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Maharey must explain hip-hoppers 'chill out'

Katherine Rich MP

National Party Social Services Spokeswoman

18 March 2004

Maharey must explain hip-hoppers 'chill out'

National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich is calling on the Government to explain why hip-hoppers travelling on taxpayer funding 'went to Hawaii and Fiji ... basically to chill out', and she is calling on the Minister to review the entire project.

Mrs Rich is responding to revelations today that the mother and daughter who went on a $26,000 taxpayer-funded 'hip-hop investigative tour' spent time in Hawaii and Fiji, even though they say 'there is no hip-hop culture to the same extent as what we saw in New York and LA'. "By their own admission 'nothing major came of the trip, apart from seeing it all happen'.

"That seems like the predictable outcome when the project purpose, according to Labour Department papers, was for 'two people to do a whole lot of travelling for hip-hop'.

"All taxpaying New Zealanders will be outraged by this scandalous use of their money.

"This woman admits she was not an academic, and knew nothing about hip-hop, so she wasn't really the ideal person to send around the world researching it.

"Exploring new interests and visiting family is fine, but most New Zealanders don't do that with taxpayers' money.

"Many New Zealanders would give their eye teeth to 'chill out' in Hawaii and Fiji, but they don't expect the taxpayer to fund it.

"We currently have 6000 New Zealand children waiting to see a social worker, and I think there are greater youth priorities than sending someone halfway across the world to study hip-hop," says Mrs Rich.


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