Now we have a reasonable memory, although the power of the internet helps. So when Mr Mallard got stuck in to the government yesterday, our memory went into overdrive. Here's what he said, as reported in the Herald:
The Government's pledge of $300,000 to an "under-resourced" New Zealand Football - which has already got 20 times that amount by qualifying for the World Cup - is for a "photo op" for Prime Minister John Key, says Labour MP Trevor Mallard.
Prime Minister John Key yesterday announced Cabinet had decided to give $300,000 to New Zealand Football's World Cup campaign, to hire a temporary media manager, improve its website and run one-off football leadership camps around the country.
Mr Key said New Zealand Football was under-resourced to capitalise on the Fifa World Cup campaign.
Mr Mallard posted on Labour blog Red Alert today that New Zealand Football already had money to pay for the World Cup campaign, and questioned what the point of a further $300,000 was.
"To arrange photos with John Key no doubt," Mr Mallard said.
"Think how many netballs could have been bought with $300k."
Now personally, we're delighted that the government is backing the All Whites' World Cup campaign. It's great news for football in New Zealand. We wonder why Mr Mallard would risk alienating the football community. Then we remembered ...
Turn the clock back to September 2006. Helen Clark's Labour government was taking hits all over the place over illegal spending on the pledge card at the 2005 election. Up to the plate stepped none other than Trevor Mallard:
The Government is investigating a downtown waterfront site for a stadium to host the Rugby World Cup final in Auckland.
It wants to evaluate a proposed $320million upgrade of Eden Park against building a whole new stadium in a better position.
In a statement at 5.30pm today, Minister for the Cup Trevor Mallard dropped the bombshell when he confirmed that it wanted to know if there were better options than upgrading Eden Park.
"The government wants an assurance that there is no alternative better option to the Eden Park proposal, given the considerable size of the potential investment required," he said.
Mr Mallard said a waterfront stadium could have lasting social and economic benefits.
Among them, he listed being close to:
* good transport hubs
* bars and clubs
* better parking
* the CBD
Eden Park, on the other hand, is in a suburban setting with little parking and is surrounded by houses.
Debate raged for several months, but the idea was shelved as the costs mushroomed. Did Mallard REALLY believe at the time that a waterfront stadium was a goer? We doubt it. It was a diversion, and it bought Helen Clark time. It probably also bought Mr Mallard a few "photo opportunities" of his own, not to mention innumerable column centimetres in the press, and an abundance of TV time. Though the proposal failed, the plan to take the heat off the PM worked, by and large.
Now Trevor Mallard is making a song and dance about an investment in football by the government of more than 2,000 times LESS than he was prepared to spend on a stadium. We think he's being just a bit precious; in fact, we'd go as far to say that his statement yesterday is hypocritical.
We know that Trevor Mallard despises John Key. He's written several posts on Red Alert about Smile and Wave, although the man who would be Education Minister doesn't believe in using capitals for a title - he refers to "smile and wave". Yesterday's Red Alert post was, in our humble opinion, petty and vindictive. So we say to Mr Mallard:
POT; MEET KETTLE