A year on from the National Party's re-election for a third term, John Key remains the envy of most other political parties, Crown Minister Steven Joyce says.

Speaking on TV3's The Nation this morning, Joyce stressed the Government's achievements in the seventh year of Key's administration.

"If you ask anybody in the National Party whether they want John Key to be their Prime Minister and leader they would say absolutely," he said.

"At any point in New Zealand history has there been a Prime Minister who is more in touch with New Zealand in his seventh? I'd very, very much doubt it. I'd think most parties would love to have a leader as successful and as in touch with New Zealand as we have."


He said the Government's proudest achievements since last year's election included the free-trade agreement with Korea, introducing free healthcare for under-13s and raising benefits to help children growing up in poverty.

The biggest "hits" the Government had taken included losing the Northland byelection to Winston Peters and the failure to gain a consensus to reform the Resource Management Act.

But Labour Party leader Andrew Little told the programme that the Government was "totally out of touch".

"If you have a look at what's been achieved under this Government, seven years into it we've got rising unemployment, we have a primary production sector that is struggling now because of commodity prices [and] a whole range of other issues that simply aren't being addressed."

He said Labour had "by and large" finished rebuilding the party after its disastrous election result.

"Now we've got the big policy development stuff to do. I said at the beginning of this year that it would be a year for me and the party to get out and about and to listen to New Zealanders. Next year will be the year for bringing together the ideas and putting out the policies."

He wouldn't be drawn on whether he wanted Annette King to remain his deputy.
"I'm looking at all of those portfolio allocations," he said. "A number of people are in the frame for that role and I want a team that's going to take us through to 2017."