3 Jun 2015

Parliament's $30,000 doors

9:52 am on 3 June 2015

A spat has erupted between National and Labour MPs over who has demanded a set of security doors be put up between the two parties in Parliament House.

The doors, waiting to be fitted.

The doors, waiting to be fitted. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

Labour said it was National that pitched the idea after the election, but a National MP, whose office is right next to where the doors will go, said it was Labour's request.

The National MP, Judith Collins, yesterday tweeted a picture of a couple of doors leaning up against the wall on the second floor of Parliament House, and added that it was sad that Labour was insisting on $50,000 doors.

However Parliamentary Service said the doors were costing $30,000, as they were to be in keeping with the heritage features of Parliament House.

Ms Collins told Radio New Zealand it was all a waste of money.

"When I look at the fact that they are kauri doors and they are quite expensive and quite ornate ... I just think the whole thing is ridiculous, we shouldn't have to have security doors between Labour and National."

Labour's senior whip Chris Hipkins said Labour did not ask for the doors.

"Well let's be clear - the doors are going in because that was the proposal that Gerry Brownlee came to the Labour Party with following the last election, so I'm not entirely sure why Judith is trying to sheet this back on the Labour Party."

Mrs Collins said that may well have been the initial view, but things had changed since then.

"Labour and National, as in Annette King and I, agreed after the election, after we took a unanimous vote on our floor that we could share the corridor, and we were advised by the whip's office just recently that this was all going to change after this next recess - that Labour had insisted that [the doors] go in."

Green Party MP Jan Logie said that money could be better spent on other doors such as in select committee rooms which she said were still not accessible for people in wheelchairs.

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark said it was probably a good idea to keep National and Labour apart.

"We're never had to do this in the past, have we?

"I guess with emails going missing and ending up in books - probably scares the heck out of a lot of them, they probably don't trust each other that much.