Gap be­tween travel costs claims huge

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.’’

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