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Buck stops with Minister in TMP scandal

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokesperson
& Rodney Hide MP ACT Party Finance Spokesman

16 June 2003

Buck stops with Minister in TMP scandal

As the scandal that's raging around Maori Broadcaster Te Mangai Paho deepens, the National and ACT Parties are accusing the Government of employing two standards of accountability, one for Maori and one for everyone else.

"Many months after we first raised serious questions about the way taxpayer money was being squandered at TMP, the Government is still searching for a scapegoat when blame must lay at the Minister's feet," says ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide.

"Today CEO Trevor Moeke has been suspended indefinitely on his full pay of more than $130,000 a year, while a Treasury investigation into TMP is expanded.

"We welcome the Government decision to widen the inquiry, but we're left asking why has it taken so long to get only half the way through the review process," says Mr Hide.

"By now the New Zealand taxpayer should be getting some real answers, and heads should be rolling," says National Broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"Instead we're being kept waiting by a Minister who's performance has fallen far short of the mark. "If Parekura Horomia was a Minister in control of his portfolio these issues would have been ironed out months ago," she says.

"Instead we've got a Government and a series of officials ducking for cover, passing the buck from one to the other.

"Mr Parekura must understand that the buck stops with him, and his continued inaction only serves to erode the reputation of all Maori broadcasters," says Mrs Rich.

"Trevor Moeke's performance has been so far below standard that even his Associate Minister John Tamihere has suggested his days are numbered," Mr Hide says .

"But so far Mr Moeke's been rewarded with a holiday, paid for by the long suffering taxpayer, at a rate of more than $130, 000 a year," he says.

Ends

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