Rodney Hide has said sorry for spending tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money on trips for him and his girlfriend.

But the apology, described by commentators and the Prime Minster alike as one of the most comprehensive seen from any politician, has not calmed public anger according to comments on nzherald.co.nz's Your Views pages.

The consensus of opinion seems to be that MPs allowances are out of touch with the real world. Mr Hide is also widely criticised for turning from perk-buster to perk-user.

Among the latest round of comments since yesterday's apology, Thomas from Tauranga asks: "Now that Rodney is suddenly so sorry (probably at the thought of losing his seat) he could make amends by investigating and answering this question - what happens to all those air points MPs notch up while travelling on the most expensive fares?"

Another commenter, "Bay Roller" from the Bay of Plenty, has a suggestion to increase public awareness of where MPs are and how they are spending public money. "Why isn't there a weekly published list in the media of every MP going where and why, and the reports they should be required to present on their return?"

Others compare the travel allowances available to MPs and ministers with those in the private sector. "I thought that the most corporates do for partners is invite them to work Xmas dos and the like. Hardly works out at $3125 a day, does it?" says Maggi in Northland.

"When my ex went away for his work, he got an extra $50 a day for the inconvenience. When I once made the trip to see him while he was away, it was all at my own cost."

However, there is some support for Mr Hide. Daryl in Singapore said: "This all just makes New Zealanders look like absolute small minded wallies. I am registered to vote in Epsom, and have never voted for ACT. But this is a beat up. Hide is following the rules, taking advantage of a perk Ministers get."

And AndyB in Auckland thinks the apology is enough. "Apology accepted - glad you finally realised that what you were doing was under the shameful principles of the 'Have and have nots' outdated monarchical/Dickensian/Muldoonian model. Congratulations, you can be a (decent) Kiwi again," he said.

Others see a political conspiracy, with the big parties trying to get the minor parties to destroy themselves so MMP can be scrapped. "I said all along the Maori party fell into a carefully laid plan to destroy them by going into government with the Nats. Whatever gains they think the have will swiftly be taken away," says Bigall in Manurewa, who thinks Act have fallen into the same trap.

- NZ HERALD STAFF