Senior Writer Claire Trevett recaps the week in which the Speaker turns 65, Simon Bridges was on a slippery slope and Shane Jones crowed about Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon's resignation - but Luxon may get the last laugh.
Speaker Trevor Mallard, who has claimed to be at the "mid-point of his career" for many years now, turned 65.
His staff and colleagues were not going to waste the opportunity to point out the significance of this milestone. Labour MPs presented him with a SuperGold Card birthday card, and his staff made a massive SuperGold Card for him.
Mallard celebrated with a quiet dinner of about 16 family and friends in the Speaker's Lounge – none of whom were MPs – and a cake at caucus the next day.
The celebrations were clearly taxing. At a film screening on the economic and social restoration of Rwanda, Mallard introduced the Honorary Consul-General for Rwanda, Claire de Lore, first as the "Honourable Counsel" and then as the "Honorary Constable".
Meanwhile, fellow veterans NZ First leader Winston Peters and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor were with the PM at her post-Cabinet press conference.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had to repeat a media question loudly to O'Connor, explaining it was because O'Connor's hearing aid was in the repair shop.
And when discussing a new debt mediation package for farmers, Peters announced he was "delightful" rather than "delighted", soon after which he forgot O'Connor's name.
Mallard was not the only one on a slippery slope.
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Ministers 'defang misapprehensions' around one-billion-trees policy
National Party leader Simon Bridges Instagrammed a clip of himself sliding down a slide at TradeMe's headquarters.
This is rather risky content given his polling. Some may have recalled Don Brash's attempt to walk the plank when he was National Party leader.
The shade of KiwiBuild's now abandoned short-term targets has clearly given some ministers the heebie-jeebies, among them Forestry Minister Shane Jones.
At his media update on the One Billion Trees programme, he said the Government had committed to plant 68 million trees this year and he believed it was on track.
It has caused some concern about productive farm land being turned into forestry land to meet the targets, but Jones said there was much at stake.
He fretted that if he was unsuccessful, "I might be a botanical version of KiwiBuild."
"I can guarantee you that's not happening to me as an NZ First politician."
We've heard that kind of guarantee before.
Wednesday: Christopher Luxon disembarks
Speaking of falling trees, Jones appears to have an uncanny ability to identify corporate heads who are about to quit and loudly call for their resignation, thereby allowing him to claim the credit when it happens.
This week saw it happen with Air NZ chief executive Chris Luxon, who Jones had challenged back in March and November last year after Air NZ cut some regional flights.
His previous "wins" include Air NZ chair Tony Carter (leaves in September), Fonterra CEO Theo Speirings (gone), Spark's Simon Moutter (gone) and Air NZ's rap safety video (not a CEO but gone).
All went for reasons completely unrelated to Jones' big mouth, but they left nonetheless.
After Luxon's announcement, the only one on Jones' hit list who is continuing to withstand the Jones call is Warehouse chair Joan Withers.
Jones was shameless in gloating after Luxon announced he was leaving Air NZ, saying he had called Luxon out for his political hankerings a while ago and the media owed him an apology (there is as much chance of that as of Jones obeying the PM's order to behave).
Luxon is almost a shoo-in as a candidate for the National Party in 2020 and is already being talked about as a future leader.
So Luxon may get the last laugh – that is if Jones himself is still around at Parliament.
Luxon's political career seems more certain than Jones', since NZ First's polling is looking even less flash than the current National leader's.
National Party leader Simon Bridges messaged Michael Woodhouse and Paul Goldsmith asking if they were up for a "slow run" at 6.45pm.
Alas, he mistakenly included Paula Bennett instead of Goldsmith. Bennett replied "maybe to the takeaways?" before tweeting it out for the world to see and pointing out she did not run in heels.
For those interested, Woodhouse was up for it "if it's slow".
Bridges promised it would be "very slow". It was slow then.
Government ministers are clearly wary of using search functions in the wake of the Treasury Budget palaver – National MP Andrew Falloon had a request to Police Minister Stuart Nash for emails relating to Ashburton Police Station turned down because it would take too long to manually search through 9000 emails.
Nash had calculated that it would take three minutes per email to manually go through them, totalling 450 hours, which was more than a 40-hour week for four staff members, so it was not worth the cost in staff time.
It probably took Nash longer to work that out than it would have to simply do a word search to find the relevant emails.
Judith Collins helpfully suggested Treasury could assist, given their recent discovery of the powers of a search bar.