John Key on leadership aspirations…


As reported on Radio NZ today (26 August);


PM’s take

Prime Minister and National Party leader John Key says the Labour leadership contest will show how heavily the party is divided.

Mr Key says it could be a television reality show called Parliamentary Idol, with the three MPs demonstrating to New Zealanders how much they loathe each other.

Source: Radio NZ – Cunliffe confirms bid for Labour leadership

More here: John Key says Labour is a divided party


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Which is kind of ironic really, as Key’s own rise to power as leader of the National Party happened under less auspicious circumstances, involving secret plotting  behind closed doors; lies; duplicity; and rolling then-National leader, Don Brash.

Key wasn’t very upfront to the public or media, or even his own then-leader at the beginning, as this October 2006 NZ Herald report by Audrey Young, showed,


Beware the ides of November, Don

By Audrey Young

5:20 AM Thursday Oct 26, 2006

An attempt within the National Party to topple leader Don Brash could be mounted next month.

The backers of National finance spokesman John Key have already taken soundings among caucus colleagues. It is understood they were taken four weeks ago but nothing came of them.

However, internal speculation is mounting of a stronger bid for the leadership being attempted by Mr Key next month or at the start of next year.

Mr Key did nothing last night to hose down the speculation, being less than emphatic at dismissing talk of a possible attempt in November.

“I have never had that raised with me,” he said. “That is speculation I can’t comment on and I don’t know whether it is accurate or not but I don’t anticipate that being the case.

I’m supportive of the leader and I don’t anticipate that position changing.

Source: NZ Herald – Beware the ides of November, Don


Key’s “support” for his leader was so sincere that a month later, Don Brash was rolled and replaced by… John Key!


New Zealand’s National Party Appoints John Key as Leader

By Tracy Withers – November 26, 2006 20:44 EST

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — New Zealand’s main opposition National Party elected John Key, a former head of global foreign exchange at Merrill Lynch & Co., as its fifth leader in nine years as it targets victory in the 2008 elections.

Key, 45, was voted leader by his National parliamentary colleagues in Wellington today, replacing Don Brash who quit last week. Bill English, who was ousted as leader by Brash in 2003, was named deputy leader and will take over from Key as finance spokesman.

Source: Bloomberg – New Zealand’s National Party Appoints John Key as Leader


At least Labour’s leadership contest is out in the open; open to public and media scrutiny; and will be democratically decided. This is a milestone in New Zealand politics, with  the Greens the only other political party to decide their leadership by member’s ballot.

By contrast, seizing power via a coup hardly seems a fair; open; or democratic process. Indeed, one might question if Key really has a moral mandate to lead his own Party?

Perhaps this is a salient lesson that Key should take on-board, instead of indulging in school-yard petulance.

Then again, I suspect  Key’s pathetic attempt to deride and dismiss Labour’s new leadership process is stressing the Prime Minister as he  foresees his own political demise come the next election?

After all, Key did make this pledge to the electorate in 2011,


Key says he’ll quit politics if National loses election

By Audrey Young 5:30 AM Monday Jan 3, 2011

Prime Minister John Key has all but confirmed that the general election will be in late November or early December and he has indicated he will leave politics if he cannot lead the country to a second term in Government.


He also said he had made it reasonably clear that he did not want to revert to being Opposition leader.

“I don’t think it suits me as a person. I’m not a negative person and a lot of Opposition is negative.”

Source: NZ Herald –  Key says he’ll quit politics if National loses election

The election of a new leader for Labour isn’t just a new beginning. It heralds the end for Key’s political career.



= fs =


  1. “I’m not a negative person and a lot of Opposition is negative”

    He has certainly had a lot of trouble shaking off that Opposition negativity since his party was elected.
    Five bloody years and JK and his snarky cronies are still constantly bleating about their opponents.

    No real leadership or direction for positive progress but plenty of negativity about anyone who is not just like National.

  2. JK is not noted for his transparency and his heckling of labour’s struggles are simply distractions to camouflage and distract from his own actions.

  3. Yeah, the “not a negative person” got me as well. Okay, so instead of being a negative person in Opposition he’ll just turn the entire Government into a lightning rod for negativity: negative policy, negative attitude to the democratic functions of Parliament, negative to those much vaunted “aspirations” he talked about…

    Nice one, that has really worked out eh John.

    I think he can see the writing on the proverbial wall and is not liking the idea of being finally shown up for the fraud that he and the policies he represents truly is.

    He may be a master trader, but that whole democratic process that Parliament should abide by just really put a spanner in the works of the kind he used to favour in his days as a Smiling Assassin… transferring that attitude into the Government, and the subsequent horse trading with his trusty sidekick Peter “Can I have a spot at the Cabinet AGAIN if I support you spying on me and the rest of NZ” Dumb was the final straw for a lot of people.

    People who ought to have woken up a lot earlier of course.. but there you have it, the end is nigh and I think even he knows it now…

    These are the desperate grasps of a man who has looked in the mirror and seen defeat writ large… and he’ll stoop at nothing to get the public distracted with facetious comments.

    It worked once upon a time, but someone is about to take a steelo to that teflon and there’s gonna be some quite toxic aluminum underneath for all to see…

  4. Ummmm…. this is standard practice for any politician about to emabrk on a leadership bid against an incumbant leader. Hardly duplicitious.

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