Independent MP Chris Carter was going to use his international travel perk for an overseas holiday but cancelled it after media found out, it was reported tonight.

Mr Carter booked flights for himself and his partner Peter Kaiser, business class to Colombo, Sri Lanka, just before Speaker Lockwood Smith last month stopped MPs from using the taxpayer subsidy for holidays, TV3 News reported.

It would have cost an estimated $13,900 - with 90 per cent paid for from the public purse.

The report said Mr Carter sent a text message to TV3 News an hour after it questioned Mr Kaiser about their summer holiday plans saying it had been cancelled.

Mr Carter refused to appear on the bulletin and wasn't answering calls tonight.

It was his excessive spending while he was a minister in the previous Labour government which led to a row with party leader Phil Goff, and Mr Carter retaliated by trying to bring Mr Goff down.

That led to him being expelled from the caucus and the party.

Mr Carter is quitting politics at next year's election, and as a former MP he will be able to use the international travel rebate for the rest of his life, without media scrutiny.

Although sitting MPs were stopped from using it for holidays, the entitlement for former MPs wasn't touched.

They enjoy rebates of up to 90 percent depending on how long they were in Parliament, in Mr Carter's case it will be a 75 percent rebate.

Sitting MPs are still have an international travel allowance but they can only use it for trips related to Parliamentary business.

- NZPA