The week got off to a tragic start with a crime against Kiwifruit committed in the Prime Minister’s office.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern posted an image to her instagram feed showing her Kiwifruit soft-toy (a gift from Zespri following her meeting of the real-life version in Japan) had met an unfortunate end. One of its plastic eyes had smashed with its two shards resting sightlessly on Ardern's couch.
Ardern's post promised a "full investigation", but the Herald understands this was not necessary, with staffer Zach Vickery immediately outing himself as the culprit shortly after the post went online. Vickery fessed up to the crime in an apologetic confession to the Herald on Monday.
The Herald put this to the team at Zespri, including Michael Fox, a former National government prime ministerial staffer.
A spokesperson said Vickery "had support from former PMO Press Secretary Michael Fox, now at Zespri, who noted he could only imagine the grief he'd have gotten if the same thing had happened under John Key or Bill English. 'I feel for them so a replacement is on the way - perhaps we just need to send along a helmet and safety goggles too to help keep them out of trouble (and the news)."
Peters flags flag concerns
Another apparent travesty captured our attention this week: the state of the flag that sits atop the Beehive. This was called out by former deputy prime minister Winston Peters, who posted photos to Twitter showing the flag in full fray, saying the flag should be "a symbol and representation of our country" but was instead "tattered and fraying at the edges".
"How on earth can New Zealanders accept this disgrace and insult from our Government," Peters said.
He added that it appeared that our "forebears fought and died for that flag and what it represents."
"The insult is unforgivable," Peters said - potentially exaggerating.
"It is now a symbol of this tattered and fraying Government," Peters said.
Someone at Parliament appeared to agree and the offending flag was replaced within a matter of hours, evidence perhaps, that even out of Parliament, Peters still holds some power.
This is the flag flying over parliament this morning - tattered and fraying at the edges.— Winston Peters (@winstonpeters) October 31, 2022
Our flag, flying above our parliament, should be a symbol and representation of our country.
How on earth can New Zealanders accept this disgrace and insult from our government. pic.twitter.com/J0bMuvPfrO
Ardern's Antarctic arrivederci
Ardern has developed a knack for hitching a ride on the aircraft of other nations, managing to score a flight with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau from London to New York in September, while negotiating for her partner Clarke Gayford and press secretary Andrew Campbell to return to New Zealand via a flight on the plane of Aussie PM Anthony Albanese.
This week it was the turn of the Italian government to help out, flying Ardern back from a brief visit to Antarctica where she was celebrating the anniversary of Scott Base. The Prime Minister was offered a painful reminder that her celebrity might not have carried as far as Italy.
Some of the crew appeared unaware they were hosting the PM and scolded her as she was trying to find a seat. Ardern, unfazed, did not appear to care. The Italian was said to be very apologetic when he discovered what he’d done. Ardern was repaid with a classic Italian short black.