OPINION: I think what we need to do is arrive at a point, and I think we have arrived at that point, and the point is that there are very clear indicators - and I want to make it transparent that I have considered a whole range of factors, and taken them into account - the message I'm wanting to relay is that I think what you are left with at the end of the day is a very strong indication and a very strong suggestion that I am, in all possibility, totally insane.
Quite possibly totally insane am I, but there are several mitigating factors which have to be factored into account, and I want to make it quite plain now that the last person at fault - if there is a fault, and I make no admission of fault - the message I'm wanting to communicate is that I'm blameless.
Mental illness affects many in our community, including Parliament. You can catch it off a tap. But you can't turn it off like a tap. It's like a tap that just keeps dribbling, frothing at the mouth, the water babbling like a brook. A babbling brook am I, caused by bad thoughts creeping into the brain's water supply.
But none of this affects my performance as a government minister and as such I want to reassure the taxpayers of New Zealand that I have very carefully read a report by Ernst & Young into alleged misspending at Kohanga Reo National Trust, and I am satisfied that public moneys are being expended in the appropriate way.
I want to reassure the taxpayers of New Zealand that vis-a-vis the Kohanga Reo National Trust, I am not satisfied public moneys are being expended in the appropriate way, and thus am ordering a full investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
I've done my job and it is a matter of deep frustration that the trust hasn't done theirs.
My job is to make a series of decisions which don't outwardly seem to relate to each other and indeed give the appearance of a shambles, and that's a standard I have maintained throughout my political career. No-one can accuse me of competence.
The trust's job was to make it look like expending public moneys on wedding outfits and dresses by Trelise Cooper were an appropriate course of action. It's not a big ask and I'm sure they could have got away with it had they used a little imagination, or just sort of brazened it out, because I think that one of the lessons of the National Government is that arrogance and vaunting ambition will get you a long way, and the taxpayers of New Zealand understand that, and respect that, and if they don't, what do I care? Care I not do.
And another thing. Comments have been wrongfully and maliciously attributed to me concerning the vexed question of school funding. I have never said that I am in favour of performance funding. I want to make this very clear. My stand on school funding is as follows.
I think that at the point where a longer conversation is held on how we fund into our system there will be a whole range of factors that need to be taken into account - but they will be part of a conversation with the profession itself.
I don't feel well.
I still don't feel well and as such I have taken the precaution of lying in a dark room while wearing an outfit which has been described, with a certain degree of accuracy, as a straitjacket.
But the mattress is very hard. I don't understand it. I vividly recall it being packed full of straw when I entered Parliament.
Haven't slept a wink, but got to the bottom of it when I unzipped the mattress, and found I'm on the last straw. The last straw am I on.
- Sunday Star Times
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