Gap between travel costs claims huge
Mana MP Kris Faafoi had the highest travel and accommodation expenses of any Wellington electorate MP last quarter, racking up $18,499 in flights, road travel and out-of-town lodgings.
The expenses date from October 1 to December 31, 2012.
A cross-country trip in November bumped Mr Faafoi’s expenditure up, he says.
He visited Auckland, Hamilton, the Manawatu, Christchurch and Dunedin in the course of a week that month, flying between destinations and driving a lot.
‘‘I knew it was going to be a little bit higher than usual. I did a lot of ks on the road.’’
Travel is a constant feature of his daily work, says Mr Faafoi– he often travels from Wellington or Porirua to the Kapiti Coast twice a day. His own car’s mileage last quarter was 2000 kilometres per month, he says.
Mr Faafoi’s $18,000 contrasts sharply with Ohariu MP Peter Dunne’s mere $1173 spend and Otaki MP Nathan Guy’s $1556. However, Mr Dunne and Mr Guy are government ministers whose ministerial travel and accommodation is calculated separately, Mr Faafoi says. Mr Faafoi does not get a separate allowance for shadow-ministerial expenses in his portfolios.
There is no limit for MPs’ travel and accommodation expenses, but Mr Faafoi says he tries to keep it low.
‘‘I didn’t enjoy being on the top of the list,’’ he says. ‘‘But we’ve got to do the jobs we were elected to do.’’