The Finance Minister said this morning that the asteroid speeding towards the country presented opportunities for New Zealand.
Scientists yesterday announced that a giant asteroid is on a collision course with the Earth. They predict that the huge rock will hit the southern part of the North Island tomorrow, destroying most of Wellington and leaving hundreds of thousands of people dead.
However, Finance Minister Bill English said there was no need for panic over the news.
While admitting that the development was not entirely helpful, Mr English said he remained confident that it would not derail the country’s economic recovery.
“Despite our expectation that the nation’s capital will be reduced to a vast crater, that most of the Wellington and Kapiti regions will be smashed to smithereens, and that the horror holocaust will in a second obliterate tens of thousands of precious lives and leave the entire nation without any form of political leadership, we remain on course to return to surplus,” said Mr English.
The Finance Minister acknowledged that Treasury had failed to predict the rogue asteroid, but insisted that the news was not all bad.
“Treasury is also predicting that the asteroid strike will lead to a new wave of prosperity,” said Mr English.
“The loss of Wellington, while in some ways regrettable, will lead to a reduction in government spending across the board. Not only because most government department head offices and civil servants will cease to exist, but also because some of the surviving functions of the state just won’t be necessary.
“Does anyone really think that the handful of ragged survivors of this apocalyptic nightmare will be concerned about making ACC claims or worrying about their tax returns?
“Of more fundamental concern to the general public will be the need for fire, shelter, and sharpened sticks to drive off competitors for the few remaining food resources not incinerated in the catastrophe.
“We’re confident that private sector providers will step up to meet the public need for basic necessities, by forming armed gangs to intimidate, murder and extort.”
Mr English predicted that, while the country’s immediate future looked quite literally rocky, things would improve financially in the short to medium term.
“I remain committed to delivering a balanced budget in the coming financial year,” said Mr English.
“Assuming, of course, that I’m lucky enough not to be killed, either in the initial asteroid strike, or in the mob violence that will overtake most remaining towns and cities afterwards.”
[Update: It seems that nothing is new and everything has been done before. An anonymous commenter whose comment I deleted (see my comments policy) noted a resemblance to this Onion piece. I hadn’t read it before, and it is (not surprisingly) better than mine]