Yet more government waste

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, May 30th, 2008 - 56 comments
Categories: election 2008, humour - Tags:

Following a series of National Party questions to the house the Herald has discovered the Labour government has spent nearly $27K on sausage rolls since taking power in 1999. Sources inside the public service reveal that in many cases morning teas would be provided with nearly two sausage rolls per person in attendance and some sausage rolls may have contained pork.

National Party grocery spokesman John Key says the situation is disgraceful:

At a time when hardworking Kiwis are struggling to buy cheese this kind of extravagance is shameful. Rather than wasting taxpayers’ money by governing the country and badgering us for trivial information about how we would govern it, this tired third-term government should be stepping up and coming clean over just how much they know about this over the odds sausage roll spend.

Sausage-roll-gate comes hard on the heels of a series of small goods scandals for the government including last month’s discovery that the Ministry of Economic Development has infinitely increased its spending on teabags since 1998 when it did not exist.

56 comments on “Yet more government waste”

  1. Vanilla Eis 1

    By my count thats less than 10 sausage rolls a day. Good work Herald, showing us how much these bastards are suckling at the teat of democracy!

    Corruption! Corruption! and so on and so forth.

    Captcha: Light suggested. Yeah, I guess a few members could do with a diet.

  2. Nedyah Hsan 2

    Lets not forget the $41,000 per conference that HNZ have forked out! $250,000 for SIX conferences.

    Whats with the beat up anyway? $41,000 a conference is extremely cheap.

    Of course it’s not going to make a difference if all the public see is “Govt Department Wastes More Money”
    Never mind the fact that one conference for HNZ was cheaper than my workdo Xmas function last year for all of 45 staff.

    Captcha: Great Header
    Machines getting into Sarcasm. Who wuda thunk it.

  3. burt 3

    Enjoy them while they are still hot boys and girls, the pie warmers will soon be switched off to save power.

    Code red at Welligton hospital – again!

  4. “New Food and Nutrition for Healthy, Confident Kids guidelines”
    Labour Party Website

    Shouldn’t the Labour government be ‘leading by example’ and providing only vegan organic celery sticks to it’s employees ?

  5. By my count thats less than 10 sausage rolls a day

    John Key says: “10??? We don’t care about numbers but rest assured under a National Party government there will be fewer sausage rolls!”

    Media says: “This sausage roll rort must end. We realise that this is not a great deal of sausage rolls but the Government must understand that in this day and age the issue is perception. Now let us create the perception of a sausage roll rort!”

  6. Tane 6

    I see Martin Kay’s picked up the story on his Fairfax blog:

    Public Servants living off the pig’s back

    “Helen Clark is understandably furious about revelations that public servants have been gorging down quantities of sumptious sausage rolls the like of which most of the taxpaying public could only dream of ever eating.

    “While the Government can probably defend the actual cost and number of these sausage rolls, the $27,000 figure sounds like a lot of money to spend on sausage rolls and it’s a major embarrassment for the Prime Minister heading into an election in which public service spending will be a central issue.

    “The public service may argue the cost of the sausage rolls for the staff over the last nine years was cheaper than most alternative foods like pies or cakes – but image is everything….

    “Labour wasn’t helped by Maryan Street’s initial reaction to attacks on the sausage rolls. She should have instantly condemned the choice of food, while staunchly defending the purpose of providing snacks at morning teas, the line she agreed with Clark before she answered questions on the issue on Tuesday.

    “Now, she and the public service are left scrambling as questions are asked about what else staff ate and how much it cost. With Queen’s Birthday weekend looming, followed by a two-week recess, expect all details to be dumped in the next few days as Labour tries to kill the story.

    “But don’t be surprised if there are more red faces first.”

  7. andy 7

    let them eat sushi instead!

    sausage rolls are so ‘Gliding On’

  8. Tane 8

    Shouldn’t the Labour government be ‘leading by example’ and providing only vegan organic celery sticks to it’s employees ?

    Bryan, it’s satire.

  9. Felix 9

    Oh don’t tell him Tane, that was going to get really good 🙂

  10. gobsmacked 10

    National today moved to clarify its position, following complaints from Sausage Roll manufacturers, traditional allies of the National Party.

    John Key admitted that “there are issues around the roll thing that we will have to have a look at, and I want to make it clear, in terms of rolls and um, sausage, that there will not be fewer sausage rolls eaten under National, in the first term. We will, however, release an ambitious policy in which sausage rolls will be renamed, and arranged at slightly more creative angles on the plate.”

  11. Billy 11

    I’ve got to say, that sausage roll in the picture looks positively ambrosial. That flaky yet greasy pastry. That generous filling.

  12. Tane 12

    gs – brilliant.

    billy – you’ll be disappointed to discover it’s actually a pork and fennel roll. yuck.

  13. IrishBill 13

    It may interest you to know Billy, that it’s a pork and fennel sausage roll.

  14. IrishBill 14

    Damn! Tane got there first.

  15. Billy 15

    it’s a pork and fennel sausage roll

    Fckuing chardonnay socialists!

  16. Tamaki Resident 16

    Morning tea time, I’m off to get a sausage roll. I wonder if I can claim it on expenses – I’ll say it was a plain sausage roll, not a luxury one with fennel and an extra packet of tomato sauce.

  17. infused 17

    In all serious though, my partner use to work for the education ministry and those guys were putting on a morning tea everyday. This was basically all you can eat morning tea. She was shocked to be honest.

    Then she moved to a certain power company which was doing this same, only on a bigger scale. Not only that, they were throwing planning meetings once at week at cretin hotel dinning rooms which would cost around $1k per week. A lot of the time these were not attended, so the fee would be paid and gone to waste.

    There is some truth in this guys.

  18. IrishBill 18

    I was wondering how long it would take for the humourless right to turn up.

  19. The upcoming ANZ report into govt spending will make interesting reading. I understand its not very positive. We have of course already seen the Salvation Army’s view of the effectiveness of Labours increasing govt spending in their report ‘What does it profit us?’

    Despite Labour increasing core social spending by $16 billion over the last 10 years to a record $39 billion there has been little social progress which makes one wonder what the point of spending all that cash was.
    Just to refresh the reports main findings: CYF referrals up 24% since 2005. Youth Court cases up 28% since 2001. 8300 women aged 15-19 pregnant compared to 7000 in 2001. Serious crime up 28% since 2002. Prison population up 36% since 2002. Prison running costs up from $431m to $862m.

    But hey, carry on with the jokes about Sausage rolls.
    Reminds me of something Marie Antoinette said about cake and people eating it, or was it Michael Cullen and cheese ? Oh yes the lack of cash to buy it. Labours greatest achievement really- saving people from a high fat cheese diet.

  20. IrishBill 20

    Richard, the joke is your beloved National Party and the fact they don’t have any policy. Can you tell me three good reasons you will be voting for them? And bear in mind I’m not asking you why you are going to vote against Labour.

  21. Richard. Good use of selective statistics, I can chuck five times as many back at you (in fact, check the archives, most of them are there already).

    A 50% increaseover ten years, wow, that doesn’t exceed inflation and popualtion growht by all that much does it?

  22. Tamaki Resident 22

    Richard, all those findings you quote involve increased government expenditure over and above inflation increases. The public want tougher (longer) sentences, so look at what happens – the prison population goes up!

    I haven’t seen the report so don’t know if some of the positives of the last few years are included – e.g. cot-death rates have decreased dramatically.

  23. chris 23

    Best sausage rolls ever made by the nice lady at the Red Bull cafe in Patea and the spinach and feta sausage roll was nice too.

  24. Felix 24

    Fennel?
    Jesus, what kind of sick mind…

  25. Funnily, I never thought of the tea trolley as an instrument of creeping socialism. Thank you so much for enlightening us, once again.

  26. Dear me, some people clearly don’t trust the sally army. I havn’t used selective stats, just the main ones from the sallies. By the by, total crown expenses have increased by 72% since 2000.
    The reason for changing govts often, is the same reason baby nappies should also be changed often.
    P.S unemployment was officilly recorded as dropping BEFORE Labour came into power. Helen and co, had very little to do with low unemployment, in the same way they now claim, unemployment rising has little to do with them either. Having their cake and eating it? Oh, there I go with cake references again…
    Work calls, cheers 🙂

  27. I see Richard couldn’t offer up a reason he is voting for National.

  28. Phil 28

    This reminds me an awful lot of Statistics NZ’s “how to make tea” guide that did the media rounds a couple of years ago…

  29. burt 29

    Interestingly the price of sausage rolls in a café I visit from time to time have just gone up 10% in the last few days. (From $3 to $3.30).

    I wonder why .

    a) The main consumers of sausage rolls are not price sensitive as they always buy them with other peoples money?

    b) Sausage rolls are a good proxy for the real rate of inflation?

    c) The cost of backup generators to cover power blackouts has been factored into their cost?

    d) It’s just a media beatup and the cost has been increased because the café owners have a person agenda for a tax cut?

    I guess I know it’s got nothing to do with govt policies and/or govt spending creating rampant inflation, Labour spending like a drunken sailor can’t cause inflation can it?

  30. Tamaki Resident 30

    Richard – here is another one (from the stuff.co.nz site):
    “Results from the Health Ministry’s New Zealand Health Survey, released today by Prime Minister Helen Clark, show the prevalence of smoking among those aged 15 and over at 19.9 percent.

    It is the first time the figure has dropped below 20 percent in over three decades of monitoring.

    Results from a separate survey, released today by lobby group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), found 57 percent of Year 10 students had never smoked, a big rise from the 31 percent recorded in the same survey in 1999.”

    So we have some good social outcomes from some Govt expenditure, but the real monetary effect (less spending on health) won’t be seen for years.

  31. andy 31

    Burt

    Your sausage roll has gone up because

    a) fuel has doubled recently, definitely labour in cahoots with OPEC on that one.

    b) Hike in pork price (main ingredient in the sausage), due to price controls in china, consequence of Labours FTA with china.

    c)price of corn, to feed the pork has doubled due to US biofuel/ethanol policy, at the suggestion of the NZ Labour govt.

    so all in all, the price increase has nothing to do with international factors, mostly because of kiwisaver, PC nonsense and the RMA…

  32. IrishBill 32

    Andy, you forgot the “anti-smacking” legislation: bakers are so despondent about no longer being able to beat their children their productivity has dropped thus creating supply-side price pressure.

  33. burt 33

    Oh well, as long as junior Dr’s are not big sausage roll buyers becasue they are not going to get a 10% pay rise like the MP’s get every year AND like the public service morning tea budgets will certainly get to cover the cost increase.

  34. Burt – you’re unintelligible. You sound like D4J but not as interesting.

  35. andy 35

    burt

    I suspect they are not sausage roll eaters, because of the decreasing size of interest free student loans, they eat cardboard and steal from the patients.

    Also possible that due to impending power shortages (cunningly arranged by Mike Williams as election stunt) they may be able to buy uncooked sausage rolls at a major discount…

    So all is not lost..

  36. burt 36

    Robinsod

    Not much fun in Helengrad….

  37. Rex Widerstrom 37

    Rather unfair of Key to blame the entire Labour government when it’s patently obvious that one particular Minister is responsible for at least 75% of over all sausage roll consumption.

    You know, the same Minister who speculated kids were going to school with empty bellies because they were dieting?

  38. IrishBill 38

    You can do better than that Rex.

  39. Who ate all the pies?

  40. Oh, gee wow. I believe the average smoking rate was also dropping under the last National govt (not as much) as it has been in the entire western world for some years. Its been dropping since the big court cases against the cigies companies and the clear link to cancer. I don’t think Labour spending was the sole reason! Please!

    Robinsod: sorry old boy/old girl I’m not one of the party faithful of either National or Labour although I would say people indicating in the polls of the past 6 months that they will vote National rather than Labour is becuase as Irishbill untentionally hinted, they simply don’t want to vote Labour anymore.
    National’s biggist weapon in this election..is the Labour party 🙂
    All JK has had to do so far is grin, shake hands and watch Labour crash and burn. What ever happened to Helen’s big plan of ‘keeping things positive’?
    At least in 1999 Labour had to work at getting support, JK hasn’t to date had to do a thing. Lucky boy.

  41. Richard – I know you are a National party activist. Why are you (and so many other tories) ashamed to admit it?

  42. Ari 42

    You know, for a party that is supposedly crashing and burning, you’d think that their polling would actively be going down, instead of pretty much staying in the same place. 😉

    Labour is doing fine. It just needs to do better by the time the election comes, which is certainly quite possible.

  43. Tamaki resident 43

    No one was claiming that Govt spending (NOT Labour spending!!) was the sole reason for the drop in smoking rates, but it is a bit absurd to try and argue that it had no effect. You seem to be of the mind-set that this Govt can do nothing right.

  44. Tamaki resident 44

    Richard’s arguments are straight from the Tony Ryall school of logic – “Everything they do this year is electioneering”. In this case it’s “All Govt expenditure is waste” – but they both forget that so far the only policies from National are “We’ll do that too!”

  45. Ari: HAHA! Labour is doing fine?! Really? Ah, well, theirs none so blind as those that can see, eh? 😉
    But your right, Labour have failed to get above National for, well, it seems since forever really.

    TR: I never claimed “govt” ( which is Labour, becuase it is in control of govt spending last time I checked!) hasn’t had an effect but it was you linking it to drops in smoking which is absurd when you consider the long term trend of smoking reducing in the Western world over the last 20 years. Smoking rates would have dropped anyway. How much govt spending has impacted on this, is I put it to you, very hard to measure and therefore unsuitable as a claim of effective govt spending.

    Robinsod: Clearly you know more than I do! I know I’ve never attended a National party meeting in my life. I know you may be talking utter BS, but hey I know your a Labour party activist. or am I just making a jugdement without any real knowledge about you? Hmmm….

  46. Lew 46

    Richard: Labour have failed to get above National for, well, it seems since forever really.”

    Well, the 2002 election was hardly forever ago, but the more important point is that Labour don’t have to win a plurality – they have to get enough support to form a government with other parties. According to the last two polls this is a little more than one margin of error away.

    The election is National’s to lose, much like it was in 2005.

    L

  47. Hey ricky – just to start it’s “you’re” not “your” – the apostrophe indicates a contraction of “you are”. If I am to assume your general illiteracy extends to economic illiteracy then you must be an Act supporter. I’ve noticed your crank letters to South Island papers and they do tend to incline me toward thinking you are of the the spotty Act-boy ilk. Tell me mate, were you ever a prebbles rebel or are you just another angry loner projecting his impotent rage into a political position? Y’know kinda like a Christchurch Travis Bickle but without the new wave cool.

    Sh*t, I know you better then I thought…

  48. Tamaki resident 48

    So by your logic Richard, advertising has no effect on what people spend their money on. I agree that it is hard to measure – I mentioned it because of the recent reporting of the stats, but is also a good example of the longer term thinking that has gone into some of this Govts spending. Lower smoking rates, less spent in the future on smoking related health issues. This is so unlike the National/ACT thinking of short term gain for what turns out to be long term pain.

    I agree Robinsod, he’s definitely acting like an Act supporter.

  49. Yeah Rodinthesod the Press kept making them into the feature headline letters and threw me a gold plated pen for letter of the week way back over that fart tax letter I wrote and for some reason Labours new boy nobody Julian Blanchard down in Timaru gets stressed whenever I write. I can’t think why people do. All crank letters of course. I’ve managed to fight off the phone calls from local nats for me to join so far. When will they leave me alone?
    One other thing, have you ever thought of using your real name, or would that expose you too much? I can asure you nothing bad has ever happened to me, rather the opposite.

    From flicking through your blog you seem to be a bit of an angery man yourself, lots of abuse towards public figures in there. Nice. 😉

    TR:Oh dear, I said it was hard to measure, not that advertising has no effect. By the by I’m considering voting for the party that is promising tax free income for the working poor. I see when its closer to the election and Nat etc have realeased policy.

  50. Lew 50

    Richard, I’d never have picked you for a maori party voter 😉

    L

    Captcha: `rockaway drowned’. Rock rock, rockaway drowned …

  51. Ricky – I gather from your increasing incoherence that I may have touched a raw nerve. No hard feelings brother. I’ll keep watching your frothing. It gives me pleasure.

  52. Lew- the Maroi party promise, but will they really deliver?
    the rest of your post..????I assume your drunck. Have one for me, work starts in an hour.

    Robinthesod: Yes I didn’t actually think you read any of those South Island papers you claim to have.
    P.S I do hope your not touching yourself while reading my ‘froth’. I would really rather not be giving you that sort of ‘pleasure’.
    This is not a porn site.

  53. Ricky – your fascination with onanism is revealing. Don’t get out much, eh?

  54. burt 54

    Tamaki Resident

    So by your logic Richard, advertising has no effect on what people spend their money on.

    I think Richard has learnt this from the Labour party. After the 2005 election when it was revealed that Labour had illegally spent $800k of tax payers money on advertising Labour said it didn’t make any difference to the outcome of the election.

    I found this a bit confusing because apparently the money spent by the EB’s was an affront to democracy and then Labour went on to pass the EFA which was apparently to stop uncontrolled and unknown spending.

    So I think advertising has no effect if acknowledging that effect is something you don’t want to admit for legal reasons.

    Move on!

  55. r0b 55

    Labour had illegally spent $800k of tax payers money on advertising Labour said it didn’t make any difference to the outcome of the election.

    All parties (except Progressives) spent money inappropriately in the last election (according to the retrospective opinion of the AG).

    But I don’t recall Labour saying that it made no difference to the outcome. So could you show me the actual quote or source? Because that sounds to me like it might just possibly be an incorrect claim there Burt.

  56. Anthony 56

    Hi guys, this is a great site, with some really informed views, and a lot of smart people.

    This is off-topic, but I wonder if you guys know how I can further reduce my tax responsibilities in New Zealand? I have only recently moved here with my family, and through an LAQC and property I have reduced my tax rate to 7c in the dollar, but want to reduce it further to about 1c if possible. I’m earning 105k at the moment and don’t think its very fair that I should be paying so much tax when I have a wife and 2 kids to feed as well as a mortgage.

    Any good sites you guys know of, or some general ideas?

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!
    Anthony Johnston.

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