The Prime Minister was coming for a visit.
The bloke in charge of the host operation got a long, detailed email from the PM’s office telling him about what he was to do and how he was to do it for the carefully staged photo ops.
He sent a succinct reply – just two words, the first of which was get.
The PM turned up with an entourage which included lots of media and some stray children who were pretending to be locals.
That was the last PM.
This is the current one:
The prime minister laughs, jokes and pokes fun at himself during a session with Australian comedian Peter Flaherty, whose character Shaun Wayne bears a certain resemblance to celebrity cricketer Shane Warne, in a video clip going online today.
The unscripted seven-minute video was shot during Napier’s Art Deco Weekend last month as part of a $100,000 campaign to market the city to tourists from the east coast of Australia.
“I work for the Government,” Mr Key tells “Shaunie”, during their chat in the back of an art deco car. The Australian does not realise he is talking to the country’s leader.
The subject of the Government’s new BMWs crops up. “They’re nice. They’re good value,” Mr Key says. “I heard that nice prime minister talking and he didn’t have a clue what was going on. He bought 34 of them and he didn’t have a clue what was happening.
“Honestly, the things they try and whip through, sometimes it’s beyond me.
“It would probably be better if they were Holdens. I’ve had Holdens all my life. The Calais.”
Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott and her staff were delighted with the video but worried that, after Mr Key saw it, he would not approve its release.
After he gave the go-ahead, Mrs Arnott said: “It was wonderful that the prime minister understood very well what we were trying to do. He entered the spirit of things wholeheartedly.
With John Key, what you see is what you get, a warm and witty man who can laugh at himself.