Inquiry into who leaked Simon Bridges' travel expenses

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Wellington

Parliament's Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard has confirmed a full investigation will be launched into who leaked information on National leader Simon Bridges' travel expenses.

Mallard said he believes that information was deliberately leaked to undermine an individual, in this case Simon Bridges, and the system.

There was no confirmed start day or finish day for the inquiry but Mallard says he hopes to get to the bottom of the issue and that evidence from the inquiry will show who leaked and forwarded documents.

The announcement comes after leaked information to Newshub revealed Mr Bridges spent more than $113,000 in taxpayer’s money on Crown limos and accommodation in the past three months.

The National leader is confident the leak did not come from within his party.

"I'm not going to get into speculating about who did it, what happened.  I'm clear and confident on the bits I know- that it wasn't National.”

“There will be an inquiry, let’s see where that gets to."

However NZ First leader Winston Peters has his own suspicions.

"It will be those who could advantage themselves by the information going out."

The leak comes just days before teachers took strike action across the country and official reports for government spending were to be released.

The issue has ministers and some party leaders sitting on opposite sides of the fence.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta says "Ministers have those privileges so this sort of thing is not new, particularly around the use of Crown vehicles."

Forestry Minister Shane Jones agrees.

"That is to be expected from any leader of a political party, so I don't have an issue with it.  I myself have spent a similar amount in the past.

"It has become issue because there is curiosity now as to who leaked it to the media."

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson believes it was waste of money.

“It's a waste, the Greens do not spend money like so I don't agree," she says.

Reports on government spending will be officially released tomorrow.