Sack ’em all

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 100 comments
Categories: accountability - Tags: , , , , , , ,

McCully and Groser put their drinking habits on the taxpayer bill. Jones charged his own, um, habit. Carter played far too loose. All broke the rules. Carter and Jones paid the money back eventually. Groser and McCully better soon.

I say we deserve better. And if one’s gotta go, they’ve all got to go. Goff, Key, which one of you is going to set the standard? Sack ’em all.

100 comments on “Sack ’em all ”

  1. My sentiments exactly. Time for a purge. Loving that graphic BTW.

  2. Santi 2

    I agree. Shane Jones, The Masturbator, deserves to be sacked.

    • exbrethren 2.1

      Groser has had slippery John justify his gouging. A $1500 bash the night after he became trade minister. This guy seems to think he’s done no more and must be the first to go as a minister.

    • the sprout 2.2

      Groser spent $450 on the minibar just at the Copenhagen conference.
      No wonder we made so little progress.

    • Craig Glen Eden 2.3

      So the new standard is, if you masturbate you cant be a MP, was that what Richard Worth resigned in shame over? Please. You seem to be a little fixated.
      Grow up Santi you troll

      • Sam 2.3.1

        My friend, I was just about to say the exact same thing.

        I love the brainless calls for resignations. Heatley resigned from _his portfolio_ over $70 of wine, ergo Jones should resign from parliament entirely.

        Got me thinking, is this John Key’s attempt to make up for the fact that he clearly lied about having high standards for his cabinet ministers? I do recall the one strike policy being in place, but so far the only person to be sacked was Worth and look at what he had to do and how long Key fucked the dog on it.

        Pathetic.

    • Zetetic 2.4

      If masterbating was a sacking offence you’ld unemployable Santi.

      Problem’s repeatedly breaking the rules.

      Jones, Carter, MCully, Groser. All gotta go. You with me, Santi. Or you a hypocrite?

  3. Anita 3

    Can I just raise my hand, as someone who has a corporate credit card, and say that occasional screw-ups with the wrong things going onto the wrong card are not usually, and should not be, a sacking offense. Some days no matter how hard you try you end up with the wrong thing on the wrong bill and sort it out promptly.

    That doesn’t provide a defence for repeated, egregious, or slowly paid back misuse of course.

    • Zetetic 3.1

      yup. but these are repeated abuses.

      If Jones has to go so do the rest.

    • aj 3.2

      Anita, Agreed. These were all paid back by the end of 2008? so teacup, storm. Would be fascinating to go back to the 90,s, 80’s.
      I expect this type of spending was endemic.

    • jcuknz 3.3

      It doesn’t matter if they do it every day it costs us the taxpayer nothing if the bill, or bill and late payment charge, are paid by the person. We trust them to be our MPs, we trust them to have a Govt. credit card, we trust them to pay for their ‘private’ expenses … if they don’t then sack them. I know I have juggled my cards from time to time and I trust them like myself to pay my bills on time.
      It is all a large storm in a small teacup.

  4. The treatment of Heatley now seems to have a justification. I always thought that the treatment was over the top. Perhaps Key had an idea that Jones had these indiscretions on his bills and knew that if he insisted on a puritanically high standard then Jones would be skewered.

    • Zetetic 4.1

      don’t credit them with being too clever.

      Key didn’t want Heatley to resign. He reinstated him soon as possible.

      Also. Key says Labour attacked Heatley. Look at the record. They didn’t.

  5. really 5

    Lets see Labour lead in taking the moral high ground by firing their transgressors.

  6. Ian 6

    The Shane Jones thing really points up our double standards where porn is concerned. The stuff is not illegal, is provided to those who want it in respectable hotels, is on offer to every Sky digital subscriber (Sky is a respectable business,sort of), and is available in countless video shops around the the country. But as soon as anyone is outed watching the stuff we come over all Victorian. Odd.

    • Marty G 6.1

      agreed. but it’s not about the content of the vids, anymore than it’s about the type of alcohol that Groser and McCully have been swilling.

      • jcuknz 6.1.1

        Why is spirits, wine and champagne bad and beer good? Talk about class warfare geez 🙂

        • Tigger 6.1.1.1

          Did no other MPs order movies for their room? I know Carter did at least once so there must be others. Will the press salivate over, let’s say, Wilkinson because she watched 30 Jerry Bruckheimer flicks?

  7. vidiot 7

    If the transgressions happened years ago, why is Jones only now telling Goff about them and that he’s sorry – I would have thought that an honest man would have told the boss ages ago, rather than waiting for the burn. If Goff has any sense and wants to keep the #1 slot he needs to toss the bugger off the party waka.

    captcha: gaps – memory ones me thinks.

    • Marty G 7.1

      I agree that Jones has let down his party and should lose his portfolios just like Groser and McCully should

      • vidiot 7.1.1

        Groser needs treatment – it’s quite clear he likes the odd (well even) tipple.

        • Marty G 7.1.1.1

          yeah. I feel a bit sorry for him at a personal level the same as i feel sorry for Cameron Slater. They’re both being used to an extent. But they are also political players and subject to the same criticism and standards as anyone else.

          • RobertM 7.1.1.1.1

            This to some extent is the point. Generally none of these minor technical infringements should disqualify an MP. Carter has probably overstayed his welcome. Yet. Yet. Chris Carter has been the only MP at all effective on the whaling issue from my anti whaling perspective, that Japans predatory whaling and fishing in the Southern Ocean has to be stopped.The Greens are lukewarm and divided over such things as the need to back Australia’s world court action and may still have too much respect for old Sir Geoffery. Therefore for a while I’m prepared to give Chris Carter the benefit of the doubt because he might still be useful and vital. Just might.
            Grosser is just another soak and I’m not hypocritical enough to hold that against him personally. But politically I disagree with Grosser on everything. And Grosser is the action and policy centre of this Government. I therefore am determined to whip , Tim Grosser at every opportunity. Grosser is behind the Trade centred foreign policy and MFAT. That means security and defence issues from both a left and right perspective become purely symbolic and malleable and we don’t believe in anything but selling lamb chops and milk powder. It means were going to pollute the Canterbury Plains and use up the best water supply in NZ on unsustainable expansion of dairy. In Grosser and Simon Murdochs view the country is only a farm and were only up to being dairy farmers. I believe we were capable of more. Most of all I think effective action to stop the Japanese whalers will be very difficult if not impossible if Grosser dosen’t go or at least his power reduced.

    • Anita 7.2

      Not to comment on any of the other calls for his resignation/dismissal, but Jones may have told his boss at the time. There is no incompatibility between that and Goff not knowing.

  8. Santi 8

    Ian, you miss the point entirely. Jones is entitled to watch all the porn he wants, but he should have paid for it. To charge it to his ministerial credit card shows a complete lack of judgement. By the way, the same goes for that cheat Heatley.

    So Jones, the masturbator, is guilty of putting his expenses on us. Simple.

    • Sam 8.1

      He did pay for it. Where is your brain?

      Have you ever been to a hotel before? Have you ever tried to split the bill? As someone has already said elsewhere, most of the time any charges your incur are added to the bill and deducted automatically rather than trying to piss around and pay for $20 in cash or whatever.

      Further, if this is the standard you have set for ‘putting his expenses on us’, where were you during the housing allowance rort? Where were your calls for Bludger Bill’s head when he was caught out double dipping? Oh right, of course, one standard for one colour, right?

    • Marty G 8.2

      Don’t forget McCully and Groser.

      …and justice for all.

  9. Santi 9

    Sam, your defense is pathetic. Stop digging a bigger hole.
    English & co are as guilty of roting the system. All offenders should be sacked.

  10. vto 10

    imo it simpy shows a lack of judgment. And if they lack such basic judgment on such simple stuff then how on earth can we expect them to have better judgment on the big stuff. Impossible.

    They are simply not good enough to be ministers.

    Mind you, a lot of the charges such as mini-bars seemed probably ok. But Carter and Jones – sheesh, they need to get their mummy and daddy to tell them a few basics on life again…

    • Marty G 10.1

      why are the minibar charges ok? you can’t charge for having a drink in your hotel room anymore than you can for watching a film there

      • vto 10.1.1

        oh, well I dont know the rules but it seems to me that food and drink, just like a bed at night, when away on government business would be reasonable. In moderation of course.

        • Bright Red 10.1.1.1

          well, those aren’t the rules, vto. Alcohol and food that aren’t consumed at an official event or a meeting are personal expenses and not claimable.

          Or don’t you think the rules should apply to your boys?

          I’m not sure on Zet’s conclusion but I do agree that the same standards need to be applied to all of them. Don’t you, vto?

          • Anita 10.1.1.1.1

            I disagree. The cost of a hotel breakfast when travelling is a normal business (not personal) expense. Similarly dinner when travelling.

            Let’s take an absolutely true example from my work travel last week. I flew from Wellington to Auckland on Wednesday morning, back home Thursday night. My client will pay for my flights, taxis, hotel, Thurs breakfast and Weds dinner. Those are all costs that were incurred solely because I travelled to Auckland for their business. In every case there are guidelines about what would and wouldn’t be considered acceptable costs (getting hammered in a restaurant and charging my client for $50 of food and $100 of alcohol would not, my $33 dinner at an Indian restaurant is just fine).

            • Bright Red 10.1.1.1.1.1

              well, that’s not the rules that ministers operate under. The rules http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/98AC9746-003B-40A0-A83F-4D8DCFFFF61D/127008/ExecutiveTraveletcServices22Oct091.pdf define travelling expenses as “(accommodation, meals and incidental expenses)”.

              I don’t think you can call hundreds of dollars worth of alcohol an incidental any more than you can call a video an incidental. Dry cleaning, yes. Porn and booze, no.

              they have to pay personally for drinks consumed while travelling but not directly part of their official duties. Look at how at various meetings ministers claimed for the dinner but when drinks continued on beyond the official part they had to pay for those themselves.

              You see, Groser’s nightly night cap is not an expense that he is incurring because of his official business. He would be paying that regardless of where he is. Going to a fancy restaurant to meet with diplomats, that’s an official function and the cost is covered by ministerial services.

              here’s some key parts of the rules that apply to Groser and McCully:

              “(b) The principle that expenditure must be for official ministerial purposes only
              • Expenditure must only be incurred in respect of ministerial business.”

              “(e) The principle of value for money
              • When using public resources entrusted to them to perform their official
              duties, members of the Executive must seek the appropriate value for money in the circumstances.”

              (f) The cost-effectiveness principle
              • Wherever reasonably practicable, members of the Executive should use the most cost-effective alternative available for utilising or accessing a particular entitlement. This needs to be balanced with the need for expediency.

              • Anita

                I don’t know who you’re disagreeing with, but it isn’t me 🙂

                You said that food consumed not an official event is a personal expense, I said that it could (and often would) be considered a business expense and gave an example of when it was.

                The document you’ve linked to, and what you followed up with, does not disagree with that position and you now seem to focus largely on alcohol.

                As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol I have no experience either putting alcohol on an expense claim or thinking about when it would be ok to, so I can’t speak with any particular authority on that. I suspect, however, that if my meal last Wednesday had included a beer or a glass of wine in the place of the lassi I did have then no-one would have any problem with it. In fact having just rechecked my company’s expenses policy I think that would be acceptable.

          • vto 10.1.1.1.2

            Well the rules are the rules I guess, though I tend to Anitas view above. And what do you mean “my boys”. They aint my boys and the rules should apply equally of course.

            What this really shows is how really quite average many of the people in Parliament are.

            If they lack such basic judgment on this then there is absolutely zip confidence that they can get the big decisions right. All the more reason to take the power away from govt and give it back to the people.

            And P’s b has a point about the rip-off nature of minibars and etc.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2

          Mini bar prices for booze is a blatant rip though. Surely the only people that buy their tipple from the minibar are:

          i) putting it on an expense account
          ii) have the personal situation such that they don’t care about the cost
          iii) already pissed and needing a nightcap and so don’t care that they are paying well over top shelf prices for pretty basic booze.

          For the money he paid for crappy booze he could have bought what, ten times the volume of decent stuff at a bottly? Would that have been seen as acceptable though?

          nah, if he wants a bloody night cap, go bloody buy one.

  11. tc 11

    Nobody’s getting sacked…..McCully/Grosser are the sharp end of a very ordinary bunch of ministers and they can’t do without them (Blinglish also has immunity for similar reasons) whereas if labour were stupid enough to pick the awful Shane Jones (what exactly has he ever done?) and keep persisting up front with the overated Chris Carter (who can’t keep his insecure mouth shut) then chickens meet the roost.

  12. Lew 12

    Random prediction: Jones will be demoted to backbench purgatory and will rehabilitate in preparation for an early-2012 leadership battle with Cunliffe after Goff retires.

    L

    • uke 12.1

      Yeah, Jones will do a Dyson.

      Unfortunately he’s going to get heckled some in parliament from now on. There’ll be plenty of bad puns.

    • Rich 12.2

      Nope, Cunliffe’s not leadership material. Doesn’t have the support in caucus either, though he’d make a great minister of finance. You’ve got to look outside the current hopeless lot.

      It’s Andrew Little who’s the main beneficiary of Jones’ public shaming and demotion.

      • RobertM 12.2.1

        Cunliffe might eventually on the basis that everybody gets a turn. Personally I’d go for Daziel and Mallard as the leadership team. Cunliffe does have a reasonable profile and Shane Jones had none till he splurged. Clinton became a household name because of his affair with a lounge bar singer.

  13. Olwyn 13

    From what I have understood, practically all of this money was paid back long before the “investigation,” if that is what you would call it. Money that wasn’t paid back, such as $200 or so from Chris Carter, was money that did not fall clearly into the private or public category . While it allows the same people who shout “breeding for a business” to shout “paying for porn with my money” the tax payer was not actually fleeced, since the money was paid back. If you look at the time line, the Heatley business happened about two months into the five month process of looking into these old accounts, which suggests that the “over the top” reaction was planned and deliberate. This looks to me like a similar brand of vicious nonsense as was levelled at Winston Peters, with carelessness presented as a capital crime.

    • Anne 13.1

      Olwyn you have put it into a nutshell! What I find so sad is the individuals
      that have fallen hook, line and sinker for the media frenzy and are screaming for sackings and punishment. The righteous indignation is sickening. I listened to John Tamihere on Nat radio this morning use the occasion to take pot shots at Helen Clark and the “women in the Labour Party”. As if, in some way, they are culpable. He wasn’t even pulled up for it.

      It transpires that it is usually not travelling ministers who pay hotel and other bills but members of staff who travel with them. It also transpires that it has been accepted practice that when it is difficult to separate the costs of hotel bills etc., the minister reimburses at a later date. Granted a few were a bit lax
      making those payments, sure, but they were all paid back! It also transpires that some minor personal costs did slip through the cracks and the ministers concerned are no doubt reimbursing as we speak.

      It’s a huge smokscreen for the real rorters John Key (blind trusts he can see and manage), Bill English ( housing rorter supremo) and Nick Smith (tax payer funds personal court costs to tune of $200,000 plus) to hide behind.

      • Olwyn 13.1.1

        If we are right Anne, then it is just possible that the NACTs have an early election in mind.

        • Anne 13.1.1.1

          That sounds about right. Get the election out of the way early before the voters start to realise that the wood behind the trees is rotten. They have got to come up with a plausible excuse though. Perhaps someone might venture some thoughts as to what the excuse is likely to be.

          • Lew 13.1.1.1.1

            Chris Trotter has your “plausible” excuse: ethnic civil war, with real guns and everything.

            Meanwhile, back in the real world…

            L

  14. Santi 14

    According to media reports Helen Clark was “squeaky clean’. Oh, really?

    What about the $900,000 plus taxpayer rip off for her 2005 pledge card and other matters, found by the Auditor General to be ILLEGAL.

    The fact that Clark had Hetaher Simpson pressured Parliamentary Services to pay the bills and her Parliamentary colleagues ratify those overtly illegal acts with retrospective legislation does not make it right.

    • Bright Red 14.1

      Stop living in the past, Santi. That woman you so hate isn’t in parliament anymore.

      But there are current ministers who have been caught troughing. You want them gone too, eh?

    • ak 14.2

      Aaaahhhhh, yes, time to bring Helen back into it….. and for God’s sake, Santi, don’t forget signing the painting for charity, sitting in the back of a speeding car and the almost irrefutable evidence of her failure to pay a library fine in 1967……poor sad wee Santi, the portrait of a tory: clinging to the fading memory of the great Helenhate orgasm of 2007 like a befuddled old fool sneaking off to the shed for a wank to the yellowing, dog-eared pages of an ancient Naturist Monthly as his world collapses around him….

    • Alexandra 14.3

      cant you spell santi or are you trying to hard to be clever?

  15. Santi 15

    I have two cards, one for business related expenses and one for personal expenses. If I use the business card for personal reasons I face a tax audit. I have learned quite readily which is which. If I buy a drink for a business contact, it is a business expense and is accounted for as such.

    The MPs by asserting they get confused are underlining their lack of business savy and naivety. This deficiency is a dividend of their cloistered and hence ill-equipped personae to make decisions on behalf of others. I perceive that as Labour is largely populated by do-nothing state tit-sucking types they are more likely to breach what are straightforward business rules.

  16. deemac 16

    how is porn any worse than booze or any other unauthorised spending? Unless we are expected to believe that none of the journos have ever watched porn. If they have, their fake outrage would be hypocrisy, wouldn’t it?

    • Lew 16.1

      Whether it is worse or not is a matter for the electorate to decide. The media’s job is to bring it to their attention so they can decide. They’re doing so.

      L

      • Bright Red 16.1.1

        They’re hardly bringing it to attention in a neutral manner. They’ve made a judgement call on which is worse… or rather which is more salacious… and the coverage reflects that.

        • Lanthanide 16.1.1.1

          Agreed.

        • Lew 16.1.1.2

          They’ve made a judgement call as to what the time- and background-poor electorate is most interested in eharing about and judging. Nobody can go through all 7,000 pages, so judgements need to be made.

          I’d say they’ve gotten that pitch about right, your complaints notwithstanding.

          L

          • Puddleglum 16.1.1.2.1

            And I think that judgment call is very revealing. The judgment goes for the common denominator in terms of what people might be interested in. There’s certainly no sense that journalists have a mission that relates to anything other than what is popular. There’s no sense that journalism has any function other than reflecting back to people what they wish to hear (in the aggregate). Money, profit and the market reinforce that.

            That means that the media is not neutral, of course. It clearly eschews any critical role some have thought it might have as part of a democracy populated by citizens (rather than viewers, readers, etc.). That’s very interesting and shows how a media comes to work in the services of the status quo and of power without the need for any conspiracy.

            On top of that, I think journalists presumably exhibit the same social psychological tendencies, biases, etc. as everyone else. They want to be popular (and therefore support a popular government), to do the ‘big splash’ story, etc. that everyone will be talking about. Like most people, they much prefer the short-term pleasure of being popular than the longer-term pleasure of being respected. Once again, those perfectly human tendencies operate in support of the status quo and power.

            All together, it shows how the media can be quite biased towards the interests of power (essentially, to be ‘right wing’) without any need to claim some conspiracy.

  17. Green Tea 17

    Do the authors (and Labour supporting commenters) here at the Standard believe in curing the ethical sickness that exists in parliament? Because I get the distinct impression they are more interested in deflecting the negative press the Labour Party is currently receiving.

    [lprent: It’d be hard to miss the various authors attitudes – just read their posts on the subjects over the last few years. There is the usual range of opinions. Personally I can’t remember writing much about it.. But what is clear to me is that parliamentary services needs to improve their supervision and accounting practices. This is the type of crap that goes on if the curbs aren’t working well. I really couldn’t give a damn about a bottle of wine or a wank in a hotel – provided the money gets reconciled. That is why I haven’t written on most of these over the last two years, or even written many comments.

    I’m more concerned with having to pay serious money for Nick Smiths legal defense or for having to fix my leaky apartment because some morons in parliament didn’t do their job properly in the 90’s. Those aren’t as recoverable. Of course from the media perspective they really don’t cover those more important topics… ]

    • Bright Red 17.1

      Yeah. When I see ‘sack ’em all’ and ‘they all broke the rules’ what I think is ‘this guy is just trying to protect one side’.

      Green Tea. Do you believe Jones should be sacked? If so, then you must also believe that Groser and McCully should be sacked for the same offence – claiming expenses that they weren’t allowed to.

      All or nothing.

      • Green Tea 17.1.1

        Jones can be sacked, they can all be sacked. But it wont change the sense of entitlement within parliament.

        The rules surrounding MPs spending are way out of kilter with public opinion, in other words its broken and needs to be fixed. But is there a parliamentary party prepared to take a stand to fix it? No. Why? Because MPs benefit from deliberately relaxed and vague spending rules.

        They’ll do all the can, including sacking Jones, to keep it that way.

    • Herodotus 17.2

      “..or for having to fix my leaky apartment because some morons in parliament didn’t do their job properly in the 90’s…”
      IPRENT please add that in 2002 the then government also saw no issue with the building code. If the Nat did not see that there would be an issue yet all the blame appears to be leveled at them should not it be shared by the 2002 Govt that also saw no issue after 6+ years of the consequence. Another cock up by all parties involved.
      Should not this spending over reation just be commented on once then left, as all that is comming out now is blind partisian support that for me just embarrasses the contributors by condoning one side and justifiying the other. So a few bottles were claimed for while in a hotel or a few bunches of flowers were brought, except for a few instances they are just a distraction.
      How about some real policy getting things going again. For me unlike the reserve bank things in the real world are balancing on a fine blade, with the exception of milk fat prices there is quite a lot of pain out there, and has been for quite a few years.

      • lprent 17.2.1

        Yeah, but my apartment was built in 1997/8.

        But the biggest problem wasn’t the materials or construction techniques, which is the building code. If they’d been followed to the letter, then they’d have worked. BRANZ did a lot of work proving that.

        The real problem was the inspection systems were let to go to shit in the name of privatization. That got changed back in the early 00’s, putting the liability (for inspection) back on to the councils who then tightened up their approval procedures.

        Privatizing the building inspections to companies that could fold themselves was lunacy of right-wing idiots taken to its instant slum-making level of stupidity….

  18. What’s the point…to show that politicians on both sides of the fence can’t be trusted with taxpayer money ?

    …as if we all didn’t know that !

    maybe it’s to show serial ‘troughing/bludging’ won’t be tolerated in parliament, so it won’t be tolerated outside of it and if it’s OK to release aberrant gov’t spending for MP’s, it’s also OK to release abberant beneficiary details as paid servants of the state also ?

    Only trouble is, troughing/bludging is tolerated because it’s been going on since day one and theres never any lasting recrimination or punishment.

    Rah rah rah…faux moral outrage today, business as usual tomorrow.

    captcha : comparable

  19. RedFred 19

    But hey why stop there I wouldn’t mind seeing McCully, Williamson, English and Smith give us a bit of transparency into there spending when former ministers. Then we would really get into some self flagellation not Im not talkin about Shane Jones either.

    Argubly some of this spending would not have come to light if Ministers had used their own credit cards and then claimed expenses back. Then it would have been a bureaucrat deeming what was personal and what wasn’t. Like John Key said a few drinks is reasonable, by that rational so is a movie, but not a porno, there something offensive about Nanny State paying for that.

    I think the issue of using the card whilst traveling especially internationally to grab a few personal items/services with intention of reimbursing and doing so is fine and in keeping with standard business practice. Keeps track of everything otherwise you end up paying for business stuff yourself. Traveling for work is not glamorous it sucks; I know Ive done it for 12 years internationally , fueled with a bit of booze and porn but it wasn’t charged to the taxpayer, booze charged to work but not the porn.

    When you consider the cost of traveling internationally for these guy is maybe $1000 NZD a day, certainly for somewhere like Washington it may be closer to $1500 NZD, If they have staff with them this could triple. . During reconciliation the odd thing might inadvertently slip by.

    I am not defending anyone; but the fair and reasonable personal use whilst traveling that is in-line with standard business practice needs to be filtered out, and then the NACT PACK can really go for the bad eggs as should the Labour party members.

    If Shane Jones doesn’t became a sacrificial lamb to public opinion I would be disappointed and surprised. The Labour Party needs to do this urgently, Goff needs to ask for Jones resignation immediately. Chris Carter might be in this boat to if some of the newer allegations are true. Lets have a big clean out and English and his double diptoning should be in the same canoe up the same dirty little creek…throw in Rortney Hide too, he can show them the way.

    I am not expecting benedictine monks, it is about the Labour Party being above reproach.

  20. Santi 20

    Another dodgy Labour leader gets exposed:

    Mr Cosgrove bought a $1,674 suit on his Ministerial credit card after losing his luggage. He also spent $56 on a tie and $61 on a shirt and socks to go with his new suit. Records show an insurance claim was pending though there is no indication this was reimbursed.

    On the same trip, Mr Cosgrove spent $712 on a taxi, apparently for a five-hour sight-seeing trip.

    In preparation, Mr Cosgrove had bought a $265 cabin luggage bag from upmarket Wellington Department store Kirckaldie and Stains and a NZ$56 Montreal Lonely Planet book from Borders in Montreal.
    In 2007, he travelled to Guyana to attend the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting and back via New York and Washington DC.
    Records also show $115,752.73 worth of expenses on his Ministerial credit card on this trip. He was accompanied again by his wife and an advisor.

    Again Mr Cosgrove lost his luggage and was forced to buy more on his Ministerial credit card. He clocked up $749 on his card to replace it. This was also to be covered by insurance.

    • Bright Red 20.1

      Yeah, his luggage was lost. that’s covered by incidentals. It’s like dry cleaning. It’s a cost incurred as part of the official business.

      McCully and others have also claimed for lost luggage.

      • Lew 20.1.1

        Don’t be silly, BR. A minister should just turn up to his official business representing the New Zealand government in the jeans and t-shirt he slept in on the plane.

        L

        • Anita 20.1.1.1

          And the tiger slippers he used to keep his tootsies warm while sleeping under a bridge to save the taxpayers of NZ $200.

          • Lew 20.1.1.1.1

            And woe betide if he buys a bottle of Thunderbird to keep the chill at bay.

            Not that it’d be a shame for him to smell like a dirty old man, but that $4.99 (US dollars, mind you) is just an unconscionable excess!

            L

            • Anita 20.1.1.1.1.1

              I think we’re going a little far, even government Ministers need their creature comforts.

              I suggest the Speaker gives each Minister $20 worth of small denomination coins in the local currency before each trip. They’re going to have to provide itemised GST receipts on return of course!

    • I dreamed a dream 20.2

      From the same report, “However, it said there was no question the money was misspent.”

    • pollywog 20.3

      Mr Cosgrove bought a $1,674 suit on his Ministerial credit card after losing his luggage. He also spent $56 on a tie and $61 on a shirt and socks to go with his new suit. Records show an insurance claim was pending though there is no indication this was reimbursed.

      Whats even dodgier is that he went ‘commando’ and didn’t buy any gruds ?

      ewwww…skid marks up the new suit is not a good look eh, especially not for Cosgrove

      thank fuck it wasn’t Horomia though…bad visuals !!!

  21. JD 21

    If Key asked for ‘labour party incompetence’ as a christmas present then he certainly got his wish.

    It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  22. Santi 22

    More on Cosgrove\’s expenses:
    It also wasn’t easy on the tax-payer’s back pocket sending Mr Cosgrove and his wife to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. The accommodation for the nine day-stay in an executive deluxe room at China World Motel alone was $6,388.

    Then Prime Minister Helen Clark agreed Mr Cosgrove had to go but questioned the length of the stay in a hand written note on the proposal for overseas travel.

    Mr Cosgrove said the primary importance of the trip was to support New Zealand’s athletes but said he would try and arrange meetings with Ministerial counterparts and representatives of the World Anti-Doping Agency with which he was involved.

    • Tigger 22.1

      Coleman went to the Winter Olympics this year. Taxpayer funded? And if not, who paid for it? SKY TV were broadcasting it – did they shell out cash for it?

  23. roger nome 23

    Is Green Tea not D4J, as i can see a similarity in grammatical style?

    IMO – MPs should Hit the Lights at thier own expense or face the wrath of the Four Horsemen. haha – suck it up pun haters.

  24. Anne 24

    Has anyone else noticed how many wing-nuts use the expression “the gift that keeps on giving” and derivations thereof? Doesn’t matter what the subject matter… it pops up sooner or later. Must be the latest Nat Research Unit buzz phrase emailed on to their little helpers in the blogosphere.

  25. roger nome 25

    Anne:

    Rightwingnut demagogue David Farrar uses the term a lot – so they may just be quoting the prophet.

    • Anne 25.1

      roger nome. Bit late to discover your comment I know, but I expect you’re right 🙂

      What’s the bet the term originated with the Nat strategy grouping which he is part of anyway.

  26. Santi 26

    Another blow to Len Brown’s “honest” campaign:
    http://msn.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10651099&ref=rss

    Is it OK to buy the Xmas ham on the council’s credit card? Yes, according to him.

    • Craig Glen Eden 26.1

      Piss off Santi you are a bloody useless troll. None of your posts show any intellect or balance you don’t even have anything interesting to say unlike GC or some others who I might not agree with but at least they show some knowledge of politics and make some points that warrant some thoughtful response. You on the other hand are a waist of space.

      • Santi 26.1.1

        “You on the other hand are a waist of space.”
        You’re a fine product of the NZ education system. You meant waste but could not spell it. Pathetic.

        • Tigger 26.1.1.1

          Actually being a ‘waist of space’ means you are space’s flabby middle…it’s a huge insult.

  27. exbrethren 27

    Almost $400 on party pills? Good one Jun-Key

  28. roger nome 28

    If only this song were more well-know, i’m sure something along those lines could be done with it…

  29. kriswgtn 29

    Seems Collins Minister of Police used her ministerial card to buy groceries?? totally unacceptable

    She should also go… even if she has paid it back

    Its not as though these people are paid $500-$600 a week

    Theyre paid a hell of alot more

    One rule for all IMO

  30. Santi 30

    When in Canada in May that year, Mr Cos­grove bought a $1,674 suit on his Min­is­te­r­ial credit card after los­ing his lug­gage. He also spent $56 on a tie and $61 on a shirt and socks to go with his new suit . A spokesper­son for Mr Cos­grove said insur­ance later reim­bursed this expense.

    On the same trip, Mr Cos­grove spent $712 on a taxi, appar­ently for a five-hour trip. Mr Cosgrov’es spokeper­son said the trip included three offi­cial meet­ings and a a stop to buy the replace­ment suit.

    In prepa­ra­tion for the Canada visit, Mr Cos­grove had bought a $265 cabin lug­gage bag from upmar­ket Welling­ton Depart­ment store Kir­ckaldie and Stains and a NZ$56 Mon­treal Lonely Planet book from Bor­ders in Montreal.

    Mr Cosgrove’s office said the cabin bag was pur­chased for a staffer and has since been returned to Min­is­te­r­ial services.

    In 2007, he trav­elled to Guyana to attend the Com­mon­wealth Finance Min­is­ters Meet­ing and back via New York and Wash­ing­ton DC. He was accom­pa­nied again by his wife and an advisor.
    Again Mr Cos­grove lost his lug­gage and was forced to buy more on his Min­is­te­r­ial credit card. He clocked up $749 on his card to replace it. This was also cov­ered by insurance.

    A note on the records sug­gests there is miss­ing receipts and “despite best efforts to obtain required doc­u­men­ta­tion, this staff mem­ber has now resigned and accord­ing to form has been very uncooperative.

    Clay­ton Cos­grove must be the world’s unluck­i­est trav­eller: He lost his lug­gage an unbe­liev­able three times!

  31. Lew 31

    Santi, cut back on the juice. You’re repeating yourself. By kick-off you’ll be a bloody wreck, come on!

    L

  32. kriswgtn 32

    Santi is a copy and paster lol

    loser

  33. Santi 33

    More money wasted by another Labour MP:

    A two-week trip to Europe by former Defence and Tourism Minister Mark Burton and his wife included a hotel bill of $15,203.46 – including two nights while the Burtons were on holiday elsewhere.

    In 2003 the Burtons stayed at the Trafalgar Hilton in 2003 from October 30 until November 11, before heading to Munich for a night, to promote tourism and defence interests.

    Cabinet papers show that the first days until November 2 were supposed to be “private travel at your own expense”, but Ministerial Services confirmed yesterday that there had been no repayments.

  34. Locus 34

    You guys in parliament – time to ask yourself, what would my partner/parents/kids think of me doing this? If you’re a politician you should smart enough to know that the public will eventually pass judgement on what you do. Pointing at the failings of others is spineless at best and manipulative at worst.

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