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Credit card records released

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, June 10th, 2010 - 179 comments
Categories: labour, parliamentary spending - Tags:

The credit card records of the ex-Labour ministers are out. Phil Goff has made it clear that any money claimed outside the rules must be repaid and some wrongful claims were paid back at the time. The test the Auditor-General set after Phil Heatley’s bizarre resignation over $70 worth of wine is whether claims intentionally breach the rules.

The journos are understandably salivating but we’ll see how this stacks up compared to the more than $50,000 that it cost to assemble the credit card records (wondering why National released that figure? Because Mike Smith OIAed last week), the $209,000 of taxpayer Nick Smith took for the defamation suit he ended up settling just before it went to court, and the $10 million Murray McCully let Foreign Affairs spend on pools and refurbishments last year.

179 comments on “Credit card records released”

  1. big bruv 1

    Oh dear!

    Chris Carter has been buying flowers for his partner with my money….

    Time for a resignation Mr Carter.

  2. comedy 2

    There will be troughing left right and centre, though nothing will happen because in between all the partisan politics, as blatantly displayed in your post, what is lost is that they’re all the same gorging at the taxpayers teat.

  3. Bevanjs 3

    I struggle with the $50k to put this info together.

    Equiv 1 person for a year including $10k for incidentals?

    It nuts.

  4. Bevanjs 4

    Absolutely comedy and here’s hoping the focus brought about by this $50k changes the attitudes that these trougher’s internal compasses couldn’t.

  5. $23 bucks to rent a movie???

    I wonder what type of movie it was?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      All hotels charge obscenely through the nose for all movies (not just porn as you are intimating), and yet people are still willing to pay the prices.

      Note also that many hotels, particularly overseas, have movies on pay-per-view that are presently at the cinemas.

      • Brett Dale 5.1.1

        I dont think hotels have pay per movies that are currently on at the cinema.

        • Bright Red 5.1.1.1

          overseas some do.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.2

          Fortunately what you “think” doesn’t actually change how reality is.

          My uncle has been involved with setting many of these service sup in hotels within NZ, and he says it’s only a matter of time before that starts happening here also. It’s possible that in the very swanky hotels, it already does.

          • TightyRighty 5.1.1.2.1

            yea they can have current box office movies on pay per view. However the average price for one of these is usually $15US/EUR or $17AUS. anything over $20 in a foreign currency such as the euro or US, unfortunately, is equatable to porn.

            • Bunji 5.1.1.2.1.1

              and $NZ23 in $US / euros is…? oo, about 15…

              • TightyRighty

                “anything over $20 dollars in a foreign currency….” sorry should have clearer in my meaning. anything over $20 US/Euro could be considered porn.

  6. Santi 6

    Shane Jones and Chris Carter are so honest. They would put Mother Teresa to shame.

    The corrupt Labour party is doomed.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      They bought movies and flowers. Tim Groser spent $466 on alcohol from the minibar in his hotel room.

      • joe bloggs 6.1.1

        um… and Mita Rurinui needed golf clubs so badly he was forced to use a ministerial credit card… oh and never forget that Jones already has plenty of form for troughing – remember the double dipping when he was an elected MP in 2005 and still drawing $70k a year from the Fisheries Commission until 2007…

        next you’ll be trying to spin us that Labour’s big spenders were working for the good of all NZers to stimulate the economy in a time of crisis.

        so much for all the leftie righteousness and criticism about rich pricks – one sniff of a perk and they’re in there boots and all

      • prism 6.1.2

        I have sympathy with him. Reading the many petty comments from lightweight thinkers on this thread shows the lack of understanding about the difficulties of doing the political job – it would drive anyone to drink. Also the self-righteous males? taking prurient interest in whether he watched a porno movie – shows the infantile mind in an adult body.

        • TightyRighty 6.1.2.1

          Alcohol is a pretty standard thing when at home, and should be covered, within reason for all ministers and there staff when on business. what is reasonable though? tim grosers seems high for a week. but then again tizard did half of that in a night.

      • WOOF 6.1.3

        Groser wolfs down his liquor and nobody is howling for his blood!

  7. Shane Jones has released a statement, he cannot remember if he rented a porn movie or not??

    • Jim MacDonald 7.1

      Frankly, I’d expect him to pay back the money for the money, and especially if it is porn. I’m not having any MP, left or right, wanking at our expense. And guidelines and enforcment from now needs to be clear so no MP puts such items on the taxpayer’s bill.

      I know it is a tough job being on the road, etc, and being away from partners. But with a bit of forethought and planning, one can arrange to have one’s partner or other needs/wants met.

  8. exbrethren 8

    Looks like piss-head Groser hasn’t worked out yet that its a bad look to trough on the credit-card now there’s scrutiny.

    And this thick-as-two-short-planks boozer is seen fit to represent us in overseas negotiations.

    Hes managed to rack up $466 on the piss in one week compared to the rights bete noire Carter who managed $251.16 in a number of years….

    • SHG 8.1

      Yeah, Groser is starting to look like he has a problem. And I’m not talking about an image problem, I mean a “wake up buddy, you have a problem” problem.

  9. Bright Red 9

    As long as they didn’t intend to break the rules and they pay the money back then it’s not a hanging offence. Just sloppy, like Brownlee and Heatley.

    Shane Jones paid back stuff he thought was outside the rules back when he was minister and that should be the case for most of the rest.

  10. curses and shame on the whole lot of the bloated, hubris filled ego-monsters

  11. Joe Blog 11

    “The journos are understandably salivating but we’ll see how this stacks up compared to the more than $50,000 that it cost to assemble the credit card record”

    As this information was requested by third parties (I believe journos) as a OIA request did the Government have any option other than assemble and release it?

    • Bright Red 11.1

      It was National’s decision to do an item by item count.

      OIAs can be denied on the basis of cost or the requester can be asked to foot the bill.

    • joe bloggs 11.2

      find yourself another handle Blog

    • Sideoiler 11.3

      It will be worth the 50k no matter how much doubtful spending is uncovered .
      Now that the information is being released, future taxpayer credit card users will be well aware of what is acceptable and what is not.

  12. J Mex 12

    So Shane Jones “can’t remember” if the movies he rented with his ministerial card were pornographic or not.

    Genuinely interested if there is anyone (The Standard authors included) who believe this.

    • Pat 12.1

      He might have mistaken Big Ass Mommas for Big Mommas House.

    • exbrethren 12.2

      Pisshead Groser can’t remember negotiations in Copenhagen due to being tanked up on ministerial duty. Any problems with this?

    • Bright Red 12.3

      Who cares if the guy watches a skin flick or not? I thought you righties were all red-blooded men.

      He paid back spending that was outside the rules and has admitted he got it wrong. Fair cop.

      • Brett Dale 12.3.1

        If this was a National MP that rented a Porn, im pretty sure people here would be making a fuss, and Im sure the bloggers at “the hand Mirror” (Which is a great blog by the way) would be making a fuss.

        • Lanthanide 12.3.1.1

          There might be some light ribbing, but no, I don’t think it would be a big deal, unless they’d made a habit of it. Same as if anyone on the left had made a habit of watching movies in hotels on the CC. A few incidents here and there isn’t a big deal for either side, as long as it was all paid back within a few weeks or month or two at most.

      • marty mars 12.3.2

        wtf – ‘skin flick’??? you mean pornographic movie don’t you

        defend away but this reputation is gone

      • Pete 12.3.3

        I agree, who gives two shits if he watched a porn movie in a hotel or not?

        I would only care, for example, if he was on a politcal crusade against porn and then in turn paid for watching one using tax-payer funds. Or say he was a ‘perk-buster’ who then abused perks, or someone who trumpets the way they ‘pulled themselves up by the bootstraps’ using welfare/ACE and then ended up on a crusade against them… Just sayin’.

        • Pat 12.3.3.1

          You don’t care if the taxpayer is paying for porn?

          • Pete 12.3.3.1.1

            If the taxpayer is paying for a ‘movie’ (of any flavour), and it is a legitimate expense within the rules, then no.

            If it’s outside the rules, then I care that we are paying for a movie, and I believe the expense should be paid back.

            My point is that I don’t care at all about the type of movie being paid for, we aren’t living in Victorian England Pat.

            • Pete 12.3.3.1.1.1

              Actually, let me qualify that – if the electorate deems it inappropriate (if indeed it is qualified that he watched porn) then Jones fails the moral test and the electorate have a right to feel aggrieved.

              That’s whether I agree with them or not – but, that’s democracy.

              As long as it isn’t blown all out of proportion – which, undoubtedly, this will be – it’s easy pickings for the media, hamstrung by dwindling numbers and resources, to be able to properly investigate matters of more urgency to New Zealanders (again, depending on your perspective).

          • Bright Red 12.3.3.1.2

            “You don’t care if the taxpayer is paying for porn?”

            i would if taxpayer money had paid for porn but Jones realised his mistake and paid the money back years ago.

            It’s a bit PC to hang a guy for watching a porno, if, in fact, he did.

        • Lew 12.3.3.2

          Disagree. It all speaks to character, standards, discretion and the degree of respect accorded the office he holds. If he wants to do it on his own dime then it only speaks to character and standards and discretion; if he wants to do it on his ministerial allowance then we get to be righteously aggrieved by it..

          L

          • Lew 12.3.3.2.1

            This is assuming there’s any evidence to suggest it wasn’t just Transformers 2 or something. All I see is rampant salacious speculation at this point.

            L

          • gobsmacked 12.3.3.2.2

            So is sexual infidelity worse than watching porn?

            The answer’s obvious, to anyone who’s been in a relationship.

            Therefore, according to this strange new code, if a Minister at any time uses taxpayer-funded perks as part of having an affair, he (she?) must resign. This must include any use of the Ministerial home, the Ministerial car, etc.

            Bring on the mass resignations!

            • Lew 12.3.3.2.2.1

              I’m not suggesting anyone must resign, or even that they should. I’m suggesting that the electorate has a right to judge them on the basis of their actions. If that leads to the MP or party or whatever feeling like they must resign, that’s their call to make.

              L

            • felix 12.3.3.2.2.2

              So is sexual infidelity worse than watching porn?

              Are you crazy?! Sexual infidelity is waaaayy better tha…

              Oh hang on

      • Kevin Welsh 12.3.4

        Bloody nanny state trying to tell him what kind of movies he can watch. What’s the world coming to…

  13. just saying 13

    I’ve had a thought.

    Maybe this is what the phil heatly palaver was all about. -draw out the outcry from the opposition, and then hoist them by their own petards.

    I notice most of the Labour mps paid the money back soon after the election. I can imagine the fact that some former govt mps were being made to cough-up becoming known to National.

  14. ghostwhowalksnz 14

    $55 for a tiny bottle of Jim Beam . Groser must have desperate for a drink….., just how did he cope while in the Muslim Mid east…. oh thats right free grog on the plane home

    • Tigger 14.1

      I suspect that Groser needs some help for this type of drinking…hope he gets it.

      • Lanthanide 14.1.1

        Yes, I agree. $466 does smack of drinking heavily every night, although at $55 for tiny bottles, maybe not.

        • Bright Red 14.1.1.1

          there’s a hell of a lot of small and very expensive bottles on Groser’s list from that one trip (poor scanning by Stuff http://file.stuff.co.nz/stuff/mpexpenses/timgrosser-copenhagen.jpg) that’s not exactly being careful with the taxpayer dime 🙂

          He could have bought himself a single half litre bottle at a bottle store and saved us a wad of cash.

          still, as long as he pays it back. it’s not a big deal.

          • Pat 14.1.1.1.1

            You’ve got better eyes than me. I could only make out the “laundry” line.

            But there seems to be variety of dates, spread over 5 or 6 days? It looks less like a drinking session, and more like he’s having a drink from the mini-bar each night (and during the week that his mother died).

  15. Olwyn 15

    I agree with you Just Saying – looking at the time-frame, this investigation will have been getting underway when the Heatley charade was being played out. I also think Shane Jones has been smart – he has usurped the “troughing” headline, and undermined the nanny state appellation in a single move. However, this little episode shows that Labour strategists need to seek ways of becoming the play-makers rather than always responding to moves from the other side. One way might be to build more on the collegial approach, which might put pressure on NACTs dependence on Key’s ongoing popularity.

  16. SHG 16

    Former Labour Minister Chris Carter’s records show he spent $607.79 on kitchenware on a 2003 trip to London that was posted back to New Zealand. No explanation of the purchase is given.

    Gee, thanks Chris. Nice to know my taxes were pimpin’ your kitchen.

    • Sam 16.1

      Gee, thanks SHG for making retarded comments without bothering to find out whether it was paid back or not.

      • SHG 16.1.1

        Of course, because when you steal something from your employer you are absolved of all guilt if you pay for it later. I must remember to try this out at work.

        • Sam 16.1.1.1

          You’re seriously trying to tell me that in the private sector the credit card isn’t used fast and loose and then tidied up (probably) at the end of the month/billing period?

          Seriously?

          • SHG 16.1.1.1.1

            a) yes, that’s what I’m telling you. I have a company card and I’m scared to use it because of the inquisition that results any time the balance is anything other than “0.00”.

            b) we’re not talking about the private sector. There are strict rules regarding the use of taxpayer-funded credit cards, and these are all breaches of those rules that equate to stealing from the taxpayer.

            • Sam 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Across my life time I’ve seen all manner of shit spent on company credit cards, some paid back, some not. If you’re not allowed to use it at all, why even have it? Your company’s policy does not mean that every other company is as tight you know. I should point out that you were talking about the private sector dude, you were the one who said “employer” and “must try this at work”.

              So how is this stealing again? If it was paid back when reconciliation is done, which i believe is how these things are managed, then I fail to see how this is anything other than hyperbole.

              Makes one hell of a distraction from real politics though doesn’t it?

            • felix 16.1.1.1.1.2

              Here, have a company card. Don’t use it. How patronising.

              I can only imagine the delicate and petty workplace politics that led to you being grudgingly allowed to carry a token credit card but not use it.

              I’d look for another job if I were you. They don’t trust you and it’s only a matter of time until they find a reason to get rid of you.

            • Daveosaurus 16.1.1.1.1.3

              Back in the real world, you code it as a private expense and the cashier bills you at the end of the month.

    • Inventory2 16.2

      SHG – from Stuff

      Mr Carter said a cheque for $251.16 would be sent to the department of internal affairs to cover the amount of the five errant spends.

      Note the tense – WOULD BE SENT – this for spending between 2004 and 2006. Would Carter have paid this back had it not become public knowledge? And since when does a Minister pay for a hotel video viewed by a staff member?

      As for the kitchenware …

      • Bright Red 16.2.1

        yeah carter, bit of trouble that guy.

        • SHG 16.2.1.1

          In June 2006 Labour Minister Chris Carter spent $639.21 on a dinner in London for himself, his partner, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to London Jonathan Hunt – known during his parliamentary career as the minister for wine and cheese – and British Labour lord Chris Smith, Britain’s first openly gay MP. The minister’s records state that no detailed invoice for the dinner is available.

          Mr Carter’s records suggest he spent almost $6000 on limousines during a four-day trip to Adelaide in April 2004.

          On an April 2005 trip to Darwin, taxpayers paid $293.42 for Mr Carter’s partner Peter Kaiser to hire a large sedan from NT Outback Adventure Rentals.

  17. Sam 17

    I fail to see why this is at all important from either side of the house. Who knows what the circumstances were at the time, and if they paid for something on their credit card and then paid it back, who gives a shit? As long as it is squared away at the end of the reconciliation period then the tax payer isn’t paying for anything, are they? If they are intentionally not paying stuff back then sure, make a stink about it, but has anyone yet been caught not paying for something?

    This is just to get everyone all in a flutter over meaningless expenses to distract away from the fact that this government is the most fiscally irresponsible government since the change over power in the 90s. Pissing $35 mill alone into a charm offensive for National Standards goes far above and beyond anything any mp could ever spend on their credit card.

    What a load of bullshit. I wish the press would grow the fuck up.

    • Pat 17.1

      The point is: Many of the expenses have not been paid back.

      There are 8 boxes containing 2500 documents each, which the press are pouring through today. More stuff will be revealed, and as they are, MPs will do a mea culpa and promise to pay it back.

      • Sam 17.1.1

        Of all the coverage I’ve read today only a very small number of items appear to have been overlooked. To say that every minister has not being paying much of what was spent seems to me to be an entirely unsupported and fallacious conclusion.

        Mind you, probably what the government wants us to do, right?

        • Pat 17.1.1.1

          Watch this space. The press only got access to the info 2 hours ago.

        • J Mex 17.1.1.2

          “To say that every minister has not being paying much of what was spent seems to me to be an entirely unsupported and fallacious conclusion.”

          And who said that?

          • Sam 17.1.1.2.1

            Pat said “The point is: Many of the expenses have not been paid back”. Many implies more than a few, and by putting it next to a comment about their being 8 boxes of 2500 documents implies that the issue spans more than a couple of ministers.

            But ok, sure, let’s make it more charitable and say that it’s not all ministers, but he’s still saying that “many” expenses have not been paid back, which is still unsupported by what we’ve been told, so far at least.

            In my mind, if stuff is getting past without being paid back then there is a procedural problem here as well.

    • Green Tea 17.2

      Sam – do you think MPs would spend so extravagantly, for example $5500 on Limo’s, if they knew they had to pay it back?

      If anything the Press is doing exactly what it should do: hold our ‘representatives’ to account.

      • Lanthanide 17.2.1

        Because obviously Chris Carter thought “hey, this time I’m in Adelaide, why don’t I spent $5k in limos” and he never did it any other single time he went anywhere, just that one time in Australia.

        Perhaps there are some extenuating circumstances that are yet to be reported?

        “Meanwhile Mr Carter says the $5500 he spent on limousines during a four-day trip to Adelaide was an unavoidable expense insisted on by the Australian government when ministers travelled there.

        For security reasons, they made New Zealand ministers travel in Australian Government-supplied cars and then billed the costs back to our government, he said.”

        • SHG 17.2.1.1

          Ah of course, that’s why the charge came from “Commonwealth Government of Australia”.

          Hold on, it doesn’t. It came from “Hughes Chauffered Limousines”.

          Seriously, does anyone believe that excuse? That the Australian Government charged Chris Carter’s personal credit card for diplomatic security arrangements? Please. That’s pathetic.

          • Lanthanide 17.2.1.1.1

            What is it that right-wingers say about governments? Things like “they aren’t in the limousine business so they should contract from a private company”.

            I mean duh.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Lots of hard-ons today (porn! booze!), but in the end this will not be the bombshell that the Right were dreaming of.

    It’ll be a story until the weekend, manna from heaven for lazy columnists (sure beats thinking about policy), and then it’ll fade away. Labour will be relieved that National/ACT MPs have done enough stupid spending of their own to make the (non-partisan) public say “Bloody politicians”. (The ones who say “Bloody Maoris/bloody poofs” are already somewhere to the right of Bob Clarkson, hardly swing voters).

    And if it puts a dent in Shane Jones’ leadership ambitions, so much the better.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Simon Power: $2.95 on Ginger Kisses.

    Resign!

    (Simon Power, Justice Minister, stupid policies on crime and prisons and drugs and alcohol, costing millions for years to come, solving nothing … who cares, eh?)

  20. $5500 for Limo’s for a four day trip.

    Take a freakin Taxi next time!!!!

    • Bright Red 20.1

      Have you seen what McCully and Groser are spending? $1200 per day on average on flights every single day.

    • Lanthanide 20.2

      “Meanwhile Mr Carter says the $5500 he spent on limousines during a four-day trip to Adelaide was an unavoidable expense insisted on by the Australian government when ministers travelled there.

      For security reasons, they made New Zealand ministers travel in Australian Government-supplied cars and then billed the costs back to our government, he said.”

      • SHG 20.2.1

        That’s the worst made-up-on-the-spot excuse I’ve ever heard.

        So what Carter is saying is that Hughes Limousines of Adelaide – the name on the receipt – was engaged by the Australian Government for diplomatic security reasons, and then Hughes Limousines charged Chris Carter’s personal credit card, and Hughes Limousines charged the Australian Government for its services, and the Australian Government charged the NZ Government, and then the Australian Government paid Hughes Limousines, and Carter’s credit card bill was paid by the NZ Government and… wait, what?

        Seriously, Carter is expecting us to believe that the Australian Government charges the personal credit cards of overseas diplomats for the costs of Australian Government security policies relating to those diplomats’ visits? And that official Government diplomatic security policies involve hiring tiny limousine companies in Adelaide that specialise in winery tours?

        http://www.hugheslimousines.com.au

  21. SHG 21

    As anyone familiar with Adelaide knows, “limousines” is shorthand for “chauffered piss-up wine-drinking tours to the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale”.

  22. I never knew Chinese meals were that expensive.

    10.05AM:Former minister Parekura Horomia seems to be a fan of Chinese food and Grand Century Chinese Restaurant in Wellington in particular.

    In November, he went to the restaurant for an official meal, racking up a $750 bill. This bill was to be reimbursed by the Education Ministry.

    In December, he spent $463 at the same venue and repaid $195.50 as reimbursement for personal use.

    • felix 22.1

      zOMG! How dare he reimburse the crown for his personal use!

      • Brett Dale 22.1.1

        Mr Horomia seems to have a habit of doing this.

        His expenses are made up mostly of meal purchases. His $1816.62 bill for June 2005 included $1613.54 in restaurant expenses. It is a consistent spending pattern though they’re not all this expensive.

        He’s also slow in reconciling his expenses, with regular reminders from Ministerial services.

        Mr Horomia also spent $500 on a meal at Grand Century Chinese Restaurant in Wellington in June 2004. The meal was an official dinner, the receipt explains.

        Three months later $250 was paid back towards that bill.

        The meal was one of three the MP charged to his ministerial credit card that month, making up a combined total of $564.

        The following month he also spent $704 on seven “official portfolio dinners”.

        • felix 22.1.1.1

          Brett,

          When you copy and paste something it’s polite to indicate such by way of quotation marks or a link, or even a quick “this is from…”

          Or did you get someone else to type that for you?

      • The problem is that ministerial credit card are not supposed to be used this way – even with the intention of reimbursement the following day. MPs who aren’t ministers don’t have ministerial credit cards and seem to manage just fine.

        • Pete 22.1.2.1

          Thanks Graeme for clearing that up (kind of) – there’s a distinct lack of substance around this whole issue – so far it’s a media witch hunt/orgy or a flurry of ‘Joe Bloggs’ opinion. I’ll have a look at the rules later if I get the chance – any chance of a link?

          • Graeme Edgeler 22.1.2.1.1

            Further information from Stuff:

            The documents will raise questions about why ministers were not pulled up earlier over their spending.

            The records show ministers and their staff were warned repeatedly over their failure to reconcile their statements and provide documents when required.

            In a memo in March 2006 Ministerial Services assistant general manager Richard McDonald told ministers’ secretaries that although most accounts were fine “there is a single issue which has come up again – use of credit cards for personal expenditure”.

            “The policy is unarguable! Departmental credit cards are NOT to be used for personal expenditure regardless that the user pays back the sum after the fact.”

        • felix 22.1.2.2

          Yes thanks Graeme but Brett is trying to imply that there is something improper about paying for official events with a ministerial card.

          There isn’t.

          • Brett Dale 22.1.2.2.1

            The problem is, he was very slow to pay up, and tried to avoid it.

            Also it seems he holds his offical events at a lot of resturants.

            If this was a National MP you would be out of your colelctive tree.

  23. Pete 23

    Anyone who’s seen the documentary ‘Outfoxed’ will see parallels on the news websites today.

    By publishing a headline: ‘Shane Jones charges movie: was it porn?’ (or similar) is essentially saying – let’s tar him with this brush regardless of what he’s done, but look like we’re neutral…

    Bloody stupid and lazy.

    • felix 23.1

      Some people say it could have been child or animal porn.

    • gobsmacked 23.2

      The “can’t recall if it was porn” story is all based on Jones’ interview with Sean Plunkett on Morning Report.

      In other news, Prime Minister still not available for interviews on Morning Report.

      Wonder why?

      • Pat 23.2.1

        Which is why Jones has given it legs. He should have just said it is definately not porn, like Carter has done. He could have shut down the issue.

    • J Mex 23.3

      Pete – “By publishing a headline: ‘Shane Jones charges movie: was it porn?’ (or similar) is essentially saying let’s tar him with this brush regardless of what he’s done, but look like we’re neutral Bloody stupid and lazy.”

      Is it any more stupid than a very intelligent man “not being able to remember” if he watched porn movies paid for by his ministerial credit card or not.

      • Pete 23.3.1

        It is more stupid. Journalists have a job to do, and they aren’t doing it to a level that we should be comfortable with.

        Is it really material whether Jones watched porn or not? If a movie is a movie despite the flavour under the rules of spending then it is not. If the electorate says otherwise, or it is outside the rules of spending then it’s up to them to vote him out at the next opportunity.

        Truth is Jones most likely watches porn movies in hotels, hence his (probably) honest admission he ‘can’t remember’, whether it is right or not in your own morality is beside the point – most likely he’s had it charged before and paid for it himself, which I couldn’t (personally) care less about.

        However, I would be pretty annoyed if it wasn’t allowed under the rules (not the individual infraction, but the principle) – though I wouldn’t call for a resignation.

  24. Brett 24

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was gay porn as well 🙂

    • Pete 24.1

      Smilies are used to the same effect Brett – thanks for the illustration, you egg 🙂 (note, I’m not really calling you an egg because I put a smilie)…

      • felix 24.1.1

        Clint Heine is also notorious for hiding behind the smilie. Mind you he’s so fucking thick 🙂 he probably doesn’t realise he’s doing it 🙂

    • Bright Red 24.2

      Brett sez ‘I doth protest to much that I’m not racist 🙂 but I’ve got no problems making gay smears 🙂 that show I’m a homophob 🙂 ‘

      🙂

  25. Santi 25

    “Former Arts, Culture and Heritage minister Judith Tizard splashed out more than $200 on two bottles of wine at a dinner at Cin Cin on Quay in downtown Auckland.

    The $155 bottle of Bollinger and a $55 bottle of Allan Scott wine were purchased on the former Central Auckland MP’s credit card on 23 May 2008, and accompanied a meal of roast salmon, grilled tuna and fresh figs.”

    The tough life of a poor socialist. This is called theft!

  26. Pat 26

    I expect Goff and King, and probably Cunliffe, will have clean slates.

    But so far there are no surprises at the list of offenders. Surely this is a gold-plated opportunity for Goff to purge the dead-wood from his front bench, and promote the new faces of Labour – Chauvel, Robertson, Ardern etc.

    • Lanthanide 26.1

      Definitely not, because the right-wingers and National would see it as a victory.

      This can be ammunition to make such changes in the future, but definitely not now.

      • gobsmacked 26.1.1

        Actually the real story (which won’t make any headlines) is how few MPs – of both major parties – have been abusing their credit cards.

        If this is the worst, then Phil Goff must be pretty happy.

  27. comedy 27

    No surprises politicians being less than parsimonious with the taxpayers money.

    On the positive side let’s remember this came about on the back of the monumental rorting that was seen amongst UK politicians and we haven’t yet descended to those depths – although I’m sure we could given another couple of decades of the same retards in parliament.

    On the negative side I suspect this is tip of the iceberg stuff and if one was to really dig and dig and dig through the staff records that the ministers sign off (staff paying the ministers costs and having them reimbursed) and government tenders both the nature of what is being tendered and who won and at what price – we’d all be vomiting up our lunch.

  28. Lew 28

    Zing.

    L

  29. “I hope the bloggers at “The Hand Mirror” do a piece about this. The problem the public has, is that he used taxpayers money for it.

    Labour MP Shane Jones has admitted using his ministerial credit card to book up pornographic movies while he was a government minister and has blamed it on the fact he is a red blooded man.

  30. big bruv 30

    Breaking news….

    Shane Jones has just admitted on Radio Live that he charged Porn to his Ministerial credit card.

    Will Jones resign?
    Will Carter resign?

    Of course not.

    • gobsmacked 30.1

      big bruv

      Resign from what?

    • Brett Dale 30.2

      “Your right big bruv, he said he wont resign”

      13.16PM: Labour MP Shane Jones has admitted using his ministerial credit card to book up pornographic movies while he was a government minister and has blamed it on the fact he is a red blooded man.

      “I’m a red bloodied adult, it should have happened, it has happened, it doesn’t make me feel particularly worthy but I’m not going to hide from it.”

      Mr Jones told reporters today he had “apologised to all and sundry” after admitting he had spent thousands on his credit card on personal items.

      All of the spending had been reimbursed, most of it before Labour left office.

      “A lot of the expenditure shouldn’t have been on my card. Where it was personal, I’ve paid it back,” Mr Jones said.

      He refused to defended the spending – calling it an egregious lapse.

      “It was wrong.”

      He said he was expecting a “bollocking” from Labour leaders Phil Goff and Annette King and said his political future was in the hands of his colleagues. But he would not be offering to resign.

  31. Disappointing but sadly not surprising the ideological bent most of you are displaying on this thread.
    I do not care whether they are red, blue, yellow or any other political hue. This is taking the piss on a biblical scale.
    You guys trying to be apologists for your respective teams need to take a good hard look at yourselves.
    These creeps have been behaving like princelings for decades and it needs to stop.
    All parliamentary services activities and expenditure needs to be rolled under the OIA umbrella. No personal spending ever on govt cards is permitted and it needs to stop. It should be a police matter.

    We have excessive eating, drinking, personal shopping and many other sins contained in the latest round of revelations and they are from both sides of the house.
    I would like to mention specifics but am tiring of the tired old accusations of homophobia and racism.
    Theft/ fraud is not okay and being immune to consequences should be a cause of shame for anybody in parliament.

    • Pete 31.1

      Agreed – it’s Parliamentary Services should have been OIA-able a long time ago. I think I recall I/S at No Right Turn writing about this a bit.

      The rules should be applied and scrutinised, and appropriate follow-up be actioned on anyone taking the piss.

      But let’s not let party lines, morality or ideology get in the way.

    • Inventory2 31.2

      Barnsley – I don’t disagree with you at all on this, and I hope that now someone senior in the Nats has spoken to Tim Groser and asked him if he has a drinking problem – after all, that’s what mates do for their mates.

      Jones’ revelations are rather more serious though, coming as they do after his rather lukewarm denials this morning. I’m listening to Barry Soper on Newstalk ZB as I type this, and he said that the media did some simple detective work; ringing the hotels Jones had stayed at, and asking what the prices were for various categories of PPV movies.

  32. 13.16PM: Labour MP Shane Jones has admitted using his ministerial credit card to book up pornographic movies while he was a government minister and has blamed it on the fact he is a red blooded man.

    “I’m a red bloodied adult, it should have happened, it has happened, it doesn’t make me feel particularly worthy but I’m not going to hide from it.”

    Surely, that is now the end of any chance of Shane Jones leading the Labour Party.

  33. Craig 33

    In regards to the MPs (on all sides) who use their ministerial credit card for personal purchases and then pay it back. Why don’t they simply use their personal credit card?

    • Pat 33.1

      Cause then the missus would see your porn movie purchases.

    • Anthony C 33.2

      I would say because when they check in they supply the ministerial credit card as hotels require, any expenses personal or business are then charged to that card. Most businesses understand you can’t split these expenses at the time so employees just reimburse the company at a later date.

    • Bright Red 33.3

      In some cases they were paying for ministerial expenses and non-ministerial expenses in a single bill and later paid back the stuff they had to. Like accommodation when travelling as a minsiter can be charged but the alcohol from the minibar can’t.

      In other cases they misunderstood the rules, like Heatley.

      In other cases, the bill was paid for by a staff member who would have had the minsiterial credit card but not the minister’s personal card and/or didn’t know the rules.

  34. Arthur 34

    Meanwhile.
    National gives a city and Canterbury water to it’s mates, subsidises Nick Smith’s lies and Double Dipper still lives in Dipton.
    So it goes.

  35. big bruv 35

    The bigger problem for Shane Jones is that this morning he denied watching Porn on radio live.

    What changed between 9am and now?

  36. Pascal's bookie 36

    Would be interesting if shareholders got to have a wee skizz at what goes on in corporate expense accounts and all.

  37. Santi 37

    Labour is bloody doomed after these revelations. Jones, Carter, Tizard are all dog tucker.

    If they are not suspended or told off by the party, it would signal the end of Goff too.

    • gobsmacked 37.1

      See also: Hide, doomed. English, doomed etc. Yet somehow, they’re still there.

      This was THE big hit. The nuke. Supposedly.

      If the collateral damage is Jones, Carter and somebody who’s not even there, Labour’s leaders will not lose a moment’s sleep.

    • Sam 37.2

      What planet do you live on, bro?

    • SHG 37.3

      I must say, kudos to Phil Goff for arranging to be out of the country today. Nice.

    • Um Tizard is not in Parliament.

  38. felix 38

    Oh good, big bruv and all the other knuckledraggers are going to be wetting themselves about Jones.

    Funny how it’s ok to steal half a mil by lying to parliament and the whole country about where you live for years and years.

    And it’s just fine to lie to parliament and the whole country about what companies you own (oh and where you live btw).

    But borrow (and pay back) $20 for a wank? CORRUPTION!!

    • Brett Dale 38.1

      Its misuse of government funds.

    • big bruv 38.2

      felix

      I appreciate that you must have no skin left on your knuckles but do try and keep up.

      I detest Double Dipton English and would like nothing more (short of seeing the Greens kicked out) than seeing the back of him.

      I voted for ACT yet would like to see Hide resign from the house for his abuse of tax payer funds.

      As for Key (who is also one of my least favourite Pollies) he has no case to answer, you can beat that up as much as you like, however he is squeaky clean.

      Your reaction is typical of those on the left, you will excuse and accept almost anything from your people, theft, corruption and police cover ups are all part of the deal as far as you are concerned.

      • Gooner 38.2.1

        Hide did not abuse taxpayer funds – what he did was within the rules bruv.

        No one seems to understand that.

        This whole thing is a farce: gobsmacked summed it up well – no MP will want Jones to resign.

        • felix 38.2.1.1

          No one seems to understand that.

          Oh we understand it. It’s just not relevant. Same with English and Key – technically allowable but blatant bullshit.

          But you’ll excuse Hide’s so you might as well let bruv excuse Key’s (Oh I know he says he doesn’t like him but we all know about the depth of his concern.

          • Gooner 38.2.1.1.1

            Of course I excuse Hide because it’s clearly within the rules.

            Porno movies and golf clubs etc aren’t. But as I say felix, I don’t really care because it’s too voyeuristic for me. A few thousand, that is eventually paid back, doesn’t really strike me as a major fuck up, and certainly doesn’t warrant all the attention it’s getting from the MSM and others.

            They should all be paid an extra $20K on top of salary for expenses and that’s it.

            Let the voters decide next year – that’s my attitude.

      • felix 38.2.2

        There you go again bruv.

        Your reaction is typical of those on the left, you will excuse and accept almost anything from your people, theft, corruption and police cover ups are all part of the deal as far as you are concerned.

        Show me where I’ve excused anyone’s corruption you lying sack of shit.

        Also, a pro tip: When someone calls you a knuckledragger and your best comeback is to call them one, it make you look a bit, um, thick. (You do this all the time, bruv. I’m not the only one who’s noticed).

  39. Brett 39

    The fact that he paid for porn is appalling

  40. Sophie 40

    @ brett – 39

    where do you get it for free?

    • Pat 40.1

      At home, if you marry the right woman.

    • Brett 40.2

      The Internet.
      It seems every young red blooded male/female wants to have a side career in porn going on the amount of video’s people have put up.
      Absolutely killed the industry as everybody’s just doing it for free.

  41. From stuff.co.nz

    In a memo in March 2006 Ministerial Services assistant general manager Richard McDonald told ministers’ secretaries that although most accounts were fine “there is a single issue which has come up again – use of credit cards for personal expenditure”.

    “The policy is unarguable! Departmental credit cards are NOT to be used for personal expenditure regardless that the user pays back the sum after the fact.”

    • Bright Red 41.1

      yeah, tell that to groser, mccully, heatley, brownlee…

      the fact is that the lab ministers were reimbursing for this stuff and that makes it no big deal in my books

  42. ianmac 42

    I do believe that “theft” is framed as taken something that does not belong to you, and keeping it for your own profit or use.
    Therefore to use a credit card and repay it is not theft. But if it is theft, then everyone who books up anything on their credit card must be guilty of theft even if they intend paying for it at the end of the month. Right?

    • Pat 42.1

      Who says they paid it back at the end of the month?

      • ianmac 42.1.1

        I meant that if you Pat charge onto a credit card then pay it off you are guilty of theft. That is your argument not mine.

        • Pat 42.1.1.1

          Firstly, as per the Ministerial Services statement in 2006, there is no excuse for personal expenses on ministerial credit cards. The excuse that you can’t separate business and personal items at hotel checkouts is bollocks.

          Secondly, if you pay back personal expenses that you incurred on your ministerial credit card, then there is a hell of a difference between paying it back on receipt of the statement, or paying back after you left office (Jones) or intending to pay it back now (Carter). The latter two are examples of only paying it back after the fact because they got caught, or knew they would be caught.

  43. SHG 43

    Paying for porn? More evidence that Labour doesn’t understand the Internet.

  44. gobsmacked 44

    Sad news. Right-wing stiffies go floppy …

    “Prime ministers, past and present, come through their credit card checks unscathed.

    Nearly all of former prime minister Helen Clark’s accounts from 2003 to 2008 involved overseas trips and she didn’t spend anything on herself.” (NZPA)

    Ah well.

  45. PurplePros 45

    It doesn’t matter if it’s Labour or National or Act or whoever, it has to be stopped. There shouldn’t even be ministerial credit cards, they should follow the model all the businesses I’ve worked at have, which is to pay up front on your own card and claim it back monthly. That would ensure no personal expenditure issues, and would allow ministerial services to see the justification for any claim before it is paid out.
    And for Jones you have to wonder why he didn’t just pay for the movies himself on a separate invoice from the hotel.

  46. felix 46

    Hilda? Spamela more like.

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