While Andrew Little was sucking up to the Indian community along with John Key last night, Winston Peters was stealing Labour’s thunder.
Plans for a $100 million plus new office block to house MPs and their staff is threatening to turn into an election-year stoush.
Parliament’s Speaker David Carter says Cabinet has approved in principle a multi-story office block to rehouse MPs and staff once the lease on Parliament’s Lambton Quay Bowen House office block expires.
The Bowen House lease is costing $6 million a year and Carter says it’s more cost effective to build new premises.
It was also an issue of sovereignty, because most Kiwis would be surprised to learn MPs were housed in a building owned by an overseas landlord, Carter said.
NZ First MP Ron Mark said a new office block was a low priority.
“When we have well over 40,000 New Zealanders homeless and young Kiwis struggling to buy a new home, this is not the time for wasteful expenditure pandering to the comfort of MPs and their staff.”‘