John Key puts NZ artists in their place

by Toby Manhire / 09 January, 2012
Says the PM: "While our literary heroes may never challenge the glory and respect given to our All Blacks, we still need role models to inspire us"
He may not quite be John Keats, but the New Zealand prime minister is an able self-parodist.

In a written endorsement for something called the New Zealand Literary Heritage Trail, which appears to be a pet project of the Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt (don’t know how far he got with it – he mentions it in this ODT piece from 2009), Key puts the role of New Zealand art and culture in its national context.

I have always believed we should enhance the literary skills of our young people and while our literary heroes may never challenge the glory and respect given to our All Blacks, we still need role models to inspire us.


This Literary Heritage Trail celebrates writers, poets and playwrights who have contributed to this young country's cultural and historical life.


I hope you will take the opportunity to be part of this journey.


 

- Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand.


We have @theedrich to thank for bringing this affecting endorsement – which she assures us appears authentic in every way - to our attention on Twitter. She even took a photograph of the booklet, found in a Rotorua information centre:



As Giovanni Tiso points out on Twitter, the only appropriate response to Key’s words is to be found in a 1995 John Clarke/Fred Dagg sketch.

And lest we forget, Mr Key does show poetic potential. Has a New Zealand prime minister ever ad-libbed a more bewitching almost-haiku than this, from the election campaign:

The thing I know that matters


to New Zealanders is the issues


that really matter


(Update: Danyl has posted on this little gem at the Dim-Post.)

h/t @milkshakebot
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Letters reveal the dark and despairing side of celebrated lovers
73322 2017-05-22 15:02:35Z Culture

Letters reveal the dark and despairing side of cel…

by Linda Herrick

“Do you really think that at any period in our friendship you were worthy of the love I showed you, or that for a single moment I thought you were?"

Read more
Rachel MacGregor has had enough of the media’s bulls**t
73312 2017-05-22 14:02:18Z Social issues

Rachel MacGregor has had enough of the media’s bul…

by Katie Parker

She is neither plaintiff nor defendant in the current Colin Craig trial - so why can’t the media leave his former press secretary alone?

Read more
How to not get hacked
73298 2017-05-22 12:33:16Z Technology

How to not get hacked

by Peter Griffin

There are things you can do to reduce your risk.

Read more
Rent bidding apps heading for New Zealand
73294 2017-05-22 12:16:44Z Technology

Rent bidding apps heading for New Zealand

by RNZ

A new app to enable tenants to bid against each other for a property will drive up already barely affordable prices, renters say.

Read more
How children's immune systems are affected by cold, damp housing
73273 2017-05-22 11:21:53Z Social issues

How children's immune systems are affected by cold…

by Ruth Nichol

A cold, damp house is the first link in a chain that leads from childhood sniffles to major health problems.

Read more
Crossword 1028 answers and explanations
Reading between the lines: Cartoonist Toby Morris
73255 2017-05-22 09:49:18Z Life in NZ

Reading between the lines: Cartoonist Toby Morris

by Ricky French

When it comes to provocative social commentary, Toby Morris’ pencil is his sword.

Read more
Next in line for paper cut? Nelson Mail considers its future