Now that red phone booths are long gone, where can United Future pack in its supporters?

Are they waiting for Dr Who - or Peter Dunne?


Alf is mystified this morning.

First, he reads that after National and Labour, the Greens were the only party to register above the 5 percent threshold, up 0.2 per cent on 9.3 per cent.

The ACT Party and New Zealand First each claimed 2.2 per cent, the Maori Party 1.5 per cent, and Mana 0.9 per cent. United Future had no support.

Second, the Herald reported The Boss has committed himself to seek agreements again with all three of his support partners – United Future, Act and the Maori Party – irrespective of whether National needs their votes to govern after the election.

“If we are in a position, come November 26, to get around the table irrelevant of how large our party vote is, we are definitely going to make the phone call to these support parties and sit down and have a discussion with them,” he said after the United Future conference in Wellington.

Does “conference” mean he and Dunne sat down for a chat?

Am I on the right path to the conference?


Third, Telecom got rid of most of the red phone booths that once were scattered liberally around the country.

Christchurch was an exception. In 1988 the Wizard took umbrage when Telecom – which had just taken over running the country’s telephone service from the government Post Office – decided to paint the country’s traditional red telephone boxes pale blue.

Of Christchurch’s 565 phone boxes only 90 or so had been painted pale blue. On Monday morning The Wizard dutifully tackled the most offensive and most prominent example of “corporate vandalism” – the phone box beside Captain Scott’s statue opposite the Christchurch Visitors’ Centre.

He informed the media, who recorded him on Monday morning carefully restoring the phone box to its original beauty, which took about two hours. This was done after a moving ceremony dedicating himself to God, The Queen and The Red Cross of St. George.

That same afternoon the henchmen of Telecom repainted it pale blue.

Before nightfall The Wizard “restored” the box again.

Public opinion ultimately prevailed and Telecom admitted defeat (although it took a bit longer than it took for the buggers there to scrap the abstinence campaign intended to show support for the All Blacks).

But Telecom then replaced the traditional telephone boxes with metal and plastic pay-phones.

The two booths pictured above survived in Christchurch, a testament to the Wizard’s determination.

Dunno if they survived the earthquakes.

Alf understands Telecom has a network of around 4,000 Payphones across New Zealand.

They are found in most busy public places and can easily be identified by their distinctive yellow and blue livery.

Ah, and here comes the mystery.

Alf’s brighter constituents will have tumbled to it already.

Because the red phone booths are long gone from Tawa, are their replacements big enough to hold a United Future conference?

Or did The Boss make his statement after the conference because he could not be accommodated inside?

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