Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Micheal, you set the bar high

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Micheal Luck and his wife ToniLee.Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Micheal Luck and his wife ToniLee.Photo / Norrie Montgomery

I had the pleasure of being master of ceremonies at the Vodafone Warriors' awards evening this week and what a great night it was.

The team may have had a pretty average season but there was still much to celebrate and a very special departing Warrior to honour.

Micheal Luck has played 100 games for the Warriors but is leaving New Zealand to take up a job with the North Queensland Cowboys.

It was testament to his professionalism and popularity that he received a standing ovation from the 750-strong crowd when he was called to the stage.

He gave a very gracious speech, thanking all the people who had made his time in New Zealand such a special experience. But it was his moving tribute to his wife ToniLee that really tugged at the heartstrings.

The couple met as teenagers in Townsville and it was ToniLee, according to Micheal, who was responsible for his success as a player and a man.

The women around me had tears in their eyes while the men realised Micheal had knocked it out of the park and set a new standard for uxorial tributes that will be nearly impossible to match.

I have indicated to my Irishman that before we write our wedding vows, he might like to listen to Micheal's tribute to ToniLee. He responded by suggesting I might like to up my wifely game if I am to inspire that level of public devotion.

So all in all, a great night and I'm looking forward to a great season in 2013.

But I would be doing so with even more confidence if I knew who the coach was going to be.

Memo John Key: Just grow a pair

Wow. This Government really has taken some body blows over the past few weeks and they've all been self administered.

First, it was John Banks' memory failure over Kim Dotcom. Banks may be an Act member but he is so closely tied to National that pain for him is pain for them.

Then it was the GCSB spy blunder and Prime Minister John Key's memory failure over being briefed about the aforementioned Dotcom.

And then it was the messy affair of granting boxing bad boy Mike Tyson a visa to come to New Zealand on a lucrative speaking lark, and promptly revoking it less than 24 hours later.

I have no particular ill will against Tyson. He served his time in prison and I'm sure people can change.

But he was jailed for rape and you can be damned sure no New Zealander with a rape conviction would be allowed into the United States.

Yet New Zealand's immigration authorities appear to be perfectly willing to flout our own rules over who can and cannot come into this country.

The Immigration Act says a person will be refused a visa or entry permission if they have been sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years or more or if, in the past 10 years, they were sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more.

None of that stopped Tyson initially being granted a visa. Lord Jeffrey Archer, who was imprisoned for perjury, was also granted a visa to come and flog off his books.

Sundry rock stars and rappers with drug, gun and assault convictions have also been given visas.

So why don't we just change the rules to read 'a person will be refused entry if they have a criminal conviction - unless they're wealthy and/or famous, in which case normal rules won't apply to you, only to the rest of us muppets'.

Rules should apply fairly and without prejudice.

Key said the decision to grant a visa was a line call and told Breakfast he could see the decision from both sides. Immigration may have decided the criminal offending was a long time ago but he personally opposed any sanctioning of violence against women.

Key's flabby response is typical and is becoming increasingly irritating.

In his first term the affable, easy-osy reasonableness of the man was a breath of fresh air after three terms of autocratic leadership but now I yearn for a decision maker.

You cannot be Mr Nice Guy all the time, trying to respond to the mood of the nation.

Easy-osy is nice in a neighbour but a hindrance in a prime minister.

If you're too laid back, you get stuff-ups like the GCSB.

I want the prime minister to come out with a strong opinion - on anything.

I almost don't care about that issue. I just wish he'd grow a pair and start leading from the front.

- Herald on Sunday

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