Ririnui: Ministerial Services approved credit card use

Written By: - Date published: 6:53 pm, June 11th, 2010 - 25 comments
Categories: accountability - Tags: , , , , ,

Mita Ririnui has gone on the record on RNZ’s Checkpoint tonight insisting Ministerial Services advised him personal spending on ministerial credit card was ok as long as it was reimbursed. Of course that doesn’t let people like Hide, English and Heatley off the hook, because they only paid back their personal misuses of ministerial allowances after they were found out – and long after the fact – but it has significant implications for the Labour MPs currently being defamed by the msm.

Perhaps our valiant msm journalists could look into this a bit more deeply because if Ministerial Services was giving that advice then there are a few heads that should go on the block and quite a few apologies due. Or perhaps John Key might like to investigate this matter further considering he’s such a big fan of <cough> transparency and <cough> accountability.

Will the msm bother to dig deeper on this one, or is truth not allowed to get in the way of a good media porn scandal?

25 comments on “Ririnui: Ministerial Services approved credit card use”

  1. marsman 1

    Truth is not allowed to get in the way of National Party Spin,carried out as usual by the MSM

  2. ianmac 2

    If Mr Ririnui was getting it wrong, wouldn’t Ministerial Services have hauled him up smartly? It is also possible that since he was given an oral run down by the Min Services person he might or might not be able to prove that his understanding was correct. No paper trail.
    Jim Anderton said this morning that he ran the same system, charge and repay by cheque as soon as he arrived back. Not once was he questioned about the method used. I wouldn’t expect that anyone will be interested even if their method was found to be OK. The damage has been done by the MSM on behalf of Nact.

  3. ianmac 3

    Will any one bother to check out Chris Carter’s version of the limousine cars hired on his behalf at the behest of Australia and approved by Ministerial Services in NZ? Doubt it!

  4. Herodotus 4

    “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.’
    from credit card records … So how does this statement reconcil with this posting (I take it to be correct). Mita Ririnui I hope has the name of who gave this advice, you try and get advice from IRD easy to get phone info but that is not the safety net for any tax actions as a defense. It appears that there are so many spin drs now in operation to undo the small amount of damage that this has caused. Is now that the little insect is growing all the time into a monster that will take its pound of fleash and as no one can control it could bite the hand that feeds it. (Be warned) Why cannot anyone say I was wrong and move on. From what I have read there is nothing that merrits of a scandle so far released, a few $ that those on the other side can point the finger at, but for me attacking these cases makes those pointing the finger worse of than the accused. Just like mayor Brown the mud slung at him makes Banks look all the worse and his supporters. By not facing up and using lackies to attempt to undo the damage just makes those on the receiving end magnify any guilt, that as I said before wasn’t there. So Mita defending herself has made herself now a target. Why she has nothing to be worried about.
    So with this non revulation I hope thatthere is now realised the need for really good policy to be had for all to review, otherewise Lab will be the subject of The Hollow Men Vii.

  5. Scott 5

    Ririnui’s claims are implausible. The rules are black and white, and ministers apparently sign a form when they get their card acknowledging the card is not for personal use.

    • Mac1 5.1

      Scott, can’t let you get away with that.

      You say the rules are black and white and then you make another statement with the huge qualifier “apparently’ which means you don’t know and therefore things are not black and white….

      You may well be (underlined) right but your statements don’t justify your conclusion.

      Remember, though, that Anderton on Nine to Noon today said he had never received such advice, but regularly practised the contrary with no criticism from parliamentary services.

      • Scott 5.1.1

        I said “apparently” because I haven’t seen the form myself, but someone from Ministerial Services on the radio last night said signing such a form was a requirement before using the card.

        I think what we have here is a bunch of people caught out now trying to find someone else to blame for their stupidity. I’d take the word of an official over that of a politician any day – regardless of the politician’s party.

        • Carol

          Is it possible that, while the letter of the rules says, no personal use of ministerial cards, verbally some were given a little more leeway? I think I’ve worked places where something similar happens. So, maybe someone said, as long as you pay back any personal use of the card ASAP, no questions will be asked.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    What I cant believe in all of this is Keys attempted attack of Goff.

    If you didnt know you would think that National ministers have not used their credit cards for personal use,which they have and what’s more some have not payed it back.

    Labours guilty have paid it back but some how their spending is the focus of the MSM.

    So Key attacks Goff for no taking no action when he is currently out of the country and his staff have indicated that action is likely and yet Key has taken no action and we have his ministers continuing to use the cards despite be told that they shouldn’t.

    Its amazing how effective free wine is, hell I knew that the political journos spend a lot of late nights drinking with ministers who ever is in Government but gee what else is going on with the MSM.

  7. barry 7

    Where the credit card is used to pay a bill, and only part of the bill is for private matters (e.g. mini bars or movies in tax payer funded hotel accommodation), surely it is not unreasonable, so long as it is paid back promptly.

  8. Ed 8

    Certainly Jim Anderton’s statement about his experience is consistent with personal expenses included in a hotel bill, but perhaps not at separate shops. Winston Peters was also quite clear on such treatment of personal expenses.

    Perhaps the rules have changed – Ministerial Services may be consistent in what they now say, but that may not be what they previously consistently said.

    I heard that John Key was now seeking further advice to clarify just what the rules are or were – or something.

  9. Gooner 9

    Of course that doesn’t let people like Hide, English and Heatley off the hook, because they only paid back their personal misuses of ministerial allowances after they were found out…

    Hide did not misuse his ministerial allowance. Stop the lies.

    • Oooh, pedantry alert! Well spotted Gooner, Hide didn’t abuse his ministerial allowance, he just put his girlfriend’s holiday on the taxpayers tab. That’s so much better, eh?

      • Herodotus 9.1.1

        The same as Mr Carter and his parnter and I am sure many others, perhaps even Mr Burton (paying for a hotel room and leaving it empty for 2 days whilst going to visit other locations).
        There is still this strong partisian defensive approach when will some of these strong right & left supports just say as it is Wrong!! No defense. Then we get the distractions re English & Hyde. The actions maybe distastful but they appear to be allowable same as Debunkle & Wilson(?) claiming living cost as they live outside Wellington, none of this does alot for politicians standing in the community. At least with this new openness we the voter are more aware of these rorts, and hopefully these will become less previlent and more distasteful(even if allowable). So there is some beneficial outcomes with these hopefully going .
        p.s. I still have not heard any counter claim re $12 entertainment allowance thatthe Mp’s get as part of their package, then some of these petty cash items become more distasteful.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Hide took the WAG, despite Keys new rule that was not allowed any more, and despite being advised in writing by Min Serv not to include her travel in his official paid costs.

          • Herodotus

            I may have brought Hydes spin (If so then appologise) does not his lenght of service “entitile” him to these perks as he has this perk adjusted into his salary package?
            He mentioned previously that he disagreed with this entitlement, so all he has done is to include himself (the gamekeeper) with the pouchers, and that it displays how difficult it is for Mp’s not to be lured into “The System”, and overplay their inmportance remember he has evolved from being a humble Mp to a dancing sensation, an athlete, and a minister, and also become increasing desirable to the fairer sex enough to bring down almost an humanbeing !!

          • spot

            The guidance from Min Services would be correct, but would he not have claimed the fare under Vote Parl.Services, as covered under those pre-1999 MP’s terms ?

            Perkbuster hypocrisy nailed him on that one methinks.

            Either way, you’re right, Key “urged” them to follow his example, and read that as “don’t do it”….

        • ianmac

          Herodotus: You only seem to read what you want to read. Mr Burton also pointed out that to cancel the two rooms for two days then return and re book, would cost more than leaving it empty. And I imagine that staff would do the bookings anyway. It seems that people declare their positions by bad spinning.

          • Herodotus

            “..To have broken continuous occupancy would have potentially affected the daily rate…’
            Potentially affected according to the report and that there was “- including two nights while the Burtons were on holiday elsewhere.” so they went on holiday elsewhere and we picked up the bill for an empty room that was suppose to be for private use. I imagine that I combined a working trip with private and then changed my personnel arrangements that I would be in line to incur the costs. ianmac we all read into this as we wish there are some who decide to question/attack others to defend, yet are the individual actions on principle or partsian?
            The report is abit confusing not to sure if this is bad reporting or the waters being muddied?

      • That’s so much better, eh?

        Well, yes.

        Both look bad on the front page of the Herald. Only one is an offence that can get you a year in prison.

  10. Gooner 10

    Here’s a clue ianmac – Hide’s hypocricy isn’t.

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