Key coy on Obama visit link to election date

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 19:04 21/01/2014

Relevant offers

Politics

The Panama Papers New Zealand link revealed Jo Luxton seeks Labour Party Rangitata candidacy What does Trump's 'America First' rhetoric mean for New Zealand? Below the beltway John Key joins social network LinkedIn - is he looking for a new job? Wellington and Canberra look to become sister cities Environment Canterbury to transition to fully-elected council To back him or not to back him; the Republican dilemma after Trump win Earthquake Commission asks how to 'turn off the tap' on second time repairs No Treaty breach in TPPA: Waitangi Tribunal findings follow committee report

Prime Minister John Key says several factors will decide the date of the general election, but he is coy on whether a visit by US President Barack Obama is one of them.

Key, who recently enjoyed a five-hour round of golf with Obama in Hawaii, said this afternoon he had not yet settled on a date.

He promised to give "plenty of warning" rather than calling it at short notice to shorten the campaign period.

"I'm not terribly interested in playing lots of games, I don't think there's any major political advantage of that nor is it actually ... the right thing to do," Key said.

There was room to be more flexible this year than in 2011 when the Rugby World Cup largely dictated the election's November timing.

"There's a little bit more flexibility this time, there's a few factors we're trying to weigh up that we're not exactly sure about," Key said.

The factors included international events such as the G-20 summit in Australia in mid-November, he said.

He did not know whether Obama would visit New Zealand this year.

Asked whether such a visit would influence the election date, Key said: "I wouldn't quite put it in those terms ... there's a few other things."

It would not be much further for Obama to come to New Zealand on his way to or from the G-20 summit and the US president had a standing invitation, Key said.

"Look, it would be great if he came to New Zealand, we'd obviously welcome him here but he's got a lot of countries he has to visit in a limited amount of time."

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited New Zealand for half a day in July 2008 on her way to a gathering of Pacific leaders.


Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content