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elections nz

Dear Jacinda Ardern

An open letter to the potential Prime Minister and surprise hope of the nation.
Illustration by Ben Thomson.

You don't know me but I am very aware of who you are.

And not only just via the social medias and the TV.

Once I saw you in real life when I fluked it into the Koru Lounge and you were walking around on your phone doing some serious business. And I'm not talking about business like ordering in a cherry picker for an event or ensuring that all the bookings had been cleared off a restaurant's answer machine: your phone call looked like some bugger's life depended on it.


Even though I was at least five metres away from you, I could tell by your body language and hand movements that you were not going to take any crap that day, and I pitied the fool who was on the other end of that telephone line.

It was from that moment on I knew that when the time came, you would have my vote. Not only because I could tell you were a determined person, but I also thought at that moment anyone who can resist all the free snacks, booze, and other paraphernalia in the Koru Lounge to take a phone call has to have a pretty good head on their shoulders.

Anytime I am in there and I receive a call, I screen it no matter who it is. Life is too short.

Coincidentally I also once saw John Key in the Koru Lounge and he was looking out the window with a slight head lean, like he had an ear infection. I think he had a bloody savoury muffin in his hand, also. But it could have easily been a screwed up piece of newspaper. I didn't get as close as I did to you, when we shared the lounge together.

That wasn't supposed to sound untoward, I was actually sitting down eating cheese and crackers, reading my book, and minding my own business. Not that it was an easy task, seeing you in my peripheral vision prowling around the lounge like a disgruntled mountain lioness. But don't worry, I'm not pissed off. It was actually quite inspiring and that book—I Am Pilgrim—was a piece of crap. Although, admittedly, a real page-turner.


Anyway, I need to cut to the point as I realise you are on a strict timeline of seven weeks to win the election. I don't expect you to be sitting around all day reading letters, and neither would your constituents. But, suffice to say I have had some dialogue with other world leaders in my past including John Key and Tony Abbott, so I believe I can be of assistance.

I have a few suggestions to help you to not only win, but to shut John Key out of the race for good!

  • Expose John Key for being a muffin holding, ear-infected Prime Minister who doesn't care about anything except looking out the window. And what's he been doing lately anyway? It's like he's not even PM anymore. Needless to say, I will go on record if it comes down to a trial.
  • Pick the ultimate campaign song that has some relevance to what is going on around right now, and then make an alternative music video to it starring you as well as some of your key cabinet members. My first thought would be Alanis Morissette's 'You Oughta Know' as she has just announced a three-date NZ tour. You would crush the polls if you came out swinging with that anthem in your corner.
  • Keep everyone guessing in regard to whether you will become pregnant in your first year as Prime Minister. While it is nobody's business except Mark Richardson's, this has obviously been a controversial topic which has polarised the nation. But, it seems to be working in your favour. I think you need to capitalise on that and put up some billboards where you appear to be pushing a pram or even some where you have a slight baby bump and that radiant glow that some pregnant women get.
  • Hire a private investigator to follow Winston Peters around. Soon enough he'll make a mistake and you will have something on him leading into the election. If you think this sounds extreme, you have obviously not watched all of House Of Cards.
  • Watch all of House Of Cards, if you haven't. You will learn some loopholes to the system and take on a No Rules, No Boundaries attitude to winning the election
  • And finally, because Global Warming is about to kill, in my opinion, one sixth of the world's population any time now, you should embrace the environment with an unforgettable assertion of your commitment. My first thought would be to fill the Beehive with beehives. As in, ensure that in every single room that there was a beehive. As we all know, if we lose the bees everyone is done for. This would be a huge statement to not only New Zealand, but also the world. And think about all the free honey you would have lying around. Buying that stuff at Countdown is like experiencing a bank robbery. Sometimes I think I am on Candid Camera when I am standing around the honey aisle and looking at the prices.

Anyway, I may have already said too much so I will sign off.

Good luck, Jacinda. When in Rome!


Reuben P. Bonner (confirmed Jacinda Ardern voter and special counsel to various world leaders.)