Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Update on the Former MP's travel perk

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I have expanded the first paragraph of this since posting it.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    Im assuming Annette King is one of those 'elected before 1999' who will in fact benefit handsomely from this change.

    As well, the current business class has become a much higher standard of space and amenity than it was back in 1999.

    Perhaps we could meet them half way and propose an 'Air NZ premium economy fare to London' as this is the same level of amenity that was enjoyed by business class back in 1999.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What happens if Air NZ goes bust or is taken over in the future? Will parliament need to pass fresh legislation again.

    Why not just give MPs a bigger super payment or departure gratuity that they can spend on foreign travel (or their retirement permaculture farm projects, or hookers 'n' blow, depending on their predilections).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Also, if the former MP is prevented from foreign travel by virtue of their enforced residence in one of Her Majesties Prisons, do they get to roll up the free flights for their eventual release? I think this should be clarified in the light of recent events?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    If such Bills were required to have the Select Committee process, it may make for better thought out Legislation in the first instance and may make the public more interested in politics altogether and may curb the whole Urgency legislation. The "more transparency" in expenses has already unearthed some interesting information (to some) .Plus, to simplify an amendment to a "an error needs fixing" and as in this case, Annette King being the one MP who seems to know all about it will highlight if indeed everyone does fully understand what the hell these pieces of Legislation do. I'm over poorly thought out legislation no matter whose Bill it may be. Plus this whole lifetime +the partner thing is excessive. Especially if I have to support Politicians I cant stand getting my taxes for their holidays.
    If the wording of Legislation changes an outcome then it should become new Legislation surely? I'd much rather that get attention than Key wasting time in the House like he usually does. Maybe then he might learn something about his Office/job.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Also, if the former MP is prevented from foreign travel by virtue of their enforced residence in one of Her Majesties Prisons, do they get to roll up the free flights for their eventual release? I think this should be clarified in the light of recent events?

    They lose it on conviction.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • marty,

    Annette King said this
    "it would not necessarily increase costs and the change was about correcting the mistake of omitting Air New Zealand. It had nothing to do with former MPs "trying to grab something".
    So it seems from reading this article that it wasnt a mistake and she omits to say that it would also become her entitlement.
    Also looking up the figures on Expedia, AirNZ is one of the most expensive carriers on July 1st and by many thousand dollars too which is then doubled for spouse entitlement. Since shes front footing this she must be leaving soon and grabbing every taxpayer thing she can get inorder to risk the ridicule that should quite rightly be coming her way over her deceptive comments

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Apparently the SOP is being withdrawn. Huzzah!

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    “We would have got away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids …”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    ...if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids

    Emil and the Detectives for the 21st century?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • marty,

    Is it confirmed its being dropped?
    I havent read that that is so anywhere

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to marty,

    I havent read that that is so anywhere

    Try this link

    A proposal that would have boosted the international travel perks of former MPs has been dumped after the Green Party withdrew its support.
    Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the party wouldn't support a change that would be likely to increase travel rebates for MPs elected before 1999 and their spouses.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • marty, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Thanks for that.
    Well done Mr Edgeler and The Greens in that order

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Indeed. Another nice example of the line attributed to Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Good job Phil Lyth; Graeme Edgeler; all those who wrote to a politician to query their position on the matter (that's so I get to thank myself!); and the Greens.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Goodness. Andrew Little completely trashed his interview with Guyon Espiner this morning, imho. He spent the whole time arguing about rewriting questions. I can'understand why he'd be taking the stance he seems to be taking, unless the old party elite are leaning on him, which doesn't seem too unlikely.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    That was a terrible interview. Labour had already made prats of themselves supporting the SOP at all, but to then defend it so poorly.
    If they want to run the "contract" line, I think Steve Curtis' point is very well made: the pre-1999 MPs aren't just expecting the fulfillment of their original contract, they're also expecting betterment, in that a Business Class fare now provides a much higher standard of travel than it did previously, and Air New Zealand "Premium Economy" would be a more comparable standard. That would make the travel rebate about $6,900, which is about double the cost of an Economy Saver fare. Which is about what the ratio of Business Class to Economy used to be, and therefore similarly appropriate.
    There's a second issue which the whole "contract is a contract" argument (self-servingly) ignores, which is that one of the primary tenets of parliamentary democracy is that parliament can't bind future parliaments. A contract with parliament is no contract, it's just an agreement for now.
    Or from an alternative point of view: I wasn't old enough to vote when that "contract" was made, so I am not a signatory to it, and therefore I am not bound by it, and therefore my representative is not bound by it either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    That was a terrible interview. Labour had already made prats of themselves...

    I was struck by his 'a deal is a deal' stance, as I thought that Labour had said were they to get into power they would reverse the Sky City 'deal' - where's the difference?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    We should ditch this whole ridiculous arrangement from now on unless someone proves that ex-MPs are greatly impoverished and would be trapped in their homes without it.

    Note also the PM abusing the words ‘retrospective’ and ‘fair’. Must have focus-grouped well.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    where’s the difference?

    says a lot about whose interests he feels connected with, yes.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    *facepalm*
    Why oh why oh why is it that, whenever they are presented with a golden opportunity to distinguish themselves from (and be “better” than) National, Labour consistently contrive to fuck it up so royally?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1941 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Trouble now is tho', fares that will possibly be purchased from overseas Airlines will see all profits head offshore. Had it been pegged to Air NZ ,no matter cost, the profits go back into our economy. We own it remember.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    No. The pay-out would've been bigger, but they could still fly with whichever airline they liked.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to linger,

    Why oh why oh why is it that...

    it becomes Labour fault . Simon Bridges should be answering questions in that interview with Guyon. Yes Annette King would have benefited along with a few more Labour but National are the Govt of the day and seem to slime their way past any condemnation. Greens basically said ,once it came to their attention (probably this blog) they asked questions and Bridges didn't respond, then they blocked it. Little did state it was a different issue to suggest it change altogether which technically I think it is. He also noted he hadn't done extensive homework on it. That sounds honest at least. I don't really think that interview sounded as bad as all that is suggested, I just find Espiner badgering the most annoying style of interview . The badgering is designed to catch one comment to be twisted to suit and hey presto ,Little will now wear "a deal is a deal". Perhaps he was suggesting that because the law was written in '99 it needed to be the '99 law that was intended?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    ok
    next question, is there a cap on the annual spend for each MP + or- partner?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • marty, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Yes the price of the lowest cost business fare to London. Which wont be AIRNZ!

    Ive no idea what the July 1st date means that the now knocked down Annette King was going on about.
    I heard that Little interview, it did him nor Guyon any good. Little said he couldnt get a clear steer on if the costs would be any more than they were, that just showed to me that Ms King had managed to confuse him too. Ms King was saying that in 2014 (the year that it went to a lowest cost airline) that it cost more than it did with airnz the year before, but she does not provide how much the Airnz would of cost in 2014. Obviously Airnz wasnt cheaper or Parliamentary services doesnt know how to do there job.
    Big disappointment all around with the MPs and the main stream media on this

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 8 posts Report Reply

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