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No heads will roll over $6m Hawkesby payout

No heads will roll at Television New Zealand management over the $6 million Hawkesby payout despite Prime Minister Helen Clark’s pledge, says National MP Tony Ryall.

“TVNZ Chairman Ross Armstrong told the Commerce Select Committee this morning that no senior manager at TVNZ will be held accountable for the Hawkesby payout.

“In February the Prime Minister called the Hawkesby payout a disgrace and obscene. She called for heads to roll.

“Yet today we learned that the managers who negotiated and signed the contract will get off Scot free.

“TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis today confirmed the contract was approved under board delegation. But Dr Armstrong says those delegations were too high and so it’s all the board’s fault.

“It is all very well for Mr Ellis to admit he regretted signing the Hawkesby contract but what is he going to do about it?

“The Labour Government-appointed chairman refuses to hold senior managers accountable. This is not good enough when huge amounts of taxpayer money is involved yet the buck stops with no-one. The public deserves to know why the Prime Minister is standing by and letting this happen,” says Mr Ryall

Ends

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