A diverting tale

Passengers on the 10.15 pm ferry to Waiheke Island last night were puzzled. The late night ferries go directly from Auckland to Waiheke. It is only during the day that some also go via Devonport.

So why was their ferry heading towards Devonport instead of Waiheke, meaning the 100 or so people on board would be late arriving? Was there some emergency? Was it a VIP in urgent need of assistance?

The speculation grew. The back story is that a certain politician had earlier in the evening got into the wrong queue at the wharf, and thinking he was heading to Waiheke, was on the Devonport ferry instead and ended up in Devonport in the late evening. Now he could have easily got the ferry back to Auckland and then catch the late (11.45 pm) ferry to Waiheke.

But instead it was suggested he could ask Fullers to divert the Auckland to Waiheke ferry to pick him up in Devonport. This appealed to him as it is far better 100 people are delayed 15 minutes than he is delayed 90 minutes, but he had a fear. What if Waiheke Island resident Michelle Boag was on board?

His diversion was sure to leak out if she was. So he calculated the odds, thinking it was highly unlikely Boag would be returning so late at night. Fullers couldn’t tell him if she was on board or not so he took a punt and the ferry was asked to divert all the way to Devonport to pick him up.

Everyone on board is peering to see who this VIP was. And Chris Carter bounds up the gangway onto the ferry, enters the cabin and exclaims loudly “Oh fuck, hello Michelle”. What very bad luck 🙂

Anyway we are glad to have confirmation that Chris is visiting New Zealand again, and am looking forward to reading his report on the three weeks spent checking on the St Kitts and Nevis elections of a few thousand people. I’ve been checking the Commonwealth website every day since their election and no report has yet to appear, despite reports for elections held later, already being up there.

UPDATE: Chris has given his version of events on Red Alert and in a comment here. Rather excitably I have been accused of failing to post Chris’ comment which he made at 11.03. But I have 100 witnesses to the fact I was not online then. First time commenters always go into moderation as an anti-spam device. From 10 am to 11.30 am I was a guest speaker to a Pol Sci class at Auckland University. And afterwards I had lunch with my fellow guest speaker Matt McCarten and then was driving to Warkworth where I have just arrived. So no great conspiracy – the comment was approved at the first opportunity.

The Dom Post has picked up the story and remind us:

In October 2006, Mr Carter reportedly called on navy helicopter to deliver a toothbrush he had left on the frigate Te Mana, moored near Raoul Island north of New Zealand.

Mr Carter, who was conservation minister at the time, was spending the night on the island to commemorate Conservation Department worker Mark Kearney, 33, who was killed in killed in a volcanic eruption.

The navy played down the flight, saying it was a scheduled flight between the frigate and the island, but according to a Herald on Sunday report at the time, could not detail what else the helicopter was carrying or supply details of the mission.

Also the Herald has a story here.

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