Tuesday, March 27, 2018

An abuse of power

New Zealanders like to think that our country is free of the sort of routine corruption and abuse of power regularly seen in places like the United States. Not any more:

National is accusing NZ First of holding the regions to ransom after a junior MP was sent to try and heavy Rodney MP Mark Mitchell out of advocating on behalf of a project in his electorate.

Mitchell said he was approached by freshman NZ First MP Jenny Marcroft at the weekend, telling him the party was considering funding the Mahurangi River Restoration Project but the party would need Mitchell to cease his involvement in the project.

He alleged Marcroft also said any funding for the project would be contingent on an assurance from National that it would not seek to ask any questions related to the project, of the responsible minister, in the House.

Marcroft has been told to apologise, so that's pretty much an admisison of guilt. At the same time, a mere apology is not enough for such a disturbing allegation. Marcroft has done something completely unacceptable: attempting to leverage government spending to use it as a weapon to bully and bribe an opponent. That sort of behaviour has absolutely no place in our politics, and neither do people who do it. She simply has to go.