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Is high-fiving schoolgirls a parliamentary purpose?

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 pm, August 27th, 2013 - 72 comments
Categories: Minister for Photo-ops - Tags:

So, it’s all drama drama today as the intrepid Patrick Gower discovers that Labour’s leadership candidates are using their parliamentary flight allowance for the leadership debates. As if, you know, selecting the leader of a parliamentary party isn’t clearly a parliamentary purpose. If you’re going to play crusader, Mr Gower, how about looking at how much of John Key’s $650,000 travel budget goes on trips to high-five schoolgirls or play in toy boats?

key wasting your money


72 comments on “Is high-fiving schoolgirls a parliamentary purpose?”

  1. Tigger 1

    Not to mention the increase in security since dicktatorship began – begging to be exposed for the ego trip that it is.

    • Akldnut 1.1

      Dicktatorship lol

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        Gower has given himself the job of getting his bestie Johnny Sparkles re-elected. Simple as that. He’s a one-man Fox News, and is making plenty out of it. What’s that about following the money?

  2. Lanthanide 2

    The story was very much written so as to provoke outrage – how dare they use taxpayer money to do their jobs!

  3. Neoleftie 3

    Well I have to agree with paddy…this is a independent political party choosing its leader in an internal process behind closed door where only card Cary member will be present.
    Draw the line on trough like behaviour – this is not public or parliamentary business, its our party our representatives and our party money should be paying their tickets.

    [it is part of an MP’s job to as an MP to communicate with their party, to participate in selection of parliamentary officeholders, to communicate party principles. every year, MPs from every party fly to their party conferences, fly to regional conferences, fly to party and public meetings – this is no different. MValley]

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      They’re using the free travel that every MP gets.

      They could take 20 holiday flights between Queenstown and Auckland and charge that to us if they wanted.

      • North 3.1.1

        Wonder how many flights from wherever, bound for Parnell BBQs, were paid for from the public purse ? Potty Gower’s just showing what an unartful dick he is………again.

      • Polish Pride 3.1.2

        And you see this as acceptable !??!

        • Lanthanide

          I see it as something that Neoleftie should complain about *before* complaining about flights being used for legitimate party business.

          • burt

            Legitimate party business – legitimate parliamentary business… It’s the same only when you believe you have a god given right to rule !!!!

            • McFlock

              No, it’s the same only if the party is in parliament.
              Or do you think that MPs should not visit the people they represent?

              The point is especially obvious for list MPs. Think about it. And that’s beyond the obvious fact that this election concerns who will fill a parliamentary job – as illustrated by Dunne’s recent pay cut.

    • peterlepaysan 3.2

      MPs travel on paid party business all the the time. What is your problem?

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Dont forget the national party conference, all Mps travelled on the taxpayers ticket to wherever.

    Or we could look at Ministerial housing allowances, we used to have a system where only who lived away from Wellington could get their rent paid….
    That didnt suit Key and English, so a flat rate was paid, no matter what the rent was. generally they all took the money and run

  5. karol 5

    Gower is scrapping the bottom of smear jonolism. He really seems to have it in for Cunliffe: the paining on the wall of Cunliffe’s electorate office; reviving the “shock horror” of the “Man Ban”.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Yep if you compare his treatment of Robertson to his treatment of Cunliffe the difference is jarring.

      • karol 5.1.1

        Mind you, Gower must be a little worried that after his smear campaign against Cunliffe at last year’s conference, Cunliffe is now strongly back in consideration.

      • IrishBill 5.1.2

        Micky, I’ve emailed you about a post you’ve scheduled.

    • geoff 5.2

      The man has no imagination, just like Duncan Garner. He’s incapable of assembling an interesting story from the facts so he falls back on dumb stunts like this.

      His appeal is to munters because he himself is clearly a munter. It’s unfortunate because Labour needs the munter vote, and if this munter has it in for Labour then it’s going to be that much harder to attract other munters.

  6. BM 6

    That boat car looks like fun, the lucky bastard.
    When did he get to ride in that?

    • vto 6.1

      Of course it does BM, that’s why he did it, just for the national party voters

      so very apt

    • felix 6.2

      “When did he get to ride in that?”

      He doesn’t remember.

      He does remember but it never happened.

      It’s a Labour plot.

      Won’t someone think of the children who don’t have any toy cars?

      He’ll sue you if you print that picture again. But it never happened.

      You’re fired.

      He’s pretty relaxed about it.

      Helen sat in a red car once.

      This is the kind of car we’ll all be driving if the Greens aren’t lined up and shot.

      It’s not in his interest to answer.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        It’s a dangerous world out there and while we definitely need to know, you don’t.

        • idlegus

          “its been fun but if you dont like the deal then fuck off.” to paraphrase…

          • s y d

            well, look, the point, really the, really is that, at the end day, you’re actually going to not to want to not vote for us, so yeah, umm, whatever, why would I bother with to you.

      • Tracey 6.2.2


  7. vto 7

    Gower and tv3 concentrating on where the costs were paid from was mischievous in the extreme, in the world of mainstream media imo.

    Gower and TV3 would have clearly known the rules and the reasons etc behind them but they chose to ignore them for the sake of an over-dramatization and over-extended pull at those particular strings.

    Dishonesty by Gower and TV3.

    And not just dishonesty but digging their own hole. Do they think kiwis are stupid? Do they think kiwis don’t realise broadly how the system works? Do they seriously think that kiwis want to hear that drivel for that long? Methinks not. Methinks that was absolute crappy journalism.

    what a waste of time te noos was tonight.

  8. Hanswurst 8

    Cunliffe should get one of his supporters to place a photo of Gower strategically behind Gower whenever he interviews Cunliffe.

  9. vto 9

    This may sound odd but I think Cunliffe has done the right thing by putting the “man ban” back on the agenda and saying it is for the party.

    I don’t know why Shearer didn’t do it at the time. Cunliffe is standing up with a spine and stating some good strong things that push the supposed “invisible walls’.

    It is not the issue that will resonate it is the fact he is not afraid to stand up and say strong things… similar to the consideration of buying back state assets.

    Life is too short to sit around wringing one’s hands and fretting about what everybody around you tells you is the this and that. Get into it Cunliffe, go hard.

    • felix 9.1

      Yep good call v.

    • Anne 9.2

      This may sound odd but I think Cunliffe has done the right thing by putting the “man ban” back on the agenda and saying it is for the party.

      You’re right vto. Shearer upset quite a lot of the Labour women with that move. Have to admit I didn’t care one way or the other because Labour is generally moving in that direction anyway. The problem was: we lost a few women MPs in both the 2008 and 2011 elections, but they will be more than compensated for in 2014 – of that I’m certain.

  10. Rosie 10

    Yep Michael. Gower’s attempt to make a big issue out a complete non issue was really lame. He’s getting kind of embarrassing.

    • Rodel 10.1

      27 August 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Gower is amazing. I cant believe he has any journalistic qualifications (do such things exist?)
      He is so blatantly a National propagandist ..not a shred of journalistic integrity or a molecule of professional competence.

      Please Mr Cunliffe…Harvard graduate, diplomat, business consultant etc..Stop being so tolerant of this fool ..sometimes rodents have to be eliminated or at least ignored. Ask Gower if he has any intelligent question of relevance to political policy or Labour party leadership issues or any questions worthy of n answer……if not ..’next question please from a real journalist’.

      By the way Is Gower, Matthew Hooton’s son or nephew? grrrr!

      • infused 10.1.1

        I guess you didn’t see him when the GCSB bill was being debated?

        He just likes causing shit. I don’t think he’s on anyone’s side.

        I’ve also noticed some strange things happening on Stuff.co.nz (facebook) and tv3 (facebook). They post very open ended, stupid questions to cause rage from people who know nothing about politics. It’s only started in the last month or two.

        Keep an eye on it.

        • lprent

          He just likes causing shit. I don’t think he’s on anyone’s side.

          Exactly. The face made for radio (as Lyn described him once)

        • Rosie

          “I’ve also noticed some strange things happening on Stuff.co.nz (facebook) and tv3 (facebook). They post very open ended, stupid questions to cause rage from people who know nothing about politics. It’s only started in the last month or two.

          Keep an eye on it.”

          No thanks infused. Stuff.co.nz makes me weep. I had noticed that pattern of behaviour you mention above, emerging, and thats when I decided to ban myself from viewing their pages for good. (With the exception of Furry Friday, I’m afraid to admit)

      • Rosie 10.1.2

        “I cant believe he has any journalistic qualifications”

        Well Rodel, I recall Dai Henwood saying quite some time ago that Patrick Gower looked like a teenage undertaker. Maybe journalism wasn’t his initial career choice……………….

  11. Saarbo 11

    Gower seems to be on a mission to have a go at Cunliffe, I would love to know who the motivation behind this is?

    Generally with Journo’s you can get a rough idea of their inside sources by analysing the politicians that they attack the least. Inside sources are their bread and butter, and they look after them like gold.

    No doubt some of Gowers motivation to attack Cunliffe is coming from the National Party, when was the last time he attacked Key, even during the GCSB debate at its strongest he was incredibly tame on Key. Cunliffe is obviously a significant threat to National in 2014. But I hope some of his motivation isn’t coming from his sources in the Labour Party…is he attacking Robertson with the same vigour? This is a question not an allegation.

    • Anne 11.1

      But I hope some of his motivation isn’t coming from his sources in the Labour Party…is he attacking Robertson with the same vigour?

      I fear much of it is Saarbo. The remnants of the ABC club maybe? I can’t answer the second part but I suspect we will see him concentrate his attacks on Cunliffe – especially if Cunliffe’s support continues to rise.

    • David H 11.2

      It could be that his ‘airtime’ has diminished noticeably since the ‘Cunliffe conspiracy, and even more so in the last month, since they have had this ‘Clark Kent’ clone, and Tova O’brien on. Gushing Gower looks to be Gone!

    • Rodel 11.3

      I think the colour is brown, not gold

  12. tc 12

    Get used to it, mediawonks owes this govt bigtime for its existence and its pay back time…..more so than usual.

    • infused 12.1

      Makes no sense with the campbell interview. Try again and see my comment above.

      • tc 12.1.1

        The MSM stopped making sense once they were bought off by big business interests.

        The links between joyce and mediawonks are well known, who gave shonkey a radio show last election campaign and who pursues cunliffe with special attention not given to anyone else in this leadership race.

        Its not subtle but subtle enough for the sheeple.

      • felix 12.1.2

        “Makes no sense with the campbell interview.”

        You mean the one that was widely hailed as a great bit of pr for Key? 😉

        But actually I agree with you, it’s way too simplistic to say that the entire mediaworks organisation are singing from the same sheet because of a govt favour.

        Of course by the same token it would be equally simplistic to suggest that such a favour has no effect.

  13. Clement Pinto 13

    I think this report was plain biased and mischievous aired to do damage to Labour and the three candidates. The travel rules apply the same way for ALL MPs of all parties. Remember their allowances were cut by parliamentary services and the new rules stated that as long as they are MPs, they had unlimited free air travel for ANY purpose, be it official, unofficial, public, private, party business, just plain partying or Government business.

    The parliamentary services have Okyed it. It is not the candidates’ fault. The National MPs use these same parliamentary travel rules to attend their party meetings in their electorates or their National conferences or holidays or weddings or sex change in Queenstown. It should be one rule for all or the speaker should change the rules.

    When Key and other Nat MPs go to different electorates to support their bids at election time, who do you think pays their flight cost? Parliamentary services! The reporters who should know better are being unfair, just like Key is in many instances of his attacks on Labour!

    I do have sympathy to the view that the costs, including airfares, for purely party affairs such as their conferences or party elections or private business should be borne by the party or the candidates. However, the rule will be difficult to monitor, administer, political, open to abuse and confusion. I think the present rule is the most appropriate as it is paid by a fund
    earmarked for MPs travel expenses of all kinds, and applies impartially to all MPs.

  14. IrishBill 14

    I’d quite like to know how much parliamentary services money has been paid to David Farrar’s polling company over the past decade.

  15. Populuxe1 15

    “If you’re going to play crusader, Mr Gower, how about looking at how much of John Key’s $650,000 travel budget goes on trips to high-five schoolgirls or play in toy boats?”

    Low hanging fruit much? If Shearer had spent half as much time flashing the common touch, he might still be leader of Labour. Given that there are so many very real, very horrible things that Key has done, it does seem a bit petty and pointless to have a go at him for what is actually part of the job of any state leader – to move among the people.

    • felix 15.1

      Do these very real, very horrible things that Key has done involve his travel budget?

      Or did you forget what the article was about?

      • Populuxe1 15.1.1

        The GCSB laws are far more important. This is a side show. Although I suppose we could go through the travel budgets for Labour, the Greens, and Mana and see what that turns up as well.

        • felix

          Oh wow.

          So you didn’t just forget what the article was about, you didn’t bother to read it at all.

          Danger of putting pictures up I suppose, always going to attract children.

  16. tracey 16

    Much more important than keys appalling petulance at red zoners.

    tracy watkins has an article heading referring to a twitter spat. Its a tiny part of her article. Editor intervention on headline?

  17. tracey 17

    Perhaps the answer is that everytime a journalist asks a dumb question a candidate, any candidate fires back something like…

    rio tinto gets 30m and red zoners get nothing
    warner bros got 30m but patients in hawke bay cant even get bathed

    those things matter to kiwis


  18. tracey 18

    I agree with infused. This bunch of media are focused on minutiae. They are trawling thru stuff to find the negative. I dont think that means they are biased. Gower is the youngest on the block from what I can see. Hes grown up on reality tv which is real lowest common denominator stuff. He has grown up in newsrooms driven by profit and ratings not quality joyrnalism. Has he yet worked under a labour government?

    • Rodel 18.1

      ‘Has he yet worked under a labour government?’
      More to the point…’Has he worked yet?….finis
      Actually I’m feeling a bit sorry for the guy.. must be hard to match the high standards of our mainstream journalists when you…..No I can’t finish.

  19. tricledrown 19

    News update paddy gower caught moonlighting as troll on hobbit movies

  20. Steve 20

    On the positive side I think Cunliffe and the other contenders have handled Gower’s little beat ups extremely well.

    Paddy, as Cunliffe so affectionately calls him, is beginning to look like the dumb-arse kid that always asks the stupid question. You can almost hear the whole class groan around him!

    • Molly 20.1

      +1. Made me smile, because that is exactly what happens in our living room when he appears on tv…

  21. Sable 21

    So the pigs are all pointing and squealing at each other when in fact they all have their hypocritical snouts firmly buried in the trough. Does anyone really believe anything any of them have to say anymore (assuming anyone ever did to start with)?

    Both National and Labour have run this country into the ground and ruined the lives of tens of thousands of people. Self righteous squeals from the sty fail to impress.

  22. Matthew 22

    I would much rather pay for Labour MP’s to fly around NZ connecting with the members in a leadership contest than pay for Tim Groser to fly around the world several times to contest the WTO top job.

    Im shocked that any news organisation would have such a partisan hack as its political editor.

  23. Tiger Mountain 23

    Brand ShonKey and C/T memes are subsiding gradually, until recently he could have had school girls galore sat on the heated govt. car seats and the 40% ers would not blink but there is a change a coming. Spending? SCF bailout, Hobbit enabling Act and on and on if you want to go there.

  24. Swan 24

    Bloody troughers. This isn’t parliamentary business. The rules around this need a good tidy up.

    • lprent 24.1

      Yes I’m not sure that enabling John Key such paid access to schoolgirls is a good idea either. I have to hope you read the posts title if nothing else.

      Dickhead – state what you are talking about rather than using canned lines. I just regard those as evidence of a troll yammering as they stroke their small minds in search of relief… would like to see some evidence of intelligence peering out of your words – something you appear to be incapable of.

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