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Key: Wednesday, man of woe; Thursday, man of dough

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

25 January 2008 Media Statement

John Key: Wednesday’s child, man of woe – Thursday’s child, man of dough

John Key may have been Leader of the Opposition for over a year now, but he is no closer to gaining any credibility on the issues facing New Zealand, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“This was a week of considerable uncertainty, with serious questions about the health of the global economy and New Zealand’s place within it,” Dr Cullen said.

“It was a week where commentators from across the spectrum made thoughtful and reasoned contributions to the debate on where our economy and country are headed.

“Against that backdrop, the inconsistency on display from John Key was disappointing.

“On Tuesday, he admitted that his strident opposition to the NZ Superannuation Fund and KiwiSaver in recent years was wrong.

“On Wednesday, he ignored universal calls for calm while we assessed the impact of the global slowdown, to demand cuts to ‘non-growth enhancing spending’.

“On Thursday, when the audience changed, Mr Key demanded the opposite – big increases in government spending – this time on the Waitangi Tribunal.

“This is despite the very significant funding increases for the Tribunal last year and the significant progress made on Treaty Settlements in recent months.

“Mr Key is proving that it is possible to be a man of woe one day and a man of dough the next.”


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