Prime Minister Helen Clark may not have to plead poverty if she is unable to form a new government after the election.
For - as former prime minister Jim Bolger has proved - there is considerable income-earning potential after life as a long-term leader of the country.
Mr Bolger appears to be earning about as much annually from state-appointed directors' fees and his parliamentary allowance as Miss Clark's basic pay of $375,000 a year.
NZ Post's 2008 annual report shows Mr Bolger is earning $165,144 in directors' fees for chairing NZ Post and Kiwibank. Among other state-sector board appointments, he chairs the Gas Industry Company ($85,708) and is chancellor of Waikato University ($25,350). As a former prime minister he is entitled to an annual allowance ($40,250). That all adds up to $316,452 - not including his fees for becoming chairman of KiwiRail on July 1.
In the private sector, Mr Bolger also chairs Trustees Executors, the advisory board of the World Agricultural Forum, the New Zealand-United States Council, and the board of directors of the Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy.
- © Fairfax NZ News