Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Rankin Must Come Back With Answers

WINZ Chief Executive Christine Rankin today ducked answering any questions from ACT’s Muriel Newman on whether or not she was misled by a staff member over the WINZ charter flight debacle, saying she needed to seek advice before answering.

ACT’s Social Welfare Spokesman put the questions to Ms Rankin when the Chief Executive appeared before Parliament’s Social Services Select Committee today for the Financial Review of the Department of Work and Income New Zealand.

Muriel Newman said full responsibility for the $165,000 charter flight debacle had never been established and Ms Rankin should have been prepared to set the record straight – either she was misled or she was not.

“The truth over this matter has never been established, because the senior staff member who had been blamed, resigned saying she had been used as a ‘scapegoat’, and brought a personal grievance claim against WINZ.. Both the Auditor General and the State Services Commissioner who investigated the incident left the issue of management responsibility and accountability alone, believing it would be made clear in the Employment Court ruling. The day in court never eventuated because the claim was settled in secrecy, with a reported $100,000 pay out and an apology from Ms Rankin. That secret deal is now being used as a smokescreen to stop the truth coming out.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that Parliament cannot get to the bottom of this issue because of a secret employment settlement. The cost to the taxpayer of this incident has been huge and full responsibility must be assigned – either Ms Rankin was misled, or she misled the government.

“What is also unacceptable is the Minister’s silence on this issue. Before the election he was determined to establish whether or not Ms Rankin was misled. Now that he’s the Minister he’s done another flip-flop and gone all quiet. Yet the public deserve to know the truth.

“Under questioning, Ms Rankin assured the Committee that she will provide a written answer to clarify the issue of culpability and to provide the total amount WINZ has spent on this debacle including the full cost of legal advice. I look forward to receiving Ms Rankins answers, so that this whole unfortunate incident can be put to rest: either Ms Rankin will finally be cleared of any suspicion, or she will have to take full responsibility for misleading the Government”, Muriel Newman said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election