The secret diary of...The Budget
BILL ENGLISH: It's Budget week, and the one thing we don't want to even speculate about is the possibility of tax cuts.
JOHN KEY: Yeah, it's Budget week, and actually to be perfectly honest the message we need to get across to New Zealanders is that at the end of the day there's going to be a definite possibility of tax cuts.
DAVID CUNLIFFE: Verily, it's Budget week, and the Government doesn't have a clue. You can see them running around in their kimonos but not wearing very much underneath. It's not a pretty sight and New Zealanders deserve better.
Labour's policy on kimonos is that while we should all try to look our best, we should also ask ourselves, "What underpins that?" I myself never wear a kimono without first giving a lot of thought as to where to place the underpins on my underwear. There are some sensitive areas downstairs and the last thing you want is to do yourself an injury. You need a steady pair of hands.
DAVID PARKER: Gee, the Budget is due tomorrow, and you know what? It's a time to set aside politics and concentrate on policy. Party factions take second place to coming up with original and appealing ideas that will improve the lives of New Zealanders.
"Mate, you're right," said Bill English.
"Cheers, little man," said Gerry Brownlee.
"Another round. My shout," said Stephen Joyce.
When I woke up, my eyebrows had been shaved, and my briefcase felt a lot lighter.
TODD BARCLAY: Oooh, Budget day! It's so exciting to sit in Parliament and watch Uncle Bill deliver the budget. I call him Uncle Bill but he's not really - just like I always knew it was him in the Santa suit. I used to sit on his knee at Christmas, and he'd say, "Ho, ho, ho! What d'you want to be when you grow up?"
I'd cough, and say, "The MP for Clutha-Southland, which I will be when you - I mean when the incumbent MP stands down."
And he'd say, "D'you have a cold, little boy?"
I'd say, "Medical research suggests that light coughs and other minor ailments might be linked to smoking 40 cigarettes a day."
And he'd say, "Well, you don't want to believe everything you read."
I'd say, "But just to be on the safe side, I've cut down to 30."
And he'd say, "Ho, ho, ho!"
SHANE TAURIMA: Well, it's Budget day, tahua rua, an important day, a day of reckoning, and I reckon I could have said some pretty interesting things about it, some very critical and damning things, if I were still in my position as a balanced journalist at Television New Zealand with aspirations to one day serve as an MP for the Labour Party.
But here I am twiddling my thumbs, and the loss to New Zealand is such that it may never recover.
BILL RALSTON: Well, one of the options available to us with the latest Budget is to look at it in fine detail, really crunch the data, hold it up to the light, and give it a shake, and see what sticks and what falls, but speaking as a balanced media commentator and one of John Key's media trainers, another option is to declare everything in it an unqualified success and to go back to bed.
WINSTON PETERS: Don't try and pull a fast one on me with the Budget. I'm not so easily fooled. I know what the Government is hoping. It's hoping the Government will make us all forget about Judith Collins. Well, I've got a little black book on Judith Collins. And when the time is right, when I'm good and ready, I'm going to open that book and feed her to the wolves. That's right. The wolves.
And you know something else? It's a full moon. Must dash.
Steve Braunias is a Metro staff writer.
Sunday Star Times