Greatest hits / Greatest shits | Issue 08

Greatest hits

On Tuesday, Tau Henare, National MP, announced that he will retire at this year’s election. This is not the greatest hit; rather it’s Tau himself, who has a twenty-year political career that can be characterised by witty retorts and an “I will say whatever I want” mentality. Starting out in NZ First when he won the Northern Māori electorate, he broke off with four other members in 1998 to form the Mauri Pacific Party. That was short lived, however, as Mauri Pacific did not meet the five per cent threshold required to secure a place. From there, Tau joined the National Party, and was re-elected into Parliament in 2005. Tau is choosing now to retire following the revelation that he’ll be pushed much further down the National Party list, saying he “deserves better from the National Party.” Tau is also well known for a brawl with Trevor Mallard, commenting that he “should have hit him first.” The two MPs are fairly chummy now, bantering back and forth on Twitter. Tau’s Twitter name is West Side Tory, a conservative take on a beloved musical that has long put him in my Twitter good books.

Greatest shits

It was revealed on Tuesday that the Government is allowing the Department of Conservation’s biggest forest park to be opened for gas and oil exploration. Victoria Park is one step down from a National Park, which means it is not as protected by regulations. This is bad enough, as NZ should be valuing its natural landscape for more than perpetuating the “drill baby drill” ideology. The Greatest Shit title, however, goes to Simon Bridges. The Energy and Resources Minister signed off on the exploration, but when asked by a reporter “have you heard of the Victoria Forest Park?” he responded, “I haven’t, no.” Good one, Simon, you don’t even know the park you’ve agreed to allow drilling in. Notable mention: Hekia Parata, once again suggesting she picks her initiatives out of a hat, has announced the merger of two Christchurch schools, Phillipstown and Woolton. This means the former will be shut down. It also means she completely ignored what the local community had to say.
This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2014.
Posted 4:31pm Sunday 13th April 2014 by Carys Goodwin.