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Waipareira Inquiry Referred to Finance Committee

Waipareira Inquiry Referred to Finance and Expenditure Select Committee

Friday 16th Jun 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

ACT leader Richard Prebble said today that he had referred the inquiry into the Waipareira Trust's handling of taxpayers' money to the Finance and Expenditure select committee.

"The committee has itself referred the evidence that ACT has produced showing that millions of taxpayers money has been largely diverted by the Waipareira Trust from welfare programmes for Maori in West Auckland into property speculation, four wheel drive vehicles and financial benefits for a small number of people," Mr Prebble said.

"The Maori Affairs select committee has rejected my proposal that it was best that the committee examine the Trust to show that the inquiry was not based on race."

"The government members of the committee advised me that they had a caucus and no matter what evidence was produced, they would not look at it."

"I believe this is the case: they realise Mr Tamihere would not come out well from such an enquiry."

Mr Prebble said it was important the audit rules for the payment of taxpayers' money to non-governmental social agencies like the Trust were examined.

"The Auditor-General has publicly stated that he was unable to examine the books of the Waipareira Trust and he believes that he should have the power to follow taxpayers' money when it is disbursed to non-governmental agencies," he said.

"This week's Budget sees tens of millions of taxpayer dollars going to iwi and hapu agencies makes it imperative that there are robust checks in place to ensure taxpayers' money reaches the people it is supposed to benefit."

"I believe ACT's examination of the Waipareira Trust's activities have shown there is a glaring gap in the law and I am confident that as a result of our work, the law will be substantially amended and the Auditor-General's powers considerably strengthened."


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