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Rodney Hide Takes Partner On Taxpayer Funded Trips

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rodney Hide
Rodney Hide

Wellington, Oct 30 NZPA - The taxpayer paid for ACT leader Rodney Hide to take his girlfriend on an overseas trip.

The second disclosure of MPs' expenses was released yesterday. It covered the July 1 to September 30 period.

During that time Mr Hide spent $25,163 as an MP on air travel, while as a minister he spent $26,872.

The New Zealand Herald reported that Mr Hide got around Prime Minister John Key's directive -- that ministers leave partners at home or pay for their travel themselves -- by paying for national squash rep Louise Crome's fares as part of his MP's perk of 90 percent subsidised international travel for partners.

The travel bill was for a super city fact-finding trip last month to London, Canada and the United States.

"It is very, very hard when you are a minister to maintain a relationship," Mr Hide said.

He said because the travel wasn't paid for as a minister he had not breached Mr Key's directive.

A spokesman for Mr Key said he was comfortable with ministers taking partners, as long as they paid for the travel themselves, and using the perk met this definition.

When Mr Hide entered Parliament he developed the reputation of a perk buster for publicising MPs' spending habits.

Under his party's support arrangement with National, Mr Hide holds the local government and regulatory reform portfolios. He is also Associate Commerce Minister.

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