we live in a democracy, apparently. which means that any person should be able to visit a fire station if they choose, and if that fire station gives approval for the visit. but apparently, the leader of the opposition is not allowed to do so.
back in february, hon phil goff wanted to visit the hamilton fire station but wasn't given permission to do so by the relevant minister, at the time hon richard worth. the reason given by mr worth was that it was inappropriate for the leader of the opposition to visit the station before the minister had done so. mr goff had wanted to give his personal condolences in regard to the fire fighter killed in the coolstore fire at tamahere last year. but since mr worth hadn't managed to do the same, he stopped the visit.
with the departure of mr worth, the new minister in charge is hon nathan guy. and his excuse for refusing a visit?
"I do not believe it is appropriate for Opposition members of Parliament to visit fire stations that are located outside their electorates," Mr Guy said in the August 25 letter.
A spokeswoman for Mr Guy said the minister also considered it inappropriate for MPs to visit during periods of industrial negotiation.
um, what?? i really can't find the words to describe this particular bit of stupidity.