MP hands in charge-card after trip

July 16 - National Party MP Claudette Hauiti has given up her parliamentary charge card after she used it to pay for a personal trip to Australia.

"I went to Australia. It was travel only and way outside Parliamentary Service guidelines," she told Fairfax.

She said the trip over Christmas last year and other spending, including refreshments for a hui on a marae, had cost about $200, which she has since repaid.

"Of course it's absolutely no excuse for not knowing the Speaker's rulings. It is my responsibility and I didn't do it."

"By mutual agreement the member uses other payment processes," Parliamentary Service general manager David Stevenson said in a statement.

Ms Hauiti entered Parliament in May 2013, replacing disgraced list MP Aaron Gilmore.

Taxpayers' Union Executive Director Jordan Williams said workers have been sacked for similar offences.

"If an employee charged a trip to Australia on the staff card, they would be sacked. How can someone be trusted to run the country when they can't be trusted with the plastic?"

Earlier this year Ms Hauiti was caught out breaking Parliament's rules by employing her civil union spouse in her electorate office.


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