Andrew Williams interview

The Herald interviews NZ First List MP Andrew Williams:

Is it better fun being in Parliament than being a mayor [for the former North Shore City]?

It’s totally different, really. A mayor is 24/7 and you can never get away from it when you are a mayor because literally people expect you every day of the week to be at their beck and call. I think MPs have a little bit more ability to get out there without being under daily scrutiny.

Heh, and further away from Whale Oil 🙂

What is the most frustrating thing about working at Parliament?

Well, it’s a little bit being on the Titanic heading towards an iceberg in that it is a long, slow process and it is frustrating. When you are a mayor you can certainly move things along a lot faster than in Parliament. It does surprise me how some bills that are coming before the House right now were introduced originally under the Labour Government or are three or four years old. The process seems to be a very arduous one.

Even a quick law will take around nine months. With limited house time, yeah some laws take up to a decade to pass.

Which MP outside your party impresses you and why?

There’s a lot of them. I’ve always had a lot of time for Phil Goff. He’s a very, very [hard-working], long-serving MP. Over in the National benches I have been very impressed with Nathan Guy because I am veterans’ affairs spokesman and I’ve had some very good discussions with Nathan, and he has been very accommodating and very helpful on particular issues I have raised with him. And I’ve been impressed with Russel Norman.

An ecclectic mix.

Do you have a bill in the private members bill ballot?

I’m preparing one allowing superannuitants to get tax relief for maintaining their health insurance and for fringe benefit tax to be removed from health insurance for companies, to encourage companies to maintain a health insurance programme for their staff … They don’t have to actually pay for it.

Tax relief just for oldies? A pretty naked bribe. Removing FBT for health insurance for staff is well motivated, but inevitably will lead to massive rorts as all those with existing health insurance will just get it made part of their remuneration package to avoid it being taxed.

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