With John Key set to give his farewell speech in Parliament on Wednesday, Spy took a trip down memory lane to pay tribute to our former PM, who was always a sought-after guest at the best parties around town.
Turns out Norrie had a gallery of more than 50 photos, so it was hard to whittle them down.
It all started back in 2007 at the 40 Below Party, where the then 46-year-old Leader of the Opposition had a party thrown for him at The Rendezvous Hotel. It was designed to target voters under 40 and there was a queue for photos.
John Key with the late Charlotte Dawson.
Campbell Live reporter Jaquie Brown joined the queue for a pose-up, and taught JK some dance moves involving twerking — then called booty shaking.
On his becoming PM in 2008, wife Bronagh wasn’t one for the limelight, but when they were out together the pictures were always lovely to get. As Norrie would say: “Nailed it!”
In between two Rugby World Cups and the odd triple handshake, the Keyster attended multiple charity events, many award ceremonies and the odd opening of an envelope. He showed his pearly whites for us and was always a good sport, posing up with whomever we thought would make a great shot.
John Key with son Max and Dean Barker.
The former PM was the most likeable guy in any social room with time for everyone. At the many booze-soaked events, he admirably stuck to his one-drink policy. His black-tie look was updated year after year with his penchant for metallic-hued ties spilling over into the bow tie in recent years. He was always affable to all guests queuing for countless selfies and to appear with him in our social pages. No matter what their politics his gravitas attracted the likes of Anika Moa, Samantha Hayes, Sir Peter Leitch, the late Jonah Lomu, the late Charlotte Dawson, Gilda Kirkpatrick and Sharon Hunter, to name but a few.
We dubbed our most famous picture “JK and Marilyn”. It was taken in 2015 at a charity event for the NZ Gynaecological Cancer Foundation, around the time former bachelorette Chrystal Chenery was taking the reality TV world by storm.
John with Gilda Kirkpatrick in 2008.
The shot took some time to set up, with the Diplomatic Protection squad gents getting edgy at the five or so minutes it took to get good light.
Spy wishes JK all the best, and looks forward to seeing him at upcoming parties. We know he will remain in hot demand.