As will be emphasised repeatedly over the next month - while the Labour Party indulges itself in yet another leadership lamentation - perceptions differ markedly in Wellington, compared with the rest of New Zealand.
Wellington is its own world. Its self-perception is centred upon its proximity to power - and one's ability to influence all the various levers. And the truth is that, without Parliament, Wellington would cease to be.
Auckland is different again. Status is measured by wealth and possessions - the right car, the right suburb, the right vacation destination. And it offers unique opportunities to make that money. And even more opportunities to display it.
As for the rest of New Zealand, we are pretty much as we have always been.
While some provinces have slumped into total torpor, those that can grow grass and have a mountain or two in the background, are generally fine.
But the one thing that unites all New Zealanders - irrespective of status or salary, colour or culture - is that we want to be happy. We just measure that happiness in slightly different ways.
Yes, but there is one universal barometer.
Love. If we are involved in a loving relationship - if we love and are loved back in return - then the world is generally a better place. Irrespective of where we live, how much we earn or how little influence we possess. Cue Ana Eriepa. Three months ago she was placed in the boot of her new car by her deranged, drugged boyfriend - fell out - and was then dragged 1.7 kilometres behind the car as he zoomed off.
Ana is now missing a foot, has multiple skin grafts, a slowly healing scalp and her right thumb is stuffed for good. Considering her ordeal, she is very lucky to be alive.
Yeah, but Ana is fine. Because she is in love. She is in love with Sonny - the same bad-ass boyfriend who maimed and mutilated her. "He's actually a good boy," she says. "He has a good heart."
And she turned up in court last week to support him as he battles lawyers and the justice system to be there for her. As Sonny Waiti romantically explains it: he only gave her the bash and put her in the boot, because he loves her.
Who are we to deny true love? In their gang-influenced world - where at least one of her six kids is already publicly proclaiming his Mongrel Mob loyalties - you don't really know someone loves you, until they put you in the boot of your car.
And maim you. Against that the minor differences in age - she's 37, he's 26 - is irrelevant. Or that they had known each other for only a couple of weeks before the beating.
Yeah, but he was on drugs, Ana excuses. He'd just come out of prison and was on a bit of a booze-drugs binge. Perfectly understandable. Not his fault - it was the drugs.
Give him another chance: chur, bro.
And people wonder why we label such types as ferals.
- © Fairfax NZ News