Greens to give up super fund getting taxpayer rent

A commenter spotted this on RNZ:

The Green Party is about to announce it will stop taxpayer-funded accommodation allowances being channelled into its superannuation fund. …

The party’s superannuation owns two properties in Wellington, in which three of its MPs live, and the taxpayer picks up the rent. …

It’s understood Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei will shortly announce plans to sell both properties, ending the practice of funnelling the accommodation allowance into the fund.

Radio New Zealand’s political staff say the arrangement is within the rules but has increasingly become a political embarrassment for the , a party which has tried to take the moral high ground over MPs allowances.

The fund itself, which has other assets including shares, will continue to operate.

A sensible decision from the Greens and all credit to them for it. Now there are other MPs who probably have an indirect ownership of the apartment they rent. It has all been within the rules, but as I have said many times before I think that there should be a transition to a system where no MP can be paid for renting as Wellington accommodation a house they own either directly or indirectly. My suggestion would be to put in place new rules to start after the next election.

Electorate offices are a somewhat different issue as they come out of a limited budget for the MP, and there can be legitimate non-financial reasons an MP wants to own their electorate office. However even in that case I would advocate setting a maximum rent at 66% to 75% of market.

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