Brownlee clarifies extra funding for big seats

The innacurate reporting on extra funding to enable MPs in six Maori electorates and the four biggest general electorates has spurred Gerry Brownlee into issuing an explanatory media release:

Six out of seven Maori seats and all other constituency seats covering a geographic area larger than 20,000 sq km are set to each receive an extra $40,000 to hire another staff member.

Four Maori Party MPs, four National MPs and two Labour MPs will be able to employ an extra staff member so that they can better service their widely spread constituents.

Media reports suggesting that the Cabinet has recently extended the increase to include more MPs, or tried to keep it secret, are simply wrong.

“This funding increase was clearly spelled out in the post-election agreement the National Party reached with the Maori Party as long ago as November last year,” Mr Brownlee said.

“It has been a freely available public document since then, even if some journalists haven’t read it. To state that we haven’t told anyone and have secretly extended it to National MPs is a shocker.”

“This funding increase was clearly spelled out in the post-election agreement the National Party reached with the Maori Party as long ago as November last year,” Mr Brownlee said.

“It has been a freely available public document since then, even if some journalists haven’t read it. To state that we haven’t told anyone and have secretly extended it to National MPs is a shocker.”

“The increase is something that was recommended by an independent review,” Mr Brownlee said

. . . “This is not about political patronage. The issue of servicing geographically very large seats to allow constituent’s access to their MPs has been a problem since MMP was introduced in 1996,” Mr Brownlee said.

It should be noted the extra staff member will not apply to Tamaki Makaurau, the seat of Pita Sharples, due to its smaller urban size.

Would it be safe to hold my breath while I wait for TV3 to apologise for last night’s beat up?

If any questions remain on this issue, it’s why Hauraki-Waikato which covers an area of 12,580 square kilometres will get an extra electorate agent when Taranaki King Country (12,869 sq kms) and East Coast (13,649 sq kms) don’t?

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3 Responses to Brownlee clarifies extra funding for big seats

  1. Michael in Nelson says:

    Of course TV3 will abjectly back down if a complaint is lodged from a Maori individual/organisation/party. God help them if they are accused of being racist!

    Don’t hold your breath if the complaint comes from a mawm.

  2. Captain Turnip says:

    Can you see the irony in your heading!

    Gerry Brownlee is always going to be in favour of more funding for big seats isn’t he!!

  3. homepaddock says:

    Captain T – would that be dredging the bottom for humour? 🙂

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