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Report Shows CAA To Be A Debacle

Report Shows CAA To Be A Debacle

Thursday 4 Dec 2003
Rodney Hide
Press Releases -- Economy

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today said that Douglas White QC's report on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirms that the CAA is out of control.

"The White report follows my written Parliamentary Questions concerning a CAA inspector privately contracting to an aviation operator that he was investigating on behalf of the CAA. There was a clear and unacceptable conflict of interest. The answers I received sufficiently alarmed the CAA that they asked the State Services Commissioner to investigate. The Minister in charge of the CAA, Harry Duynhoven, then refused to answer my further questions while the investigation was underway.

"The White report is damning. It is damning of the CAA Director. It is damning of the CAA's systems and procedures. The problems at the CAA are shown to be deep and systematic. They go far beyond just one instance of widely inappropriate behaviour. I am afraid the travelling public and aviation operators and pilots can have no confidence in the CAA.

"The CAA fired the investigator at the centre of the inquiry while the inquiry was underway. It's clear that they intend to make him the scapegoat.

"The report makes clear that the CAA Director John Jones authorised his investigator to be contracted privately to the company. He is responsible. He has to take responsibility. So too does the Chairman of the CAA. The Chairman and Director have to accept that their stewardship has been shown up as woeful.

"They should do the decent thing and resign their posts. If they don't, Mr Duynhoven should fire the Chairman and appoint a new chairman who will fire the director. It's clear that the CAA needs new leadership and a top to bottom review of policies and procedures if the industry and the public are to have any confidence in them.

The fact that CCA Chairman Roger Fisher believes a formal warning for Mr Jones is sufficient, shows how deep the problems are at the CAA.

"I congratulate Douglas White QC for his thorough and comprehensive report. He has done a great service for the travelling public and the aviation industry," Mr Hide said.


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