The Point of Order Trough Monitor, programmed to alert us to ministerial handouts, nevertheless sounded the alarm when the latest Provincial Growth Fund spending was announced by a politician further down in the pecking order.
Accordingly we have learned that the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has allocated $3.5 million to develop innovative predator control approaches which will reduce the need for repeated 1080 use.
The news was delivered in an embargoed press release from a New Zealand back-bencher, conservation spokeswoman Jenny Marcroft.
Perhaps she was hoping to draw attention from other matters involving her party.
Perhaps she was hoping the media were less likely to miss the announcement if it was made more than once.
Or perhaps she wanted to give greater emphasis to the role the PGF is playing in finding ways of reducing the use of 1080, the most effective way of eradicating pests such as rats and possums but a poison passionately opposed by some environmentalists.
We muse on the second two possibilities because the news was also announced – the official announcement, you could say – by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau.