Toby Manhire 's Opinion

Toby Manhire is a Wellington-bred, Auckland-based journalist.

Toby Manhire: The essential gift list for those in the public eye

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John Key. Photo / Rae Cliffe
John Key. Photo / Rae Cliffe

Twelve days to Christmas, and I know what you're thinking, hardworking families of New Zealand: what gift to get your favourite public figure? God knows it can be tricky. So in the spirit of the season, here are some suggestions.

For the man who has everything except international recognition and a functioning memory, John Key gets a giant A3-sized name tag, blaring, "Prime Minister John Key", and a copy of Patu. Aaron Gilmore gets a giant A3-sized name tag, blaring, "Prime Minister John Key" (scrawled in tiny handwriting above is "close personal friend and adviser to"), and a copy of Utu.

For Tim Groser, something to wear. A neon-pink tank-top emblazoned with the words, "I went all the way to Singapore, Salt Lake City, Bali, Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, Tokyo and Lima, and all I got was this lousy TPP-shirt, a missed deadline, a whopping mini-bar bill and a 'screw you' from chief US negotiator Eric Cartmen. Still, momentum, tremendous, etc."

For Len Brown, an inflatable berm, the world's tiniest lawnmower, and a biography of disgraced Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

For Chris Finlayson, a self-published memoir (The Luminary), jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash, and a Blu-ray copy of The Desolation of Smug.

That Nice David Shearer gets a guitar, a surfboard and a New York withdrawal slip.

For Shane Jones a VHS copy of The Fifty Million Dollar Gorillaah. Kim Dotcom gets another black zip-up top. For Peter Jackson, three copies of The Luminaries.

For Metiria Turei, a commission of inquiry into Father Christmas. For Russel Norman, the collected works of Rob Muldoon.

For Judith Collins, the collected works of Steven Joyce. For Steven Joyce, the collected works of Judith Collins. For David Cunliffe, the collected works of David Cunliffe.

Amy Adams will delight in the gift of Steven Joyce's bold and experimental new interpretive dance, "How I Fixed Novopay", together with a dial-up modem hand-delivered by Matthew Hooton. For Gerry Brownlee a train set. For Nathan Guy an invisibility pipe.

Just think how David Carter will love his six-week summer internship at the NZ High Commission in London.

Winston Peters gets a Miley Cyrus-style wrecking ball in his atrium, just because. For Gareth Morgan, the gift of the world's finest footballing kitten.

Paula Bennett will adore some of that spray that converts leopard print to mink. A fresh set of pathways for Hekia Parata.

For Clayton Cosgrove, Annette King, Kris Faafoi and Phil Goff, SkyCity key rings. For Hone Harawira, a jet-pack. For Bob Parker, a pallet of Marmite and a biography of disgraced Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

The Christmas gift for Maurice Williamson will arrive in the all-singing, all-dancing climax of the new Muppets movie, the rousing Bret McKenzie-composed "Why Are There So Many Songs About Gay Rainbows on the Pakuranga Highway?" Simon Bridges and Jonathan Coleman get a ticket to the film's premiere, to weep there together.

Louisa Wall and Kevin Hague get red tops, chopped up into confetti.

Susan Devoy doesn't want anything because it might get taken the wrong way.

Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia get a sympathetic hug.

Steve Hansen gets a silent but appreciative raise of the eyebrows and ownership of the South Island. For Dean Barker, a sigh and a blank cheque. Trevor Mallard gets his passport cancelled. Sonny Bill Williams gets an Introduction to Competitive Sailing DVD.

Lorde and Eleanor Catton receive contracts promoting heat pumps.

For the NZ Police, an alarm clock. For Willie Jackson and John Tamihere, a lie-down.

Whaleoil Slater and Bomber Bradbury are given New Year's Eve together in a boutique hotel, where Luigi Wewege, John Palino and Richard Prosser strip off and twerk selfies.

Bill English has told Santa he wants a Lego spacestation, but he doesn't really need it, does he? And in any case he's still struggling to assemble the smelter.

Peter Dunne is going to love his secondhand copy of Poleconomy, a guided tour of Johnsonville Mall and a stocking full of metadata. How Colin Craig's eyes will light up when he opens his Grow-Your-Own Sea Monkeys kit together with a year's supply of tin foil. And merry Christmas, John Banks - for you, a biography of disgraced Toronto mayor Rob Ford, some comfortable pyjamas and a delicious coleslaw.

- NZ Herald

Toby Manhire

Toby Manhire is a Wellington-bred, Auckland-based journalist.

Toby Manhire is a Wellington bred, Auckland based journalist. He writes a weekly column for the NZ Herald, the NZ Listener's Internaut column, blogs for listener.co.nz, and contributes to the Guardian. From 2000 to 2010 he worked at the Guardian in London, and edited the 2012 book The Arab Spring: Rebellion, Revolution and a New World Order.

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