We have been leaked all the submissions made to Justice Minister Simon Power regarding potential Supplementary Order Papers to his Government’s Alcohol Reform Bill, currently before Parliament. The secret material is so explosive that the release of even a single document could blow the lid off the entire hospitality sector and end several promising political and media careers.
After moments of hesitation, we decided to publish. Obviously, we were never going to publish all of the material, not out of any sense of preserving national security or protecting the privacy of natural persons, but because we knew people got tired of wading through hundreds and thousands of pages on Wikileaks just to find the really juicy bits.
Of course, readers will want to know how such incendiary material fell into the wrong hands. It is a reasonable question which needs to be avoided carefully. All we will say is that the documents were obtained when we hacked Nicky Hagar’s computer they were given to us by seven public-minded members of Greenpeace who wish to remain anonymous.
3/12/10: Bruce Robertson – Head of the Hospitality Association
Hi Simon! My members think it would be really neat if you banned grocery stores from selling alcohol. And supermarkets too. Do you think you could shut down bottle stores as well? All for the public good of course! BR
4/12/10: Phil Cook – Bartender, Malthouse
I beseech you Minister to restore the partial defence of provocation when, and only when, someone spends more than five minutes insisting that Corona is actually a really good beer.
19/12/10: Phil Goff – Leader, Labour Party
I fully support the proposed reforms and my position is completely endorsed by my entire caucus.
20/12/10: Charles Finny – Consultant (and not an American spy)
Simon. Thanks for the covert meeting yesterday. I am glad you gave such a sympathetic hearing to the views of my client “President O.” I probably should have mentioned at the time that I heard a whirring noise from inside your desk. There had better not be any recording of our meeting. I thought you idolised Kennedy, not Nixon.
22/1/10: Peter Moran – Duty Manager, Malthouse
I would like to see a new section explicitly making “complaining that all the beer in this country is too cold and they don’t serve it like this back home, no sir” valid grounds for eviction and a trespass notice of up to two years.
24/12/10: Brian Blake – Head of DB
Seasonal greetings Minister! I’ve been thinking about how your bill could help support the Rugby World Cup and the All Blacks this year. Why not put a clause in the bill making it illegal to drink any other beer apart from Heineken between the date the law is passed and the final? That way, all New Zealanders can demonstrate their support for the All Blacks. I think that is a cracking good idea!
12/1/11: Phil Goff – Leader, Labour Party
Just wanted to confirm that I remain totally opposed to the proposed reforms and I have the full confidence of my colleagues in this matter.
12/1/11: Rodney Hide – Leader, Act Party
I read about Goff’s secret letter to you on Mallard’s blog. I don’t really approve of drinking any more but a friend suggested you put in a clause saying that all bald men get free low-carbohydrate beers and white wine spritzers if they are wearing canary yellow jackets. It’s for a friend, honestly.
12/1/11: Russell Norman – Co-Leader, Green Party
Just heard Rodney gloating in the lift about some shady backroom deal which means he will never pay a cent for drinks again. The Green Party is about sharing and we want in otherwise we will share this scandal with the media (the Arrowtown Bugle is on speed dial…)
We want no excise ever on organic beer, wine, mead, cider, scrumpy or brandy. On the other hand, we want quadruple excise on all beers from China.
15/1/11: Michael Laws – Disc Jockey
Dear Si. I don’t need to introduce myself to you as you already know who I am. I am Michael Laws, responsible drinker, great father, beloved mayor, revered columnist and the Voice of the Nation. Sadly, not everyone is a responsible drinker. For those people, their access to alcohol must be restricted. I think I would do a great job of deciding exactly who went on those lists. That is pretty much what everyone in New Zealand thinks already but they are just too scared to say it. Yours – Michael Laws, responsible drinker, great father, beloved mayor, revered columnist and the Voice of the Nation.
22/1/11: Phil Goff – Leader, Labour Party
Hide and Norman are acting all weird and constantly winking at me during Question Time. Can you confirm to them that I have been very careful to never comment on any of your proposed reforms? A simple check of your records will confirm this.
13/2/11: Jim Anderton – Labour Backbencher
Son, you have gathered a lot of research, carefully drafted a complex bill and built a delicate political consensus over two years. During my long career, I have consistently held the principle that everything would be much better if everyone just did what I said all the time. Accordingly, you should ban alcohol. That will free up valuable time for me to crack down on other things which may be fun for people under the age of 73.
20/2/11: Greig McGill, Secretary – Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA)
Dear Hon Simon Power. At the last Executive Meeting of SOBA, it was resolved to request law changes to both the Sale of Liquor Act and the Human Rights Act to make it illegal for people in bars to snigger at anyone wearing an anorak. On a personal note, can you also make it illegal for people to laugh at Hamilton (the City of the Future)? Thank you in advance. G-Money McGill
28/2/11: Phil Goff – Leader, Labour Party
This is my last message. Please delete any others which may have been sent in error as they were just… drafts. I have always supported all the good bits in your reforms but resolutely opposed all the bad bits. This clear position has strengthened my leadership. I hope to provide you with a list of which clauses I think are good and which I think are bad within a few months.
In the interests of fairness, this blog interviewed Simon Power at his home. Mr Power said “look, I was totally planning to resign at the next election any way. Get off my lawn or I will turn the sprinklers on.”
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