So long as I don't appear in The Secret Diary for the third week in a row, I'll be happy.

I know it looks as though the coalition Government is a bit of a mess but the reality is that we show up for work and get the job done. We know what we have to do and we do it.

Things don't lurch from side to side, from minute to minute; we have a plan, and we stick to it.


We have a clear view of the goalposts.

A case in point is the Cabinet discussion this morning to go over the fine detail before we make an announcement of the Crown/Māori Relations portfolio.

Now that might not be the sort of thing that generates headlines. It doesn't play into the media's appetite for conflict and all that rubbish. But it's the ministerial job that we set out to create for Deputy Prime Minister Kelvin Davies, and he can't wait to get stuck into it once we get it all sorted. And we will get it sorted. It's a prime example of how the Coalition Government operates behind closed doors.


I walked into Cabinet, closed the door behind me, and immediately sensed that something was wrong.

That something was amiss.

To be precise, that was something was missing.


I suddenly realised what it was, and had to sit down.


I continued sitting.


I got up, and took Kelvin Davies aside.

He said, "I need to ask you something."

"Shoot," he said.

"Where are the goalposts?"


He looked around the room.

"I don't know," he said.


We looked everywhere.

I said, "Anything?"

"Nothing," he said.


We put our heads together.

"Maybe we're not looking hard enough," he said.

"Or maybe," I said, "they've been shifted."


There was a minute's silence.


Kelvin said, "But who would so such a thing?"

We turned and looked at Winston.


He caught our glance, and said, "Can I help you?"

I said, "Have you seen the goalposts?"

"Yes," he said. "I had to shift them."


There was a minute's silence.


I said, "You shifted the goalposts."

"That's right," he said, and smiled. "I shifted the goalposts."



"Well," he said, "I had a good, long look at them. I looked them up and down. I measured them. I held them to the light. And I came to a conclusion."

I said, "What did you conclude?"

"That the goalposts were a work in progress," he said.


"A work in progress," I said.

"That's right," he said, and smiled. "A work in progress."


I took Kelvin aside and said that we'd have to delay our announcement of the Crown/Māori Relations portfolio.

"Okay," he said, and sighed. Then he looked at me, and said, "Are you okay? You seem a bit pale."

"I'm fine," I said, and looked at the clock.