It's been a tart of a year but there have been a few glittering baubles to cheer us up along the way.

The main awards of the year have been granted elsewhere. To this column falls the task of giving the minor awards - those not screened as part of the live ceremony.

The GPS Navigation Award: Labour leader Andrew Little.

Little's GPS malfunctioned after former Prime Minister Helen Clark gave him the helpful tip that to win Government, you had to go to the centre.


Little's GPS did not like this instruction at all. It did not know where the centre was. It insisted there was no such place. It then refused to go right and abused anyone who asked for directions.

One can only hope the GPS is in for repairs while Little is on the Otago Rail Trail, or God knows which exit it will tell him to take when he gets to the election day roundabout.

The GeoNet award for Seismic Shifts:

Former Prime Minister John Key. Key took himself out with an uppercut abruptly ending eight years of "okey dokeys" and "at the end of the days". The rest of National is now frantically trying to predict the aftershocks while Key has gone from saying he was pretty relaxed to actually being pretty relaxed in Maui.

Runner up: Labour's Camp Davids. Half their number was wiped out by year's end after two of Labour's four Davids decided to pack their tents - Cunliffe and Shearer.

National's Camp Simons had a much better year of it - Simon William English (yes, that it his full name) rose to be Prime Minister. He did not pull the ladder up for the Simons behind up. He also elevated Simon Bridges into a role as sous chef in the kitchen cabinet.
Simon O'Connor is still doing the dishes out back but his time will come.

Best TPP Protest: Donald Trump.

The oversized novelty pink dildo that slapped Steven Joyce about the chops up at Waitangi by way of a protest over the TPP was the early front runner, but in the end it was not the dildo that presented the clear and present danger to the TPP. It was the US voters who elected another novelty toy - Donald Trump.


Helen Reddy Award for 'I am Woman, Hear me Roar.'

Winner: PM Bill English. English began his reign by using feminist icon Taylor Swift to devastating effect in an attack on Labour and Greens.

He appointed Paula Bennett as his deputy - the second ever female deputy PM in New Zealand (Helen Clark was first.) He also appointed Bennett as Women's Minister.

Bennett's stance on feminism was that some days she was a feminist and some days she could not be faffed and was otherwise occupied. English said he did not really know what feminist meant, but agreed with Bennett's summary of things.

We assume he has appointed himself Bennett's Deputy Feminist - filling in for her on the days she can not be faffed.

Blackadder Award for Cunning Genius.

National MP Nuk Korako.

While the rest of us were worrying about Donald Trump's access to red buttons, Brexit, climate change and the prospect of World War III breaking out as a result of tension between the US and Russia or the US and China, Korako had his eye firmly on the things that really matter to middle New Zealand: lost property.

His member's bill removed the need for airports to advertise lost property in their local rags.

The bill made sense, given local rags are almost as endangered as Maui's dolphins. It also made for nonsense. That was where the genius lay.

Very few backbench MPs get their member's bills picked up by the Government.

Korako's genius was in putting up a member's bill so ludicrously trivial and embarrassing that it got a lot of publicity and the Government had little choice but to pick it up as part of a wider Government bill simply to tuck it away out of sight.

Korako was free to mount another crusade.

As of yesterday Korako was musing on a follow-up member's bill on Maori wardens that sounded rather more worthy.

Incoming (Trump) and outgoing (Obama). Photo / AP
Incoming (Trump) and outgoing (Obama). Photo / AP

* The Godot Award for keeping us waiting:

In 2014 US President Barack Obama said he would visit New Zealand "if not this year, then certainly before the end of my presidency".

Since then the NZ-made red carpets have withstood the feet of his deputy Joe Biden and a US warship. We have had royal visits from countries we did not even know had royal families. We've had visits from Taylor Swift and Lance Armstrong. But there has been nary a sign of the man who said he would visit. It has turned into one very long running promotional teaser.

As we speak he is in Hawaii on holiday. He's got one month left.

* The Post Truth Award for longest-running "post truth" phenomenon - and getting away with it: Santa.