Former government minister Roger McClay has appeared in court accused of fraudulently claiming mileage expenses from charities while getting air travel subsidies from the public purse for the same trips.
Mr McClay, 65, who denies the charges, appeared in the Auckland District Court on Friday facing 56 charges related to claims for about $26,000 between 2005 and 2008.
The former Commissioner for Children is accused of claiming his 90% subsidy, as a former MP, for air travel while also making a mileage claim from World Vision, Heart Children or Keep New Zealand Beautiful.
Bailed to reappear in court on 23 April, Mr McClay did not comment after his brief appearance on Friday.
He is a former National MP and minister outside Cabinet in the Bolger government of the 1990s.