Parliamentary Service looking into Hutt Labour deal

Stuff reports:

Parliamentary Service, the organisation that looks after the workings of Parliament and MPs’ offices said it will look into whether a subletting arrangement involving the Labour Party’s Petone electorate office is above board, and whether appropriate conflicts of interest were declared.

In a select committee meeting on Wednesday morning Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, chief executive of Parliamentary Service said it would both investigate whether the electorate deal was within Parliamentary rules and whether appropriate conflicts of interest were declared. He said that so far, he was happy everything was above board.

The deal, revealed after an investigation by Stuff last year, involves the local Labour party pocketing $4500 a year in profit thanks to a subletting arrangement. Labour rents its office premises from the building’s owner, the NZ Professional Firefighters Union for $1500, it then sublets that office space to the local MP for $6000.

It’s even worse than it appears. The $1,500 they pay is for a larger office space than the area they sublet to Parliament. So they both make $4,500 off the taxpayer and get their own party space effectively for free also.

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