In an age where state of the nation addresses are as plentiful and vigorous as whales on Farewell Spit, it's not always easy to keep up. Here, therefore, are the political leaders' opening setpiece and parliamentary speeches for 2014, desiccated and digested.
For the National Party, John Key:
The economy, the jobs, the incomes, and the economy. As I was saying to President Obama over a round of golf recently, we need to go forward, not backwards, towards the even brighter future and not towards the past, and similarly not into the prickly, devilbeast infested undergrowth of leftfield. Barack was totally, like, "high-five, J-Dog".
I believe the children are our future, pay the best teachers heaps to teach the other teachers to teach them well and let them lead the way, like an army of Steven Joyces.
As I was saying to the Lorde over a round of golf recently, "Let me be your ruler".
She really putts above her weight with a unique brand of alternative pop.
The Labour-Green devil-beasts are desperate, divided, deluded. Sneaky little lefties. Wicked, tricksy, false. We wants it, we needs it. Economy. Golf.
This country needs an everyday hardworking government for everyday hardworking New Zealanders. Responsible. Balance the books. Inequality has been declining. The rich are not getting richer and the poor getting poorer. But, as if anyone is going to care about that when I drop this F-bomb: Flag redesign! Silver Fern!
For the Labour Party, David Cunliffe:
Me and Lorde, role models and poets, sharing the stage before an enraptured nation, our fingernails stained deep purple with the blood of enemies. Jet planes, islands, fifty-million-dollar gorillas on a gold chain. We don't care.
Inequality has been increasing. The rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Yup. The children.
My opponent is out of touch, arrogant. My opponent is morally bankrupt. My opponent is defensive, visionless. I'm sure I have his name here somewhere.
I believe the children are the future. Yup. Support the parents of newborns. For those hardworking families and backbench MPs, 60 bucks a baby a week, conditions may apply, and let them lead the way. Yup? Restore values, restore heart, restore opportunity, restore the second bathroom with that $60 weekly. We call it Best Start and we will not stand idly by and allow it to be abbreviated to its initials.
For the Green Party, Metiria Turei and Russel Norman:
If you go down to the woods today, you're sure to get terrified by a Muldoonist wolf, a narrow, ideological, hard-right wolf, propped up by a litter of discredited, dodgy hangers-on.
Wouldn't you much prefer a Green government, a fresh, smart, broad, inclusive, reforming and progressive government, in the mould of the great Green party prime ministers of the past, Seddon, Savage and Kirk?
Inequality has been increasing. The rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We believe the children are the future, introduce school hubs to address the health, social and welfare needs of them and their families, and let them lead the way.
We're not fringe. We're cutting edge. MMP is brilliant, except when it enables the Muldoonist wolves.
Take back the Kiwi dream, the planet, the picnic. Let's pull down the walls around children and build walls around them. Bring it.
For NZ First, Winston Peters:
I call John Key the hoover man. He sucks. Spin, deceit, manipulation, powered by the dribble of pet intellectuals, puppets and corporate cheerleaders. An economy built on milk powder and immigrants buying jobs like bus tickets. A flag, you say? It will be a white flag that National is flying on election night. Porkies. Bulldust. Match-fixers. Red alert. Red card. Yellow card. Green card. White card. What? Thank you.
For the Maori Party, Te Ururoa Flavell and Tariana Turia:
We hope we can continue to work with colleagues on all sides, although Winston is being a total jerk. The Cunliffe waka is mostly okay, but get your facts straight. The time for haka outside the fence is over. We must show them all the beauty we possess inside the fence. In conclusion, Lorde and Beyonce are both pretty great but there was a very good singer at the Ratana talent quest and he should get a Grammy, too.
For the Mana Party, Hone Harawira:
I believe the children are bloody starving, you bloody idiots. Free Nelson Mandela. Please leave a message after the tone.
For the United Future Party, Peter Dunne:
I believe an overall integrated package using the totality of the funding currently available to maximum impact and getting around the situation that we have at the moment and its inevitable consequence of a targeted approach is the future. It's great to be back!
For the Act Party, Steven Joyce:
Act is committed to a thorough rejuvenation of the party and its leadership, and will independently choose its own path going forward, as long as it includes slavish support for National.
Colin Craig for the Conservative Party:
I believe the children need a mother and a father, strict boundaries, and the occasional flick of a finger on the back of a knuckle.
For the Internet Party, Kim Dotcom:
Please wait. Buffering.