Government Minister Maurice Williamson behaved in a boisterous fashion in the VIP area during the Australia-Italy game on Sunday, according to a witness.
But oddly, Maurice Williamson has received support from a very unlikely source; bipartisanship at its finest; read on:
General secretary of the National Distribution Union, Robert Reid, said he was behind Mr Williamson throughout the international in the VIP area on Sunday.
"He was jumping up and down and gesticulating …we all like to give it to the Aussies and he was doing that as well," Mr Reid said.
He described Mr Williamson's general demeanour as colourful but not offensive.
"There were Australian Rugby Union people there," Mr Reid said.
Mr Reid said he saw Mr Williamson's fellow cabinet ministers Jonathan Coleman and Wayne Mapp in the VIP area.
"They were not jumping to their feet, calling out and gesticulating as much as Maurice was. I'm no Maurice fan. He was boisterous. It certainly was not offensive behaviour," Mr Reid said.
He did not hear Mr Williamson swearing.
Maurice Williamson will probably be quite chuffed to have his behaviour described as colourful. He's one of Parliament's better debaters, and we always enjoy his contributions to the General Debates on Wednesday afternoon. But it seems as though rumours of swearing, and of walking out when Australia gained ascendancy over Italy have been somewhat inflated, as Australians are wont to do. In short, it's an anonymous beat-up.
So; that mystery has been solved; now we can look forward to a resumption in the rugby today. Samoa makes its tournament debut this afternoon in Rotorua against Namibia, and Tonga takes on Canada in Whangarei. To complete today's action, Scotland plays Georgia tonight in Invercargill. And once Russia and the USA clash tomorrow in New Plymouth, we will have seen every team in the tournament.
Doubtless the fans will turn out in big numbers today, especially to the matches involving our island neighbours. And doubtless there will be plenty of boisterous behaviour which is great; we've been known to be a bit that way ourselves. As long as things don't get offensive, everyone will have a great time; and isn't that what we all want to see?