The Mendacities of Mr Key #8: A roof over your head, and boots on the ground




boots and homes


Recent Timeline of Events: Iraq

TDB Recommends

18 June 2014

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there.

Speaking in New York, Key said the New Zealand Government was looking at what humanitarian aid it might provide as tens of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced by a violent takeover of parts of the country.

He said it was high unlikely New Zealand would put “boots on the ground” in Iraq in terms of combat troops.

“We’re not a country out there looking for a fight.” – Source


Prime Minister John Key has ruled out New Zealand military intervention in Iraq, barring an unlikely United Nations Security Council mission.

Mr Key, who is in the United States on a four-day tour, told media that New Zealand wouldn’t send SAS troops to Iraq in a training role, or troops in a non-combat role, as Sunni militants approach Iraq.

“I don’t see New Zealand overly getting tied up in that. That wouldn’t be something we’d want to do,” he said at a visit to the September 11 memorial site in New York.

“We said we would only respond to a UN Security Council mandate for any humanitarian assistance,” he said on Firstline this morning.

“We are a loyal and active member of the international and the UN. If there’s a UN operation and it’s non-combat down the track, then that is something we could consider.” Source

20 September 2014

National wins third term in government, with United Future, ACT, and Maori Party support.

30 September 2014

New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) personnel are not yet on standby for deployment to combat Islamic State militants in Iraq or Syria, Prime Minister John Key says, but he won’t rule out sending them if asked “as a last resort”.


Asked whether he would send military personnel if requested, Mr Key said: “I can’t rule out that there won’t be because what you can see around the world is countries being asked to give support.”

As far as sending SAS personnel, Mr Key said: “I can’t rule that absolutely out, but what I can say is that I’ll get advice and we’ll see how that goes, but it would be my least preferred option.”Source

5 November 2014

Kiwi military personnel are on their way to Iraq as New Zealand swings in behind the fight against the Islamic State group.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed three unarmed military personnel left for Iraq this week to assess how New Zealand could help the fight against the Islamic State group…  Source

 20 January 2015

The Government will make a decision in the next month or so about whether to send training forces to Iraq, Prime Minister John Key says.


The prime minister said…

“We are going through that process of doing the [reconnaissance] to see whether it’s logical for New Zealand to take the next step, whether we should do that with Australia, whether we can find a location that fits the criteria that I set in my national security speech late last year.

“My guess is that by the middle of February or late February we’ll be in a better position to assess whether we are actually going to put people into Iraq to train Iraqi forces.” Source


Recent Timeline of Events: Housing

24 February 2014

Prime Minister John Key is ruling out any further sales of state assets, once Genesis Energy is partially sold.


However, he said there are no more state-owned companies that would make sense to partially sell, with New Zealand Post facing declining business and Transpower operating as a monopoly.

“The truth is that there aren’t a lot of other assets that would fit in the category where they would be either appealing to take to the market or of a size that would warrant a further programme. Or they sit in the category where they are very large, like Transpower, but are a monopoly asset and so aren’t suited I think.” Source

20 September 2014

National wins third term in government, with United Future, ACT, and Maori Party support.

28 January 2015

Prime Minister John Key today confirmed the Government planned to sell 1000 to 2000 state houses in the next year to community-housing providers, with with more sales possible in coming years. – Source


“It’s definitely not [an asset sale],” says Mr Key. “The overall focus here is to accommodate more New Zealanders in social housing.” – Source

On 9 February, on Radio NZ, Labour’s Phil Twyford outlined how state houses passed into ownership of community organisations could inevitably fall into the ownership of banks, and then on-sold.
Key claimed on Radio NZ’s Morning Report;

“There will be a contract formed between the Government and the community housing providers that buy the houses. The community housing provider won’t be able to on-sell the house unless they have the permission of the Government. To get the permission of the government, the government would have to consider why the community housing provider wanted to do that.”

Considering that Key has a solid reputation for saying one thing, and then months later back-tracking, there is no reason to believe him or take him at his word. His recent one-eighty degree u-turns on New Zealand involvement in Iraq and selling state assets (housing stock) has sent Key’s credibility plummeting.

The thing that people look to for Key now is not rock-solid committments – but what excuses/technique he will use to break his promises.

Prior to last year’s election, Key unequivocally promised

(a) Not to send combat troops to Iraq,

(b) not to sell any further state assets after Genesis.

It seems that we can now expect;

(a) New Zealand combat troops in Iraq, under the cover of “training” Iraqi soldiers,

(b) State houses being sold to various groups, which will eventually end up in private ownership.

The man simply cannot be trusted.

If his public popularity was not so unfeasibly high, there would be unrelenting, growing  pressure calling for  his resignation.

John Key has obviously learned the trick how a politician can break promises; tell lies; and yet maintain the public’s confidence and his own popularity. He is either an expert manipulator – or the public have become increasingly dumber/dumbed-down in the last decade.

Considering the state of public television, one could be tempted to opt for the latter.

Interestingly, not one journo seems to have asked Key three simple questions regarding NZ troops in Iraq or the sale of state housing to community organisations and others;

(a) “Will NZ troops  in Iraq – supposedly on ‘training missions’ – be given indemnity from prosecution by the Iraqi government? If so – why?

(b) “How will the transfer of ownership of a house from the State, to another entity, increase the number of houses in the country? And by how many?”

(c) How many people on the Housing NZ waiting-list  will actually be moved into community housing?

The first journo to ask Key those questions will open a can of worms that, for the first time, may attract public attention and scrutiny to Key’s mendacities and National’s barely concealed activities.

The public may not like what they see when they begin to pay attention to the government they elected.

Especially when the Housing NZ waiting list continues to rise.

And the first body bags return to New Zealand.




Fairfax media: No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key

TV3: Key rules out sending troops to Iraq

NZ Herald: Key – SAS could join Isis fight on ground

Fairfax media: NZ military personnel headed for Iraq

Radio NZ: Iraq troop decision weeks away

Radio NZ: PM rules out more asset sales

Fairfax media: Government to sell 1000 – 2000 state houses – John Key

Radio NZ: State houses sale ‘financial risk’

Radio NZ: PM surprised by turn of events in Australia


Fairfax media: Andrea Vance – Think twice before joining new Iraq war

Previous related blogposts

Letter to the editor – Key paints a dirty, great, big bullseye on our country!

Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi)

Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua)

Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Toru)

The Mendacities of Mr Key #7: What is Dear Leader actually saying here?



housing endangered

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =


  1. By hook or by crook this govt will hock off everything that is not bolted down and when the last asset is sold……. what then? Please enlighten me.

    • They don’t seem to be doing a very good job of selling assets. Only 49% sell down in some SOE’s over the past 6 years and a proposal to sell around 10% of the Housing stock to Social housing providers like Iwi and the Salvation Army. The fourth Labour Government and the Fourth National Government sold off far more assets far faster.

      • Whether or not ‘ they ‘ do good jobs of selling assets is irrelevant . The fact that they have done so, and continue to do so is the point of order here . And yes , Labour AND National are complicit . There can be no arguments about that . And we know what went on back in the day, do we not @ Gosman .
        (A brief note to those who are still ignorant of what happened . ) Labour , back in the 1980’s shat out a cadre of parasitic, stealth neo liberals who once having infected their host Labour Party went on to engage high flyer business types to aid and abet in a gargantuan swindle . Together , they brokered profitable deals to sell us out via dodgy companies and even dodgier changes to Acts of Parliament . )
        Would that not have been the case @ Gosman ?
        This government, or what ever the fuck it is , is now scraping the bottom of the barrel for what ever’s left of the family jewels and frankly , there can’t be much left if they’re trying to sell homes belonging to the poor they created . Or farm land to off-shore Chinese ‘ investors ‘ . That’s like being under full steam in open oceans when suddenly you’re attacked by pirates . So you sell your engines to the pirates in order to make a quick escape .

        The Privatisation Scam seems like an absurd deviancy away from common sense and decency … until you look closer and see who’s making the money and who will end up owning NZ / Aotearoa after the jackals have stripped Her bones .
        So , @ Gosman . You still want to keep asking your little questions ? Or are you feeling increasingly uncomfortable about the way things are shaping up ?

        • There is an awful lot of assets still owned by the government. Many of these assets are actually far more attractive to private sector investors than Public housing. Air NZ is a good example. Even NZ Post or Kiwibank would provide better commercial opportunities. I would personally sell all the commercial activities of the State straight away but National has decided not to for some reason. Certainly selling 10% of the Social housing stock to Charities at likely knock down prices doesn’t seem to qualify as trying to enrich your rich mates.

    • Well @sufficiently appalled . That’s an easy answer . They’ll fuck off with our money to live like high flyer’s in luxery for the remainder of their lives .
      … Oh . Wait . They’re already doing that aren’t they ?
      Let me ask you a question . What do you happening ?
      What do think should happen ?

      • I think that if the one off sale of said asset is lucrative enough to attract private or corporate investors who will expect perpetual returns at the expense of the populous at large , then it is a no brainer to keep it for the benefit of all , including future generations. Yes citizen Gosman I continue to have a beef with previous governments as well and hopefully have both eyes open.

  2. Watching Al Jazeera this morning (10 Feb at approx 5.45 am) there was a news item which stated that Australia and NZ were already in Taji training Iraqis… this true???? When are we going to be told that this is actually happening right now?

    • Let me guess the response;

      “Well acshully, to the best of my knowledge, at this time, I don’t think that is entirely correct…., but I will speak with the appropriate minister to confirm our position…..I mean there may have been some movement……. for, security reasons, but not in an actual combat role”

      or something like that!

  3. I can kind of understand why our “journalists” didn’t question Key for the first couple of years, they naively took his word. But now, in year 7, come on, how do these people justify their pay cheques?

    Point 1:

    Anything Key says is always laced with phrases like “and so aren’t suited I think.” in reference to asset sales – but for those that kinda are maybe, well then he hasn’t ruled them out at all!

    ““I don’t see New Zealand overly getting tied up in that” in reference to joining in some war – but we can get tied up a bit and how long is a bit of string?

    “To the best of my recollection” – Mike Sabin affair and so many others. For fuck sake media, this is THE number 1 red flag with distress flares attached that Key is lying, because as we all know how frail and legendary his memory is for fading!

    So Key is anything but a straight talker, he talks in circles and as of yet no journalist can be bothered getting off their amateur rumps and nailing the prick to the wall. He is easy picking. And yes I know if he gets a turbulent time he simply refuses to front that journalist again but if it becomes common place is he going to hide in his black ops room under his desk?

    Point 2

    Twyford is right but this divvying up the state houses to select groups reeks of deal making to keep certain people quiet and others happy.

    But worse than that is a person needing a state house will no longer be able to go to a neutral objective provider, they will have to run the gauntlet set down by the “Urban Authority”, the tribe, the church group and the who knows what. This system is ripe for corruption, nepotism, bigotry and anything else that takes the providers fancy. Why, because this was what it was like in the 50’s when there was not enough social housing and it will happen again.

    And even with their best intentions, if these houses are mortgaged by the organisation to cover some other area and it goes pear shaped they are gone burgers.

    For National flogging off state houses is a short term cash gap filler for its books and to make deals with or fight a few fires it may have from critics in other areas and a reward to investors and it’s voters, but don’t for a moment consider that it gives a flying shit about social housing and its betting neither does its voters or its media!

  4. Key has amassed a almost 100 Billion Dollar Crown debt since 2008-9 he has reigned over us, when labour only had it at 8 billion.

    Is he still borrowing 300 million a week?

    So we guess he plans to put the whole Country up for sale before he departs for greener pastures in Hawaii folks, after signing the TTPA and our rights away.

    Key is a liar, a carpetbagger & a Judas priest.

    • I believe it is called voting. You have likely 2 and 1/2 years to get organised and convince enough voters to support your views. Best of luck. You are probably going to need it considering the policy platform you support.

      • Gosman – best you refer that to your precious ACT Party. When Mana-Internet wins over twice as many vote (34,095) as ACT (16,689), and your grinning fool of a candidate is elected only because of an overtly dirty deal, then something is seriously wrong.

        But then, right wingers like you probably think that’s ok?

        And you want to base a policy of continued asset sales – especially of housing for the poorest in this country – on a gerrymandered electoral victory?

        Sweet Jesus wept, you are a hypocrite.

        • Ummm…. haven’t you in the past suggested that Labour, NZ First, Mana and The Greens work together on electoral accommodatios? Care to explain why these are not ‘dirty’ on the same logic as Ohariru or Epsom?

          • Let me turn your silly question around, Gosman; why shouldn’t the Left engage in the same tactics as National?

            What you are really doing is deflecting; not addressing what your parties (National and ACT) are doing, and instead trying to point a finger at the Left for something that has not yet happened. A sad attempt at trying to defend the indefensible?

            • To clarify your position – You don’t mind ‘Dirty’ political tactics so long as the left does them. Is that correct?

              If so then there goes the much vaunted moral superiority of the left then.

  5. Key’s decisions have contributed greatly to our current two tier society – haves and have-nots, and two gear economy – financialised cities and neglected regions. Under his leadership, much of the propertied middle class, who once saw themselves as solid citizens, now see themselves as cafe society, while the rest are largely treated like conquered people in an occupied territory.

    The thing is, the cafe society is kept afloat by inflated property prices and government borrowing, and the squeeze put on the rest looks to be the price of this state of affairs continuing. Key’s commitment to the international right wing program looks to be the thing that guarantees its continuance. Consequently, he can get away with anything bar a property crash or a significant credit downgrade.

    Key’s lies will start to matter symbolically when the cost of keeping him looks to be greater than the benefits. Better to build up a solidarity between the have-nots, the precarious haves, and those who simply long for a more just society, than to wait for Key’s adherents to start caring about his lies.

  6. They aren’t actually selling them off, they are actually transferring them to a new social housing scheme in which those that need them most in a particular area will be able to get them sooner. That’s what National is telling us. They are also telling us that the houses will not end up in private hands. If you believe that you are either a mate of Gosman or I can sell you Lake Taupo for a bargain $1000.

  7. The procedures by which thieves get into parliament to steal public assets need to be reformed. There is also a need for restraining legislation at the local government level.

    This is pretty basic stuff: thieving scum should not be in a position where they are responsible for public assets – and if they abuse the trust reposed in them they must – as Judith Collins recommends, pay back double.

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