Here at the New Zealand Herald we are committed to quality journalism trawled from the finest celebrity twitter feeds. As we all know, there are many, many wonderful New Zealanders who work tirelessly for those less fortunate members of our society. If you want to see their names you can just scroll down to the bottom of the page. If, like us, you want to celebrate all the new knights and dames and other people who’ve been part of our editor’s inner circle for the past decade or so, then start from the top.
Knight Grand Companions of the British Empire
The Right Honourable Sir John Key – for services to Iminim: the former National Party leader and Prime Minister of New Zealand continues a long-held tradition of former National Party leaders who’ve received a Knighthood for leaving the party to give someone else a turn at going for a Knighthood.
Dame Companions of the British Empire
Dame Julie Christie – for services to reality television: the queen of New Zealand’s reality television industry has been made a dame by the Queen of the British Empire. She reports being thrilled and humbled by the honour adding she is the greatest thing ever to happen to the DCBE.
There wasn’t really much else to report this year. Former Alliance Party boss Jim Anderton got an award, but he’s from the other side so we’re not going to say too much about that. There were loads of people who worked with kids and the poor but we ran out column inches because of a Bachelor recap special we thought would generate more clicks.
See you at New Year.
I have been, recently, thinking back to the first concert I ever went to as a 19-year-old. Held in the Wellington Town Hall it blew my mind. Originally the plan involved us heading to the capital to attend an All Black’s test at Athletic Park. A friend suggested we also head to the concert because it happened to be occurring later that evening. And so a life-long love with Matt Johnson and The The was created.
As an aside, I find the majority of people I speak to about The The have either never heard of them or absolutely adore them. There appears to be no in-between.
Last month The The released their first new music in a long, long time. First it was released only in the UK in a run of 2000 (old skool vinals) singles. The likes of me currently living in South Canterbury had no chance. Thanks to Spotify (and, I imagine, the massive demand from fans), the song is now online. Yesterday it reached its algorithmic tendrils out towards me suggesting I might want to listen. Indeed I did. It’s a beautiful song – I said so much in a tweet.
As another aside, Twitter really does fill you with awe and wonder when you get a like from your favourite band.
This new music from The The has led to the UK Guardian to feature the band in their 10 of the Best series. Have a squizz.
With that in mind, I thought I would do my own “10 of the best.” This isn’t countdown from lowest to highest – they are all first equal. I have ordered them by year of release.
Time has removed much of the concert from my memory banks. This song remains. A 10 minute epic near the end of Soul Mining turned into a half hour encore (probably 15 minutes max).
1. This is the Day
“You didn’t wake up this morning because you didn’t go to bed. You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red.” Imagine just standing at the bathroom mirror for the entire night wondering about your life. Matt Johnson lyrics never disappoint – and that’s just the opening of this song about a hard life being touched with just a hint of optimism.
The melody belies the message in this song about the most perfect English day.
This is the 51st state of the USA – indeed. As we move into a world of Trump and May (?), who can forget the 1980s when Regan and Thatcher were having a similar love in?
1. Sweet Bird of Truth
Another song with the live performance etched into my memory. A song of a solder heading to certain doom in yet another futile ware. This also makes the list because it rocks.
1. The Beat(en) Generation
I was listening to this yesterday and again I can’t help thinking how Matt so cunningly hides dark messages within a perfectly constructed 3 minute pop song. “The beaten generation. Reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation.” Sound like current UK times much?
1. Armageddon Days (are here again)
A song about religious conflict written years before 9/11, Bush, Blair, Iraq or Afghanistan. So very prophetic.
1. Slow Emotion Replay
This one makes the list because it’s all groove. Harmonica, Johnny Marr guitar and lyrics about life. What more could you want?
1. I saw the Light
When The The released an album of Hank Williams covers I had to find out who Hank Williams was. This was before Google. It took ages.
1. We Can’t Stop What’s Coming
This new song makes its way into this list because it is so lovely. A tribute to his late brother Andy, responsible for much of the artwork on early albums and singles (some of which was banned). A gorgeous and glorious re-entry.
Enjoy and share. In these days of Spotify and Apple Music and whatever the one Jay-Z set up is called and nobody ever uses, word of mouth is just as important as algorithmic tendrils.
The National Party of Aotearoa New Zealand welcomes you to this Northern Regional Conference. Please feel free to help yourself to the many free cartons of delicious Fonterra milk which will be contained within the various school milk fridges dotted about the venue. Please also make yourselves familiar with the emergency evacuation procedures. In the unlikely event of an emergency, please push your way past any service workers and make your way out to the evacuation point in the car park.
Here is a brief rundown of some of the highlights of the conference:
Cooking with Paula Bennett
Deputy PM Paula Bennett takes us through a beginner’s guide to cooking tapas for the West Auckland crowd. Dishes included pie kebabs, patata gravas with t-sauce and a couple of chards.
Tell Us What We Really Think with Alfred Ngaro
Where the junior minister lets a private session with no hidden journalists know what is really in the National Party election manifesto.
How to Rebuild Syria with Gerry Brownlee
Current Foreign Minister and former Minister of Christchurch outlines his plans for the rebuild the Middle East. A new $4 billion conference centre for Baghdad and thousands of hectares of green space to rise from the Damascus rubble.
Go on a Run/Walk with Bill English
The PM tells us his trick of how he makes people think he’s fitter than he actually is by running down hills and past people coming towards him on the street while walking the rest of the way. After all, Wellington is full of hills. Dipton, not so much.
I’m Still Relevant with Cameron Slater
The controversial blogger stands up on a stage and talks in front of a Powerpoint to prove that he is still as relevant as ever. Topics covered include how he is being unfairly treated by the media and how the media is treating him unfairly. And Angry Andy.
Making Announcements with Nick Smith
The Building and Construction Minister talks about his uncanny knack of inviting a massive throng of media representatives out into the middle of a field to make an announcement about housing or water that features information that has either already been announced or doesn’t exist at all.
Thank you for coming. We all hope you enjoy your weekend and if you are planning to head out past some protesters on your way out please make sure you have Chester Burrows as your chauffeur.
PRESS RELEASE: Rt. Hon. Nick Smith, Cabinet Minister.
TO: Whomever will listen.
Still Minister for Lots of Things, Nick Smith, today welcomed the announcement from the Prime Minister that he would be losing his responsibilities for Crown land to Amy Adams. Bill English made the announcement at cabinet early on Monday afternoon.
“I have been working tirelessly for this National government,” says Dr. Smith, “in my attempts to create a situation where we can perhaps build several thousand constructions of a liveable standard for people who currently live in cars or motels or with their parents or out on the street.”
The minister was keen to point out how successful he had been.
“I have been very successful,” he said.
Dr. Smith was also keen to point out that his original plan with given the key role of Minister Responsible for Building All Sorts of Stuff on Spare Crown Land was to be so remarkably successful over such a short period of time that it would be unwise for any Prime Minister to keep him on in the role because the public might expect the government to display similar massive success in a range of other areas like the Christchurch rebuild or inequality.
“It would be unfair for me to put that kind of pressure on my friend and Prime Minister, Mr. Bill English,” he said.
Dr. Smith was also keen to point out his hugely successful Crown land plans for building houses on ancient cemeteries and that would definitely probably not turn out like it did with the Indian burial ground under Drew Barrymore’s house in Poltergeist.
“People love living in houses,” said Dr. Smith, “that’s a scientific fact. I say any home is home sweet home no matter where the house that home is in is situated. If I didn’t already own thirteen houses, I would be happy to live in that slightly darkened but not at all scary or haunted house if it was built for me close to but not directly on top of what could possibly have been an ancient burial ground.”
Dr. Smith was also keen to point out he had finished his press statement.
It is with great joy and immense happiness that I announce the National Party are planning to give all aged care workers a pay rise. It’s not just any pay rise. Nooooo…. this is much bigger than any pay rise that anybody has ever gotten in the history of pay rises.
Let’s just break down some 0f the figures shall we…?