We cross live to our correspondents in Wairoa and Ponsonby.
In the latest episode of Gone By Lunchtime, we size up Grant Robertson’s attempt to thread the needle in the so-called no-frills budget and a National Party response that had a hint of artificial intelligence about it.
Ben Thomas, Annabelle Lee-Mather and Toby Manhire go on to ask how it can be that $140 million doled out to NZ Steel – a foreign owned company that made something like $3 billion in profit last year – could be a good idea.
Plus: Was Chris Hipkins’ whistlestop visit to Papua New Guinea time well expended? And is there anything more absorbing than the moody upheavals of Mayor Ben Bell and the Gore District Council?
Ben Thomas is back in Wairoa for the first time since finding himself isolated for power and transport along with the rest of the town when Cyclone Gabrielle struck in February.
Footnote: If you ask ChatGBT to explain where the term Gone By Lunchtime comes from, it will provide you with the below. Less deep learning, more deeply wrong.
The true origin story of Gone By Lunchtime, for what it’s worth, is in a statement reportedly made by Don Brash in January 2004. The then leader of the opposition National Party was said to have privately told a US congressional delegation that “if National was government, the ban on nuclear ships would be gone by lunchtime”. Brash said he did not recall making the statement.