PM's promotion hits a snag

Prime Minister John Key hands out free sausages at Remarkables Park Town Centre yesterday with Cody Campbell (9), of Queenstown, and Clutha-Southland National Party candidate Todd Barclay. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Prime Minister John Key hands out free sausages at Remarkables Park Town Centre yesterday with Cody Campbell (9), of Queenstown, and Clutha-Southland National Party candidate Todd Barclay. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
''Sausagegate'' began at the Remarkables Town Centre yesterday afternoon as Prime Minister John Key dispensed free sausages about 100m away from two Wakatipu High School pupils selling the same product, trying to raise money for a school trip.

Madi Taylor and Jasmine Sowerby, both 15, stood outside The Warehouse trying to sell one sausage for $3 or two for $5, but business was slow.

That was because the leader of the country - in Queenstown for the Mainland Conference 2014, a gathering of National MPs and candidates from across New Zealand - tried to snag voters by handing out sausages with Clutha-Southland National Party candidate Todd Barclay, cooked for them by Flaming Good Food.

The teenagers told the Otago Daily Times they each had to raise $8200 for World Challenge Nepal in December next year.

The pupils would celebrate their 17th birthdays and Christmas in Nepal, where they would be based for a month, going trekking and volunteering at orphanages.

While the concept was not new to New Zealand, it was the first time pupils from Wakatipu High School had joined the programme.

However, their fundraising efforts took a dive when Mr Key and other National Party members, supporters and curious members of the public turned up just after 12.30pm, and the party's free sausage stand was set up near Mitre10.

Mr Key, however, was made aware of the unfortunate double-up by a man who encountered the teenagers first and then visited the National stand.

''He [Mr Key] turned up [and] he just said 'We stole some of your business' and then he apologised and gave us a donation,'' Madi said.

Mr Key donated $60 to the cause, and the girls made about $60 profit each for their trip.

 

Cash machine in sight

Only had $60 in cash....really? Oh well, there is a cash machine directly opposite the Warehouse, so no problem.

No, he was just tight and missed a really good PR opportunity. A shame for him but really sad for the fundraisers.... 

Do not feed creative types

The offence of treating is Dickensian. However, if a Method Actor comes up and says 'Im starving...oh, Im starving...' They are probably just in character preparation.

The real tragedy

Lets be honest - the real tragedy here is that sausage prices are now up to $3. Keep it to $2 a snag girls and you might have sold more. 

Be realistic

Maybe $60 was all the cash he had on him? its 2014 after all - cash is dead.

Did you think he would hand over his PM credit card or something and say have a lovely time? Then if he did that it wold be wah wah wah waste of taxpayer money.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. 

 

Offence of treating

I wonder about the legality of this. The Electoral Act 1993 states:

Every person commits the offence of treating who corruptly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, either before, during, or after an election, directly or indirectly gives or provides, or pays wholly or in part the expense of giving or providing, any food, drink, entertainment, or provision to or for any person—

(a) for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting; or

(b) for the purpose of procuring himself or herself to be elected; or

(c) on account of that person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting, or being about to vote or refrain from voting.

Pay off

$60 is all the could afford to give? though they are there in Queenstown, at a conference, with a  whole lot of other members, and $60 is it?

They were 'shopping" for votes  and all they bought were 20 sausages. How many did they give away?

Fundraising is hard these days, lost count how many cheese rolls we have made and sausages we have cooked for our group in Dunedin.

Generous to a fault

So a man reputed to be worth $50m gave two fundraisers whose get up and go efforts he'd ruined a donation of $60........now we see why he has so much money.......