Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Mallard bypasses checks on yacht race funding


Hon Bill English MP National Party Leader

18 July 2003

Mallard bypasses checks on yacht race funding

National Party Leader Bill English says Helen Clark and Sports Minister Trevor Mallard ducked the proper checks when hatching the plan to spend nearly $34 million taxpayer dollars challenging for the America's Cup.

"$34 million buys a lot of hip and heart operations.

"Not only do Cabinet rules say that Trevor Mallard should have consulted with Treasury, he had a moral obligation to the taxpayer to seek the best advice available," says Mr English.

"There are conspicuous omissions from papers relating to the America's Cup funding released under the Official Information Act. The papers, which include a Cabinet report and Cabinet minutes, suggest the legislation was rushed through Mr Mallard's office with little or no outside advice.

"It would also appear sections have been lifted from previous America's Cup papers in a cut and paste exercise," Mr English says.

"The Minister must have known that Treasury would not approve the idea because it failed to meet the standards set for this kind of major taxpayer investment.

"It's ludicrous for him to say that he now plans to seek Treasury advice, when most believe the decision's already been made.

"What's worse, is that the Minister appears to have broken Cabinet rules," notes Mr English.

"Section 5.2 of the Cabinet Office Manual says that 'The Treasury must be consulted on all papers that contain recommendations on expenditure or revenue, or that have financial fiscal or economic implications.'

"It's not the first time this Government has ignored sound advice and it's unlikely to be the last," he says.

"There's absolutely no evidence in the papers to back up statements like those made by Helen Clark who said 'it's seen by the Government as a potential tourism and trade investment.'

"It's now clearer than ever that this was a badly judged, hasty commitment, but unfortunately for the taxpayer, it still stands," Mr English says.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages