hypocrisy of Labours stand when measured against there own very recent actions on such matters.

  3. Mike C

     /  25th February 2015


    The UK’S Opposition Leader says YES.
    Canadian Opposition Leader says YES. Australia’s Opposition Leader says YES. New Zealand Opposition Leader says NO

  4. SteveRemmington

     /  25th February 2015

    Breaking News: In an overnight turnaround Andrew Little has instructed all Union members to intervene into the current ISIL conflict.

    Following a proud union tradition, all union members are requested to report to their nearest dock or wharving facility and commence interfering, sabotaging and destroying our own troops stores and equipment.


  5. I have listened to both sides.. but these two comments on talkback (paraphrased) sum it up.. to my mind :

    ‘Key was acting like a spoiled brat who had just thrown his toys out of the cot !’

    ‘Key looked like a selfish kid having a temper tantrum, because he wasn’t getting his way’

    I agree 100%, his speech was full of vitriol & petulance ‘” I KNOW BEST & I’M NOT LISTENING TO ANYONE ELSE !!!”

  6. SteveRemmington

     /  25th February 2015


    Talkback Radio…where all sane and balanced commentators give their considered view.

  1. What would they do in government? | Homepaddock

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