Funding approved

March 9th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Adam Bennett in the NZ Herald reports:

Speaker of the House had been criticised over his decision not to grant funding for a note-taker for Ms Mathers.

He did not decide not to grant funding. He was not able to do so without going through a formal process, which he has now done.

However this morning he announced permanent funding had been approved by the Parliamentary Service.

The matter was discussed earlier this week by the Parliamentary Service Commission – made up of senior MPs from all parties.

Dr Smith said “having complied with all legal requirements” a final decision regarding funding support for Ms Mathers had been made.

“I am issuing a direction to the Parliamentary Service which will provide the lawful authority to provide equipment and personnel services to Ms Mathers while she is a member of Parliament.

“Specifically, Ms Mathers will continue to have access to electronic note takers while she is an MP. This support will be in addition to that to which she is already entitled, to ensure she may fulfill her role as a member of Parliament. ”

Dr Smith said the cost of the services would be met from the Parliamentary Service’s baseline and was additional to the funding provided to support all members.

This is the correct decision.

Dr Smith went to say he planned to develop a captioning service to make proceedings of the House more accessible to the hearing impaired.

“Services for the business of the House are not subject to the advice of the Parliamentary Service Commission. Consequently, I intend working with the Office of the Clerk to develop this service and will raise this with the Standing Orders Committee which deals with such matters.” 

This is also a good thing.

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10 Responses to “Funding approved”

  1. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘He did not decide not to grant funding. He was not able to do so without going through a formal process, which he has now done.’

    Only after he told Mojo Mathers that ‘she must pay up to $30,000 for electronic note-taking in Parliament out of her own budget’ which naturally enough went down like a cup of cold sick.

    Your spin is set to 11 on this one DPF, just say it; Lockwood got it wrong, now lets move on.

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  2. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “Dr Smith went to say he planned to develop a captioning service to make proceedings of the House more accessible to the hearing impaired.”

    This is great – the long term solution should be a live [DRAFT] transcript of parliamentary proceedings available to all NZers.

    I agree with YesWeDid – Lockwood did not handle this well but at least the outcome was the right one.

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  3. V (701 comments) says:

    @YesWeDid

    Believe what you want as you are clearly impervious to facts and reason, but additional funding is not able to be, nor should ever be able to be provided on the whim of a speaker.
    There are proper proceedures to apply for additional taxpayer funded support and its best they are followed otherwise the whole system becomes a lollyscramble. Funding decisions should not be decided via press release either.

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  4. big bruv (13,720 comments) says:

    This is NOT the correct decision at all.

    The Luddites receive $1.88 million dollars a year in tax payer funds, they are more than able to pay for the equipment needed for moonbat Mathers from their existing budget.

    Lockwood might be one of the better speakers the house has seen (although he remains too full of his own self importance for me) but he has got this wrong, he should have told the Luddites and Moonbat Mathers to get stuffed.

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  5. Positan (386 comments) says:

    It’s a poor precedent. The Greens contribute very little of substance to the parliamentary process or to anything advantageous in the results – their time-wasting cost the country hugely.

    As a party and as a concept they’re a complete waste of time and space.

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  6. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    If she were an electorate MP I would have supported funding her additional costs. But she is just a list MP, admitted knowingly and cynically by the party bosses who knew her appointment (as distinct from election) would result in more demand on public funds. Hence the whole issue feels like a Green political stunt. Next target – compulsory sign language in schools?

    But why worry? Its only taxpayers’ money. (Except perhaps that it could have given a disadvantaged young person some vocational training, provided a few computers in a school, or enabled a hard working oldie to get a hip replacement.)

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  7. Tom Barker (137 comments) says:

    This was always the only possible outcome of this issue, and the Speaker has damaged the reputation of himself and his office by delaying so long in taking this action.

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  8. TEO (33 comments) says:

    Can someone enlighten me as to why a sign language interpreter and the Hansard won’t suffice?

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  9. Paulus (2,607 comments) says:

    What Ministerial role will Mathers get after the 2014 election ? They will all be Ministers of some sort.
    Have no doubt that the combined left wing parties willl have a majority.
    The Greenpeace Party will extract a huge pound of flesh from the Labour leader – Grant Robertson – God help New Zealand.

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  10. Adam Bennett (2 comments) says:

    “Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith had been criticised over his decision not to grant funding for a note-taker for Ms Mathers.”

    That was a line of background added by some one else to what I initially filed in a hurry.

    I changed it in the updated version to “under fire for delays in securing long term funding” to reflect the fact that, as I reported in an earlier story, Dr Smith’s office had been paying for Ms Mathers’ note taker while the matter was under consideration.

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