Steve Braunias: The secret diary of winter in Parliament



Let me be perfectly clear about what some people are calling “winter”, which others are talking about as “a cold snap” and many of you are describing as “not exactly warm”. So there’s layers there. So it’s not as simple as some people would make out. So what we’re trying to do is give a clear signal.

So whilst we’re somewhat constrained on what we’re able to say, I can tell you that as a Cabinet, we frequently discuss the range of options. For example, we very frequently discuss option A, quite often discuss option B, and now and then someone pipes up in support of option C.

So there’s options.

So I think what will be a real game-changer will be high-quality rapid testing, because when you get that rapid testing, that changes up some of our options, as long as we maintain the reliability of those tests – and we are very interested in continuing to explore those options.

So I think that answers all your questions. Thank you.


Winter? Pshaw! Such nonsense. Me, I’m warm. Very, very warm, quite toasty in fact. Many’s the time the Cabinet come and warm their hands in front of me. “Judith,” they say, “you’re like a roaring fire.” And I say, “Well, let’s put another log on, shall we?” And I get someone to fetch someone like Todd Muller. He burned very quickly. He went up in flames. It was wonderful to see. It brought so much joy. How I laughed! I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, until I thought I would be sick. And then I got sick. I got very, very sick. I had a fever. I burned up. My temperature was off the charts, which is to say it barely registered on the charts. You couldn’t see it. It was like I was dead. But I hold no fear of death. I just clenched my teeth and got on with it, joylessly and weirdly. I pledged my support for Rachel Stewart. I called on Human Rights commissioner Paul Hunt to resign. I typed in #freespeech.

No one cared one way or another, and I felt very cold.


Napoleon marched on Moscow in winter and we all know what happened there, but Act is forever rewriting history, and so it is that I sit astride a chestnut mare and clip-clop through the snows of New Zealand politics towards the once-shining citadels of the National Party and sack it! Loot it! Raze it to the ground! At the very least, replace it as the credible party of Opposition. Bring me their party base! Bring me their conservative fiscal policies! Bring me the head of Judith Collins! No, wait, don’t do that. God almighty. That’d give me nightmares.


I do not feel the cold because I am the cold. I am below zero. I am the ice in your veins. I am the South Pole. When I’m in a good mood, I’m the North Pole. You know, like Santa. A mythical creature from ancient times, hirsute, merry, in love with baubles, in charge of underlings who do the hard yards. Ho. Ho. Ho. Let me in your chimney. I want back in. I want. I want. I want.

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