I'm no expert on HR matters or how these things are run in political parties in general, but my guess would be that Kennedy Graham and Dave Clendon are going to have the worst leaving do ever. If I were either of them I don't think I'd bother opening my card.

The question has been posed, in the wake of a radio interview in which Guyon Espiner showed unusual persistence even for him: How far should an interviewer go to try to get a politician to answer a question?

A more useful question would be: How long should a politician be allowed to evade, avoid and generally dick a journalist around before they have to admit they have no intention of answering?

Signs of spreading Trumpism should be pointed out the moment they are seen, in order to allow pre-emptive action to be taken.


A recent example from Jonathon Coleman, still Minister for Health, speaking in a debate before representatives of several cancer charities:

"If you stand back and go to the World Health Organisation, where I was two months ago, you will realise we have got a health system that's the envy of the world. And I think we have got to have that perspective," Coleman said.

Because that's the purpose of a national health system - to make other countries jealous. But there's no need to be too worried about any Trump-type effect in this case - it doesn't sound like anyone believed him.

Attempts to somehow link politicians to truth and integrity are suddenly all the rage, bringing a few long-buried controversies back into the limelight. Such as John Key's purchase of a home in Helensville, so he would be eligible to stand for the electorate.

We should have known something was awry when he expected us to believe he would ever have a holiday home in Helensville.

For someone who has taken on the job of deputy prime minister, Paula Bennett doesn't have a very high opinion of New Zealand.

Not so long ago she was talking about how we shouldn't go charging tourists extra fees for our attractions but should be grateful they bother to come all this way across the world, from proper countries, was the implication, to our no-account nation.

More recently, there was further evidence of her low national self-esteem when she pointed out - with total accuracy - that our insignificant little excuse for a country produces just a tiny percentage of the world's total carbon emissions. We could stop them all overnight and it wouldn't have a big impact on climate change.

But there are other ways to bring about change. One is called leadership. Within that is a subset called "leading by example".

We used to be quite good at this, being held up around the world as an example in areas such as universal suffrage, social welfare and anti-nuclear campaigning.

Prominent among those being blamed for the decline and falling on her sword of Metiria Turei as co-leader of the Greens are the media who apparently conspired to bring her down.

I know people in the media. They're just not that organised.

Peter Thiel's successful-for-a-time attempt to redact details of the amount of time he spent in New Zealand before his citizenship application was approved reminds us that instead of the customary 1350 days residence required to qualify, he spent 12 days here.

Helpful perspective: that's about the same length of time as a P&O cruise around the country.