UPDATED: “Disgraced former minister Phil Heatley was repeatedly warned by officials about his ministerial credit card use, new documents reveal. Mr Heatley, 42, quit his fisheries and housing portfolios yesterday after moves by Prime Minister John Key to put his spending under more scrutiny by Auditor-General Lyn Provost…”(Source: Dominion Post, 26th February 2010). Read more
Full text of resignation speech by Minister of Housing and Fisheries Phil Heatley. Read out at a press conference an hour ago.
I have called this media conference today to announce my resignation as Housing Minister, Fisheries Minister and a member in John Key’s Cabinet.
I contacted the Prime Minister this morning to let him know of my plans and he has accepted my resignation.
Firstly, I want to say that it has been a privilege to serve the people of New Zealand as a Cabinet Minister in this National Government, but I believe that I have failed to live up to my own standards and for that I am embarrassed and immensely sorry.
The decision today comes after I had a closer look at my Ministerial Credit Card expenses covering the past 18 months.
As I explained earlier in the week, I was not as familiar as I should have been with the rules; in fact, I was careless. I have apologised and have undertaken to pay back any money wrongly billed.
However, a closer inspection of my accounts has revealed an error in addition to that already in the public arena. On reconciling my accounts I discovered an expenses claim that sits apart from the rest.
I charged two bottles of wine already highlighted this week to my account as food and beverages. There was no food included in this purchase, and I accept this could be viewed as an inaccurate representation of the expense.
But rather than arguing semantics about whether this was deliberately misleading or not, I have decided that this is one step too far and I offered my resignation to the Prime Minister this morning.
Furthermore, today I have submitted my accounts to the Office of the Auditor General to conduct an independent inquiry, and I expect those results will be made public in due course.
I believe this is the right course of action.
I have absolutely no desire to become the focus of a distraction for this Government, which has much to do to grow the economy, invest in jobs and help Kiwis get ahead.
I do intend to remain in Parliament as an advocate for Whangarei, and I want to thank the wonderful people from my electorate who have rung to offer their support.
I also want to thank my wife, Jenny and family for their ongoing support in what have been a tough few days.
Heatley’s Profile on http://www.heatley.co.nz
In the National-led Government, Phil Heatley is:
- Minister of Fisheries
- Minister of Housing
|Phil Heatley is 42 years old and the electorate MP for Whangarei.
He attended Maunu & Whau Valley Primary, Kamo Intermediate and Kamo High Schools in Whangarei.
Being born, raised and educated in Whangarei, he has strong personal ties to the electorate with his own family and extended family all residing there.
In 1990 he completed a Masters with honours degree, majoring in Horticultural Engineering. After finishing his studies he returned to Whangarei to work.
Phil’s personal interests include carpentry, tennis, boating and fishing.
In 1993 both Phil and his wife Jenny, a registered nurse, worked voluntarily with an international relief agency aboard a nine-story, 12,000-ton hospital ship. When in port crew undertook medical, agricultural and construction work in developing countries.
After returning from overseas in 1995, Phil was employed as a Professional Engineer for a NZ Dairy Board subsidiary in Northland. Nationally, Phil was responsible for working on behalf of the dairy industry in relation to the Resource Management Act (1991).