A Week Of It: Key, K(iwi)s & Coddington
By Kevin List
In This Edition:
John Key – From State House to Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Man
Rising National Party star John Key was recently shown by TVNZ’s Sunday programme sauntering barefoot around his
Auckland mansion. Life was not always so easy for the National Party’s financial whizzkid. According to his (since
changed) candidate biography, Mr Key grew up in a state house. Mr Key’s latest biography on the National Party website
is rather less Horatio Alger-esque in tone and omits Mr Key’s early life.
The State House John Key Was Not Born In
(image – Sunday, TVNZ)
Mr Key was not born in a state house. However, his mother moved Mr Key and his two siblings to Christchurch in the late
1960s were they lived for some years in a state house. Fortunately for Mr Key, the house was located in Burnside, close
to the leafy affluent suburbs of Ilam and Fendalton. A source close to A Week of It explains Mr Keys good fortune in living on the ‘West-side’.
“I lived in a state house in Bishopdale. It was stink. I used to envy those lucky, lucky, lucky individuals that lived
in Burnside. That was a primo suburb, [it was] a stone's throw from University and in the right zone for arguably
Christchurch’s best state school, Burnside High.”
Mr Key’s mother was a staunch Labour Party supporter; no doubt thankful to live in a house where she was likely to be
paying (on average) less than seven dollars a week rent.
From 1973, the official policy was to have rents family-income-related. Before then, there was a three-yearly review of
rents and comments in Annual Reports indicate income was taken into account.
Life for young Master Key in the early seventies probably wasn't too traumatic either. After finishing his studies at
the very well-thought-of Burnside High School, the scholastically gifted Mr Key was likely to have had all his
university fees paid for by the state, as was the practice in the late 1970s. As well as being able to leave university
debt-free, during his varsity studies Mr Key would have been guaranteed a weekly income with universal student
allowances. Should Mr Key have decided to supplement his wages with a spot of holiday work he would have found
employment plentiful with unemployment figures hovering around two percent.
Mr Key’s luck in enjoying the welfare and education gravy train that both Labour and National governments had built up
didn’t end in 1984 as it did for most New Zealanders. With the deregulation of the financial markets Mr Key began the
life of a foreign exchange dealer and went from strength to strength as he earned million after million. As the grumpy
Asian (practice range) golfer says in a well known TV advertisement ‘You, lucky, lucky, lucky…’.
John Key's Current House
(image – Sunday, TVNZ)
‘Classically Liberal’ Media Dream Team Not To Be
Expect A Photo Byline Like This In A Sunday Paper Soonish
A few weeks ago A Week of It pointed out that ACT MP Deborah Coddington was getting the jump on her eight ACT party colleagues by looking for work
prior to the election (rather than after). Sadly A Week of It's surmise that Ms Coddington was about to join a ‘classically liberal’ dream team at Prime TV along with Free Radical
editor Lindsay Perigo has proved untrue. But the CV-toting journalistic henny penny has finally found a newsworthy hen
house. Ms Coddington will be working for the Herald on Sunday.
How Ms Coddington’s political views will match up with this lefty paper and its ‘John Pilgeresque’ editor Shayne Currie
is anyone’s guess. However, A Week of It surmises that as well as its regular front page car crash, the Herald on Sunday can now include exclusives on wing nuts
and widgets going missing from the Film Commission. What a tragedy the public will have to wait till after the election
for these investigative reports.
TV3 Distance Themselves From News-Generating Perk-Busting Internet Political Diarist
Earlier this week, TV3 News head honcho Mark Jennings assured Russell Brown (wearing his Listener hat) that TV3 did not
collude with ACT Leader Rodney Hide regarding the tennis ball and gaffer tape allegations against David Benson Pope. Mr
Jennings also pointed out in Mr Brown’s article that although TV3 Reporter Duncan Garner had been accused of colluding
with Mr Hide in relation to the John Tamihere (Qantas Award-winning) tax scandal stories, yet again Mr Hide was not
Despite Mr Jennings distancing himself from the perk-busting ACT Party Leader, the (now) distanced Mr Hide was still
willing to chuck a spot of business TV3's way this week. On Tuesday May 31 at 4:13pm Mr Hide told avid readers of his
internet political diary to ‘Watch TV3 news tonight. The Acting Prime Minister Michael Cullen completely lost his rag
Later that evening TV3 Reporter Duncan Garner covered Mr Cullen’s fit of pique at the media for TV3's news bulletin. A
similar item ran on TVNZ fronted by Mark Sainsbury.
However A Week of It can’t understand why anyone would want to distance themselves from Mr Hide after he published probably the funniest
political story of the week. Somehow Mr Hide was able to get hold of a letter from the National Party’s Chief Media
Advisor, Richard Long, to current affairs chat show ‘Eye to Eye’ Producer Jock Anderson (of NBR fame). The letter from
Mr Long explained that National Party MPs never fronted on Eye to Eye because:
Eye to Eye, it would have to be stated, is regarded by the majority of our MPs as a loaded anti-National programme.
Willie Jackson's Eye To Eye – Self Imposed National Party Free TV
Later in the letter Mr Long explained why the National Party’s star MPs were too good for other partys' minor
Our spokesmen/spokeswomen, time and circumstances allowing, will go on to debate with their LABOUR counterparts. They
won’t appear against minor party spokespeople, or against a collected bunch of critics.
That explains the John Key decision. Why on earth would we put him up against John Tamihere, Rodney Hide and Tariana
Turia? Bad branding. If you want a politician to debate with John Key, then you need to get Michael Cullen on.
Then its [sic] a date. Similarly, Don will debate with Helen Clark not Tariana, Bill English would need to be matched
with Benson Pope or whoever the current Education Minister might be, Katherine Rich with her counterpart, etc etc.
What Do Georgina Te Heu Heu and Tau Henare Think Of the National Party’s Latest Campaign?
Given the National party’s media policy of not fronting on programmes like Eye To Eye, the reactions of National Party candidates of Maori extraction to the latest National Party billboards may never be
National Party Campaign Manager Steven Joyce told the NZ Herald this week that the message was more subtle than it might
appear, and "with the Iwi being part of the word Kiwi as well" was not setting up an Iwi vs Kiwi polemic.
This theory didn't wash with Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples who was disgusted by the billboards and told Scoop that
they were ‘degrading’.
A Week of It understands that Eye to Eye will be following a sporting theme tomorrow.
It is further understood there will be no National Party candidates appearing on the show.
Feedback Re McCarthyite Hunt For Mis-users Of The Word Nazi
The wonderful column A Week of It: Nazis, Parties & Media Matters
didn't mention a very common recent misuse of "Nazi" that can be found in some surprising places, as well as on the
blatantly anti-women sites where you'd expect to find them: the "feminazis". Here's a charming example from the Young
Nats, no less:
THE NEW WRITE Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals 19th March 2002 Motto: "No man is good enough to
govern another man without that other's consent."
-Abraham Lincoln "We're a nation increasing dominated by the warped thinking of a cadre of feminazis who have skillfully
convinced much of the country - many of them weak males - that their politically correct dogma somehow benefits this
- Anne Else