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Another woeful misuse of public money

2000 web siteThe saga of New Zealand Qualifications Authority former chief executive Douglas Blackmur is further evidence of the Government's inability to properly oversee its departments and agencies, Labour associate education spokesperson Steve Maharey said today.

Steve Maharey said the Government's hand-off approach to governing had created a culture of slackness within the public sector.

"There is the impression among some agencies and individuals that spending which the public would see as excessive, is acceptable and normal," Steve Maharey said.

"It is an attitude that has thrived under a National Government which refuses to take ownership of the public sector. Yet as elected representatives, that is what taxpayers expect of them.

"It was not good use of taxpayer funds to pay for Dr Blackmur to visit family in Brisbane nor would many New Zealanders regard business class travel as 'reasonably-priced' airfares. Nor do I regard membership of the exclusive Wellington Club as a necessary component of a chief executive's package.

"In fact the public has had enough of big spending among some senior public servants. A Labour Government will clearly set out the standards which we will expect of the public sector.

"The golden handshake Dr Blackmur received when he resigned early, typified the extraordinary perks he received while in the job. By asking nicely for the money back, Mr Bradford is just trying to look like the 'good cop' in a story that his Government has created," Steve Maharey said.

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