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Investigation – Pansy Wong MP and Sammy Wong

Investigation – Pansy Wong MP and Sammy Wong

An independent investigation has found no evidence of systemic abuse of the parliamentary international air travel rebate by MP Pansy Wong or her husband Sammy Wong, Speaker of the House Dr the Rt Hon Lockwood Smith said today.

“The investigation, conducted for the Parliamentary Service by former senior public servant Hugh McPhail, looked into 13 international trips made by Pansy Wong and her husband together or separately since 2000. It found that one trip, a flight from Beijing to Lianyungang, China in December 2008, could have been in breach of the Speaker’s Directions.

“The report notes that while this trip was unplanned and inadvertent, it could be construed as having been for a private business purpose. It recommends that Pansy Wong and her husband should repay the travel rebate for that trip of $237.06 each.

“Otherwise, the report found no evidence that Pansy and Sammy Wong had not complied with the Speaker’s Directions regarding private international travel,” Dr Smith said.

“The report also examined the Wongs’ use of the domestic air travel entitlement and their use of an electorate office at 735 Chapel Road, Botany, Auckland as a registered office for a commercial business purpose.

“It found no evidence of non-compliance with the Speaker’s Directions regarding domestic air travel. There was also no evidence that Pansy Wong’s electorate office was ever used for a private business purpose.

“I am satisfied that the report thoroughly examined these matters. I now expect Pansy and Sammy Wong to repay the travel rebate for one trip as recommended in the report,” Dr Smith said.

ENDS

Report: Investigation of Travel Rebate Entitlement and Other Matters (PDF)

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