Let's Do This
MP Mark Richardson: just joking or a hint of the future?
AM Show sports presenter Mark Richardson is someone who wears his political affiliations on his (blue) sleeve, but could he be about to make his commitment official?
It may have been all in jest, but on the show on Wednesday morning he said he was "considering" standing as an MP for National, after party deputy leader Paula Bennett suggested she would interview him for the role of Botany by-election candidate.
After the mayhem within the party of the past few days, Richardson pointed out right at the start of the show he was wearing a blue shirt on the set to show his support for National.
Then when Bennett was being interviewed she said: "We're going to win that by-election. In fact, I could interview Mark now, if you like, as a candidate."
Richardson thought it was a great joke, and said he was "considering" the offer.
Later in the show, host Duncan Garner was reading comments sent in from someone called Penny, from Tāmaki. "We have an invisible remote muppet as an MP," she said, apparently referring to National's Tāmaki MP Simon O'Connor.
"Indeed it wouldn't surprise me if we don't have an MP at all. So I'll lead the campaign to get Mark Richardson on board. Mark is exactly what our area needs, although he will need to go through jetski re-education school, as civilised National voters hate them.
"My name is Penny and I approve of this damn fine political message. Mark please help us in Tāmaki."
At one point in the show, Richardson had said he was only prepared to represent "the good people of St Heliers, Mission Bay and Kohimarama". Those places are all in the Tāmaki electorate.
Richardson was chuckling away. News presenter Amanda Gillies asked: "What do ya reckon, Mark?"
"Oh, look I'll consider it, but at the moment I'm quite comfortable where I am," Richardson said.
"Wow, 'consider'," Gillies said.
Pressed for a decision by Garner, Richardson said: "Oh, I'm still considering it."
"Oh really," Garner replied, sounding surprised. "You wouldn't do it. You'd be mad mate, honestly."
"Thanks for turning your back on us. You wouldn't do that. How could you?" Gillies said.
"Actually that makes it a bit more appealing," Richardson said.
Garner said Richardson wouldn't do it because it would mean moving away from his "lovely family".
Laughing, Richardson said: "that would make it even more appealing".
Richardson is a former test cricket opening batsman, who played 38 tests for New Zealand from 2000-2004. He is also a former co-host of TV sports magazine show the Crowd Goes Wild, and is the host of The Block NZ.
The tone was set right from the very start of Wednesday's The AM Show.
"Can I just make the court aware of the fact that I am in fact wearing blue today in support of my party," Richardson said.
"Fading, fading fast, a faded blue," Garner said. Gillies agreed it wasn't as rich a blue as Richardson usually wore.
"This is the new National colour. Remember they changed the colour to a slightly lighter blue, a murkier blue," Richardson said.
Shortly after that, when Garner was wondering why anyone would want to be a politician, when supposed friends turn out to be enemies. Richardson said he still wanted to be a politician.
"But I'm doing it for the right reasons."
"Which is a decent pay when you go into retirement," Gillies said.
"Yeah, I'm just going to sit on the back benches and basically do nothing," Richardson said.
At one point in the show, he did say he was only prepared to represent "the good people of St Heliers, Mission Bay and Kohimarama."
After AM Show host Mark Richardson's show of continuing support for National, party deputy leader Paula Bennett offered ...
After AM Show host Mark Richardson's show of continuing support for National, party deputy leader Paula Bennett offered to interview him for the job of National candidate for Botany.