Thursday, July 29, 2010

More pinot, Minister?

The Department of Internal Affairs has just done its latest release of Ministerial expenses, and I'm busy going through the credit-card receipts. So far we've got minibar habits and Rodney "perkbuster" Hide sticking the taxpayer for his valet parking (you can just imagine how loud he would have screamed about that a few years ago). But the best is Murray McCully's $2,855 dinner for 14 [PDF, p. 6] to host the IRB - including almost $1,200 of booze. Of that, $740 was spent on 4 bottles of 2006 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir.

Hosting dinners is part of McCully's role, but there's ordinary extravagance (it seems usual for Ministers to drop $70 - $100 a head on food) and extraordinary extravagance. And $185 / bottle wine is definitely in the latter category.

More pinot, Minister? It's on us.