Remember the hip-hop tours ‘scandal’ the National Party used over and over and over again to attack the previous Labour-led government? They went as far as to put it in their 2005 election billboards. It was a minuscule amount of money, yet National used it as one of their prime examples of wasteful spending.
Now Prime Minister John Key is taking a tour of the pacific next week on the Air Force Boeing, taking about 70 people with him. Most of the guests have to pay $200 for the flights, and pay for their own accommodation. However John Key has decided to take a hip-hop group on tour with him at no charge, and the taxpayer will foot the bill for their accommodation.
I have no problem with the taxpayer paying for this hip-hop tour, however I do have a real problem with the hypocrisy from the Prime Minister. At first I thought perhaps this was a great sign of John Key being somewhat different from his predecessor, but unfortunately that is not the case.
A quick search of the New Zealand Parliament website reveals four occasions where John Key personally attacked the previous government about taxpayer funded hip-hop tours. 31st August 2004, 1st September 2004, 15th February 2005, and 18th May 2005, the attacks were spread out over almost a year, perhaps indicating how significant an issue John Key believed this was.
So my question to the Prime Minister is this: Now that you have decided there is nothing wrong with taxpayer funded hip-hop tours, will you admit that either you were lying in 2004/2005, or that you were wrong?