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Our dream Cabinet

Fifteen New Zealanders to entrust with your tax dollars
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Illustration by Dean Proudfoot

Why can’t our Cabinet draw from the truly talented Kiwis who populate this planet? Here’s our wishlist for a dream Cabinet:

Nandor Tanczos could do worse than Minister of Police. Just keep him out of the evidence room. Give Treasury to someone who really knows how to keep an eye on spending: shareholder activist Bruce Sheppard. Minister of Revenue will be Dave Henderson, the developer who bought the IRD’s offices in Christchurch so he could chuck them out. He won’t be overworking the taxmen.

Science is cool. That’s just the job for ‘Squid Man’ Steve O’Shea. And who else for Defence but our new Minister of ‘D’, Jerry Collins?

What better advertisement for New Zealand than a naturalised Aussie—stand up Russell Crowe, our new Minister for Tourism. We’d have picked Keith Richards for the Health portfolio but he isn’t eligible, so the job goes to our Keef: Sam Hunt.

Jemaine ‘tell him Justice called’ Clement takes Justice. OK, Justin. Please welcome your new Minister of Arts, Anne Geddes. Consumer Affairs belongs to The Briscoes Lady.

Conservation? Rattus exulans Peale, of course. The kiore or native rat is a relatively recent arrival that managed to live happily on berries without plundering the native fauna.

Xena stand-in Zoe Bell is a shoo-in for Women’s Affairs, and we reckon she’d hold her own in Beehive power-plays. And we tried, but we can’t imagine a Cabinet without Winston Peters. Admit it: you’d miss him. He keeps Foreign Affairs because we prefer to appreciate him from a distance.

Suzanne Paul gets Education. Our Suzanne does nothing by halves and could teach any shiftless teenager—or teacher—how to get on with it.

And Prime Minister? We wanted a symbol of New Zealand. A figurehead, not a firebrand. And sooner or later, every PM looks like roadkill, so we went with The Trade Me Possum, the creation of Tauranga’s Michael Lancaster and now the property of Andrew from Auckland. We’ll get Parliamentary Services to refund you the $91, Andrew.