A $100 million grant for marae from the Provincial Growth Fund announced by the MP struggling to return to Parliament is a stunning display of race-based pork-barrelling by a party that normally courts the one-law-for-all vote.
New Zealand First MP Shane Jones made the announcement on Friday in Kaikohe, which is one of the towns that make up the Northland electorate that Jones is contesting.
Splashing out on maraes during the voting period looks like a shameless attempt both to get NZ First back to Parliament and to shore up support for the Labour MPs in the seven Maori seats.
National leader Judith Collins thinks the $100 million grant while New Zealanders are voting is "verging on corruption".
"Yeah, this is actually outrageous... Just pouring money in, in a last-ditch attempt to try and win a seat like that, is actually, it's bordering on, let's say, very dodgy behaviour. It's just totally unacceptable," she said.
Jones, who is Regional Economic Development Minister, oversees the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund.
NZ First is polling well below the five percent threshold required but if Jones is returned as an electorate MP, they would be back.
Jones is campaigning to win Northland from Matt King, the National MP who currently holds it. A Colmar-Brunton poll in August showed King on 46 percent, Labour's Willow-Jean Prime on 31 percent and Jones on 15 percent.
Govt still hasn’t fronted on Ihumatao
The Government hasn’t fronted up with whether anything has been agreed about Ihumatao and, if so, what it is, and the election period ends on Saturday.
If there is a Crown deal, Labour needs to explain to voters why they think it is appropriate to meddle in private property rights with taxpayer money.
Our petition for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business at Ihumatao has collected 3213 signatures. If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at http://chng.it/xPN6P55k
Our coastal petition is growing
Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights has picked up 25,485 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at https://www.change.org/beaches4all
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