GORDON LIGHTFOOT | Politics
MONEY WELL SPENT
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins put the NZ Airforce to good use for the second time this month, catching a ride to Australia to meet with Aussie PM Anthony Albanese for the day.
It is vitally important to know, however, that all the really important, value-adding work that he did over there absolutely, positively could not have been done over Zoom.
The New Zealand public needs to know that Hipkins and Albanese were not simply discussing the changing nature of the relationship between our two countries – they were also having lunch.
“You can not underestimate the diplomatic importance of shoving taxpayer-funded food into the mouths of public servants”, says political scientist Yosef Malhotra. “You could stuff your face with food on a Zoom call, but it’s just not the same.
“And don’t forget that Hipkins had to be cleansed with a burning eucalyptus branch before he could engage in anything meaningful with Albanese,” he said, referencing a first nations ceremonial bush burning that Hipkins experienced as he arrived in Canberra.
“You can’t smell the smoke of a burning gum tree branch over Zoom, can ya?” asked Malhotra rhetorically.
Malhotra also pointed out the importance of not only ‘doing the work’ but also ‘being seen to be doing the work’. “Never underestimate the importance of being seen to be doing something. No matter how much it costs. New Zealanders don’t care about outcomes, they care about the appearance of outcomes.
“I just can not stress the point enough that this work that our Prime Minister has done could not have been done over Zoom”.
More to come.
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