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Health Dollars Pay Koha Tax For Spiritual Healers

Health Dollars Pay Koha Tax For Spiritual Healers

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy was today stunned to discover that precious health dollars were used to pay tax on koha given to workers at a failed health trust that was supposedly providing spiritual and cultural healing to Maori patients.

"This shocking revelation, from Health Minister Annette King, came in response to my questions in Parliament today," Mrs Roy said.

"The Health Ministry wrote to traditional Maori healer and clairvoyant Apera Clark - at a clinic run by the Te Whare Whakapikiora o te Rangimarie Trust - outlining the review and audit process preceding the non-renewal of the contract between the Ministry and the Trust. The Trust failed 39 of the Ministry's 64 criteria at audit.

"Ms King's officials then asked Mr Clark to invoice them $90,655.33 (gst incl) - despite the fact that they were not contractually obliged to do so. The letter said the Ministry would meet the Trust's tax liability of $74,146.96 (gst excl) from that final payment.

"It is bad enough that a total of $688,000 was paid to this failed Trust. It is more outrageous that the health budget has been raided to pay outstanding PAYE on koha. Everyone knows that ordinary hard-working businesspeople, who fail to pass on PAYE, are prosecuted and bankrupted.

"Trustees are liable for the taxes of a trust. Despite my sustained questioning, Ms King has failed to explain why the Labour Government chose to pay the Trust's taxes - to the Government," Mrs Roy said.

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