The Press and its attitude towards state-house dwellers

So, Don Brash is out and a new man (naturally) is in. He is called John Key and he isn’t a battle-hardened political hack. He is one of the new breed. A bit like Don a few years back. He has been in politics for five years.

Anyway, to business. He sounds like the real deal:

“I grew up in a state house, brought up by a solo mother. The fact I was given an education by the state and lucky enough — and I think hopefully motivated enough — to go on and have a successful career.

“I would put that as one definition of the New Zealand dream. If I could make a difference for anybody in New Zealand it would be to give that opportunity to other young New Zealanders who find themselves in a disadvantaged position.”

However, the local paper (The Press) started their lead article on Friday as follows:

Christchurch state-house boy made good John Key …

What the hell is going on here? Are state-house boys destined to never make good? What exactly does making good mean.

When I read this first paragraph, I read it as implying that it was highly unlikely that anyone who lived in a house provided by the state was ever likely to amount to anything.

How insulting is that?


Sometimes I get the feeling I am not cut out for this city. Sometimes it seems too stuck in the past. The obsession with which secondary school people attend is not healthy. There is something wrong here. It feels a bit like some pathetic snobbishness but I worry that there is some deep-seated class bias to it all.

Come to New Zealand and leave notions of class behind you … unless you move to Christchurch, that is.

However, we must take consolation in the fact that The Press failed to mention which school he attended in the first paragraph of the article.

Maybe there is hope?


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