Help keep them honest!

June 15th, 2010 at 9:32 am by David Farrar

Fairfax have put all 17,000 pages of expenses claims online. They want your help to review them all. Go this page and it will then assign you a page yet to be reviewed. A great way to share the burden.

They even have a guide as to what to look out for:

1) Items that cost much more than they should (eg: $1000 suits, $200 bottles of wine)

2) Spending lots of money in short periods of time (eg: $1000 in restaurant bills is alright for a month, not for a day)

3) Strange explanations from MPs (Do they keep losing their luggage on overseas trips? Do they give vague reasons for large bills?)

4) No details on the bill (eg: $2000 on “room charges” in a hotel bill, with no more info).

5) Things that have no business being paid for by the public (eg: movie tickets, new cars, home electricity bills)

This is an excellent initiative. What I especially like about it is how you don’t have everyone covering the first few pages. You can give feedback to their reporters on what pages to check more closely.

In some ways it is similar to what many US states have done – put their entire cheque register for all agencies online. Then you get a legion of armchair auditors going through them.

I’m currently going through Judith Tizard’s expenses and finding notes complaining there are no receipts or details. The only response is she took some arts people to dinner.

It would be great if enough readers can review claims to get though all 16,522 pages in a day. No doing your normal jobs until they are all reviewed! :-)

Tags: ,

80 Responses to “Help keep them honest!”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Good on them.
    I like your idea of all cheques being up there too.

    Can’t wait for WCC councillors to propose it and vote for it.
    Hah hell will freeze over first.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. H (6 comments) says:

    As someone who wears a suit every day of their working life (like most politicians), and the sense to invest in a spare pair of trousers (because one will wear out a hell of a lot faster than the jacket), NZ$1,000 for a suit with 2 x trou is not unreasonable.

    Also, I don’t mind the occasional personal expense showing up on a ministerial credit card – I know there are strict rules about this, but would expect payments for hotels and the like to be delegated to staffers who may not always get it right particularly when I single bill represents a mix of busines and personal spending – as long as it is reimbursed within the month.

    Otherwise, have at the bastards. This is not income from private enterprise they are spending, this is our tax money.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,066 comments) says:

    I’m currently going through Judith Tizard’s expenses and finding notes complaining there are no receipts or details.

    That seems to be standard for almost every Minister and staff member.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Inventory2 (10,264 comments) says:

    I’ve just passed on an invoice for “Tiffin” for Carole Anderton at a hotel in India for further investigation – I’m not sure what 2000 rupees is in NZ$ though …

    [DPF: NZ$60]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    If gradually more and more MPs are found out over the next few months and are demoted Jones and Carter may find they have floated back up to the top again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. cabbage (455 comments) says:

    Yep pretty much the same story for Parekura Horomia.

    LOTS of unexplained meals at restaraunts and cafes. Some cash advances in Australia. Groceries. Even a reiteration that Ministerial credit cards are not for personal use.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    $1k for a suit is standard unfortunately. It’s why I wear mine until the ass falls out of them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Nick Archer (137 comments) says:

    First (random, but probably representative) page I got clicking on the link was Chris Carter not providing receipts as someone who does Accounts Reconciliation among all sorts of other things in my current job I find this website very interesting, Sorry David I have to do my work’s ones first but will try to log in again and have a closer look…

    The problem is from the 5 pages I saw Fairfax might have to investigate a lot of the 16,522 pages as I expect a lot of reviews…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    “Help keep them honest!”

    These are politicians we’re talking about here?!?

    Leopards. Spots.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. mattyroo (1,017 comments) says:

    I had a look at a couple for both Anderton and Tizard. Trips to Waiheke on a Sunday, hotels and golf over weekends etc.

    These two useless so and so’s never did an ounce of work during the week, so why would they be doing work on the weekend?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. insider (1,037 comments) says:

    $1000? IF you are going for a name brand like Boss maybe – more in fact. But run of the mill suits are dirt cheap at the moment with lots of deals going around, even for 2 trouser suits.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,280 comments) says:

    So are the credit card account numbers still valid?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. dog_eat_dog (774 comments) says:

    Maryan Street, $800 dollars on dinner in Sydney! Why are MPs not required to list details such as how many people in their party when they dine?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. biker99999 (3 comments) says:

    Shame on you for supporting this site. NZ is a very vengeful society and no good will come of this exercise. Shane Jones did nothing illegal and paid money back two years before last week’s story, and god forgive me for sounding supportive of a Labour MP!!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Nookin (3,263 comments) says:

    DPF – you may be able to answer this question from your background knowledge. Goff maintains that he had no idea of the extent of the erroneous expenditure although he did it acknowledge, today, that Shane Jones had intimated an irregularity which had prompted him to refund money. Given the reports that ministers were repeatedly reminded by Parliamentary Services that they were abusing their cards, I find it astonishing that Parliamentary Services did not bring the matter to the attention of the Prime Minister. Is this not how Heatley was undone? If the powers that be knew about it at that time and are still pretending that these latest revelations come as a shock then effectively they are perpetuating the culture of abuse of power and lack of integrity that seems to have pervaded the institutional philosophy of the last government. Mea culpa from Shane Jones is simply a sticking plaster. Until it comes from corporate labour, there is little prospect of any change.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. David Farrar (1,883 comments) says:

    Nookin: It was Ministerial Services, and yes I think there is an issue about did Min Serves ever bring to Clark’s attention that her Ministers were not complying and did she ever lend her authority to Min Servs to tell them to comply

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Inventory2 (10,264 comments) says:

    @ DPF and Nookin – given Helen Clark’s reputation for running a tight ship, it almost beggars belief that she did NOT know that ministers were abusing the system, or at the very least, that Heather Simpson did not know. That leads to an inevitable conclusion; that Helen Clark, by default, sanctioned the spending.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. metcalph (1,426 comments) says:

    Who is doing Benson Pope’s expense?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    So are the credit card account numbers still valid?

    Billings a bit low this month Graeme? ;)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @metcalph – Someone over 18

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Phil Goff flies Jetstar, apparently.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    I don’t buy that I2. A lot of managers don’t bother with minor accounting details, so I think it’s quite feasible Clark had no knowledge. Of course it is possible she found out and kept the lid on it but that’s pure speculation that comes across as a bit desparate (by those trying to pin every minute possibility on her).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Inventory2 (10,264 comments) says:

    I disagree Pete. Given the frequency with which Ministerial Services was “reminding” ministers of what they could and couldn’t do with their credit cards, it defies logic that Heather Simpson would not have picked up the vibe. And if H2 knew, so would H1.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    Dover Samuels does the personal grocery shopping at New World in Kerikeri ($158.49). He does immediately reimburse.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Colonel Masters (420 comments) says:

    The name “Phil Goff” makes me automatically want to click the “Not Interesting” option. It takes all my willpower to look at the document carefully.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Well if only all the polies were like that eh CM.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. insider (1,037 comments) says:

    Annette King $500 at a fitness centre in Singapore a hotel…

    Pete Hodgson using the card on a personal holiday which he reimbursed.

    [DPF:I am informed that the fitness centre charges were not charged to a ministerial credit card and paid for privately at check out - you can see this on the bill that some charges were paid for privately]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    “Annette King $500 at a fitness centre in Singapore a hotel”

    Looks to me that she’d want a refund

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. jag (54 comments) says:

    “1) Items that cost much more than they should (eg: $1000 suits, $200 bottles of wine)”

    More than they should? Regardless of whether or not $1000 is reasonable I wouldn’t expect anything should be put on a ministerial credit card for suits!

    I wouldn’t think about charging work attire to my corporate card let alone a taxpayer funded one.
    Use your salary to pay for suits like everyone else.

    (BTW: I do think that $1000 is reasonable for a 2 pant suit – and NO that’s NOT Boss. Boss is ~$1500 for a 1 pant suit. A reasonable suit with 1 pant is circa $700. I don’t think our ministers should be getting measured up at Hallensteins FFS. )

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. mattyroo (1,017 comments) says:

    Carter’s receipts are full of chits signed by Kaiser…. Massages, Saunas, bottles of wine, coffee, minibar, it is endless!

    Does Kaiser have a job other than holding his gay mates hand on their ubiquitous travels?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Judith Tizard takes 3 staff to The Thistle Inn for a ‘Performance Assessment’

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. mattyroo (1,017 comments) says:

    Tizard’s are unbelievable KK. She must be the highest user of parking at the airport NZ has ever seen…. Most of the parking was on a Saturday for one night. This does not seem like official business at all.

    And Waiheke Island is another of her favourite destinations on a Saturday, including rental cars for one day.

    The infamous bottle of Bolly at lunch also included a bottle of Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc – for her and 2 guests. This woman lived the high life on us.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. nadir (101 comments) says:

    Chris Carter again…… Waiheke Island car hire in the name of his partner. Don’t they have a holiday home there? Trying to think why we should be paying for car hire where he has a holiday house……

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    I think what Fairfax needs is text-mining software for automatic analysis, similar to what is described here about the analysis of Enron Email Sets (dated – March 2, 2004) that contains 517, 431 email messages of 150 Enron employees covering a period from December 1979 through February 2004 with the majority of messages spanning the three years: 1999, 2000, and 2001. It includes messages of some of the top executives of Enron management personnel including founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ken Lay, president and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeff Skilling, and head of trading and later COO, Greg Whalley. Other top executives who played major roles in the day-to-day operations of the corporation are represented as well.

    Text mining avoids one (or a group of people) having to read each and every document. Any analyst here from Fairfax who wants to know more of how to do this, then indicate back here, so I can point you out in the right direction or perhaps, I can even send you my Java codes of the algorithm described in the paper above.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    mattyroo – I know. Lost count of the “Arts dinner, 4 people, receipt lost” entries. Waiheke 10-trip tickets, Rental cars. Koru Club Car Care.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. mattyroo (1,017 comments) says:

    Being from the left and their ever-increasing screams about using public transport, why didn’t Tizard take the bus to the airport on her 25,000 trips there?

    The number of Waiheke 10-trip tickets she bought meant she would have had to visit there just about every other day, as when she wasn’t going to Waiheke, her car was at the airport, implying she was away. Me thinks she was handing these round her friends.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    This is totally fucking disgusting.

    These useless cunts have been leaching off society and spending OUR money on untold amounts of shit and treats for their faggot mates and hangers on.

    Why the fuck are we feeding these parasites 24/7 with their huge salaries?

    Don’t give me that “away from their homes” shit either, I don’t expect to be fed and watered thrice daily because I leave my home to come to work. I get paid to spend that time on company business, they get paid to spend their time on taxpayer business. That doesn’t mean we should be forking out to feed the parasites and entourage every time they fancy a latte, a bran muffin and a quick rent boy.

    There is no accountability for these shitbags and looking at the way they fritter away tax dollars on utter crap is it any wonder government budgets are so fucked.

    [DPF: 20 demerits for cunts]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Chris Carter:
    – Seem’s to have spa’ed his way around the world.
    – Books at airports (for official gifts, no receipts).
    – Liquor Store (for official gifts, no receipts),
    – Flowers etc.
    – Amused by the “Fruit for the Office” spending…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Inventory2 (10,264 comments) says:

    krazykiwi said

    Amused by the “Fruit for the Office” spending…

    Indeed krazykiwi – it does seem to be a rather – umm – ironic phrase, doesn’t it :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Shame on you for supporting this site. NZ is a very vengeful society and no good will come of this exercise. Shane Jones did nothing illegal and paid money back two years before last week’s story

    biker99999, these people are our elected representatives, spending our money. Transparency is not just good. It is essential, and overdue. As for Jones, if you believe ‘paying it back’ fixes everything then I invite you along to your local Noel Lemming to take a Plasma TV out for a drive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Rich Prick (1,659 comments) says:

    Heh, just saw the Heritage Hotel account from the night Dover Samuels wet himself in the corridoor in April 2005. No extra “cleaning” charge. That was good of the hotel.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    And Waiheke Island is another of her favourite destinations on a Saturday, including rental cars for one day.

    Waiheke was part of her electorate, so she’d say she did a lot of electorate stuff there, but really i’m not sure she’s got a lot of credibility at the mo.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Parekura Horomia shows considerable stamina in propping up the restaurant industry. Manages working breakfasts and working dinners on the same day. Goodness knows that lunchtime must have necessitated some rest.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. davidp (3,573 comments) says:

    Rick Barker spend almost $500 at a florists while in Washington DC.

    Probably sending them to Carter’s bloke. Or maybe a disgraced colleague.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Flowers were apparently for a “memorial wreath”.. on more than one ocassion! I note that Barker stays mostly in 5+ star hotels.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    David Parker, Aug 2008. $280 accomodation to attend funeral. Why do taxpayers pick up this tab?

    [DPF: Appropriate if the attendance was as a Minister, not as a friend]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. cabbage (455 comments) says:

    $1429.63 For H1 and Peter Davis to stay 1 night at Aggie Grays resort, Apia, Samoa.

    No explanation.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Kudos to Fairfax. I find it astonishing, as an Information Management professional, that Parliamentary Services did not digitise the expense documents and then OCR them to aid easier analysis. Instead, they served up seven boxes of paper documents. There are also tools for automatically redacting electronic documents to remove private information (including excellent NZ developed software used worldwide) but I guess Parliamentary Services did the redaction manually (whiteout, anyone?) on paper documents. Even better would have been an expenses dataset so that, for example, using a geolocation API, the expense data could have been embedded on Google maps.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. big bruv (13,678 comments) says:

    “$1429.63 For H1 and Peter Davis to stay 1 night at Aggie Grays resort, Apia, Samoa.

    No explanation.”

    Two rooms?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    bb – That’s the ideal situation, although not very nice for Peter. One room just doesn’t bear thinking about.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    There are quite a few instances of minister and/or staff explaining that they “used the wrong card” from their wallet, along with a commitment to immediately repay the personal expense claimed.

    I would like to know how often parliamentary services process legitimate parliamentary business claims that have been paid accidently “using the wrong [personal] card”.

    I have used two cards – one for business and the other personal. It can be easy to not think, and just hand one over. But in my experience genuine mistakes happen in equal number both ways. Thus 10 explanations of “oops sorry, wrong card” yet zero requests for personally funded expenses to be repaid just makes the claimant a liar IMO.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. nickle (29 comments) says:

    Saw a very plain language guide of use of credit cards – it is quite clear on what they can and cannot do.

    Also, a lot of cash advances for overseas trips – does this not cover the incidentals of overseas travel enough, that they also have to use the credit card for similar items?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    $1429.63 For H1 and Peter Davis to stay 1 night at Aggie Grays resort, Apia, Samoa.

    No explanation.

    And the other room on the same trip for a party of one?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Now this is what blogs are meant to do, what the commentaters here will uncover will actually achieve something.

    Awesome people

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. hellonearthis (10 comments) says:

    Murray McCully – 4 All Black Replica Jersey SSL $612 http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=7f058775016fc6005ccb

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. hellonearthis (10 comments) says:

    Shane Jones. $200+ movies http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=87e1d04765918f38807d

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Inventory2 (10,264 comments) says:

    Here’s a doozy – Jones tips hotel staff on his ministerial card – what a tight-arse!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=7a73f65af700ad4060f7

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. hellonearthis (10 comments) says:

    Wayne Mapp $648 on some greenstone http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=341842b4a957f3c7116b

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. Hollyfield (69 comments) says:

    Jim Anderton spent 8552 malaysia ringgits at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur – at today’s exchange rate on http://www.xe.com this equates to NZ$3700. 3 people for 2 nights. Also a few spa treatments on the following page – one of which cost NZ$425 (at today’s exchange rate) http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=3daa15c6e0bb48cc18a3
    Also NZ$1300 in Jakarta on 2 nights accommodation – appears to be 1 person. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=802f9f23e6a80d5322d0&mp=

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. Hollyfield (69 comments) says:

    Parekura Horomia spent $431 at New World buying items for a staff Christmas function. Interesting list of groceries – check out the 6 bunches of flowers (ranging from $4 to $7). Were they the Christmas presents for his secretaries? Or just to make the room look nice? http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=d76b1d49ccdb96df8b17&mp=
    Plus on another page spent $180 on what appears to be greenstone bookends.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Mike78 (83 comments) says:

    Mita Rinuii seems to be dodgy as – check this pack out – http://file.stuff.co.nz/stuff/mpexpenses-upload/Mita%20Ririnui/2003/Combined.pdf

    dozens and dozens of dinners with treaty claimants, daily almost some times, often at the same places over and over again. Not only you would have to ask why? but seems like a way to get some free dinners, 1000’s of dollars here. It goes on through out other years as well – there even seems to be a note from PM? primeminister? regarding this?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. SHG (375 comments) says:

    Jesus Christ, Horomia’s receipts are horrifying. No human being could eat that much that often, surely?

    http://is.gd/cPNO8

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. Steve (4,540 comments) says:

    Just get Phool the magpie to review it, he has fuck all to do.

    What? he got a job? Paula busted his door down and kicked his arse till his nose bleeds?

    I want to see Phool’s receipts to see what he spends our money on

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. Hollyfield (69 comments) says:

    “staff of John Carter” seems pretty frugal. Lunch for office planning day 7 people cost $60. Morning tea from visiting Minister of Civil Defence and party from East Timor cost $23 (choc mallowpuffs, robert harris coffee, apples, kiwifruit, mandarins from new world).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    SHG – Yes I observed the same thing. Some of those dinners with three mains were all Horomia’s I’m sure. He seems to like Chinese. I have an image of him wedged into position and laying siege to the yum cha servery window.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Mike78 (83 comments) says:

    Annette King seems to like buying stuff duty free, there is a $1400 digital camera ( for office purposes of course) I saw – now there is some toblerones, and no mention of any repayment in fact its on the official list of expenses – nice, she even got flybuys on the purchase – how cute..

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=752be854217662d7005f&mp=

    [DPF: I am informed that the camera was for office use, and was retained by Ministerial Services at the change of Govt. A camera is standard for most offices]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. emmess (1,419 comments) says:

    Goff spent $2450 on excess baggage

    Isn’t it around 50 bucks a kg?
    Bloody bad organisational skills and this guy thinks he is fit to be PM

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    LOL – I click for a page to review and it comes up with none other than Hon Chris Carter’s expenses for a trip to Chile.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    emmess – it’s usually 1% of the first class airfare per kg, so $120-$140 per kg to Europe

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. Grizz (589 comments) says:

    Has anyone noticed that Mita Ririnui has spent a lot of time eating at the same Chinese restaurant on Willis Street in Wellington. Note that he often has a plate of steak and eggs accompanied by deep fried scallops. To be fair, as far as steak and eggs go, it is a relatively cheap place to go compared to the fine dining some of his colleagues were frequenting. Furthermore, I really should not care what he prefers to eat anyway. However I note that many of these meals were on his own. Which leads me to ask why if he were alone in Wellington does he need to put a meal for one on his Ministerial card. Is Wellington not an official place of business?

    This Just looking through a few of his reciepts, his spending was largely on meals. I wonder why ministerial duties need to be done at a low key Chinese Restaurant in Wellington. Surely there are ministerial offices in and around the beehive where such meetings can take place. Surely this is just another example of people troughing of the Ministerial Credit cards. Surely people cannot expect to have a meeting with someone as important as the Minister and expect the Minister to buy them a dinner as well. It is a little wiffy would you not think?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. pdm (842 comments) says:

    I did just over 100 pages of Barkers today 2003 and 2004. Just `lucked’ on to him both times when I went in and scrolled back to p1. Fairly clean but an administrative nightmare with repeated requests for receipts and few originals. Referred two or three items but surprisingly nothing like the crayfish I read about a few minutes ago. He also reimbursed a few small items – one reimbursement of $100 seemed `convenient’ on a `think oif a figure basis’ on an almost $400 dinner bill.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    Who else has looked at the “Overseas Travel Advance sheets” They show the initial CASH advance and subsequent areas for Funds Returned, Receipted expenditure, NON-receipted expediture. Many of these do not balance and many have signiifcant amounts in the NON-receipted expenditure area. One in particular – Oct 29 2003 – $644 described as “Various incidentals & Expenses” – at the very least a cursory effort should be made to describe $644 worth of cash going west.
    Piss poor really.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. Hollyfield (69 comments) says:

    Check out the note from Acting GM about not using the card for personal expenditure. Can’t quite read it all, but mentions “regular basis”, “not appropriate” (underlined) and “group accountant is aware”.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/mps-expenses-review?page_id=47bf43e68b03c9b4565a&mp=Winston%20Peters

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. Grizz (589 comments) says:

    @Hollyfield, The Randy sod, he watched 4 videos in the one night on 29/4/07.
    Also, who is he kidding, $198 for his share of dinner!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. Grizz (589 comments) says:

    Someone should go through Winston’s accounts and tally up the items of personal expenditure and see if he is willing to pay it all back?

    Perhaps this is being saved up for later.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    That would be personal spend on parliamentary credit card + $158,000

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. starboard (2,514 comments) says:

    ..Ive just gone thru Blandertons credit card spend up…unreal..you gota see it to believe it…100grand here , 50 grand there…trougher supreme

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. Reuben Schwarz (2 comments) says:

    I work for Stuff and helped get this project off the ground. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for helping check these receipts. Now that we’ve built the tools we’re keen to do more crowdsourcing, so if you have any ideas let us know.

    Falafulu Fisi – That sounds interesting. We’re definitely keen on hearing more about anything that converts images into searchable text. Contact me at reuben.schwarz(at)stuff.co.nz if you can give us any more details.

    cheers,
    reuben

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  79. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    Reuben – checkign thru I have come across many duplicate pages within a particular MP’s PDF – any reason? were there duplicates in the source documentation?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  80. Reuben Schwarz (2 comments) says:

    voice of reason – I’m not sure why there would be duplicate copies of some pages. There were some double-sided pages that we had to photocopy one side of (which added another two days to the scanning time). It’s possible that when we put them back together, we sometimes put the the double-sided pages in the wrong way.

    Or it could be a scanner error or a conversion error. We had a few hiccups at every stop along the way.

    If you come across any examples, email them to me and we’ll investigate. I’m off on leave shortly so won’t be able to respond, sorry.

    Thanks for the tipoff.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.