ROSEMARY ABBOTT | Politics
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir John Key woke up in a cold sweat this morning, as he was haunted not by the ghosts of his former Cabinet Ministers, but by the eerie echoes of a handshake gone awry at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Just after the Webb Ellis Cup was presented to then-All Blacks’ captain Richie McCaw, an embarrassing three-way handshake was broadcast across the world. The handshake was between Sir John Key, Sir Richie McCaw, and Bernard Lapasset, an old rugby board chairman, who nobody really knew.
As the nation anxiously awaits the outcome of the coalition talks between the National Party’s Christopher Luxon, ACT’s David Seymour, and the ever-unpredictable Winston Peters, political pundits couldn’t help but draw parallels to Key’s cringe-worthy handshake debacle.
Most analysts have noted that the delicate dance of coalition talks bore a striking resemblance to Key’s ill-fated attempt at a post-match unity handshake. One commentator quipped, “It’s like deja vu, but with more politicians and fewer rugby players – the nightmare for Sir JK continues!”
In an exclusive interview on the subject with the Whakataki Times, Key, still shaken by a bad dream, attempted to downplay the connection.
“Well, you know, handshakes are a tricky business. It’s like trying to pass the ball in a game of political rugby – sometimes the ball spills out and you end up shaking hands with two people instead of one.
“But when it comes to forming a Government, negotiations are like a game of rugby – you need strategy, teamwork, and a sense of humour. Just maybe not a literal three-way handshake. Lesson learned, I suppose.”
More to come.