Pansy Wong Response to OAG Inquiry
5 September 2011
Response to Office of Auditor General’s inquiry findings
Pansy Wong and her husband Sammy today welcomed the Office of the Auditor General’s findings in relation to the November 2010 Parliamentary Service Inquiry into the use of their travel entitlement.
The November 2010 inquiry found no evidence of systemic abuse by the former Minister of her travel entitlement.
“It was beyond my wildest dream to become New Zealand’s first list MP, constituent MP and Cabinet Minister of Asian ethnicity,” Mrs Wong said.
“I was extremely conscious of the expectation and responsibility that came with the role and I am pleased the findings support my position that neither I nor my husband ever intentionally abused our position.”
The just released inquiry conducted by the Office of the Auditor General did not reveal any pattern of wrongdoing and concluded the parliamentary travel entitlements were appropriately claimed during Pansy Wong’s 14 years in Parliament, except in two cases.
Pansy Wong had already accepted the findings of the first case where a trip made by her and her husband from Beijing to Lianyungang, China involving $237.06 each, although unplanned and inadvertent, could be construed as private business purposes. She immediately repaid the money and resigned from the parliament.
The second case relates to Sammy Wong’s June 2008 trip to Lianyungang, China, which cost $1520.25. At the November 2010 inquiry, Sammy Wong contacted the company in Lianyungang, China, to ascertain the dates that he visited there. He received a list detailing trips he had made and the June 2008 trip was not on it. None of the trips listed involved any parliamentary travel rebates. He accepted the external confirmation in good faith and had no intention to mislead any inquiry.
“I hope the findings of the Office of the Auditor General and my actions taken demonstrate that accountability was accepted and any mistake made was unintentional,” Mrs Wong said.
No further statement will be made.