'Sorry’ Is Just Not Good Enough
15 November 2000
Media Statement for Immediate Use
‘SORRY’ IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH - PETER CALLS FOR COMPENSATION
New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters today claimed as hopelessly inadequate, the absolute apology given to Mr & Mrs Willis, whose lives were wrecked by the excesses of the Inland Revenue Department.
“To offer an apology after subjecting this couple to 12 years of the most tenacious harassment, which culminated in the IRD winding up their business and the bringing about the ruination of their lives, fails the test of being a responsible and accountable government department.
“The consequences of a department acting in such a callous manner, the reliance it placed upon material that was substantially flawed in its accuracy and dependability, and the unquestioning acceptance of fraudulently presented paperwork, has caused such devastation to the Willis family, that a mere apology is insulting.
“Mr Peters has called for those responsible to be seriously disciplined and does not accept the excuse offered, that those responsible have now moved on.
“The legacy of a department which chases smaller operators with a zeal and vigour that does not extend to corporate tax dodgers, merely serves to reinforce the belief that IRD is a corrupt bully, said Mr Peters.
“This is not a time for mere apologies, but for accountability and that must mean compensation,” said Mr Peters.