The Dom-Post editorial keeps fanning the flames which must be keeping Maryan Street uncomfortably warm over the long weekend.
The leader writer is right on the money with this:
"The $250-a-night deal Housing New Zealand negotiated at Tongariro Lodge is not extravagant. It included meals and the use of conference facilities and, all-up, cost little more than a quarter of the infamous Winz outing. But the public doesn't see the discounted price or the busy agenda that Housing Minister Maryan Street says the corporation's property improvement team waded through. What it sees is sweeping lawns, generously appointed rooms, a four-course menu and the roaring fire in the dining room, all of which are out of reach of the 10,000 people on the state house waiting list."
They're right - it's all about perception. However it is significant that this episode and the infamous WINZ jaunt of a decade ago involved agencies who work with the poorest New Zealanders - wouldn't you expect a little more of Annette King's common-sense?
And the editorial missed one other key element - the knee-capping of Maryan Street by the PM. Street has been seen as one of Clark's loyalists, but Clark showed that anyone in the Labour cabinet or caucus is expendable. But after the polls released last night, the question must be asked - how long can Clark's grip last?