Mark Sainsbury: Self-serving Coleman treating taxpayers like chumps

Mark Sainsbury: Self-serving Coleman treating taxpayers like chumps
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OPINION: Another National MP is throwing in the towel just a few months after asking the electorate to send him back to Parliament as their elected representative.

Former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has had a better offer than representing you in Parliament. He's tossing in his job and he's trading in his "service", as he repeatedly described it, for self-service.  

He's had a better offer, at the end of next month he'll become the chief executive for private health provider Acurity Health Group.

Maybe I'm a little old school, maybe I'm a little naive but I would have thought if you go to the electorate in September saying 'I want to represent you' it doesn't mean 'I only want to represent you as long as it suits me and if I'm not back in cabinet, if we lose, then I'm buggering off'.

I said the same thing when John Key and David Cunliffe did a cosy retire early deal. It's saying to us the voters: 'You are chumps, you are here for my convenience, I've had what I want and by the way you're going to pick up the tab for my change of heart.'

A by-election in his Northcote electorate will cost in the region of $1 million and guess who pays? We do.

There's a difference here between list MPs, who really we count as second class citizens to begin with as they can come and go with little impact, and electorate MPs. The latter have put themselves before us for election.

Maybe if you're an electorate MP quitting for a better offer you should pay for the by-election? Otherwise you were elected on false pretenses.

And don't carry on about your service, Dr Coleman. If you really believed in service it should be both in Government and in opposition.

Oppositions are important and health is a key issue. National needs someone with Dr Coleman's background to contribute - unless of course his handling of the portfolio is actually a handicap for them.

Mark Sainsbury is RadioLIVE's Morning Talk host, phone 0800 844 747.

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