Bunkle And Hobbs Tarnished Credibility
Internal Investigation Fails To Rescue Bunkle And Hobbs Tarnished Credibility
National's Roger Sowry says the internal investigation into accommodation allowances claimed by two MPs, which is now being politically managed by the Prime Minister, does not remove the strong suspicion that the two MPs were not entitled to the allowances they claimed.
"I still believe there is no way within the rules that Phillida Bunkle was entitled to the accommodation allowance she claimed and received between 1996 and 1999. I cannot think of a case in recent political history in which an MP has more clearly had their snout in the trough.
"Bunkle and Hobbs were living in Wellington, standing for office in Wellington, on the electoral roll in Wellington, but for the purposes of claiming allowances they 'lived' elsewhere. You don't need a set of rules to know this is not right. People might be forgiven for thinking that it sounds like a scam.
"This is clearly a case which requires an independent non-political investigation. With serious questions of potential fraud by Ministers of the Crown at stake this matter needs to be investigated by someone who is clearly impartial and beyond reproach.
"I hope the Auditor General will agree to my earlier call to conduct his own investigations into this extraordinary case.
"As it stands, the two Ministers involved still have serious doubt hanging over their characters and their suitability to hold Ministerial office. This matter will never be concluded unless a proper investigation is conducted," Roger Sowry said.