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Services Available To Members Of Parliament

Date of issue : 01 November 2003

TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATION, ATTENDANCE, AND COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT


CONTENTS
Page

Part 1. Introduction and principles 4
Clause 1. What does this document do? 4
Clause 2. Who does this document apply to? 4
Clause 3. What period does this document apply to? 4
Clause 4. Legal nature of this document. 4
Clause 5. Definitions used in this document. 4
Clause 6. Cost-effective principle. 5
Clause 7. Evidence of costs incurred. 5
Clause 8. Monitoring of aggregate expenditure by whips. 5
Clause 9. Alternative arrangements. 5
Clause 10. Cost to be met from Vote. 6

Part 2. Air travel. 6
Clause 11. Domestic air travel of members. 6
Clause 12. Domestic air travel of spouses or partners 6
Clause 13. Members who do not have a spouse or partner. 6
Clause 14. International travel of members on parliamentary business. 6
Clause 15. International travel of spouse or partner of party leader on
parliamentary business. 6
Clause 16. Leader of Opposition’s official international travel entitlement. 7
Clause 17. Private international air travel. 7
Clause 18. International air travel of spouses or partners. 8

Part 3. Taxi, rental car, private car, rail, ferry, and bus travel. 8
Clause 19. Taxi travel. 8
Clause 20. Spouse or partner taxi travel. 8
Clause 21. Rental cars for parliamentary business. 9
Clause 22. Rental cars for other travel. 9
Clause 23. Mileage. 9
Clause 24. Rail, road, and ferry travel in New Zealand. 9

Part 4. Self-drive cars and chauffeur driven cars 9
Clause 25. Self-drive cars. 9
Clause 26. Chauffeured car travel. 9
Clause 27. Access to chauffeured car travel of party leader with 25 or more
members.

9
Clause 28. Access to chauffeured car travel of party leader with 13 to 24
members. 10
Clause 29. Access to chauffeured car travel of party leader with 6 to 12
members.10
Clause 30. Deputy leader’s access to chauffeured car travel. 10

Part 5. Additional travel entitlements. 10
Clause 31. Travel expenses (Speaker and Leader of Opposition). 10 2
Clause 32. Dependent children. 10

Part 6. Accommodation entitlements. 11
Clause 33. Non-Wellington accommodation expense reimbursement. 11
Clause 34. Wellington accommodation expense reimbursement. 11
Clause 35. Security system reimbursement. 11

Part 7. Communications. 12
Clause 36. Landlines. 12
Clause 37. Calls from parliamentary exchange. 12
Clause 38. Fax machines. 12
Clause 39. Additional lines. 12
Clause 40. Internet services. 12
Clause 41. Cellular services. 12
Clause 42. International toll calls 13
Clause 43. Calling cards. 13
Clause 44. Other communication services. 13

Part 8. Attendance entitlements. 13
Clause 45. Attendance entitlements. 13

Part 9. Miscellaneous provisions. 13
Clause 46. Use of operational resources. 13
Clause 47. Persons who are members for part of financial year. 14

Explanatory notes. 15


Page 3

Part 1

Introduction and principles

1 What does this document do?

This document sets out the travel, accommodation, attendance, and communications services available to members of Parliament and their families.

2 Who does this document apply to?

This document applies to a person who is a member of Parliament while this document is in force.

3 What period does this document apply to?

(1) This document applies to travel, accommodation, attendance, and communications services that take place on or after 1 November 2003.

(2) This document continues in force until a new document is issued by the Speaker that sets out the travel, accommodation, attendance, and communications services available to members of Parliament and their families.

4 Legal nature of this document

This document is—

(a) a direction by the Speaker to the Parliamentary Service to provide services to members of Parliament, and to administer funding entitlements for parliamentary purposes under section 7(1)(a) and (b) of the Parliamentary Service Act 2000; and

(b) a specification of some of the services to which section 25 of the Civil List Act 1979 applies.

5 Definitions used in this document

In this document, unless the context otherwise requires, —

day means a period of 24 hours

family member includes a wife, husband, partner, or issue of a member

important official engagement means Royal, Vice-Regal, and State occasions

member means a person who is currently a member of Parliament

official function means any function to which the member may have been invited by reason of their status within a party but does not include political party functions or functions attended for personal reasons

parliamentary business means the undertaking of any task or function that a member could reasonably be expected to carry out in his or her capacity as a member of Parliament and that complements the business of the House of Representatives and includes any of the following:

(a) attending a sitting of the House; or

(b) attending a meeting of a select committee of the House of which the member is a member, or which the member is required to attend because of being in charge of a Bill or other matter under consideration by the

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committee or because of any other valid reason relating to the business of the committee; or

(c) undertaking research or administrative functions that relate directly to the business of the House; or

(d) attending meetings for the purpose of representing electors or explaining the application of policy or to receive representations; or

(e) attending caucus meetings that are expressly for the purpose of enhancing the parliamentary process; or

(f) attending meetings of his or her party; or

(g) attending any ceremony or official function or national or international conference as a representative of Parliament or with the authority of the House

partner means a person in a relationship in the nature of marriage

party means a parliamentary political party whose members in the House include at least 1 member elected as a constituency or list candidate for that party

party leader means the leader of a party

primary place of residence means the place of residence that the Speaker determines, by written notice to the member, to be the member’s primary place of residence in New Zealand

Speaker means the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Wellington commuting area means the cities of Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, and Porirua, and the Paraparaumu Ward of the Kapiti Coast District

whip, in relation to a member, means the whip of that member’s party and, if the person is a member of a party whose members in the House number not less than 25, the junior whip

year means a financial year (1 July to 30 June).

6 Cost-effective principle

Wherever reasonably practicable, members should endeavour to use the most costeffective alternative available.

7 Evidence of costs incurred

A person must produce evidence of costs incurred and a receipt to the Parliamentary Service before being entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of any entitlement under this document.

8 Monitoring of aggregate expenditure by whips

(1) Each whip must monitor, on a monthly basis, the aggregate expenditure by the members in his or her party, including expenditure in respect of members’ families, in respect of the entitlements under this document.

(2) If excessive costs are being incurred by a party, a whip may advise any 1 or more members that the member should limit, or not incur, any further costs in that year.

9 Alternative arrangements

(1) This clause applies if—

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(a) a member is entitled to a travel, accommodation, attendance, or communication service under this document in respect of a particular activity; and

(b) the cost to the Vote: Parliamentary Service of doing the activity in a different way is less than the cost to the Vote of the entitlement under this document.

(2) The member may ask the Speaker for approval to convert his or her entitlement under this document into the right to receive a service costing the lesser amount.

(3) The Speaker may give approval to the service costing the lesser amount being provided to the member if the Speaker is satisfied that the cost of the service represents a fair return for the service provided.

10 Cost to be met from Vote

The cost of any entitlement in this document is met fully from Vote: Parliamentary Service, except to the extent that—

(a) this document expressly provides otherwise; or

(b) the entitlement is met from Vote: Ministerial Services.

Part 2 Air travel

Domestic air travel

11 Domestic air travel of members

A member may travel by air at any time on scheduled air services throughout New Zealand.

12 Domestic air travel of spouses and partners

The spouse or partner of a member may travel by air at any time on scheduled air services throughout New Zealand, provided that the travel is not for the business purposes of the spouse or partner.

13 Members who do not have a spouse or partner

(1) If a member has neither a spouse nor a partner, the member may nominate to the Speaker a family member to become eligible for the entitlements of a spouse or partner under clause 12.

(2) If the Speaker approves that nomination, the entitlements in that clause apply to that family member as if he or she were a spouse or partner.

International travel on parliamentary business

14 International Travel Of Members On Parliamentary Business

(1) A member may travel by air on scheduled international air services if—

(a) the travel is for the purpose of undertaking parliamentary business; and

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(b) the trip has been approved by the member’s party leader and the Speaker.

(2) The cost of the travel and accommodation is a charge against the funding for the party leader’s office.

15 International travel of spouse or partner of party leader on parliamentary business

(1) The spouse or partner of a party leader travelling under clause 14 may travel by air on scheduled international air services if—

(a) the primary purpose of the trip is to undertake parliamentary business; and

(b) the spouse or partner has been formally invited to undertake that parliamentary business in his or her capacity as the spouse or partner of a party leader; and

(c) the trip has been approved by the Speaker.

(2) The costs of the travel and accommodation are a charge against the funding for the party leader’s office.

16 Leader of Opposition’s official international travel entitlement

(1) The Leader of the Opposition may incur up to $50,000 in costs related to official international travel each year incurred by that member. The Leader may be accompanied by his or her spouse or partner and 1 official.

(2) Official travel under this clause requires notification to the Prime Minister of—

(a) who is travelling; and

(b) where they are travelling; and

(c) the purpose of the travel; and

(d) when the travel will occur.

(3) The costs of the air travel are a charge against the travel appropriation.

International air travel for private purposes

17 Private international air travel

(1) This clause applies to a member who is also a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

(2) The member is entitled to a rebate on any international air travel undertaken by the member on a scheduled airline in accordance with the following rules: (a) A rebate is payable in respect of expenditure incurred, or to be incurred, by the member personally, and a rebate is not payable where a member’s fare is paid from public funds or from any other source.

(b) No rebate is payable in respect of any travel undertaken by the member for private business purposes.

(c) The amount of rebate to which a member is entitled is the appropriate percentage of the fare that applies to that member as calculated in accordance with the schedule below.

(d) The fare includes any tax and service fee payable in respect of the travel. It is calculated on the fare for the journey undertaken at the class of travel used. It does not include any amounts paid for cancellation fees or accommodation.

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Schedule of rebates applicable

Number of complete Parliaments through which the member has served (if the member was elected at a general election)

Number of complete years of membership of Parliament (if the member was elected at a byelection or enters Parliament off a party list)

Percentage of fare payable by Vote: Parliamentary Service

Less than 1 Less than 3 Nil

1 3–5 25%

2 6–8 50%

3 9–11 75%

4 or more 12 or more 90%

18 International air travel of spouses and partners

(1) A spouse or partner of a member is entitled to the same rebate on any international air travel undertaken by the spouse or partner on a scheduled airline as the member is entitled to under clause 17, provided that the travel is not for the business purposes of the spouse or partner.

(2) The rules in subclause 17(2) apply equally to a rebate under this clause.

Part 3 Taxi, rental car, private car, rail, ferry, and bus travel

19 Taxi travel

A member may use a taxi for travel—

(a) between the member’s primary place of residence and the local airport, when the member is on the way to undertake parliamentary business:

(b) between the airport and the member’s Wellington lodgings or Parliament House:

(c) between Parliament House and the member’s Wellington lodgings:

(d) between the airport and the member’s destination when on approved select committee or parliamentary business:

(e) when the member is going to, or engaged on, other parliamentary business.

20 Spouse or partner taxi travel

The spouse or partner of a member, or a nominee approved under clause 13, may use a taxi provided that the travel is not for business purposes—

(a) between the member’s primary place of residence and the local airport:

(b) between the airport and the member’s Wellington lodgings or Parliament House:

(c) between Parliament House and the member’s Wellington lodgings:

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(d) between the nearest airport, Parliament House, or the member’s Wellington lodgings and the location of an official function or engagement to which he or she is accompanying the member.

21 Rental cars for parliamentary business

A member may use a rental car if that use of a rental car is authorised by the member’s whip as necessary for parliamentary business.

22 Rental cars for other travel

A member may use a rental car for other travel if a rental car is the only appropriate means, or is the cheapest means, of travel to enable a member to complete his or her journey between Wellington and his or her primary place of residence.

23 Mileage

(1) A member may be reimbursed for mileage done when travelling on parliamentary business.

(2) The rate of reimbursement is the rate agreed to by the Inland Revenue Department.

24 Rail, road, and ferry travel in New Zealand

A member, and the spouse or partner of a member, may at any time—

(a) travel by rail and by ferry throughout New Zealand; and

(b) travel by bus on all non-urban services.

Part 4 Self-drive cars and chauffeur driven cars

25 Self-drive cars

The Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and the Leader of the Opposition are each entitled to 1 self-drive car based at the member’s primary place of residence.

26 Chauffeured car travel

(1) The Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and the Leader of the Opposition may use a chauffeured car as if he or she were a Minister of the Crown.

(2) This entitlement includes the use of chauffeured cars by those in subclause (1), and his or her spouse or partner, for personal reasons.

27 Access to chauffeured car travel of party leader with 25 or more members

A leader of a party with 25 or more members has the same entitlements to chauffeured car travel as the Leader of the Opposition.

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28 Access to chauffeured car travel of party leader with 13 to 24 members

A leader of a party with between 13 and 24 members may use chauffeured cars for attendance at official functions.

29 Access to chauffeured car travel of party leader with 6 to 12 members

A leader of a party with between 6 and 12 members may use chauffeured cars for attendance at important official engagements if this has been agreed to by the Speaker.

30 Deputy leader’s access to chauffeured car travel

The deputy leader of a party with more than 25 members may use chauffeured cars for attendance at official functions.

Part 5 Additional travel entitlements

Speaker and Leader of Opposition

31 Travel expenses (Speaker and Leader of Opposition)

(1) Both the Speaker and the Leader of the Opposition are entitled to have his or her travelling expenses paid in respect of each occasion on which the member is, in the course of travelling within New Zealand on parliamentary business,—

(a) absent from the Wellington commuting area; and

(b) at least 100 km from his or her primary place of residence and could not reasonably be expected to get home by conventional methods or where there is an issue of safety.

(2) The rate of the travelling expenses payable in respect of each occasion is a sum equal to the actual and reasonable cost of the expenses incurred, with a maximum of —

(a) $350 per day or part of a day; or

(b) $500 per day or part of a day if the occasion involves the attendance of the person entitled and the spouse or partner of that person at an official function—

(i) that the person entitled attends by reason of the duties of his or her office; and

(ii) that the person entitled is invited to attend, or is required to attend, primarily because of the office that the person entitled holds; and

(iii) that the spouse or partner of the person entitled necessarily attends.

Dependent children

32 Dependent children

A child under 18 years who is dependent on a member may make 4 return trips each year between the member’s primary place of residence and Wellington to be 10 with his or her parent when that parent is engaged on parliamentary business.

There is no limit to the number of trips for children under 5.

Part 6 Accommodation entitlements

33 Non-Wellington accommodation expense reimbursement

(1) A member may be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses incurred by the member while engaged on parliamentary business in respect of accommodation outside the Wellington commuting area.

(2) This is normally in instances when the member is at least 100 km from his or her primary place of residence and could not reasonably be expected to get home by conventional methods or safely.

(3) The rate of reimbursement is the sum required to reimburse the member for actual and reasonable net costs already incurred by the member in using that accommodation, except that the sum must not exceed—

(a) $160 if the accommodation is in commercial premises outside Auckland; or

(b) $180 if the accommodation is in commercial premises in Auckland; or

(c) $50 in the case of other premises.

34 Wellington accommodation expense reimbursement

(1) A member whose primary place of residence is outside the Wellington commuting area may be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses incurred by the member while engaged on parliamentary business in respect of accommodation within the Wellington commuting area if—

(a) the member is not provided with a residence at the public cost; and

(b) the member uses, in the Wellington commuting area, when the member is in the Wellington commuting area for the purpose of carrying out parliamentary business, —

(i) accommodation owned by that member; or

(ii) accommodation rented by that member on a continuous basis for use in lieu of overnight accommodation; or

(iii) accommodation in commercial premises; or

(iv) other private accommodation.

(2) The rate of reimbursement is the sum required to reimburse the member for the actual and reasonable net costs already incurred by the member in using that accommodation.

(3) The maximum amount that may be paid to any member under this clause in any year is $22,000 for a whip or party leader and $20,000 for any other member.

(4) The maximum amount that may be paid to any member under subclause (1)(b)(iii) or (iv) in respect of any 1 night is—

(a) $160 if the accommodation is in commercial premises; or

(b) $50 in the case of other premises.

35 Security system reimbursement

A member who has a security system installed at his or her primary place of residence may be reimbursed for actual and reasonable costs associated with the security system up to the maximum of, —

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(a) for installing the system, $400: (b) for annual costs of monitoring and call-outs, $600.

Part 7 Communications

36 Landlines

(1) A constituency member who is not a member of the Executive may have 4 landline rentals.

(2) A constituency member who is a member of the Executive may have 2 landline rentals.

(3) A list member who is not a member of the Executive may have 3 landline rentals.

(4) A list member who is a member of the Executive may have 1 landline rental.

(5) The member is entitled to incur the actual and reasonable costs of all associated costs (including rental and calls).

37 Calls from parliamentary exchange

All calls for Ministers’ and members’ offices from the parliamentary exchange are paid by the Parliamentary Service.

38 Fax machines

All members may use the communal fax machines within Parliament.

39 Additional lines

If a member needs any additional lines, the line charge is funded from the member’s support allocation and the toll-call costs are met by the Parliamentary Service.

40 Internet services

(1) Each member of Parliament may have high speed Internet service in the member’s home and in an out-of-Parliament office. The particular service will be approved by the Speaker and may change with advances in technology.

(2) The associated Internet service provider charges are paid by the Parliamentary Service.

41 Cellular services

(1) Each member who is not a member of the Executive may have 1 cellphone.

(2) All associated charges (other than the cost of international telephone calls provided for in clause 42) are paid by the Parliamentary Service.

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42 International toll calls

(1) The cost of international telephone calls, faxes, and cables, whether made from Parliament Buildings or elsewhere, must normally be reimbursed by the member personally.

(2) However, the cost of international calls, faxes, and cables on parliamentary business may be charged to the Parliamentary Service if the claim is certified by the party leader or whip as being a charge incurred on parliamentary business.

43 Calling cards

(1) A member may be issued with a calling card.

(2) A calling card may be used only by a member on parliamentary business.

44 Other communication services

(1) A member may use other communication services that are funded from party and member support allocations.

(2) These are—

(a) use of pagers:

(b) photocopying:

(c) printing:

(d) postage:

(e) stationery supplies:

(f) signage and advertising.

Part 8 Attendance entitlements

45 There are no entitlements relating to attendance, previously known as the Day Allowance.

Part 9 Miscellaneous provisions

Use of operational resources

46 Use of operational resources

(1) A member is entitled to use operational resources for the purpose of undertaking parliamentary business.

(2) Operational resources means resources that are provided to assist members of Parliament and parliamentary parties in—

(a) discharging their responsibilities as legislators and elected representatives, including responsibilities determined by their parliamentary party:

(b) developing, researching, critiquing, and communicating policy:

(c) communicating with constituents or other communities of interest:

Page 13

(d) establishing and operating out-of-Parliament offices:

(e) meeting the operational needs of each parliamentary party in fulfilling its parliamentary responsibilities.

(3) Operational resources are not provided, and may not be used, —

(a) for personal or private benefit; or

(b) in circumstances where provision has already been made by way of remuneration of the member, pursuant to a determination applicable to members of Parliament, under the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 or a determination made under section 20A of the Civil List Act 1979 (other than under this clause); or

(c) for soliciting subscriptions or other financial support for a political party;

or

(d) for producing or distributing promotional or electioneering material by mail or other means of communication for the purpose of supporting the election of any person or the casting of a party vote for any political party;

or

(e) for any work directly related to the administration or management of a political party; or

(f) for any work undertaken as a member of the Executive.

Members for part of year

47 Persons who are members for part of financial year

(1) This clause applies to a person who is a member for part but not all of a financial year.

(2) Any amount (or method of calculating an amount) in this document that is a maximum for a financial year applies to the person as if the maximum were reduced to the same proportion that the member’s service as a member bears to a full financial year.

Dated at Wellington this 23rd day of October 2003.

Signed by Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt MP

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Page 14

Explanatory note

This document sets out the travel, accommodation, attendance, and communications services available to members of Parliament and their families.

The principal changes between the entitlements in this document and the entitlements that previously applied to members of Parliament are as follows:

1 Constituency allowance abolished

The constituency allowance has been abolished. The allowance was paid to non- Executive constituent members determined by a scale, depending on the size of the member’s electorate. Recently, this allowance has been subject to 50% PAYE taxation.

As a result of abolishing this allowance, —

(a) the remuneration component is now a matter for the Remuneration Authority in setting salary;

(b) mileage reimbursement may be claimed by all members while on parliamentary business anywhere in the country at rates approved by the Inland Revenue Department.

2 Day allowance abolished

The day allowance has been abolished. The allowance was claimable by all non- Executive members. Recently, this allowance has been subject to 20% PAYE taxation.

As a result of abolishing this allowance, —

(a) the remuneration component is now a matter for the Remuneration Authority in setting salary;

(b) the work related component is now an issue to be addressed by the Remuneration Authority in setting an expense allowance.

3 House and grounds allowance abolished

The house and grounds allowance has been abolished. An allowance of $1,500 was paid to the Speaker to assist in the maintenance of his or her primary place of residence.

As a result of abolishing this allowance, the remuneration component is now a matter for the Remuneration Authority in setting salary.

4 Purchase of a motor vehicle abolished

The provision for purchasing a motor vehicle has been abolished.

5 Use of telegrams abolished

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Page 16

Funded access to telegrams has been abolished.

This document does not set out the entitlements of retired members. However, the following changes are proposed in respect of former members’ entitlements as they will affect current members:

• Members elected in 1999, or after, currently receive no entitlements when they retire.

• Current members elected before 1999 will have their retiring travel entitlements frozen at the level they qualify for at the end of this current term of Parliament.

• The current annual maximum expenditure limits will continue to apply.

• The spouse or partner’s entitlement will be frozen at the same level as the member’s.


ENDS

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