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Hide repays, what about the others?

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, November 9th, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: national/act government, parliamentary spending - Tags:

Earlier this year, John Key stated: “I’ve told [my ministers] if they want to take their partner, they can do it, but they pay for it’.

key pig farmerIt emerged last week that Rodney Hide, Peter Dunne, David Carter, Phil Heatley and, it is thought, Maurice Williamson and Judith Collins had used taxpayer funds to pay for their spouses’ international flights, a clear and direct violation of Key’s edict.

Key failed to exercise any discipline over his ministers but, as a result of determined media questioning, Rodney Hide has apologised for taking tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money for holiday flights with his girlfriend. He has repaid the money to took.

Now, will the other ministers live up to the same standard? Or will they keep on troughing under Key’s smiling gaze?

20 comments on “Hide repays, what about the others? ”

  1. r0b 1

    It puzzles me that Key continues to get such fawning media coverage from his enthusiastic fans, when his leadership is so weak that even his own MPs openly defy him.

    He really needs to put his money where his mouth is this time and make each of these MPs pay it back.

  2. Pat 2

    “…a clear and direct violation of Key’s edict.”

    That would depend on timing – whether the trips were planned and paid for before or after Key’s “edict”. Maybe someone can post the dates.

    • Bright Red 2.1

      sorry pat, do you think that anyone outside of their offices and parliamentary services has those details?

      • Pat 2.1.1

        Well if no-one can confirm the dates, then how can Eddie be so certain they have made ” a clear and direct violation of Key’s edict.’

        • Bright Red

          why would they have used their parliamentary perk, rather than ministerial funding as they previously had if it wasn’t a work-around of Key’s new rule?

          a work-around that Key himself signed off on, just proving that he is all talk – he talks strong but acts weak

          • Pat

            I agree that they can be seen as a “work-around of Key’s new rule” but only if the trips were planned and paid for AFTER Key’s new rule.

            • Bright Red

              why else would they use the MPs’ travel allowance when previously they had used the ministerial travel allowance for spousal travel?


  3. vto 3

    I guess all these ‘perks’ like taking your spouse or partner away with you sprung from the time when public service was just that. And the remuneration reflected that, being very low. Hence it followed that it was only fair that certain ‘perks’ were put in place to ease that burden on the politicians.

    These days however, every annual pay increase for the pollies is put forward on the basis of ‘attracting the right people’, ‘pay parity with the private sector’, etc etc. And as such the public service element has been heavily diminished. Remuneration has skyrocketed due to this sea-change and as such so should the perks sink.

    The pollies have accepted the more market / private sector type approach when it comes to income, and so they should too when it comes to perks. They can’t have their cake and eat it too. Tho they try.

  4. burt 4


    So if all the MPs pay it back will you consider they have done all that is required and that we should move on from this little mishap.

    The standard you set for the most corrupt govt NZ has ever had to endure Labour party was that once they had paid back their stolen money they had no further case to answer.

    I’m still calling for Rodney to resign but I’m picking that you will stay consistent and call me an idiot because he has paid the money back and therefore he has no further case to answer. I struggle with the concept that normal people who break rules/laws don’t get to simply pay it back and move on like politicians do, but under Labour you were adamant that paying it back was sufficient punishment.

    So over to you rOb, convince me Rodney should stay or once again highlight your double standards ..

    • r0b 4.1

      So over to you rOb, convince me Rodney should stay or once again highlight your double standards ..

      You need a better hobby Burt, stalking me is kinda creepy.

      Labour party was that once they had paid back their stolen money they had no further case to answer.

      I don’t recall saying any such thing Burt (and Labour were not corrupt, and nor did they steal any money). I do recall saying that they were not legally required to pay anything back (like National, ACT and the rest), and that paying money back was all about the court of public opinion. The same applies in Hide’s case of course.

    • So Bored 4.2


      You demonstrate a very high level of disingenuity, I dont for a moment believe you want to see Rodney resign. Nor do I believe you have any real grounds for calling Labour corrupt.

      Put your cock on the block, go public, substantiate your contentions or piss off. And rOb, you are right, iot must be slightly creepy beingt stalked by a cretin.

      • burt 4.2.1

        Yeah real creepy…. people who comment in a thread having a question asked of them… ohhh nasty… how do you sleep at night…

        Damm straight Rodney should resign, he spent years attacking the Labour party for their self serving spending of tax payers money and what happens when he gets the chance to do the same – he acts like the people he has attacked for years.

        Rodney has acted exactly like Winston – all mouth about the bad stuff that shouldn’t be done while doing it himself. – His position is untenable and he must go. He has immediately fallen for the baubles of office and an apology is not enough.

  5. DavidW 5

    So lets get this clear shall we?

    A Minister is supposed to stay at home or pay for self and spousal travel while Opposition MP’s elected prior to 1999 can cash in the 90% subsidy to their hearts content and rely on the fact that Ministerial Services is immune from the OIA.

    Frankly if I was a Minister and also qualified for the 90% I would be looking towards PS also when I saw Chris Carter and an (as yet) unknown list of others heading for sunnier climes during the recess.

    You really can’t be selective about this one rOb

  6. DavidW 6

    Talking of paying it back, are you reading this Winston? We are still waiting!!

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    Since the taxpayer paid for Hone Harawira to work and not skive off and jaunt about Paris. I think Hone should pay back some of the cost of that trip too.

    • felix 7.1

      He has said in a press release that he paid for that part of the trip himself.

      • Quoth the Raven 7.1.1

        You don’t understand what I mean. I realise he paid for himself to go to Paris. However, the taxpayer paid for his flights to Europe and his accomodation, etc in the first place, paid for because he’s supposedly workig for us, but since he wasn’t then he should pay back part of the money for the flights, accomodation etc. The speaker is looking into exactly that.

  8. So Bored 8


    I notice you still have not addressed the question of Labour corruption. Again, spell out in detail the Labour corruption allegations, go public, or piss off. If you want to take a shot and you have the ability to back it up do so, or are you afraid of ridicule, cost, possible legal recourse etc?

    PS I do sleep soundly, even when there are creeps out there.

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