A couple of weeks ago Danyl blogged at the Dim-Post:
Senior National Party staff members were in damage control last night after an embarrassing gaffe by yet another MP. …
Mr Key made a brief appearance before the media this afternoon, flanked by National Party communications manager Kevin Taylor and chief policy adviser Grant Johnston. A sheepish looking Key apolgised to Taylor and Johnston and to the public for the confusion he had caused. National Party insiders say that Key received a furious dressing down from Johnston and Taylor, as well as National chief of staff Wayne Eagleson.
Well, I thought Danyl was just taking the piss back then. But it has actually happened, as JafaPete revealed today (and The Standard also blogged on). Key has had to backtrack on his own statement, presumably under the advice that Peter Dunne’s vote may be crucial post-election.
As JafaPete said:
[Key]…appearing to announce in off the cuff remarks that National would axe the commission.
“He said there was “a ton of money being spent on it”, and he would rather give the money to non-government organisations delivering front-line services.”
Someone must have reminded him later that he might need the suport of Peter Dunne and the United Future Party, whose baby it is (its establishment was a key condition of the Party’s support agreement with Labour after the 2002 election).
Today we have the inevitable backtrack:
“… National would merely “rebalance” the commission and he expected United Future to find the changes acceptable. [Key] refused to comment on the details of National’s policy, but said there was still a place for advocacy for families somewhere in the bureaucracy.”