Monday, March 02, 2015


Tony Abbott's visit to New Zealand gave Australian political commentators another excuse to highlight the failings of his leadership, by comparing him with John Key. However, their list of John Key's successes is a little... odd:

Key has, with a minimum of fuss since being elected in 2008, raised the GST and cut income taxes, put Christchurch back on the road to recovery after a major earthquake, overseen the introduction of same-sex marriage and set New Zealand the ambitious target of a 50 per cent reduction in emissions over the next 50 years.

Obviously the first is a success if you're a rich right-winger who wants to redistribute wealth upwards - and Key certainly is. But the rest? Christchurch won't be "recovering" any time soon, same-sex marriage was introduced and championed by a Labour backbencher, and Key's climate target is hardly ambitious and he's not doing anything to meet it anyway. I know they were looking for contrasts with Abbott, but to New Zealanders, this reads more like a list of Key's failures.

But I guess this is what happens when you have "political correspondent"s desperate for an angle but too pressed for time to do the research...