Debating the Prime Minister’s Statement

By   /   February 11, 2016  /   53 Comments

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Prime Minister, I’ve sat and listened to all your speeches opening Parliament and I’d like to congratulate you on delivering your 8th speech.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 5.57.52 pm

Kia ora

Prime Minister, I’ve sat and listened to all your speeches opening Parliament and I’d like to congratulate you on delivering your 8th speech.

It’s a real accomplishment and you must be now thinking how history will remember you.

Just outside of this debating chamber are the portraits of our great leaders.

From Seddon, to Savage and Fraser to Kirk how do these giants who established universal suffrage, a caring state in the midst of a depression and world war and a modern independent, bicultural New Zealand compare with you?

Is the flag it?

Your desperate, lumbering, grasping attempt at building a legacy with a flag won’t mask the realities.

Hungry kids up
Inequality up
Pollution up
Debt up
Housing costs up
Electricity costs up
Foreign ownership up
Corruption up

Once you may have been a national leader but now you look like just a National Party leader.

Once you attacked the nanny state of efficient lightbulbs but then presided over the most wide reaching mass surveillance state in our country’s history, passed the Skynet law, sacked elected councils and then refused elections.

You’re our first selfie PM, our first comedian PM – a derping, planking, rape-joking expert at getting us on late night American comedy shows.

At a time of growing inequality, rapid global change and systemic economic problems we got basically a chilled out entertainer.

On Election night 2011 you first thanked your pollster.

You are our most poll-driven PM ever, yet after all these years we still don’t know what you stand for bar the jokes and three line slogans.

Do you see more for New Zealand than just China’s dairy farm and America’s spy station?

Prime Minister, why, just last week, on our national day did you run from debate at Waitangi – once again into the arms of rugby players.

To the 300,000 kids growing up in poverty are you saying ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for Serco, Sky City, Saudi Sheiks, Media works, Warners, and Rio Tinto?’

Under your leadership scientists have been ridiculed and silenced and NGOs have had their funding and voice cut.

Rape crisis centres are closing and food banks are doing a brisk trade.

Kiwis are noted for their generosity and hospitality but Prime Minister, under you, New Zealand has become more welcoming to oil companies than refugees.

Whenever there is a Government scandal, extreme benefit measures are floated, and ‘look over there – pandas.’

Prime Minister, you may not have a plum in your mouth like your hero Holyoake, but you’re exactly the same – an arrogant, born to rule, out of touch, short-term, kick the can down the road style of leadership.

You delivered tax cuts the country couldn’t afford and leave $120 billion in debt, a superannuation crisis, crippling student loans and a generation locked out of home ownership.

You might call that a legacy, I call it intergenerational theft.

Once, we were one of the richest nations in the world. Now Kiwis work some of the longest hours, for some of the lowest wages and pay some of the highest costs of living in the developed world.

After selling our assets you are now selling out our sovereignty to corporates and the Hollywood industrial complex.

Your small army of spin doctors tell us again and again you grew up in a state house but now that you’re on the 9th floor you’re even selling them too.

But you seem like a good guy to have a beer with. No one else in this room could have got away with your stunts, gaffes and antics.

How have you gotten away with it? We could ask Crosby and Textor and point to the biggest of big business bucks and the dirtiest of dirty tricks operations in New Zealand history.

Kiwis are a good people, a caring people and we can reclaim our democracy from big money and dirty politics.

One of your legacies is what you cynically call the rent a crowd is growing into a real political movement for change.

Another legacy of your term is a Green Party stronger than ever before. Thank you Prime Minister.

Prime Minister as you reflect this may be one of your last opening speeches to Parliament I have no doubt you will go down in history as one of the most successful politicians of a generation. By ‘politician’ I mean the way it’s written on the Stuff comments section.

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About the author

I'm a dad and a Member of Parliament for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. I can't add any more friends but subscribe to my feed to find out what I'm up to. Here is my website: Authorised by Jon Field, Level 2, 17 Garrett Street, Wellington.


  1. countryboy says:

    Despite your lack of ‘ fuck ‘ words and not finishing your address with a modest bought of jonky focused violence, a superb speech.

  2. Pete says:


  3. darth smith says:

    they sent 555 billion and if we take out Christchurch rebuild and housing speculation they achieved zero GDP growth zip

  4. WILD KATIPO says:

    This man Gareth has smashed the nail not only on the head but clear through the timbers.

    As a consequence… the same lyrics that applied to Matthew Hooton on Chris Trotters latest post apply also to this corrupt PM ….


    I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
    While my guitar gently weeps
    I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
    Still my guitar gently weeps

    I don’t know why nobody told you
    How to unfold your love
    I don’t know how someone controlled you
    They bought and sold you

    I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
    While my guitar gently weeps
    With every mistake we must surely be learning
    Still my guitar gently weeps


    I don’t know how you were diverted
    You were perverted too
    I don’t know how you were inverted
    No one alerted you

    I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
    While my guitar gently weeps
    Look at you all
    Still my guitar gently weeps


    I sincerely cannot have penned better words to describe this latest in a long line of corrupt neo liberals than these words turned to lyrics, … and they are as appropriate now as when they were first written down.

  5. Rosemary McDonald says:

    Well done Gareth….perfect follow up to Shaw’s speech.

    The Greens are looking up.

  6. Stuart Munro says:

    Well said Gareth – you nailed him.

  7. Crikey says:

    Just beautiful

  8. Ben says:

    Well if that is the PM what does it say about the standard of the opposition that still cannot dislodge himy?

    • Blake says:

      The jonky donky opposition are aware and honest; ethical ; working hard to get rid of dead garbage and end his ” misery of power ” .
      It is the unintelligent and denial ridden Natz supporters who are the idiots keeping in such a trainwreck of a PM. Focus on that madness.
      Gareth spoke the truth and you Natz lovers need to wake up and finally face the reality of what is really going on.

      • Ben says:

        This where people lIke you constantly get it wrong. You think that anyone who is the slightest bit critical must be Natz lover. I most certainly am not. I am no fan of Key. However it does not stop me seeing the shortcomings of the opposition. If the left wants to get rid of Key it has to stop concentrating on his failings and present a credible alternative. So far it has signal failed in this and 20000 people marching down Queen Street is not going to change anything.

        • Blake says:

          The people speaking up and marching against the horrific TPPA did something very important. It is our right to protest in a non-violent way that which is and will harm our country and to say it changes nothing is being very naive. The Natz and their corporate lovers will lie about and deny the impact of such a march but it did bring more attention to their bad ( dirty politics ) leadership and a non-trade agreement that needs to be stopped.

          A credible alternative has been presented and we are aware but you clearly are not. Spend a minute Ben, getting yourself educated by reading the Labour and Greens and NZ First websites and learn about their good plans and alternative agendas. Sorry but many of us feel that Ben is not right.

        • Words says:

          I think your opinion is wrong. 20,000+ and Labour’s “say no to the TPPA” that’s reached a whopping over 94,000 and what people are now saying, there has been a definitive shift in mood against the Key National government, and it demonstrates without a doubt that change is going to happen, and has in fact, already started, and there is not a thing the arrogant traitor John key and his spin machine can do about it. The more they try the more ridicule they get.

          BTW, Key has uses dirty politics to cling to power, and when given a real chance, the opposition dislodged John Key from Northland, showing that getting rid of lies and bribes John key and his band of thieves can be done.

        • PB says:

          What are the shortcomings of the opposition?
          There is nothing worse for this country than continuing the 30 year push to the insane-o corporate right, and the way this govt has done it, with media complicit, is abhorrent to sensible, educated and critically aware people. What are the shortcomings compared to that?

    • Robert Atack says:

      Ben is right, that is FJK, but the pig ignorant masses love him, well enough of them anyway.
      Mind you ‘we’ will vote for poon camp Nazis if they promise heaven on earth, or an extra $10.00 in ya pay packet … oh and endless growth.
      We haven’t move on much since Rapa Nui have we

      • Blake says:

        That’s partly why we march and write and speak out in hopes we can help educate the ” pig ignorant masses “. Anyone believing what the Natz promise are fools. Lets see how much of an increase the Natz give ( starting in April ) to those in need and beneficiaries and super annuation folks – bet it is not much more a week than enough to cover a cup of coffee. Poor governing leadership and we have to get rid of them asap.

  9. Pedro says:

    Bravo, bravo Gareth. The best speech i have heard come from Parliament in years Did the narcissist respond?

  10. Dave says:

    Gareth – for gods sake have a shave

    • The Other Mike says:

      OK I’ll bite.

      FFS what is your point about the speech?

      Trolls have other sites to hang out. Try some.

      • Dave says:

        My point is, tidy himself up a bit, he could actually look the part, and his speech seemed to go down well. Take it as a compliment. I cannot forgive however that the Greens were solely responsible for the failing of a bill that would imprison people convicted of at least 3 burglaries from mandatory jail however. Why are the greens in support of burglars?

        • Words says:

          You are grasping at straws, and you being a National supporter Dave, your feelings are obviously hurt because Garth Hughes showed up John key and his National government as the liars and abject failures that they are.

        • WILD KATIPO says:

          Are you serious?… are you that laughably stuck in the 1950’s and 1960’s that you even judge a guy because he has a beard???!!!

          Oh my goodness!!!

          That is probably one of the most childish attempts at diversion yet.

          I suppose you would call 19th century politicians as dirty unwashed bearded hippy’s as well – and royalty of that time to boot !!! L00L!!!

          Hey …Ill give you a little list of ‘short back and sides’ guys you can google that you might admire …

          Cord Meyer
          David Morales
          Bill Harvey
          Lucien Sarti
          David Atlee Philips
          Antonia Veciana
          Frank Sturgis
          E.Howard Hunt

          All good clean shaven, ‘short back and sides’ type characters upholding ‘democracy’.

          So much so murder was routine in making their brand of ‘democracy’ work…for them…and no one else.

        • Words says:

          They are not, and you are grasping at straws.Being a National supporter Dave, your feelings are obviously hurt because Garth Hughes showed up John key and his National government as the liars and abject failures that they are.

        • e-clectic says:

          If sending people to jail reduced burglaries and crime then New Zealand would have an exceptionally low crime rate.
          If you want to send people to jail because they’ve been bad then yes I can see why you might not like the Greens actions. However, if you’re interested in lowering burglary and crime rates then automatically sending them to jail simply doesn’t achieve that result.

      • Blake says:

        To – The Other Mike – in order to understand what Gareth was talking about, one needs to own a brain with some substance between the ears.

  11. Blake says:

    Brilliant Gareth ! ! your speech was awesome and reflected what many of us believe and feel. Too bad that it will be met with denial and deafness from the most horrific and out of touch elitist government ever here in NZ.

    They will call you and your party nutters but it is they who have driven our country down and made us much worse off as they, with their lies, proclaim just the opposite. You hit the nail on the head with your analysis of John Key and I thank you for speaking out with so much honesty, humour and guts.

  12. Richard Christie says:

    That’s why I vote Green.

    Working link here

  13. Rae says:

    Just one tiny criticism. You made mention of the lightbulbs. At the time the lightbulbs and shower heads were roundly criticized for being social engineering, but compared to the social engineering that has occurred, turning NZ into a nation of renters from being a nation of home owners, they pale into total insignificance.
    Love to see that comparison given a bit of air.

    • Words says:

      Very good point Rae, and agree, and think this should be pointed out frequently.

      If only eco light bulbs and water saving shower heads (that a lot of people now use anyway), were the only things to worry about. Looking back after almost 7 and a half years of National, now having been stripped of our sovereignty and the ongoing systematic erosion of our democratic rights during that period, how ridiculously stupid and pathetic some people were to lose it over that.

  14. XRAY says:

    Just for a few months there I thought the Greens were rushing head long into an ideological cuddle with National, going all gooey blue green. What with all this Treasury thing and pats on the back for the non event and fraud that was the COP 21 Paris Climate Change summit.

    But just maybe when I read this there is hope! Weapons grade speech, 20 likes from me and painfully honest, unlike the man you speak of.

  15. Beard in Wellington says:

    Great speech, knocks down each and every one of Keys smug stupid perches.


    We do need to address the elephant in the room.
    As a bearded person I applaud that we have more bead people in Parliament. And its brave to do this in a setting which it seems mandatory to look like a wannabe winston Churchill.

    However you are not the person for that style of beard Gareth! You look like the director of some assholeish internet startup which steals your information to sell to landmine companies. May I humbly suggest as a fellow beard wielder that you trim the cheeks and just keep a goatee?

    • I kinda like his beard and that whole ‘Klingon/Worf’ thing he’s got going…

      • Words says:

        Me too !!

      • Dave says:

        Yea ok, but why do the greens like burglars?

        • e-clectic says:

          The Greens don’t like burglars, especially the ones dressed in suits and ties. The ones you’re worried about play with chump change.

          • Dave says:

            E -Electic that is a clever answer. However, there is a strong link between burglars and rapists, so why on earth did the greens prevent the bill that would locking them up from going ahead.

            • Stuart Munro says:

              Your burglary story’s a dead cat.

              Here we have a litany of crimes committed against NZ by John Key, a third of which would be ample to have him executed for treason in practically every country in the world.

              Now, I’m perfectly happy to swing the axe that sends him to his metaphysical accounting, but a lot of NZers would prefer a less colourful means of dealing with corrupt governments. Impeachment for example.

              As a self-styled rightwinger with a professed interest in crimes of dishonesty including burglary – how should Key be punished for burgling state assets? Burning at the stake would be just, but in the interests of carbon neutrality I could settle for impalement. What’s your solution?

            • e-clectic says:

              Cosmo is probably not my first choice for serious material on criminology but leaving that aside can you cite some research linking burglars and rapists?
              The second point is whether or not locking people up is effective, as I’ve commented elsewhere if locking people up was effective then crime would be low in NZ as we have a very high incarceration rate.
              Locking people up is expensive and when we give these contracts to companies like Serco we’re effectively importing this service, more stuff we have to export to pay for ineffective crime reduction, doesn’t sound too smart does it? But it does satisfy the punitive justice mob.

        • Stuart Munro says:

          Desperate much? Tell us how Key plans to get out of his $20 billion a year fiscal hole.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      I couldn’t care less about whether he has a beard , no beard or goatee ,-

      That speech was electrifying in its blunt and to the point honesty about just who and what , this PM John Key is.

      My goodness,…with people like Gareth Hughes this country has a chance.

      I want to hear more from this guy in the future.

      • Blake says:

        I agree – he is a mighty force to be watched and likely has a very powerful and positive future in politics. Good on the Greens ! ! !

        Dismissing him and his party – coming from the idiot ELITISTS on the right is only a very special compliment and badge of honour.

  16. Words says:

    Wow, that’s saying it as it is !!! Superb speech Mr Hughes, I also watched the speech on Youtube, and loved every minute of it. Notice the speaker at the end of the clip nodding in agreement… priceless.

  17. Robert Atack says:

    WOW Gareth grew a pair.
    Now to come clean about how a growth based savings scam cant last on a planet that has finished ‘growing’.

  18. Clemgeopin says:

    “a derping, planking, rape-joking expert”

    You forgot to mention Key’s other expertise : The despicable pony tail pulling of females.

  19. une bonne femme says:

    My hero! You pinned the ponytail on the donkey.

    I have hope, that’s why I”m Green. Thank you earthling.

    • Blake says:

      Nice comment – put a smile on my face. Donkey is truly an ass and Gareth hit the nail directly on the head. Positive politics may be coming alive.

  20. kejomu says:

    right up there with david cunliffe,s speech. now if the rest of the opposition could just ……….. !!!!

  21. bop says:

    I cant think of a more powerful speech I have heard. I have followed politics closely in NZ and worldwide since a young lad. This is one of the great ones!
    Share it around people… it is how a groundswell starts.
    We could see what is happening in the USA re Sanders here if the ‘great unwashed gather together as one. Unless that happens and unless those interested rally under one merged theme, no change will occur.
    Fragmented we will NEVER beat big business and their vested interests!!!
    Musing for the day,…. over and out!

  22. Mike the Lefty says:

    The Sleepy Hobbits of Muddle Nu Ziland just yawn and turn over for another nap. Don’t want to know anything that’s going wrong – no adventures here please. Just do me a favour and double tick the National box at the next election, save me the trouble of thinking.