Show us the diary Carter, show us the diary

TV3 ran a story about veteran trougher and disaster tourist Chris Carter and his extravagant travel arrangements.

As I watched the story it got me thinking. He justifies all his trips with the explanation that he was representing Helen Clark or doing meetings and appearances with NZ’s reputation in mind. He also says he is a “very busy person”.

So, how about the diaries and full itineraries for all these trips are released so that we can judge whether or not the taxpayer did actually get value for money? For example, if I remember rightly, Tau Henare was pilloried in the Bolger/NZFirst government for travel where he did only one meeting per day while Lockwood Smith when he traveled was averaging 8 or 9 meetings a day.

For Chris Carter to say he is “a busy person” we really need to see his diary of meetings for all of those trips just to see if he actually was a busy person or just using the taxpayer to try to save his “marriage”.

The full itinerary would also show if there were any convenient holidays sandwiched in there somewhere on the taxpayers expense.

Transparency of all the details and sunlight are the best disinfectant for the stench of troughing. For me the troughing of MPs must be brought to heal. Fortunately this travel was while Carter was a minister so the information is available under the OIA, ot so for any travel by all MPs though as parliamentary Services remains firmly outside the OIA.