Senior National MP and campaign chair Chris Bishop helped navigate his party through to victory in the 2023 election, but the boy from the Hutt struggled to make his way across downtown Auckland this morning as party members met to discuss the ongoing coalition talks.
The Herald was on hand to witness the Nats’ arrival at Auckland’s Cordis Hotel this morning, as senior MPs and Prime-Minister-in-waiting Christopher Luxon arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Then in rolled Bishop.
Arriving via e-scooter, Bishop looked a little less put together than some of his colleagues and took to social media to reveal his troubled path to the hui.
Describing his morning as a “debacle”, Bishop said it all went wrong from the start.
As Auckland Council met today to vote on measures to control congestion, Bishop went to make his move across the Super City by finding a taxi.
“Couldn’t find a cab. Decided to walk to nearby cafe and get a coffee while waiting for an Uber,” he wrote.
So far, so Auckland.
Bishop then claimed he “couldn’t find a cafe” but eventually found his way to SkyCity only to find no cabs on the rank.
“Nearest Uber was 10 minutes away and was now running late. Decided to get a scooter,” Bishop wrote.
National MP Chris Bishop arrives to meet with other National MP's at Auckland's Cordis Hotel. Photo / Michael Craig
It was this decision that doomed a multi-tasking Chris Bishop, who then proved decidedly less adept at juggling everyday items than his political portfolios.
By this stage, the caffeine-starved politician had found himself a coffee and decided a takeaway was his best option.
“For some reason I thought I could have a satchel across me, phone to work out where I was going, hold coffee and also drive the scooter. This didn’t go well,” he wrote.
“Fell off scooter on Wellesley St. Coffee everywhere, mainly down my front.”
He then ditched the coffee and continued on. Until his scooter ran out of battery.
But with the weight of a rudderless nation on his shoulders, Bishop persevered.
“Found new scooter then it struggled to get up the hill. Made it in the end. Late.”
Christopher Luxon arrives at the Cordis this morning. Photo / Michael Craig
Bishop’s boss Luxon cut a much more dapper figure as he dashed into the meeting this morning, telling reporters that negotiations with Act and NZ First are in the “final stages”.
Luxon is rubbishing claims of issues between National and New Zealand First, saying Winston Peters’ no-show in Wellington on Tuesday was not unexpected.
Luxon said yesterday had been “very productive” with the first meeting of all three leaders, followed by lunch with David Seymour, meeting with Act’s negotiating team in the afternoon and Peters and his chief of staff Darroch Ball in the evening.
Asked about how negotiations had now taken longer than those led by Jacinda Ardern in 2017, Luxon said: “We are making great progress, we’re in the final stages”.
He would spend the morning with National’s team, including deputy leader Nicola Willis, Auckland list MP Paul Goldsmith, Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, Hutt South MP Chris Bishop and National Party president Sylvia Wood.
Luxon said it was likely there would be further meetings between National and the other two parties this afternoon, but wasn’t sure whether another three-way leaders meeting would occur today.
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