Mike Tana should pay the money back
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling on former Porirua Mayor Mike Tana to repay money clocked up on his ratepayer-funded fuel card for personal travel.
The Ernst and Young report released yesterday reveals that, within less than three months, former Porirua Mayor Mike Tana used his ratepayer-funded fuel mileage for 1,820km of personal travel, including five round trips to Palmerston North to transport his son.
Based on the Remuneration Authority’s 73-cent-per-kilometre compensation rate, Mayor Tana would have charged $1,328 in personal mileage to the ratepayer.
This level of private benefit from a ratepayer-funded fuel card is not reasonable. Running small personal errands in the work car is one thing, but if you’re embarking on a three-and-a-half hour drive for family reasons, you’d be pretty bold to charge that to your employer. In this case, the employer is the poor old Porirua ratepayer, and Mayor Tana chose to whack ratepayers not once, but on five separate occasions in just a couple of months.
There’s a simple way for Mayor Tana to clear his reputation: pay the money back. It’s not a huge sum, but it’s the decent thing to do.