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Christine Rankin Saga Just Goes On And On

19 April 2001

CHRISTINE RANKIN SAGA JUST GOES ON AND ON

The latest instalment in the Christine Rankin saga may well have fascinating legal connotations and provide an interesting feeding frenzy for media and fellow politicians, but in the end the long suffering taxpayer will foot the bill whatever the outcome, says Hon Peter Dunne, leader United Future

"The rushed merger of Work and Income with the Ministry of Social Policy is undoubtedly going to be a costly exercise not just in financial terms, but also in terms of uncertainty for staff, clients and stakeholders.

"Add to this a hefty payout to Christine Rankin, if her claim is successful, and the fallout in financial and non-financial terms is huge.

"There may well be good reasons for the merger and it is the policy of United future to move towards grouping government departments by function. But this needs to be dome with care and diligence and not rushed through to avoid the re-appointment of a chief executive who has irritated the Government and others.

"If indeed this is the reason for the merger then it will in time be exposed. If as the Government want us to believe, the reasons for the merger, are to bring two two arms of the state sector together for long term benefits and a stronger strategic focus then fine, but it should at least be worked through with greater attention to detail and with proper consultation. Then the stakeholders including the taxpayers who bankroll these agencies can have confidence this merger is in their best interests.

"Let us not forget the taxpayer stands to be the biggest loser in this whole debacle," says Mr Dunne.

END

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