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Full audit of Maori TV projects now needed

Full audit of Maori TV projects now needed

The National Party is calling for a full audit of Maori Television projects following reports that show serious questions are being asked about some spending.

"There are too many fingers in too many pies," says National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

She's commenting on the recent failures of two production companies and a separate Audit NZ report that raises concerns about the accounting practices of Aroha Films Ltd

Combined the three companies have received over $2.5 million by Government funding agency Te Mangai Paho.

"The Audit NZ report appears to be so damaging that I find it incredible no-one at Te Mangai Paho realised what was going on," she says.

"It seems Te Mangai Paho did know about one of the failing production companies months ahead of its collapse, but didn't act.

"Now creditors, that include struggling Kiwi actors, are being left out of pocket and in some cases the taxpayer is being asked to pay twice.

"It's incompetence, sheer incompetence," Katherine Rich says. "I don't buy the Te Mangai Paho's claim that "it has good systems in place to ensure companies receiving funding are viable" when it is clear those systems aren't working.

"Te Mangai Paho has failed miserably to deliver on its obligation to keep track of how hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money is being spent.

"It would now appear Te Mangai Paho is more concerned with covering up mistakes than making sure our money is being well spent," says Katherine Rich.

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