23 Oct 2015

MPs' expenses: snacks, suits and shirt sleeves

6:52 am on 23 October 2015

Government ministers have again been restrained in their credit card spending, with the just odd unusual purchase, released expense accounts show.

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Photo: 123rf

Ministerial expenses and credit card accounts have been released for the three months from 1 July to 30 September 2015.

Some of the unusual credit card purchases included Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga paying $145 to hire a morning suit for the Tongan king's coronation ceremony in July.

Trade Minister Tim Groser spent $15 getting the sleeves on his official shirt shortened for a trip to Latin America, while Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee used his credit card to buy two hi-visibility vests for portfolio-related use for $32.30.

National MP, Nathan Guy.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy hosted a staff leaving function and spent $36.39 on hummus, cream crackers and a selection of kettle chips.

Ministers spent $1,727,824 on travel and accommodation during the period.

Mr Groser, unsurprisingly, spent the most with $174,804 on international travel alone, followed closely by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully with $164,477 on international travel.

Labour MP , Kelvin Davis.

Labour MP , Kelvin Davis. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

MPs travel and accommodation expenses for the same period was nearly $1.6 million.

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay was the biggest spender at $28,448 for the three months to the end of September.

Next was Labour's Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis spending $28,071 on travel and accommodation.

Wairarapa-based Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox was just behind at $28,006.