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Fresh NZ Post Leaks Confirm Concerns

Fresh NZ Post Leaks Confirm Concerns Over South Africa Contract

Fresh leaks of NZ Post correspondence show that over a year ago deputy chairman Syd Bradley attempted to air the exact same concerns over NZ Post's performance in South Africa that National MP Murray McCully and ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide are now raising before parliament.

"NZ Post and Minister Mark Burton have been pooh-poohing our concerns and now we find out they have been echoed by the Deputy Chair," Mr Hide said.

"What is shocking is that it appears Mr Bradley's concerns were not treated seriously or put in front of the Board. As a former NZ Post senior manager, Mr Bradley is very experienced and has extensive knowledge of South Africa. He is also a very respected director.

"Mr Bradley's request to Dr Armstrong on May 8 last year was for an urgent "independent review of the work we have done for SAPO and see if it stands reasonable scrutiny". That's exactly what I have been calling for along with Mr McCully.

"Mr Bradley sent press clippings from South Africa to Dr Armstrong noting, "More of this re SAPO [South Africa Post Office]. Does not read well from SA end".

"The press clippings contain reports of NZ Post employees living extravagant lifestyles in the developing nation of South Africa and allege these employees cost the "post office (SAPO) millions." The concerns were the pay and the perks. The press called the contract with NZ Post and Transend a "gravy train".

"The contract with SAPO did not deliver breakeven as promised, which forced the South African Government to bail out SAPO. The press clippings allege SAPO was considering laying criminal charges because the contract had been "botched".

"Mr Bradley made his concerns plain to Dr Armstrong. He stated, "For me, our company, and our own nation, the moral and commercial objectives must be in balance with NZ Post being proud of its contribution and because of its performance be `first in line' for repeat business".

"The Government can no longer dismiss the concerns raised by Mr McCully and myself. What is needed now is a full audit of Transend's operation. The real question is where Minster Mark Burton was when this fiasco was unfolding and whether Prime Minister Helen Clark was ever told of the problems being experienced," Mr Hide said.

Ends

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