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PM Has Done Nothing But Cycleway - Hide

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rodney Hide
Rodney Hide

Wellington, Nov 5 NZPA - ACT leader Rodney Hide ripped into Prime Minister John Key's performance at a breakfast yesterday.

Mr Hide, who is a minister outside Cabinet, said Mr Key "doesn't do anything" and was highly regarded, while "ACT did everything and we are hated", The Press reported.

He also talked about how much money could be saved by making 700 bureaucrats redundant through the super city changes.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English this morning said he strongly disagreed with the comments about the Prime Minister.

"I talk with and work with John Key every day and he is the hardest working minister in the Cabinet," he told Radio New Zealand.

Mr English said he thought Mr Hide was also a good worker but with a small party he was seeking attention.

"He makes a very useful contribution to the Cabinet and, if he's not aware of it, there's a lot of hard working ministers there really pushing their work through because I get to see it all as Minister of Finance."

Mr English said Mr Hide came to Cabinet once about every three weeks.

"The Cabinet is dealing with a much wider workload than just Rodney's work."

Mr Hide made the comments in Christchurch during a $45-a-head breakfast function yesterday.

The breakfast was already controversial, labelled a rort by Labour, as people were being charged to hear Mr Hide talk about issues to do with local government -- which is Mr Hide's ministerial portfolio -- rather than hear him speak as party leader.

At the breakfast a reporter heard Mr Hide tell guests that Mr Key received public acclaim while doing little.

All Mr Key had done was the cycleway, Mr Hide said. "It's amazing."

He was also amazed at how much he could get through Cabinet, because "you turn up with your papers" and "they are too busy with their own stuff they're not bothered".

Mr Hide also talked about how much progress he had made on the Auckland super-city plan, and he talked about getting rid of 700 bureaucrats and saving $66 million.

Approached by the reporter, Mr Hide said the comments were off the record and it would be unethical to report them.

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said the comments were "a bit of light-hearted political banter".

Mr Hide had spoken to Mr Key who was relaxed about the comments, she said.

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