PoliticsDecember 7, 2016

Theories on why John Key resigned, ranked in order of stupidity


John Key’s shock resignation has spawned a cottage industry for pundits convinced they alone know the hidden reason for his decision. Hayden Donnell ranks their theories.

Even in his final speech, John Key was relatable. At the press conference following his resignation yesterday, he explained to media that he simply had “nothing left in the tank”.


Who couldn’t empathise? None of us have anything left in the tank. We’re all dragging the remnants of our former humanity through the last dregs of this horrible year. Why wouldn’t someone with a terrible, high-stress job managing terrible, high-stress people pack it in after feeling a single gasp of summer warmth?

It makes perfect sense. Any of us would do the same given half an opportunity. But that hasn’t stopped the emergence of wildly divergent theories on why our most popular Prime Minister is stepping down at the peak of his powers. Many see malign intent, dark conspiracy, and hidden agendas underlying his deeply understandable decision to go back to sipping poolside margaritas on the deck outside his very everyman Parnell mansion or cavorting across golf courses wearing Lockwood flag capes. In the interests of fair and balanced journalism, we’re presenting those theories in order, from most ridiculous to most semi-plausible.

7. There is going to be a huge earthquake on December 13 and John Key is fleeing

This theory begins with a man called Nigel Antony Gray, who under normal circumstances would just be another person on Facebook who confidently holds profoundly terrible beliefs, and maybe hasn’t slept for roughly 14 years.



But Gray has accumulated a following since predicting that a major quake would strike the “South Pacific” on November 14 – the day of the Kaikoura quake. He recently predicted a massive quake would strike on December 13. Key leaves on December 12. Coincidence? Only if you believe the lying MSM.


There’s a couple of things to note here:

1. It’s unclear why Key is stepping down ahead of this earthquake after staying on through literally tens of thousands of other earthquakes.

2. Nigel Antony Gray also believes Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a New York pizza shop.

In conclusion, if this theory were human it would be wandering the hills above Wellington covered in its own faeces.


6. John Key had an affair with *insert name of anyone he has ever met here*

Venture deep into the dark caverns beneath the blogosphere, and you’ll find a rich seam of thought regarding Key’s possible penile misdeeds. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a politician is having an affair, but the scattershot targeting of this online investigation doesn’t add to its credibility.

As they say in court: sexless until proved sexed.

5. “Hidden economic reasons”

Winston Peters sent out a four-paragraph press release claiming Key is stepping down because he knows dark, unseen economic forces are about to maim New Zealand.


The signs of economic catastrophe are there if you look hard enough. Auckland house prices fell for the first time in seven years last month. Jono and Ben have been forced to take a second job at The Edge. Chris Trotter is writing speculative Apocalyptic fiction about the final Age War.

But if Peters truly has insider knowledge about the forthcoming collapse of our financial systems, his decision not to go into detail about it seems selfish at best and reckless at worst. More suspicious, Peters went on Morning Report today claiming he’d known for ages that Key was going to step down, but for some reason never released his insider info. It feels a bit like Peters is one of those people who always knew Trump was going to win after Trump had won.

4. Key was scared of a book AKA The Bomber Theorem

Channel Z DJ-turned-blogger Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury has been touting this reason since news of Key’s resignation broke. His Theorem appears to state that a forthcoming book by an author, who appears to be Nicky Hager, will reveal a range of as-yet unspecified things that will do catastrophic damage of an unspecified nature to Key’s reputation.

If this is true, Key is right to be running for his political life. After all, no-one has ever survived a damning book by Nicky Hager.

3. John Key wanted to spend more time with family

Getting warmer.

2. He wanted to spend more time with anyone except the MPs of the National Party


1. He wanted to make way for Prime Minister Valerie Adams


I for one welcome our new ruler.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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