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Archive for 10 February 2012

Dominion Post – asking the wrong questions?

10 February 2012 5 comments

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Today’s Dominion Post has highlighted Hone Harawira’s travel costs, incurred from 1 October 2011 to 31 December 2011,

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Full Story

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The article state,

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira topped the list at $54,961, followed by Labour leader Phil Goff with $32,566.” – Ibid

Blah, blah… blah, blah, bah… … … … …blah.

The article then repeats Harawira’s travel expenditure, for good measure – just in case we missed the statement at the beginning, plus the photo with the comment,

TOP DOLLAR: Mana Party leader Hone Harawira topped the list of MP travel expenses during election time.

Obviously, this article is a thinly-disguised attack on Hone.  It’s called  “having a go at someone” since Harawira is an easy target for lazy journos, right wingers, and racists.

Otherwise, Ms Vance has missed the real story relating to the release of  MP’s travel costs, to whit,

Hone Harawira’s travel costs,

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John Key’s travel costs,

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Source: Members’ expense disclosure from 1 October 2011 to 31 December 2011

Hang on a mo’…

$1,710 spent by John Key on all domestic and air travel?!?!

How does that work???

Especially when National MP, Nikki Kaye (immediatly above Key) spent $14,569 and National MP, Colin King (immediatly below Key) spent $20,037?!?!

After all, Key was all over the country in the run-up to the election – especially his little “day excursion” to Epsom, to have a cuppa tea,

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Who paid for Key to travel to Epsom?

And shouldn’t that question be a matter of interest to journalists?  Or is it much easier to simply pluck the highest figure from the list, and repeat it without any context or analysis at all?

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As an aside, Hone Harawira is MP for the Te Tai Tokerau electorate – one of the biggest electorates in the country.

Also, Te Tai Tokorau takes in the general  general electorates of  East Coast Bays, Helensville, North Shore, Northcote, Northland, Rodney, Te Atatū, Whangarei,  part of Waitakere and some  islands located within the Auckland Central electorate.

Harawira is therefore covering an area which, in the General Electorates, is covered by ten MPs.

 

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It would be remarkable if Harawira didn’t incur a larger-than-normal travel bill. His electorate is larger-than-normal.

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Minister for whut?!?!

10 February 2012 6 comments

It appears that ACT is  in a world of it’s own…

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Don Brash resigned as Leader of ACT on 26 November – about two and a half  months ago.

But perhaps even more curious is this,

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There is no such portfolio as “Minister of Parliament for Epsom”.

At best, John Banks is the MP (Member of Parliament ) for Epsom.

And of course, there was this little item I blogged about back in December, last year,

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It’s interesting that ACT has managed to “update” the above page by adding a Facebook  “Like” button, and a Google “+1” button – but have not yet figured out that they have only one MP (John Banks) – not five, as pictured.

This would be mildly amusing (and not really worthwhile to blog about) – except that ACT is now on course to implement it’s unpopular and ideologically-based, “Charter Schools” policy (which was never mandated by voters, as it was never raised as a public issue), and has appointed Catherine Isaac (ex-ACT President, and ACT List candidate for 2011 Election) to oversee the implementation of Charter Schools.

This re-structuring of part of our education is a major change to our education system, and has the potential to impact on the lives of an entire generation of children.

It seems inconceivable that the implementation of this radical, controversial policy, is in the hands of people who don’t know how many MPs they have in Parliament; who their Leader is;  employ Parliamentary titles that don’t exis; and can’t be bothered to update on-line information.

What, exactly, should we trust about ACT?

This should be cause for concern for all New Zealanders.

For the record:

  • John Banks is not the “Minister” for Epsom – he is the Member of Parliament for Epsom.
  • The term “Minister for Epsom” does not exist.
  • ACT has one MP, not five.
  • None of the five persons depicted on the ACT webpage as “MPs” are MPs  (none stood for re-election in 2011).
  • Don Brash is not the Leader of ACT.

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Acknowledgements for this story

Previous Blog post

ACT woefully behind the times?

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