On a regular basis, welfare beneficiaries get bashed by politicians and the corporate media. According to these fat cats, benificiaries are 'living it up' at the 'taxpayers expense', 'bludging off the State', etc. No doubt you are familiar with these well-worn attacks on the poor and disadvantaged.
These same 'protectors' of taxpayer money however have less to say about the already well-off riding the gravy train of various government committees, advisory boards and the like.
Take the example of Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore. He's not contesting the mayoral elections later this year which means he's going to be out of a job. Not that he's exactly poverty-stricken - as mayor he was on some $176,000 a year.
But Garry wants a job. No problem - his friends in the Labour Government have come to his aid.
Moore has been appointed to the boards of Transit New Zealand and Land Transport New Zealand.
Serving on both boards means he'll pick up some $55,000 a year.
Both positions are described as 'part-time' but what the work entails is not clear.
However I rang a source a source at Land Transport and was told that Moore would probably have to 'attend no more than half a dozen board meetings a year'
Moore will be joined on the board of Land Transport New Zealand by another new appointment, former Labour cabinet minister and Wellington Mayor, Fran Wilde. Described on the Land Transport's website as a 'professional company director', she's also the chair of Wellington Waterfront and a member of the NZ Food Safety Advisory Board.
No doubt both Moore and Wilde will be welcomed to the Land Transport board by Mike Williams - he's the Labour Party president. Williams is also on several other boards.
Moore, Wilde and Williams are getting a whole lot of money for doing very little - but the media does not describe them as 'bludgers'.
We'll be reporting on other bludgers riding the gravy train on a regular basis..