Jacinda Ardern denies taxpayer resources used organising wedding, would cooperate with investigation

The Prime Minister denies taxpayer time and money has been spent on organising her wedding to television personality Clarke Gayford, but will work with anyone wanting to investigate the matter.

The NZ Herald on Sunday reported that Ardern's Mt Albert electorate secretary had visited a Gisborne venue in May and July to assist with organising her wedding. The Taxpayers Union' subsequently said it would write to the Auditor-General asking for an investigation, concerned that taxpayer time and money was being put towards wedding planning.

Ardern told The AM Show on Tuesday morning that she wasn't aware of her office hearing from the Auditor-General's office regarding the matter of taxpayer resources going towards private affairs. 

"I haven't done a survey of everyone who works in my office to see whether they have received any correspondence," she said.

"We will absolutely follow through, and everyone involved here has been working hard to do the right thing, so obviously, I reject that suggestion, and we will be working closely with anyone who chooses to look into it."

The Auditor-General's office has since told Newshub it has not yet received a request from the Taxpayers' Union.

She said all travel in May and July was paid for privately and done on either annual leave days or in the weekend.

"The person in question is amongst a number of friends who have offered to help Clarke and I, and everyone has worked to make sure that we're doing the right thing and following rules and the days that you've asked about, yes, two were weekends and one was an annual leave day."

Ardern said there weren't any other days to be concerned with.

"We've all been very careful to make sure we make very clear distinctions about roles here. But as I say, this is one of my friends amongst other friends who have just offered to help us, but doing that within the rules has been important to all of us." 

Questions about the use of the electorate secretary were first raised after reporting of a stoush between the engaged couple and the owner of the Bushmere Arms venue which had been considered for the wedding location. A disagreement over catering is said to have led Ardern and Gayford to go elsewhere.