Taxpayers’ Union asks Jacinda Ardern to clarify role of electorate secretary acting as wedding planner
The Taxpayers’ Union has today written to the MP for Mt Albert asking for more details about her electorate agent’s role in managing the Gisborne wedding venue, given the staffer is based in Auckland and wouldn’t normally travel for her job.
We know of at least two visits to Gisborne by the electorate agent, and it remains unclear whether taxpayers paid for the travel and any accommodation.
MPs enjoy a privileged position. It is important for public confidence that it is made clear no taxpayer money is being used for personal benefit.
This isn’t the first time the Taxpayers’ Union has taken an investigative role in the spending of taxpayer money by MPs. Under the last Government we held to account National Party MP Claudette Hauiti after she used her budget to pay for a personal trip to Australia, and National Party Ministers who used Crown limos to travel to Northland to campaign for the 2015 by-election.
Unfortunately, MPs have a special carve-out from the Official Information Act, meaning that it is up to the Prime Minister to release this information. But given her public commitments to transparency, and her office’s assurance that everything is above board, we look forward to being furnished with the information sought.
The letter is available here.