The Ohariu and Epsom rorts are paying off nicely

Tova O’Brien has the dirty details

The ACT Party’s David Seymour can look forward to a string of Parliamentary perks and funding worth more than $500,000.

That’s because Prime Minister John Key has signed deals with ACT and United Future, giving them plum jobs which come with plum benefits.

Mr Seymour’s been given the role of undersecretary for education. It means he gets a bit more say in two portfolios, and a lot more cash.

More importantly, he also gets no say in parliament, can’t be questions on any portfolios, and isn’t subject to Official Information Act requests.   Talk about being put into the parliamentary creche…

Because ACT failed to get its actual leader Jamie Whyte into Parliament, Mr Seymour gets Parliament’s perks – including $100,000 plus party, member and other funding.

Add that to Mr Seymour’s allowance just for being an MP, and his undersecretary salary – which is nearly $30,000 more than your average back bencher – and he’s pulling $585,028 a year plus extra staff.

It’s all thanks to Mr Key doing a deal and gifting Mr Seymour Epsom – and the MP admits he couldn’t have won the seat without the Prime Minister’s support.

Nope.  It’s a rort.  Strategic voting under MMP is one thing, but this is quite the welcome package for the 31 year old newbie. 

Peter Dunne resumes all his ministerial posts – and does nicely from it too.

His funding, allowance and salary come in at $572,000.

He also gets extra staff and of course the coveted Crown limo – all in just little over a year since the leaking of a top secret spy report.  Mr Dunne was the chief suspect – he resigned as a minister but still insists he didn’t do it.

“We had that discussion at the time, I can’t remember whether I looked you in the eye and shook your hand but I’m pretty sure it was a frank discussion,” says Mr Dunne.

He may deny it, because in the end the loop can’t be closed without the Prime Minister doing so, but it is extremely, extremely unlikely he wasn’t involved.

For ACT and United Future, Mr Key must seem like Santa Claus – not only would neither of them have got into Parliament without him, but he’s just boosted their pay packets for no real reason.

Oh, there is a reason.  They’re getting paid off.   Just like the Maori Party will get their Whanau-Ora rort to keep them quiet and placid for the next 3 years.

Good politics it is.  Good use of tax payers’ money?  That totally depends on how you look at it.


– 3 News

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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