I’ve had raised with me an interesting issue. If Laila Harre becomes an MP, will she be treated as a party leader, even though she only get in through the combined Mana-Internet alliance? Will both Hone and Laila get a leader’s salary?
This involves a fair bit of taxpayer money. As a party leader her salary would be $162,200 instead of $147,800 – an extra $14,400.
On top of that she would get an extra $100,000 leadership funding for her parliamentary office. So the taxpayer would be paying an extra $114,400 a year or $343,200 over a three year term.
So what does standing orders say about what constitutes a party – SO 34(1):
Every political party registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993, and in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election, is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes. and
That would suggest she won’t be recognised. But recall that the Mana-Internet agreement expires six weeks after the election. Then read this clause SO34(2)(c):
Independent members, or members who cease to be members of the party for which they were originally elected, may be recognised, for parliamentary purposes as members of a component party in whose interest those members stood as constituency candidates at the preceding
general election if they inform the Speaker in writing that they wish to be so recognised.
So Laila splits from Mana six weeks after the election, and then the Internet Party is a recognised parliamentary party. And that means she gets an extra $114,400 a year of taxpayer funding.
Very neat eh. This helps explain why the agreement lapses just six weeks after the election.