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SSC Must Investigate Entire CAA

SSC Must Investigate Entire CAA

Sunday 29 Jun 2003 Rodney Hide Press Releases -- Other

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today said that the State Services Commission Investigation underway into the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should be expanded to cover Director John Jones, and the work of investigators and their managers.

"I am afraid the CAA makes Te Mangai Paho look well-run - and the CAA is far more important. TMP's job is simply to broadcast in the Maori language. The CAA's job is to keep planes flying safely. It's a job that has been done poorly," Mr Hide said.

"The CAA has draconian powers, which it has misused and abused. My Parliamentary Questions have prompted CAA Board Chairman Rodger Fisher to call for the State Services Commission investigation into the CAA. I am not surprised.

"My questions revealed that CAA Flight Inspector Richard Cox was `moonlighting' as a safety consultant to a company he had grounded. The inappropriateness of such behaviour is evident to everyone except the CAA.

"It's no wonder airline operators and pilots have so little respect for the CAA. What are they supposed to do? They're mowed down by a CAA investigator with draconian powers one day - who turns up on another, touting privately for their business, to get them back flying.

"The extraordinary thing is that my questions revealed that CAA Director John Jones knew what his Flight Inspector was up to and approved it.

"The Board didn't know any of this was going on until my questions. Minister Harry Duynhoven is now refusing to answer my Parliamentary Questions about the CAA's performance and policies citing the SSC investigation. This is nuts. The flying public can't put their travel plans on hold until Mr Duynhoven sorts out answers to my questions. He should be getting on top of what is happening at the CAA so that the flying public, airline operators and pilots can have some confidence in the organisation.

"Indeed, it was my questions which first alerted the Minister to the problem. Once again, I have to do a Board's, and a Minister's, job for them.

"I have written to the Minister, telling him to answer my questions. And I have written to the State Services Commissioner telling him that the problem is much bigger than he realises," Mr Hide said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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