One Question Quiz

Pop CultureMarch 27, 2024

How to graciously receive a favour from a government official


Step one: Don’t tell your 2.5 million followers.

Fred Again, a name you will definitely know if you’re under 25 and almost certainly be confused by if you’re any older, has accidentally narced on a Department of Internal Affairs official who helped expedite a Wellington DJ’s passport so they could be his support act in Australia.

But just how did this juicy story about a musical wunderkind make it into the news? Well, because Fred Again told us all about it on Instagram.

The DJ today shared a series of screenshots of WhatsApp and Facebook messages. In one, reference is made to Wellington DJ Messie “going international”. Messie, real name Tessa Hills, told 1News she had been handpicked to tour with Fred Again in Australia.

Later, Fred Again shared a Facebook message with a woman named Maria Robertson (who uses an account identified as “beautmum”). Robertson, the deputy chief executive of Internal Affairs, helpfully identifies herself and her job title in the message and says her son had got in touch with Messie, before assuring Fred Again that the ministry is “sorting” an application for the DJ.

Fred Again captioned the screenshot: “Thank you so much to Maria Robertson and her son! And the other people who helped make this turnaround in time for tesse [sic].”

The screenshots have prompted internal affairs minister Brooke van Velden to investigate, telling media she would be asking questions of officials. “Every citizen should be entitled to the same treatment … no matter how famous they are or what their status is in their community.”

Turns out Robertson isn’t the only official to aid in Hill’s passport process, with the Wellington DJ also posting on her social media a screenshot of a conversation between herself and Green MP Tamatha Paul saying that herself and National MP Chris Bishop were also “working on it”. Van Velden’s investigation will be multi-party.

This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last case of a little favour here and there for celebrities or people in positions of power. May we all one day be lucky enough to receive such a favour without turning it into a news story.

And so, the official Spinoff Guide to Receiving a Favour from a Government Official or Politician.

Step one: Don’t screenshot the evidence.

Step two: If you failed in step one, don’t post the screenshotted evidence to your public social media profiles.

Keep going!