Hard News by Russell Brown


Mighty Indeed

Who says Wellingtonians aren't a forgiving people? Mere months after his story for Metro magazine on the challenges of a new life in the capital, Damian Christie has been welcomed to the fold: voters in the 2nd Annual Wellingtonista Awards have named him Best Wellington web writer. I accepted the award on his behalf last night at Mighty Mighty and emailed him later with the good news.

Our big bash with the Wellingtonista went off nicely last night; comedy quiz show included. Sean Plunket was indisposed, and emailed me to say so yesterday, but I missed the message. So I ended up drafting in David Farrar at five minutes' notice, and his team duly went on and won the Muldoon-years quiz. He also disappeared into the night with the terrifying Muldoon toby jug for which the teams were competing. Er, we'll have to get that back David -- it was a trophy, not a prize …

And then, of course, Blam Blam Blam played, as silver-haired men jumped around alongside little popsies who weren't even born when Luxury Length was recorded. I also saw for the first time Keith Ng dance. He's got some moves. Everybody had a great time, the band included. Public sector productivity will be taking a small but measurable dip this morning.

Many thanks to the Wellingtonista crew and to the Blams, and especially to Freeview and Ponoko, whose sponsorship support made the whole thing possible. On ya.

Anyway, you'll have read Tze Ming's farewell post yesterday. We discussed it and it soon became evident that there wasn’t much chance of her blogging in a manner she'd find worthwhile in her new job in Europe. I'm sad to see her go, and deeply proud of what she has written on this site.

But things change, and I'm in a position to announce a new Public Addresser. Graeme Edgeler, whose guest posts have been so informative recently, is coming on board to the regular Public Address crew: not as a replacement for Tze Ming, but as someone who was going to be here on his own merits anyway. (And yes, I have an idea about refreshing our gender and ethnic balance too.) He'll start as soon as we've knocked up a masthead for him.

Back to the quiz, some people thought my questions last night (several of which were contributed from afar by Trevor Richards) -- on the theme "when Muldoon was Prime Minister" -- were rather esoteric, so I thought that you all might want a crack at a selection of them. See how you go and I'll post the answers at the end of the day …


The 1975 election was also remarkable for the fact that a Maori candidate was elected to a general seat for the first time since 1893. In fact, there were two. Name me at least one of them.

For a bonus: Three years later, another Maori was elected to a general seat. Who was that?

In 1978, the Westland MP Paddy Blanchfield retired and made his farewell speech in Parliament. What was unusual about the speech?

For a bonus: In 2002, one MP's maiden speech included the performance of a version of a song that was a hit in the early 1980s. Who was the MP and what was the song?

What, by legend, was found in the briefcase stupidly left by an SIS operative on a journalist's fence?

For a bonus: What was really in there?

The plastic Rob Muldoon piggy bank had a unique feature -- what was it?

What was the marketing slogan for that product?

One of the ‘Double Standard’ billboards popular in Wellington during the Muldoon era read ‘Rooting Pig Shot in Ngaio’. What were the last two words of the Billboard?



Scribe, Che Fu and Nesian Mystik's Feleti Strickson-Pua are all, of course, local rap artists. But what did their fathers have in common in the late 70s?

If in the early 1980s you have been a member of the 1480 Kroozers, what would you have been?

If you had been at an event in the company of 75,000 other New Zealanders over Auckland anniversary weekend in 1979, where would you have been?

What, in late 1970s, was the Sportronic?

Which two actors starred in both Goodbye Pork Pie and Utu?

Who did Tineke Bouchier replace in the televised version of 'It's In the Bag'?

What was a Blue Lady, as immortalised in the Hello Sailor song, 'Blue Lady'?

We all know that 'Gutter Black' is the theme song of Outrageous Fortune. But what Sailor song was featured in that other tale of Westie mayhem, Savage Honeymoon? [Lyin' in the Sand]


1. What was the top tax rate in New Zealand in 1983?

(a) 50%
(b) 56%
(c) 66%

2. In the 1981 general election, Mana Motuhake and the Values Party finished fourth and fifth respectively in the popular vote. Which of the following parties came in sixth?

(a) The Wizard Party
(b) The Socialist Unity Party
(c) Economic Euthenics
(d) No Confidence.

3. How many computers were there in New Zealand workplaces in 1982?

(a) 25
(b) 370
(d) 4000

4. How many modems were connected to the telephone network in 1980?

(a) None
(b) 800
(c) 1800
(d) 2700

5. Which of the following was not the acronym of a interest group active in the 1970s?

(a) SPCS
(b) SPUC
(c) SPCA
(d) SPCL

6. Of whom did Muldoon say: ‘He can stew in his own juice.’?

(a) Derek Quigley
(b) Abraham Ordia
c) John Minto
(d) David Lange

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