Allowances for MPs accommodation are made according to the Speaker’s determinations.
An MP’s “primary place of residence” is where the Speaker says it is. Page 18 of the determination gives the definition:
primary place of residence,â€”
(a) in relation to a member, means the place of residence that the Speaker determines, by written notice to the
member, to be the member’s primary place of residence in New Zealand;
So Bill English lives in Dipton because Lockwood Smith says he does. Lockwood says Bill lives in Dipton presumably because Bill told him he does. Lockwood said as much on rnz yesterday – MPs sign a document to that effect.
That is why Bill English’s statement to Lockwood should be revealed. The most fundamental of parliamentary conventions is that Members are true to their word. This might be more than a matter of “withdraw and apologise”.