Claire Trevett looks at the week in which Christopher Luxon prepared for takeoff, Chloe Swarbrick wrongly maligned a Gen X, and Shane Jones had a caveman epiphany while beating the nationalistic drum.
Monday: Venison-barrel politics.
National MP Brett Hudson put a posher twist on the old pork-barrel politics theme by trundling along the Press Gallery corridors with a trolley full of offerings of venison steaks, sausages and patties.
It was the proceeds of his day with the Parliamentary Hunt put on by the Wild Game Council. The Council puts it on in every non-election year. Hudson reported he had gone by way of "research" for his new Police portfolio.
It was his first time hunting, although he had done some target shooting in the dim past.
He was proud to report that he got two deer. "Two rounds, two deer. Very efficient."
He was also proud to report that his fellow hunter – Act leader David Seymour – got nothing.
Beehive Diaries got patties and sausages for a barbecue.
TUESDAY: Luxon - Luxoff
The fuss around Christopher Luxon's selection in Botany was cause for celebration among some National Party MPs: notably the bald, middle-aged men who have been feeling under-appreciated.
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On his way into caucus, Party whip Matt Doocey was asked for his views and noted it was good to have some more very good-looking blokes joining the ranks.
Doocey reported he frequently gets confused for Luxon – and as a result he always gets very good service in the Koru lounge. Luxon was Air NZ's chief executive.
Doocey was not the only one to take pleasure in Luxon's arrival.
It also provided Labour's Grant Robertson with comedy material for the General Debate on Wednesday.
Robertson began by describing Botany as the "Grabaseat" selection, a reference to Luxon's former role.
The flight references did not stop there.
He moved on to describe the National Party as "a little bit like an airline meal: way too much packaging, not enough substance, a little bit salty, and made up of small bits that don't really go together."
He said Luxon arrived to find the plane had no pilot, just Judith Collins ushering people towards the exit.
And he said Luxon would discover his new flight was "a bit like Pan Am or some kind of airline of the 1970s: focused on ignoring climate change and focused on rehashing tired old beneficiary-bashing kinds of policies."
For National Party leader Simon Bridges, it was a mixed blessing. Luxon sparked interest in National.
But Luxon has also been touted as a successor to Bridges.
And just to rub it in came the news that Christchurch entrepreneur Steve Brooks had won a Trade Me auction to have dinner with Bridges for the KoruCare Foundation.
That is the same Steve Brooks who took out a large advertisement drawing inspiration from artist Dick Frizzell's Mickey to Tiki. It showed a John Key face slowly morphing into Christopher Luxon's face with the tagline #Luxon2020.
If that was not wounding enough, the dinner went for a paltry $2810, making Bridges a very cheap date compared to the $7350 gun retailer David Tipple paid for a similar dinner with NZ First leader Winston Peters.
WEDNESDAY: OK Gen X
Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick's retort of "OK Boomer" to an interjection during her speech on the Zero Carbon Bill on Tuesday made headlines worldwide by the time of the Bill's final reading on Thursday, hitting the second most popular story on the Washington Post website.
It was also inevitably misrepresented to look as if Swarbrick, 25, had been heckled about climate change and put that Boomer in his place.
Actually, Swarbrick was talking about MPs ages and had just declared that in the year 2050, she would be 56.
Her target was National MP Todd Muller, who at the youthful age of 50 is not a Boomer at all, but Gen X.
Muller had called: "that's impossible."
Muller later clarified that he was referring to her claim of being 56 in 2050, given he would be 81 and 56 seemed so young from his state of decrepitude.
I’m wondering whether in 2050 when @_chloeswarbrick hits her mid fifties, will she still be the millennial force for change or will she quietly reflect that those Gen X’s knew a thing or two. I of course will be very focused on the next cup of tea.😂 https://t.co/1LufTzKxjF— Todd Muller MP (@toddmullerBoP) November 6, 2019
The attention to the OK Boomer meme prompted a bit of criticism of Swarbrick for being ageist.
But a search through Hansard reveals Swarbrick is not the first to have a go at a Boomer.
The records show that in 2003, Sir Michael Cullen – a Boomer himself – said of Bill English: "It is no wonder that Mr English is the last of the Baby-Boomer generation. He is demand-fed, and wants everything instantly at every moment."
It may or may not be notable for those on their generational high horse that the Green Party's own founding leaders - Jeanette Fitzsimons and the late Rod Donald - were Boomers.
It may or may not also be notable that the Zero Carbon Act passed the very next day.
That legislation was put together by a Gen X'er (James Shaw) and the only MP who did not support it was a Millennial (David Seymour).
Fifty-five per cent of Parliament is Gen X, while 31 per cent are Boomers, and 13 per cent Millennials.
The Beehive Diaries' author is proudly Gen X, which is plotting World Domination while the generations on either side are distracted with each other.
Admittedly, that famous Millennial Kim Jong Un is somewhat ahead of us in this, as is that famous Boomer US President Donald Trump.
THURSDAY: The transmogrification of Shane Jones
Shane Jones showed this week his transmogrification from a Labour to a NZ First MP was complete.
It came in his comments around the policy under which migrants can bring spouses to New Zealand.
The policy requiring a couple to have lived with each other before a spouse could come to New Zealand was seen by some in the Indian community as unfair on those from India entering arranged marriages.
Never one to douse a fire when throwing petrol on it is an option, Jones' neck got redder and redder as the days passed, ending up vermillion.
There was talk about Indians "bring[ing] your whole village to New Zealand," and the suggestion if they did not like it "then catch the next flight home".
After a protest calling for his resignation on Sunday and claims of racism, Monday saw Jones have a go at a "Bollywood overreaction".
After the PM stepped in on Wednesday and said the Government would tell Immigration NZ to revert to the original application of the rules for spouses, Jones doubled down again.
There were suggestions this would become an issue in Cabinet.
He got grumpy because the "activists" had shouted the Prime Minister down at a Diwali event.
"Disgraceful behaviour, I wish I'd have been there, and they want the dowry marriages system brought to NZ. "
By now both a thorn in the PM's side and an unwanted knight in tarnished armour, Jones delivered a prediction NZ would "sleepwalk our way into the future and in another 10 years, another million people are added to the population of NZ, disproportionately from migrant communities."
"I may sound a bit Fred Flintsone and Wilma, but, hey, a lot of those people vote for us and I'm going to look after their interests as well. People are anxious about the pace of transition."
Jones was at least honest about his motives: votes. And it may well work, given it is a more colourful exposition of the policies his leader Winston Peters has traded on in the past.
However, NZ First might want to reconsider relying on the cartoon caveman vote for its survival.