“The Speaker’s attempt to pitch a new Parliamentary palace as a ‘wooden office block’ will not fly with taxpayers,” says Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke.
“Fundamentally, you can’t trust politicians with property projects. Their instinct will always be to turn a new building into a gold-plated legacy project.”
“You just know the planning stage will turn into a performative, naval-gazing, drawn-out consultation process. Some special interest group will demand it’s built from native pine with swamp kauri detailing. The wool industry will demand merino carpets, and the vegans will protest. There will be sermons on post-colonial architecture. And eventually some boffin will remember we’re facing a timber shortage.”
“The Speaker justifies the new wooden building behind Parliament by suggesting it could replace the Beehive in the event that the Beehive became unusable. But why would the Beehive become unusable? Are its base isolators ineffective? Is it earthquake prone? Is there an asbestos problem? Has the building’s infamous static electricity problem led to the spontaneous combustion of junior Ministers? Taxpayers deserve answers.”
“Trevor Mallard seems to fancy himself as a property developer after spending $572,000 building a slide, and now he’s asking for the chequebook to build entire buildings, plural. He’s dreaming.”