We don’t have public funding of political
forties parties in New Zealand.
We leave that to their members and supporters.
We do have public funding of MPs to enable them to serve their constituents and do their work in parliament.
The rules are very clear that this money should not be used for party political activities.
Well, that’s how it’s supposed to work in theory.
But Kiwiblog shows that Labour and Green Party have used their parliamentary staff to help get signatures for the petition seeking a referendum on the partial sale of a few state assets.
A mole has leaked to me a couple of strategy documents from Labour and Greens on the referendum they have just purchased with our money. The documents are embedded below, and they show the extent of taxpayer resources used to purchase this referendum.
CIRs are meant to be about the public being able to send a message to MPs, not MPs using taxpayer funds to relitigate an election result. Some key revelations:
>>They aimed for 400,000 signatures as they knew a fair proportion would be found to be invalid.
>>At the 300,000 mark the Greens collected 150,000, Labour 105,000 and Unions 40,000. The Greens are the ones who used taxpayer funding to hire petition collectors.
>>Labour pledged 30 hours per week staff time from their taxpayer funded budget.
>>Greens were using their permament taxpayer funded staff to co-ordinate
The unions had a paid national co-ordinator.
>>They refer to unions gathering “car loads” of organisers and activists to travel to areas.
>>For their day of action, Greens said they will committ five full-time staff – presumably all taxpayer funded, if Labour does the same. That’s 10 taxpayer funded organisers.
>>A list of unions to pressure to do more, including PPTA, NZEI, Nurses Organisation – minority shares in power companies of course being key education and health issues!
It is very clear that there has been very few ordinary citizens involved in this petition – mainly a legion of taxpayer funded staff and union staff. . .
This isn’t a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum. It’s a politicians’s one and you and I have paid for it.