ACT party leader wants to charge money to talk about his ministerial rolepost updated
Labour is up in arms about Rodney Hide's fundraiser for his party. ACT has advertised a meeting [PDF]where Rodney Hide is going to present his views on a certain topic. The meeting was organised by the local ACT fundraising co-ordinator and the charge is $45 per head.Nothing wrong with that, parties need money.
Yet the topic is local government - and Hide is the Minister of local government. Those attending will want hear what the Minister says, not what the ACT party leader says. Particularly the local government representatives, who have complained to the minister about local government matters, and whose local authority is being investigated by the minister. These representatives have been specifically invited to the meeting by ACT because ACT knows that they want to hear what the Minister has to say. So why did Hide tell reporters this:
I'm not charging as a minister, I'm actually going along to speak as party leader.So why target, with invitations, those with an interest in Hide's role as a minister? In our democracy, advice and discussion with government ministers are free of charge. So is the $45 charge ethical? Or is it fine for a minister to travel to the meeting as a minster to purportedly speak as a party leader about his ministeral portfolio - provided those attending pay a fee to his political party for the privilege?