Key dismisses protesters at Christmas party

Police try and control protesters at the National Party's Christmas function. Photo NZ Herald/Greg Bowker
Police try and control protesters at the National Party's Christmas function. Photo NZ Herald/Greg Bowker
Prime Minister John Key says a group of angry protesters did not ruin the National Party's Christmas function as they banged on the windows amid a heavy police presence last night.

About 30 members of the Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) group occupied the second-storey balcony of the Auckland Grammar Old Boys' pavilion, peering in at Mr Key and other party-goers.

Another group of about 30 formed a picket line at the entry gate on Mountain Rd in Epsom.

Mr Key told Newstalk ZB this morning that the protesters had not ruined the party.

"They're the same people protesting about deep sea oil drilling, they're the same people protesting about the convention centre, they're the same people that protested about changes to the labour laws for the Hobbit, they're the same people that protested about the 90 day probationary period.

"So yeah, they just protest because that's all they've got to do all day."

About 15 police officers were on hand to control the protesters.

The venue overlooks Auckland Grammar's playing fields, with mostly floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open out to the balcony.

Pushing and shoving broke out as officers tried to move the balcony group after they started banging on the walls and windows. They confiscated the group's loud speakers, but did not remove the protesters.

AAAP spokeswoman Sarah Thompson said the group was protesting over the Government's welfare reforms and job-creation policies.

"We wanted to come here to send a message to John Key and his mates that these cuts are not okay," she said.

"We won't lie down and take it."

Mr Key arrived at the function about 6.45pm and was joined by MPs including Judith Collins and Paula Bennett.

Former MP and Mana Party member Sue Bradford said the group was carrying on in the spirit of Nelson Mandela and standing up for those most vulnerable in society.

No arrests were made, and protesters left voluntarily about 7.30pm.

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said: "It was a National Party Northern Region Christmas function attended by around 300 people.The protesters didn't in any way disrupt the event."

- Ben Irwin of the New Zealand Herald/additional reporting APNZ


New Zealand a third world country

The only good economic news National has for us is the Cullan fund is doing very well, far better returns for the already very wealthy.

The rest of us face:

Little or no export recovery

Assets sales to balance the books

More state dependance under harsher administration

High rates of government borrowing

Increased unempolyment

Continuing closures and losses in manufacturing

Growing need for food banks 

Less youth employment

Ongoing cuts to government services and regional policy

Large increase in New Zealand children living in poverty

Why would anyone want to protest Nationals xmas party none of its ture is it?

Make me laugh

Within 3 generations we have turned from a nation of poeple whom didn't have much, didn't expect much, and certainly didn't get much off the Government, lived on a number 8 fencing wire approach, to a society who rely on others (Government) to supply us with everything we need to survive.  

Have a look at how they lived through the last depression and then be grateful you weren't born 80 years ago. 

NZ have been a debtor nation for fouty years.  If you think we can expect the rest of the world to keep paying for our living standards into the future  then I think you need to look at some of the countries that also thought this 10 years ago.

The more you want and expect the faster this will happen.


Wolf in sheep's clothing?

There is currently photos on Facebook showing that at least two of the signs, and a small handful of so-called "protesters" were Young Nats, the brainwashed youth division of the National Party.

I am guessing they were trying to make the real protesters look even more extreme, to pander to Key's usual attempts at belittling anyone who disagrees with his dictator-like running of the country.

Shows you can't trust Key even with Christmas parties!  

Not quite right John

No John they protest because they really do care about New Zealand and feel passionate enough to protest about it.

I think John Key may begin to see that there are a lot of people in New Zealand who don't like his policies and continuing to ignore them and force things through might cost him dearly.

Watch out John! There's more coming.

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