1 Apr 2010

Speaker to clarify travel rules for MPs' young children

6:57 am on 1 April 2010

Parliament's Speaker is moving to clarify travel rules for MPs' children under the age of five.

An Auditor-General's report into Whangarei MP Phil Heatley's spending identified that up to 16 current MPs with pre-schoolers may have inadvertently been breaking the rules.

Until 2007, any child of an MP under the age of five was entitled to free travel throughout New Zealand to allow them to accompany their parent.

However, Speaker Lockwood Smith says a mistake in what is called the Speaker's Directions limited that travel and MPs were not told about the change.

Dr Smith says he intends to make the rules consistent with the MPs' handbook, which allows for free nationwide travel for MPs' children under five.