Claire Trevett: Pokes and jokes hit and miss but Winston Peters still the master

29 comments
To celebrate the occasion and the rare display of Black Caps sledging Australians, John Key dedicated much of his speech at the start of Parliament to sledging his own opponents. Photos / Getty Images
To celebrate the occasion and the rare display of Black Caps sledging Australians, John Key dedicated much of his speech at the start of Parliament to sledging his own opponents. Photos / Getty Images

John Key is not renowned for his modesty, but the Prime Minister may have gone too far in crediting the Black Caps' win over Australia on Monday to the National-led Government.

To celebrate the occasion and the rare display of Black Caps sledging Australians, Key dedicated much of his speech at the start of Parliament to sledging his own opponents.

Labour took the brunt of it over its decision not to support the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Key said Labour had confused TPP with "Two-Position Party" for its simultaneous support and oppose stance. He had three pro-TPP specialists to bolster his argument: Labour MPs Phil Goff and David Shearer, and former Labour leader Helen Clark.

Little was not bereft of comebacks. He welcomed back Michael Woodhouse - the overseer of health and safety reforms which listed worm farms as dangerous: "I am pleased that we have got through a summer with not a single worm farmer suffering a fatality or serious accident."

He congratulated newly restored minister Judith Collins for making such a difference in such a short time, noting New Zealand had slipped two places in the corruption index in the two months she had been back.

Then he labelled National the Multi-Positional Flip-Flopping National Government for agreeing to fast-track the City Rail Link after poo-pooing it for so long.

Both Little and Key were backed by the cheers and baying of their caucuses.

But then came poor old James Shaw, the newly minted Green Party co-leader. His caucus was not so well trained at laughing as National and Labour.

His valiant efforts met with a wall of silence. Shaw tried every trick in the book, suitably cushioned with earnestness about the perils of trade and climate change, or "climate changed" as he has now coined it. He waxed poetic, speaking of Bill English "learning his frugal values as a young man growing up in the vast, desolate landscapes and the cruel, frozen winters of the New Zealand Treasury."

He made a joke, although it was a bit like driving through Pokeno at night: blink and you miss it. He referred to the US dropping tariffs on boneless meat products: "And so Tim Groser is off to Washington." Not a single titter.

Finally he opted for the international man of mystery technique. He spoke of his time "on a micro-finance project in the Andes" when a farmer advised him "don't try and cross the desert by walking in circles". He went on to declare the Government was "lost in the desert of the real".

Nobody was quite sure what he was banging on about, but happily the novice was followed by the master: NZ First leader Winston Peters.

Peters took his usual scatter gun approach to his targets, depending who heckled him.

There was Agony Aunt advice for Act leader David Seymour, reportedly in a romance with Steven Joyce's press secretary, Rachel Morton.

"It happens to everybody if they are lucky ... Frankly, get over yourself."

When somebody shouted, Peters told them shouting "bespeaks a bad education and a lack of ability with the English language."

He did have a generous invitation for National to attend the Dargaville Fieldays, talk about one-way bridges "and start flying your flag."

He referred only in passing to Joyce's adventures with a dildo at Waitangi, although Joyce did say his holiday included a trip to Northland and "a reasonably well-reported experience with an unmanned aerial vehicle".

Finally Seymour set about insisting closure of a charter school in Whangaruru was proof the schools worked.

It was all as incomprehensible as circling the desert of the real.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 10 Dec 2016 22:54:22 Processing Time: 869ms