The year end adjournment debate often has a fair amount of humour. Some highlights from it:
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): … Grant Robertson summed it up best. He is 100 percent behind David. Are they not all? The question is: which David? That is the one we are worried about. That will be, of course, the question that David Shearer will be pondering as he cuts his turkey on Christmas Day. Does the have the numbers or is he in more trouble than Skippy in a bushfire? That is roughly where he is going. David Shearer knows one thing: David Cunliffe is not happy just being the MP for New Lynn. He is plotting and he is scheming and he is ringing the unions, and he is having barbeques all over the show, and, unlike David Parker, he can count to 14. He knows the magic number, and there he is. But I must say, as we go off to the parliamentary drinks tonight with the press gallery, can you imagine what it would have been like at the Labour Party caucus drinks? Goodness knows what happened when they started sending each other Christmas cards. What on earth did David Shearer write to David Cunliffe in his Christmas card? “Thanks for all your hard work DC and support during the year. Your loyalty means a lot to me.” Still, it could have been worse. They could still have Chris Carter in their caucus, and the truth is that Parekura Horomia thinks he still is in their caucus. Mind you, Parekura Horomia thinks Helen Clark is leaving the party and most of them wish that she was, including David Shearer. In February we have a real treat coming up, and that is the Labour Party equivalent of The X Factor . We know that one of them is getting voted off; we just do not know which one.
Heh. There was a bit of sport at the press gallery party last night, as some Labour MPs were asked if Clare Curran had worked out which author at The Standard they were
But let us give credit where credit is due. They ended the year with one policy. There was only the one policy—and the fact that it did not add up make sense is fair enough. Their policy was to build 100,000 homes for $300,000 each, mainly in Auckland. Not to worry that David Parker thinks it is 700,000 homes—that is OK. There is a minor possible drawback and that is that the home does not come with a section—as long as you are happy with that—or the section does not come with a home. They will be clouds floating above Auckland, and those homeowners will walk off the steps, and they will think they are Felix Baumgartner. They will be falling 60,000 feet to terra firma.
Sadly, basically true. No way will you get homes for under $300,000 in Auckland unless you do something about land prices.
So it took me a year—I am prepared to accept that—but I have finally worked out what green growth is. It is this: printing $20 bills. That is green growth under a Labour-Greens Government. You can only imagine it—Russel Norman as the Minister of Finance ringing Bellamy’s: “I will have a mung bean burger with double alfalfa. Add in a bowl of fries and $5 billion and get it my office by this afternoon.”
I wonder how large a donation Xerox will be making to the Green Party for the election campaign!
Then there is New Zealand First. They ended the year with a lovely caucus singalong. It went a bit like this: “Eight in the bed and Winston said, roll over, roll over. So they all rolled over and one fell out, there were seven in the bed and Winston said: Who’s next?”.
Classic. And I suspect every NZ First MP has a copy of today’s Truth with the story on their former colleague.
I will not start with the Mana Party, because let us be honest—Hone just did what he does best. He got arrested in 2012 and that was it.
But Shearer was in good form also.
Finally, thank you to the press gallery for what can only be described as fair and balanced reporting of my first and honeymoon year. I love your work as much as you say you love mine.
For the Government this is the year its members would like to forget, and many of them have tried very hard to do exactly that. The year 2012 will be described as the year of the brain fade—the year that the PM’s memory suddenly went “Dot-gone”. It is the year that has spawned a whole new lexicon of one-liners, like, if you can recall: “I can’t remember; I don’t recall; I haven’t read that report; I don’t have that piece of paper with me”; and, my personal favourite: “That’s one person’s recollection.” I have another movie idea for Warner Bros and it is called “Partial Recall”. It started with John Banks and John Key having that cup of tea together over a year ago.
John Banks continued the theme. He did not remember meeting Dotcom, despite being flown to his mansion in a helicopter for dinner, and meeting Dotcom’s wife, whom he described as the most beautiful woman in the world. I can tell you that if I had said that to another woman, in the presence of my wife, she would never let me forget.
And Banksie has fun also:
The ACT Party has had a great year in this Parliament. No leadership spills, no dissension, no waka jumping, and a united caucus—no waka jumping, no leadership spills, and a united caucus.
And on a more serious note, for those who think that the House is merely about question time, Gerry Brownlee said:
I want to pay tribute to all members of the Business Committee. I acknowledge Trevor Mallard as the shadow Leader of the House for his contribution in changing what I think has been the way in which we sensibly look at business that we are not divided on—Treaty settlement bills are a perfect example. The progress that is now being made, that really is the fruition of many, many years of work across different Governments, is, I think, a splendid example in the way in which Parliament can work when these provisions are used appropriately. It also means that Parliament this year has sat for the equivalent of 35 weeks – plus. Given that our constitutional arrangements require us to sit for 30 weeks, that indicates a very significant extra commitment from members.
An extra five weeks is significant.
Also a nice sledge from Nikki Kaye:
I also want to acknowledge some of my constituents in this House: David Cunliffe, Denise Roche, and Winston Peters. My office is always open, if you have any issues that you want to chat about.
In 2011 we had no members’ bills introduced into the House; this year there have been 34.
Partly because Grant Robertson is no longer filibustering his own bills!