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

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election