John Key comes out defiant over NSA claims

Prime Minister Key has once again heavily denied speculation that New Zealanders are under mass surveillance, but Edward Snowden’s claims haven’t helped National’s image as the election draws nearer.

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John Key came out fighting in the media this morning, saying the claims that Kiwi’s living in New Zealand are under mass surveillance are purely “rhetoric”, and talk of NSA bases in New Zealand was strongly and actively denied by our countries Prime Minister.

According to Key, neither Edward Snowden nor Glenn Greenwald have offered any evidence to their claims.

According to the National Party, the controversial GCSB does not allow for mass surveillance in New Zealand, but Key has already said that there are databases in New Zealand that intelligence agencies have access to. The government say that information can only be accessed if there is a “person of interest”, like rebel fighters or criminals carrying out activity on these shores.

Over 50% of the nation who voted on the NZ Herald website today said they didn’t believe that they were under mass surveillance.

Kim Dotcom has already called John Key a liar, the Labour Leader and main opposition to the Prime Minister says there is evidence of this in an email.

Unfortunately for Key, many people are already saying they don’t believe his claims over either Dotcom or any of his statements surrounding the GCSB that go back over a year now.

Another thing to keep in mind is that despite what Key has said today, and despite what Snowden is claiming, in 2014 we live in an age of terrorism and increasing criminal activity which is being fed on an ever increasing platform through online means.

If there are NSA bases in New Zealand and surveillance is indeed taking place, can it be argued that it is simply only for the protection for everybody? Probably not, and that is a topic for another day, but Key’s claims are certainly hard to believe for a lot of reasons.

This has been a blunder filled campaign for Key and his national party, and it isn’t getting better.

Dirty Politics and Judith Collins saga won’t be enough to overthrow National led government

Judith Collins is gone, and finally National can try to get what has been a shambles of a campaign so far back on the right track.

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John Key was very open to the media this weekend, saying he is “firm but fair”, and the situation regarding former justice minister Judith Collins will hopefully now be behind Key and his National Party as the countdown to the 2014 general elections continues on. Key was also strong to say he wanted to focus on “real issues” that effect New Zealand when asked once again about the impact of Dirty Politics, a recently released book written by Nicky Hager. 

58% of people who voted on Fairfax Media’s Stuff website this morning believe the Collins resignation will hurt John Key’s campaign for a third term. 

It would be easy to look at this entire saga and simply say that there is no smoke without fire. 

This is what the Labour Party and David Cunliffe are relying on. They want people to believe that all in the National Party cannot be trusted. But despite Cunliffe’s impressive performance during the first leaders debate last week, he still has a big fight ahead of him yet if he hopes to become the next Prime Minister of New Zealand. 

Child poverty, foreign investment, lack of pay rate increases, and the all to talked about “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is a big issue that National must do better at addressing if they reign supreme after the election once again.

National clearly takes the viewpoint that the New Zealand economy cannot grow without investment, and can that really be denied? 

Despite the intentions of David Cunliffe, it isn’t hard to be a little nervous about his credible campaign. 

It is all well and good to say that under a Labour led government foreign investment will not be allowed, it is all well and good to say in your election campaign that you will make it possible for kiwis to buy their own homes, it all sounds so nice and so convincing. But John Key is right, with the state of the economy (remembering the economy is still suffering from the recession), Labour will be putting a focus on kiwis renting their houses for years, and how could Labour refuse all foreign investment, again given the state of the economy. 

Wether you are a Labour person or a National person, most New Zealanders simply want a government that will reward hard work with decent pay, keep children out of poverty, and be firm but fair. The economy isn’t strong enough to sustain the amount young kiwi mothers coming out of school pregnant and without a job, it isn’t strong enough to give every single person earning an income a tax decrease, and it certainly isn’t strong enough to go without some sort of foreign investment. 

Key’s answer of “I hope so” when asked if kiwis would receive a tax cut next year is exactly correct. He can’t definitively know either way. The NZ economy doesn’t just start and finish with the amount of dollars you end up with (or don’t end up with) in your bank at the end of each fortnight. 

But no matter how positive Key and his National party are, no matter how hard they downplay the bad media. 

There is absolutely no denying that the Dirty Politics and Judith Collins saga has seriously hurt their campaign, and it will continue to make the average New Zealander question the ethics of this “more than meets the eye” current state of the National Party. 

Reaction: Cunliffe impressive in first Leaders Debate

The first leaders debate of 2014’s New Zealand Election is over, and no doubt the opinion of the nation will differ greatly as both John Key and David Cunliffe put in strong performances.

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For the most part, Cunliffe’s answers were to the point and didn’t have the rambling beat around the bush statements that Key’s did on occasion. But the logic to the current Prime Ministers answers were powerful. John Key made his answers, particularly surrounding foreign investment, simple and logical for anybody to understand, and he will have many thinking that the National leader won tonights debate. 

John Key believes that the NZ Economy cannot grow without foreign capital investment. Can we really deny that? 

David Cunliffe believes that not sacking justice minister Judith Collins in the wake of Dirty Politics shows willful blindness from John Key. Can that be denied? 

Those two talking points were impacting, and credited and discredited both party leaders in tonights debate.

Key claiming that foreign investment will grow the NZ economy is logical, but Cunliffe has a point when he says that Judith Collins should have been sacked well before now, and was strong to bang home the point that had this Dirty Politics drama occurred under his Labour led government, Collins would have been gone. 

When asked if New Zealanders would receive a tax cut under National should John Key remain Prime Minister, the answer from our leader was “I hope so”. 

Such a weak answer to a simple question, and it reflected in a performance for Key that seemed quite rattled. However, given the state of the economy, you can’t entirely blame Key for not having enough numbers and statistics to give a definitive answer regarding tax. 

The NZ Prime Minister was quick to play down talk that political firestorm Dirty Politics, a recently released book written by Nicky Hager, has had any major impact on Nationals campaign. 

Currently, Stuff from Fairfax Media have kiwis voting for John Key over David Cunliffe as their preferred leader following tonights debate. However, the NZ Herald from APN have David Cunliffe as the majority winner in the votes.

Cunliffe put in a great performance tonight and as the voting continues, so do his numbers. 

In closing, both John Key and David Cunliffe both did their homework for tonight, and taking the day off instead of spending the day campaigning may have helped Cunliffe to be more composed.

But nobody can deny, despite the poor results in the polling, tonight may indeed be a turning point for David Cunliffe and the Labour party as their leader was calm and composed throughout, as apposed to the longer and more confusing answers that John Key brought to the table minus his logic surrounding foreign investment.