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.
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…?
The National Party are buzzing today following the release of an infographic highlighting their move to deal with some of the challenges in the housing market.
The infographic, which details the number of dwelling consents issued in the year to September, has poured cold water over Labour’s plan to build thousands of new houses right across New Zealand.
“Nearly 30,000 consents is a massive number,” trumpeted Housing Minister Dr. Nick Smith using his well-worn mouth trumpet, “and all Labour have done is released a bit of paper saying what they’ll do. Our policies have produced 30,000 bits of paper. It’s those bits of paper that are going to protect hard-working kiwis from the elements.”
National have promised to release many more infographics in the coming days and weeks.
With the recent resignation of Her Ladyship Hekia Parata, questions are being asked about the National Party’s ability to represent all the people of Aotearoa. MyThinks travelled to a gated community in the decile 47 suburb of Remuera to find out.
MyThinks: Thanks for joining us Prime Minister.
John: Yeahnah thanks for having me.
MyThinks: I’m at your house, but never mind. Prime Minister… with the resignation of Minister Parata from your cabinet, are you at all concerned that you are no longer representative of everyone in New Zealand?
John: Whaddaya mean?
MyThinks: Well even at the moment with your current cabinet, there really are only a handful of members who aren’t old white dudes.
John: Yeahnah… no I mean just nah. Nah.
MyThinks: Nah you do mean yeah.
John: Yeahnah I do mean nah. We’re not just old white dudes. We’ve got heaps of chi… womans and some others.
(Let the record show that the Prime Minister made finger quotes in the air when saying others)
MyThinks: I think you’ll find it’s mostly old white dudes.MyThinks did some research and the average age of cabinet is 52, the average shade is pinky cream, and 60% of cabinet are men. Old. White. Dudes.
John: We have a very diverse team… so… Ackshully you’re wrong.
MyThinks: Ackshully… I’m not. There’s you, Bill English, Steven Joyce, Nick Smith, Murray McCully… all white… all dudes… all old…
John: What abo…
MyThinks: …Gerry Brownlee, Todd McClay, Chris Finlayson, Judith Collins, Simon Bridges…
John: Wait a minute… He’s young…
MyThinks: …Jonathan Coleman…
John: He’s a doctor…
MyThinks: …Michael Woodhouse and Todd McClay.
John: Yeahnah… but what about old Westie and thingy-ma-bob who used to do corrections before Mr. Collins? And that one that was Education Minister before Hekia. They’re all… um… not like me.
MyThinks: Yes… you’re right, but my point is… with all those rich old guys stearing the ship, how can you possibly know what’s going on for the homeless in Auckland or the people working two jobs and still having to use foodbanks?
John: Look… I saw the news last night. I know there are some Bad Hombres out on struggle street but I’m not going stand here and promise things I can’t give them.
MyThinks: Like tax cuts?
John: Yeahnah they won’t be getting those.
MyThinks: What will they be getting?
John: Look… I can’t stand here and talk to you all day… espeshully when the questions get really hard. I’m a very rich and important man with lots to do. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m having my driveway wallpapered. Goodbye.
MyThinks showed themselves out.
I like pie.
As a born and bred New Zealand man with 46 years experience living in this world, I have come, over the years, to adore pie. The pie I most enjoy is Pepper Steak, but I have been known to partake in Steak & Cheese, Slow Roasted Pork Belly and good old-fashioned mince.
Pie sharing is something I’ve had a problem with – particularly single pies. You know, those pies which sole reason for existence is to be consumed by one person. If they were meant for sharing the deity responsible for pastry goodness would have made them larger.
That brings be to family pies. These pies have been built for sharing. They are larger than the single-serve pies previously mentioned. They are called family pies for a reason.
One of the most important things about family pies that they are shared evenly across the family. The family that doesn’t share the pie evenly will not be a happy family.
They are going to take the $11 billion family pie of educational funding and devolve the decision-making on how that pie is eaten back onto the various Boards of Trustees and principals heading New Zealand’s learning institutions.
Why take the blame for increasing class sizes, under-resourced teaching and learning and operational spending decisions that put furniture ahead of hiring another learning support worker? That just makes the government look mean. Why should they look mean all the time? They make so many hard decisions and every three years people get to vote for them (mainly based around their decision-making). What if all these decisions were made BY OTHER PEOPLE? What if we started quietly reducing the size of the pie? What would happen then? We could reduce the size of the pie and other people will be left trying to sweep up the crumbs and any smears of gravy they can find. Those decision makers would still have to make the decisions BUT THEY WOULD HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE SIZE OF THE PIE THEY ARE CUTTING UP!!!
OMG everyone! Yes… that’s right. OMG (not to be confused with 80s mellow synth poppers OMD).
If OTHER PEOPLE like parents on the boards and principals said, “We can’t afford to hire that person there to help our teachers deliver a robust learning programme,” then we could say, “Well… you know… we’ve given them billions of dollars. How they spend it really is up to them – the school communities.”
OTHER PEOPLE will end up burning the pie, dropping the pie on the floor, crushing the pie with a miss-placed size 10 Hush Puppy and BAMM! The pie is ruined.
No more pie for anyone.
And you know what? I didn’t ruin the pie. THEY did. Yes… them over there with their committee and their meetings and their decision-making. THOSE people ruined your pie.
Not me. I was in Wellington the whole time.
God forbid my pie metaphor has diminished the argument, but my point stands.
If we let the National Party loose with their plans for the education system, we will, I absolutely guarantee you, lose the wonderful system we have built up over the last century.
They will wreck it and the people who will lose out from this failed experiment are our most vulnerable asset.