16 Apr 2015

Airing their clean laundry

11:37 am on 16 April 2015

It's not immediately obvious, but singer Lorde and former Reserve Bank Governor-turned-politician Don Brash have something in common.

Don Brash and Lorde

Photo: ACT Party / RNZ Diego Opatowski

Dr Brash first properly sprang into the popular consciousness in 1999 when The Reserve Bank released details of his travel spending.

Here's what the original press release concluded with:

"Unlike many central bank chiefs, Dr Brash travels without an entourage. On all of his overseas trips and most of his New Zealand ones, he travels entirely without the aid of staff. Furthermore, as a matter of policy he flies economy class within New Zealand and Australia and business class internationally.

"In line with a Bank policy he instigated, he routinely washes his own clothes when travelling to avoid incurring the expense of using laundry services. Dr Brash is always very mindful of his accountability to the New Zealand taxpayer."

It was sweet, entertaining, music to the ears of taxpayers; he was the money man who washed his socks in the hotel room basin.

Dr Brash was later able to parlay this honest, slightly bumbling, revelation into a political career before the dirty washing started to pile up too quickly.

Lorde, in her endearing way, comes across as a bit bumbling too.

She tends to travel with a slightly larger entourage - often her mum - and hangs out with people like Taylor Swift and Kanye West, the Reserve Bank governors, if you like, of the music world.

But she isn't completely living like a royal either, following in Brash's dirt-free footsteps.

Lorde, as part of an entertaining speech at last night's Taite Music Prize ceremony in Auckland, told the gathered throng she had become quite the dab hand at using hotel basins for a spot of washing.

She also said energy drinks helped her survive on four hours of sleep; a cup of tea was probably more Don Brash's thing.

Airing their clean laundry in public does, however, strike a chord.

As a country we like those lifted into the public eye not to be flash Harrys or Harriettas.

The idea of a pop star and Reserve Bank boss washing their smalls plays very nicely to parts of our national psyche.

Here's hoping they do their own ironing too.

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