Brownlee not quite ready for #TeamKey

Last updated 14:59 29/06/2014

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#TeamKey might be all over social media - but they can't convince technophobe Gerry Brownlee to embrace Twitter.

The earthquake recovery minister once dismissed complaints from Cantabrians as "buggerising around on Facebook."

He's relented and recently allowed one of his staff to establish an account. But don't expect him to be tweeting during this year's election campaign.

"No. Well the problem is I read some of your Twitter comments and think how could I compete with that?" he told reporters.

"I have someone organising a Facebook page for me. I'll go and ask them [about Twitter]."

Brownlee doesn't agree with criticism that National's new social media strategy is too focused on Prime Minister John Key.

"There's a key aspect to every team, isn't there? It's sort of a play on his name. I think its a great."

The online campaign was rolled out at National's conference in Wellington this weekend, and was enthusiastically embraced by delegates. Key says campaign chair Steven Joyce masterminded the idea.

Its already been hijacked by political opponents, who are using #TeamKey to post derogatory comments. Opponents have also pointed out striking similarities to the US #TeamObama campaign.

Key says he doesn't mind - because everyone is still talking about National.

Last month Key claimed Twitter was filled with "trolls and bottom feeders." He hasn't changed his mind - and says his account is used for broadcasting a message, not engaging with voters.

"I think there a lot of people that use it for form of cyberbullying and i think it can be very destructive and i think we have seen some awful examples. [But] we have to accept that social media is going to be a very effective way of communicating and an absolutely necessary way of communicating."

Key confirmed his staff post on his behalf.

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