Well Make That Six
Last night John Campbell on Campbell Live gave a full show length interview with re-elected Prime Minister John Key.
An extract of the interview below:
John Key’s outlook, goals for the next three years
Monday 22 Sep 2014 8:38 p.m.
Just 48 hours after New Zealand’s general election, John Key sat down with John Campbell in Wellington after he was elected for another three years as Prime Minister.
“I will lead a Government that will govern for all New Zealanders” was a quote from Mr Key’s acceptance speech that stood out for many.
“I wrote the speech that was delivered on Saturday night because I wanted them to be my words and it was how I felt,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key says he believes he has made a difference over the past six years, though he knows he has his critics.
“There will be some New Zealanders who say, ‘Well, he may have made a difference, but not positively to my life.”
To them Mr Key says “[We in National] have certainly tried our best to do that”.
But he knows he must now carve his legacy.
“Helen Clarke will be remembered for the Cullen Fund or the Working For Families,” he says. “If it all ends on Saturday night, I would like to be remembered for leadership around the Christchurch earthquakes and [getting through] the global financial crisis.”
Robert Muldoon’s ambition, “to leave the country in no worse shape than I found it”, Mr Key describes as having an incredibly low ambition.
“I want to leave the country in better shape than I found it,” he says.
He also wants to harness some of the lessons learned from the campaign to improve the next three years, and look at what poor voter turnout says about New Zealanders.
“I think something people think that their individual vote won’t influence anything,” says Mr Key. “Nationally, if you look at the trend [of voting] it’s reducing, which is very sad.”
He sees the drop in turnout as especially bad for democracy, as it “means that people aren’t quite as engaged as they should be or they don’t believe that their political leaders can make a difference when they absolutely can”.
Mr Key was quick to brush off criticism surrounding New Zealand’s growing housing crisis, saying housing will always be a struggle in New Zealand.
“Everyone borrows too much, spends too much and has higher expectation than they can deliver for their first home.
“But you can get people in their [first home] and I actually do think that Homestart as a programme is good because it’s highly efficient,” say Mr Key. “You can literally go into Homestart, be with your partner in KiwiSaver for five years and pull out what’s going to be the better part of a $50,000 deposit.”
He believes the Government’s job is to get on top of the land release and the building sector.
Read more (and see the video): http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/keys-outlook-goals-for-the-next-three-years-2014092220#ixzz3E59F2e00
What I found from the interview was a couple of things.
First was the Prime Minister’s composure in spelling out his vision while for three years it could easily go down for six years – that elusive fourth term which only National’s Holyoake did from 1960-1972 (NZ’s Golden Years). That vision looked of one that will portray the Common Good (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_good) which also encompasses Social Liberalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_liberalism). Now given Key leads a Centre Right Government that would naturally dabble more in Neo Conservatism and Neo Liberalism it will be interesting to see if he does reach over the Centre and towards the Left where Social Liberalism and the Common Good naturally sit.
Given the first third of the interview and most likely the Prime Minister’s talks with Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English I do expect a Centre Right agenda to go through. HOWEVER; if Key and English are looking at that lasting legacy and want that fourth term then something tells me that the Government will sit around the Centre and reach both directions left and right and whether that will be tempered by conservatism
It will be interesting when Budget 2015 comes around to see which way the Government will swing. For the rest of the interview it descended into a confusing buggers muddle apart from the housing section which the Government is looking at more Special Housing Areas and reforms to the Resource Management Act. Both to be controversial and large changes.
As for the opposition? Well we don’t have one at the moment unless they can unite and get their collective acts together.
The next three if not six years got interesting indeed.