The content of John Key's speeches have changed in the ten years he has delivered a State of the Nation address as leader of the National Party.


Using Principal Component Analysis through TextFerret's suite of tools, we have built an interactive to display the position of each speech on two different axes.

Complementing the speech scatterplot, we have also used Thematic's APIs from Entopix to isolate the most popular themes for each speech and display the theme prominence in the size of the bubbles above the graph.

The text of each speech is available for the reader to explore, along with a random quote generator.

The most polarised difference in speeches on the cultural history and youth justice axis are those of 2008 and 2010.

The pre-election 2008 speech delivered to a National Party audience in Auckland unveiled the Youth Guarantee scheme, and built on John Key's first big speech as leader - the 2007 'Kiwi Way' speech at Burnside Rugby Club. Themes of these speeches included the 'growing underclass' and 'youth offenders'.

John Key's 2010 speech at Waitangi, 'Beyond Grievance', has been identified by this analytical technique as the most significantly different in focus. Only the 2014 speech proposing changes to teaching roles strayed into similar territory as speeches Mr Key made before assuming the Prime Ministership.

The most recent two speeches, on social housing in 2015 and transport initiatives in 2016, have also been identified as being significantly different and informing the y-axis on the scatterplot.

The 2013 and 2014 speeches may also reveal a little insight into the PM's speech-writer's messaging strategy. The first few lines are near identical, describing how eager and energised the government is "because there are a lot of things to get done this year".