Why is the $1,000 a day fee such an issue? The job to be done has immense constitutional significance in a time when emergency-based legislation is place, and cannot be entrusted to just anyone. The people being paid this amount are all accomplished in numerous ways, the right mix of people needed for the job, and worth the money. How they perform will be open to public scrutiny, so we can ensure value for money.
Perhaps Gerry Brownlee didn't go by the book in getting the fee agreed. Many who were in the public service during times of Labour governments can tell stories of devious, dubious and highly suspect conduct by Labour. Look at the rorting that has been going on with travel perks. What about Helen Clark hurtling through Canterbury at lethal speed just to get to a rugby match? There are many other examples.
Those of us in the eastern suburbs are daily aware of just how extraordinarily good our local electorate MPs are - all of them Labour. Yet, for reasons that seem increasingly petty, the $1,000 a day issue is being pushed to the exclusion of more important things. It is petty politics of a wasteful kind. If Labour has this amount of spare energy, how about putting it into a policy for Canterbury's recovery? How would you ease the pressure on section prices? What about a mechanism for dealing with EQC and insurance company disputes? Are the new houses being built suitable for earthquake country? How would you deal with an increasingly incapable Christchurch City Council?
We don't yet know how you intend to do things, so why not give away the petty politics and talk about how you see our future?