FROM:

Murray McCully, Minister for the Rugby World Cup (and Fun)

TO:

All National Party caucus members

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RE:

Party Central duties

Dear Colleagues,

As you are all aware, the National Party - on behalf of the people of New Zealand - has taken over the running of the Party Central zone down on Auckland's waterfront. As a result of me making this decision there will, of course, be an increased workload for us all. But I think, come election time, we will reap the benefits because when voters hear the word "party" they will automatically think "National Party".

With this in mind, please read and take on board this memo outlining your Party Central duties.

Bill English, Nick Smith, Tim Groser: you three are in charge of food, which means you'll be manning the barbecue. Nothing too fancy - snarlers and chops should do it - we don't want people to think we're splashing out on a party while we're underfunding schools and hospitals, do we? Oh, and don't let Gerry near the barbecue or there'll be no food left for anyone else. And no fighting over who wields the tongs.

Gerry Brownlee: security. You'll need to stand by the wharf gates, making sure the sort of people we want at a National Party party are getting in, i.e. no riff-raff. And don't let anyone with a painted face in, because they might be terrorists in disguise. Get Tau Henare to help you on this, as long as he promises not to let heaps of his cuzzies in.

Tony Ryall: sorry mate, but you're in charge of the portaloo because you're in charge of State Services and, loosely speaking, the dunny at Party Central is a state service. Just make sure it's clean and squirt a bit of air freshener around from time to time.

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Lockwood Smith: if you can organise the drinks, that'd be good. Obviously we won't be serving booze, because there's a good time and then there's too good a time. Cups of tea, soft drinks, maybe a nice fruit punch when it's a summery day - that should keep the punters happy.

Jonathan Coleman: as Minister of Broadcasting it will be your job to make sure all the televisions are plugged in, turned on and tuned to the right station so that people can actually watch the matches. Obviously we'd nominate TV One as our station of choice, but if Maori TV's reception is better, then we can work with that. Oh, and if anyone has a spare TV or two they could lend us for the duration, to dot around the wharves, that would be much appreciated.

Kate Wilkinson: as Minister in charge of OSH, it will be your duty to make sure things don't get too out of hand, especially during exciting matches. Unruly flag-waving and over-vigorous fist-pumping can lead to accidental injuries, potential litigation and bad publicity, so you and your people need to stamp this sort of thing out. To aid you in this, Simon Power will be mingling with the crowds, talking to them and generally lessening the good time they have.

Wayne Mapp - or DJ Off The Mapp as you will be renamed for the duration: you will be in charge of the music. Mix-tapes of accordion music, Acker Bilk and the greatest hits of Kenny Rogers should ensure a pleasant time for all without the danger of anyone indulging in potentially riotous behaviour like dancing.

Judith Collins, Anne Tolley, Georgina Te Heuheu, Paula Bennett, Kate Wilkinson, Hekia Parata, Jo Goodhew, Jackie Blue, Jacqui Dean, Nicky Wagner, Sandra Goudie, Amy Adams, Katrina Shanks, Louise Upston, Melissa Lee and Nikki Kaye: ladies, your very important job will be what we in the hospitality trade call "eye candy".

There is, I am reliably informed, a direct correlation between scantily-clad women and people having a good time. Obviously we are the National Party so there are limits. But I'm thinking skirts that show a bit of knee and maybe undoing one or two of your top buttons. Paula, please note I said "one or two" not "all". Oh, and if you could all bring a plate, that would really help with the catering.

Maurice Williamson: I want you to man the VIP area and engage in an all-out charm offensive with our many guest dignitaries from overseas. You know the routine.

So there you go, plenty for everyone to be going on with. If you don't see your name here, just pitch in as best you can. I'm sure you'll make us all proud to call ourselves true blue Nats - the party that knows how to party.

Cheers, Muz.