The Herald reports:
Prime Minister John Key has accused Mana leader Hone Harawira of taking a taxpayer-funded junket to South Africa after it appeared Mr Harawira did not attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Harawira also refused to clarify if the taxpayer paid for his wife’s travel also:
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira won’t say whether his wife travelled to South Africa on the taxpayer dollar.
Mr Harawira has returned from a taxpayer-funded trip to farewell the late former South African president Nelson Mandela.
He told media at Auckland Airport this morning that it was a moving trip, which included performing a haka to Mr Mandela’s friends and family.
But he refused to say who paid for his wife’s trip.
“Come in with this kind of bullshit line about taxpayer funding when Hone Harawira goes, but nobody says boo about it when John Key goes.
“I’ll give you an answer when I hear his answer.”
Well that is easy. John Key changed the rules in 2009 so Minister’s no longer have their spouses travel with them at the taxpayers expense. Rodney Hide was demolished for using his parliamentary funding to have his partner travel with him. Will Hone be held to the same standard.
UPDATE: Harawira has now said his wife was funded by private donors, not the taxpayer.
“This is a guy who has barely turned up to Parliament in 2013… He has spent a hell of a lot of 2013 doing anything other than actually taking his place in Parliament.
Hone has asked a total of three written questions in 2013. yes, just three. A disgrace. Three out of almost 17,000 asked by opposition MPs.
His contributions in the debating chamber have been almost non-existent. In the last year his contributions have been:
- Six oral questions (these are allocated so no issue there)
- Spoke on the Budget debate, the financial review debate, the PM’s statement, two general debates, one urgent debate, one obituary, one local bill and one Treaty settlement. On average that is one speech ever six weeks!
So Hone Harawira has spoken on two bills in 2013. In the past year 145 bills passed into law, 57 had a first reading and 67 a second reading meaning 269 bills that he could have spoken on.
Hone Harawira has no interest or ability to be a parliamentarian. He is a very effective activist and protester. But he is a failure as a Member of Parliament.