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Questions Over Spending On Prison Consultants

14 May 2002

Serious Questions Raised Over Spending On Prison Consultants

Corrections Minister Matt Robson must answer questions on the spending of $500,000 on consultation for the proposed Meremere prison, says Port Waikato MP Paul Hutchison.

"Money has been been paid to a convicted fraudster, a recently liquidated Trust, and now a $245,000 contract being paid monthly in advance.

"The Department of Corrections has already paid $150,000 to eight members of the Ngati Naho Incorporated Society. Yet the Trust of the same name was recently liquidated. The members created a new body, with the same name, which now represents the individuals rather than the five marae.

"Today in Parliament Matt Robson was asked if he could guarantee that the $245,000 annual contract offered to Tainui, to be paid monthly in advance for consultation, would be spent wisely. He must justify his answer that it would be."

The Department also hired a convicted fraudster as a consultant. "The Minister has denied mistakes were made in hiring Tommy Moana as a consultant for the prison, given his recent conviction on 53 counts of fraud.

"The processes being used by Matt Robson are shrouded in secrecy and appear to be full of inconsistencies. The Minister has some serious explaining to do," said Dr Hutchison.

Ends

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