The little lolly stealers are out of a job anyway

Turns out the Speaker is clamping down on nepotism around the country’s electorates

Politicians could find it harder to hire relatives in taxpayer-funded jobs after changes to the way support staff are recruited.

After the General Election, Parliamentary Services will require job applicants to register on an electronic recruitment system that will favour candidates with experience.

The majority of the 730 staff have to reapply for jobs at the end of each three-year parliamentary term.

Under new guidelines issued by the Speaker, Parliamentary Services can block an MP from hiring staff if they are “clearly lacking the skills to meet the requirements of the role”.

MPs are not allowed to employ their spouse or partner, in or outside Parliament, or any dependents. But many MPs filled their offices with immediate family members.

NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor employs two of her daughters, Fleur and Amy, in her Papatoetoe office.

Lole-Taylor appeared unaware of the rules around hiring family members as staff. “Is that a rule that they’re not allowed to be employed?”

I wonder if she’s got her daughters chasing after prostitutes when she’s too busy?  

Retiring Maori Party leader Tariana Turia employed her son Alan and a granddaughter in her Te Tai Hauauru electorate office in Whanganui.

She also hired a niece as a private secretary. When contacted by the Herald on Sunday, Turia’s press secretary Makere Edwards referred questions to Parliamentary Services.

In May, the wife of outgoing National MP Claudette Hauiti was sacked because she had been hired in breach of the guidelines.

NZ First MP Denis O’Rourke was cleared of any wrongdoing for hiring his live-in friend Stephen James as a staffer by Speaker David Carter.

A spokeswoman for the Parliamentary Service said the shift to the new system would be more efficient and save money.

I have no idea how hiring staff that aren’t family will save money, but I think it’s not too soon to get these rorts sorted out.

I highlighted the cozy arrangement between NZ First MP Denis O’Rourke and his “live-in friend Stephen James” before.  It is terribly cynical for two men that are living their life as a couple to stick a 2nd letterbox on the side of the road, declare part of the house a separate ‘flat’ just so they can rort the tax payer.

At the time, parliamentary services put it into the ‘too hard’ basket, but I can see now that this has caused the rule change.

In politics, it’s not just about doing the right thing, it’s being seen to do the right thing.  And O’Rourke and James’s gig is as smelly as it gets.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.