Bad weather can often be the subject of some pretty boring conversations, but this week it was the cause of a whole lot of debate, disputes and predictions as Paddy Gower of TV3 and I decided to share a car and drive to Waitangi when our plane was cancelled due to the weather.
It was a journey that traversed as many issues as there were bends in the windy road to Waitangi.
Throw Paddy’s mate, a PR man working with iwi, in the back seat (we invited Claudia Orange but she found her own transport) and there were plenty of opportunities for fiery two-against-one debates.
Our biggest dispute was over whether the issue of which kuia would escort Mr Key at Te Tii was actually news. Paddy, stoutly defending the relevance, while PR guy and I argued that it was predictable demonisation of Titewhai Harawira. Then it was the guys against me over the motive of the Popata brothers; me on my own defending the right of young Maori to protest and raise issues like mining while the others thought it was rent an issue without informed knowledge. By Whangarei we had moved on to why priests should be allowed to marry, the free trade differences between Labour and the Greens, the prevalence of rape and why young women give up their maiden names.
Then the PR man read out his blog on Waitangi which Paddy liked and I hated. We argued some more about the meaning of Waitangi Day, the constitutional issues, the iwi leaders group and the role of the media, and in a flash we were at Waitangi, with our different views but in common agreement; this was a great way to travel.
After all Waitangi is all about the journey and the conversation.