A National MP has broken Parliament’s rules by employing her civil union spouse in her electorate office.
List MP Claudette Hauiti’s wife, Nadine Mau, was employed as an issues assistant in Hauiti’s electorate office in Auckland from April 7 until last Wednesday when she was sacked.
Under direction from Speaker David Carter, MPs are not allowed to employ their spouse or partner, either in or outside Parliament.
Hauiti said she was unaware of the prohibition on employing spouses when she contracted her wife to work in her office.
“I’m really disappointed that I didn’t know the rules, I’ve only been here a year and I should have kept up to speed with that and I didn’t.
“I made a really big mistake.”
Hauiti said she thought her wife would make a pertinent issues assistant because of the type of work she did with Maori communities.
“So I just took it upon myself to think that I could do that, but I was wrong.
“We were both mortified, we didn’t know [the rules] – either of us. We were both really shocked.”
Hauiti and Mau will have been married seven years this year, she said, adding “I’ve never made a secret of it, everyone knows that, and that we have three children.”
Staff of MPs are employed and paid by the Parliamentary Service, which became aware through a staff member on May 5 that Hauiti and Mau were in a relationship, a spokeswoman said.
This shouldn’t have happened. MPs should know the rules, and when in doubt – check. And anything to do with hiring a family member should ring warning bells.
But looks like a genuine mistake, and only occurred for a month. But still shouldn’t have happened at all.