I was looking at properties on Waiheke Island, and asked the Kiwi real estate guy what was going on politically in New Zealand. He mentioned something about an election.

"Anything scandalous?" I asked.

He talked about the co-leader of the Green Party admitting to fraud when she was a solo mother.

"But that's terrible," I said.


He agreed that it was, and said that it might prove to be a criminal offence, in which case she would have to step down from Parliament.

"That's fair," I said.

He agreed that it was, and said that although she'd offered to pay back the money she defrauded from the folks at welfare, it wasn't clear whether they would also charge penalties.

"They should, of course," I said. "How much are we talking?"

He said he wasn't sure, but he'd read that the fraud might have been as much as $50,000.

I gave a low whistle.

We drove in silence for a while, and I looked out over the harbour. Waiheke sure would be an ideal base for operations in the next America's Cup.

"Well," he said, "see anything you like?"


"Yep," I said. "Get me the forms. I'll sign them now."

"Great!" he said. "Which property?"

I looked at him. "The whole island, of course," I said.


Newsreading is an artistic pursuit, which is why I always write Mike's Minute on silk with a fine brush dipped in ink. It's a deliberately slow process. It helps me to think, and meditate, between writing each word. As Ezra Pound wrote, in his famous instructions for verse, "Use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation."

Today I wrote upon the subject of the Metiria Turei affair. I gave it very careful, very deep thought. Some may say these quiet reveries resemble madness. They do not understand the soul of an artist. As Proust said, "Everything great in the world is done by neurotics; they alone founded our religions, and created our masterpieces."

"Hey Mike," said one of my colleagues, "how much is your salary?"

"Piss off," I said, and daubed the words FRAUD LIAR CHEAT UGH LEFTIE.


People say America has problems, but as the new White House communications director I can tell you right now that America doesn't have problems. I will tell you who has problems. New Zealand has problems.

There's a woman there who is actually the co-leader of a political party, and if that isn't bad enough, if that doesn't remind you of a fate worse than Trump, then the kicker is that she has admitted to the New Zealand people that she committed fraud.

This makes the problems facing America seem pretty small. But what's also kind of refreshing is that she admitted it herself. It wasn't the result of a leak. Although if it was the result of a leak, then we wouldn't need to look any further than White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, or should I say outgoing White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

I had dinner last night with the President, and we talked about the very, very big problems in New Zealand, and I said to him, "Well, the fish stinks from the head down."

And the President said, "That is a very, very wise comment, maybe the wisest comment ever made in the White House. What does it mean?"

I said, "Let's get the gun on the bird and talk about what's going on."

And the President said, "What?"

And I said, "When the iceberg hits the boat, the rats start flying up from steerage. The water comes in steerage."

He nodded, and then dinner was served. It was fish.