Beehive Diaries gets leaked the invitation to Stuart Nash's 'don't tell the Herald' fundraiser and issues a hammers at dawn challenge to Winston Peters.
Monday: The Post Cab Circus
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had NZ First's Shane Jones on the podium with her to announce regional banking hubs at her post-Cabinet press conference.
It inevitably invited a question about Jones' recent constructive advice to a forestry industry event that they should vote for NZ First if they wanted more money.
Ardern promptly ordered Jones and Grant Robertson to leave the stage.
Robertson happily sprinted off into the distance but Jones lingered on stage as journalists questioned why he could not take questions alongside her.
Ardern put her foot down "I'm the only one that takes the stand for general lines of questioning."
Jones ambled off to sit in the audience and await her judgment.
This was highly entertaining for the journalists – it was as close as NZ politics gets to the Roman circus where Caesar decided whether to present the thumbs up or thumbs down to a gladiator standing in front of them.
After the thumbs down landed, Jones wandered out.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö was no doubt wishing US President Donald Trump followed the same practice as Ardern after he found himself caught on stage in a press conference with Trump as Trump was grilled about phone calls with Ukraine and impeachment attempts against him.
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Ardern might be dubbed the "anti-Trump", but the look she shot at Jones was startlingly similar to the look Trump shot at a reporter who asked what favours Trump had asked of Finland.
Tuesday: Super Cheap MPs - Stuart Nash at half-price and 'lashings of red wine'
Interesting news lands in the Beehive Diaries inbox in the form of a leaked invitation to a select few (well, 40 people) for Labour MP Stuart Nash's annual fundraising event at the Northern Club.
Known as the Princes St Branch of the Napier Electorate, the group of Nash's nearest and dearest (or at least wealthiest) have gathered for the past four or five years to fork out money for his Napier electorate campaign.
This year's event will be in November and those invited include former Labour leader David Cunliffe, a knight, various lobbyists for interesting organisations, a chief executive or two, and people considered to be on Labour's right wing.
Tickets are a mere $500 a head – half of last year's price. Only donations of more than $1500 must be declared by MPs.
Last year's event was a tad controversial. Nash pulled out of it at the last minute after the NZ Herald learned about it.
Nash defended the fundraiser, but gave the excuse it would be inappropriate to attend given one attendee – Matthew Hooton – had just been rude about Nash's colleague David Parker (although it was clearly not inappropriate to take the proceeds).
This year's invitation, sent out by a friend of Nash's, promises Nash will attend and "lashings of red wine".
It also carried a warning: "your secrecy is not only appreciated, but required; after all, we don't want the Herald running another spurious story bringing the branch or the member into disrepute".
Beehive Diaries notes the invitation coincides with a select committee considering reforms to electoral laws to make political donations more transparent. Always happy to help.
Tuesday: Re-announcing non-announcements
NZ First's Winston Peters re-announced an announcement he announced before the Budget - that the SuperGold Card was to get an upgraded website and – gasp, how modern – even an app.
This was touted as "a major upgrade" for the SuperGold Card.
It was underwhelming enough the first time round, given website upgrade and apps are fairly standard practice these days rather than something deserving of a big announcement.
What seniors might want more was Peters' others promises for what those cards can deliver.
Peters' Northland byelection promises in 2015 for free ferry trips on the Paihia - Russell and Rawene to Kohukohu routes remain even more elusive than National's promises to double-lane 10 one-lane bridges. At least National got four of those under way.
Wednesday: Hammers at dawn - journalists v Winston Peters
A copy of a speech by Winston Peters landed in Press Gallery journalists' inboxes last week with the message that he had specifically asked for it to be sent to them.
Peters' speeches are not routinely sent out and this was a short, fairly humdrum speech about a trades training project in Dargaville.
The reason Peters put in a special request to send it to media soon became clear.
In it he said this: "Even as the acting Prime Minister and as a Leader of a political party, I still wish to have more hammer and carpentry skills.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm better than most politicians that inhabit the Beehive, and am certainly more handy than all the journalists!"
It was a red rag to a bull as Beehive Diaries had recently acquired an old house with a long list maintenance work pending.
This week, Beehive Diaries emailed a challenge back to Peters listing six projects in order of difficulty and requesting he attend to them to prove how much more skilled he was than the journalists.
It was pointed out the house was of a similar vintage to Peters, having been built in the 1940s "and standing the test of time with only a few parts replacements required so far".
As yet there is as much progress as on Northland SuperGold Card ferry trips.
Beehive Diaries takes this opportunity to remind Peters of his other words in the same speech:
"But words are words. Deeds and achievement are so much more important."