Claire Trevett's highlights of the week from the Beehive, featuring a pack of losing MPs, a new job for Shane Jones and the nine faces of Andrew Little.
Monday: NINE-FACED ANDREW LITTLE
Justice Minister Andrew Little is one of Parliament's more imaginative social media users, apparently basing himself in the Embarrassing Dad school.
His previous efforts have included his advertisement for a Youth MP in which he uses youth slang such as lit, and a "great city showdown" with Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.
He came up with another effort this week, putting a compilation of nine different photos of himself on Instagram with "which Andrew Little are you today?" as the caption.
They included the naked rug, a photo from his university days, one looking like a possum in the headlights and a Blues Brothers themed one.
Little himself chose No 8 (suave Blues Brother Andrew Little) and a bit of 3 (Possum in Headlights Andrew Little). Asked if anybody had chosen 2 (Andrew Little depicted naked in shagpile), Little said they were not keeping data.
Anyone going to Little's office for a meeting might pay to check in advance which Andrew Little he is on any given day.
TUESDAY: MPs follow the sun
Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's top-secret holiday location was blown the minute she landed there.
The Cook Islands News captured Ardern getting off the plane with partner Clarke Gayford and daughter Neve.
It was hardly a low-key arrival – Ardern was greeted by PM and numerous officials.
Ardern was not the only minister seeking out the sun in the winter recess.
National Party leader Simon Bridges returned on Wednesday from a trip to visit family in the UK (he did not see any cricket or meet any Conservative Party leadership candidates).
Finance Minister Grant Robertson was on holiday in Australia, Green Party co-leader James Shaw and Transport Minister Phil Twyford were both spotted in Niue.
Speaker Trevor Mallard was at a meeting of Pacific Island Speakers in Australia.
Ardern had left Winston Peters in charge back home, and it was left to him to defend to farmers a government proposal for extra levies on higher-emitting cars and utes.
Peters did this by first insisting they were exempt, then conceding they were not but were effectively exempt given the levies would only apply to cars imported in the future - not the ones they already had.
He then argued that when a farmer did want to buy a new ute (or a new used ute), spending more for a lower-emissions alternative would end up saving money in the long term in lower fuel costs.
Farmers did not seem convinced by this argument.
WEDNESDAY: Shane Jones roving ATM mission
Regional Development Minister Shane Jones continued his seemingly interminable mission as a roving ATM, doling out a grand total of $72 million from his Provincial Growth Fund over the course of the past two weeks.
He also added to his ever-growing list of titles.
Speaking on RNZ about propping up regional airports, he insisted he was the "Regional Economic Chiropractor of Regional New Zealand" (RECORNZ).
Asked why all taxpayers should pay for one region's airport, Jones responded that the rest of New Zealand had to pay for Auckland to host the America's Cup.
"I'm in the politics of reciprocity. If we are going to bail out Auckland with the America's Cup, if we are going to subsidise Mr James Cameron and tolerate his wittering about agriculture, which is inversely related to New Zealand's welfare, then we are going to show the love and I'm going to continue to be the Economic Chiropractor of Regional New Zealand."
He later set about proving his in-depth anatomical knowledge, telling the NZ Herald: "I'm absolutely confident that the invisible hand of [economist] Adam Smith will touch the wrong sort of parts of the provincial anatomy."
Those chronicling Jones' ever-growing list of titles are eager for him to reach Southland to declare himself the Economic Proctologist of Regional New Zealand.
WEDNESDAY: Empty vessels making noise
The players in the Parliamentary Cricket World Cup have made a lot of noise about their exploits, which included losing every game they played.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Netball World Cup team saved their energy for the court.
They went over to the UK and quietly proceeded to win the tournament (beating England and Australia).
The presence of former Silver Fern Louisa Wall may or may not have helped matters.
The cricketing Blackbenchers also quickly learned Australians will always be able to out-sledge New Zealanders.
In the lead up to a game against Australia, co-captain Kieran McAnulty tested out his sledge, saying he was looking to thrash the Australian team, "children of convicts".
These blackbenchers - the full tossers - really do mean business. Going all out for their Aussie ‘brethren from across the ditch’ (or did @cjsbishop say ‘across the dutch’?) and the ‘children of convicts’ for being all talk. Let’s see how @Kieran_McAnulty et al get on tmw #IPCWC pic.twitter.com/cna5PoYZVS— IPCWC (@IPCWC) July 8, 2019
Australia's Labor MP Marjorie O'Neill did not take long to respond with a return stereotype relating to our ovine friends: "We're really looking forward to thrashing those sheep******!"
Right to reply to Kiwis @cjsbishop and @Kieran_McAnulty offered by @MarjorieSONeill who is playing for the Aussies tomorrow in the #IPCWC. She can’t wait to beat those **** pic.twitter.com/gks2iAf0C2— IPCWC (@IPCWC) July 8, 2019
They did indeed do just that in a training match the next day, in which the NZ team lost to the UK, Australia and Afghanistan in quick succession.
THURSDAY: Grant Robertson's Cricket World Cup commentary
The Black Caps win over India rather dominated the day – and the night before.
Some New Zealand politicians were more excited than others as the game went on.
Sports Minister Grant Robertson was in the excited camp, tweeting his own wee commentary consisting of informative tweets such as "Oh my", "Lovely Trenty", "Martin Guptill" and "Holy F***".
Robertson was watching from holiday in Australia, where he also got to enjoy the response to Australia losing against England the next day.
Meanwhile, National Party leader Simon Bridges woke up at 5am to watch the cricket rather than stay up through the night.
Hence there was no word from his Twitter came until the next morning:
Bridges then got on a plane to go and see Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying later he had talked to Morrison about his success in appealing to the "quiet Australians".
How good is ScoMo!— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) July 11, 2019
Fantastic catch up with @ScottMorrisonMP today. The relationship between our countries is strong and means more than ever. Congratulated him on passing his tax package that’ll see Aussies keep more of what they earn & wished him luck for the cricket tonight. pic.twitter.com/pVYJzhL9KL
There were certainly a few of those on Friday, after Australia lost its semifinal at the Cricket World Cup.