1 Apr 2010

Whangarei MP glad to be given second chance

6:57 am on 1 April 2010

Whangarei MP Phil Heatley says he is glad he has been given a second chance to prove himself as a Cabinet minister.

Mr Heatley is to be reinstated, after resigning in February for misusing his ministerial credit card on several occasions.

A report by the Auditor-General issued on Tuesday cleared Mr Heatley of intentional wrongdoing, saying he did not fully understand the rules and $1402 of his spending was outside them.

Mr Heatley says he will take extra special care with his ministerial spending and work to stay within the rules.

Prime Minister John Key says Mr Heatley did not set out to rort the taxpayer and deserves a second chance as a minister.

The Labour Party says the Auditor-General has given Mr Heatley the benefit of the doubt, as using the ministerial credit card to pay for a personal holiday can hardly be seen as accidental.