Douglas publishes, public pays

By Audrey Young

It is believed the 112-page book by Sir Roger Douglas will be given away. Photo / Mark Mitchell
It is believed the 112-page book by Sir Roger Douglas will be given away. Photo / Mark Mitchell

MPs have a quick way to become authors. They can compile their best speeches, get them bound in a book, give it a cover and a title and get Parliament to pay.

The latest book by Act MP Sir Roger Douglas, an already established author, has just been published on the public purse.

The non-fiction No Second Class Citizens is a compilation of speeches he has given plus the maiden speeches of Act colleagues David Garrett and John Boscawen.

It is 112 pages and it is thought that the book is being given away, not sold.

It is published by Sir Roger with the assertion of copyright. He is featured on the gold cardboard cover leaning on a fence post.

There is a parliamentary crest on the book, and Parliamentary Services confirmed it had paid for it out of the MP's entitlement to publicity in the form of printed material.

Any MP has the same right - though Parliament would draw the line at fiction, the spokesman said.

Not all of Sir Roger's reprinted speeches are contemporary; while six speeches are about the 2009 Budget, one is a 1987 health speech when he was Minister of Finance in the fourth Labour Government.

The title of the book comes from a speech he gave to the Window and Glass Industry Conference in Rotorua in June.

"New Zealand has two classes of citizens," he said.

"And we have two classes not because the Government isn't doing enough for the poor but because what the Government does for the poor denies them choices, destroys the incentives they have to get ahead and subjects them to political abuse."

Sir Roger's office was asked how many books had been printed and how much it cost but it had not responded by last night.

- NZ Herald

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