Claire Trevett recaps a week in which Labour accused National of deeds most foul, a National Party ad was actually funny, and Winston Peters delighted in his own wisdom.
Monday: Big, bad wolf blows the playground down
The Speaker's mission to finally answer Cat Stevens' question Where Do the Children Play? had a setback.
Speaker Trevor Mallard is building a playground on Parliament's front lawn and since construction began in August, the area has been hidden behind fences with white plastic over them.
There were many theories as to why it was such a covert operation: was the Speaker wary of a foreign syndicate stealing his design? Did he want it to be a surprise until it was done?
The actual answer was more prosaic. The fences were to try to stop the dust from the digging being blown about by Wellington's winds.
Alas, the fences themselves came a cropper to those winds. Gale-force winds hitting Wellington on Monday night blew them all over.
Tuesday: The Speaker's selective hearing and Labour smells a plot most foul
The wind clearly also made the Speaker rather grumpy, for it was a taciturn Trevor Mallard who turned up to Question Time.
He reprimanded Leader of the House Chris Hipkins for a perceived sin, quoting former House of Commons Speaker John Bercow at him: "Be a good little boy."
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He told three National MPs off for tittering.
After hollering "Order!" at deafening volume several times, he then told NZ First MP Shane Jones off for being too loud after Jones interjected while the PM was speaking.
Curiously, a bit later, Jones hollered while National's deputy leader Paula Bennett was asking a question.
The holler was perfectly audible from the Press Gallery benches directly above the Speaker.
But when Bennett objected, Mallard declared he had not heard a thing.
The same Question Time also saw Hipkins claim that he suspected National MPs of deliberately asking questions that were outside Parliament's rules, purely so they could use the clip of the question on social media.
Hipkins raised the claim after Bennett twice asked questions about Labour's sex assault complaint issue, which the Speaker had ruled was not in the realm of ministerial responsibility.
Mallard gave Bennett the benefit of the doubt, but warned that if it was proven Parliament was being used for such a purpose there would be consequences.
Wednesday: The gods too are fond of a joke - Aristotle
The fears of Trevor Mallard and Chris Hipkins about National's use of Question Time for social media were somewhat allayed when the National Party showed it did not need to engineer its own social media-worthy material after all.
Others were happy to provide it with no arm-bending at all.
National launched a new video clip featuring Labour MP Deborah Russell speaking on the Public Finance (WellBeing) Amendment Bill.
Russell, an accountant who also studied philosophy, harked back to Ancient Greece and spoke about eudaimonia (happiness), Diogenes, the Epicureans and the Stoics.
Russell even spelled out eudaimonia, presumably for the Hansard recorders rather than Treasury.
There were lessons in enjoying your bread and cheese and casting aside bowls to drink from your hands.
Russell was up to Aristotle by the time assistant Speaker Ruth Dyson tried to halt the history lesson, suggesting Russell come back to the topic at hand.
Russell was not to be thwarted. She carried on to describe the life Aristotle saw as one of wellbeing: "It was a man living on his property with his wife, his slaves, his cattle, and, in particular, what that meant — that he had a life of autonomy."
Possibly the slaves were not as suffused with wellbeing as Aristotle, but Russell's speech certainly gave the National Party some eudaimonia.
They had a ball picking out the choicest bits and putting them together as a "wellbeing Budget" explainer.
Beehive Diaries does not normally disseminate political party ads but it was very funny so here you are:
Russell took it in good grace, tweeting that her daughter had congratulated on her very first National Party "attack" ad.
Message from my daughter:— Deborah Russell MP 🐝 (@BeeFaerie) September 18, 2019
Congrats on getting your very own national attack ad!! I've never been so proud of you ❤️
Anyone else interested in the Wellbeing Bill has until October 30 to muster their philosophical thoughts and get them into the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.
Thursday: Winston Peters - the modern day Cassandra the prophet
Winston Peters returned from his operation just in time to gloat about one of his prophesies coming to fruition.
The release of the GDP figures showed a nudge of just 0.5 per cent over the quarter to June, and annual growth had slowed to 2.1 per cent - the lowest since 2013.
The slowing of GDP growth was apparently the cause for celebration for Peters.
Peters was almost indecently jubilant that his prophesy of 2017 was being delivered.
Speaking on Newstalk ZB, Peters recalled his omniscience from the day he opted to govern with Labour, when he had warned dark clouds loomed on the economy.
He had added (rather optimistically) that when they arrived, the Government should not be held to blame.
Peters told Hosking his ability to look that far into the future was a sign of a great leader.
Even if he does say so himself.
The NZ Parliamentary Rugby Team triumphed over Australia in Tokyo to take back the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup.
The game was 10-10 at fulltime so went into extra time to try to get a result.
New Zealand managed to get a further try – courtesy of long-time player Reuben Levermore - and the final whistle blew at 15-10.
Here are the final moments of the game – Beehive Diaries was particularly taken with the call to "keep it humble" as the New Zealanders celebrated.
Mustn't get too excited.
It put to bed the ghosts of 2015, when the New Zealand team won every game it played, but lost on points to Australia.
The Australian team is coached by two former Wallabies, but the three MPs on the team had returned to Australia before the final was played.
Teams are encouraged to have at least six MPs, although even New Zealand could only muster three this time thanks to the Parliamentary sitting schedule.