Steve Brau­nias’ Se­cret Di­ary of ... Jacinda Ardern

Weekend Herald - - News - I con­tin­ued sit­ting. @SteveBrau­nias There was a minute’s si­lence.


So long as I don’t ap­pear in The Se­cret Di­ary for the third week in a row, I’ll be happy.

I know it looks as though the coali­tion Gov­ern­ment is a bit of a mess but the re­al­ity is that we show up for work and get the job done. We know what we have to do and we do it. Things don’t lurch from side to side, from minute to minute; we have a plan, and we stick to it.

We have a clear view of the goal­posts.

A case in point is the Cab­i­net dis­cus­sion this morn­ing to go over the fine de­tail be­fore we make an an­nounce­ment of the Crown/Maori Re­la­tions port­fo­lio.

Now that might not be the sort of thing that gen­er­ates head­lines. It doesn’t play into the me­dia’s ap­petite for con­flict and all that rub­bish. But it’s the min­is­te­rial job that we set out to cre­ate for Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Kelvin Davies, and he can’t wait to get stuck into it once we get it all sorted. And we will get it sorted. It’s a prime ex­am­ple of how the Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment op­er­ates be­hind closed doors.


I walked into Cab­i­net, closed the door be­hind me, and im­me­di­ately sensed that some­thing was wrong. That some­thing was amiss.

To be pre­cise, that was some­thing was miss­ing.


I sud­denly re­alised what it was, and had to sit down.

9:03am 9:04am

I got up, and took Kelvin Davies aside. He said, “I need to ask you some­thing.” “Shoot,” he said.

“Where are the goal­posts?”


He looked around the room. “I don’t know,” he said.


We looked ev­ery­where. I said, “Any­thing?” “Noth­ing,” he said.


We put our heads to­gether.

“Maybe we’re not look­ing hard enough,” he said. “Or maybe,” I said, “they’ve been shifted.”


There was a minute’s si­lence.


Kelvin said, “But who would so such a thing?” We turned and looked at Win­ston.


He caught our glance, and said, “Can I help you?” I said, “Have you seen the goal­posts?” “Yes,” he said. “I had to shift them.”

9:11am 9:12am

I said, “You shifted the goal­posts.” “That’s right,” he said, and smiled. “I shifted the goal­posts.”



“Well,” he said, “I had a good, long look at them. I looked them up and down. I mea­sured them. I held them to the light. And I came to a con­clu­sion.”

I said, “What did you con­clude?”

“That the goal­posts were a work in progress,” he said.


“A work in progress,” I said.

“That’s right,” he said, and smiled. “A work in progress.”


I took Kelvin aside and said that we’d have to de­lay our an­nounce­ment of the Crown/Maori Re­la­tions port­fo­lio.

“Okay,” he said, and sighed. Then he looked at me, and said, “Are you okay? You seem a bit pale.”

“I’m fine,” I said, and looked at the clock.

Go the All Blacks! Now, where are the goal­posts again?

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