Below the beltway: Amy Adams gets the plaudits for policy some say she nicked and James Shaw ends up with egg on his face

Andrew Little and Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson
Monique Ford

Andrew Little and Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson

OPINION: Parliament had a respite while the prime minister was out of the country pimping the trans-Pacific Partnership deal and the House was in recess.

But it's election year so politics didn't disappear off the agenda entirely. Here's our take on who ended the political week up and whose down.

UP

Cock up or conspiracy?  There was nearly a missing leg to the Japan mission led by Prime Minister Bill English, pictured ...
SHIZUO KAMAYASHI/Reuters

Cock up or conspiracy? There was nearly a missing leg to the Japan mission led by Prime Minister Bill English, pictured here with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams: If you can't beat 'em join 'em. Adams announced the government's plans to build 34,000 new homes in Auckland over the next 10 years and got big ups even if, as her critics claim, she nicked the policy from Labour and there's some trickery over the numbers.

Labour leader Andrew Little:The Labour congress and Little's property speculator tax got his agenda back on track and got people talking about Labour policy again rather than splits and divisions.

Prime Minister Bill English: Japan's commitment to the trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is a huge boost to New Zealand and ensured English's trip there was a success.

DOWN

Greens co-leader James Shaw. Shaw claimed  Donald Trump was the "worst world leader since Hitler", SAD. SILLY.

Alfred Ngaro. The junior government minister earned himself a dressing down after crossing the line and threatening financial reprisal to groups that disagreed with the government line.

Property speculators: Labour has got them in its sights and with house prices getting beyond the reach of anyone under 35  in Auckland they are a popular target.

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STRANDED

Travelling with the Prime Minister anywhere can be a logistical nightmare particularly when the PM is usually whisked around in a high speed motorcade and journalists have to try and keep up.

But media often have a guardian angel in the form of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade which helps make sure things go as smoothly as they can.

A rare communications breakdown in Japan, however, meant the usually well oiled MFAT machine forgot to book connecting flights for journalists which they had suggested doing (at the media's expense of course) to make sure everyone got to the same place at the same time.

The lapse sparked more than a few conspiracy theories about MFAT wreaking their revenge on the National-led government for restructuring and job losses by starving English of election year publicity while out of the country

But we suspect the usual rule applies - always assume it's a cock-up rather than a conspiracy.

 - Stuff

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