Tom Hunt at Stuff reports:
The Government has splashed out on 34 new top-of-the-line BMWs that sell for more than $200,000 each.
The Green Party has called the ordering of the cars a disgrace.
But the Internal Affairs Department says it has been three years since the Government bought its last fleet, which will be sold when the new cars start to arrive later this year. …
A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key said this was the same process that had happened for years. “It is standard for a progressive upgrade of the VIP fleet to happen every three years or when the vehicle reaches 90,000 kilometres.”
What’s standard is how unpopular this is. I give the Government a big fail for this move. When Labour did the same in 2008 I put it down to advanced third termitis (when you no longer sense what may be unpopular), but this is even worse as National is in their first term.
It does not matter what the contract said about upgrades, or what level of discount the Government gets upgrading in year three – the only thing the public will remember is a Government saying times are tight having money to buy new BMWs for Ministers. An incredibly stupid blunder.
Someone should have intervened and ensured that any fleet replacement does not take place in election year. Unless one actually wants to lose votes.