Labour MP Ingrid Leary apologises for queue-jumping traffic and allegedly speeding on Otago bridge

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Ingrid Leary, the Member of Parliament for Taieri. Photo / File

Labour MP Ingrid Leary has apologised for queue-jumping past traffic and allegedly speeding in a van plastered with her name, saying “being late for an appointment is no excuse.”

Leary, the Member of Parliament for Taieri, was outed in a letter to the editor of the Otago Daily Times.

Letter writer John Neilson said he saw a van with Leary’s name on its side queue-jump on a congested bridge on State Highway 8 in Otago.

“This vehicle [was] queue jumping at more than the temporary speed limit (30km/h), passing a long line of other vehicles waiting to get over the bridge,” Neilson wrote.


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Neilson said the behaviour was “not really a good look for someone who should no better”.

Leary responded to Neilson’s letter, saying she was “actually driving very carefully” but accepted it was an “unwise thing to do”.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment thing and I am kicking myself. I apologise unreservedly to those I offended,” she said.

“It won’t happen again.”


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Taking to social media, posting a copy of Neilson’s letter, Leary offered her “sincere and unreserved apologies” again.

“I shouldn’t have done it – even driving very slowly, actually. Being late for an appointment is no excuse.”

The queue-jumping happened on the opening day of the new Beaumont bridge. More than 1500 people turning out to mark the occasion, Neilson said.

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.

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