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Monday, November 9

Hide apologises : Well Done


A personal statement made by Rodney Hide:

I have asked you here today because I want to apologise. I want to apologise to the public. I want to apologise to my colleagues and to my supporters.

But most importantly I want to apologise to the people of Epsom. I promised the people of Epsom I would make them proud of me as their MP. I have let them down.

I have made mistakes.

I have shown poor judgement. For that I am very sorry.

I accept that I have failed to live up to the important principle that I have set, that politicians should always remember that they are spending taxpayers’ money, and therefore must spend it carefully.

I am proud of the work I have done on behalf of taxpayers.

I am proud of the work I am doing in my local government portfolio on behalf of ratepayers.

I am not proud of my casual use of taxpayers’ money to take a holiday in Hawaii with my partner. That was wrong. My decision to repay that money ($10,022.40) was easy when I took the time to reflect on what I had done.

I can well understand why hard-working New Zealand families are appalled that I took such a holiday at their expense during these difficult economic times, even though no rules were broken.

I have also decided to repay the cost of my partner’s airfares for the trip to London, Canada and the United States that she accompanied me on in September. I will be providing Parliamentary Services with a cheque for $11,952.00 in the morning.

I want to publicly apologise to John Key for distracting attention away from the important job his government has in lifting New Zealand’s economic performance and providing the standard of living we all aspire to.

The Prime Minister has entrusted me with a big and important job. He is excellent to work with, and I appreciate his very generous support, especially over the last two weeks.

I have always been conscious that every dollar a government spends is a dollar out of the pocket of a hard working kiwi. But in the challenge, the hard work, and the excitement of my ministerial job I lost sight of that for myself. I fully accept that I can only demand high standards of others if I always meet the same high standards myself.

It’s not about the rules - it’s about doing the right thing.

I want to conclude by making two important commitments to the public, my colleagues and supporters.

- I will never again use taxpayers’ money for any overseas holidays.

- I will continue to work hard to do the very best job I can as a minister and a member of parliament to honour the trust that the people of Epsom have shown in electing me to represent them.

Thank you.