2 Feb 2011

Children's Commissioner travel cost defended

12:27 pm on 2 February 2011

The Government is defending the decision to allow taxpayers to pay for the Children's Commissioner to regularly fly from Wellington to his home in Otago.

John Angus, who is paid more than $180,000, spent more than $4000 to his Central Otago home in the last six months of 2010.

But Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says Mr Angus is doing a vital job, and she believes the costs are reasonable.

"He lives in Central Otago, we're asking him to be in Wellington for work, I think it's quite reasonable that he gets to have that trip home occasionally."

Ms Bennett said on average it is one trip a month.

Public sector chief executives' spending is now being released every six months.

The latest data shows the heads of Corrections and Foreign Affairs spent more than $26,000 on domestic and international travel in the six month period, while the chief executive of the Ministry of Justice spent just over $6000.