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


Maharey’s future in Rankin’s hands - ACT

The State Services Commissioner today faced strong questioning from ACT Social Welfare Spokesman over the relationship between WINZ boss Christine Rankin and Social Services Minister Steve Maharey when he appeared before the Government Administration Select Committee.

Muriel Newman said Steve Maharey made repeated personal attacks on Christine Rankin while in Opposition and declared he had no confidence in her once sworn in as her Minister. “He has now created the unacceptable situation where he will not take action on key issues of accountability, because his public attacks have exposed the Government to the very real risk of Ms Rankin taking a massive personal grievance claim,” she said.

“This inaction is despite his earlier statement that he was worried that the issue might be settled out of Court and the public would never know what happened.

“In effect his future is now in her hands,” she said.

“The Government is now so worried about Maharey’s situation that he was today shielded in question time from having to answer my questions relating to the charter flight incident . Instead, without explanation and at the very last moment my question was passed to a stand in for the Minister of State Services.

Earlier in the day, the State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham told the Government Administration Committee that it was “unusual” to have “counselled” a Minister the number of times he has Social Services Minister Steve Maharey. Michael Winteringham said he had counselled Steve Maharey “several times”.

Dr Newman questioned the Commissioner about the confidential out of court settlement between WINZ and the former employee sacked over the charter flight debacle, asking whether the secret settlement meant that the question of culpability - whether Christine Rankin was misled by her staff member or whether the staff member was made a scapegoat - would never be known.

In answering, Michael Wintringham said that it was “unsatisfactory that there is no answer because the matter has not been played out in Court.”

“The commissioner also signalled his concerns to the Committee about the government’s handling of the Ministerial Inquiry into WINZ, saying that he had advised that it should not be a personal performance review of the WINZ Chief Executive, that the outcome should not be prejudged and that natural justice and due process must be observed”, Dr Newman said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news