Let me be absolutely clear about this. Let me put it plainly and state my unequivocal position. Let me draw a line in the sand and define the terms and say something memorable about a significant event. I have no comment about the All Blacks selection squad that was announced this week, any more than I have a comment about the video of Oranga Tamariki staff uplifting a newborn baby from its mother.
I haven't actually watched the video. Who's in it? As arts minister, I'm very supportive of the film industry in New Zealand, and some of my best friends are thespians and performers. Is it drama, or comedy? I like a good laugh!
Is it anything like Amazon's Lord of the Rings series? My understanding is that the storyline will follow young Aragorn, the Ranger of the North, heir of Isildur and claimant to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor. Can't beat a dose of reality!
I gather from children's minister Tracey Martin, though, that the Oranga Tamariki video is fantasy. What happens in the end? No, wait, don't tell me!
Sadly I just haven't had the time to sit down and watch it. I'm very, very busy. It was Neve's first birthday recently. Did you see I baked a cake?
I wrote on Instagram the night before, "Doing what so many parents have done before me. Waited till baby was in bed before trying to magic up a passable cake for the big first birthday. Wish me luck. PS To the many, many people who have wished our family well, sent knitted goods and passed on a piece of wisdom about parenthood over the past year – thank you. It truly takes a village (and someone in said village may get a call if I don't sort this cake!)"
But it all turned out great, and it was totally worth it. Everyone knows that mothers will do anything for their babies! Bless.
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No, look the reality is I'm comfortable with my leadership. Very, very comfortable. But I'm not here to talk about my leadership, which I'm so comfortable with that sometimes I just can't get out of bed.
I'm here to talk about the All Blacks selection squad. I can see where Steve Hansen is coming from. I was faced with many of the same issues when it came to reshuffling the National Party cabinet.
We both have a surplus of top performers, people at the peak of their careers, people who give everything, who go hard and give it their all and leave nothing on the pitch. All you have to do is run down the list of names of National's MPs to see that that's the case.
I don't have a list of those names on me right now and can't think of them off-hand but look, there's me for a start. I put in the effort. I do the mihi. Because that's what leadership is all about, and if there's one thing I'm comfortable with, it's lying in bed with a pillow over my head and hoping that all this conjecture about my leadership will just please stop.