Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters have both reimbursed thousands of dollars they mistakenly received in accommodation allowances after an administrative error.
Source: 1 NEWS
The Department of Internal Affairs officials advised Ms Ardern and Mr Peters late yesterday of the administrative error which has seen them receive Wellington accommodation payments since they moved into official residences.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are the only Ministers residing in official residences.
In a joint statement released today they both explained the situation.
"As soon as we were advised of the error, we both immediately took steps to reimburse the money. That has now happened," said the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
"The error occurred when the DIA’s Ministerial Services continued to pay each of us a Member of Parliament's Wellington accommodation allowance.
"After they had moved us into official accommodation, at which point payments should have stopped."
The DIA acknowledged the Ministers did not seek to claim the allowances which were incorrectly carried over during the executive transition, with the officials only recently realising the error.
They apologised to the pair for the error.
Both Ministers have reimbursed the overpayments which cover the period from late October to early February.
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern has repaid $12,082.19 and Rt Hon Winston Peters has repaid $9,123.29.
The difference is explained by the dates on which they moved into the properties.