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Nation misplaces Stewart Island

Land Information New Zealand officials say that, now that they think about it, they haven’t seen Stewart Island “for years.”

Land Information New Zealand officials say that, now that they think about it, they haven’t seen Stewart Island “for years.”

Prime Minister John Key has admitted that the Government is “not sure” where Stewart Island is at the moment, and that the country may have lost it.

The admission that New Zealand’s third largest island has apparently disappeared came at the tail end of one of the Prime Minister’s prescheduled press conferences early this morning, and almost went unnoticed by the gathered news media.

“Thanks everyone,” said Key, closing his notes. “There are muffins down the hall this morning, as it’s Tina’s last day with us. Tina has been here thirty years, so it would be good if you could sign the card if you haven’t already. Oh yeah, and just one quick thing before I go: you know that island that we used to have way down the bottom there? The little one below the South Island? Yeah, that one. We’re not quite sure where’s that’s gone, and we might have lost it. Okay, thanks everybody.”

“Excuse me?” asked Fairfax reporter Tracy Watkins as Key made his way to the door. “Could you expand on that?”

“Yeah, they’re banana,” Key responded.

“No, the island.”

“Islands aren’t bananas, Tracy,” Key explained.

After several minutes of circuitous conversation, Key revealed that Land Information New Zealand officials had reported to him yesterday that they could no longer find Stewart Island, and that it was possible it had come loose from its moorings during the recent polar blast that battered the country. But Key said he had not jumped to any conclusions, pointing out that “islands do like to wander from time to time,” and that if it has gone missing, it “isn’t actually a big deal, anyway.”

“We’re not even sure it ever existed,” he added, noting that he had never been there, nor knew anyone who had ever been there.

When asked to explain why a non-existent Stewart Island was featured on practically every map of New Zealand, Key said that maps were not always the most reliable resources.

“I have a map with a dragon on it,” he said. “Dragons aren’t real.”

Despite his apparent lack of concern, the Prime Minister assured the nation that a hunt for the island was underway, with an RNZAF Orion sweeping several areas of the Pacific, and cartographers pooling resources to best estimate where the island may have made a new home.

There was a brief period of excitement late this afternoon when the cartographers thought they had located the island several hundred kilometres south of Melbourne. But this quickly turned to disappointment after it was discovered that this was a different island called Tasmania, with initial research indicating that it has likely been there for quite some time.

A Stuff.co.nz poll seemed to lend credence to the Prime Minister’s theory that the island may never have existed, showing that only 2% of New Zealanders thought they could remember visiting Stewart Island or knew anyone who could remember having been there. Another 82% of respondents believed that Maori receive “too much stuff.”

The situation echoes the fate of the long-lost Nigel Island, one of comparable size that once sat off the coast of Taranaki, and went missing one night in 1966 while the nation was distracted watching an All Blacks test match.