There are a number of big issues facing the new government. Immigration, housing, regional development, the minimum wage and global security concerns. But for me the biggest issue this week is the resurgence of the bum bag.
Arguably the third most controversial bag after the 50 bag and the body bag, the bum bag has had a bum wrap in recent years.
Twenty years of laughing at the bum bag and the people who wear them. They are regularly made fun of in songs and movies. You only have to look at Weird Al's 2010 hit White and Nerdy to see the level of hate that has been thrown its way.
A one-time symbol of convenience and invention rendered a symbol of lameness. Right down there with the cellphone holster.
I blame the overweight middle-aged American tourists of the 1990s. Terrified of imaginary pickpockets they roamed the planet with their valuables and travellers cheques strapped to them in brightly coloured bum bags. Credibility was further wounded by lycra wearing cyclists strapping bum bags to the back of their shorts.
Unsurprisingly, by the turn of the century the bum bag was out. Relegated to the 20c sale bins at Salvation Army stores. Thankfully attitudes are starting to change.
The good people at Tradestaff sent me a bum bag the other day and I've hardly taken it off since. Life-changer. What a great way to transport your sunglasses, cell phone, wallet, car keys and moist refresher towels. Ironically the bum bag is best worn round the front. So you can shove your hands in there whenever you need something.
It was heartwarming to see so many New Zealanders sporting bum bags at the ASB Auckland Marathon yesterday. Sure they came free in the race pack but still amazing to see thousands in action on the streets of our beautiful city. A real statement. I strongly recommend everyone who ran with a bum bag to keep it on. Make the bum bag a part of your daily life.
Did you know the bum bag's origins lie in pre-Columbian America? Indian warriors wore buffalo pouches round back when travelling. Then flipped them round front in battle. The thick leather hung down in front of the Apache's downstairs for protection. Like an ancient battle-ready cricket box. They also wore them round their necks and strapped to their arms.
Over in Europe the Scottish sporran was an early bum bag. Invented because kilts don't have any pockets. Worn round the front. The sporran wasn't just practical it was fashionable.
There are day sporrans and night sporrans. A day sporran is normally made from brown leather with simple adornments. But dress sporrans gave highlanders a chance to show some flair. Large and highly ornate, sometimes with sterling or silver-plated trimmings, fur-covered with hair tassels. Prince Charles wears a particularly over the top sporran. He's basically got a leather Christmas tree attached to his groin.
The bum bags we know and love today were invented in the 1980s and peaked in use in the 90s. Nowadays, you can get a bum bag like the one I am currently wearing very cheaply. Ten bucks for one that will break really quickly, $50 for a solid one and up to $6000 for a full leather diamond-studded number.
Did you know the builder's tool belt is a sub genre of the bum bag?
Did you know there are some great R-rated bum bag practical jokes out there. You can guess how you do it? A hole is cut in the back of the bag, which is worn round front. Then simply ask a mate to grab something out of it. Brilliant. Look it up online. Actually don't.
The bum bag has been down and out for a long time. It has been kicked around and abused. But more and more people are realising they're practical, they feel great and they look really really cool. They're coming back. The harbour bridge was riddled with the bastards yesterday so join the movement. Strap one on today. You won't regret it.