Parliamentary catering

Isaac Davidson at NZ Herald reports:

MPs may soon no longer have access to an inhouse pub or room service if proposals to cut costs within go ahead.

Parliamentary Service, which manages the Beehive and Parliament Buildings, is reviewing its food and drink services and has put many options including a 140-year-old restaurant on the chopping block.

In an email sent to Parliamentary staff, it proposed closing Pickwicks bar on the third floor of the Beehive, the ministerial dining room and the members only dining room. It also suggested closing Bellamy’s, a fine dining restaurant which MPs and their families have used since 1867.

Pickwicks (almost always referred to internally as 3.2 after its room number) used to be a hub of activity every night, and could really go off on urgency nights with midnight sittings. Sadly it is now sparsely attended and I am not surprised it may become unfinancial.

The Bellamy’s dining restaurant is divided up into two sections – members and guests (open to MPs, staff and guests) and members (open to MPs and families only). However they are the same restaurant and just have a dividing wall between them. Not sure you save much by removing the separation.

Wine and beer would still be available at Copperfields Cafe in Parliament Buildings. However, the breakfast buffet could be cut.

National staff had a tradition for well over a decade of a breakfast gathering at Copperfields on a Friday morning. It was a great team builder, and made working there so much more bearable. Would be sad to see an end to breakfasts there.

However I have long submitted that Copperfields should be replaced with a mini food court. Allow three or four operators to set up there and compete on price and variety and quality. Have a sushi bar, a sandwich bar, a grill and even a McDs if they think they’d get enough business.

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