OPINION: Dickheads celebrate special day
Dickheads all over New Zealand celebrated Waitangi Day in their own special way.
Many opted to spend the cloudless, beautiful day on the internet or calling talkback radio, where they played Waitangi Day bingo. The rules of the game encourage spouting as much coded racism as possible, using key phrases like "Let's call it New Zealand Day," or "Well, the Maori did it to the Moriori first".
The winners of Waitangi Day bingo get to spend a day with the guru behind the 2005 National general election campaign, John Ansell. They will join about 60 other middle-aged white men for watery beer and muttering darkly about "one law for all" and how they should form their own political party.
Other New Zealanders chose to hang out with their friends or to go to the beach.
Councillors shocked by obvious
City councillors have reacted to warnings of a $248,000 income shortfall at Hamilton city libraries by vowing to increase fees.
This follows last year's fee hike, which resulted in a drop in revenue.
Library management cited the increase in overdue fines and reservation fees, which coincided with a reduction in library and staff hours, as resulting in 90,000 fewer issues and plummeting library income. Upon hearing this news, the council resolved to helicopter in Auckland consultants to undertake a review of library fees, and promised exponential fee increases until the review was completed or borrowing rates returned to normal.
"Council policy is clear," said one councillor. "We spend pounds to save pennies."
Shouting broke out in the public gallery, and councillors ran away with their hands over their ears, singing happy songs.
Novopay practically perfect
The controversial Novopay system has been hailed as a complete success by the National-led Government, which has announced it will be rolling it out to all government employees.
"I have shifted all MPs and government workers on to the perfectly functioning Novopay system, starting with myself," said Minister for Novopay Steven Joyce.
Things the Opposition and teachers had been criticising as flaws were actually features of the system, he said. "Novopay has been set up with performance pay in mind. It can tell when people are good at their jobs. For instance, I am remarkable at everything and Novopay has recognised that by paying me $1 million for just this afternoon's work."
He also dismissed complaints about the performance of Australian company Talent2 in delivering Novopay. "Look, they're talented, OK? It's in the name. There's even a 2 after the Talent. They've got twice the talent of anyone else out there. Any mug can see that."
Complaints from Opposition MPs and civil servants that they had yet to receive any pay were ignored by Government MPs, who were engaged in a money fight.
Labour-Greens Tardis to blame
The National Party has accused the future Labour-Greens coalition of travelling back in time to make it look bad.
Blaming future Left-wing governments for present problems marks an abrupt reversal of the usual strategy of blaming past Left-wing governments, admitted Minister for Even More Things Steven Joyce. However, he could not see how the problems dogging the National-led Government could have arisen any other way.
"Clearly it's Labour and the Greens," Joyce harrumphed.
"Take Novopay or school closures. That level of blundering reeks of Labour."
He accused the Labour-Greens coalition of 2082 of wasting taxpayers' money on the construction of a Tardis. "That's our grandchildren's retirement savings we're talking about," he said. "That money would be much better spent on roads. They're plundering our future to pay for our past."
However, Labour leader David Shearer said this claim was ridiculous. "If we had access to time machines, we would have already used it for something useful, like making sure that we had mandatory equal gender representation on subcommittees. We're hardly going to use it just to make National look bad. They're doing a good enough job of that on their own."
However, Shearer did not rule out using time travel should further challenges to his leadership arise.
Prime Minister John Key could not be contacted for comment, but a source said he had spent the past week watching old BBC TV shows, trying to understand things.
Joshua Drummond is a Hamilton freelance writer with access to a time machine. His website is cakeburger.com.