JUDITH COLLINS

Cyclone Gita can count itself very, very lucky that it struck this week.

When I take over the leadership of the National Party next week, I won't stand for any cyclones. I'll put a stop to them once and for all. People say King Canute couldn't hold back the tides but that's because he was weak. I'm strong, and I'm not in the slightest bit deluded.

What I am is a conviction politician. It's my conviction that I have the support of National Party MPs. I've been in talks with many of them, and we've shared a meaningful dialogue. I've banged on their doors, and called out, "I know you're in there!"

Advertisement

One or two of them replied, "No I'm not! Please go away!"

But getting back to Cyclone Gita. Hard-working New Zealanders have had a gutsful of cyclones. They burst in like they own the place, cause a lot of damage, and leave others to pick up the pieces. I shan't tolerate that kind of career record.

PAULA BENNETT

I've got nothing against cyclones, me. Live and let live, yeah?

As for the five people running for the leadership of the National Party, well, they all have their strengths, and as deputy leader I can work with all of them, so no problem, it's all good, now please excuse me while I hold my head in my hands and stare into the abyss, yeah?

MARK MTCHELL

Look, I know I look like the kind of rooster who can play the Hudson's Cookie Bear without having to wear the suit, but I'm a serious contender for the leadership of the National Party. Seriously.

A lot of people have asked me what I'd do about Cyclone Gita. I'd go to war on Cyclone Gita.

Or more precisely, I'd outsource the war on Cyclone Gita to a defence contracting firm like the one I used to own, which served this country, fought for democracy, and made a tidy profit.

Some people want to criticise that.

But this ridiculous "war for profit" stuff is just these peaceniks that just have no real understanding of what's actually out there in the real world and the type of threats that exist.

And I know about threats. I said to Bill English a few weeks ago, "You best step down now mate or it's going to get ugly."

Then I gave him a cookie, danced a merry jig, and sent him on his way.

STEVEN JOYCE

Gidday everyone, it's your old mate Steve here, famous for the dildo incident, which I think you'll all agree I took with good humour, and as for that fiasco at last year's election campaign when I invented $11.7 billion fiscal hole, well, I think we've reached the stage now where we can all look back at that and laugh.

And that's my attitude to Cyclone Gita, too. You can't take it seriously. What's a bit of wet carpet here and there?

No, it's all a bit of a joke, really, and it's in that spirit that I'm running for leadership of the National Party.

Time drags pretty slow when you're in Opposition and all your MMP options come down to David Seymour, so why not have a bit of a laugh?

Otherwise you'd take stock of the situation, and cry.