Can I have one with a moat please?

Well, seems it’s not just Bill English rorting the system. The NZ Herald reports a number of Cabinet Ministers own residential property in Wellington, most of which are rented out, but choose to live in Ministerial homes.

I don’t begrudge Ministers the opportunity to move their families to Wellington so they can spend more time with them, and a small apartment may not provide adequately for that.

But renting out their own properties in Wellington, while the taxpayer is paying for the full cost of their Ministerial homes, is scamming it. Even though it is within the rules, surely Ministers should have exercised the restraint they are expect from the citizens they govern and offered to offset the rent they receive from their own properties against the costs of the Ministerial homes they occupy.

Here’s the list of those with their snouts in the trough:

Tim Groser: Ministerial Services paid $8937 January-June. Also owns $540,000 apartment in central Wellington, which is being used as an investment property.

Tariana Turia: Lives in a Ministerial home. Also own $520,000 property in Wellington suburb of Broadmeadows [surely that would be suitable for her family to live in]. Refuses to say if she rents it out.

Phil Heatley: Ministerial Services paid $24,607 January-June. Also owns $360,000 Wellington apartment that is being rented out.

Anne Tolley: Ministerial Services paid $22,045 January-June. Also owns $295,000 one-bedroom Wellington apartment, which is currently rented out.

Wayne Mapp: Ministerial Services paid $18,878 January-June. Also owns $285,000 Wellington apartment and rents it out.

Murray McCully: Ministerial Services paid $12,865 January-June. Owns a Wellington flat and rents it out.

Then, of course, there is Bill English, who is in a category of his own, receiving $23,673 from Ministerial Services between January and June this year to live with his wife and family in their own home.

Perhaps they should consider following this precedent – its not too late to pay back the money they have scammed.

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6 thoughts on “Can I have one with a moat please?

  1. You would have a bit more credibility Toad if you were asking for all Ministers to have their expense arrangements disclosed and for all ministers to repay what was unfair. We don’t know how much Labour ministers were rorting it, although we do know that a number of them owned property in Wellington while living in ministerial homes.

    If the test is MPs becoming enriched through the entitlements arrangements then the Green MPs who purchase property through their superannuation schemes and then claim allowances for them will be a rort as well. But it wouldn’t be like you to apply the same standard of accountability to Green MPs as you do for everyone else, would it?

  2. Tim as I commented in response to you at Standard yesterday on a similar issue, the Green Super Fund will have a portfolio of investments, some of which will be shares, some of which will be properties, and some of which may be other investments.

    The fact that some of the properties are rented to Green MPs who claim an accommodation allowance for staying outside Wellington is irrelevant. They would still be rented to someone, if it were not to Green MPs. And the Green MPs who live outside Wellington would still be claiming an accommodation allowance if they were renting from someone else.

    The only advantage to the Green Super Fund is that the properties have guaranteed tenants for 3 years unless an MP who lives in one resigns. There is no advantage to the MPs.

  3. Toad, you could say the same about Mr English. He has other investments as well. He benefits from having the taxpayer pay for a house he lives in. So do Green MPs benefit from the taxpayer subsidise the rental of properties they live in.

  4. Tim Ellis

    Mr English is not excused his rorting ‘because others do it’. He’s taking more than is justifiable and he should know better. Not only that, he’s done it by some sneaky slight of hand over his trust and his wife’s name. You know it. Bill English is (to borrow another’s phrase) Sir Double Dipton. He has dropped, respect-wise, in the public mind. I know, because I’ve been listening to the responses in his own electorate (you know, the one he claims to have spent so much time in. He hasn’t)

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