The whole MP's spending thing presents interesting dilemma's - and I think need to be objectively quantified - lets face it - if you add up all the spending - its pretty dam paltry - sometimes it seems a lot - but a good bottle of wine - in a top European restaurant costs a lot (taking into account currency conversion - and remembering Europe's expensive cost of living).
I would hate one of our MP's to be entertaining Global Political and Business leaders - and be forced to serve up Raro juice. Even worse - perhaps our MP's will be required to learn the "Australian Haka".
As a citizen of New Zealand - I would like our MP's - to ensure - if they are splurging to impress their guests, clients, or top level contacts - that they focus on New Zealand's finest produce.
I am talking about our great wines - and even 42Below (well actually that's owned by Bacardi).
And if they are in a top international bar that does no have NZ's finest - talk to the bartender - the manager the head chef - and swap some cards - lighthouse gin - is top quality and could take the world by storm for instance.
If the MP is in New Zealand and entertaining - then they BETTER be featuring NZ produce.
The article below shows where it can go wrong.
Tizard buys French to uphold NZ pride
Our MP - as a treat - shouted her visitors a bottle of Bollinger champagne at Cin Cin restaurant.
She should have bought an NZ bubbly - such as Pelorus for instance.
She should have remembered - who's team she is on - and who she represents.
Lesson learned I hope!