Press Gallery to be charged rent

April 1st, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Expects howls of outrage from the , when they learn that their free rent is going to end in the budget, as part of Government moves to trim the cost of Parliament.

The gallery currently enjoy free office space in the Beehive Annex, totalling around 600 square metres. With wellington office spare exceeding $300/square metre, this could reduce the cost of Parliament by $180,000 a year.

What is unusual, is that the Greens are supporting this move. Russel Norman has pointed out Fairfax made a A$165m profit last year, APN made A$103m and Mediaworks A$50m, and that it is outrageous for struggling Kiwi families to subsidise these Australian corporates.

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21 Responses to “Press Gallery to be charged rent”

  1. georgebolwing (978 comments) says:

    History repeating itself: those of very long memory will recall that this Bolger Government tried this in the Mother of All Budgets in 1991, and it lasted a few days before the back-down.

    At that time, no minister was prepared to take ownership of the move (although technically, it was a decision of the Speaker) and it was announced on a blank piece of paper, rather than Ministerial letterhead like all the other announcements, with no Minister’s name at the top.

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  2. Komata (1,196 comments) says:

    Interesting indeed. The date (and time) of this ‘Announcement’ does not, of course, have any relevance at all . . .

    One wonders.

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  3. david (2,561 comments) says:

    They would be better off to declare the gallery a no boozing/no smoking/no takeaway zone in the interests of the health budget.

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  4. Dave Mann (1,248 comments) says:

    Hahaha…:)

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  5. gravedodger (1,567 comments) says:

    I will reset my watch at 12 00 hrs.

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  6. thedavincimode (6,867 comments) says:

    Why don’t they set some space aside for some chimpanzees to see what they might come up with on the journalistic front?

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  7. Lipo (229 comments) says:

    Good April Fools

    But seriously, if this country can move forward, we need more media reports about business, economics, exporting rather than cheap political journalist spouting stuff from the behive

    It is easy and cheap news for the media to station a journalist in the beehive to repeat what is put in front of them.
    Maybe this would change if they had to pay their own way

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  8. Nick R (508 comments) says:

    Oh, this is beautiful. The Govt wants to claw back $180k/year from the fourth estate, but on TV3 last night the PM defends having more Ministers than David Cameron on the grounds that its only a few hundred thou anyway and not worth worrying about.

    Classic.

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  9. Inky_the_Red (761 comments) says:

    More april Fools day jokes I hope.

    Otherwise this government want to restrict media coverage of NZ

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  10. bearhunter (853 comments) says:

    “With wellington office spare exceeding $300/square metre, this could reduce the cost of Parliament by $180,000 a year.”

    Yay. And so they should.

    Of course reducing the size of cabinet would reduce the cost even more, but Mr Key seemed to think that amount was negligible on the telly yesterday.

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  11. reversespin (70 comments) says:

    The economist in me can’t help but think that increasing the cost of political media reporting, will in turn, reduce the quantity of political media reporting.

    The QUALITY of political media reporting, however, is a different story…………surely it could not get any worse.

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  12. Viking2 (11,550 comments) says:

    Today is April 1.

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  13. Rich Prick (1,719 comments) says:

    “and that it is outrageous for struggling Kiwi families to subsidise these Australian corporates.”

    Just as outrageous as struggling Kiwi families having to subsidise that Australian politician.

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  14. Clint Heine (1,571 comments) says:

    Inky, your response made me wonder who was the fool in this. If this was true, it would not restrict the media. That’s crazy.

    But as it is another April Fool post I am sure you were also joking :)

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  15. peterwn (3,298 comments) says:

    Rob Muldoon, in a fit of pique, abolished free telephones (including tolls?) for the press gallery years ago. I think those phones went through the Parliamentry switchboard (there were no ‘direct dial’ extensions then).

    Any knows whether Lockie has given TV3 its dozen basement car parks back yet?

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  16. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Remember when Paddy Gower and others pursued Chris Carter through the halls of Parliament? Lockwood sanctioned them for bad behaviour by suspending the gallery’s 20-odd underground carparks under Parliament. They should bloody well pay for them too, which I’m sure they don’t.

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  17. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    Peter Fraser threatened it in the 1940s. The newspaper editors turned nasty (and they were already not very friendly to the socialist Labourites).

    Robert Muldoon threatened it, but backed down when the newspaper editors turned feral.

    I understand Lange’s government threatened it, on the principle of ‘user-pays’. I don’t know about Bolger, because I wasn’t there then.

    If it’s being considered again (and I acknowledge that this is April 1), I guess you could say it’s a form of utu to the Press Gallery. Since so much of their reporting is so partial these days I’d say it was fair enough.

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  18. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    The newspaper whose female political editor spends most of her time sending lovey dovey text messages to the PM will be exempt.

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  19. thedavincimode (6,867 comments) says:

    Inky

    Are you suggesting that Key wants to pick up on the idea that Clark floated in the wake of her own censorship legislation regarding the desirability of censoring “unfair” reporting. For example, reporting that a government had stolen a million bucks of taxpayer money and was going to introduce a law to “legitimise” the theft? Are you sensing that Key wants to ban political debate in election years? Should the dwarf canary be getting his yellow jacket out?

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  20. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    at the very least they should be charged for their ongoing vandalism of their desks in the gallery

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  21. bka (135 comments) says:

    Small beer. They should charge them for reusing the intellectual content of press releases.

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