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SocietyNovember 14, 2015

Our Gossip Section, Jamboree #2 – Oysters, Greens and Medal-Gifters at the Zoo


The Spinoff presents Jamboree, all the tittle-tattle and scuttlebutt you can handle. This week: the Greens’ heating solutions – exposed; Sonny Bill – uncaged and canapés – unbudgeted!

Friday saw the debut of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand‘s ‘open home’ in Auckland, a chance to mingle with MPs and sympathisers to The Cause at their K Rd-on-hill city HQ.

The Spinoff’s cub reporter cowered nervously in various corners, chatting with comedian and death-wish podcaster Tim Batt while surveying the room’s power broking. Ex-Metro ed Simon Wilson held court with aspirant Mayor Phil Goff. One former Greens staffer was heard to mutter nervously “he’s the only guy I ever get star-struck around”. Wilson, she meant – Goff doesn’t have that effect on impressionable young pols. Yet.

It was a brave move opening a working office up to the working media, one of whom snapped this shot of the underside of a desk…


…thus revealing that even the Greens resort to low-energy efficiency ranking heating solutions behind closed doors. Perhaps carbon-mitigated by the overgrown mint plant desperately seeking a larger pot?

Other fancies in attendance included Ali Ikram, Chris Trotter and the of course the co-leaders, with James Shaw’s new post-leadership suit drawing praise from onlookers. Metiria Turei spoke movingly about Wednesday’s mayhem at the Beehive, of the “weirdness and madness that is the Chamber” –  somehow energised rather than appalled by the Parliamentary week.

An exciting new attraction at the Auckland Zoo last Sunday had adults and children alike cooing, ogling and photographing one of the planet’s rarest, most exotic and athletic beasts: Sonny Bill Williams.

The muscular All Black star, dressed in a vest and sans cap or sunnies, “was charming and humble”, one entranced zoo-goer told Jamboree, fanning herself vigorously with an official Auckland Zoo Map. “I craned my neck up to the sky to tell him he’s a hero and he said, ‘Awww, thanks love.’ He was very gracious about letting people take photos, although his wife looked a bit over it.”

Even Sonny Bill was getting in on the selfie action, nestling alongside a man with a parrot to request a picture of his own.

The Sonny Bill Williams enclosure at Auckland Zoo.

SBW appeared unaffected by the weapons-grade take-down he had been delivered just a day earlier by the New Zealand Herald’s John Roughan. “Even by Rough’n’ready’s firebrand standards, that column was devoid of humanity, joy or romance, not to mention oblivious to the basic tenets of symbolism,” said Williams. Well, he didn’t, but he seemed to, with those deep, dreamy, forever eyes.sThe great Charles-and-Camilla motorcade has left our nation for the land of koalas and penal colonies, but not without playing their part in the great celebration of New Zealand royalty, which is to say they attended the All Black homecoming rally in Wellington.

Meanwhile news reached Jamboree that C&C tour coordinators had their work cut out for them trying to get the couple around the country while satisfying Camilla’s demand that she will not travel in a car for longer than an hour without a decent break.s

Thursday saw the 10th birthday of Idealog magazine, the champion of New Zealand businesses in the small-but-aspirant-to-medium non-dairying sector of our economy. Founder Vince Heeringa made a heartfelt speech to a large and well-oiled crowd gathered at Barkers‘ voluminous High Street store, talking wistfully of the days when publishing was a viable industry, before the GFC came and ICG came to rescue his MAG.

The Spinoff’s cub reporter headed straight for the canapés table, as per usual, and couldn’t believe her unpaid eyes:


Oysters and prawns! Maybe publishing’s demise has been greatly exaggerated?

Scouted a scoop for our Jamboree? Send it to – anonymity guaranteed!

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