Campaigning on the taxpayer?

MP travel expenses have ballooned last quarter:

The domestic travel and accommodation costs of MPs and ministers totalled $3.7 million from October to December – 51 per cent higher than for the same quarter in 2010 when it was $2.4 million. It equates to an average of an extra $10,000 on travel for each MP over the three month period.

The figures do not include accommodation costs for MPs’ bases in Wellington.

The sharp spike in travel was likely caused by the election campaign and the Rugby World Cup.

MPs have unlimited domestic travel, including for campaigning and personal use as well as work-related.

Yep it is outrageous that representatives are able to extort the taxpayer to fund their election campaigning.

Have a look at these three examples from the latest figures:

Trevor Mallard, Katrina Shanks, Charles Chauvel and Gareth Hughes…all are Wellington based MPs. There should be precious little excuse, particularly for electorate MPs like Mallard for excessive

Party Member Accommodation Domestic travel Total
Wellington Out of Wellington Air Surface
Green Hughes, Gareth 1,421 13,325 3,805 18,551
Labour Chauvel, Charles 1,525 9,658 3,475 14,659
Labour Mallard, Trevor 253 10,126 7,667 18,047
National Shanks, Katrina 312 2,188 1,479 3,978

It certainly looks like Labour’s campaign strategist was taking the piss on travel and using the taxpayers funds to cart his carcass around the country. Gareth Hughes is a terrible spender, enjoying large amounts of air travel for dubious purpose.

 


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  • sthnjeff

    It is little wonder that Air NZ is one of the most profitable Airlines in the world.

    Interstingly, Hughes’ spending in the December quarter was lower than any other quarter over the last year. In total for 2011 he spent $80,703 of taxpayers funds on Travel, averaging just over  $1551 per week for the entire 52 weeks. Not bad for a list MP living less than 15km from the Beehive.  Mind you I suppose he has been busy advising the Rena Salvors on International best practice for taking oil from a ship.

    His carbon footprint must be bigger than Winstons enlarged liver!

  • Given I have scarcely heard of him, I am astounded that George Hawkins (apparently the former member for Manurewa), managed to spend the second-most (after Harawira) on air travel, at a vast $17,451 (just pipping Ms. LARP for the Silver) in three months. Even more astounding considering he did not seek re-election, so presumably did not have to travel much for campaign reasons. 

    That’s enough for 36 round trips from Auckland to Wellington, in the most expensive fully flexible fare class. 

  • Anonymous

     Who the hell is Hone kidding?! He’s spent more than the Maori party combined, and I guess I’m gonna have to grudgingly give Winnie his dues. The entire NZ First bill at 1/3 of Mana has to be some credit to him.

    • sthnjeff

      Remember, Winnies mob only had around a month of this… hardly time to get their teeth into it!

      Not wanting to defend him but with Hone, return flight Wgtn to Kaitaia is as much as $1300 or so.

  • Liberty

     

    M Street  once again
    spends other peoples money with gay abandon.

    $14,054  compared  with the frugal Nick Smith  $11,796

    How the hell can Mallard spend $18,047  He  is
    close enough to work to use his bike.

    Must be junket trips.

  • Errr – picky picky picky, really guys…..

  • Richard B. (formally poorman)

    The interesting this is the numbers for who did not get re-elected.

    So spend is from Oct 1 to Nov 26…

    Kelvin Davis – $17575
    George Hawkins – $23845
    Rahui Katene – $29436
    Keith Locke – $16230
    Jim Anderton – $14911
    John Boscawen – $22246

    • I don’t think we should criticise Rahui Katene too much, after all her (former) electorate covers the entire South Island – a lot of travel is truly necessary for the MP for Te Tai Tonga. It’s the list MPs, and troughers whose tiny urban electorates are well connected to major infrastructure, whose wastefulness should be under the microscope.

  • Apolonia

    This is outrages, we already fund their Television advertising. Isn’t it time all MPs were bulk funded. It would be better than the current blank cheque approach.

  • Cactus Kate

    Looks like most don’t even stay the night. Just go for a “meeting” then fly back. Although shouldn’t encourage it should we else they’d be hamming it up in hotels.

  • Gazzaw

    I took a day out today as I worked Waitangi Day instead and ‘invested’ $2 in a hard copy of Pravda. Funnily enough WO they have a different slant on analysing MP’s expenses and utilised
    all bar the last three paras on showing how much more JK spent on travel than Goofy and of course a snide comment that ‘the PM was not available for comment’. All courtesy of deputy political editor Comrade Claire Trevett.

    Pravda is movng so far left I am beginning to wonder whether APN is purposely creating a gap to introduce a right wing paper.

  • Gazzaw

    I took a day out today as I worked Waitangi Day instead and ‘invested’ $2 in a hard copy of Pravda. Funnily enough WO they have a different slant on analysing MP’s expenses and utilised
    all bar the last three paras on showing how much more JK spent on travel than Goofy and of course a snide comment that ‘the PM was not available for comment’. All courtesy of deputy political editor Comrade Claire Trevett.

    Pravda is movng so far left I am beginning to wonder whether APN is purposely creating a gap to introduce a right wing paper.

  • Did anyone see Cindy and the Duck in the background of TV3’s interview with Richie for last nights Halbergs? 

    Are those two together? They always seem to be seen in close quarters.

    • Philip ure a cock

      Nah she prefers dikes to ducks

  • Phar Lap

    Can’t be true about Hughes from the” Green” Party,surely they ride bicycles and also walk.Seems like they operate in the world of fantacy ,”do what we preach”,as long as we are exempt.What a bunch of hypocrital losers. 

    • Bob

      Hear hear! The boy MP aint shy of clocking up the carbon miles is he! What a hypocrite!

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