Allegations of Taxpayer Funded Nepotism
The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on the Parliamentary Service to answer questions relating to the allegations reported in this morning’s New Zealand Herald concerning New Zealand First MP, Denis O’Rourke.
Mr O’Rourke is alleged to be in a relationship with a staff member, Stephen James who Mr O'Rourke employed in 2011. MPs are not allowed to employ their partner, husband or wife in or outside Parliament.
“It’s been well known around Parliament for years that Mr O’Rourke and the staff member live at the same address," says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union. "Despite being an ‘out of Parliament’ staff member, we understand that Mr James travels to Wellington with Mr O’Rourke most sitting weeks.”
“What’s the point of having rules for MPs to prevent nepotism if Parliamentary Services and the Speaker don't enforce them? They should front up to taxpayers and explain what steps, if any, they've taken to make sure the rules are not being breached. If they are, what is the Service doing to enforce them?”