Taxpayer money will be put up to help bring giant pandas to Wellington if a deal can be worked out, Prime Minister John Key says.
Wellington City Council is to look at a business case for bringing the animals from China to Wellington Zoo, but one councillor who is opposed believes the project could cost up to $100 million.
Mr Key said he believed the cost would be less than that, but would still be considerable. If the council came up with a proposal the Government would likely commit funds to help out.
Pandas are cute. But worth $100 million of public money, at a time when kids are dying in state houses due to insufficient maintenance and other public services are slowly being choked to death by systematic underfunding? No. But it speaks volumes about Key's priorities and his values: pandas good, poor kids worthless.
It also says a lot about just how unambitious for New Zealand Key is. As a third-term Prime Minister he's looking for a legacy, and what's he got? He's achieved nothing on foreign policy, and gone backwards on domestic. His main "achievements" of his time as Prime Minister are seven years of recession and six percent unemployment. Some Prime Ministers want to leave the country better than they found it; some actually achieve it. Michael Joseph Savage gave us the welfare state, David Lange showed us our place in the world, Geoffrey Palmer gave us our constitution. And John Key wants to be the man who brought us pandas. Its not aiming very high, is it?