Posted by: sabrina | November 9, 2009

Hide’s hiding spots – a travel guide

HAWAII, Britain, the United States, Canada – if Rodney Hide had to write a travel guide, those destinations would quite likely  appear in his personal top five.

You can also presume that such a travel guide (“Hide’s hiding spots – a travel guide for NZ politicians on perk progress”, that’s how I’d call it) would not be aimed at the average Kiwi family but to those with a packed purse.

It would rank top hotels and feature recommendations to visit the Universal Studios and in the appendix you would probably find “Tipps & Tricks on how to justify a world trip before the taxpayer“.

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PICTURE: WAKE-UP CALL: Rodney Hide has not so much to laugh about these days. (Pic: Chris Skelton/Sunday Star-Times)

Well, our Rodney will have to re-think that, because so far his strategy didn’t work out: the media bombard him with questions, the taxpayers shake their heads in disbelief, and his boss, Prime Minister John Key (recently being labelled as a ‘does-nothing’-Prime Minister by Hide himself) cannot be happy either.

Hide’s bill, including flights, travel fares and accomodation for himself and his partner Louise Crome, is as high as about $25,000 – money paid by New Zealand taxpayers.

Funny how Hide says he disagrees with the perk that enables MPs to travel on taxpayers’ expenses but admits the same time that he used to take his girlfriend overseas. All in terms of his own work, of course, as he was paying visits to super-cities that are stating examples for soon-to-be-super-city Auckland.

[I suppose you could call it “research”… and I wonder why I have decided to become a journalist and not a politician. When I do research, it involves a lot of time at my desk, ringing people until my ears glow and typing into search engines until I suffer from OOS in my hands… If I were a politician, I could pay a visit to the Universal Studios instead…]

Rodney Hide already seemed pretty much with his back against the wall when he was “Caught Red Handed” by Mike Hosking on Close Up on 30 cu_hyde_301009_300October 2009 (PICTURE RIGHT), but since then he more and more got himself into hot water.

Saying that Prime Minister John Key “doesn’t do anything while ACT did everything and is hated” on a breakfast function in Christchurch last week certainly did not help – although it was quick thinking of Rodney to forewarn Mr Key of what was to come, shortly before the newspapers could pick up the story.

And good on him for apologising to the taxpayers and to Mr Key and for paying back the costs for his partner’s flights and for the trip to Hawaii in June.

In a personal statement released to the press on 8 November 2009 he says: ‘It’s not about the rules, it’s about doing the right thing.’

Right. But I still wonder…

– How come there is a 180°-turn in your opinion within one week (since the appearance in Close Up where you still stressed how the rules -and the Prime Minister himself- allowed you to take your girlfriend on a world trip until yesterday when you admitted that you have done the wrong thing)?

Anyway, what’s happening at “Breakfast With Rodney” on Thursday should be interesting (experience shows breakfasts with Rodney reveal interesting opinions on our government)… 🙂

-View another blog on this topic here

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT RODNEY HIDE’S TRIPS OVERSEAS? JUSTIFIED?

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