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

Latest

Lecretia Seales' widower makes his case for death with dignity
103655 2019-03-20 00:00:00Z Health

Lecretia Seales' widower makes his case for death…

by Matt Vickers

Ahead of a report back on the End of Life Choice Bill, Matt Vickers, widower of assisted dying advocate Lecretia Seales makes his case.

Read more
Sid at the French Café to host a special lunch to support Christchurch victims
103751 2019-03-20 00:00:00Z Auckland Eats

Sid at the French Café to host a special lunch to…

by Metro

A special luncheon will be held to raise money in support of the victims and families affected by the Christchurch mosque shooting.

Read more
Tech giants accused of inciting violence for hosting mosque shooter's livestream
103603 2019-03-19 10:23:15Z Tech

Tech giants accused of inciting violence for hosti…

by Vomle Springford

Facebook, Google and other tech platforms are being condemned for hosting the Christchurch shooter's video.

Read more
'We've failed miserably': Critics condemn spy agencies' surveillance strategy
103607 2019-03-19 00:00:00Z Crime

'We've failed miserably': Critics condemn spy agen…

by Phil Pennington

Former Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said the response to Muslims over what they see as a growing threat to them was "diabolical".

Read more
Party leaders saying little on gun law reform
103601 2019-03-19 00:00:00Z Politics

Party leaders saying little on gun law reform

by Gia Garrick

Governing parties are giving no clues on how the country's gun laws will change following Friday's terror attack in Christchurch.

Read more
Test of faith: Does New Zealand have anything to fear from radical Islam?
70722 2019-03-19 00:00:00Z Social issues

Test of faith: Does New Zealand have anything to f…

by Joanna Wane

Almost three years ago, the Muslim community in Auckland welcomed me into their world with warmth, trust and open arms.

Read more
Saziah Bashir: 4 things you should do following the Christchurch terror attack
103634 2019-03-19 00:00:00Z Social issues

Saziah Bashir: 4 things you should do following th…

by Saziah Bashir

What can we do? Where to from here? People have to recognise the Muslim community is grieving.

Read more
Christchurch shooting: How the world is reacting to the terror attack
103651 2019-03-19 00:00:00Z World

Christchurch shooting: How the world is reacting t…

by Ryan J Holder

In the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, there is grief, despair, anger and a righteous sense that things need to change.

Read more