The three contenders for the Labour leadership have confirmed taxpayers are stumping up for the cost of them flying around the country to pitch for votes.
Labour MPs are also likely to charge their flights to the taxpayer for attending any of the 12 candidates meetings planned around the country over the next two weeks.
The three contenders – Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones – confirmed they would use the travel perk to campaign over the next two weeks.
Three MPs flying around the country for two weeks might add up to, I dunno, sixty grand? Which isn’t nothing, but this weekend I read Rod Oram’s column on the spectacular disaster that was the Mighty River Power float, and the government’s attempts to avoid repeating those blunders when it sells Meridian in November. The government spent about $65 million selling MIghty River, around $30 million of which went to Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Capital and Credit Suisse for their world class expertise.
All up the investment banks managing the asset sales IPOs will earn about $100 million, and because their launch of MRP was such a catastrophe they’ve cost the New Zealand taxpayer an ‘unknown and unknowable’ amount of money in interest free loans to Meridian investors (the Greens reckon the cost is about $40 million). Flying Jones, Robertson and Cunliffe around the place seems like a better investment than just dumping skip bins filled with money over the heads of investment bankers.