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Cullen Fund In More Trouble

29 May 2002

"The Cullen Fund - Labour's highly flawed flagship superannuation policy - is in further trouble, less than a year after receiving hundreds of millions in taxpayers' funds, " says National's Finance spokesman David Carter.

Mr Carter says without any guardians appointed, no investment decisions are being made for the fund - other than allowing the $600 million already accumulated to sit on short-term deposit.

"Michael Cullen is trying to blame the delay in establishing the fund on having to consult with other political parties on appointing its guardians.

"However, is the real reason that he has failed to find guardians suitable for his coalition partners?

"Earlier in the year, Dr Cullen said these appointments would be made by March, then it was April, then May - but so far, nothing."

David Carter says National cannot be blamed for the delay.

"It's widely known that National doesn't support the Cullen Fund. All we could be blamed for is signalling to potential guardians that they should not be planning a long-term career.

"Anyway, the Government doesn't need National's support to appoint the guardians - just as it didn't need our support to create the fund. Dr Cullen must come clean and reveal which of his coalition partners are causing problems."

Mr Carter says the Government's inability to appoint the fund's guardians should ring alarm-bells with all New Zealanders.

"Here we have a fund which already has hundreds of millions of taxpayers money - with billions more yet to go in - and the Government can't even complete the process of setting up the fund," he concluded.

Ends

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