Clearly aware of the competition on the red carpet on the
other side of Wellington, politicians ratcheted up the
entertainment value in Parliament today - with National
minister Steven Joyce's adaptation of JR Tolkein's work taking
Antics ranged from National MP Maurice Williamson doing jazz
hands at Annette King, to Nick Smith declaring that Labour's
recent troubles had provided such a feast that it made him
"feel like a mosquito at a nudist colony."
But it was Steven Joyce who had the most fun with Labour's
recent woes, which culminated in the demotion of David
Cunliffe for disloyalty.
Joyce set up MP Tau Henare to ask if there were any potential
upcoming film productions in the wake of the Hobbit.
Joyce said he had heard of one, featuring a fellowship "led
by a tall, thinning grey wizard who surrounds himself with a
loyal legion of halflings sworn to protect him against a
slimy, bearded creature hiding and plotting in the darkness,
consumed by jealousy, and relentlessly in pursuit of his
At this point the roars of laughter - including from that
wizard - David Shearer - and the slimy bearded creature -
David Cunliffe - nearly drowned out Mr Joyce.
But he wanted to tell them how it ended.
"Their journey is made more difficult by the presence of a
number of goblins still loyal to their former leader, an
all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing eye, watching from a
distance-roughly, between here and New York."
By the time of this reference to Helen Clark, only National
MPs and the bearded creature were still laughing.
Joyce ploughed on: "We are due to hear more about the
conclusion of this particular story in February of next year,
but I understand that it might be a little bit of a flop,
because, rather than giant eagles, the fellowship have
decided to put their faith in an elderly mallard."
Such was the effect that it neutralised Labour whip Chris
Hipkins' attempt to get utu by reminding Joyce of another
film, which was already on DVD, known as the Hollow
Men which outlined National's own election campaign of
2005 under Don Brash.
However, Labour's Annette King managed to get the last word a
bit later - reminding Parliament about the Prime Minister's
recent comparison of the 100% Pure campaign to McDonald's
"That may be true," Mrs King mused. "Because the thing New
Zealand and McDonald's have in common is that they are both
run by clowns."
- By Claire Trevett of the NZ Herald