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Auditor General called in over THOTT allegations

Auditor General called in over THOTT allegations

Phil Heatley - MP for Whangarei

Whangarei MP Phil Heatley has sent a formal written request to the Auditor General for a full financial audit of contracts with Te Hau Ora O Te Tai Tokerau, and all associated organisations under it’s oversight.

“It is all very well that Mr Maharey has asked accountants to take a peek at the books, but now the interim Chairperson has walked out and allegations continue to arise,” said Mr Heatley.

Today Mr Heatley obtained a change of ownership paper for a THOTT vehicle that sold on Friday September 6th, during the period that asset freeze negotiations were before the courts.

“Allegations against THOTT cannot be satisfactorily substantiated unless an independent and full audit of all government contracts with Te Hau Ora O Te Tai Tokerau is undertaken,” said Mr Heatley.

Private organisations do not come under the jurisdiction of the Auditor General but the office can investigate government contracts with them and can also demand access to financial records relating to those government contracts.

Mr Heatley has also called on the remaining trustees of Te Hau Ora O Te Tai Tokerau to ask the Auditor General for help. The Auditor General can have a wider and more overarching investigation of the organisation if formally invited by its Trustees.

“I’m sure they have nothing to fear from complete transparency”, said Mr Heatley.

“If contract obligations have been fulfilled it will be clear that taxpayers have been getting value for money. Then we can move forward.

“This is reflecting on all professional Maori providers in Northland. Outstanding questions have to be put to rest so they can get on with the good job they are doing.

“After all, the welfare of many struggling Northland families is at stake”, said Mr Heatley.

The request to the Auditor General follows a previous request from Mr Heatley to the Minister of Social Services and Employment, six weeks ago, for a full Ministerial Inquiry. That request was declined.

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