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* On Tuesday we went off and lunch in our respective caucus rooms and the arrangements were quite amusing. Gordon Copeland’s youth MP came and caucused with the Nats (from memory Brian Connell’s youth MP was excluded from caucus and had lunch in his office or Copperfields), Anderton’s MP naturally went with the Labour caucus but Peter Dunne insisted on having lunch for four with his caucus. Phillip Field’s youth MP wasn’t allowed to caucus with anyone and I’m not sure what he did.
* There was a bit of controversy among Youth MPs because of the way the Powhiri was conducted. Youth MPs were lined up according to race and then gender and seated as per Powhiri guidelines but members of the public who came along were free to sit wherever they liked, rather than having women directed to the back.
* We had the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment come along and speak, then opened up to questions. She waffled on about sustainability and resource management so someone asked her how she heated her home and how efficient it was. The Commissioner was stunned and after a brief pause launched in to a discussion of the merits of different heating options, completely missing the question.
* The PM turned up twenty minutes late on the first day and delayed the official opening so everyone had to rush through their speeches.
* Keith Locke was supposed to make a submission to the youth select committee on foreign affairs, defence and trade. He turned up fifteen minutes late and waffled on for twice of his allocated time
* Ron Mark embarassed himself quite a bit. He made a submission to the transport and IR select committee, then sat in the back of the room rolling his eyes and laughing at the woman who made a submission after him.
* Rodney Hide was told off twice by the security guards in the gallery, once for taking a photo and once for using his phone.
* The funniest part of the entire thing was the Monday night reception for MPs. Peter Dunne was hovering by the drinks table with his Youth MP while Margaret Wilson was speaking. Gordon Copeland snuck up beside him to get a drink and Dunne jolted forward and then turned around so he didn’t have to look at Copeland and spent the rest of the speech facing away from Margaret Wilson while Copeland stood there grinning.