So, it turns out the America's Cup wasn't the spectacular moneymaker we were all promised, repeatedly, ad nauseum
New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, was forced to defend this use of public money. Key -- who has a hell of a sense of humor
-- described the hiring of a driver and large automobile as "appropriate" and "relative."
"If you were using it because you were taking advantage of a situation and couldn't be bothered getting in a taxi that's one issue," Key told the media. "But when you're dealing with going big distances in a place where it's not necessarily that practical, lots of businesspeople do that."
That's an odd thing to say, for so many reasons.
First of all, even a surge-priced Uber
wouldn't run that kind of money. Second, San Francisco is blessed with many forms of transportation that don't involve chauffeured SUVs. Third, there are no "big distances" in San Francisco; New Zealand may be a small country, but this is a small city. And, finally, $1,543? What the hell?
If nothing else, Key seems like a good dude to work for. He also defended his ministers' occasional use of public funds to quaff beers out of the hotel minibars: "It's not impossible that people spend all day working and quite often actually into the night they have meetings, and they get back to their hotel and they end up having some room service and a beer out of the minibar.
"In the real world, most Kiwis would say that's OK."