Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Land of the long don't care - how the PM sees us

To John Key, Kiwis aren’t actually interested in any problem facing National

The PM has said NZ is not interested in spying, policies, Kim Dotcom, the teapot tapes, muck-raking, and nearly anything that is not health, education, the economy or rugby. Photo / NZH
The PM has said NZ is not interested in spying, policies, Kim Dotcom, the teapot tapes, muck-raking, and nearly anything that is not health, education, the economy or rugby. Photo / NZH

New Zealanders are interested in very little, if Prime Minister John Key is to be believed.

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The America's Cup is the latest in a long list of things Mr Key has declared New Zealand to be unconcerned about.

"My sense actually is the public is waning on the idea a bit," he said last week as the Government was faced with deciding whether to subsidise another Team New Zealand America's Cup campaign.

A look at the records shows Mr Key has previously said the public also has little interest in spying, most political parties' policies, Kim Dotcom, the teapot tapes, muck-raking, and nearly anything that is not health, education, the economy or rugby.

Last year, he said New Zealanders cared more about snapper catch limits than changes to spying laws, "because they like catching fish".

Mr Key's assertion was likely to be backed by extensive public polling.

He would also have noted that the GSCB Amendment Bill received 123 public submissions. The Ministry of Primary Industries received 30,000 submissions on snapper fishing cuts.

But some polls have proved him wrong. One survey showed three in four people were concerned about reform of the Government Communications and Security Bureau.

According to Mr Key, New Zealanders also do not care for scandals - particularly when they involve the National Party.

He has described Judith Collins' Oravida visit, Kim Dotcom's allegations, and the "teapot tapes" as things people did not care about.

When Dotcom first claimed that Mr Key knew about him earlier than he had publicly admitted, Mr Key responded: "The Government actually doesn't care about Kim Dotcom ... In fact, most New Zealanders don't care about Kim Dotcom."

There is a pattern in all of the things New Zealanders are "not interested in" - they are all potentially damaging to National.


What Key says

On the America's Cup
"My sense actually is the public is waning on the idea a bit." (Newstalk ZB)

On spying
"I think they're much more interested in snapper quota." (Campbell Live)

On Labour
"I'm going to be interested in voting for somebody who's actually growing the economy and growing jobs, not what Grant Robertson and the Labour Party's focused on."

On whether Judith Collins' Oravida scandal undermined his trip to China
"My own guess ... is there will be a bunch of New Zealanders who look at what I'm doing and say 'at least the bloke's trying to advance things for New Zealand'. They're probably a lot more interested in that."

On Kim Dotcom
"The Government actually doesn't care about Kim Dotcom ... In fact, most New Zealanders don't care about Kim Dotcom. The person who cares about Kim Dotcom is Kim Dotcom." (TVNZ)

On the teapot tapes
"The public are really interested in the economy, they're interested in the serious policies that matter, and they're not interested in other things ... It is these issues that will decide the election — not Labour Party dirt-digging on my past, nor sideshows like Winston Peters."

- NZ Herald

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