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


‘Culture of Extravagance’ Alive & Well

‘Culture of Extravagance’ Alive & Well Under Maharey

The ‘culture of extravagance’ within WINZ is alive and well under the leadership of Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey despite his Opposition bluster against the Department’s spending.

Questions from ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman reveal that WINZ pays $36,000 each year for 122 of its staff to have membership to Air New Zealand’s exclusive Koru Club. The Department has also spent almost $100,000 storing furniture in the first three months of the year. Christine Rankin’s top two managers are each paid more than the Deputy Prime Minister.

The new spending revelations come on the day the Government is expected to launch its PR exercise to sell a ‘fresh start’ for WINZ under the leadership of Christine Rankin in response to the damning Hunn report.

However, Dr Newman said that Mr Maharey’s trademark backflips over WINZ had reached new heights today with his ‘weak’ attempt to defend the spending. “This is exactly the type of spending that even in December Steve Maharey was using to publicly attack WINZ,” she said.

“His roar has become a squeak,” she said.

“Mr Maharey faces an even bigger hurdle, trying to convince New Zealanders that his so-called ‘fresh start’ for WINZ has any credibility while Christine Rankin remains as CEO. It’s like trying to re-launch the Fire Service Commission under the leadership of Roger Estall,” she said.

The Government’s attempt to relaunch WINZ is expected to see little more than Steve Maharey calling it the ‘Department of Work and Income’, cosmetic changes to names and titles for old practices and schemes and superficial changes to the Work for the Dole scheme which the Minister has re-named ‘Activity in the Community’.

“New Zealanders won’t be fooled that today’s relaunch is anything more than a charade. The Koru Club Memberships just confirm that nothing has changed in the Department since Steve Maharey took over. Indeed, he has made the situation worse by his uncontrolled actions in Opposition that have left the Government unable to remove Ms Rankin without a seven figure payout,” she said.

“This Department is vital to the Government if it is serious about a fair welfare system that gets New Zealanders back into real jobs. Until the Government bites the bullet, admits its mistakes and takes real action, the Department will continue to limp on in the same vain costing taxpayers money and costing those on welfare their chance to get off,” said Muriel Newman.

© 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