Dear Leader Wayne Brown

I love it when the big boys get petulant. Wayne Brown; Mayor of the Far North, went all hissy and then packed one because apparently Mr. Key doesn’t love him as much as our far more interesting Pacific neighbours. Last week the Prime Minister had Toke Talagi – the leader from Niue, saying that if he couldn’t have his pocket money RIGHT NOW no questions asked, he would go and ask the Chinese Premier for it. Calling in China to be your best playmate in the Pacific at the moment is like the teenage girl telling her Dad that it’s fine if he doesn’t want to give her money… she’ll just go and get some from the local drug lord. Key’s response was surprisingly ballsy to be fair… it was the equivalent of continuing to read the newspaper while the teenager stomps out and then nonchalantly calling ‘don’t come to me crying when you’ve been sold into slavery or you’re working in a P factory for your trouble.’

If it’s not bad enough dealing with stroppy foreign leaders saying they’ll get their new big brother, China, to back them up in the Pacific playground, Mr. Key has now got the Far North Mayor chucking all his toys out of his cot and doing exactly the same thing.

In Wayne’s world, he finds it supremely unfair that Niue has managed to gain about $7000 per head of population in aid. “Imagine what that would do for our roading network!” What he forgot to mention was that Niue has only got about 1,400 people left on it and it has a population growth of -2.4%. Why? Because they’re all coming to New Zealand. And not just from Niue either there are a lot of other islands in the Pacific so we may have to get used to squeezing up and sharing a little if global warming turns out to be more than just a theory. The aid that Niue will receive adds up to a measly mil – hey – our own council signed away a third of that in the time it takes Wayne to spit a dummy, for a group of boys pushing each other round a paddock with spiky boots on. When you’ve got family overseas – helping them become financially independent where they are is a much cheaper option than footing the bill once they’re on your doorstep.

Wayne is master of a wide dominion – much larger he asserts, than the land area of the many islands of the Pacific. Counting land mass and leaving out the messy blue bits is a bit silly in somewhere like Kiribati and I’m no geographer but the Pacific Ocean is a pretty large place and arguably strategically more important internationally than the tip of our fair land. There are also more people living there – about 13 million of them who, unlike the good people of the Far North have no one at all championing their causes. Wayne has concluded that going cap in hand to the Chinese for roads in Kaeo is ‘not a bad idea’ seeing as he has been visited by Chinese people who do love him. Like the Chinese ambassadors who made an official trip to the Far North District Council and the Governor of Lianing Province who officially hosted Wayne there. According to the Far North mayor, the governor of Lianing represents an impressive 42 million ‘subjects’ which makes him a potentially better option than NZ’s central government for getting what you want.

Geez Wayne, getting willing ‘subjects’ in the Far North may be tricky but it’s worth a go.

So here’s my suggestion: Ask the Guv’ for a few hundred million and build a giant canal at Hikurangi. The Chinese are great at canals and roads – and it is all about the roads right? New Zealand will cede the Far North as an independent dominion run by Wayne and administered from Beijing. The Dear Leader (otherwise known as Wayne) could make submissions to himself on how to run his territory on behalf of his loyal and loving subjects (nothing wrong there – not like it hasn’t been done before) and Wayne would maintain ‘unitary authority status’ over his 7500 beautifully tar sealed square kilometres. And then, his work done, he could invite Toke Talagi over for a beer and a catch up.

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