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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Change down under as well...

New Zealand's new PM fulfils boyhood ambition
November 9, 2008 - 2:25AM
Source: ABC

New Zealand voters responded to Mr Key's call for change
Photo: Getty Images
New Zealand's National Party leader John Key had two boyhood ambitions. He achieved his goal of making a million dollars a long time ago and his election victory Saturday as prime minister-elect has brought him the second.

New Zealand voters responded to Mr Key's call for change and the "politics of aspiration", handing a strong mandate to his centre-right National Party to form a government with the support of two small conservative parties.

With an estimated fortune of $50 million ($A43.84 million) from a career as an investment banker, the son of a poor, widowed Jewish refugee mother brought up in government housing has come a long way.

His two childhood goals, revealed in a New Zealand Herald profile, illustrate his habit of setting goals and chasing them remorselessly.

In egalitarian New Zealand, riches are sometimes viewed with suspicion but Mr Key makes no apologies.

"I've been in a fortunate position in my life in that I've had a successful business career and yes, I have made money," he said.

"I also know the other side of being poor. I was brought up in a state house by a solo mother so I've had both extremes.

"I want more New Zealanders to move from poverty to wealth."

Path to PM's office
Mr Key gave up his job as global head of foreign exchange for Merrill Lynch in London in 2001 to chase his dream of running New Zealand.

He was elected a member of parliament for the National Party the following year.

By 2004 he was appointed finance spokesman for National, the main opposition party, under leader Don Brash, a former central bank chief.

Prime minister Helen Clark's Labour Party won a tight election in 2005 and the following year, Mr Brash was replaced by Mr Key.

He has been painted by Miss Clark as far too inexperienced but he counters that his experience in business and finance will be an asset for the country.

His strategy of avoiding alienating voters by promising no radical change under a National government has led to accusations he is only offering a "Labour-lite" administration.

But he says there is a gulf between his philosophy and that of rival Miss Clark.

National stands for "the politics of aspiration, not the politics of envy", he says.

Ruthless streak
His affable, relaxed style disguises a steely resolve and an ability to learn quickly. Mr Key rarely put a foot wrong in the election campaign, despite his relatively short period in politics.

In plotting his way to the top of the National Party in just four years, he revealed a ruthless streak, one he says earlier saw him described as the "smiling assassin" when he had to sack Merrill Lynch employees during a business downturn in the late 1990s.

Mr Key is married to his high school sweetheart Bronagh and they live in an Auckland mansion with their two children.

He occasionally plays golf, a sport his sister reportedly said the young Mr Key announced as a 10-year-old he wanted to learn because it was an important social tool for businessmen.

But as incoming prime minister of a country facing the fallout of the global financial crisis, the golf clubs are likely to be staying in the bag for a long time.




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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Victorious NZ conservatives consider coalition options
By Peter Lewis
November 9, 2008 - 11:46AM
Source: ABC

Incoming Prime Minister John Key is considering a coalition
Photo: AFP
The transition of political power is underway today following the conservative National Party's win in New Zealand's general election .

Incoming Prime Minister John Key is considering a coalition with as many as three other parties to govern the country for the next three years.

The National Party has already locked in a deal for the support of the two right wing parties ACT and United Future, which would give Mr Key a comfortable majority on the floor of the 122-seat Parliament.

But it is looking increasingly likely he will extend an invitation to the Maori Party, which won five seats, to increase the buffer over Labour and broaden the electoral appeal of his administration even more.

Nationals' campaign director Stephen Joyce, who won a seat himself, says no one is under any illusions about the dimension of the challenge ahead to create what Mr Key described as "a safer, more prosperous and ambitious New Zealand".

"I think he'll do very very well, he's well aware of the job... he's a level headed guy very calm and I think he'll be a good Prime Minister," he said.

Labour Deputy Leader Michael Cullen has followed outgoing Prime Minister Helen Clark's lead, standing down from a leadership role within the party.

The Labour caucus will elect a new leadership team in the next few weeks.

'Gutsy' Clark
On ABC1's Insiders program, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith congratulated Mr Key on his election victory.

"We value very much our relationship with NZ, it's a very important [one]," he said.

"We worked very closely with Helen Clark's government... so we expect that very close cooperation and working together to continue [with Mr Keys]."

Mr Smith says that in the end, time caught up with the "gutsy" Miss Clark.

"I think she's held in very high regard and very high respect," he said.

"She's been a fighter in good times and bad times, and I think it's that that's earned her respect."

Mr Smith says Miss Clark also worked on sucessfully rebuilding New Zealand's relationship with the United States.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd telephoned Mr Key after his party's election win.

"I congratulated John on his election, a fine win for himself and for his party, the great thing about the Australian-New Zealand relationship is that it goes beyond party politics," he said.

"We have committed afresh to building this important relationship for both of us."

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says Miss Clark did a good job in the nine years she led the Labour government.

"This is the cycle of politics, I offer my congratulations to John Key the new Prime Minister of New Zealand," she said.

"It's a great country, it's an important country for us to have a good strong relationship. I wish Helen Clark the best in what she does in the next part of her life.

"I think she's been a very strong prime minister."



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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 04:52 AM
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I like that, Politics of Aspiration. We seem to be stuck with the other one, Politics of Envy here in the states.

Who's John Galt.

"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" - Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 2

If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel. --Benjamin Netayahu
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 09:50 AM
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Change down under as well...

I thought this was going to be a thread about, how often we should change our underwear.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 08:21 PM
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thanks 420

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