Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released

Friday 22 August

Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released

The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses.

This is the Authority’s first determination under the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Act and comes into force on 21 September, the day after the election.

John Errington, the chair of the Authority, said that the final determination is the result of extensive research into what other Westminster type parliaments provide for their members, a thorough review of services currently provided, and lengthy discussions and consultation with various groups of MPs.

“Members of Parliament are recognised as having two distinct places of work and should not be expected to have to meet work related costs from their own pockets” said John Errington.

“This means that the costs of accommodation away from their home base on parliamentary or Ministerial business should be met from the public purse.”

A Wellington accommodation payment of $28,000 pa for members and $41,000 pa for Ministers is provided, or for members who so elect, a reimbursement of actual capped hotel accommodation costs. The levels of the Wellington payments were set by reference to actual rental costs in central Wellington and recognise that Ministers spend more time in Wellington and are more likely to have their family members staying with them.

Out of Wellington accommodation costs are reimbursable (up to specified capped amounts) where the costs are incurred on parliamentary or Ministerial business. The daily caps were set by reference to actual hotel costs in various cities and may be increased if suitable accommodation cannot be found in specific circumstances such as a major sporting, cultural, diplomatic event, or if suitable accommodation cannot be found for those with disabilities.

“MPs travel a lot as part of their work, both within their electorates and around the country, and routinely attend evening and weekend meetings, and other events. They must be constantly available to constituents, the general public, and the media in a way not required of most other groups. The pressures on Ministers and the Prime Minister are especially demanding”, said John Errington. “As a consequence, members and Ministers have much less of the family life other New Zealanders take for granted, often over a long period of years. Some limited family- friendly measures designed to recognise that reality are provided for.”

Travel services within New Zealand are provided for family members but limitations have now been placed on the number of trips and the circumstances under which the travel costs may be reimbursed. “This is a departure from the current arrangements which have unlimited travel for partners, and limited restrictions on the travel purposes”, said John Errington.

He stressed that the final decisions regarding the services to be provided were made independently by the Authority based on the principles it had adopted and the provisions of the Act.

“The usage of the services and any issues arising from the wording of the determination will be closely monitored over the next three years leading up to a review of the determination in 2017.

“The Act also states that if services provided include an element of remuneration to MPs and Ministers, or result in other private benefit, the value of that benefit must be taken into account in determining MPs’ and Ministers’ salaries. The Authority will do that in a salary determination to be made later in the year,” John Errington said.

The determination may be found on the New Zealand legislation web site under the name “Members of Parliament (Accommodation Services for Members and Travel Services for Family Members and Former Prime Ministers) Determination 2014”.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news