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Govt Questioned Over Taxpayer Funded Golf Clubs

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokeswoman

01 July 2003

Govt Questioned Over Taxpayer Funded Golf Clubs

The National Party's taking aim at the Government over two sets of taxpayer funded golf clubs, paid for by a failed company set up to produce shows for the Maori Television Service.

"TV companies beg, borrow, lease or rent equipment all the time for productions, so why has the taxpayer forked out nearly $2,300 for two sets of golf clubs that are now in the hands of two company directors?" asks National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

She's referring to details in an Audit New Zealand Report into DreamTime Entertainment and Te Aratai Film and Television Production Limited released under the Official Information Act.

"DreamTime Entertainment was given $300,000 to make 15 episodes of a children's programme called 'Te Wero - The Ultimate Challenge', DreamTime has since defaulted on the project.

"The Audit Report raises a raft of questions about spending, including a mention about a $2,281 bill for two sets of golf clubs as part of 'props purchase and hire'.

"The report says 'Anthony Wilson advised us that, as at the date of our fieldwork, he had one set and a fellow director of the company had the other set'.

"This is a children's game show, why were new clubs needed and why are they in the hands of company directors?

"It's hard to fathom how two sets of golf clubs do anything to promote Maori language and culture," Mrs Rich says. The Audit New Zealand report on DreamTime Entertainment Ltd highlights serious issues:

* Producers needed to provide appropriate supporting documentation for all expenditure

* Producers needed to provide supporting documentation to ensure that all appropriate payments are made to IRD

* It suggests TMP satisfies itself as to whether there is any loan to VPV or any other party, and if there is such a loan how it has been accounted for.

"The company wrote 13 cheques for petty cash totalling $19,810 - yet Audit saw nothing which reconciled with that amount.

"There have been allegations that TMP knew months ago about financial problems and failed to act.

"When spending and reconciliations don't match up, when it looks like IRD payments are not being made, when actors and crew aren't being paid, then you have to ask whether TMP cares about what happens with our money once they have allocated it," says Mrs Rich. Ends

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