My Thinks are profiling the movers and shakers this election. Today we had the opportunity to walk and talk with one of the finest transport ministers New Zealand has ever seen – leader of the rainbow nation Maurice Williamson.
We caught up with Maurice at his Pakuranga house.
My Thinks: Thank you for agreeing to speak to us Mr Williamson.
Maurice Williamson: (on phone) ...no, no, no! I will not stand for this. I am a minister of the crown. The rules say you must do what I tell you to (pause) what rules? The rules of life! (ends call). A happy rainbow morning to you my friend. Tea?
MT: We are already graced with tea, sir. Your maid brought it.
MW: Ahhhh yes. The maid. Very good of her (phone rings) excuse me. Hello…. yes, this is he (pause) I’m not sure if I can. Look… let me make a few calls and I’ll get back to you. (speed dials number on phone) Hello… yes, that’s right, I recognise your voice as well Katherine. Could you put me through to Malcolm please (slight pause) indeed… very revealing… (another pause) Malcolm! How the hell are you. Cabinet minister Maurice Williamson here (pause) Yes. Yes I am. Are you busy (slight pause) well not to worry, this will only take a couple of minutes. Look I’ve just had a call from… (looks up at journalist) …someone close to the “milk.” They’re saying there’s some issue with the… (long pause with lots of nodding and “mm-hmm-ing” from MW throughout) …and you’ll do that for me Malcolm? Really? Ok, but just remember, I never asked you to do anything for me. (turns back to MT) So you’ve been here a while. What are you?
MT: I’m here to profile you for a blog. We’re profiling a lot of MPs this year. You were next on our list.
MW: Who was before me?
MT: Bill English.
MW: (head in hands) not him. Do you know he just wants to be a list MP now? Nice job if you can get it. I’m still hacking away at constituents every Friday at 10am. Oh it’s just like… they’re so ordinary and I’m from National. We don’t mix with the ordinaries.
MT: So you’ve had a really impressive last twelve months. Your speech to parliament on the same-sex marriage bill went viral and turned you into an international sensation.
MW: Yes. The greatest day of my life.
MT: So where to next for you? Are you going to take up any more causes?
MW: I have a number of irons in the fire. At the moment I’m fighting in the corner of a recent immigrant to our nation who’s being persecuted for his beliefs.
MT: That sounds fantastic.
MW: Yes it is. He’s really in a tight spot and I’ve been doing my… (phone rings and is answered) …hello? What do you mean I’m in the papers? (pause) But I was only helping (pause) …I said I was only… (long pause as slow realisation dawns on face of minister) …so you’re saying the public thinks I’ve misused my position as a minister… (pause) …but what about Judith? (pause) …I see… well you don’t know that I don’t want to run for leader! (slight pause as loud laughing can be heard on other end of phone) But I… (pause, more laughing) …I… (pause) …yes… yes… yes… yes, of course Prime Minister… I’ll make it look like my decision. (pause) See you at the cabinet meeti… oh… um… I’ll see you soon (long uninterrupted pause, no laughing).
MT: That didn’t sound good.
MW: No. I’ve just been resigned.
MT: So you’re not a minister any more?
MW: No. Not any more.
MT: Ok then… thanks for your time (walks out quickly).