Today's quote comes from the Australian Financial Review:
John Key is in Australia to take local manufacturing back home to lower-cost New Zealand, but it seems Australian business is more interested in persuading the National Party Prime Minister to stay.
“Prime Minister, I’m not sure what you’re doing next week but the question is: Australian business would like you to run the country,” pleaded one question read by 2000 Olympics bid leader Rod McGeoch at a lunch in Sydney yesterday.
Fresh from winding back a planned carbon tax increase, cutting the top income tax rate to 33 per cent and kicking off partial privatisations, Mr Key exuded a pragmatic and confident demeanour that prompted comparisons with his local counterparts.
“Government is a practical business,” Mr Key said later as he delivered the Menzies Research Centre’s John Howard lecture last night. “By making a series of sensible decisions, which build on each other and which are signalled well in advance, and by taking most people with you as you go, you can effect real and durable change, which won’t simply be reversed by the next lot who come into government.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was happy to bask in his fellow conservative’s aura, declaring he had found the “very model of a contemporary centre-right prime minister”.
Mr Howard himself commended the “steady, firm, successful stewardship of New Zealand”.