National MP apologises for 'boo boo'

By Derek Cheng

Claudette Hauiti. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Claudette Hauiti. Photo / Mark Mitchell

National MP Claudette Hauiti has apologised for a "big boo-boo" and given up her parliamentary charge card, which she misused to pay for a personal trip to Australia.

She said the trip over Christmas last year and other questionable spending, including refreshments for a hui on a marae, had cost about $200, which she has since repaid.

Mrs Hauiti, who came into Parliament last year when disgraced Aaron Gilmore resigned, did not respond to attempts to contact her yesterday.

But when asked about her spending on Prime TV's BackBenches show, she said: "Well, you know, big boo-boo. Paid it back, really sorry. There's no excuse for not knowing the Speaker's rules".

She did not address the question of how much she had spent.

"I made a mistake. It's been rectified, and gotta move on, really. Whether it's $2 or $200, it's still taxpayer money, and it should never have happened."

Parliamentary Service, which is responsible for a range of support services to MPs, declined to provide any information about Mrs Hauiti's spending. It referred all questions to Mrs Hauiti, as did the National Party.

National Party senior whip Louise Upston would not comment on the amount of money that was misspent, but confirmed Mrs Hauiti had not been disciplined.

- NZ Herald

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