Appropriate penalties and the anticipated fallout for politicians caught misusing taxpayer-funded credit cards have been widely debated by commentators following last week's revelations.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff today decided to demote former ministers Shane Jones, Chris Carter and Mita Ririnui for putting personal expenses - ranging from massages to porn - on their cards.

The misuses and their potential consequences were discussed and analysed extensively after the spending was revealed in 7000 pages of documents released last week to media.

Herald chief political commentator John Armstrong was one of the first out of the gate to comment, writing on Friday - the day after the expenses lists were released - that Jones must go.

"For its own sake - if for no other reason - Labour must demote Shane Jones. Moreover, Labour knows it must," Armstrong said.

Herald on Sunday columnist Kerre Woodham wrote yesterday that Jones should not be singled out for demotion even if he had borne the brunt of the criticism for admitting to putting porn on his taxpayer-funded card.

"If Shane Jones is to be punished, then so too must Carter and Horomia be disciplined," Woodham said.

The Herald on Sunday editorial yesterday said that regardless of what actions were taken, Jones' chances of becoming a future leader were shot. "At the very least, his judgement will be permanently suspect," it said.

But Fran O'Sullivan wrote on Saturday that, in the past, Labour politicians who were disciplined had been reinstated.

Still, she wrote: "Labour Leader Phil Goff will have to work hard to maintain his poker-face as he carpets Shane Jones for his dumb-ass behaviour in chalking up porn movies to his ministerial credit card."

Matt McCarten said in the Herald on Sunday that the credit card spending revelations would change the behaviour of all future government ministers.

"There are two types of politicians - those that think it's a privilege to be a representative of the people and those who think it's a privilege for us to have them. You can guess which category the ministerial card abusers fall under," McCarten said.

"One good thing from out of this week - no politician will misuse their cards again."

John Roughan said in Saturday's Herald that the fallout would dissuade capable business leaders from entering politics in the future.

"Any decent, self-respecting leader of business or professions, watching these newsfests on political expense accounts, must wonder why anyone volunteers for public life. That is the invisible price we pay for severe, sometimes unfair, scrutiny," Roughan said.

Bloggers were split in their reactions, with some saying "the excuses are pathetic", and others commenting that the former ministers had reimbursed personal expenses and the issue had been blown out of proportion.

Whale Oil wrote he was "sick to my stomach with the lying and excuses of troughing politicians".

Left-leaning blog the Standard wrote if Labour's former ministers were demoted, so too should National's Trade Minister Tim Groser be, for putting a hotel mini-bar tab on his card.

"There is no substantive difference (once we can get past the Right's hypocritical wowserism) between the two," blogger Marty G said.

On another blog, Tumeke, "Bomber" wrote that Jones should be put at the bottom of Labour's party list. But comments left on the site said the expenses had been reimbursed before they were publicly revealed and there had been an overreaction.

On Twitter, the focus was on the other unanswered question - tackled in a brainstorming session under the tag "ShaneJonesPornTitle".

Among the suggested titles: "Double Bill: Stuffed Boxes & Rigged Erection" and "The Honourable Member Rises".