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Guide to 2008 NZ Election
Archived NZ Parlt 2005-08
Archived NZ Parlt 2002-05
Our Parliament House
International perspectives on democracy
Electing Parliament
General-election results
Parliamentary parties
NZ First
United Future
Forming the government
Composition of Parliament
The role of the Speaker
Who drafts the laws?
How laws are made
How a bill becomes an act
The Office of the Clerk
Parliamentary Service
MP's pay
A Labour example - Darren Hughes
A National example -
John Key
Select committees
Select commitee members
Petitioning Parliament
Visiting Parliament
Opinion polls
Parliamentary history
The New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust



Living two lives - John Key
From Youth MP to youngest MP - Darren Hughes

John Key, example of a National MP - Living two lives


John Key, aged 41 when first elected National MP for Helensville, North West Auckland, was an investment banker before entering Parliament for National in 2002. He initially became associate transport and commerce spokesperson, and by the 2005 election had become finance spokesperson, and highly ranked. He says it is critical for a major political party to have a robust debate when it comes to policy development. “What most others and I would accept is there is no single perfectly correct answer. Successful policy will always involve a combination.”

John Key says an MP’s role is multifaceted. There are two clear distinctions. One is serving the constituency. At a micro level, MPs help people through issues. The second is life in Wellington and creating legislation. In some respects they inter-link, but the work is quite different. It is generally portfolio based, and more macro.


John Key says MPs who can bring specific skills into the Parliament have a tremendous value, primarily because they bring realism into what can be a rather abstract world at times.

His experience is with domestic and international financial markets. “If you look at some of the big issues facing New Zealand, it does not take long to reach the conclusion that both investment from a retirement savings point of view, and investment in infrastructure, are two quite key issues.”

Government is part of the holistic solution to New Zealand's problems. Key favours public/private partnerships. “Similarly, how we prepare for the obvious demographic change of an ageing population is another clear example of where Parliament needs MPs who can bring experience and knowledge,” he said shortly after beging first elected to Parliament..