Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei has been criticised by fellow MPs for breaking ranks over the sensitive issue of MPs’ travel entitlements.
A bill to hand over the setting of many of the MPs’ perks and entitlement to the independent Remuneration Authority was back in Parliament for the first time yesterday after being changed by the select committee so the Speaker would retain control over domestic travel entitlements for MPs.
Ms Turei was on the select committee which agreed to the change unanimously, but yesterday put up an amendment to change it back so the Remuneration Authority did take over control – apparently ambushing the other parties who had been expecting a united front on the issue.
That is grandstanding. If you don’t agree with it, you do a minority report at select committee. But to vote for it at select committee, and then oppose it at the next stage is playing politics.
Speaking in Parliament, Labour’s Trevor Mallard criticised her for grandstanding, saying she voted in favour of the decision to keep domestic travel with the Speaker in the select committee.
“Having not given a peep in opposition, she was a lamb in the committee. For her to come to this House now with amendments attempting to reverse that is an indication of someone who is either not on top of their job, or is a political grandstander.”
Trevor is right on this one.
Mr Mallard’s colleague Ruth Dyson also voiced disappointment at Ms Turei’s decision to lodge the amendment, saying there had been unanimous agreement on it in the committee after extensive consideration.
Ms Turei said the Greens had made it clear they did not agree with the decision to allow the Speaker to keep control of travel, but supported the bill as a whole as it made progress toward ensuring MPs’ entitlements were decided more independently.
Bull. If that is the case, you do a minority report saying exactly that. They didn’t.Tags: Metiria Turei, MPs expenses