19 December 2007
RADIO: 19 December, KiwiFM

19 December. John Key and host Wallace Chapman talk about Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt's courageous stand against the restrictions of the Labour Government's new Electoral Finance Bill - a stand that could see him going to jail over advertisements he plans to run next year opposing the Government - and about some of the more draconian provisions in the new law.  Wallace then steers the discussion to the decision by the Government to purchase a fleet of BMWs as Crown cars.


19 December 2007
VIDEO: Adjournment Speech (with text)

A rousing and often humourous end-of-session speech from the National Party leader, John Key.

An excerpt from the unedited Hansard of the speech follows.


Turn(s) 29.1 to 29.1 Tuesday, 18 December 2007 5:30 PM

17:29:35~JOHN KEY (Leader of the Opposition)

The year of 2007 has been a good year for National, and 2008 will be a great year for National and New Zealand, which is more than we can say for the Labour Party, which is rapidly becoming about as popular as a Japanese whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean.

That is hardly surprising because the only thing that spends more time in the dock than a New Zealand frigate is a Labour Party Cabinet Minister. He is there all the time. Some months ago we announced a policy that we wanted to have DNA testing for criminals who were convicted. I have decided we should drop that and just jot down their Bellamy's account number—that would be a lot easier.

This is a Government that is unravelling before New Zealanders' eyes.

We have Ministers who are now publicly disagreeing with each other. We have a Government that has become so arrogant that it is arrogant to the marrow.

We are seeing people who are leaving the Labour Party left, right, and centre. We have a Government that will do anything and say anything to win an election.

We know one thing—the Labour Party thinks it is everybody else's fault but its own. That is the interesting thing. The Labour members do not get the mirror out in the Labour Party very often.

They have spent years blaming the National Party, now they have moved on to blaming the officials. It is the officials' fault that New Zealanders do not get to Christmas with a tax cut, despite the fact that Michael Cullen once famously said of Treasury: "I'm elected and they're not." That is what he said. But now it is the officials' fault. It is the officials' fault that they will get only $15 under Labour maybe after over a decade of Labour if they ever get that chance—of course, unless the polls go down a little bit more, then the tax cuts will go up.

Last week, according to the Prime Minister, it was the media's fault. The two senior political editors on both TV channels are too young to understand history. That is the reason—too young to understand history. I will make this prediction; by next year Labour members will have moved on—it will be someone else's fault. It will be the voters' fault by next year. That is whose fault it will be.

All the time they are not really worried about what is going on with the big issues. They do not care about the 750 Kiwis who leave every week for Australia. They are not bothered about the fact that there has been no tax cuts for 8 years. They do not care about a failing health system or a failing education system. They do not care about any of those things They do not even really care that much about the 14 finance companies that have gone broke, the four interest rate hikes they have delivered New Zealanders this year, or the fact that when one looks at their wages, how much they have gone up. If one takes off inflation, takes off interest rates, and takes off rising prices New Zealanders have gone backwards over 8 years. The Government just does not care.

But next year Helen Clark wants to win a fourth term, not because of what that power will actually achieve, but Helen Clark wants another trophy in the trophy cabinet. She wants to buy just one more election—that is all she wants.

She can buy one more election and keep Phil out of the leadership for just a little bit longer, whereas the National Party wants a steep change for New Zealand. According to Labour and Michael Cullen success is to be despised. That is the message from Michael Cullen; success is meant to be despised. How interesting that is when one contrasts that with the National Party. The National Party is out there promoting a *DVD at the moment called Ambitious for New Zealand, and New Zealanders absolutely love it. There are 20,000 downloads on *YouTube, and our own site.

Gerry Brownlee: How many?

JOHN KEY: There are 20,000 downloads. Let me say this: we had one small problem with the DVD—one has to be able to laugh at oneself does one not? Last year I said "they were a Walkman Government in an i-Pod world." Well, actually it is not. It is a video Government in a DVD world, and next year it will get clocked big time. That is what will happen to them next year.

So anyway, when one looks at the year Labour has had and looks at the problems, one really wonders when the people will work out who is to blame, and that is Helen Clark, but I will come back to her in a minute. But is it not an interesting culture that has developed under Labour?

Just last week we picked up the Dominion Post. On the front page was a story that Capital and Coast District Health Board, which had a cash crisis, was going to sack 50 doctors, not sack 50 bureaucrats, but under Labour sack 50 doctors.

This is now a country where we record crime on a time-line basis in the Sunday Star-Times. This is a country where the bail laws see New Zealanders out on bail, despite the fact they are charged with horrendous crimes—they are fit, under Labour, to be back on the streets.

This is a country that did not go up the OECD, it went down.

This is a country that will go into Christmas with the Government's wallet fat, but New Zealanders struggling to make ends meet, struggling to afford the niceties of Christmas, and struggling to get any further ahead.

This is a country where one in five New Zealanders leave school completely lacking the literacy and numeracy skills, and where one in two Māori boys and girls completely lack any qualification at all.

In the New Zealand Herald the Prime Minister stated that she was shocked that over 300,000 New Zealanders could not read the instructions on a fire extinguisher.

All of this leads us to a Government that has spent the entire year worried about the Labour Party, worried about its own Ministers who are constantly in trouble, and worried about themselves so desperate to stay in power it has had to force through the electoral finance law, and it has not been good.

Hon Phil Goff: Oh, come on John, we've got 10 minutes left.

JOHN KEY: Well, actually I am happy to take an extra 10 minutes if the Labour Party wants me to. I do not think a Leader of the Opposition with as much material as I have should be limited to 10 minutes, but if Phil Goff wants to give up some time there is no problem. I am happy to take it.

It is all getting so bad that the last time Phil Goff was spotted was at the Barbecue Factory on Sunday night. He saw the polls and he headed off to the Barbecue Factory, whipped down to the Mad Butcher, and he said "my time will come, the waiting, waiting, waiting is finally over.

I do not have a lot of time left to talk about the great things that the National Party will do next year. I have a whole year next year to talk about those things.

But I want to say, what a great year it has been for National in New Zealand. What a cracker it will be in 2008. Merry Christmas.

News release

19 December 2007
NEWS: Labour fails to consult National again

National Party Leader John Key says that yet again Labour has failed to consult National on its attempts to lock down a partial review of 'outstanding electoral issues'.  

"The Greens and Labour have done a deal. Clearly, Helen Clark does not understand the meaning of 'bipartisan support' for election law changes. The Prime Minister has learned nothing from the debacle over the Electoral Finance Act and has again failed to consult the major opposition party.

"Labour broke conventions ramming this law through, and now they're breaking them again as part of a further exercise in self-preservation."

Mr Key notes that Annette King's statement makes it clear that Labour is not considering fundamental changes to the Electoral Finance Act, rather 'outstanding electoral issues'.

"This is a stalking horse for the state funding of political parties, engineered by the Greens and Labour. They've made it clear that's what they want and this is how they plan to achieve it."

Mr Key says National remains committed to repealing the self-serving Electoral Finance Act and it will not support state-funded election campaigns.

"Labour simply doesn't understand that consultation means talking to all other parties, not just its allies.

"The decision to appoint an independent review panel is sound in principle and was something that National had been advocating. But Labour's not signalling a wide-ranging review to fix the law at all – just more patch-ups.

"Labour has bungled this process from start to finish.  The review should have come first – not be a bolt-on after-thought that's part of a cynical, face-saving, damage control exercise.
"Labour has deliberately screwed the electoral scrum in an attempt to get Helen Clark one more term in office, and nothing the Government does now can change that fact."