Kiwis have paid it forward by fronting $170,000 for the medical evacuation of Abby Hartley, who is in a coma in Bali.
National Party leader Simon Bridges told Newstalk ZB on Monday he was contacted by concerned New Zealanders last week who he knew “pretty well” who didn’t want anything out of it aside from helping the Hamilton family.
“They could see the money was the issue.
“They have underwritten what has happened and paid for the medevac.”
Bridges said he had facilitated the payment for the medevac with Abby’s husband Richard.
“The plane has been paid for, the medevac has been paid for. Now it’s just about when the medical right time for Abby to come back to New Zealand,” he told Newstalk ZB. . .
Hartley’s insurance company wouldn’t pay for their treatment and return to New Zealand.
The government has to be very careful about bailing out people in this way.
It would be too easy to set a precedent that led people to expect public funding to extract them from predicaments.
But this government has repatriated bodies of dead servicemen and is paying millions in an attempt to retrieve dead bodies from Pike River and many more to bail out uninsured property owners in Christchurch.
Then there’s the cost of a special flight for the PM to go to Naru for a short time so she won’t be away from her baby who would have to have a whole lot of vaccinations if she accompanied her mother.
I am not going to join the critics of the Jacinda Ardern over this. Whether Foreign Minister Winston Peters could have stood in for her is a fair question. But if it was important for her to be there, the shorter the trip the better it is for Neve. If we have a PM with a baby there are going to be different compromises and extra costs.
But where is the consistency?