Key’s legacy

Journalists and pundits have rushed into writing about John Key’s political legacy.

Public response has ranged from cheers and jeers to tears. For some people politics is very personal, and there are extreme views and feelings.

Media coverage of key’s legacy has been mostly favourable. Key was a very successful Prime Minister and communicator in some ways.

Of course Key, like any Prime Minister, has made mistakes and has done things he won’t be proud of, but on balance I think most people will see his tenure as being pretty good through some tough times – like the Global Financial Crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes.

Some people will never have seen any good in Key because he is not on their political side of a deep divide. Bitter bollocking has continued after the news of Key’s retirement.

Key has said that one of his main ambitions was to leave politics with New Zealand a better place than when he started as Prime Minister.

He took over as New Zealand transitioned from local recession to global financial crisis, and he, Bill English and their Government got the country though that better than most countries, with the added burden of the massive Canterbury earthquakes.

Our economy is emerging from years of deficits and the prospects are now looking much better. Housing is a major problem but that is not unique to New Zealand. In retrospect Key’s Government should have addressed land supply and the RMA sooner and more drastically, but they didn’t know the property bubble would blow up so much and for so long.

Key and all of us with mortgages and loans have benefited from a transition from high interest rates (mortgage rates were over 10% in 2008) to record lows of less than half of that. Some international influences are good, some are bad.

Key hasn’t dramatically transformed New Zealand, he hasn’t introduced one signature policy that will be remembered fondly for decades.

This is more positive than negative. Some people want revolution, they want to transform the country into their idea of some sort of capitalist or socialist nirvana.

But most people prefer stability, they don’t want their country lurching from one government to another, from one failed reform to another on the off chance one reform will make things better.

Governing a country is far more complex than many people seem to understand. Many tweaks are generally safer and better than a few major transformations. Big change is as likely to introduce new big problems as it is to solve the existing problems.

I think quite a bit more time and reflection is necessary to properly judge Key’s tenure as Prime Minister.

You can’t please all of the people all of the time, and some of the people will never be satisfied no matter who is in charge.

But I think in general New Zealand under the John Key led government of then last eight years has done pretty well, and our prospects overall are pretty good, albeit with some ongoing difficult issues like housing, drugs, violence and the struggling poor still needing more attention.

Like anyone Key had his flaws but I think he did a lot and he did his best and most of us are probably better off due to his efforts.

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99 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  December 6, 2016

    Stability is all it can be.Not a visionary leader but a competent manager of his party and a polished performer media wise.Leaving NZ better than he found it….very debate able. ..avoided the hard decisions like super.exponential increase in debt-borrowed more in 8 years than the total for 108.sat on his hands as house prices destroyed the kiwi dream.

    • Does New Zealand really need a ‘visionary leader’? One that may do wonderful things but who is at least as likely to make a mess.

      Most governing should be competent management, and nothing more than that.

      • PDB

         /  December 6, 2016

        Do ‘visionary’ and ‘MMP’ really go together? Doesn’t MMP stop anything visionary occurring because it allows self-interested parties or those with no vision to stop such things happening? Much needed RMA reforms have been watered down as to become meaningless.

      • Blazer

         /  December 6, 2016

        The status quo?Don’t think so…leadership is leading.Trump would not have been a hope if it was steady management.

      • Gezza

         /  December 6, 2016

        If I recall correctly the most recent visionary leader we’ve had was Jamie Pink, & that didn’t work out so well.

  2. Conspiratoor

     /  December 6, 2016

    In terms of how he affected our lives any legacy tends towards the negative. Rising crime, security, justice, housing, infrastructure, tow gravy train, RMA reform, troughing beaurocrats, useless comissariats, rampant immigration, chinese dependence. The nowhere man when it came to the hard stuff although he proved himself to be a capable manager of a couple of big events.

    • Gezza

       /  December 6, 2016

      Who works on the second floor, c? Accounts or the indentured labourers?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 6, 2016

      A lot of that is just nonsense, C.

      • Gezza

         /  December 6, 2016

        That might depend on who it is that works on the second floor Al.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  December 6, 2016

        I’m happy to debate later Al when I’ve beaten the bastards back. But please just pick one. Meantime I’ll leave you to your turd polishing. Cheers,c

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 6, 2016

          Security, justice, infrastructure will do to start with.

          • Blazer

             /  December 6, 2016

            Seems to have convinced citizens that spying on them ‘Stasi’ style…is acceptable.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  December 6, 2016

            Lunchtime so I’ll sneak in a quick response. Now I know you’re spoilt for choice Al but you are only allowed one. So I’m going to pick one of the three you have nominated. I am going to while away the afternoon reflecting on how Key could have made a difference in the chosen area but didn’t. And please don’t think I’m running scared if the response is somewhat delayed but it is a beautiful day outside and there is work to be done at home later. It will be far too pleasant this evening to be inside bashing away at a keyboard. In the meantime keep knocking back that koolaid and polishing the turd. Cheers,c

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 6, 2016

              Don’t drink koolaid and at my school a turd was a third former. Sky want to upgrade our MySky box so just archiving our saved programmes via Haupauge – tedious job. Got to fix a programmming bug too. Waiting for you to defend your indefensible.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  December 10, 2016

            placeholder for debate

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 12, 2016

              Al, you have the patience of a man waiting for a politician to deliver a legacy. First just a couple of points of clarification before we kick off…

              The topic -‘That John Key left a legacy in the area of [TBA]’

              …where TBA is one of – Security, Justice or Infrastructure – all areas in which you claim John Key has left a legacy. A difficult choice since all three offer the OPP an embarrassment of riches. However the choice has been made. You must confine your argument to Justice and seek to prove Key’s legacy in this area

              And can we agree the essential elements of a political legacy. Can I suggest it must contain all the following elements. It must be positive, tangible, measurable, endure beyond the next leader and must directly affect the lives of ordinary folks

              By way of example here is a political legacy. Without googling, can you guess who left it?

              “an impressive housing program, affordable food prices, a living wage, job security, safety, education and opportunity”

              Let the game begin. Since you are an AFF I’ll let you kick it off. Good luck

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 12, 2016

              You’ve attempted to shift the goal posts. Your statement was that any legacy Key left tended to the negative which I said was nonsense. So the onus is on you to establish your assertion, not me. You lead.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 12, 2016

              I’m not precious either way but only one of the three you’ve offered. I’ve chosen justice

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              So much for the monkey mind. This show isn’t worth the money I haven’t paid for the ticket so far.

              Let me state the proposition in an attempt to get the show on the road.

              “John Key’s legacy in the area of Justice is more negative than positive.”

              AFF Argument: Conspiratoor.
              OPP Argument: Dr Alan Wilkinson

              Adjudicators:
              Gezza (completely neutral at this point, considered bribeable)
              B J Marsh (stiff upper lip, reputedly incorruptible, but we’ll see)
              Pete Kane (will have to state a position at some point)

              Refunds: See the boss.

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              Format:
              Four arguments each, followed by summation (killer conclusion)

              Drinks & snacks afterwards at Blazer’s Bar & Grill

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 13, 2016

              @G
              “John Key’s legacy in the area of Justice is more negative than positive.”

              You either leave a legacy or you don’t. That is the proposition. This is not a bob each way. My claim that jk left no legacy is either correct or incorrect (or ‘nonsense’ as my friend Al claims).

              More later, I’ve got work to do. Cheers,c

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              This is a bloody shambles.

              Al, who is hardly ever correct, is right about this. I’m going over to Blazers for a shandy & pork scratchings.

            • Blazer

               /  December 13, 2016

              whos a soft cock…you or …Al.No show!

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 13, 2016

              Bugger off blazer, you’re supposed to be manning the bar. I’ll have a single malt. One nip, three drops of water. Damn make it a double, could be a long night. And a pike river dark ale for my good friend G. Lemon, lime and bitters for Al

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 13, 2016

              Al, no more delaying tactics. Blazer has the bar stocked but the eyelids are heavy and I’ve got 10 big bastards to beat back tomorrow

              So let us agree and lock down the rules of engagement

              The proposition stands ‘That John Key failed to leave a legacy in the area of Justice’

              AFF Argument: Conspiratoor.
              OPP Argument: Dr Alan Wilkinson

              Adjudicators: (as suggested by Gezza). Gezza, Colonel B J Marsh and Pete Kane

              And can we agree the essential elements of a political legacy. It must be positive, tangible, measurable, endure beyond the next leader and must directly affect the lives of ordinary folks

              By way of example here is a political legacy. Without googling, can you guess who left it?

              “an impressive housing program, affordable food prices, a living wage, job security, safety, education and opportunity”

              Please confirm your agreement to the above and I will lead off for the AFF

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 13, 2016

              I’ve had two hectic days out of town and an urgent project which I’ve just finished so I haven’t even looked here till now. You are still weaselling around with the goal posts. Gezza had it right and that was your assertion, not what you are now claiming. You actually asserted Key left a negative legacy which I said was nonsense. Now you are trying to take my position and are trying to define a legacy as positive.

              If you can’t debate supporting what you claimed then you lose without a shot being fired.

            • Blazer

               /  December 13, 2016

              ‘I’ve had two hectic days out of town and an urgent project which I’ve just finished ‘…where have I heard this before!Al should captain the NZ Cricket team!!BOL.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 13, 2016

              I wait a week for C to try to get started and then find him trying to twist the debate around to take my side and you have to wait a day till I have a moment to get back to this … and it’s somehow my fault?

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              Never mind him. How do you think I feel? It’s like herding bloody cats.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 13, 2016

              Al, your fired

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 13, 2016

              I win then. You won’t/can’t defend your assertion after a week of supposedly thinking about it. Not surprised, it was always nonsense as I said.

          • Gezza

             /  December 10, 2016

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 13, 2016

              G, will you take those damn monkeys down. I can’t think straight with a dozen hairy michael flatleys prancing across the screen

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              They said they’re the only entertainment worth watching so far & if you want to go ape move your debate to the end of the thread & restate your proposition because they read your initial statement & reckon you’ve moved the goalposts too.

              “In terms of how he affected our lives any legacy tends towards the negative. Rising crime, security, justice, housing, infrastructure, tow gravy train, RMA reform, troughing beaurocrats, useless comissariats, rampant immigration, chinese dependence”

              Also, they would like a fruit cocktail, neat, & a large bunch of bananas each when this is over.

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              Oops beg your pardon, I see you have done a restatement. (Thanks for nothing Bobo – you coulda stopped dancing long enough to tell me!)
              Still think you should take it to a restart at the end of the thread, otherwise all the arguments are gonna look pretty thin …

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 13, 2016

              G, I’ve fired Al. It was like trying to nail a custard to the ceiling getting him to commit.
              Can I prevail upon you to rustle up a worthy opponent. Don’t leave me in the lurch as it were. Cheers,c

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              Talk about a fatal fulminatory shambolism.
              Somebody’s gotta fork out for Bobo & the troupe or they’ll take the bar apart!

              Unless is prepared to debate your new proposition, you can take your bleedin debate and

            • Gezza

               /  December 13, 2016

              * insert “someone else” after “Unless”. 😳
              The rest is 👍

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 14, 2016

              G, keep the faith. Find me an oppo. If you won’t play ball I’ll have to have a x mas debate with myself. Justice is a fundamental right and to most kiwis it is a joke. Cheers,c

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 6, 2016

    Key showed the flaws in his critics and continues to expose their strengths and weaknesses in his departure. Their responses are telling – about themselves, good and bad.

    • Blazer

       /  December 6, 2016

      Very vague…bit like his legacy.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 6, 2016

        No, quite precise. It is a tool so just use it. You could try it on yourself.

  4. Klik Bate

     /  December 6, 2016

    In his breaking post yesterday on JK’s resignation, ‘The Whale’ had his own take on the situation……

    “It must be remembered that I stood on a balcony in Tel Aviv when I said that Prime Ministers come and go, and I will still be here”

    XD

    • Gezza

       /  December 6, 2016

      That’s all very well but that’s the same thing they say about nuclear war, and rats and cockroaches.

    • I’m still here. So what?

      Some people can’t help trying to make news about themselves. Slater was a mumble in the wilderness, trying to resurrect past self-created glories.

    • PDB

       /  December 6, 2016

      I see Slater is already putting the knife into English purely because English has never felt the need to communicate with him and also English stands in the way of the delusion of Judith being National party leader/PM. I like Collins but her goose was well cooked years ago. For Slater to not see that she could never get the public behind her (not to mention her own MP’s) shows what a political lightweight he is.

  5. PDB

     /  December 6, 2016

    In time I think history will show that under very difficult circumstances Key’s govt was pragmatic but inclusive, positioning itself in the centre of the political divide thus having critics from both the far left & right. The GFC and earthquakes during his time in charge has meant increasing debt has been inevitable, but no doubt we are in a good space now to start paying that down if wanted. House prices have never been dictated by Govt and immigration was led by ex-pats heading home to a country doing better than many others. Internationally and trade-wise New Zealand has excelled in the past 8 years, whilst on the home front small business & tourism in particular is booming. Overall the right sort of govt for the difficult economic times experienced during that period.

    • Blazer

       /  December 6, 2016

      House prices in NZ are a direc t result of govt not having policy to deal with its citizens becoming tenants in their own land.Something Key said he would oppose in 2007.The kiwi 1/4 acre pavlova paradise is long gone,but so is home ownership for the average kiwi,thanks to Key.As far as Immigration goes,this govt has embraced big numbers to make GDP look good.More people returning is a small % of the total.Over 200,000 work permits issued because Key says NZ’ers are too lazy or on drugs.150000 unemployed.This admin has also plumbed new depths in dirty politics,another unwelcome import from Key and co’s love affair with the U.S.Where is Jason Ede these days?Not forgetting the GFC was caused by the very same financial parasites Key worked for.

      • Gezza

         /  December 6, 2016

        Hell, nobody’s perfect Blazer. Even God fucked up creating earth, and he has an appalling record of saying totally different things to various different target audiences at different times, threatening & giving all sorts of dire warnings about the opposition, & making totally outrageous promises, just to get votes.

        • Blazer

           /  December 6, 2016

          No one is,but realistically Key was selected and rehearsed to do a job.He was a good pupil.Perception always trumps reality in politics and he certainly proved that.

          • Gezza

             /  December 6, 2016

            I disagree with very little of your first comment above, but to do anything about changing that you have to have an opposition leaders who are smart, and who can persuade voters they know what they are talking about, have irrefutable facts to prove it’s all spin, smoke and mirrors, & we’re actually in the shit, and that they can fix everything, at no greater cost, and competently do a better job than the incumbent government.

        • Gezza

           /  December 6, 2016

          Who’s got it in for God? 😡

    • Klik Bate

       /  December 6, 2016

      There’s no doubt, if Labor under Andrew Little were to regain power, it would certainly solve the housing shortage XD

      • Blazer

         /  December 6, 2016

        There is no shortage really.30,000 empty homes in Aucks.Can be solved very quickly.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 6, 2016

          Rubbish, Blazer. As I’ve linked before the proportion of empty homes in Auckland is lower than the historical average and a consequence of normal turnover, absence and maintenance.

          • PDB

             /  December 6, 2016

            When have facts ever got in the way of a Blazer story?

  6. Conspiratoor

     /  December 6, 2016

    Just researching material for a debate later with Al and I’m having a bit of a chuckle over the list of 433 porkies John has fed the gullible over the past 8 years. Now I know politicians and lies are joined at the hip but my personal fav is lie no 70. “I don’t know if I own a vineyard”

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 6, 2016

      How would he know if his blind trust had sold his shares in it?

      • Blazer

         /  December 6, 2016

        He gave the waitress he harassed mercilessly 2 bottles from HIS Vineyard. Having a bad day…Al…de riguer.

        • Gezza

           /  December 6, 2016

          de rigueur. Good effort though. 👍

          • Blazer

             /  December 7, 2016

            I know nitpicker ..predictive text…can’t be arsed.

            • Gezza

               /  December 7, 2016

              Don’t be like that. I was just starting to warm to you. Try & be supportive & this is the thanks I get ! 😡

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 6, 2016

          No, that’s just journalistic assumption. He gave her two bottles with his label on them. According to Gower’s story he got bottles of wine from the friend who also organised the label for him and who originally also had shares in the same vineyard and presumably has kept them.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  December 6, 2016

            Which version of Gower’s story are you reading Al?

            “a month after that trust was set up, he had a dinner conversation with a wine critic, caught on video, in which he spoke about the vineyard.

            “You’re a vineyard owner yourself aren’t you,” the critic asked Mr Key. “I am,” replied Mr Key. “I have a little bit of a pinot noir and chardonnay-producing vineyard here in Otago, and it’s been doing very well. It’s successful. It’s been exporting some wines, and it’s a lot of fun.”

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 6, 2016

              So the timing of the implementation of the blind trust and his saying he didn’t know if he (still) owned a vineyard (actually a little bit of it) was what?

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 6, 2016

              Commendable effort Al but you are dancing on the head of a pin as it were

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 6, 2016

              Not at all. That is exactly the point of a blind trust. You know what it started out with but you don’t know what it has now. Nor can it take advantage of anything you know.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 6, 2016

              I’ll give you that one Al. Well done old chap. Checkmate. Cheers,c

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              A graceful concession always enobles an opponent, c. Good man.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 6, 2016

              I tell my people G. Pick your battles. Some days you eat the baar. Some days the baar eats you. While Al has s points win, jk has been a little frugal with the truth imho. It seems if he knew he had shares in a vineyard 1month after the trust was set up, then why would he not have known at some point later?

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              433 porkies is a pretty impressive list c. But then they say he’s a numbers man. Do you have a link to this list?

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              PS: I’m just having a quick sqiz over at TS at the mo to see who the smart money’s on for JK’s replacement, the summaries of his mortal and venial sins, and the most popular conspiracy theories behind his “shock resignation”. There’s a lot to get through.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 7, 2016

              G, to give you access to jks legacy of porkies I would have to concede I have visited the standard, and I’m not about to confess to that. Cheers,c

          • I am in the habit of buying clean skins from various wholesalers and labelling them with my business logo, then gifting them by the score to clients and others I work with. I get given the same from my lawyer when we’ve completed legal work. It’s a very common practice. Do keep up

    • Gezza

       /  December 6, 2016

      Looking forward to this immensely. Has a start time and Thread been agreed on for this epic contest?

      • Gezza

         /  December 6, 2016

        Also, the total number of issues to be debated are: Rising crime, security, justice, housing, infrastructure, tow gravy train, RMA reform, troughing beaurocrats, useless comissariats, rampant immigration, chinese dependence.

        So hopefully this will provide an episode a day over 11 weeknights?

        • Conspiratoor

           /  December 6, 2016

          That’s a bit cheeky G my dear old thing. I said Al could pick one, he picked three so I’ve chosen one

          • Gezza

             /  December 6, 2016

            I see – fearful of defeat on the others. Not to worry. Now we know the strength of your convictions, young fella.

      • Gezza

         /  December 6, 2016

        Also, I have obtained the prize and am storing it until the judges’ decision is known.
        Here is a sneak preview.

        • Conspiratoor

           /  December 6, 2016

          I understand your excitement G but it may not be tonight. Have been toiling away down in the lower 45. Never fear though, I won’t pull a Blazer. Cheers,c

          • Blazer

             /  December 7, 2016

            not sure what thats supposed to mean!Enlighten me…please.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 6, 2016

          I’ve got paddocks of that stuff, Gezza. So happy for C to enjoy it.

          • Gezza

             /  December 6, 2016

            Yes, but that one’s GOLDEN, Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 6, 2016

              Looks brown to me, G.

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              75 carat gold, according to my certificate from the coin shop, Al. 👍

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 6, 2016

              I once belonged to a chess club. We played for many years with a horses arse as a trophy. Until one day the neighbour’s house burnt down and the horses arse perished in the flames

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              😳 The horse’s arse, or the horse’s arse who owned the horse’s arse?

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              Just thinking about your list, c. I note that Al says a lot of it is just nonsense, so if he could identify the topics that are not nonsense, we could shorten the series?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 6, 2016

              I need you to bite it to prove it’s pure, Gezza.

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              Righto. Hang on.

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              If you win, you don’t mind if it comes with an embedded incisor?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 6, 2016

              No teeth, no worries, G. Sounds as though C’s club had more arse than class though. Reminds me of some Aussies who claimed their chess club was called The Unquenchables and came over to play in our tournament. According to their unreliable story they had brought enough Aussie beer to last them a week but unfortunately drank it all on the plane trip over.

            • Gezza

               /  December 6, 2016

              Technically it’s only half an incisor, and it’s pretty well flush with the surface. If you turned it around so it was at the back in your trophy cabinet, probably no one would notice.

  7. Gezza, sorry mate you have been conned. There is no such thing as 75 carat Gold. Look up Gold Carat in Google and see “24k gold is also called pure gold or 100 per cent gold. This means that all 24 parts in the gold are all pure gold without traces of any other metals. It is known to be 99.9 per cent pure and takes on a distinct bright yellow color. There is no higher form of gold than 24K and you must be aware of this before you go to a dealer who might tell you that they’re selling you 25K or 26K gold. Since this is the purest form of gold, it is naturally more expensive than 22K or 18K gold. However, this type of gold is lesser in density as compared to gold of a lower karatage which makes it soft and pliable. Hence, it is not suited for regular forms of jewellery. Coins and bars are mostly bought of 24K gold purity. 24K gold is also used in electronics and medical devices such as those used for children suffering from ear infections who are fitted with gold tympanostomy tubes that are known to improve aeration of the middle ear.

    • Gezza

       /  December 10, 2016

      Crikey. I should’ve guessed. The Certificate was Ghana Bullions & Niknaks Inc.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 10, 2016

      I think Gezza is 24 carat tongue in cheek, BJ. Just missing a tooth now though.