New Zealand diplomats in Beijing have demanded immediate action from the Chinese government to address problems with Chinese-made goods, after Prime Minister John Key’s calculator broke.
Mr Key said he had been hard at work on his calculator yesterday when the unit failed completely.
“I had typed in the number 58008 and was about to turn the calculator upside-down, when the thing just died in my hands,” explained Key.
“I lost everything. All five numerals disappeared in an instant. I then checked the back of the calculator and it said ‘Made in China.’”
Key said he had ordered an immediate investigation by his office into the quality of Chinese-made goods.
“This is the third time something has gone wrong here with office equipment or stationery sourced from China.
“First it was the Chinese-made pencil with its lead broken all the way through. Then we had a problem with a Chinese-made stapler that kept jamming. And now this.
“It’s frustrating, because I no longer have a working calculator, and I don’t know for sure what will happen when I type in the number 55378008 and then turn the calculator upside-down. All I know is that Gerry told me I had to try it.”
Key said it was utterly unacceptable that New Zealand citizens working in his office were being subjected to such frequent mild inconveniences.
Key said he was unhappy that there appeared to be an unwillingness on the part of China to deal with the issue.
“These failures are simply unacceptable,” said Key. “There doesn’t seem to be any urgency from the Chinese government to fix the problems.
“I rang the manufacturer in China and they just told me to check the batteries. I was appalled at their attitude, so I had my chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson lay a formal complaint with the police.
“Our diplomats have also threatened to rip up our free trade agreement with China, should these issues not be immediately dealt with to our complete satisfaction.”
Commissioner of Police Peter Marshall has confirmed that police received a complaint from Mr Eagleson last night and are now investigating the matter.
“The New Zealand public can rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to apprehend the perpetrators of this foul and heinous crime,” said Mr Marshall.