Annette King and Peter Dunn were in Parliament for over 30 years picking up huge sums of money to look after No 1. No MP should do more than four terms in the house – it's being used as a retirement home; better than super for the public.
Now take Jack Chivers who had 70 years as a volunteer and gave $200,000 from his super to help buy equipment for St John and a van for a service club. Not a rich man by any means but no knighthood for him. Annette King, when approached over the years, was unsympathetic when asked to help St John.
So Labour agrees with National: forget those who really do the work, just make sure that we look after the old boys' network and hand them out positions to get more money in the coming years. We can always rely on 80 per cent volunteers in the Fire Brigade and St John Ambulance.
The honours system is not for people who have done nothing to help their fellow man like Kristen Bartlett in her struggle. Labour has missed this boat.
R Chamberlain, Otumoetai (Abridged).