Patrick Gower: Bill English should crack a cold one after Trump/Waitangi

Waitangi Day meant "Trump time" for the Prime Minister - taking a phone call from the President of the United States. 

It seemed to go okay - well, at least nobody hung up. He even got an invite to the White House.

Bill English celebrated Waitangi Day away from Waitangi.

But while it was New Zealand's day, the Prime Minister had America on his mind - ducking off for an incoming call from the President of the United States. "The Bill" taking the "the Donald's" call on his mobile.

"We spoke for about 15 minutes. We just pulled over. We were on a busy schedule today so we just took the phone call in the car," Mr English said.

Donald Trump fitted the New Zealand call in before his Super Bowl party at his Florida getaway Mar-E-Lago estate.

It's a win for Bill English when compared to President Trump's hang-up hit-job on Australia's Malcolm Turnbull.

The Prime Minister even adopting a bit of Trump language, saying: "I'm sure he thinks it was a fantastic call."

And yes - the Prime Minster did raise the travel ban.

"Oh look I just said to him what I said publicly - That we don't agree with the policy and it's not something we'd put in place."

They talked trade - but there was no talk of a two-way trade deal to replace TPP.

They talked about fighting Islamic State - but there was no direct request for more troops.

As for fighting climate change - it didn't come up.

And as for Donald Trump's views on New Zealand - it's fantastic, because there's no need for a wall or a ban.

"He thinks it is a fantastic place, he likes the idea that we are a long way away and not under the same pressures as anybody else."

The President did raise one issue - the golfing prowess of Sir Bob Charles.

"He's a great admirer of Bob Charles," Mr English said.

And Bill English got that diplomatic holy grail - an invite to the White House. 

Apparently President Trump said "drop by".

Bill English enjoyed his unconventional Waitangi Day, saying doing Waitangi away from Waitangi is the way Kiwis want it.

The success of Waitangi away from Waitangi and the Donald Trump call means Bill English should crack a cold beer and say "Happy Waitangi Day to me".

Newshub.

 

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