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


Hobbs/Bunkle Clearance – In-House Inquiry Only

Audit Office No Electoral Court - Peters

The Rt Hon Winston Peters MP, Leader of New Zealand First, today responded to the Audit Office Report clearing MPs Phillida Bunkle and Marian Hobbs of any wrongdoing regarding their parliamentary allowances by saying that they can’t have it both ways and that no amount of bureaucratic soft selling can possibly make them innocent on both counts.

“If Ms Bunkle and Ms Hobbs have acted in accordance with the Electoral Act they have still broken the rules on parliamentary allowances. And the clearance announced today depends on an interpretation of the Electoral Act which the Audit Office is not qualified to give. For Ms Bunkle and Ms Hobbs to have picked up their allowances legitimately they must have breached the Electoral Act on residency. In short, these breaches are mutually exclusive. There is simply no way out and to claim that the provisions of the parliamentary allowances and electoral law are somehow vague and, therefore, they are innocent is simply untenable.

“The Audit Office is not an Electoral Court or a judicial body when it comes to electoral matters. What we have had here is nothing more than an in-house inquiry. As someone who has been involved with four electoral petitions nothing is more clear than the fact that a breach has occurred in both cases.

“MPs have operated under these guidelines for years and whilst they may need improving and re-assessing MPs have complied with them for many years without the controversy and allegations of ripping the taxpayer off that we have seen over the last few months,” said Mr Peters.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election