Esteemed poet Kelvin Davis (Image : Tina Tiller)
Esteemed poet Kelvin Davis (Image : Tina Tiller)

PoliticsOctober 19, 2020

The Blue Taniwha: an election night poem by Kelvin Davis

Esteemed poet Kelvin Davis (Image : Tina Tiller)
Esteemed poet Kelvin Davis (Image : Tina Tiller)

A special poem by Labour’s deputy leader Kelvin Davis, following in the tradition of political verse started by David Cunliffe.

A year ago I started a tale

A story with a chapter yet to unveil

Of a world of light and some pretty ugly taniwha

Of a guy called Kevin Davies

And a joke that’s gone too wide and too far

After that speech I had a few requests

To up my game I said I’d try my best

So you’ve probably guessed by now this speech will all rhyme

Apologies if it gets annoying but ten minutes is a long time


So, let’s begin where I ended

Taniwha descending on our land

To bring the world of hope and light to a cold dark blue end

The taniwhas they move closer and closer to the light

Marching in unison right not left just right

Until a man named Todd Muller yelled

“Why are we all following this Simon Bridges fella?”

“I’ll lead you”, he said 

“Nikki Kaye by my side”

Make me the leader of this blue taniwha pride

They voted

Todd won, with a majority of more than one

Just like his cap read he was ready to make New Zealand great again.


So, yeah that leader didn’t last long

Gone after the tenth week

The future of the blue taniwha pride looked pretty bleak

They needed another new leader

An upcoming star

Then someone yelled, “My husband’s from Samoa, so talofa”.


“Oh, I’ll be the leader, I’ll be the leader”, yelled Judy from the back

“I’ve waited 20 years for this moment I’ll get us back on track”

But taniwhas had doubts

They knew her leadership would take its toll

Given she refused to speak to them or share a single internal poll.


They all marched on anyway with very little hope

Down, down, down their slipper, slippery slope

On the other side of the world, where the light shines bright

Whaea Jacinda and her team wee ready for the fight.


Team, we have a plan

We know there is more work to do

We must not lose this world to the cold, dark blue

Let’s take on these taniwhas, we have battled strong, we will hit them where it hurts by proving what they say is factually wrong.


There will be three challenges that we will undertake

When we get to the battlefield I will need to call on all of my mates

But right now we must head out altogether let’s go and meet the taniwha so we can battle them toe-to-toe

The team of five million descended to see 

who would win the election battle of 2020.


The blue taniwhas reared their ugly heads

While the world of light gowned themselves in various shades of red

The first challenge was easy, a quick fire of sorts, 

each team had to pick a person who was good at reading financial reports

The master of coin Grant Robertson stepped up for the world of light

Judith pushed forward Paul Goldsmith and whispered, “You better get this one right”

The first question was put, “Add this up if you can”

“Three billion plus another four minus a billion, what is the cost of your plan?”

Goldy excited yelled, “I know I know pick me”

The answer is two billion he yelled with certainty

Grant smirked and said ‘Oh Goldie, not quite, you should have bought your calculator to this fiscal fight”

“You are four billion short, that’s a big hole, are you sure you’re up for the finance role?”

One mil to the world of light, the Red Sea cheered, the Red Sea cheered

The blue taniwhas whispered, “This is worse than we feared”

The next challenge would be tough and not for the faint hearted.


A kapa haka competition was about to get started

The world of light would go first, “Kia mau’, yelled Peeni

The team stood in perfect formation, all at the ready

“Tahi, rua, toru, whā”

“Te Aroha,” the blue taniwha shocked at the glorious sound knew there was very little hope of them winning this round

So Paul Goldsmith from Ngati Epsom thought he would give it a go

Starting a song he thought everyone would know

Oma rapati, oma rapati, oma rapati, oma oma oma.

No one in his team joined in

Not a single taniwha.


Two nil to the world of light

Was there a point in doing a final round?

Whaea Jacinda yelled, “Take nothing for granted, hold your ground”

The final battle was set between Whaea Jacinda and Judy

On the back foot you could feel the blue taniwha were moody

“Right team”, said Judy

“I know how to deal with this, I’m going to sneer and interrupt and call her Ms

That will put her off, you’ll all see by the end of this the winner will be me”

Gerry piped up, “Shouldn’t we say good stuff? Just being condescending and rude might not be enough”

“Shut up,” Judy lashed back at him, “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win”

Both leaders approached each other ready to debate

This would determine the world of light’s final fate

Whaea Jacinda armed with knowledge and fact

Judy obviously taking a very different tact

Whaea Jacinda’s team roared as they met face to face

She could feel the support for her team to remain in place

Judy turned to her blue taniwha pride to receive the same boost

But old Judys chicken had all come home to roost

All the taniwhas have vanished, gone, thrown it in

They all knew Judy was never going to win

“Where the hell is everyone, she screeched 

“I’m not done”

Simeon Brown squeaked, “I saw them follow Chris Luxton, the guy’s much more fun”

“But I was going to end the world of light,” she said

“And wear the crown”

Whaea Jacinda said, “Best you grab a cup of tea and have a little lie down”

The world of light was saved for another three years, the people rejoiced, the return of the blue darkness they no longer feared

So the story continues the world of light stays in place

Working hard to take care of New Zealanders all at great pace

Until the taniwha in three years time try once again to take over the world of light 

Which Labour will defend.


Let’s take a second to remember how this story started

With a tale of sorts that was meant to be light-hearted

In the beginning, before there was light

Nine long years of blue darkness rained like an endless night

Three years in the world of light still shines red and true

Three more years in the light imagine what we can all do.


Now, I can hear, I can already hear you asking

Is there a story number three?

I fear I will not be able to top all this rhyming you see

But I will try bring you yet another story of Whaea Jacinda and the Labour government’s triumphs and glory

For now this is where my story will stop with a final thank you to our Labour whanau, every one of you lot

For keeping us all in the world of light, for slaying the dark blue taniwhas who wanted to bring back the night

Enjoy this time all together as one because ladies and gentlemen

Our story, this story, is far from being done.


Na reira tātou mā, huri rauna, tēna koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora tātou katoa. 

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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