In his first visit to the scene of the Port Hills fires today, Prime Minister Bill English has conceded that the initial decision to roll Gerry Brownlee down the Hoon Hay Valley in an attempt to appease the fire may have been a mistake, and perhaps based on faulty science.
The decision to toss Gerry into the flames was made last night by local fire services after they spent all night screaming into the fire “What do you want!?”
Using special listening equipment, some volunteers thought they heard it bellow back “Gerry Brownlee”, but it is now thought it was actually asking for Australian cricketer George Bailey.
Bailey was not available to be reached for comment or human sacrifice.
Brownlee was rolled down the hill at approximately 7:42am this morning, and reached terminal velocity shortly thereafter. Upon making contact with the flame, he carried it all the way down the hill, and spread it “much farther” than it is believed it would have gone otherwise.
“Yeah, look, I can’t comment on matters of that nature,” the Prime Minister told media today. “That’s for the relevant specialists to say, but it does appear, in hindsight at least, that may not have been the best move.”
English “accepted” that it was “a reasonably bizarre thing” to roll a Government Minister down a valley as a means of firefighting.
“That is not how I understand fires are normally fought, no,” he said. “But you’d have to speak to the relevant specialists, as I said.”
The Prime Minister said he “did not” sign off on the plan to roll Brownlee down the hill, but accepted, given the circumstances, he “might have.”
While he insists he’ll be remembered either way, English said he has no reason to believe Brownlee perished during the rolling procedure, and is probably “just trapped on his back somewhere.”
Yesterday, Brownlee had gone on record criticising fire services for their initial response to the crisis, saying that they had “repeatedly tried to push me down the hill.”