Alfred Ngaro puts his foot in his mouth, Hannah Tamaki compares herself to KFC and Simon Bridges finally tops a list. James Elliott on the news of the week.

Stanton Friedman died last Monday. Friedman was one of the world’s most renowned UFO researchers and passed away without ever actually seeing alien life. If only he’d lived for one more week and kept an eye on New Zealand politics then he would probably have achieved his life’s ambition.   

The political week started with speculation that National’s Alfred Ngaro was on the verge of establishing a Christian-based political party. That’s a very brave thing to do in NZ politics because it brings with it the risk of being included in the trivia question: “What do Graham Capill, Colin Craig and Alfred Ngaro all have in common?”  

It’s hard to believe but Ngaro might turn out to be even less successful than Messrs Capill and Craig. In a manner that can only be described as darkly ironic, Ngaro’s ambitions may have been brought to a premature end by his own hand, or more accurately, mouth. He described an anti-abortion rally as “an unholy holocaust” and capped that off with speculation that no woman had been made to feel like a criminal for getting an abortion. You can find these quotes online quite easily, just ask Siri to find you something stupid on a biblical scale. 

Even if Ngaro does get a party off the ground there are the tricky questions of which electorate, if any, to stand in and whether an accommodation can be reached with another party to secure that seat. I’m dead against such electoral rorts but I’m more than happy for it to play out on this occasion because it’s likely to be the Botany electorate, whose incumbent is Jami-Lee Ross.
If you don’t know who Jami-Lee Ross is then I envy you. I’m not going to summarise his recent political history here but I did at least try to keep up to date by listening to his podcast. Yes, he has a podcast, and no you don’t want to listen to it. I made it to the six minute mark by which point I would have gladly told you all my darkest secrets just to make it stop. Ross’s political career is doomed but he could probably make a good living licensing his podcasts to the CIA to use in enhanced interrogation sessions and to councils to clear the streets of boy racer rallies.         

I am surprised that Destiny’s fast-food of choice is KFC. I would have guessed it to be Burger King, the self-appointed king of burgers who also sells whoppers.

The biggest day in politics was Thursday. At a press conference attended by media in numbers that Simon Bridges can only dream about, Brian Tamaki announced that Destiny Church is launching a political party. Again. Destiny Church’s Destiny NZ party stood in the 2005 election and got a paltry 0.62 percent of the vote. Although to be fair, the Christian vote may have been split that year by the presence of the Christian Heritage NZ party. Had Destiny NZ secured the votes of Christian Heritage then its tally would have risen to 0.74 percent.

The resurrection of Destiny Church as a political player in 2019 shows that the lessons of 2005 have been learned. The party is open to a wider group than just Christians and doesn’t carry the Destiny name.           

“You’re going to see politics with teeth” said Brian Tamaki, presumably referring to his wife Hannah’s veneers. Throughout his introductory remarks Hannah was at his side nodding enthusiastically – either that or her neck was struggling to carry the weight of her earrings. It was hard to tell.

And then it was announced that the new party is called Coalition New Zealand and that Hannah is to be its leader. Coalition New Zealand is an odd name. Maybe whoever came up with it was researching on Wiki-How-To-Politics, saw that New Zealand has a coalition government, and assumed that to be in government you need to be called Coalition something.

Or maybe Coalition New Zealand is just an aspirational name, signalling a hope to be in a coalition government. And if that’s the case it’s somewhat unrealistic. A more appropriate aspirational name would be the “Will We Get Enough Votes To Get Back The $300 Deposit That Someone Else Paid For Us Anyway Party?”    

There’s already been some speculation that the Electoral Commission won’t approve the name (the Coalition one, not my suggestion) because it will confuse voters. Imagine if Hannah Tamaki won the Tamaki seat, Coalition New Zealand crossed the 5 percent threshold, and then joined forces with NZ First to govern. Of course none of these things will happen but if they did, you could be reading this headline:

“The MP for Tamaki, Tamaki, announced that Coalition New Zealand would be forming a coalition government with New Zealand First to be the first New Zealand First Coalition New Zealand coalition.”                

My favourite takeaway from the press conference was when party leader Hannah was asked how Coalition New Zealand would raise funds. She acknowledged that fundraising might be a tough challenge and paused, no doubt thinking about which of the countless Bible stories about overcoming challenges was best suited to this occasion. And then she said “Imagine if Colonel Sanders had given up  …. we would never have tasted his succulent chicken.” I confess that I’m no biblical scholar and am not familiar with the drive-thru feeding of the 5000. But I am surprised that Destiny’s fast-food of choice is KFC. I would have guessed it to be Burger King, the self-appointed king of burgers who also sells whoppers.

And amidst all the shenanigans this week it was easy to overlook that Simon Bridges actually topped a list for a change, although that was for the MP with the most expenses. Again.

Have a peaceful weekend.

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