Home > The Body Politic > John Key on leadership aspirations…

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


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.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 27 August 2013.



= fs =

  1. Mooloo magic
    30 August 2013 at 8:40 am

    Yes I pray this is the beginning of the end of the insouciant Key and his wicked nasty malodorous henchmen and women who worship at the altar of the flawed neo classical economic model and the lunacy that these neoliberal ideologues have inflicted on us. They are responsible for so much inequality, pain and suffering for most Kiwis. Let’s hope that whoever becomes the new leader of the Labour party can inspire the electorate to vote out this dastardly government and returns New Zealand to a decent and fair society that we were once proudly were.

  2. mcclairy
    30 August 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Well said Frank and just goes to show, and reinforce the other blunders our PM has demonstrated on too many an occasion with his dodgy memory. Does the job maketh the man or the man maketh the job conundrum comes to mind as I would put a “currency gambler” well down on the list if integrity and honesty were being evaluated. These are not nice people and this latest attack on the Labour leadership along with his appalling performance during Question Time……. bully boy persona, the smart a- – e clown, looking around for applause with nothing coming even close to an answer…..for which the Speaker must take some responsibility. Can we expect the MSM to remind the public of the Brash-Key leadership show down ? I don’t think so and wasn’t it Key who promised English his vote when it was between English or Brash for the leadership ? A one vote win for Brash !
    I can’t remember Clark, nor anyone else in the Labour camp dumping on Natz as they rearranged their deck chairs. Maybe Key is running scared and attack the best means of defense ? Between the MSM and Natz they sure are dishing the dirt on Labour and the leadership challenge.

  3. Deborah Kean
    30 August 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Let’s hope it really is the end of Key! I am pretty disillusioned with Labour. What I saw in the Herald said that Maryan Street was the one who monstered Shearer into resigning as leader, for the sake of Robertson. If so, that’s stupidity of an incredible order. Robertson could never lead Labour to victory in 2014, much though his ego might like to believe he could, or that anyone who doesn’t love him as leader is “homophobic”…

    • 1 September 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Re, Robertson’s sexual orientation… I keep forgetting he’s gay. So obviously it’s not a major factor in my mind. (Kind of like is he left or right handed.) Thus far it seems to be only the media that is making an issue of it.

      I wonder if most New Zealanders care?

      • Deborah Kean
        1 September 2013 at 2:36 pm

        Every time I have heard Robertson speak, he’s banged on about his sexual orientation! So, it seems to be a major factor in his mind – which is why I think he’d be a terrible choice – can he not lift his mind above his trousers? Ever?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: