MP spending released: The highest and lowest spenders

The recent spending by Members of Parliament has been released.

Jenny Salesa was homeless herself in South Auckland and says the new Government has a solution for the issue.
Source: 1 NEWS

The MP expenses are from October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, collected by Internal Affairs

It includes Wellington accommodation, out of Wellington travel expenses, domestic air travel and surface travel.  

The MP with the biggest expenses, totalling $30,186, was Labour MP and Minister for Building Jenny Salesa, who represents the Manukau East electorate.

In a statement, she told 1 NEWS:

"The Minister for Ethnic Communities does a significant amount of outreach to meet all the different groups and communities in this portfolio," she said. 

"For example this weekend, she has attended six community events in this portfolio, alone.

"It is an important part of her role to meet with many different groups and keep them in touch with issues the government is working on.

"This inevitably requires a significant amount of travel between events and meetings.

"The Minister was particularly busy travelling, meeting with different groups in the period immediately after the election – October – December.

"Also, as Associate Minister for three portfolios she has also been required to stand in for other Ministers at numerous events / public engagements." 

Jacinda Ardern says a national impact assessment will be carried out, before the terms of the deal are ratified.
Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had $27,751 worth of expenses, however $6,904 of this was an administration error, pulling her expenses down to $20,847. 

The politics team look at 'Shane Jones' baby', and if the latest plan has been rushed.
Source: 1 NEWS

NZ First list-MP, and Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones had the second highest expenses, totalling $27,296, with $11,436 of that used on surface travel and $9,108 on domestic air travel. 

The acting PM weighed into the origin of reports four boats of refugees were turned back from heading to NZ shores.
Source: 1 NEWS

Labour deputy Kelvin Davis, and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, was the third highest with $24,644, with Auckland Labour MP Phil Twyford following on $23,642. 

Then-National leader Bill English spent a total of $17,165. 

Current MPs Chris Finalyson of National and Green Party co-leader James Shaw were the lowest spenders, with Mr Finlayson on $2,651 and Mr Shaw on $4,031. Both did not have Wellington accommodation expenses. 

Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa topped the list, using $30,000 worth of domestic travel and accommodation. Source: 1 NEWS



Person in critical condition after being hit by bus in Christchurch

One person’s been hospitalised in a critical condition after being hit by a bus in Christchurch this morning.

Emergency services were called to Main North Road in Redwood around 8am.

A police spokesperson says the road has been closed and motorists are being asked to follow the direction of emergency services.

A bus driver at the wheel.


'We were really excited' - hear the voices of some of the first New Zealand women to vote 125 years ago

Today marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, which made our small island the first self-governing nation to grant women the right to vote.

It wasn’t a smooth road, however, and although not as long or violent as other campaigns for the vote in the UK and US years later, Kiwi women faced their share of opposition.

A strong push for the vote began in the late 1870s when electoral bills were being put forward to Parliament which had clauses saying it gave women the right to vote, not just men.

But it was much earlier that a handful of women began advocating for voting rights for women.

“It was just a few maverick voices at that point, but it was being discussed,” says Victoria University's Professor Charlotte Macdonald.

The movement picked up steam when the Women’s Christian Temperance formed nationwide in New Zealand.

That’s when women started saying, “we want to change the politics in the places that we live”, says Professor Macdonald.

It wasn’t just for political equality, but for moral reform to protect women, she says.

“They were saying ‘we need to organise to get the vote because without that no matter what we do we’re just going to get cast aside’.”

From there, women began a much larger campaign which involved petitioning, public meetings, writing letters to the editor and working with sympathetic MPs.

A lot of their efforts failed, but the women tirelessly continued to work for equality in voting rights.

From 1886 to 1892, a series of petitions were presented to Parliament.

“Petitioning was the only way in which women, and people outside Parliament, could have their voice heard and the British suffrage campaign was petitioning at the same time so it’s a well-known technique,” says Otago University's Professor Barbara Brookes.

“It was also a really important educationally technique because if you’re going to sign a petition people usually explain to you what it’s about.”

Nearly 32,000 signatures were obtained from women across the country including many Māori women.

It was on September 19, 1893, following another petition and electoral bill passed in the House when Governor Lord Glasgow signed the bill into law and women granted the right to vote.

When election day finally comes in November 28, 1893, 82 per cent of women over the age of 21 turn out to vote.

This changed the course of women’s lives in New Zealand leading to many policy changes for women, female MP being elected to Parliament 40 years later and eventually three female prime ministers.

And take a brief look at the journey Kiwi women took to be granted the right to vote in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Jacinda Ardern’s GDP gaffe is understandable, and not of much consequence, economist says

Shortly after Jacinda Ardern misspoke about economic data during a radio interview yesterday, the Kiwi dollar briefly rose.

It resulted in widespread media coverage and gave Opposition leader Simon Bridges an opening to throw another jab in their perpetual political joust, calling her "distracted".

But even if the Prime Minister's statement did cause the dollar to quiver, does it matter in the scheme of things?

"Not really," said Christina Leung, principal economist for the NZ Institute of Economic Research, as she discussed the issue on TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"The miscommunication is understandable," she said of the interview, in which Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking asked a question about tomorrow's release of gross-domestic product (GDP) figures and Ms Ardern replied, "I am very pleased with the way we are tracking".

The Prime Minister later clarified that she wasn't talking about GDP figures, which she isn't given advanced access to, but instead to the Government's balance sheet.

The Opposition says it shows the Prime Minister is distracted. Source: 1 NEWS

"Financial markets do tend to focus on the glamour stats...like GDP," Ms Leung said today. "And then the Prime Minister would be more focused, of course, about what implications of growth are on tax revenue and what it means for the Government's balance sheet."

Ms Leung said she didn't find the misstatement concerning. The GDP figures released tomorrow will look back to the June quarter, so they won't be affected in any way by a statement after the fact, she said.

And she's also not convinced the PM's statement caused the brief rise in the Kiwi dollar's value, from 65.78 to 65.84 US cents.

"It's always hard to link up what's driving the New Zealand dollar," she said. "A lot of financial markets are driven by a lot of different factors.

The Kiwi dollar rose slightly this morning following a radio interview in which some thought the PM had a sneak peek of Thursday’s figures. Source: 1 NEWS

"Ultimately, what effects the longer-term influence on the New Zealand dollar would be the interest rate differentials between New Zealand and the other major economies - particularly what's going on in the US."

With retail activity and construction "looking quite strong" in New Zealand, Ms Leung said she expects to see "fairly solid growth for the June quarter" - of up to one per cent - when the GDP stats are released tomorrow morning.

Christina Leung, principal economist for the NZ Institute of Economic Research, also tells Breakfast the outlook for tomorrow’s GDP announcement is good. Source: Breakfast


'She was extraordinary' - Jacinda Ardern hails mother as 125 years of women’s suffrage celebrated

Hundreds of celebrations are taking place across the country to mark 125 years since Kiwi women received the right to vote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern marked the historic occasion from Auckland's Aotea Square this morning, where she acknowledged her mother as just one of New Zealand's many inspirational women.

Acting Minister for Women Eugenie Sage also acknowledged the work of women such as Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia and others who tirelessly campaigned for women's suffrage.

The Electoral Act, signed into law on September 19, 1893, gave women over the age of 21 the right to vote in parliamentary elections - the first country in the world to do so.

The PM spoke about New Zealand’s inspirational women in central Auckland today, including one close to her heart. Source: 1 NEWS