Tamati Coffey's running but Brendon Pongia adamant he's not

Brendon Pongia has rubbished rumours he's considering a run for politics like ex-TVNZ pal Tamati Coffey.

The former Good Morning presenter, who owns a Napier B&B with his wife, Michelle, said "politics would be the last thing I'd want to do".

His meeting at Copperfields cafe in the Beehive this week had nothing to do with politics, he reckoned.

Not so for other former TV faces. Coffey is seeking Labour's Rotorua nomination. Shane Taurima, who is under investigation by TVNZ, sought nomination for Labour and helped run a branch for the party while working at the network.


Fran Mold was once Labour's chief of staff. Kris Faafoi is now an MP. And ex-TV3 reporter Scott Campbell, who's in the PR game, is tipped as a possibility for the Nats in the Bay of Plenty seat.

Lorde of the Rings

Kiwi teen darling Lorde is taking the United States by storm with her first tour, which kicked off to a sold-out crowd in Dallas, Texas, this week.

Rolling Stone magazine said the "New Zealand pop sensation arrived with minimum band, maximum confidence".

Lorde told ABC News her gigs are "very simple, cool lights [with] me just sorta being Gollum on stage, mucking around".

Tonight, she performs in Washington DC, then it's on to Pennsylvania and New York.

After her US tour, she'll travel to Chile and Brazil to perform at the Lollapalooza festivals, and then return to the States for the Coachella festival in April.

Out with Mary Poppins


A nanny has been hired to shadow Prince George on the royal tour next month. Her identity is yet to be revealed, but the British press reported she's "a European woman in her early 20s". Royal watchers say The Firm has always opted for elderly Mary Poppins-types. The new young nanny, who'll be based at Government House with the tot, is sure to be of interest to the UK paps.

Socialite Aja Rock and David Southcombe welcomed Lilly Vonn to their family this week.
Socialite Aja Rock and David Southcombe welcomed Lilly Vonn to their family this week.

Baby girl for Aja

Aja Rock and her husband, David Southcombe, celebrated their wedding anniversary and the birth of their daughter Lilly Vonn this week. The couple have a son, Hendrix, 2, and Rock has a 9-year-old son, Brooklyn, with former partner William Murdoch.

Face-off over Smalley's image

Last week, she likened the TV3 newsroom to a crack den with paranoid television personalities keen to protect their patch. Then things got a little testy between Rachel Smalley's former employer TV3 and Newstalk ZB, which used a TV3 photo of the radio personality on its website.

MediaWorks fired a missive to Smalley's Newstalk boss Dallas Gurney (who is on his honeymoon) and threatened a cease-and-desist notice. It requested, too, that Smalley's online profile be updated on the station's website. She no longer hosts TV3 show The Nation.

This photo of Rachel Smalley was at the centre of an email complaint from her former employer TV3 to Newstalk ZB, which used the image on its website.
This photo of Rachel Smalley was at the centre of an email complaint from her former employer TV3 to Newstalk ZB, which used the image on its website.

Newstalk quickly amended the site on Wednesday. Niki Schuck, publicist for Newstalk ZB parent The Radio Network, said new publicity shots were now being used.

Auckland Cup glitterati

Steve Price, Ma'a Nonu, Stephen Donald, Kylie Bax, Winston Peters, Shane Cortese and Silver Fern Maria Tutaia were just some of the glitterati who attended the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day at Ellerslie on Wednesday.

TVNZ stylists Clifton Piper and Michiko Hylands upped the glamour stakes, as did TV3 sportscaster Ashley Tulloch. And celebrated tenor Geoff Sewell, from Amici Forever, performed the national anthem.

Litigious Colin and Cunliffe's trust

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig continues to have his undies in a bunch this week as he pressed ahead with his (amended) defamation claim against Russel Norman. The Greens leader says he needs $70,000 to defend the case and has set up a donation channel.

Donations became a slippery word for Opposition leader David Cunliffe, who was busted over his use of a secret trust to funnel donations to his leadership campaign and the nondisclosure of a personal savings investment trust he didn't register in time.

The Nats waged war, labelling him "Dirty Dave". An artful remix of the 80s rap hit Tricky, featuring the National caucus, was swiftly released online.

Labour's ABC Club (Anyone But Cunliffe) are accused of being behind the damaging leaks on their leader this week. As far as private memberships go, this club is seemingly ruthless.

But who are the anonymous Labour donors? Kim Dotcom says not him. He forked out for Banksie, but apparently not for Cunliffe.

Meanwhile, Labour's Clare Curran used the Shaggy (It Wasn't Me) defence when accused of accidentally sending an email to National MP Amy Adams exposing Labour's ICT strategy. Turns out, the leaked missive came from Cunliffe's office. Curran, a member of the ABC Club, publicly took the fall, at first.