A National Party MP faced allegations of inappropriate spending of taxpayer money – allegations the MP is refusing to front on and which Parliamentary Service refuses to discuss under the cone of silence that protects MPs.
Sources inside the National Party have told NZME that a staff member of the MP flagged a concern in the last term of Parliament, alleging items of furniture were bought out of the MP's taxpayer funds but did not appear in the office.
The items of furniture are understood to include a television.
The allegation was that the items went to the MP's home rather than their office.
It is also understood the cost of a sofa the MP bought for the office at Parliament was also questioned, and the MP was told to return it.
Parliamentary Service has refused to say whether it investigated the allegations or whether any action was taken.
The MP at the centre of the accusations has refused to answer any questions on the matter.
NZME contacted the MP via phone a number of times last week, all of which went unanswered.
NZME also visited the home of the MP, but they refused to comment and asked the reporter to leave the property.
Questions were also put to the National Party's leader's office, which responded with a copy of a letter from Parliamentary Service chief executive Rafael Gonzalez Montero stating there were "no records of formal complaints" on file relating to the MP.
Parliamentary Service has since confirmed a formal complaint is not required for them to investigate.
The specific allegations were not addressed by either the MP, the party or Parliamentary Service.
In a statement, Gonzalez-Montero said the department did not comment on spending by individual MPs.
However, in a statement Parliamentary Service outlined the process taken if an MP misused taxpayer funds.
If there is a concern, the MP is referred to the party's senior whip.
A spokesperson for Parliamentary Service said it was up to MPs to determine how to spend their budget, but spending by MPs had to be for Parliamentary purposes, and cost-effective.
If an MP spent an excessive amount on an item, or bought something for personal rather than Parliamentary use, the MP was asked to return the item or pay back Parliamentary Service. If the MP refused, the amount could be deducted from their salary.
The rules also note that any assets purchased remain the property of Parliament and not the MP.
Under the Official Information Act, Parliamentary Service is one of the only government bodies exempt from providing information upon request, meaning there is no official channel to determine what an MP had spent taxpayer's funds on or whether they have been investigated for misusing funds.
And unlike Ministers, who fall under the Official Information Act, there is almost zero public transparency when it comes to MP's expenses.
Ministerial credit card spending is released each quarter as well as travel and accommodation spending.
Parliamentary Services funding for MPs is not open to the same scrutiny, including the funding for ministers in their capacity as MPs.
However, only overall spending on travel and accommodation by MPs is publicly disclosed. Other expenses incurred by the MPs for their offices are overseen by the party's whip and the Minister Responsible for Parliamentary Service - Speaker Trevor Mallard.
Act leader David Seymour said the allegations showed there was a need for MPs' spending to be more transparent.
"When it comes to inappropriate spending, the only way forward is transparency and let the public decide.
"I do not see why, if ministerial credit cards are public, Parliamentary Service ones shouldn't be. It seems like a long-overdue reform."
He said mistakes could be made - he had once put an Uber on the taxpayer's tab instead of his own but had repaid the sum.