Just been over at Parliament catching up with a few people. There’s a huge amount of activity as boxes are being unpacked, computer geeks are installing PCs evereywhere etc. WIth hundreds of office moves, it will take a few days to bed down.
On one floor there were no phones yet, which was sort of blissful.
One of the National MPs has Winston’s old office. A building staffer explained that they had to near-fumigate the office to try and get rid of the smoke residue. I helpfully suggested an exorcism might have been more appropriate for that office
While it is nice to be in Government, a lot of people are missing the wonderful offices in the old Parliament Buildings. They are much nicer than Bowen House and the Beehive.
Lots of interesting tidbits about who is staying and going in all the parties, including Labour. There have been some excellent appointments made that I think will help settle things down. Might post a bit more on this in a few weeks. As tempting as it is to announce staff appointments through Kiwiblog, I’ll leave it to the individual parties to do
Was interesting to have a look around the 9th floor, as I had not been up there since I was a staffer there in 1999, and it has been refurbished since then. The refurbishments are nice, but still nothing compared to Parliament House.
I referred to the PM’s personal office/room as “Jenny’s office” three times. It was weird – almost like some sort of flashback. It was just an automatic reflex basically. I was amused that many of the staff were suffering from the same problem I encountered in 1997 when I moved up there – getting lost on the floor.
All the other floors have more than one Minister so you just head into the office complex you want. But the enture 9th floor is PM’s Office and it is a circle around the entire way. And my first couple of days there I would sometimes circle the building two or three times until I realised I was passing the same office and had gone past my office.
While it is nice to pop in occassionally, it is even nicer not to work there. Eight years was more than enough for me, and the hours many of the Ministerial staffers work are just crazy – in some offices you don’t get home much before midnight. Bill Birch’s office was famous for that – if a meeting was scheduled at 12.00, you did actually have to check if it was midday or midnight.