Mana Party Leader and sole MP Hone Harawira is "taking
the mickey" with his frequent absences from Parliament, Prime
Minister John Key says.
Mr Key's comment this morning comes on the first day of the
Parliamentary year as MPs face stiffer financial penalties
for unjustified absences from the House.
Parliament last year agreed to introduce a register of
attendance for MPs. Members who are absent for more than
three sitting days will have their pay docked by 0.2 per cent
per day or $295 for a backbencher. Previously MPs faced a
penalty of just $10 a day for absences longer than nine days.
Mr Key this morning said the higher penalties were "a very
good thing and we pushed for that".
"At the end of the day the New Zealand public pay us a lot to
turn up here and represent them. There are always reasons why
a Member of Parliament might not be here, very legitimate
"I for instance am overseas or around the country whatever it
might be but I think there's been a situation where some MPs
frankly, have taken the mickey and they've treated the place
with not enough respect. They don't turn up and they should
be held to account.
"Hone Harawira's an obvious one. You go and have a look at
the number of days he was here in the 2011-2013 period; not
- By Adam Bennett of the NZ Herald