Image: Mike Hosking and Toni Street / TVNZ OnDemand
Dear Mike Hosking,
Here we go again.
We’d like to share with you a few words that you may never have used before, but which are (astonishingly – we know) a very important part of adult life. Particularly if you are in a position of power, with a considerable amount of influence, and you find yourself embroiled in a storm of public outrage.
They are: “I’m sorry. I got it wrong.”
We know these words may seem very strange to you. They may even roll around your mouth in a most unpleasant manner, so foreign they may be. But we’d encourage you to give them a whirl.
The good news is they’re short and sweet. They’ll save you time! So next time when you're inclined to say:
“Last night, in a throwaway line, I appear to have confused the Māori Party around the rules of voting in MMP. Now, what I was suggesting, what I was meaning, was that the Māori Party, as their representation stands, is an electorate party. In other words, they are only in Parliament because they won an electorate seat. Therefore, what I said in referring to voting for them was to vote for them in a Māori electorate, you had to be on the Māori roll, which is true. Now, the fact that anyone can vote for them as a list party – I automatically assumed we all knew, given we’ve been doing it for 20 years, for goodness sake, and it went without saying. So hopefully, that clears all of that up.”
Just say this instead: “I’m sorry. I got it wrong.”
See? Easy as pie.