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.