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Changes Proposed For Speaker’s Directions

The Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Hon Dr Lockwood smith

28 October 2009.
Media Release

Changes Proposed For Speaker’s Directions

The Speaker, Lockwood Smith, has welcomed the statement of the Auditor General on the rules and processes with respect to the places of residence of Members of Parliament and compensation for accommodation in Wellington.

“As Speaker I inherited a range of practices that were mostly appropriate and sensible, but are based on rules that are not clear.

“I had already asked Parliamentary Service officials to advise me on several changes to the Speaker’s Directions covering criteria and principles to be applied to the reimbursement of Wellington accommodation.”

“It is important that we have a system that is fair for members and recognises that many members maintain two homes, particularly constituency members who service their constituency from their home outside Wellington. At the same time, the system must also be clear, transparent and represent value for money for taxpayers.”

Dr Smith said that he would be using the findings of the Auditor General to assist in finalising this work over the next few weeks in order to develop a system that better meets the legitimate parliamentary needs of Members and provides certainty to the public that the system is fair. Dr Smith said he would be consulting widely with Members prior to finalisation of any changes to the scheme.

ENDS

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