List MPs without local offices

Via the NZ Herald:

Seven list MPs are receiving almost $41,000 each a year to run offices in their local communities but choose not to.

Although MPs are not required to have local offices, and can transfer their funds to other MPs or their parties, the Appropriations Review Committee indicated that it “would be concerned if the number of MPs not opening offices was to increase significantly”.

Also in the article is this note on where some of the funds go:

ACT list MP John Boscawen said ACT’s list MPs shared office space in Auckland. However, he had used “a huge chunk”of his entitlement on organising and publicising 40 public meetings against the emissions trading scheme over the past four months.

ACT is a supporter of the current National-led minority government, and, to put it mildly, a party of climate-change skeptics. The Emissions Trading Scheme was one of the signature laws passed by the previous Labour-led government, late in its last term, and which the new government was committed to restructuring.

2 thoughts on “List MPs without local offices

  1. Only roughly analogous to MMP, but the Labor Party (and possibly others) in Australia assign “duty Senators” to “represent” their voters, or at least their branch members, who live in electoral districts held by other parties. Not sure how this squares (under either NZ MMP or Australian bicameralism) with the oft-repeated trope that single-member electorates guarantee close bonds between a voter and “her” local MP, yadda yadda yadda, but it does mean if you’re a Labor supporter who has the misfortune to live on the North Shore of Sydney you can go to a parliamentarian other than Tony Abbott, Brendan Nelson or Malcolm Turnbull to complain about your kids’ Austudy payments being late.

    The Liberals may operate an equivalent system, but informally. In March 1989, then-Senator Bronwyn Bishop (yes, Abbott has two [female] Bishops on the Liberal frontbench) told the Weekend Australian that there were more Liberal voters living in the western suburbs of Sydney than there were voters in the whole State of Western Australia – but the former had (at that time) no Liberal MHRs to represent them in the lower House. Ms Bishop viewed her role in the Senate as giving a voice to these voiceless.

  2. Amusing that we got a mail-drop today from our ‘local’ List Labour MP’s (who has 2 offices in this electorate) upcoming street visit.

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