Conspiracy theories start here
It's been a wild start for the new government, with political shenanigans, drama in the house and potentially an assassination, with the Prime Minister's cat dying suddenly, under suspicious circumstances.
Or maybe under a Volvo. Condolences to the PM and family on this sad occasion.
Here at RR we have just one question:
Where was Gareth Morgan?
Did he have an alibi? He certainly wasn't in Parliament at the time, unlike the 120 politicians who were elected. Was this a revenge execution?
His vision to rid NZ of cats may be underway, despite his failure to gain any political power, and maybe he's started at the top.
It follows a trend started last week by Team New Zealand, they decide to kill off the cats. Sharemarkets react to news of the death, markets flutter, but experts put it down to a Dead Cat Bounce.
Friends of Paddles gather for a remembrance drink in a bar in Point Chevalier, one says “put it on my tabby”.
Dr Seuss demands to know:
Why did the moggy cross the road?
To visit the chicken or chase the toad?
Why, oh why did the cat go splat?
The cat is flat and that is that.
The PM is in Vietnam this week for the APEC meeting.
Please, Jacinda, if you're eating out, this is not a good time to look too closely at the menu ingredients.
Breaking news: Miracle cure found for road toll
The new government has miraculously solved New Zealand's abhorrent road toll. The answer's so simple, we're amazed no-one has thought of it before.
The government's associate Transport Minister, Julie Anne Genter, announced on national television after a tragic weekend on the roads that the cause of this high death rate is: the old National Government.
She angrily spouted how John Key's government's lack of attention to road safety was the cause of people dying in road smashes in the last nine years.
It seems so cut and dried, in Ms Genter's view, that Key & Co may as well have been out there in the Crown BMW, personally running innocent people off the roads and shunting them to their early demise.
I'm delighted that Ms Genter, after only a week in government, has cracked it.
We will now see an immediate reduction in the road stats, fatalities steadily dropping away during the term of Ms Genter's reign, until no-one dies on the roads.
If however, by some remote chance she's wrong, then by her own sound reasoning the headlines should read: “Ms Genter responsible for continuing road deaths.”
There is only one flaw in Ms Genter's groundbreaking announcement: The road toll has sadly been in the hundreds-per-year rate for many, many decades… including before the nine years that National was in power and the road toll was particularly bad during Helen Clark's stretch of government, back in the halcyon days of speeding PM limos and even during times when Ms Genter's Green Party held some sway in leftie governments. It never dropped below 400 deaths a year and some years topped 500.
In fact, the road toll in the last nine years has been the lowest ever despite more cars on the road, usually below 300 and the lowest in 2013 was 253.
Spot the trend: the annual road death rate in the red years, when Clark was in power, compared to the Key/English years in blue. Notably, the road toll was at its highest when the Greens were supporting the Labour Government on confidence and supply, in return for input into budget and legislation.
But I'm sure Ms Genter, the Green team and the current coalition government have a reasonable explanation as to why the government of the last nine years would be responsible for the (lower) road toll but previous governments were not responsible for much more carnage during their terms. We just haven't heard it yet.
Plant more dangerous trees
My research also reveals around one in five recent road deaths are the result of cars going out of control and hitting trees.
These crashes, it seems on the surface at least, were not caused by the last government, but the drivers of the cars choosing to behave in such a way that their vehicles left the road, resulting in a tree stopping the vehicle causing the occupants, and possibly the tree, to expire as a result.
At the risk of picking nits in the new government's assertion that the National Government caused all the road deaths, it would appear that trees have played a significant role in a percentage of the carnage.
So how does it make sense for the new government, and particularly the Green Party, to insist on planting hundreds of thousands more trees?
Surely it would be safer to remove more trees, mainly, the ones close to the edges of roads? Or do trees matter more than human lives, under the new government's priorities?
I hope we don't have to run a headline in a year or two announcing that the unacceptably high road death toll is now the fault of Julie Anne Genter.
Let's pray she's got all the answers, we will await with interest.
In the meantime, don't trust those trees.
For more bad taste: Facebook, Rogers Rabbits