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English and Coleman’s inspiring stories: how they came from money and stayed there

John Key doesn’t just leave behind the legacy of New Zealand’s most popular Prime Minister; he also leaves the legacy of a boy who grew up in a state house, with relatively little, and climbed all the way to the top.

It’s an inspiring story, and a hard act to follow, but two of his potential successors, Bill English and Jonathan Coleman, have heartwarming tales of their own.

Unlike John Key, English and Coleman don’t come from humble beginnings, but theirs is an uplifting story of starting from the top and staying there, despite constant temptation to spend all their money at once by buying a set of giant fucking yachts.

But how did they do it?

Bill English grew up in the small Southland town of Lumsden, which his parents gifted him for his 2nd birthday.

The population of Lumsden today is just over 400 people, but back in English’s day, it was home to thousands, who were eventually driven out by not wanting to listen to him talk about fiscal consolidation.

English attended St. Patrick’s College in Silverstream, where he lost his election to Head Boy by a historic landslide, getting only 20.9% of the vote.

He then went to become a farmer, before returning to Wellington, where he now owns a home worth well over one million dollars, and earns more than $250,000 a year in salary, before accounting for the small treats he occasionally pays himself out of the nation’s budget.

It wasn’t easy maintaining this level of wealth, says English, who came “very close” to spending it all on the world’s largest book of spreadsheets.

“It was very tempting,” he said. “You accumulate all this wealth by working hard with the wealth you already had, and it can all disappear in a moment if you buy the world’s largest book of spreadsheets at auction.

“She was a beauty, actually. A real classic. Spreadsheets for all occasions.”

English’s rival for the leadership, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, has also never had to worry about money, but says poverty is always a stone’s throw away.

“We’re all living life on the edge, really,” he said. “I want to be able to say to New Zealanders, if I’m Prime Minister, I know how it feels, I know how close you can feel to teetering on the edge.

“All my life, I’ve had money, and through perseverance, I got to the point where I still have money, but I know that it would only take for me to sell all my assets, take all that cash, put it in a big hole, pour gasoline all over it, and burn it.

“That’s all it would take, and at that point, I’d be in such a difficult position I’d have to dip into my family trust funds.”

Corrections Minister Judith Collins has also announced she’ll seek the leadership of the party – and the nation – but is potentially less able to relate to the financial struggles of ordinary kiwis.

Collins has no money, but purchases all her goods by silently staring people down until they cave.