Children. They're the best.
Here we are, halfway through the school holidays, deep in the midwinter, with its weather chaos and landslide chaos and even more weather chaos. The gloom, mercifully, is illuminated by the children, partly because they're beams of light, and partly because the roads are a bit less congested.
Moreover, according to several high-level sources, the children are our future, and in that spirit it is an ideal time to ask, or at least intuit, what our political leaders think about the children.
Bill English, leader of the National Party and PM
Children are pretty important, in that they're humans, small humans usually, and humans are a pretty important part of the economy, actually.
My name is Bill English and I am the leader of the National Party, and as many of you will know, the National Party recently released its slogan for the campaign leading up to the election, which as many of you will know takes place on September 23.
That slogan is "delivering for New Zealand". And what I'm trying to say I suppose is that some people call me the postman. Some people call me the gangster of love. Only Mary actually calls me the gangster of love, because we like to have a laugh.
What other people call me is the nation's midwife, and that's what I'm getting at when I say "delivering for New Zealand". Delivering the hardworking children of the nation, or as I actually like to call them, little algorithms.
Andrew Little, leader of the Labour Party
No, listen. No. Listen. Our message for New Zealand children is clear. A Labour led government will introduce a fiscal plan prioritised towards rebuilding social foundations by investing in essential public services and future infrastructure together with a package encompassing Working for Families, Best Start and winter energy contributions. It could hardly be simpler.
David Seymour, leader of the Act Party
No one supports child poverty. Some people want to eradicate the poverty. That's very expensive, however. Instead, let's eradicate the children. Stop them turning up in the first place. The fact is, parents who cannot afford to have children should not be having them. Were your parents poor? Yuck! Let's put a stop to poor children, like for example John Key or Jesus Christ.
The social media is pretty important to the children and as many of you will know, I'm on the social media. Just being me, Bill English, leader of the National Party, cooking for my family, running, walking, then running a bit, standing by the television cheering my heart out for the Kiwis in the boating regatta, and getting into the beat combo at Eden Park where I'm cheering my heart out for the Kiwis in the rugby, which finished in a draw, actually, full credit to both sides.
No, listen. No. Our message for New Zealand children is clear. That message is being communicated with every child New Zealander in creches and kindergartens up and down the country by my co-leader Jacinda, who is tirelessly reading stories and singing songs with groups of preschoolers, urging them to get out there and vote. And our message, to this group of young Kiwis for whom the dream of home ownership is so distant, couldn't be simpler: Here's a house. Here's a door. Windows: one, two, three, four. Ready to knock? Turn the lock. Change the government.
Metiria Turei, co-leader of the Green Party
When two people love each other, even though they're separate people with separate ideas, and even though sometimes they disagree about things, they get into bed and they make children, beautiful children who love swimming in rivers. But sometimes those two people who love each other can't quite make that beautiful child without another person, who they might really not like very much. That's just biology. What I'm trying to say is: think of the children.
Winston Peters, leader of the NZ First Party
You want to know what the consequences are? I'll tell you what the consequences are, sunshine. There were two in the bed and the little one said, roll over, roll over. So what do you think they did? Come on, you're not that stupid are you? They all rolled over, and one fell out, landing with a thud on to a disgusting imported synthetic carpet. That's right.
No one supports the nanny state. But only a monster would go around killing nannies. That's why we want to instead kill the state. There is no self-respect in depending on the largesse of others, there can be no pride or responsibility in relying on the whims of others. We must all stop sucking on the teat. This is an irreducible philosophical truth applicable to everything except the constituency of Epsom.
Gareth Morgan, leader of The Opportunities Party
TOP is an evidence-based party, and we have a sound evidential base for our finding that railing against the establishment and performing attention grabbing stunts is a winning political strategy. Our evidence-based researchers are satisfied that children exist, but we find them hard to understand. Our empirical surveys reveal that some children are unable even to speak. I wouldn't say we're against them exactly, but they're not much bloody use when you're developing the greatest policy of all time or motorcycling in North Korea.
As many of you will know, we recently launched the Ministry for Vulnerable Algorithms. And it's pretty important that we ensure we identify at-risk algorithms so that we can apply social investment principles to ensure that going forward they grow up into healthy algorithms making a real contribution to our spreadsheet.
I suppose TOP is a baby in a way. We're young, we're hungry, we're in your face, we're sometimes incontinent. We've got a pretty bloody big trust fund, too, and we're very happy to say we deplore the fact that you need a trust fund while we spend it all.
The wheels on my bus go round and round the regions, demonstrably they go round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, with the greatest respect, all day long.
Donald Trump, President of the United States of America
I love children. My children are very high quality people, very high quality. Like a tremendous cheeseboard or a light fitting. There is nothing like the innocence of a child, and Donald Jr is totally innocent, believe me. And I am a child, my father was a child, and his father before him was a child, too. That is what makes us Americans. Daddy?