THE MINISTRY OF AFFAIRS

© Robin Thomsen 2005

New Zealandís Destiny, 2015

A decade ago, a well-known religious movement called Destiny Church anticipated doom and gloom on a catastrophic level should the nation continue receiving its immoral guidance from the government. Destiny, along with some other groups, insisted that governments were undermining the family with radical feminist and homosexual agendas, evidenced by such events as the decriminalisation of prostitution and the development of civil unions as an option for couples to take instead of marriage - an option available to homosexuals.

Destiny claimed that New Zealand equated to a moral wasteland - and that was back in the early to mid 00ís. Fatherless families, increased sexual and violent crimes, ďnormalisation of immoral behavioursĒ, the proliferation of pornography, drug and alcohol use and abuse, poverty and so on could be mostly blamed on the state, perhaps second in responsibility only to the works of the Devil.

That was the heyday of Destiny. Ultimately and in spite of their noble efforts and attempt at the political arena, the church hierarchy somehow convinced around 95% of New Zealanders that their church was greedy, deceitful and dangerous, filled with bigots and extremists. I partially attributed their downfall to their guruís comments regarding the media, which he equated to modern day witches. Evidently Destiny had bitten the hand that fed them and was rendered inconsequential, never receiving positive publicity from any media organisation ever again.

I for one never took Destiny seriously, but theyíre still around you know; the underlings wearing black shirts and clenching their fists, hair gel and bling bling on the leadership.

When the left-wing political parties once again made a return to power, the new government installed a new ministry, which reminded me of the rants of old Destiny Church. The government wasnít subtle when introducing this service though: the new ministry was called ďThe Ministry of Affairs.Ē

While opposition groups loudly touted the new Ministry of Affairs as being ďThe most vile, sickening institution ever to scar the face of New Zealand,Ē the government played down the ministries arrival, declaring that it was not designed to support the breakdown of the family unit but rather to keep records and provide legislation and assistance for troubled relationships. Thatís partly true, but the intention also included providing some guidance to those seeking to commit some infidelity. They didnít keep this agenda overly quiet though, and Iím telling you now that it is true that The Ministry of Affairs helps people commit adultery. I know this, because I work there.

The Vice Squad

I was very lucky to be employed at the ministry. To be considered you have to pass through a gauntlet of stringent checks and considerations. I had a number of aspects working against me. In order to get a job as a civil servant these days, having a degree of some kind is desirable, practically mandatory. The same goes for all government departments and services, including the post office. Most employees in The Ministry of Affairs have some kind of diploma or certificate in counselling or social work. I donít have a tertiary degree.

Another obstacle I faced was that The Ministry of Affairs was an equal opportunity employer. Being a young, white, able-bodied, heterosexual male I was almost statistically disqualified. In our office of twenty case workers, there is only one other young, white, able-bodied heterosexual male, although I understand he dabbles in trasvestitism.

By some fortunate decision, I was accepted as a case worker. New employees in the ministry get put through an intense orientation course, largely based on team-building exercises, personality tests (I, apparently, am an armadillo) and character strengthening techniques. We are reminded that we are no better or worse than our co-workers, regardless of our individual performance. Everyone should be treated with consideration - especially our clients, who are sometimes feeling very vulnerable. We are taught how to steer our clients towards a situation that will make them happier, and there are techniques we are taught that we can pass on to customers in order to help them escape feelings of self-loathing. To actually perform my job requires only negligible training and a basic knowledge of procedure, but to do the job right we do need to be able to relate with our customers.

The job I have is strictly regulated and for obvious reasons I cannot name any of my clients or reveal many details about them. I can, however, tell you about what I do.

As a case manager, it is my primary job to collect and collate statistics, keeping track of couples having trouble and recording the web of infidelity that exists naturally. My job description also requires that I advise, provide support and if necessarily, refer adulterers to a new potential partner. Around half of our clients are wanting legal advice on how to leave their husband, wife or civil union partner so they can be with their new flame. Many others are involved in some variety of infidelity but are suffering from guilt or panic that they might get caught. To those people we simply counsel, acting as a shoulder to cry on and if necessary we refer those people to a doctor for anti-anxiety treatment and medication.

Some people, more than you might think actually, are not yet having an affair but would like to have one and simply havenít met someone suitable. In this occurrence we cross reference the clients ďideal partnerĒ with a list of registered prostitutes. Our list is quite extensive and we can cater to most tastes, both heterosexual and homosexual. Some people are hesitant, however, and donít open up enough for us to provide our service effectively and that could mean that they need to come back in for a second consultation. I remember one timid man who wanted to have an affair, just with a ďnice ladyĒ because he and his wife apparently hadnít had sexual intercourse for some time. He came back to me, a little flustered and unsatisfied. After probing the issue to establish his preferences a little further, I referred him to an asian shemale for some S & M. I received a call from my relieved client the day after, informing me that everything was now satisfactory.

All details of all relationships and illicit relationships are kept on a database. We can look at the results superimposed over a map. While the Ministry of Affairs is still a relatively new development, our client list is already quite extensive. Because some of our clients have several partners on the go at any one time (the system can handle as many as is necessary), the result looks something like a spider web. Massage parlours, predictably, shine out with hundreds of spokes emanating from them. The map is quite pretty to look at actually.

There are certain limitations we must observe while working for the ministry. While we do recommend to some of our clients that they obtain alibis, we cannot act as alibis ourselves. We are also forbidden from engaging in any sexual relationships with our customers, ďDonít take your work home with you,Ē our management warns.

We maintain a high level of security in the Ministry, but everyone who comes to us signs a waiver protecting The Ministry of Affairs and those employed by the service from any liability should personal confidential details inadvertently be made public - accidents can happen, and computer espionage and hacking has been known to take place in other government departments.

We have a union. While we arenít required to join it, we would be fools if we didnít. By signing up to the union we receive a once off bonus of $1500, and we get paid an extra one dollar an hour on top of our normal wages. The union is in practice another government department in itself, which makes me wonder how useful they would be if I did have a dispute with my employer.

Our wages are actually quite reasonable and it is supplemented by performance bonuses which can be quite considerable. I canít disclose the amount we receive due to strict contractual agreement, but we consider a happy client a success (all clients receive a follow up call to assess our efficiency). The performance bonus for referrals is a rather special scenario and we can pull in some very lucrative rewards. Similar to Work and Income, we receive a bonus our client is an ethnic minority. We receive an extra bonus if we manage to refer a client to someone of the same gender. We also receive extra bonuses for the amount of new partners involved. All of these bonuses are comulative. I successfully referred one young refugee gentleman onto a homosexual orgy once, and I received enough of a bonus from that one client to really treat myself that week. Iím good at what I do.

Reflections

Sometimes when I tell people that I work as a case manager for The Ministry of Affairs, they react in disgust. Many people consider what I do as being ethically unwholesome and destructive to the community. They do sometimes compare us to drug dealers, miscreants and criminals, Iíve even been called a traitor to the country. I donít believe that, we are after all just doing a service to the nation, just like the IRD (and no-one likes them either!)

The other day I was sitting on the bus and struck up a conversation with an elderly couple. I told them what I do and the lady became very hostile and told me that what I did was an appalling waste of taxpayers money, and that I should be ashamed of myself. Back in the day, people who had affairs reaped the consequences of their actions. People who committed such immoral behaviour would always be bitten on the bum by their actions later. It was a karmic thing. After explaining how happy I had made some people, especially those with severely deviated sexual preferences, she softened a little and conceded that she would rather see her tax money paid on The Ministry of Affairs rather than, say, hip-hop tours for privileged researchers. She quickly added that sheíd like to see The Ministry of Affairs dissolved anyway, which made me a little sad.

More permissive people are a little more open minded and regard the new service as a blessing, we keep people happy after all. If people are going to lie and cheat on their spouses anyway, might as well legitimise it. Recently released figures show a marked decrease in suicides among men and women in the 25 to 50 age group, and the figures are expected to lower further as more people take advantage of our service.

Critics have been quick to pounce on The Ministry of Affairs, claiming it has contributed to the break-up of the so-called ďFamily UnitĒ. Admittedly, statistics have shown that infidelity in couples has grown by almost 10% since the new ministry was founded, although we attribute this mostly to an existing trend of unfaithfulness. Thankfully due to hate-speech legislation we can now prosecute and (if necessary) imprison those terminal bigots who make judgement on how other people choose to lead their innocent lives.

Its a free country you know, and we certainly donít force people to take advantage of our service. We do encourage people to see us though and I think that's a good thing. You might have seen our advertising campaign on the television which is our attempt to normalise and ease the situation. Infidelity can be a traumatic experience for many and we can help lubricate the friction and difficulty.

Government initiatives such as the Ministry of Affairs are put in place for your own good and protection. We have similar ministries, such as the Ministry of Maori Affairs and the Ministry of Women's affairs - there will always be elements of society which will need the be regulated in order to protect people, and the unfaithful should be similarly protected from discrimination. People have even been ostracised, assaulted or murdered for their infidelity - did you know that?

I think Iím happy with what I do, the job pays the bills and puts food on the table. What I do is interesting and unique and I meet a lot of new people. The satisfaction I gain from helping people is a reward on its own.

If you want to have an affair, or if you know someone who might want to have an affair, please donít hesitate to drop in at the office. Itís a free service after all, and it is completely confidential. Here is my card.