MPs and endorsements

Stuff reports:

Why has been bragging so much about her new car?

Well, she’s been crowned brand ambassador for Peugeot, DS and Citroen at an Auckland car dealership.

The former justice minister has been posting promotional updates on social media about driving around in her flash new car.

The partnership, which is free of charge, is for six months. In that time, she gets to drive around with petrol costs paid for, in exchange for raising the profile of Southern Autos Manukau.

MPs need to be careful if they do endorsements, but in this case it looks like a good idea:

But Collins says the Greens should get over themselves.

“I say get on ya bike, don’t worry about it. Someone will no doubt want them to promote a bike somewhere.”

She reasons that she is not getting any benefit from the deal because it saves the taxpayer money.

“The dear-old taxpayer under parliamentary service, they have to pay the costs of MPs’ use of cars for parliamentary business,” she said. “I get to drive around cars for my work, and my work is saving money so it’s saving taxpayer’s money.

“As an MP, not a cabinet minister, I can do that.”

And if Peugeot-buyers mention her name at the time of sale, part of the money would go towards the Papakura Community Crimewatch Patrol, of which she is patron.

“I’m not doing it for myself, I’m doing it to help Papakura Crimewatch Patrol. So actually it’s a win-win.”

So Collins doesn’t benefit personally, the taxpayer saves money and it helps a local charity. Looks fine to me.

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