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ACT Turns Up Heat On Government Over WINZ Boss

ACT is today turning up the heat on the Government over WINZ boss Christine Rankin, saying “the current situation is untenable and has to be resolved immediately”.

ACT Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said it is time the Government admitted the ridiculous position it is now in, particularly its exposure to a million dollar plus Personal Grievance, is because of the excessive public attacks by Steve Maharey in Opposition”.

Immediately after being appointed as Christine Rankin’s Minister, Mr Maharey had top level advice from the Solicitor-General and the State Services Commission that he could not publicly criticise her, nor could she be removed from her job, because of his previous public attacks.

“The situation is now well beyond continued avoidance of serious decisions and action ” said Muriel Newman.

Despite repeated calls for Ms Rankin’s resignation before the election, and a Review that is as critical of her management as it legally can be, the Government is dithering.

“A whole new start and style is needed, that simply is not credible under the leadership of the current Chief Executive, and this reality must be faced”.

“In the interim, we have the unacceptable situation where the Government cannot express confidence or a lack of confidence in the Chief Executive of New Zealand’s biggest Department”.

“While the Government has been putting all the criticism on Christine Rankin, this is Labour’s biggest bungle to date, it’s come to a head, and Labour has no strategy to deal with it”.

“I have today written to the Prime Minister asking her to tell New Zealand what she is going to do to resolve this unacceptable situation, to protect taxpayers from a massive Personal Grievance claim, and to ensure that this major Department can soon start to rebuild” concluded Dr Muriel Newman.

ENDS

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