“The Labour Government was so desperate to get rid of firebrand Labour MP Louisa Wall it created a job for her, didn’t advertise it to anyone else and shuffled her out just like with Shane Jones,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“It’s clear the Labour Party was desperate to get rid of Wall. After going out of its way to remove her as the MP for Manurewa, Labour then needed to get her out of Parliament all together.
“In answer to Written Parliamentary Questions from ACT, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed that the role was not advertised, that Wall did not apply, and no other applicants were considered.
"Mahuta did not take the decision to Cabinet and she has refused to release any details of her conversations with Wall about the appointment.
“Mahuta claims “The role was filled by direct appointment. It requires a range of skills, experiences and mana, which Louisa Wall has.”
“How does Mahuta know that there wasn’t another candidate with the range of skills, experiences and mana if they didn’t look?
“The role pays up to $209,952. That’s $153,792 more than the average earner.
“The roving Pacific ambassador role specially created for Shane Jones to shift him on from the Labour Party ended up costing taxpayers a total of $1 million over three years and absolutely nothing was achieved for that money. That included accommodation, travel and other expenses. The role was never filled after Jones left.
“Labour might think it’s ok to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars making up jobs to get rid of unwanted MPs but Kiwis who are doing it tough through the cost of living crisis will find this offensive.
“Nanaia Mahuta and Jacinda Ardern need to be honest with New Zealanders about why this job was created and what they think it will achieve, other than costing taxpayers money to get rid of a thorn in Labour’s side.”