MP Expenses – A comparison between two MPs and a hippycrite

Gareth Hughes

The Media Party are going for the headlines in who spent the most where…but they are missing the comparisons when it comes to MP expenses.

Sure it makes for great headlines that Tim Groser had his sleeves shortened, or Gerry Brownlee staying in a hotel that cost $2100 a night. Most of those expenses are in the course of trade related visits. They certainly aren’t in the league of Clayton Cosgrove miraculously losing three items of luggage and having to get new suits each time. Whilst he might be the world’s most unluckiest Business Class traveller where they managed to lose priority luggage several times he certainly didn’t need to trough it up and get new suits…luggage turns up eventually.

However if you look at comparisons between similar MPs you get to see where the real troughing is.

Take National’s List and Wellington based MP Chris Bishop. Now I’m no big fan of Chris Bishop, but look at his expenses for the 91 days between 1 July and 30 September 2015.

His out of Wellington accommodation is $889 and his air travel is $4333 and his land travel costs were $2813 for a total of $8,036. This is $88 a day for accomodation and travel.

Sounds large, but let’s look at some other Wellington based MPs. ?

Trevor Mallard is the member for Hutt South and his costs were $291 for out of Wellington accomodations, $5846 for airfares and $1975 for land transport costs for a total of $8112. That is very close to Bishop’s daily amount, Trevor Mallard clocks in at $89 per day.

Again sounds large, until you look at Gareth Hughes, another Wellington based List MP.

His costs were $1897 for out of Wellington accomodation, far exceeding Trevor Mallard’s admirable parsimony spending there and more than $1000 more than Chris Bishop.

Hughes really went to town on airfares though racking up $10,204 alone. Two and half times more than Bishop and nearly double Trevor Mallard’s. This one is perhaps the most egregious, not only is it massive for a Wellington based MP but this guy is supposed to be a Green and his travel is a massive contribution of greenhouse gases to the environment. Now I’m not one for believing all that bunkum about climate change but Gareth Hughes is and he is an absolute Hippycrite to be burning so much fossil fuel in a bid to tell us to not burn fossil fuels.

His land transport costs aren’t much better. Spending $2788 on taxis, more than Trevor Mallard. Again it is the rank hypocrisy for a Green MP who should be walking or cycling or taking public transport to have such a large taxi bill. Imagine the outcry if those taxis were Volkswagens.

So while the Media Party looks at the headline grabbing expenditure it pales in comparison to the weapons grade hypocrisy of MPs like Gareth Hughes. Especially when you compare his spending with other Wellington based MPs.

For the record the Green Party had a total spend per day of $2472 per day. Labour’s is $5762 and National’s $6645 per day. NZ First is $2139. If we divide that cost by the number of MPs we get a number for spending per MP. And this is just MPs listed, so it doesn’t including spending on ministerial business, just MP spending.

Greens MP cost per day is $176. National is $112, Labour is $180 and NZ First is $178. The costs are on a par except National’s but that is artificially low because Ministers’ spending isn’t included. What it shows though is the MPs cost us approximately $180 per day in travel costs or $65700 a year each.

Some cost more, way more like Gareth Hughes and some cost less.


– Parliament