“Most New Zealanders could only ever dream of a $40,000 two-week trip to Europe but that’s what five MPs, including the Speaker have just completed and are charging back to the taxpayer,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“While New Zealanders are being squeezed from every direction by a cost of living crisis, Trevor Mallard and four other MPs from National and Labour have been living it up on a European tour that was budgeted to cost $211,000.
“Mallard went on this tour knowing full well he was about to step down from the role of Speaker. He just wanted one last hurrah on the taxpayer.
"ACT was asked to send an MP on this trip but refused. We refused because at the time we were asked there was not even an itinerary. These are junkets with the details filled in after the fact, not purposeful trips designed to serve the public interest.
“Kiwis are doing it tough. Politicians should lead by example, not go on junkets while Kiwis sit at home worried how they’ll pay the bills, fill the car and afford groceries.
“ACT has asked Mallard for a breakdown of costs which was refused. He needs to explain to Kiwis how it cost this much, whether it was value for money and show us some tangible results from the trip. He won’t be able to do that – so instead he should apologise.”
Notes to editors: The Written Parliamentary Question can be found here.
Reply 19240 (2022) has been answered
Portfolio: Speaker of the House
Question: What was the total cost budgeted for the recent Parliamentary trip to Europe, broken down by expense type?
Reply: I am informed that the Office of the Clerk budgeted $211,000 for the delegation.