Why can’t John Key tell us how much Hauiti has ripped us off?

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, July 24th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: john key, national, national/act government, same old national, slippery - Tags:

There is a story developing which is much more important than the colour of scarves that David Cunliffe wears.  It involves the potential gross misuse of public funds and the refusal of John Key to tell us or even to find out how much is involved.

For some inexplicable reason John Key would have us believe that he and National do not know how much Claudette Hauiti spent on our credit card.  And he would have us believe that she is resigning because suddenly she was no longer going to get a good list placement.

He has accepted that she spent $200 on a trip to Australia.  If this is true she should be reemployed by the Crown to purchase air flights for MPs.  Because air flights to Australia are normally about three times that amount, particularly over the Christmas period.

John Key has also suggest that Hauiti decided to stand down after she was told she would receive a low list ranking.  But this is not correct.  I was aware on July 9 this year that she was going to receive a low ranking (58) when the list would be announced on the weekend of the 26th of July.  The story broke a week later.

It would have been clear that she would not be re-elected.  Carmel Sepuloni is always going to win Kelston.  At 58 her ranking would be better than last time (63) but disappointing in that there were so many MPs retiring.  Effectively she had gone backwards.  Last time Cam Calder at 50 was the lowest ranked list MP to be elected to Parliament and it took four resignations for Hauiti to make it.

So I am sure that despite claims to the contrary her low list ranking is not the cause of her resignation.  National’s ability to “persuade” its MPs to stand down is impressive and you have to wonder what method of persuasion has been used here.

National would have known about her credit card problem at the time.  Andrea Vance reported on July 16 that it had taken more than a week for the National party to return calls from her asking questions on the subject.

And despite Key’s claims to the contrary Hauiti is not being punished.  In what job would you be able to breach the credit card policy so clearly, remain on full pay until September 20, not be expected to turn up to work and get paid a further three months afterwards.

Of course National knows how much money is involved.  The very first thing that would happen once the questions were asked would be to find out how much was involved.  All Key has to do is ask his chief of staff and then I am sure that he will be able to tell us what sums are involved.

Andrea Vance sums up the situation well.

The episode has made a mockery of Key’s boasts about being transparent on MPs’ spending.

He made great fanfare of this openness back in 2010, axing international travel perks and opening government high heidyins to greater scrutiny.

Former minister Phil Heatley was forced to resign his portfolios for misuse of his credit card.

This transparency does not extend to Key’s MPs. Hauiti and the National Party are exploiting an obstinate interpretation of the Parliamentary Service rule which prevents the release of information about MPs.

This is reasonable when it applies to private details such as pension schemes, phone records or that would identify constituents. Where it should not be applicable is the use of taxpayer cash, particularly where there are irregularities.

30 comments on “Why can’t John Key tell us how much Hauiti has ripped us off?”

  1. shorts 1

    Plausible deniability – I bet Key doesn’t know, nor would I imagine does he care

    This seems from my seat to be them managing a situation they knew would look bad (at best) and as such did what national does- took control (are you watching labour)… thing is at least for now they haven’t gotten off scott free and people are still asking embarrassing questions – todays news story of some petrol purchases further serves to quell any bad news so they can “move forward”

    The fact the media or at least some within aren’t just moving on must be very frustrating to National but they can console themselves with the knowledge they won’t be held to account over this or pretty much anything so they will hunker down and wait this out

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    As she is not standing again , I dont think she will be getting the 3 months pay that defeated MPs are eligible for.
    I hope they do an inventory of the office equipment once she has gone

    • mickysavage 2.1

      It looks like she will be eligible for the extra money.

      11 Additional salary payable for 3 months if member does not stand or is not re-elected at general election
      (1) This section applies to a person who—
      (a) is a member of Parliament immediately before the dissolution of a Parliament; and
      (b) is not a candidate at the next general election or is an unsuccessful candidate at that general election.
      (2) A salary is payable to a person to whom this section applies, starting on the day after the day on which the person’s salary ceases to be payable under section 10 and ending—
      (a) on the day that is 3 months after polling day; or
      (b) if the person sooner dies, on the date of the death; or
      (c) if the person is sooner declared to be elected as a member of Parliament following a by-election or a vacancy in the seat of a member elected from a party list, on the day before the day that the Electoral Commission publicly declares the member to be elected in accordance with the Electoral Act 1993.

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0093/latest/DLM4034273.html?search=sw_096be8ed80c92a00_3+months_25_se&p=1&sr=7

  3. Anne 3

    My guess is her $200 spend on a holiday in Aussie is a darn sight more than that. She probably attempted to disguise much of it by spreading it out with “split” payments – that is, using more than one credit card per purchase. She’s not too bright upstairs but that’s a common problem with right wing MPs.

  4. Pete 4

    “you have to wonder what method of persuasion has been used here”

    It’s called being principled and setting appropriate standards of behaviour, and then holding people – all people – accountable to them. Accountability, the recognition that the role of MP is accountable primarily to the voters who elected them (or party voted and enabled a list entry).

    [Off topic – deleted – MS]

    Perhaps bloggers here should focus on the real issues in the Labour bunker, rather than reverting to type and playing the nasty card all the time!

    [You have a strange definition of “nasty”. Holding people to account is a perfectly appropriate thing to do – MS]

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Well it appears that National were willing to tolerate her while the information was private but now that it is public they are dropping her. And stick to the subject and stop trying to divert.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      It’s called being principled and setting appropriate standards of behaviour, and then holding people – all people – accountable to them. Accountability, the recognition that the role of MP is accountable primarily to the voters who elected them (or party voted and enabled a list entry).

      If that was happening then she would be in court facing charges of theft which obviously isn’t happening. There’s no accountability in National and that starts right at the top.

  5. Populuxe1 5

    He has accepted that she spent $200 on a trip to Australia. If this is true she should be reemployed by the Crown to purchase air flights for MPs. Because air flights to Australia are normally about three times that amount, particularly over the Christmas period.

    Actually with online booking and some airline offers, this is in fact entirely possible even at Christmas time. Not sure if it’s true or not, but it is indeed possible.

    John Key has also suggest that Hauiti decided to stand down after she was told she would receive a low list ranking. But this is not correct. I was aware on July 9 this year that she was going to receive a low ranking (58) when the list would be announced on the weekend of the 26th of July. The story broke a week later.

    Yes, but that’s hearsay from someone writing under a nome de plume, so some actual evidence might be nice.

    It would have been clear that she would not be re-elected. Carmel Sepuloni is always going to win Kelston. At 58 her ranking would be better than last time (63) but disappointing in that there were so many MPs retiring. Effectively she had gone backwards. Last time Cam Calder at 50 was the lowest ranked list MP to be elected to Parliament and it took four resignations for Hauiti to make it.

    This sounds like election hype. Unless you have a magic crystal ball there is no way of saying one way or the other.

    Regardless of which party she stould for, I am dissapointed that Parliament is losing a PoC and LGBT Member.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Oh What a piece of shit you are !

      • Populuxe1 5.1.1

        Whatever. You do realise that this isn’t a Labour party echo chamber don’t you? I haven’t said anything untrue or inaccurate, which is probably why you’re resorting to ad hominems.

    • Tracey 5.2

      surely only possible if you werent comi g back??

    • felix 5.3

      “This sounds like election hype. Unless you have a magic crystal ball there is no way of saying one way or the other.”

      Of course no one can say for sure, but it’s fair to say it’s highly unlikely that National with win 3 or 4 more seats that last time.

      “Regardless of which party she stould for, I am dissapointed that Parliament is losing a PoC and LGBT Member.”

      Yeah. Also, regardless of her ethnicity and sexual orientation, I’m glad that parliament is losing a corrupt, dishonest idiot.

  6. finbar 6

    I would say that the hammering of the nails in Hauiti!s,political coffin,was her brain dead performance on the Back Benches, last week.The Nats, must have looked at that and seen mindless idiocy wraped in blue.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    ShonKey won’t tell us because flipping the “higher standards” rock over again could reveal unsavory things that as in the Richard Worth case, might actually be “lower standards”.

  8. Andrew 8

    “She also clarified that the $200 relating to Australian flights was a fee to change one, not for tickets her mother-in-law had paid for to attend a family trip.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11298361

    • Populuxe1 8.1

      There you go. That I can believe. Still stupid, but not some conspiracy

    • Tracey 8.2

      thanks andrew

      • nadis 8.2.1

        On Radio Live today she spoke in depth with Willie Jackson and Alison Mau. Said the only amounts in question were about $200 for changing a flight booking to Australia, and $1200 charged for fuel. Apparently the rule is you can claim a mileage allowance but not use the card to pay for fuel even if that trip is MP business which she claims was the case when fuel purchase were made. The expenditure dates from July 2013 to now.

        She was adamant that those were the only two amounts, and that she currently owes nothing to ministerial services. She was also extremely clear in her praise for the National party and clearly has no ill feeling over the episode.

        Where I say the amounts were “about $200” and “about $1200” she actually stated the amount down to the cent.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          ok doesn’t appear to be fraud per se but still needs to be looked into.

          • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1

            unless she claimed the mileage as well as the fuel.

            • nadis 8.2.1.1.1.1

              On the radio she said she didn’t. She erroneously assumed she had the choice. Having listened to her I’d be very surprised if there was anything else apart from the $1400. The other thing she is guilty of course is hiring her spouse as electorate office staff, something which is not allowed and is probably the biggest of her three offenses. Though I have heard several other MPs are doing it by chicanery like “I hire your spouse, you hire mine”, plus the NZ First MP who has allegedly hired his same sex partner.

  9. john 9

    Mickey Savage says “Of course National knows how much money is involved. ”

    She said on radio that she didn’t know how much it was, as parliamentary services were still going through her statements.

    It looks like shes been charging petrol to the card over her time in parliament. That’s really stupid as she’d get paid significantly more from parliamentary services if she charged mileage (which covers more than just petrol) like all the other MPs do.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Thank goodness National didn’t select a clever thief. No Double Dipton for Hauiti.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Well nadis’s comment at 8.2.1 suggests that Hauiti did know how much was involved. Makes you wonder why Key did not.

  10. finbar 10

    Gerry, today,covering Huati and her shame today steped over his mark of Minister,to the arrogance of his being at the airport.Proffering his resignation to be known turned down.Gerry, and your pals,if you like us to understand honour,admit your resignation,without anothers say.Gerry,are you so like the CH.CH. insurance creed,tell it to the news,they will support what we say and do.

  11. Sable 12

    Nothing transparent about Keys, its all smoke and mirrors. A magic act designed to woo voters, which sadly, seems to be working.

    Ironic the comments are from the MSM which has greatly aided and abetted his efforts. Still suppose they can’t be seen to be too biased or no one would believe the other stories they concoct.

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