From Prime Minister to entertainer: the latest turning point in John Key’s career

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Then Prime Minister John Key with Bill English in 2014.

DAVID WHITE / STUFF

Then Prime Minister John Key with Bill English in 2014.

He is a knight of the kingdom, chairman of New Zealand’s largest bank and one of the country’s most successful politicians, and now Sir John Key has claimed to be an “entertainer”.

Key seems to be expanding his post-political horizons every week and recently started a new Thirty Eight JK company to handle his public speaking engagements.

The company describes itself as a “performer operation” on the Companies Office.

The whole world is a stage for Sir John Key.

MAARTEN HOLL / STUFF

The whole world is a stage for Sir John Key.

Thirty Eight JK is a reference to his former post as the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand.

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And its logo eerily resembles Key’s unsuccessful flag referendum rejection in 2016, albeit with a tory bluer tint.

John Key started a new company called Thirty Eight JK, described as a "performer operation".

John Key started a new company called Thirty Eight JK, described as a “performer operation”.

Key would earn up to $ 40,000 per speech, and he appears to be in high demand.

His vaunted topics of expertise include “Putting China in Perspective” and “Asia: Opportunities and Obstacles”.

On Monday, he spoke at a fundraising breakfast for the charity Sweet Louise in Auckland, before opening a financial transaction simulation room at Canterbury University Business School more late in the day.

Sir John Key, pictured in 2008, had an eye for the theater during his time in politics.

MARTIN HUNTER

Sir John Key, pictured in 2008, had an eye for the theater during his time in politics.

Key, 56, has wasted no time adding to his fortune estimated at $ 65 million since he stepped down as prime minister in December. He has taken a director position on the board of Air New Zealand, works as an ambassador for Japanese billionaire philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa, and announced this week as chairman of ANZ bank.

He cannot claim to be the only artist in the family. His Max Key is said to have the ambition to “one day reach the Billboard Top 100” as a DJ and recording musician, while his daughter Stephie Key publishes stylized self-portraits and directs films under his artist nickname Cherry Lazar. .

Key did not respond to requests for comment.

Key is listed as the sole director of Thirty Eight JK and he and his wife Bronagh each own 1 percent of the company. His former lawyer and trust expert Ken Whitney and Ian Nugent hold the remaining 98%.

Genelle Bailey, Key’s primary support person in the electorate for nearly 10 years, is described as the “GM EA PA GF” of the company.

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