Look, I’m not upset about the cost of taking those two planes on that diplomatic trip to China.
Of course, $150,000 on fuel for the backup plane is a lot of money, it’s not a great spend. But the alternative is spending up to $6 million on buying a new plane. Which is what we actually need to do, but until we do that, we’re probably going to have a bunch of these costs.
No, my problem is the climate miles.
What did we say last week about Chris Luxon and the Tesla? We said: In politics, there is no crime that is greater than hypocrisy.
Politicians can lie, they can spend money poorly- supporters can forgive them for that kind of stuff because we expect that from politicians. But they cannot be hypocrites, and this is hypocritical from the Labour Party.
Because if we have got a climate emergency that is so urgent and so bad that Labour is trying to stop farmers and tradies buying utes- which they need on their land- then I’m sorry, but the Prime Minister simply cannot have two planes in the air at once.
If Labour really believes that you and I have to get out of our cars and walk or bike huge distances to work, then, sorry, the Prime Minister cannot have two planes going in the same direction at once.
And if the climate is burning up so fast that we have to give $140 million of taxpayer money to an international corporate to be able to help them buy a climate-friendly furnace, then I’m sorry, but the Prime Minister simply cannot have two planes in the air headed to China at once.
One plane, yes. Two planes, no.
He should have thought about this. He should have thought- shock horror- about catching the old commercial jets to China like the rest of us.
I know it’s inconvenient because maybe all 30 members of the media tagging along on the free planes would not be able to afford to go on the commercial jet, because media aren’t flush at the moment.
And that would have meant Chippy doesn’t get all that free publicity, and maybe he wouldn’t have been able to take the Kapa Haka group with him.
Maybe it’s a bit of a schlep having to drag the Prime Minister and entourage through the Chinese airports, but hey, it really sucks for farmers having to shell out another $6900 in penalty taxes just to buy a ute.
Because it’s a climate emergency, they have to do that. So maybe if it’s a climate emergency, you just take one plane, not two.
It’s hard to outdo Matt, Harry, and Meghan on climate hypocrisy, but Chippy’s managed it. At least they only have one plane, he’s got two.
Let’s be honest about it, this is not going to change anyone’s vote at the election. Whether Chippy takes one plane or takes two planes and makes a climate hypocrite of himself or his Party- whatever.
But what it means is that it’s going to be very hard for him to take the moral high ground on the climate this election.
It’s going to be really hard for Chippy to pretend that National and ACT are some sort of climate devils like he probably planned- you can see that writing on the wall- while painting himself as a climate warrior.
He can’t do that anymore, can he? Because nobody else in probably the whole country has ever taken two planes to China.
Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.
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