Not walking the talk

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, November 8th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: ,

I’m not against Prime Ministers making limited use of Airforce aircraft when necessary – when commercial flights or (better) surface travel aren’t practical. It’s cheaper and more efficient than having dedicated aircraft that would hardly ever be used.

But Key using two Iroquois, each flying for eight hours, just so he could get from Blenheim to Kiakoura quicker seems ridiculous. The cost must have been horrendous and the kicker is that Key wasn’t even do anything useful, just PR stuff:

Key arrived in Kaikoura about 10am to an hour-long powhiri at the Kaikoura Winery, then launched the Whale Watch boat, Wawahia. He went out on a whale-watching tour before returning to shore for lunch.

I don’t mind paying for good government. I do mind paying thousands of dollars so a guy we’re already paying $1,000 a day can go and watch the whales rather than run the country.

All in all, it’s another example of ministers living the high life on taxpayer dollars while demanding the rest of us stomach pay freezes and public service cuts.

17 comments on “Not walking the talk”

  1. prism 1

    Oh don’t be such a grinch. The PM should be able to get some good perks as much as anyone can. He’s doing the best he can in his job, and though that may score low to some, he needs to be able to enjoy and know what is offering in tourism (he is the Minister) and the country.

    • Ari 1.1

      Treating the Airforce as his personal airline is a little bit more than a perk.

      I don’t mind if he has something urgent that needs his attention, in fact I’d applaud it. But he was launching a new Whale Watch boat. That’s ridiculous.

  2. Marty G 2

    sorry prism, I’m just trying to understand how Key seeing whales increases tourism.

  3. prism 3

    You have a low opinion of our PM’s celebrity status – surely it gives the whales a PR boost. They’ll be flapping their tails and we hear about it, and probably see it on TV and overseas may pick up on it. Good photo opportunity for him I agree, but also for the place, for NZ and business generally.
    And I point out again he is the Tourism Minister and rightly should know what the country has on offer.

    • George D 3.1

      I hear that whales will win the Rugby World Cup.

    • Marty G 3.2

      um, no-one knew he had gone on the trip until now and do you really think that the pm going whale watching increases the number of people who want to do it?

      let’s not be silly here

      • Tigger 3.2.1

        Maybe the whales leaked the story. Clearly just having Key visit didn’t get them any attention (no surprises there, he’s so overexposed that’s he’s become tedious) so perhaps they tipped off the press…

      • prism 3.2.2

        I don’t think you are looking at this from a business orientation. And why shouldn’t our PM travel in government transport? What exactly do you consider the top banana should be allowed to do?

        Somehow reminds me of the Monty Python Holy Grail excerpt where the member of an ‘anarcho-syndicalist commune’ has an argument with King Arthur about his right to be king. ‘I never voted for you’.

        • Marty G 3.2.2.1

          well, no I don’t tend to look at the government as a business but, pray, tell me how the pm going whale watching boosts tourism… from a business orientation.

          And you’ll note that my whole first paragraph is about it being ok to use military aircraft when necessary. I didn’t say he should never use military transport and I certainly didn’t say he shouldn’t use government transport, which he of course does all the time (crown limos, taxpayer-funded flights).

  4. RedLogix 4

    I see Hide has announced that he’s going to ‘pay it all back’. Oh well that’ll make it all ok then.

    Still can’t see him making any speeches attacking the PM’s use of Air Force transport, as he did on Helen Clark, anytime soon though.

  5. Anne 5

    Perhaps we should all email Hide @ parliament expressing our disgust at the PM’s misuse of Air Force transport, and looking forward to him taking up the cudgels on our behalf!

  6. Dan 6

    If Key had used the same drivers that Helen used from Timaru to Christchurch, he could have got there in 1:20. I guess helicopters stay above the radar.

    • roger nome 6.1

      Dan – Don’t you know? Key has already had his own “speedgate”. Didn’t get any where near the coverage that helen’s did though … funny that.

  7. BLiP 7

    Where was Tolley?

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