Rotorua MP Todd McClay is standing by his father after the former minister admitted three charges of fraud totalling almost $25,000.

Roger McClay, the National Party MP for Taupo and Waikaremoana between 1981 and 1996, pleaded guilty to three representative fraud charges accusing him of abusing his ex-MP perk of taxpayer-subsidised flights, then falsely claiming travel costs from two charities he worked for.

The 65-year-old originally faced 56 individual fraud charges.

Todd McClay said yesterday that he would support his father.


When asked if it put him a difficult position as an MP, Todd McClay said he would not make any further comment.

During an almost three-year period, Roger McClay charged World Vision and Keep New Zealand Beautiful $11,800 for travel costs when he had flown courtesy of the taxpayer.

He then claimed $12,887.10 from the Parliamentary Service for the 90 per cent travel discount he receives as an ex-MP.

Judge Jan Doogue indicated that a sentence of community work would be imposed if he pleaded guilty.

He will be sentenced next week, and will lose his ex-MP travel perk.

Crown prosecutor Susan Gray told the court that McClay claimed the perk for 47 trips made on charity business after signing declarations that the travel was for personal reasons.

In late 2005, he began working for World Vision as a government lobbyist, for which he was paid an annual salary of $66,000.

Over two years he charged the charity $5460.70 in driving mileage. He had in fact flown and claimed the ex-MP travel rebate.


In September 2006 he was elected chairman of Keep New Zealand Beautiful and was paid an honorarium of $25,000 a year.

He claimed driving costs 15 times when he had flown and claimed the ex-MP perk.

The charity paid him $6339.30.

McClay promised to pay back the entire $24,687.10 in lump sums by borrowing money.