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”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news