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Defence loses millions for Jim's jobs plan

Simon Power National MP for Rangitikei

29 May 2002

Defence loses millions for Jim's jobs plan

It seems the Defence department has lost several million dollars despite their advice warning against the sale of land at the Hobsonville airbase, National MP Simon Power said today.

Mr Power released documents today, which show that the Ministry of Defence sought reimbursement for any loss if the 4ha of land was sold under value, and that the Ministry of Economic Development agreed in a draft memorandum to make up this loss.

"It seems from documents that Defence recommended against this land being sold and sought reimbursement from the Ministry of Economic Development should it be sold below its value. The land was sold for $523,000 but two days after restrictions were changed, its value rocketed up to $7.5 million and $10 million.

"The question is, as the sale was rushed through, and Defence lost millions of dollars has the NZDF ever been reimbursed as was proposed?

"Minister of Defence Mark Burton has been had. This land was sold from under his nose in a political move driven through the Ministry of Economic Development by Jim Anderton to make it look as though he and the Government were creating many jobs in the boat building industry.

"The Government should be very concerned that this land has been sold for no other reason than to advance a political agenda, the Government, taxpayers and Defence, have lost millions of dollars on the sale. Mark Burton must explain why this sale was rushed through and the subsequent botch ups," Mr Power said.

Ends

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