36 staff

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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