The Auditor-General has found that Phil Heatley wrongly bought $1,402 worth of private goods and services on his ministerial and MP tabs.
That’s OK according to the PM because Heatley didn’t intend to break the rules. Well, I guess that’s OK then. Of course, you have to assume that Heatley is a total idiot in that case, a babe in the woods with no idea of rules that are obvious.
I mean what kind of fool would you have to be to think that $70 of wine for your wife and yourself at your party conference was a legitimate ministerial expense?
How naive do you have to be to think that flying your kid to Queenstown and taking them down to Kaikoura is something you can put on your MP expenses?
If he’s not a crook he’s an idiot. Neither ought to be qualifications for being a minister.
There remains too the question of what was really behind the resignation. Most commentators dismissed Heatley’s ‘it put it down as food and wine but it was only wine’ as a cover story hiding something more. I recall Brent Edwards saying that, as with the Richard Worth resignation, we will probably never get to the real truth. I fear he is right because it seems certain that the media will happily accept the AG’s report as the end of the issue.