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ACT MP Refers Documents To the Auditor General

ACT Leader, Richard Prebble, said today that he had referred some of the documents he had regarding the Waipereira Trust to the Auditor-General.

“The Trust has admitted that two payments it received of taxpayers money from the Health Funding Authority were diverted to the Aotearoa Maori Rugby League. No account has been given of when or why this occurred. Were health services affected? What use, if any, did the League make of the money?

“I have also referred the new Chief Executive’s 19 February 2000 report, where he alleges the Waipereira Trust, despite a “cash flow problem” and a “precarious financial position” that some Trustees tried to purchase 20% of Ansett New Zealand for $9 million.

“As nearly all of the Trust’s money comes from the taxpayer, it’s clear the Auditor-General needs to launch an inquiry.

“The further claims of forged signatures by Mr H S Parata make an inquiry by the Auditor-General a necessity.

“ACT had expected the Prime Minister to take steps to set up an inquiry as it’s now clear that Ministers have known of these allegations for some time but have instead relied on assurances from the Labour MP, Mr Tamihere, that all is OK. The Prime Minister is not entitled to rely on Mr Tamihere’s assurances that the financial affairs of the Trust are in order.

The new Chief Executive, Mr Ian Mackintosh, has demonstrated that assurances from Mr Tamihere cannot be relied upon and I quote from his report of 19 February: ‘the fact remains that operational and financial information relayed to me by the Trust prior to my commencement and whilst the organisation was still under the control of the previous Chief Executive, [Mr Tamihere] did not remotely portray the grim reality of the Trust’s true financial position.

No one doubts that if a Labour MP was not involved the government would have taken immediate steps to launch an inquiry.

ENDS

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