A recess week at Parliament delivered the transtasman bubble, major health reforms, a visit by an Australian Foreign Minister, and Jimmy Barnes.
Monday: Curse of the Podium
Coughing in public these days is almost as embarrassing as your trousers falling down - doubly so when you are a politician.
But the podium in the Beehive Theatrette appeared to have decided to celebrate the start of the transtasman bubble by dabbling in mischief.
On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a fit of coughing at the podium while talking about the first day of the bubble. Reaching for the water next to her, she quickly excused it as a tickle in her throat.
On Thursday, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne visited New Zealand. Standing at the same spot on the podium, Payne too had a coughing fit that required a glass of water.
Wednesday: The health reforms and the rude typo
The most significant health reforms in a long, long time also delivered a deluge of cliches and an unfortunate typo.
Health Minister Andrew Little cranked out the "proof of the pudding will be in the eating". The Maori Party emerged with "the devil is in the detail". The Taxpayer's Union contribution was "throwing the baby out with the bath water".
The National Party's was a more targeted cliche used by all opposition parties: "we will repeal it".
And it took one eagle-eyed staffer at Parliament mere minutes to find the unfortunate, almost inevitable typo: the "l" was left out of the word "public" in a heading about "Public Health".
Big day for the health system. There was always going to be a spelling mistake somewhere pic.twitter.com/unQbOpEMTf— Robin Campbell (@robellcampbin) April 20, 2021
Tee hehe. That's rude.
Wednesday: Blast from the past
Labour MP Ginny Andersen proudly boasted her latest political memorabilia: a Sir Robert Muldoon tea towel from 1975, the year Muldoon reversed a big Labour majority and swept into power.
Andersen told Beehive Diaries it was a gift from someone in her wider family who did not support Labour, and had decided it was time for good-natured revenge for putting up with all the Labour talk in the family.
The tea towel was one of two originally produced as a National Party Palmerston North electorate fundraiser in 1975.
According to an article by Michael Cox, who was involved in the fundraiser: "One had 'Not just a pretty face' printed under his portrait; the other 'It's nice to have a man about the house'."
"This was a gentle poke at his Labour opponent in the 1975 election, Wallace "Bill" Rowling, who was seen as a less robust character than National's leader, Rob Muldoon."
It's a poke that would not pass muster in the 2020s.
Andersen was stoked with the tea towel, tweeting "straight to the pool room".
She intended to frame it as a partner to a 1970s poster she has featuring Rowling with flowers coming out of his head, cows, a crowd of people, two runners and boats on an ocean. A far cry from the minimalist advertising Labour deploys these days.
Meanwhile, last week's Beehive Diaries referred to Act MP Nicole McKee knitting during the tributes to Prince Philip. This week, a photo arrived of the results of her labours: a rather unusually shaped hot water bottle.
Friday: Working Class Man to Pokarekare Ana
This has absolutely nothing to do with politics, but Beehive Diaries is a big Jimmy Barnes fan and likes to share the love.
We’ve been longing to be with our dear ones accross the seas. Here’s a Māori song with our whānau here. Hi from New Zealand with @NeilFinn @SharonFinn12 @elroyfinn @ejie @jimmymetherell @jane13barnes #janebarnesband Pokarekare Ana. Full video on my Facebook page pic.twitter.com/wDUi2TF4aI— Jimmy Barnes (@JimmyBarnes) April 21, 2021
Barnes travelled to New Zealand with his family this week, whereupon the Barneses teamed up with Neil Finn and celebrated the bubble by belting out Pokarekare Ana and sending it out over social media. A much better thing than Air NZ's subsequent ad on Australian slang.