In a surprising but welcome announcement the duty minister said yesterday that Parliament would not be reconvening in the foreseeable future as “the country seems to be getting on pretty well without politicians”.
Speaking from Kakamoana Motor Camp in Northland where he is currently holidaying, Trevor Mallard said he has spoken with the leaders of all other parties and they were in agreement that the summer break from the House should be extended indefinitely.
“The fact is,” said Mr Mallard who was wearing an old fishing hat, an aloha shirt and cut-off baggies from Glassons, “people really don’t care much for politics at this time, if they care at all.
“Right now we’re all happy watching the tennis or movie reruns on Sky after the barbecue, and frankly the cricket thing in Australia and the American primaries are far more interesting than any name-calling and bagging that we in Parliament could offer.
“So in consultation with my colleagues we have decided we might as well stay on holiday for quite a bit longer.’
The first sitting day for Parliament was to be February 12 with parties reconvening in the weeks beforehand, but Mr Mallard says it will be unlikely any politicians will be troubling the public with announcements, manufactured outrage or personal insults until the weather starts to pack up, in maybe late April.
“Look, the country and economy seems to be getting on just fine without us and although a few newspapers and media outfits might be short of copy, in the long run that really doesn’t matter. We’ll be guided by the weather and as long as the sun is shining we’ll keep out of the public’s way.
“People I speak to in the pub up here don’t give a shit about politicians and never have -- and when I spoke to my colleagues last week they all said they were finding pretty much the same thing where they were. John Key told me he was at the Warehouse the other day exchanging some Christmas gifts and no bugger knew who he was.
“And Simon Power said that when he went to buy a cask of Vellutto Rosso from Foodtown the kid there asked him for his ID.
“So maybe the country is getting on fine without us -- and it would be a shame to spoil the good mood by us going back to work. We’re urging all others to extend the holiday mood as well. You know, just don’t turn up to work and take the kids to the beach, invite your neighbours over for a beer even if they do have a leaf blower and weed-eater, and just kick back. Smoke a doobie and listen to Katchafire. Just stay chilled.
“Anyway, for us we can make up time when we do finally get back, we’ll just push a whole bunch of bills through under urgency like we do before Christmas.”
Leaders of other parties could not be contacted for comment although a worker at the Greens headquarters in Auckland confirmed that their office had been very quiet for weeks.
“All the RMA stuff is on hold and mostly we get calls about rubbish left on the streets and that kind of thing. In fact we’ve been closing early here most days -- and this afternoon I’m going to shut up shop at about 3pm because we’re all off to Jeanette’s place for a barbecue. She’s doing a whole lamb on a spit and some of the blokes are putting down a hangi with chicken and meat from the Mad Butcher. It’s going to be awesome.”
A spokesman for National leader John Key said the party had happily agreed with Mr Mallard’s suggestion of an extended break as this year was going to be a big one and party members would need all their energy.
“This being an election year means that we on all sides of the House need to prepare new and much lower thresholds of invective, spite, personal insults and abuse. I think all parties know what is at stake this time round so we are all going to be going for the jugular and can promise the New Zealand public that this will be the dirtiest and most personally insulting campaign they have ever seen.
“So that is something for everyone to look forward to, but in the meantime we might as well kick back and get our energy levels up.
“Mr Key said to me the other day that he was enjoying the ‘silly season’ and knew people’s brain cells were a bit fried at this time when he heard Simon Morris on National Radio saying that Peter Cape’s bloody awful old song Down the Hall on a Saturday Night was the Kiwi equivalent to the Beatles’ Penny Lane and Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side.
“With that kind of idiocy in the air, how could politicians possibly compete?”
Mr Mallard also said that while Kiwis should be enjoying their extended break from politicians, they did need to be cautious.
“This can be a trying time for many families and individuals so I would be urging people to be careful when swimming in jeans and driving while a bit pissed, and don’t do anything rash like joining a gym or one of those Christmas hamper clubs.
“Just enjoy your holidays, crack open a can, and put your feet up. And to all loyal party workers I would add this: conserve your energies -- because we shits will be hitting you fans soon enough.”