The Metro Dubious Achievement Awards 2015 - Part 1
Nobody’s perfect, but some imperfections deserve recognition for truly lowering the bar. Our annual celebration of Dubious Achievements salutes only the crème de la crème of stupidity, ineptitude and gobsmacking dubiosity.
By the Metro society writers. This article was first published in the December 2015 issue of Metro. Illustration: Toby Morris.
The Flintstones Animal-Print Onesie for having rocks in her head goes to Pebbles Hooper.
She was always our favourite member of Auckland’s celebrity-spawn bratosphere. We liked her sass, her snark, her chutzpah even. Even her young-fogey right-wing posturings (“Heroin addicts I’ve got no sympathy for” — bless!) set her apart. This year, however, her “natural selection” tweet about a mother and her three children killed in an accidental gassing in Ashburton set a horrible new low. Her trash-talking schtick lost all its charm and we’ve since found we can get along quite nicely without it. If we ever need a top-up of hatefulness? We’ve still got NewstalkZB!
The Bill Clinton Damp Cigar for contributions to American entertainment is awarded to John Key.
We’re beyond trying to explain our Prime Minister’s serial ponytail pulling, even if that renowned psychoanalyst Winston Peters was prepared to suggest a fetish was in play (“You know what a trichophiliac is, don’t you?”). Let’s just say that Key’s antics gave us wavy lines where our mouths used to be.
His admission of weeing in the shower didn’t score quite so highly on the weird-o-meter — barring further diagnosis from Dr Peters of Vienna — but took a similar toll on the dignity of his prime ministership. It had him once again hauled into the limelight by US-based television host and commentator John Oliver.
So what if our rock-star economy was a mirage, our comedy-star PM remains pure box-office gold.
The William Tell Apple for sharpshooting goes to the pukeko cullers who killed four endangered takahe on Motutapu Island.
Sir David Attenborough (whispering): “Here, on an island sanctuary in the Hauraki Gulf, brought back from the brink of extinction, these precious creatures…”
SFX: Bang! (x 4)
Sir David: “Fuck’s sake.”
Sonny Tau: “Um, anyone needing those carcasses?”
The UFC Belt for developing combat skills among guests of Her Majesty goes to Serco for its management of Mt Eden Prison.
Thwack! Biff! Wallop! And that was just Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga getting smacked around in Parliament after the stories broke about “fight clubs” and other outrages in Mt Eden Prison. The government’s taste for privatisation may have enriched British-based Serco, but it doesn’t seem to have delivered on the fairly fundamental requirement that someone keep an eye on the bad guys. The videos were blurry — you know where those cellphones have been, right? — but provided damning evidence of mismanagement.
Supposed flag-bearers for the private sector’s pursuit of efficiencies and excellence, Serco (which also runs Australia’s scandal-ridden detention centres) has turned out to be the faceless corporate bungler from Central Casting. Now, the company has also expressed interest in running the New Zealand rail services relied upon by hordes of commuters. What could possibly go wrong?
The “Bridge To Nowhere” Trophy for failing to influence the Northland byelection goes to Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
Talk about troubled waters! True-blue Northland revolted and Bridges’ promise to upgrade, er, bridges across the electorate did diddly-squat to turn the tide. Never mind, Simon. When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, Winston will almost certainly have a crisp white handkerchief you can use to dry them.
More from the series: