Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Commuting Public Servants Cost $5.3 Million A Year

Commuting Public Servants Cost $5.3 Million A Year

Public servants commuting to Wellington to work are costing the taxpayer almost $5.3 million a year in travel and accommodation costs, according to United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

Mr Dunne has released the results (see attached sheet) of a survey of all Government Departments he has carried out through Written Parliamentary Questions.

The survey shows that 82 public servants are commuting on a weekly basis to work in Wellington at annualised cost of $5,228,000.

"I am absolutely staggered at the result, and I am sure the public will be too," he says.

"I accept that there will be times when people have to commute to Wellington as part of their job, but I had no idea it was a way of life for so many public servants, and that the taxpayer was picking up the tab to such an extent."

"It is outrageous, and makes a complete mockery of the Government's claims to be introducing new standards of behaviour in the public sector."

"The culture of extravagance Labour was so critical of while in Opposition is continuing unabated now it is in Government, which makes the whole situation that much more unacceptable." Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says that the $5.3 million is put into its proper perspective by the fact that it is equivalent to New Zealand superannuation for nearly 400 single superannuitants; or, the cost of over 4,300 more cataract operations; or, the cost of doubling its just announced $4 million scholarship programme to attract new teachers; or, could go a long way towards ensuring there were enough nurses in our hospitals.

"Any of these alternatives is a higher priority than paying public servants to commute to work in Wellington," he says.

Mr Dunne is calling on the Government to toughen up the rules for meeting the costs of public servants that choose to commute to Wellington, rather than live here.




Agriculture 1 $40,000 Child & Family 1 $24,300 Corrections 7 $259,536 Courts 2 $75,600 WINZ 6 $241,488 Education 2 $46,354 Inland Revenue 30 * $3,946,368 * Customs 1 $57,600 Fisheries 1 $15,400 Defence Force 19 ** $32,952 Land Information 10 $411,000 Labour 2 *** $78,133

TOTAL 82 $5,228,731


* The number of staff commuting is for one month only and the cost figures are annualised on the assumption of a similar number of staff over a 48 week period

** Expenses are paid in respect of only 12 staff members

*** A temporary arrangement due to end soon

In most cases, cost details have been provided on a weekly basis, so these have been annualised on the basis of 48 weeks per year.

As at 10 July 2000 Source: Answers to Written Parliamentary Questions

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote. We also acknowledge the men who supported the cause and voted for the Bill to pass.

“Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a female Prime Minister, we have women in cabinet. And I’m here as Acting Minister because the Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter is on maternity leave. New Zealand is a good place to be a woman!” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>


'Post-Settlement Era': Māori Crown Agency To Be Established

Cabinet has approved the final scope of the Māori Crown portfolio and agreed to establish an agency to oversee Government’s work with Māori in a post-settlement era, announced Crown/ Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader... More>>


Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>


Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>


NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>





InfoPages News Channels