COMMENT:

Jacinda Ardern

Winston, can you pass the sausages down to the end of the table, please?

Winston Peters

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Well, the thing is, I'm enjoying these sausages, and so are the other people at this end of the table.

Jacinda Ardern

There are more people at the other end of the table than your end of the table.

Winston Peters

I'm not sure you have the maths right on that one. We're just ordinary folks, you know. We're not an elite. There's a lot of us, and we've worked hard for these sausages.

James Shaw

I'd like to add my voice to this debate. The Greens have always been calling for more sausages down the other end of the table. We need to have a level playing field for all New Zealanders, including those who find it hard to get ahead. A fairer system of sausage distribution would reduce the wealth gap, fix the housing crisis and build a more productive, high-wage economy.

Winston Peters

Did somebody say something? Or was that just a far-off whining sound of no consequence?

James Shaw

Jacinda, can you talk to him?

Jacinda Ardern

Now let me be perfectly clear about this. Let me be absolutely clear. And by that, I mean unequivocally clear. As in no equivocations, no half measures, no vague diluted mutterings. I mean 100 per cent clear. As clear as a mountain lake. As clear as day. And what I want to say about this business with sending sausages down the end of the table is that we've commissioned a report from the Sausage Working Group. Sir Michael?

Sir Michael Cullen

Thank you, Jacinda. As head of the Sausage Working Group, I can say that we've looked into this very, very carefully, and would appreciate prompt payment of our invoice for around $2 million. And our conclusion is that we find there are good grounds to consider sending more sausages down to the other end of the table.

Winston Peters

Did somebody say something?

Jacinda Ardern

No, I'm pretty certain it was just a far-off whining sound of no consequence.

James Shaw

We're disappointed that the Sausage Working Group's recommendation isn't going ahead. But we will work to advance the group's other proposals, such as a fairer distribution of tomato sauce.

Jacinda Ardern

Winston holds the sausages. That's the way it works in MMP, and Labour doesn't have a mandate to do anything about it. But let me be perfectly clear about this. Labour will continue to put our shoulder to the wheel, and keep a firm hand on the tiller, and provide any number of cliches to give the impression that we know what we're doing while we blunder on through the nightmare of a coalition with New Zealand First.

Winston Peters

Can someone pass more sausages down to this end of the table? Some very nice racehorse owners have arrived. They're hungry, and so are their horses.