Sir John Key has revealed that United States President Donald Trump would be part of his dream golfing quartet.
The former New Zealand prime minister made the surprise statement when quizzed about his ideal golfing partners on the Golfizz podcast, with Trump making up an eclectic quartet alongside golfing icon Tiger Woods and music superstar Ed Sheeran.
While noting that his choices would probably draw laughter, Key told the podcast that he is interested to learn more about the US President and how he really operates.
"I'm just interested, I've spoken to Trump a few times and I kind of vaguely knew him once, it wasn't when I was prime minister, but I think I'd be interested just to spend four hours and get a sense of it," Key said.
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"I know Chris Liddell pretty well, who used to be the head of forest products in New Zealand, a very successful businessman and a big Republican supporter, and he now works in the White House – he's Trump's deputy chief of staff. I played golf with him and Mick Mulvaney, who is Trump's chief of staff, and a couple of guys from state department, not that long ago, and they're all super smart, really good people.
"I guess with the image you sometimes see of Trump on TV – there must be more going on there, and I'd just like to make my own assessment of it."
Key has previously played golf with former US president Barack Obama, and explained how it helped to grow their relationship.
"He is a really good bloke, he's got a great sense of humour. When you get out there he's just Barack Obama, I know he's the US president, the most powerful person in the world, and inevitably when you're sitting there in the cart you're talking about all sorts of different global issues and his perspective on things and people he's met – but I think positions and titles melt away on the golf course, and it's just two people playing a round of golf and hopefully bonded by the game.
"And, unlike a lot of US presidents, don't want to name them in particular, he actually knows the rules and sticks to them, I'll just leave that unnamed on which former presidents – or current – we might be talking about," Key joked.
Key, who was planning to visit the famous Augusta course, home of the Masters, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, has been at home in Parnell during the lockdown, and while he sent a warning about the economic hardship to come, shared an overall positive message about New Zealand's ability to get through the tough times.