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A Week Of It: Key, K(iwi)s & Coddington

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
‘Classically Liberal’ Media Dream Team Not To Be
TV3 Distance Themselves From News-Generating Perk-Busting Internet Political Diarist
What Do Georgina Te Heu Heu and Tau Henare Think Of the National Party’s Latest Campaign?


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 involved.

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 again today.’

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 celebrities.

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 known.

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:

Press Release: New Zealand Young Nationals

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 country."

- Anne Else


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