Luxon tries to make the Luxon lapel happen:
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s sartorial trademark is his silver fern lapel pin, attached to every suit jacket he owns. And he apparently wants everyone else to start doing the same.
Luxon told Beehive Diaries he gifted each of the new ministers one of the lapel pins, putting it on their name cards at the first Cabinet meeting of the new ministers. It has now started a bit of game to see which ministers are keenest to suck up to the new boss by wearing the pin.
Housing Minister Chris Bishop was a swift adopter. However, he quickly learned Luxon expected them not only to wear it, but to wear it well. Bishop had placed his pin far too low on his lapel, so Luxon swooped in to rectify the situation.
Bishop’s embrace of the Luxon lapel is unsurprising. Bishop had to borrow one of Luxon’s shirts during the coalition talks and decided he liked it so much that he’d keep the shirt and buy some new ones the same. Next we know, he’ll be shaving his head.
David Parker’s DIY disaster
Poor Labour MP David Parker has had a bad year and it got worse last week after some post-election DIY therapy went awry. Parker broke his leg, badly, while working on his holiday house.
Parker - who is actually a pretty proficient builder - said he was re-piling the wee bunkhouse at his crib in Karitane, near Dunedin, and building a deck and stairs in front of it - “ironically because I was worried someone would break their leg on the rotten deck”.
In the process of trying to dismantle the old verandah, it collapsed and he fell about two metres and hit one of the new flooring joists. The result was bad breaks to his tibia and fibula and part of his knee. He spent time in hospital after having surgery to put plates and screws in and was not allowed to put weight on it for six weeks.
“I’m actually quite a capable builder, and I’ve never been that stupid before.”
Parker said his daughter Ruby had been looking after him in Dunedin. “I’ve been so well taken care of by my friends and family. It’s been a beautiful thing, quite touching.”
He did show Beehive Diaries his x-rays but they are not pretty so we will spare eyes.
Parker will not be able to return to Parliament until next year. Instead, Parliament will have to come to him for him to be sworn in as an MP. The Clerk of the House will travel to Dunedin to do it.
New ministers’ staff comings and goings
New ministers are slowly getting their staff into place, including some key hires in Finance Minister Nicola Willis’ office. Willis is bringing back some of the staff she worked with in her days as a staffer for former PM John Key. They are understood to include Paula Oliver, who was Key’s press secretary and then deputy chief of staff. Grant Johnston is also returning to the Beehive - he was Key’s economic adviser, originally out of Treasury.
On the outgoing side, Green Party press secretary Pearl Little has decided to go from the frying pan into the fire: Little left Parliament at the end of the week to take up her new job working for Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau. Little and Whanau have worked together before in Whanau’s previous life as the Green’s chief of staff. Little was originally in the Press Gallery and has managed to remain a popular soul with her former colleagues.
Has Shane Jones met his match?
One of the most interesting contests in the new Parliament is shaping up to be that between NZ First’s Shane Jones and Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer – and Jones may well have finally met his match.
Ngarewa-Packer is not one to hold back from kicking people in the slats if she thinks they need it, and clearly decided Jones needed it very much this week.
A joint appearance by the pair on 1News Breakfast on Tuesday, after Te Pāti Māori organised protest hikoi across the country, was very robust indeed. Even when Ngarewa-Packer wasn’t speaking, her facial expressions were doing it for her. At the end, the presenter Anna Burns-Francis’ mic was still on when it cut to the ad break and she noted to her colleagues: “I feel like I’ve just done seven rounds.”