The secret diary of... John Key

STEVE BRAUNIAS
Last updated 10:56 26/01/2014

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OPINION: MONDAY Like the majority of New Zealanders, I've enjoyed a wonderful and relaxing summer holiday in Hawaii.

But now it's time to roll up our sleeves and head back to work. Because at the end of the day, we all have to get up in the morning. As I stand on the doorstep of 2014 and look down the driveway, past the tennis court, and over the swimming pool, I forget what I was thinking about.

New Zealand. I was thinking about New Zealand. I was thinking how excited and eager I felt to roll up my sleeves and head back to work on behalf of New Zealand.

New Zealand has a special place in the world. It's not that far from Hawaii. All you have to do is step on a plane and you're there in no time, playing golf with Barack Obama, and relaxing with a glass of wine and a book.

Actually, you don't need a book. You just need the glass of wine. And a sunset. The sunsets are amazing in Hawaii. They happen at the end of the day.

I forget what I was thinking about. Government. I was thinking about government. I was thinking that United Future, the Maori Party, Act, and the Conservative Party all have what it takes to become coalition partners in a stable National-led government. But not New Zealand First. I have no intention of working with Winston Peters.

TUESDAY Overnight is a long time in politics, and it struck me this morning that New Zealand First has what it takes to become a coalition partner in a stable National-led government. As for Winston Peters, you just have to let him know who calls the shots.

I bumped into him in the hallway outside his office, where I'd been pacing for three hours. I said, "Let's walk and talk." We both walked, but he did all the talking.

WEDNESDAY He talked all night and all morning and he was set to talk all afternoon until I let him know who calls the shots.

"Thank you," he said.

THURSDAY Outlined sweeping changes to education. It's my belief that schools will function a lot better once we roll out changes to sweeping. The floors of many of our schools need to be swept regularly. It's not good enough to run a broom over the floors once or even twice a week; dust and dirt builds up quickly, and it doesn't look nice.

I came from a family that didn't have much. But my mother taught me the value of a clean floor.

I went on to have a successful career, and enjoy wonderful and relaxing summer holidays in Hawaii. Unfortunately too few of today's children will ever pick themselves up off the floor, especially if it hasn't been swept.

My government will combat the problem by creating four new roles.

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Executive Sweepers will provide new brooms.

Change Sweepers will recycle old brooms.

Lead Sweepers will act as role models to students who aspire to join the sweeping workforce.

Expert Sweepers will be responsible for identifying minor problems in schools such as poverty, hunger, violence, and a deep sense of futility, and sweeping them under the carpet.

FRIDAY TGIF! What a week. It seemed to last five days. The first week back at work after a wonderful and relaxing summer holiday in Hawaii is always a challenge. You have to concentrate very hard on the task at hand. You have to look your workmates in the eye, and accept they're who you're going to spend most of your time with over the next 12 months. Was doodling on my pad this morning and was about to ask if anyone had a red pen so I could fill in the sunset when I remembered I was at a Cabinet meeting.

Looked up at the faces of the ministers of the Crown. Died a little inside, rolled up my sleeves, and forgot that I'd ever been on holiday.

Steve Braunias is a Metro staff writer.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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