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Hide To Hand Back Expenses Claim Cash

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rodney Hide. Pic: NZPA
Rodney Hide. Pic: NZPA

Wellington, Nov 9 NZPA - ACT leader Rodney Hide will today hand Parliamentary Services a cheque for nearly $12,000 as he tries to fix the mistake he says he made when he used taxpayer funds to take his partner on overseas trips.

Mr Hide yesterday apologised to everyone he could think of for claiming a 90 percent fare discount when he took Louise Crome to Hawaii for a holiday and then to London, Canada and the United States so she could be with him on a ministerial trip.

It is an entitlement all MPs have but Mr Hide made a name for himself in Parliament by campaigning as a "perkbuster" and criticising allowances.

He is MP for Epsom and minister of local government. He visited the three countries to study local government structures there and his own fare was paid for by Ministerial Services.

But the tab for Ms Crome was picked up by Parliamentary services.

Mr Hide last week paid back $10,022 for the holiday in Hawaii and today he will return $11,952 for the three-country trip.

"I want to apologise to the public. I want to apologise to my colleagues and to my supporters," he said.

"But most importantly I want to apologise to the people of Epsom. I promised the people of Epsom I would make them proud of me as their MP. I have let them down."

Mr Hide vowed he would never again claim taxpayer money for holidays and said he had seriously examined himself after doing it. "I just thought... those are the rules, and that's where I lost sight of it," he said.

"It's not easy for anyone to admit they've stuffed up."

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