Fashion

Disgraced former MP for Clutha-Southland Hamish Walker’s final bill for the taxpayer was $10,000, members’ expense reports show.

Disgraced former MP for Clutha-Southland Hamish Walker’s final bill for the taxpayer was $10,000, members’ expense reports show.
Walker, who made headlines after outing himself as the leaker of sensitive information, spent $10,156 between October 1 and December 31, disclosure of Parliamentary Service expenses show.
The bill included $4162 spent on accommodation in Wellington and $5813 on other travel expenses.
However, while none of the spending would have been after October 17, as Walker stood down from Election Day as a result of his decision to leak the private patient information to media, the spending could have been between July 1 and September 30.
Parliamentary Services chief executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said members expense disclosures are calculated based on when invoices and claims for travel are received.
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“Occasionally there are time differences between travel occurring and the Parliamentary Service receiving the invoice or claim. This can lead to parts of a members expense disclosure in a given quarter relating to travel that occurred in a prior quarter,” Gonzalez-Montero said.
Other southern MP spending between October 1 and December 31 included Sarah Dowie, former Invercargill MP, who also stepped down at the election: $1821, Liz Craig (list MP of Invercargill): $11,600, Joseph Mooney (Southland MP): $15,943, and Penny Simmonds (Invercargill MP): $8245.
Walker, a one-term Clutha-Southland MP, confirmed he would leave Parliament at the election after his omission and subsequent apology over the leak.
In July, Walker sent a spreadsheet containing the names and quarantining locations of the 18 active Covid-19 patients at the time to Stuff, on condition that the information not be attributed to him. This information was also sent to other media outlets.
Later that month, National Party leader Judith Collins confirmed Walker had been granted leave from parliamentary duties in Wellington.
However, also that month Walker toured the electorate, at the time posting on Facebook that he was on a several day road trip throughout the electorate.
He would have also received three months pay post-election (which in Walkers case would be $40,000) a perk open to all MPs who retire or get voted out.
Walker, who replaced Todd Barclay as Clutha-Southland MP in 2017, after Barclay made headlines due to allegations he secretly recorded the phone conversations of his electorate staff member, was replaced by Queenstown lawyer Joseph Mooney.
Walker has since become a Queenstown real estate agent.
All together, non-ministerial MPs spent just over $1.5 million between October 1 and December 31.