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Labour Govt's Culture Of Extravagance

Labour Govt's Culture Of Extravagance

Revelations that Government broadcasters are swanning off to a conference at a luxurious Fijian resort, spending at least $50,000, further confirms Prime Minister Helen Clark's idea of 'arts and culture' is the culture of excess, ACT New Zealand Broadcasting Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"This makes a mockery of Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey's attacks on WINZ conference spend-ups when National was in Government," Miss Coddington said.

"Miss Clark, when in Opposition, promised to end this sort of nonsense, but the opposite has happened.

"We've seen the Government fork out millions of dollars to American movie moguls, just so Miss Clark can be photographed with Tom Cruise. At the same time, internationally renowned film makers, like Vincent Ward, struggle to make feature films.

"Swanning off to international events is now accepted practice for government organisations. Since Helen Clark became Prime Minister and Arts and Culture Minister, the New Zealand Film Commission has spent $845,097 of taxpayers' money attending film festivals at exotic places like Cannes, Venice, and Milan.

"And that's only the amount spent on airfares, accommodation and daily expenses. If these public servants' salaries are taken into account, more than $1 million - money that could have helped make another movie like `Whale Rider', has been spent on overseas trips.

"It's a disgrace.

"It shows just how out of touch and arrogant this Clark-led Labour Government has become," Miss Coddington said.

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