WELLINGTON - Quips and quotes from the year in Parliament.

Quote of the year


"We did not even discuss politics." - Then-Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, explaining her dinner with Saatchi head Kevin Roberts, in which they discussed how to keep National in power.


Best nicknames


Sir Darth - Labour deputy leader Michael Cullen describing the newly knighted Sir William Birch.

The Minister of Possums - Act MP Rodney Hide on Alliance leader Jim Anderton.


Best comments on Labour's pledge card


"It has taken Opposition members nine years of thinking to come up with seven little ideas." - National MP David Carter.

"This must be Helen Clark's daughter." - New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, on the pledge card's airbrushed photograph.


Most double-edged comment


"I want to wish Don McKinnon well. I guess if my capitalist credentials can get me into the World Trade Organisation, his anti-apartheid and anti-nuclear credentials will get him into the Commonwealth club." - Labour MP Mike Moore.


Best insults


"Most people in the Labour Party think Manual Labour is the Prime Minister of Mexico." - Mr Peters.


"He finds it very difficult talking to people who are not as smart as he is. Well, who he talks to in the Labour Party caucus is beyond me." - National MP Tony Ryall on Dr Cullen.

"He's like the National Party's harem eunuch." - Labour's Pete Hodgson on United MP Peter Dunne.


Rudest comment


"This is a penis envy bill." - National MP Max Bradford, describing Labour's legislation raising the top tax rate.


Most dismissive answer to a parliamentary question


"I cannot confirm that piece of drivel from the member." - National's Max Bradford.


Best description of whisky politics


"Mention should be made, too, of Winston Peters, who, when Treasurer, assisted. I thank him and our go-between and interlocutor, Mr Johnnie Walker." - Mr Moore.


Faintest praise


"She has been very individualistic within our caucus." - The nicest thing Mrs Shipley could find to say about Auckland Mayor and former National MP Christine Fletcher.


Comments against Parliament's rules


"The Mike Tyson of politics." - Mauri Pacific MP Tukoroirangi Morgan, describing the Labour Party.

"We are tired of Tory lies." - Dr Cullen.


Best reflections on political life


"I do not know anybody who has ever become better for going to Parliament or to prison." - Mr Moore.

"In 1990 I had the privilege of being appointed a minister of the Crown. The first tangible result of that was that I moved from a garage in Wadestown worth perhaps $30,000 to Vogel House, worth $3 million." - National's Sir Douglas Graham.


Worst defence of "I made it up" affair


"I do not recall the words attributed to me." - Mrs Shipley.


Speaker's laments


"Order! I need to send some people off to an early Easter." - Then Speaker Doug Kidd. When several MPs put their hands up volunteering for the early sendoff he continued: "As I understand Easter, you go via Calvary."


Most common way of baiting Mrs Shipley


"She is making it up." - virtually all Labour MPs.


Least comprehensible metaphor


"Like the dogs we were talking about that National members are feeding at the moment in their rural escapades, it is thrashing around and causing inestimable damage to the provision of electricity at a reasonable cost." - Labour's Marian Hobbs.

- NZPA