Poetry

Title Date
The alarm (selected verses)

Wellington’s first Parliament Buildings were made of wood … which soon rotted. A member of Parliament once called attention to this by waving some rotten wood in the debating chamber.

28 July 2006
To the Opposition whip

This poem mocks H A Ingles, the Government whip who miscounted the number of votes for the Government in 1872.

28 July 2006
In the ladies’ gallery

There was an obvious hierarchy in the ladies’ gallery throughout the 1800s.

28 July 2006
The gallery boys (selected verses)

This song from the 1890s reveals how the press gallery was once an exclusively male domain — as it continued to be until the 1970s.

07 January 2007
Breach of privilege (selected verses)

Relations between Parliament and journalists were tense when this poem was published in 1898.

28 July 2006
The game of politics (both verses)

This song, probably composed around the 1911 election, shows that public scepticism of politicians is nothing new.

28 July 2006
Member’s farewell (selected verses)

Paddy Blanchfield, who represented Westland in the 1960s and 1970s, was known as the ‘Bard of the Coast’. He composed this poem when he retired in 1978.

28 July 2006