The Hunt Is On For Coalition Constructing MPs
The Media Hunt Is On For Coalition Constructing
In normal times, the media draw politicians to them like iron filings towards a highly powered magnet. However, when there's coalition shenanigans to be had, many MPs would prefer to weave a little to the left of the limelight.
Thankfully, for the masses outside the parliamentary compound, a small, noble and dedicated bunch of media foot-soldiers have dedicated themselves to camping in strategic locations around the Beehive and Bowen House in the pursuit of truth.
Stumbling from their lairs, many an unsuspecting politician is likely to find their eyes blinded by TV camera lights and, if they slip on the travelator that runs underneath Bowen street, a steely radio microphone could end up inserted in their nostrils.
Today, the main prey for the media scrum that congregated convivially on Bowen House's bottom floor, was the man considered critical to forming a stable Government by the Prime Minister - Winston Peters.
There was concern among some MP hunters that Mr Peters was likely to make a James Bond like escape from the lower floors of Bowen House and then dash into have a cuppa with the Prime Minister through a side entrance of the Beehive.
Despite no sign of Mr Peters before lunchtime, there was still plenty of good quality MP impeding fun to be had. A lone New Zealand First MP separated from the pack, met the press like a startled faun would meet a pack of wolves. Luckily for this quiet and not particularly verbose man, the assembled media looked to have eaten a quality media brekky and he escaped smoothly into his waiting lift.
For the ecologically conscious voter, it would have been heartening to observe that the Green Co-leaders were still able to engender a Rolling Stonesesque (circa 1965) media frenzy.
For a minute or so, slow moving press secretaries and un-cordinated media types risked being trampled to death upon the fast running travelator. However, a health and safety conscious Rod Donald installed some order, allowing the athletic TV camera people to sneak ahead and get the shots that mattered.
Upon entering the Beehive basement sharp-witted reporters noted that the escalator had not stopped at Copperfields café but had indeed gone all the way up to the magical and all-powerful ninth floor.
The ability to work out where a lift goes proved useful to the old hands of the press gallery in ascertaining who exactly National leader Don Brash, Deputy leader Gerry Brownlee and MP Georgina Te Heu Heu were visiting. Most pundits picked that this powerful opposition troika had visited NZ First. There was, however, some speculation they may have pulled a fast one and taken the stairs up to have a quick yarn to Tariana Turia.
Ms Turia herself glided through Bowen House around morning tea time. The look on her face as the cameras closed in suggested the Seabed and Foreshore legislation wasn't likely to be repealed any time before 2008.
While most parliamentary party leaders engendered a great deal of excitement - one man was able to walk safely through Bowen House and enjoy a quiet stroll along Lambton Quay – ACT's leader Rodney Hide.
Mr Hide has been in the news recently with suggestions from Labour Party President Mike Williams, that Mr Hide may have overspent the $20,000 allowed by the Electoral Act, in his successful campaign for the Epsom Electorate.
Not wanting Mr Hide to feel neglected, Scoop considered the only decent thing to do was ask Mr Hide how the costs associated with ACT's last minute phone campaign were going to be apportioned in regard to his electorate spending limit.
Mr Hide told Scoop that the only person worried about his electorate spending was Mike Williams. When the question was put to him again Mr Hide gave the impression that there was no problem and that everything was 'good as gold' on the campaign spending front.
Photo Essay follows showing the honourable members of the fourth estate willing to endure fatigue and bunions in order to get the goods…