Your life is an open accounts book when you're a politician in this country. If it isn't then you've obviously got something to hide.

The Pecuniary Interests Register's published every year and it tallies up what the politicians own and where their financial interests are, just to keep them above board when it comes to passing laws on behalf of us all and not on behalf of themselves.

Well that's the intention but the problem is that their assets are all trussed up in Trusts and getting a look into those is about as easy as having a squizz inside the head of Winston Peters during coalition negotiations after an election.

One thing that is clear though is that most of them are a fairly well heeled lot and all but ten of them are well housed with many of them having multiple properties.


Take Parmjeet Parmar who was willing to take a hiding to nothing for the Nats in the Mt Roskill by election late last year. She doesn't seem to have a great deal of commitment to the area anyway, with an interest in at least seven properties in the million dollar city, both residential and commercial, but not one in the electorate she was standing for.

And if she ever falls out of favour with the Nats she can always fall back on one of her numerous business interests, including a lolly factory no less.

The new Government whip Jami-Lee Ross, who railed against socialism in his maiden speech, telling us it was a failed experiment and quoting Maggie Thatcher who said the trouble with it is you run out of other people's money to spend. Yeah well, he's still got a student loan along with a couple of properties in Auckland and an apartment in Wellington!

But when it comes to gifts, our politicians are a pampered lot with rugby and cricket tickets to the premier matches galore.

John Key will never be late for a round of golf, at the ritzy Remuera and Wairakei courses where he's had free membership, with his wrist watch which was a gift from the Prime Minister of Kuwait along with a set of pens from the same Sheik to keep his score card. All Black great Ritchie McCaw, who Key insisted on getting a knighthood but who took the higher Order of New Zealand instead, looked after his old buddy with a free helicopter flight and a flying lesson.

By contrast the youngster who put his hand up for the deputy Prime Minister's job Simon Bridges has to make do with his free golf memberships at Mt Maunganui and Tauranga. Well he's clearly got ambition and could still make it to the big league one day.