Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance

At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.

News that taxpayers have forked out $11.4 million for an upmarket New York apartment has been posted on an Australian website.

“That is extravagance in anyone’s language. The neighbourhood is home to some of Hollywood’s A-listers.

“Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is completely out of touch with the lives of real people.

“It comes two years after Mr McCully gutted the Ministry to ‘save money’. He is now splashing those savings on a flash pad for our man in New York.

“This follows a bad few weeks for Mr McCully after revelations about his multi-million dollar ‘facilitation payment’ to a Saudi businessman that he refuses to come clean on.

“It is a continuation of the Government’s cult of extravagance.” David Shearer says.