36 staff

May 23rd, 2008 at 3:51 pm by David Farrar

The Standard has helpfully put up the video of Winston’s budget speech where he amusingly calls me Rumpelstiltskin and goes on about John Key’s 36 staff.

Did you know that John Key himself in his Wellington parliamentary office employs has 36 people?… they cost the taxpayer, every year… over seven million dollars… Teams of PR people and spin doctors and policy advisers and what for? There is no policy! …

And that’s only the lot within parliament. What about the blogsters, the webmasters, the David Farrar Rumpelslitskenites, the consultants, ad agencies and even more public relations people outside? …

How can John Key go around the country telling the public he’s fiscally prudent when he needs a fleet of buses to carry his entourage? … I actually worked out that [National] are bigger than some pacific island economies!

What is really amusing is that I am pretty sure that I am actually a bit taller than Winston, if push comes to shove!

But Winston and others gloss over a fairly important point in trying to portray John as needing 36 staff. You see in fact the staff support all 48 National MPs with policy, research, and communications etc. So that is 3/4 of a staffer per MP (on top of the Secretary each MP has). So Winston going on about the number of staff is a mere reflection that National has seven times as many MPs as NZ First.

Now I daresay if you look around all the other parliamentary offices, they will have far more staff per capita than National. Again, excluding Secretaries, the staff per party to have the same ratio would be:

  1. Labour 37 (and they actually have around 200 including Beehive staff – admittedly they also have portfolio responsibilitys but I have blogged before how Helen has nine or ten spin doctors just in her office, let alone the 20 or so elsewhere)
  2. NZ First 5 (And I bet you Winston has more than five non secretarial staff)
  3. Greens 4
  4. Maori Party 3
  5. United Future, Act 2
  6. Progressive 1

Now maybe one of those 36 staffers could look up the latest staff directories and send me the numbers for each of the other parties, and I’ll blog whether or not they have more staff per capita than National. I especially welcome the NZ First staff numbers.

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35 Responses to “36 staff”

  1. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Isn’t it interesting that the person at the Stranded posting about staff numbers in the LoO’s office is himself a staffer on the ninth floor?

    There is a word for that I think….no matter though when in six months the state funded, Labour sponsored bloggers at the Stranded will no longer be able to afford to blog, and wore for them there isn’t much call in the private sector for fawning acolytes to Helen Clark.

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  2. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Credit where it’s due though David. It’s very kind of Winston to find the time to run a Sheltered Workshop for the two poor souls seated behind him, who’ve clearly been institutionalised for most of their lives. Why else would one find the repetition of tired old cliches like “silk purse from a sow’s ear” so uproariously hilarious?

    When I worked in Winston’s office we had two MPs and eight staff (and Michael Laws sneaking in up the back passage… as it were). That was four secretaries (three of whom worked for Winston, one for Tau), two senior advisers and two researchers. Tau wouldn’t take advice, so again the efforts of the other four were also directed toward helping Winston. And since Terry Heffernan and I regularly worked 17 and 18 hour days, you can probably count us as four people, at least in terms of person-hours.

    Of course none of us had bought a PhD from one of those spam emails, so perhaps we were just worked slower than his subsequent celebrated staff choices.

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  3. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    I have blogged before how Helen has nine or ten spin doctors just in her office, let alone the 20 or so elsewhere

    As far as I can tell Clark has three press secretaries and their identities are pretty well known – if she’s deployed another 20-30 they’ve done a pretty good job of hiding themselves.

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  4. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    Rex

    You know Winston better than most here, what motivates the man?, I would have thought that he is more of a right winger by nature yet he seems to take great delight in defending Clark and attacking the Nat’s.

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  5. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    “wore for them there isn’t much call in the private sector for fawning acolytes to Helen Clark”

    Or for people who cannot spell!

    Anyway Whaley, you don’t think a jumped up, not very good, right-wing blogger has much future in a putative National government do you?

    Rearrange the words, ton of bricks, like, dropped and a.

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  6. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    heh – you have to hand it to Winston, he knows how to lay down a good entertaining speech.

    And did Winston say that our free-speech champion works out of National Party head quarters? Where is that in the disclosure statement?

    [DPF: Winston, like you, is wrong. I do not.]

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  7. Rocket Boy (163 comments) says:

    Geez DPF, you have totally ignored the whole point of The Standards post and what Winston is saying. John Key and co are the ones moaning about the number of bureaucrats and yet have a bus load of their own in parliament.

    How does the saying go? ‘Don’t do as we do, do as we say’

    [DPF: No you miss the point. John Key is not saying have no bureaucrats. His staffing level is smaller per MP than most parties.]

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  8. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Once again Winston ignores the point of the debate and uses it to try and gum National to death.
    But speaking of staff:
    How come Helen needs press secretaries? Doesn’t she just talk to the media she likes, Dooneing as she sees fit?
    And why aren’t all the EPMU, CTU, NDU, SFWU, et al comms people includes on the Labour payroll? They are, after all, Government cheerleaders.
    But I guess when you’re as much in the shit as the Left is, you need all the spin you can buy.

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  9. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    big bruv –
    wait until (god forbid) the Nats need his vote. Then it will be defending National and attacking Labour. The man is motivated by money and airpoints, c’est tout.

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  10. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    $194k average per staff member? I think not.

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  11. Frank (320 comments) says:

    Greatest speech ever in Parliament. Shows well and truly what a circus Parliament is. Trouble is it is funded by the taxpayer.

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  12. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Winston is all blather. About now with the election in sight he wakes up that his dream job — races and overseas trips — might be over soon and he begins grandstanding.

    As for National Rumpelstiltkinites, Winnie is knee-high to a horse’s arse, a mini-taniwha, all teeth and Armani suit. He barks on command from Helen Davis who throws him a bone for racehorse owners or for his elderly constituency which is now abut age 80 on.

    What great company if you love partying. But as a politician a buffoon. And when Winnie feels pressure he can dissolve into dithering panic, as at the infamous press conference with John McCain.

    Winnie should have been a race commentator. He would have been good.

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  13. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Thats a lot of noise from a hasbeen Whiney

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  14. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    big bruv: Buggerlugs has answered it pretty well, actually :-D

    I’m not one for cheap psychoanalysis but having worked in two fields where people willingly thrust themselves into the limelight – media and politics – I’d have to say that a deeply ingrained doubt about one’s self worth which can be assuaged only by widespread adulation is amotivator for a lot of people who choose to enter either field (I’ll leave it to others to speculate whether this applies to me :-/).

    It’s one reason why so many marriages of people in those professions fall apart. Why stay home and be loved by one when you can go out and be adored by many?

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  15. Steve (4,564 comments) says:

    So we hear Winston First’s policies when?????

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  16. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Given Winstons latest performances, I cannot see how he will form a coalition with National.

    with that in mind, and I know this is bad taste, but it occurred to me today when it was announced that the head of grey power had passed on – that the longer Helen holds out the election date, the fewer constituents Winston will have.

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  17. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Yes OCM, his supporters are turning out to be a dead loss.

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  18. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    It is pathetic. Crank the handle and the speaches come out of Winstons mouth! Although I think his software needs an upgrade to Supercilious 2008 SP2

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  19. Ennui (3 comments) says:

    36 staff supporting 48 MPs seems pretty efficient to me. Particularly when it is put into perspective against the massive rise in public sector employees anyway.

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  20. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Head of Grey Power dies after being a party to a court action against the EFA? Pass the tinfoil hat, quick…

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  21. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    John Key’s theme song?

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  22. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Labours theme song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE-Epma_-5s

    (exept they can sing and are remotely good looking)

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  23. John Dalley (394 comments) says:

    DPF.
    Have you got a video of John Key still attempting to dance on the head of a pin?
    It is so amussing watching the discomfort on Bill English’s face as he once again answers the standard question.
    WHAT IS NATIONALS POLICY ON……?
    One has to roll on the floor laughing like hell.

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  24. capills_enema (194 comments) says:

    “I am pretty sure that I am actually a bit taller than Winston, if push comes to shove!”

    Tattoo from Fantasy Island was taller than Winston too.

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  25. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    John Dalley – still as funny as shitting yourself in public.

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  26. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    heh bugger – that was amusing. I think the following fits benson pope http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grGrN_nuWg8

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  27. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    Is Winnie standing on an apple-box behind that lectern? He can almost see over it.

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  28. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    I read some time ago that scientists had actually made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

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  29. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    And did Winston say that our free-speech champion works out of National Party head quarters? Where is that in the disclosure statement?

    Since when does DPF have to disclose that Winston has a nasty habit of making shit up? One might think everyone knows that by now.

    Perhaps Winston can tell us why his personality cult can’t file their financial disclosure statements when he’s out of the country.

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  30. simon wellington (5 comments) says:

    Do you think the tide is about to turn ?
    Is it now got to the point where john, bill and the flowerpot men will actually have to tell the people of new zealand what they will intend to do, in the form of policy ?
    It looks like the (roundtable/national/bretheren) reliance on Labour losing the election rather than national winning the election may have started to shift to the middle just a little.
    Winston may have hit the nail on the head with his recurring theme ‘WHAT IS NATIONALS POLICY ON……?’
    A great speech, up there with David Lange and Robert Muldoon with a sense of wit.

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  31. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    “I read some time ago that scientists had actually made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

    Yeh I read that too scrubone and that US scientists had grown a complete artificial human ear on a white rat.
    Still Labour have gone one better in good old NZ. They have built a complete, sawn off, loudmouthed, minature, human arsehole out of a Kiore and called it Winston.

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  32. keithng (22 comments) says:

    No offence, David, but when it comes to pugilism, my money would be on Winston.

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