Russel Norman has an ironic adjunct to the ‘storm in a wine glass’ (as one wit on RNZ called Phil Heatley’s resignation):
I have been calling on central govt to consider sewerage systems as important infrastructure and financially support communities like Whangarei to upgrade them. There were 45 raw sewerage discharges last year in Whangarei, many of them in the Harbour. Yuk.
Phil Heatley, the local member, dismissed my suggestion that central government should help Whangarei clean up its harbour with the comment that:
‘Russel Norman’s got plenty of reasons to spend other people’s money’ (Whangarei Leader 16-2-10).
It turns out that Phil too has plenty of reasons to spend other people’s money. But it seems we have different priorities.
Heatley’s not the only minister to use public money for private gain.