Steve Braunias: The secret diary of Sir John Key



At the end of the day, I think the party learned some pretty valuable lessons from the speech I gave at the annual conference this weekend. I told it to them straight. I didn’t varnish and I didn’t candy-coat. I didn’t beat around the bush and I didn’t soften the blow. And I didn’t get my message across by relying on cliches.

I said to them that what they needed to do was take a good hard look at themselves. They lost more than 400,000 voters at the election, and there are lots of reasons for that but it was no good making excuses or blaming others. Mistakes were made and the important thing was to hold themselves up to the light and see what made them tick.

When I finished speaking, party chairman Peter Goodfellow took the stage and said there wasn’t anything National could have done to stem the rising tide of hysteria whipped up by Jacinda Ardern from the pulpit of her daily Covid briefings.

Well, that’s the National Party for you. It can accommodate differing opinions on how to go about things and still come out as a credible political force.

The conference got me to thinking that I should share more of my knowledge of politics and business. I’ve acquired quite a few insights over the years!


At the end of the day, people need a wake-up call to get out of bed the next morning.

I think 7am is a bit late to be perfectly honest. But I think 5am might be a bit early because we all need a good night’s rest.

I think 6am works for most of us. It’s just gotten light at this time of the year so you wouldn’t be getting out of bed in the dark.

A bit of exercise before you head into work is a good way of getting the blood flowing. I advocate a light breakfast. Eggs provide protein and a cereal acts as a kind of sealant. And we all need our morning coffee! A shower needn’t last longer than five minutes but it doesn’t pay to rush things, because a daily regime of shampoo and conditioner is important.

And there you have it. You’ll be ready to face the day and leave for work with a clear mind and body as you climb into your two-door, 4.3-litre California Convertible Ferrari.


At the end of the day, you’re going to make life easier for yourself if you get into your trousers one leg at a time.

I suppose it’s possible to fit both legs at more or less the same time because there’s no limit to human potential and I’m a strong advocate of recognising opportunities.

But, let’s face it, there are risks involved. As for shoes and socks, I know some people who think of them as shoes or socks. Again, that’s a bit daring. You want to stay in step!


At the end of the day, Jacinda Ardern isn’t unbeatable. Labour said that about me and boy were they wrong! But it just depends.


At the end of the day, there’s nothing I like more than sitting back and unscrewing my head. It floats away and bobs around the ceiling a little bit. Ouch! Ha, ha! But it’s all good and I never cease to be amazed at how weightless it feels.

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