NZ Herald senior writer Claire Trevett looks back at a week in which Winston Peters rejected flowers, the Electoral Commission rejected Hannah Tamaki, and Stuart Nash joined Shane Jones' Air NZ protest line.
Monday: Winston Peters goes dumpster diving, Hannah Tamaki's new trick
NZ First leader Winston Peters was spotted rifling through a bin at Auckland Airport on his way to Wellington.
No, he had not fallen on hard times.
The deputy Prime Minister had resorted to dumpster-diving for a newspaper to read on the plane, and was heard voicing some frustration at Air NZ's decision to stop stocking newspapers.
Peters has something of a volatile relationship with newspapers, so it was heartening to see the lengths he was willing to go to get hold of one.
One door closes, another opens for Hannah Tamaki:
Hannah Tamaki has fallen upon a cunning way to get maximum value out of party launches.
In May, Tamaki – the wife of Destiny Church's Brian Tamaki - launched the Coalition NZ Party with great drama and great publicity.
This week the Election Commission ruled the name out of order because it could confuse voters.
Now Tamaki plans to pick a new name. New name, new launch, more publicity!
It is the joy of the re-announcement, in which a politician makes an announcement and a while down the track makes exactly the same announcement by using a new name or an extra detail.
ScoMo's stuffed kiwi
PM Jacinda Ardern put a photo on Instagram of Australian PM Scott Morrison's desk with a stuffed kiwi on it.
It was the result of a bet the two made on the outcome of the Bledisloe Cup tests.
Had the All Blacks lost, Ardern's desk would have sported a stuffed kangaroo for the week.
Morrison has not yet mentioned the rugby or the bet on social media.
Beehive Diaries observes that in making the wager Morrison showed less wisdom than his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull.
In 2016, Turnbull refused to make a bet on the Bledisloe with his then counterpart, John Key, because he knew Australia would lose. The year before, Turnbull had to wear a black and white tie to Question Time after losing a similar wager.
Tuesday: PM takes a risk
PM Jacinda Ardern at Tūrangawaewae delivered her pepeha, with a twist. Ardern gave her maunga (mountain) as Te Aroha, her awa (river) as the Waihou and her tūrangawaewae as Waikato. She then added an extra line: "and my risk is Shane Jones."
This got her a laugh – Jones was accompanying Ardern in the absence of Deputy PM Winston Peters.
It prompted another to observe that was at least preferable to Alan Jones – the Australian broadcaster who criticised Ardern in rather colourful terms.
Wednesday: That ship has not sailed
Defence Minister Ron Mark revealed Britain had asked New Zealand to help patrol the Strait of Hormuz as part of US-led international effort, but New Zealand could not help because it did not have any boats to send.
There is something of an irony in this, given at the same time the NZ Olympic Committee was boasting about the achievements of New Zealanders in boats – rowing, kayaking and yachting.
Thursday: He loves her, he loves her not.
NZ First leader Winston Peters, 74, revealed he fobbed off a floral tribute to his sore knee to an "elderly" fellow patient in hospital.
The flowers were from his foe, Paula Bennett, and Peters had rightly identified good will was not the only likely motive for the gesture.
Paula Bennett sent me flowers in hospital. Seriously bad taste. Also, they looked like she just picked them from a local park! Gave them away to an elderly patient. Not knowing their origin, she really appreciated them.— Winston Peters (@winstonpeters) August 22, 2019
His tweet rejecting the gift was such a masterpiece of churlishness that it became his most successful tweet since May 2017, getting almost 900 likes and 150 retweets.
The tweet in May 2017 was an Ed Balls of an effort when Peters (or a staffer) tweeted "Tweets on Winston Peters, NZ politician."
Ed Balls once accidentally tweeted his own name instead of entering it in the search bar.
Peters' tweet got 782 retweets and 1.5K likes, and an infinite pool of mockery.
Friday: There will be weeping and Nashing of teeth.
You would think Phil Twyford's experience being dobbed in to Judith Collins for talking on his phone after the plane doors closed would have taught other ministers a lesson. But no.
Stuart Nash was caught voicing his frustration after discovering Air NZ had changed its rules to prevent check-ins at the gates. He discovered this just a tad too late to get on his flight from Napier to Wellington.
Nash got in a grump with an Air NZ staffer, saying something along the lines of "oh, for [bleep's] sake" for which he later apologised.
It is not the first time Nash has hit out at Air NZ's service on the Napier – Wellington route. In September last year, he tweeted about the flight running 20 minutes for the second Monday in a row because the air controller was late. "Yet again a plane full of punters delayed because some clown slept in!"
@FlyAirNZ plane late leaving Napier by 20 minutes yet again; but for the 2nd Monday in a row it’s because air traffic controller turned up late for work. Yet again a plane full of punters delayed because some clown slept in! Unbelievable & unacceptable.— Stuart Nash (@Stuart_NashMP) September 9, 2018
Sunday: Turbulence ahead
Passengers on Air NZ's inaugural direct flight from Auckland to Invercargill this Sunday are advised to fasten their seatbelts due to risk of turbulence.
Two of the passengers will be NZ First's Shane Jones and Air NZ chief executive and political aspirant Christopher Luxon.
Luxon is a regular target of Jones' for what Jones sees as Air NZ's dereliction of duty to the regions he claims to champion.
National MPs Hamish Walker (Clutha Southland MP) and Sarah Dowie (Invercargill MP) will also be on board.
They too may be a tad nervous given every time Luxon sets foot in a safe National Party seat everybody suspects him of scouting for a kingdom to call his own.
Should the hot air get too much, oxygen masks will fall from above.