New Zealand Government splashes out on gas-guzzling limousines—Greens attack
[Cross-posted] Again, only the Greens seem to be raising a stink in the New Zealand Parliament (National is silent) about the new BMW limousines on order for governmental use.
As co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons pointed out, the new BMW 730Lds on order from the Bavarian automaker contravenes even the government’s own directives for fuel economy.
The cars, at least based on list prices, are essentially twice the price of the Ford Fairlanes they are succeeding. The government’s defence, that the Fairlanes will be deleted from Ford Australia’s range, falls on deaf ears, since the rival Holden Statesman is still being made, and sold at a comparable price.
The Dog & Lemon Guide has warned that maintaining the cars will be pricey, too.
I happen to agree with the opinions of both Ms Fitzsimons and the Guide’s editor, Clive Matthew-Wilson. These cars will send the wrong message: that politicians are somehow above the rest of us (consider who normally buys 7-series BMWs). Additionally, the cars are a bad choice environmentally—contravening the country’s green image.
We know that this Labour Government and the opposition National Party both think they are above the rest of us and that they have no trouble with hypocrisy.
I predict that what might happen is that everyday motorists will block these BMW limousines out of a sense of injustice.
I still remember the days when Prime Minister Robert Muldoon drove his own Triumph 2500S to work and got stuck in trafﬁc like the rest of us.
Security might deem that unsafe but as the Irish newspaper points out today, even Ms Fitzsimons drives to work in her own 1·3-litre car.
There has to be a happy medium, maybe having a diplomatic protection police ofﬁcer accompany the PM if she wishes to drive to work.
This is spending at a time when we should be more prudent with taxpayer funds, especially in upcoming years.
While Mr Matthew-Wilson believes a Toyota Crown or Lexus would be a better bet, I was remarking to myself how the diesel Škoda Superb would be quite good today.
The Superb is one of the most economical diesels I have tested and the legroom—more than an old Mercedes-Benz S-class—is more than suitable for our MPs.
I have wondered why even taxi ﬂeets have shied away from the Czech-built car here as it affords far more comfort than the Toyota Camry that is fast becoming the choice of cabbies in Wellington.
And at NZ$59,990 for the current model (to be replaced next year), it makes inﬁnitely more sense than the BMW.
If the Superb is good enough for the President of the Czech Republic, it is more than enough for our ministers—which reveals that the decision to go with BMW could not have been motivated by proper policy considerations. Something is rotten in Denmark, but we’ve known that for years.
Choosing a long-wheelbase BMW at this point makes us look more like Red China—oh, hang on—maybe that is the message.
What a pity National is not taking the opportunity to use this against Labour—again John Key has not been able to see the massive bullseye target painted on the Internal Affairs’ Minister. Posted by Jack Yan, 09:46
Jack, Jack, Jack…haven't you been watching the news. The NZ Government has extracted so much money from hard working kiwi families (I know it's not quite election year yet, but get ready to hear that expression a lot more in the months ahead)that there are billions of dollars slopping around in the Revenue's slush fund. So, having robbed Peter to give Peter back a fractional percentage as a 'tax cut' for which Peter is expected to re-elect the robber baron, self same robber baron now feels it is appropriate to indulge in some of the baubles of power.
The new fleet is the perfect metaphor for the arrogance of the current government - remote from the cares and concerns of, well, hard working New Zealand families. A smug slap in the face. Personally I'd like to see them riding donkeys around Wellington.
# posted by David MacGregor: 12/21/2007 08:27:00 PM
I'd like to ride around in a BMW limo too! Where do I send my resume?
# posted by Zak Klemmer: 12/23/2007 01:55:00 AM
I agree, David. And Zak:Post a Comment
Intelligence and prior education not factors. Sympathy toward Red China and similar totalitarian régimes a requirement. (Extra bonus if your surname is Castro.)
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