Ministers' expenses released: Who were the biggest spenders?

Winston Peters, David Parker, and Fletcher Tabuteau.
Winston Peters, David Parker, and Fletcher Tabuteau. Photo credit: NZ Parliament

Ministers spent $1.49 million on travel and accommodation in the last quarter, figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs show.

The expenses were due to be made public two weeks ago, but the release was delayed due to a "process oversight".

The ministers spent about $500,000 less than the previous Government executive did in the same quarter in 2017, which was $2.02 million.

Who were the biggest spenders overall?

1. Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters spent the most at $153,421. Unsurprisingly, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Disarmament and Arms Control he spent the most on international travel at $136,139. Internally he was at the lower end of the scale at $17,282. Mr Peters is also the Minister of State Owned Enterprises and Racing.

2. David Parker   

Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Export Growth and Environment David Parker was runner up spending a total of $93,550. Mr Parker is also an Associate Minister of Finance. Internally he spent $36,354 on travel and accommodation.

3. Fletcher Tabuteau

NZ First Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Disarmament and Arms Control, Foreign Affairs and Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau spent the third highest at $92,001. The majority of these expenses were on international travel at $72,225, with the remaining $19,776 on internal costs.

4. Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in fourth place in terms of her spending, with expenses at a total of $84,041. She spent $56,553 on international travel costs and $27,489 on internal costs. Ms Ardern is Minister of National Security and Intelligence, Arts Culture and Heritage and Child Poverty Reduction, and is the MP for Mt Albert.

Who were the biggest spenders on internal costs?

1. Kelvin Davis

When looking at only internal costs including accommodation, surface and air travel, Minister Kelvin Davis spent the most at $46,737. Mr Davis is Minister for Corrections, Crown/Māori Relations and Tourism and Associate Minister for Māori Education. He's also the MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

2. Phil Twyford

He was followed by Minister of Housing and Urban Development and Transport and MP for Te Atatū Phil Twyford, who spent $44,653.

3. Shane Jones

Minister for Regional Economic Development, Forestry and Infrastructure Shane Jones was the third highest spender on internal costs at $43,493. He is also an Associate Minister of Finance, State Owned Enterprises and Transport.