None of this is my fault.
I don't recall discussing the Budget leak at all when I met with Finance Minister Grant Robertson and the Prime Minister's chief press secretary, Andrew Campbell, at the Beehive last Tuesday night.
To the best of my memory, it was a relaxed, casual discussion about nothing of particular importance. But there may have been a misunderstanding when I made a nice hot pot of tea.
Andrew Campbell called out for biscuits. I rummaged around the staff kitchen and found some chocolate thins.
I poured out the cups, and Robertson commented that I'd spilled quite a bit of tea on the table. I lifted up the pot and examined a crack in its base. I said, "What's happened is that there's been a leak. A very serious leak."
Robertson leaned forward and said, "Really? Are you sure?"
"Yes," I said. "It's quite criminal."
What I meant is the teapot was brand new, but clearly not up to scratch. I was about to tell him that but he rushed out the door and held a press conference.
None of this is my fault.
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When I held a tense, dramatic meeting at the Beehive with Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf and the Prime Minister's chief press secretary Andrew Campbell last Tuesday night, all that Makhlouf could talk about was the Budget leak.
I poured a nice hot cup of tea from my thermos and shared shrewsbury biscuits from my lunchbox. Makhlouf spat crumbs at me when he said in a rage, "The Treasury has gathered sufficient evidence to indicate that its systems have been deliberately and systematically hacked!"
Andrew Campbell said, "Call the police!"
"Good idea," said Makhlouf, "and while you're at it, tell them that National are to blame!"
I leaned forward and said, "Really? Are you sure?"
"Yes," he said, pounding the table with his fist. "I mean just look at Simon Bridges. He's got the shifty, guilty face of a hardened criminal!"
I rushed out the door and held a press conference.
None of this touches the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister's office in any way.
I was only a vague, peripheral figure at the meeting last Tuesday night at the Beehive between Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf and Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
They were deep in conversation but sat with their heads close together and I couldn't catch what they were saying. I thought I'd better do something useful, so I made a nice hot cup of tea out of a native plant on the windowsill. All those years working for the Greens were not in waste.
While the kettle was boiling, I called out, "I thought I'd pop down to the superette and buy a packet of gluten-free gingernuts."
Robertson leaned forward, and said, "Really? Are you sure?"
"Yes," I said. "Tea without biscuits would be criminal."
I left the room so I don't know what else was said, but I gather at some point Robertson had good cause to rush out the door and hold a press conference.
Let me be perfectly clear about this. We shouldn't even be discussing the Budget leak. It's a distraction. What we should be discussing is the Wellbeing Budget itself, which I have renamed the Well It's Better Than Nothing So Just Be Grateful Budget.