READER REPORT:

Hey National, what happened?

KAREN FRAZER
Last updated 12:00 23/01/2013
John Key
MATT DUNCAN/Fairfax NZ
DEAR LEADER: What have you done in the last five years?

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Sometimes I wonder why people don't always see things the way I do. I forget that other people have had a different up bringing or are in circumstances that mean they filter information in a different way to me. So I understand if you see things a different way, but is this not what has happened in New Zealand?

Debt: National started off with a hiss and a roar amending the tax structure. It cut the top tax rate and reduced its revenue (and our ability to pay off debt) significantly. They say they have the answers to get us back into credit - asset sales, reduced spending and school closures. But hang on - what just happened? First National exacerbated our debt problem and then they cited the problem they helped make as the reason for attempting to implement a whole lot of other policies that nobody really wants. I say 'attempting' because they can't even get the implementation right. Problem creation = fail. Solution selection = fail. Solution application = fail.

The teapot tape: John Key wooed the media in to creating attention around his meeting with John Banks and then threatened all sorts of legal action against that same media when it didn't quite turn out the way he wanted. Suddenly it had become a private conversation? But it doesn't stop there, to cap it off he then claims that the media have been treating him unfairly lately.

Education policy: According to an interview in The Listener, John Key sent his children to a private school because they had smaller classes. I don't begrudge anyone wanting to give their children the best opportunity but why doesn't he afford us the same courtesy? Instead he tried telling us that it doesn't matter (for our kids at least). Sure, there are other things that go in to influencing education but Mr Key clearly feels strongly about class size. Why shouldn't we have been allowed to? As for the rest of it, Christchurch school closures and Novapay, it's all been a shambles. If Lesley Longstone is solely responsible for this debacle what possible value is actually added by Hekia Parata? What does she do?

National's greatest success: I think when looking over National's tenure most people would agree that their greatest success was ensuring Peter Jackson's Hobbit was made here in New Zealand. But hang on, let's look at what happened here. Mr Key changed the law of our entire country because some American business wanted us to? It wasn't even a New Zealand company. I don't deny that everyone loves the movie, and I know there were some figures (which were fairly wishy washy it has to be said) bandied about saying that it will benefit our economy, but does it sound right that the average New Zealander gets to pay millions and millions in subsidies so some company can make their product only to pay another $15 to watch the thing? In what kind of mucked up business model does the consumer have to pay to make the product and then again to purchase it? We've been had. No wonder they've made a billion dollars.

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Come on Mr Key, we get that you love big business, but don't we have other things we could spend taxpayers' money on? Like our debt for example or Christchurch perhaps? You know, the people you collected the money from. But it's not the only time Mr Key has shown an intention to change a law because single private business has promised him favours. There is a review in to the Skycity incident. Why not the Warner Brothers case as well? I don't know about you but I don't think Governments should be allowed to use public funds to pick winners.

It may not seem like it but I really like John Key. Despite all his carefully crafted stunts to make him seem like a Kiwi bloke, I genuinely like him. He seems like a really nice guy and I can completely understand why National chose to replace the faces of all of their other politicians with his during the election.

I can appreciate some of what the National supporters are going to say, "But what have the opposition done?" or "It's the bludgers that are ruining this country not the National party" or "It's been a tough time". But honestly, if you stop deflecting for a minute and if you take away everything that is superficial and just look at the actual results, what are you left with? Take away the side shows and spin and what have the National Party actually achieved over five years?

Not much.

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