In the wake of the Minister for Regulatory Reform – a Mr. Steven Joyce – announcing plans to remove a range of old or redundant legislation from the statute books, MyThinks has decided to have a quick squizz at some of the more obscure bits of legislation that have made it onto the books in recent years.
Fences and Hedges Redistribution Act 1928 (No 37)
Following the great fencing shortage of 1927, the government of Gordon Coates decided it was necessary to move thousands of miles of fencing, hedges and balustrades from the major centres of Christchurch, Auckland and Morrinsivlle and move them to more rural locations. It was hoped the legislation would help deal with the massive problem of wandering stock on the country’s burgeoning road network. Unfortunately for Coates, the failure of this legislation, due to stock eating most of the hedges and children escaping from their city dwellings, caused his downfall and he was removed from office a few months after its enactment.
New Zealand Scoundrels, Cads and Bounders Act 1902 (No 1 (P))
Following massive rises in the price of tweed fabric, there was a huge increase in the numbers of unsavoury rich people in the well-to-do Auckland suburbs of Parnell and Remuera. In order to try to quell the number of mustachioed idiots wandering the streets smoking giant cigars and quaffing expensive feijoa wine, Premier Richard Seddon ordered legislation be passed which would allow the government to send, “the rotten blighters back to the pantaloons shop to get some decent clothes and the barber for a shave.”
Drunk Gamblers Removal Act (1879 No 5 (P))
After a successful run on the Otago goldfields, many miners had pulled up their picks and moved to Dunedin. Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin became synonymous with heavy drinking, drug taking and hard-core dance parties, just like the Edinburgh of the North. Efforts to quell the drinking by sending in singing Quakers only exacerbated the situation. This led to several quakers being launched into the freezing waters of Port Charmers after a ceremonial catapult was stolen from a medieval reenactment group. Legislation was passed under urgency with George Grey turning the catapult onto the miners firing over 250 into the harbour one bleak winter night.
PRESS RELEASE: THE BEEHIVE
Steven Joyce, the Minister for Fixing Up Nick Smith’s Mess, has today slammed the comprehensive housing policy released by Labour over the weekend. Mr. Joyce, who has a vast knowledge across a multitude of portfolios, has said the Labour Party plan is completely unworkable.
“What they’ve done is incomprehensible, incomplete, inept and barking mad,” said Mr. Joyce.
“They are going to spend $2 billion to build millions of affordable homes. Where is this money coming from? The magic money pixies? What if they can’t find the money? What will they do then? Head off to the photocopier to print more?”
Mr. Joyce’s was withering in his criticism of Labour’s plan to stop taking dividends from Housing New Zealand.
“It’s just ridiculous. You can’t go around letting State-owned enterprises reinvest their profits into double glazing, insulation and new house builds. It just doesn’t make sense.”
“And by the way,” he said, “National is already doing all these things anyway. So suck on that.”
Minister for Just About Everything, Steven Joyce, is laughing off a recent Waitangi Day incident which saw him come face-to-face with a giant rubbery truncheon thrown by a member of the public.
The woman, known only as Hero Lady, threw the item at Joyce while the minister was giving big ups to the Trans-Pacific Partnership – the secret trade deal that hardly anybody in the signatory nations will benefit from.
Joyce was in mid-sentence when the adult item struck him with some force on one of his many jowels. The audible slapping sound awoke Nathan Guy, Farming Minister, from a brief open-eyed slumber he was having just to Joyce’s left.
When asked about it later Joyce said, “These rent-a-crowd types are all over the place. It’s unsurprising that one or two would turn up to Waitangi with something sexy to say. I’m just glad it was me and not one of our more fragile cabinet ministers like Anne Tolley or Todd McClay.”
Joyce told media the item in question had been taken back to Wellington by the Diplomatic Protection Squad for a series of vigorous tests.
Well this week my voice has been a lot shriller, and for good reason. There I was on Sunday morning reading the comedy offerings of Rodney Hide when who should thrust themselves onto my twitter feed? Bloody angry Andy. Free tertiary study for all! What an absolute joke. Who needs free tertiary study these days? My waitress? She’s doing quite nicely out of our rockstar economy thank you very much.
So it falls on me to stump up some kind of defense. Two bottles of wine and a pat on the arse weren’t going to make this go away. Neither would Bill “let’s get fiscal” English. After all, he’s more dour than a Scotsman who’s walked into Briscoes on the only day of the year they weren’t having a sale.
A quick call through to Crosby and our argument was set. Everybody has full access to tertiary education now AND nobody really needs it anyway.
Again super Steve flies in to Novopay the undies off this omnishambles and BOOM I’m off to brunch with Crusher. You know, just in case.
What follows is a transcript of a meeting between some senior National Party figures held early Saturday morning New Zealand time.
Footsteps and doors opening and closing. Chairs shifting. Various mutterings about a left-wing conspiracy.
JOHN KEY: Good morning team. Thanks for coming.
ALL: Thanks for inviting us. Most welcome. Cheers. etc.
JOHN KEY: Ok, so the reason we’re all here today is two-fold. Firstly, I want to get rid of this left-wing conspiracy that’s shining a light on our right-wing conspiracy. Secondly, I want to talk about the issues that matter to New Zealan…
BILL ENGLISH: (interrupting) You don’t need that bullshit with me John. You’ve got my vote… (stands on chair) captain, my captain.
STEVEN JOYCE: (stands on chair) Captain, my captain.
GERRY BROWNLEE: (stands on chair) Captain, my captain.
PAULA BENNETT: (stands on chair) Captain, my captain.
Sound of door opening. Out-of-breath staffer enters.
JASON EDE: Mr Key! Mr Key! I can’t stay silent any longer. I can’t stay in the corridor any more! I love you too much. Take me back. I promise I’ll be good.
Kissing and hugging sounds followed quickly by sound of adoration being slapped firmly away.
JOHN KEY: No Jason. No! You stay in the corridor on that cushion. You can’t keep doing this. We must keep our distance. I know that it’s hard, darling, but we must.
JASON EDE: But…
JOHN KEY: No… People will be sniffing around now. Things are being released. The situation is too hot. Let it cool down for a while. Here (sound of keys jangling) these are the keys to Hawaii bach. Go and stay there for a few months.
JASON EDE: But I….
JOHN KEY: I’ll come for you. Just go!
Sound of door closing and footsteps running down the corridor. Slight pause as arms fold and hard stare commences.
MURRAY MCCULLY: (involuntary moan of protest, stands on chair) Captain, my captain.
JOHN KEY: Thank you. Thank you all for that show of support. At the end of the day if I can’t be worshiped as a god then there’s really not much point in going on. As our internal polling shows, more and more people are believing me to be less than believable. This is unbelievable. We’ve got to do something. But what?
STEVEN JOYCE: Can we get down off our chairs now?
JOHN KEY: No.
PAULA BENNETT: But I’m scared of heights.
JOHN KEY: I said “no.” What kind of leader would I be if I just allowed you all to do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. People would think of me as weak. That’s not going to happen. Now… can anyone give me anything, anything at all on Judith? It’s like she’s a car accident in slow motion and I’m the St John’s guy with my feet stuck in treacle and I’m wearing a backpack full of bricks. It’s that dream all over again.
STEVEN JOYCE: What about something from the Hager book. It’s pretty damning. It makes her look like a nasty, terribly corrupt bottom-feeder.
JOHN KEY: That won’t work. Have you read it? I’m all through that book. All through it. Anything we pin on Judith will be pinned on me.
GERRY BROWNLEE: Why don’t we stonewall. Blame teachers. Blame the poor. Get stuck into some Christchurch people who’ve been living in broken homes for four years. Those are always very popular strategies with the focus groups.
JOHN KEY: No. We need something more than that. Something better. Something bigger.
MURRAY MCCULLY: I’m feeling a bit woozy. Can I please get down.
JOHN KEY: Absolutely not.
PAULA BENNETT: What about this email from old Blubber Oil? It talks about Jude trying to get rid of the SFO head.
Crashing sound as McCully falls off chair.
JOHN KEY: Where did you get that?
PAULA BENNETT: Oh.. I just downloaded it from Cam’s email account. I thought everyone had the password? He’s pretty liberal with it.
Sound of John Key reading.
JOHN KEY: Oh… this is good. Very good. It’s exactly the same as all the emails in Hager’s book but it’s not in Hager’s book.
Sound of Murray McCully nursing a sprained elbow.
ALL: Great. Excellent. Good work etc.
JOHN KEY: Ok… so here’s what’s going down. I’ll hold a news conference in which I’ll tell New Zealand I’ve been a strong leader and I’ve accepted Judith Collins’ resignation for doing something utterly unbecoming of a minister in my government. That will be that. Gone. Goodbye. No more Judy.
GERRY BROWNLEE: When are you going to call Judy.. ah… Judith?
JOHN KEY: I’ll have the press conference at 12:30 and I’ll call her at 12:23. I want to see her squirm. Right, get down off your chairs and get out there and start defacing our billboards so we can blame the massive left-wing conspiracy.
Sound of people getting down off chairs and walking out of office. Sound of Murray McCully getting up off the floor and limping out of office. Sound of phone being dialled.
JOHN KEY: Hello… SIS? A secure line to Cameron Slater please…. Hi Cam? Bad news…