In response to the arrival of a southern whale in Wellington harbour, a special emergency meeting of the city’s leading agencies and communications contractors was held in the early hours of this morning. Minutes from the meeting were promptly leaked to noted whale expert Emily Writes.
In attendance: Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters, Mayor of Wellington Justin “Daddy” Lester, Wellington head of tourism Peter Jackson McTePapa, crisis communications expert Barbra Streisand, Chief Wellington Whale expert Captain Finn Humpback, Wellington PR firm Welly Von Wellywood Lord of the Rings PR, Fireworks expert Jeff “Bang” Jefferies, a five-year-old who wishes to be called StarBoy, a craft brewer, a tattooist and a barber.
Meeting started at 12.01am 6 July, 2018.
Crisis communications expert Barbra Streisand: This is a crisis. It’s that simple. The Harbour Whale is going to ruin the long-awaited Matariki fireworks. We have children’s birthdays at stake, we have millions of children expected on the waterfront and they want to see fireworks. This city needs fireworks. The Harbour Whale needs to leave.
Wellington head of tourism Peter Jackson McTePapa: With all due respect, the Harbour Whale is now a cultural icon in Wellington and we need it to stay. I suggest we set up a home for it at Te Papa or start charging people to see the Harbour Whale. I also think we should change the name of Wellington to Whalelington. Will it blow its blowhole on demand?
Fireworks expert Jeff “Bang” Jefferies: Mate I’ve got $6 million worth of fireworks here-
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters *wakes from slumber in irate state*: SIXTEEN MILLION DOLLARS WHAT IS THIS A BANANA REPUBLIC?
Mayor of Wellington Justin “Daddy” Lester: It’s not $16 million or even $6 million and I think we need to work out a way to please the Harbour Whale and the fireworks loving tamariki of our fair city Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Daddy Lester leans seductively against the chamber wall, his Wellington-branded socks peeking out from beneath slightly too short tight business pants. The room is silent. In wonder, in awe.
StarBoy, aged five and three quarters: I love whales.
Whale expert Captain Finn Humback: Has anyone spoken to the Harbour Whale?
Welly Von Wellywood Lord of the Rings PR: We have tried to set up a line but the Harbour Whale doesn’t want to talk to us. We have written up a plan but the first thing we need to do is agree on a hashtag and make sure we trademark the name Wellington Harbour Whale. We have an influencer campaign, we thought we could send little whales to Art and Matilda and the cast of Heartbreak Island. We also think we should try to get Obama here. He might tweet about the whale and that will be worth at least $63 billion in tourism. We should change the slogan for Wellington to Absolutely Planktonively Whaleington immediately.
McTePapa: Will the hashtag say Wellington?
WVWLOTRPR: Of course. We’re thinking #WellyTheWellingtonHarbourWhaleofWellington.
McTePapa: I love it.
Crisis Comms: But what about Matariki? I suggest we talk to the whale and ask if it will temporarily leave and then come back. Mayor Lester-I….Your eyes….I could get lost in them.
StarBoy: I love whales! Fireworks are too loud!
Jeff “Bang” Jefferies: Why don’t we have fireworks every night. Everyone loves fireworks.
StarBoy: I hate fireworks. I love whales.
Jeff “Bang” Jefferies: Kids love fireworks!
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters: That’s enough! Write to the whale. I will dictate a letter. Pretty Boy Lester get out a pen. Write this down. WHALE. Listen up. It’s PM Peters here. Get out of the harbour and come back after the fireworks. This is a direct order. OK? If it’s angry give it a beach ball. The kids will love it. Done. Meeting adjourned.
Crisis Comms: We will put it in a bottle and send it to the whale. Captain Finn can you let us know what the whale says?
Daddy Lester: We will reconvene tomorrow at 8am.
The meeting is adjourned
8.30am. Captain Finn Humpback enters the room soaking wet.
Captain Finn: I told him. I gave the Harbour Whale our message.
All in meeting: What did he say?
Captain Finn: He jumped into the air and yelled Fuck You at us.
The room is silent
McTePapa: Did he say anything about Wellington? Did he say anything else?
Captain Finn: I had to wait until he jumped out of the water. But the second time he said “Fuck you. I’m a whale”.
WVWLOTRPR: Did he like the hashtag?
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