Veteran National MP Gerry Brownlee has decided to try his hand at podcasting with a new series that will canvass a variety of hot button political issues with guests from across the political spectrum.
In the first episode of his podcast series, The Backroom of Politics, uploaded on Thursday, Brownlee sits down with political rival, Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman. Brownlee said he wanted the conversation to show the pair were closer than people think.
"It's just a discussion and my point is that quite frequently there are points of common agreement," Brownlee said.
"We agree it's an issue that New Zealand must take seriously," Brownlee said.
"I don't think that there is a massive gap in desire for the end goal," he said.
Climate change is also the subject of Brownlee's second episode, which will feature Climate Change Commission chairman Dr Rod Carr.
The two politicians haven't always seen eye to eye - and have previously clashed on issues like race and terrorism. But the pair had a genial discussion on Brownlee's podcast, with Ghahraman noting that MPs are less argumentative privately than it often appears.
"Democracy is predicated on us having conversations and we do that here despite what it looks like out in the world," Ghahraman said.
Brownlee said he wanted to challenge the idea that politicians spend all their time arguing with each other.
"A lot of people say 'you guys get wound up and have a go at each other'," he said.
Brownlee said "the most civilised discussions" in Parliament happen behind closed doors, when select committees are in closed session with no media or public present, MPs from across the spectrum tended to get on very well.
Out of the watchful eye of the media, MPs in closed session can speak freely without their comments being weaponised.
"People can say things without it being held like a gun to their head at a later date," Brownlee said.
It's not Brownlee's first foray into the world of digital media. Three years ago, he posted a viral video on how to make homemade organic weed killer, and a little while later he posted a video on how to make a Christmas cake.
Brownlee said he'd stopped doing those videos after the market for political videos became crowded.
"Everyone else started," Brownlee said.
He said new technology had given him the opportunity to create a truly DIY podcast, although he has access to some "technical expertise" when required.
"It's incredibly simple to do - it's just a microphone and an iPad programme that lets you do other stuff," Brownlee said.
He said the programme allows him to "put a bit of jingly music" over the audio if he wants to.
And, indeed, the podcast opens with a jazzy riff of electric organ, guitar, and drums.