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Key re-invents his own history yet again

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

7 May 2008 Media Statement

Key re-invents his own history yet again

John Key’s claim that he supported the government purchase of the rail tracks in 2004 is yet another revisionist interpretation of his own history, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

In 2004, Mr Key railed against the purchase of the track system, saying it would lead to ‘pork-barrel politics’, ‘political interference’ in investment decisions, and inevitable investments in services of ‘questionable economic value’.

Yet this morning on Breakfast, Mr Key said that “…owning the tracks, that’s a pretty sound idea.”

“Being in government is about telling people what you really believe and setting out a long-term plan for the future,” Dr Cullen said.

“Yet John Key can’t seem to remember what he actually believes or what he has said in the not-too-distant past on a growing number of issues. His comments today that government ownership of the track is a ‘pretty sound idea’ is completely at odds with the attack he led against the government’s buy back of the tracks in 2004.

“I certainly remember being attacked by Mr Key over the track buy back and I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t remember his own comments. He clearly believes that government ownership of the rail network will inevitably lead to politicised investment decisions. Why not just say that and have an honest debate with us?

“He was also critical of the purchase of the track because it would require taxpayer investment to improve it, much as he is saying today with the government’s purchase of Toll’s rail and ferry business. Who knows what he’ll be saying about rail investment in a few years time.

“From supporting the war in Iraq to pretending he opposed it, to being a climate change sceptic to having always believed in it, to his total confusion over Treaty settlement policy, John Key has shown time and time again that he doesn’t know where he stands on the issues that matter.

“For a man that want to be Prime Minister by Christmas, that’s just not good enough.”


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