Revisiting The Street Of Gain

ACT leader Don Brash went doorknocking yesterday on Cremone Street in Herne Bay, where the average house price is $5.83 million.

Brash is the latest in a series of politicians who have visited the street, usually accompanied by camera crews and journalists.

In 2008 National leader John Key famously visited the street, promising to improve the lot of those living there. He labelled Cremone Street a “street of gain”, because it demonstrated what privileged white people could achieve if left to their own devices.

Key said then that the people of the street were falling on slightly less luxuriously easy times, because of nine years of Labour policies aimed at not punishing the poor.

After Key’s visit he took one resident’s son, Giles Bedevere, on a trip to Waitangi, but the trip had to be cancelled after Giles became confused and distressed at the appearance of brown people.

During Brash’s visit yesterday he talked to locals about whether the Key government had made their lives better.

The residents were divided on whether Key had done enough to help them acquire material riches and status.

Maxwell Billingsworth-Squires — one such resident — said he had voted National at the last election, but was no longer certain whom he supported.

He said things had gone terribly wrong for his family because of the enormity of his tax cut.  The debate over how many expensive European cars to buy with the money had torn the family apart.

“I thought Key was a great politician, but he does nothing for families,” said Mr Billingsworth-Squires.

Another resident, Dame Felicity Snoot, said she was fed up with politicians and their camera crews invading her street.

“I’m simply not interested in these people, and I have no desire to talk to them.

“As for that Dr Brash, I made my political views very clear to him when I gave an enormous donation to his party last week.

“He hardly needs to come knocking again asking what I think. He wrote all it down.”