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Taxpayers Wait, While Minister Plays

Taxpayers Wait, While Minister Plays

Finally, after my repeated questioning in Parliament, Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey has acted to investigate the Hikurangi Learning Centre and the funding it receives from the taxpayer, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"Mr Maharey admits he received a letter of complaint in December last year, but excused his inaction because it was the Christmas holidays," Miss Coddington said.

"Only after I submitted a Written Question last week did he ask the Tertiary Education Commission and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to investigate.

"Yesterday in Parliament the Minister said: 'when we get complaints we immediately investigate...and we act'.

"Today in Parliament he said a meeting was taking place with the Hikurangi Learning Centre this afternoon.

"In the Minister's world the definition of 'immediately' is three long months.

"New Zealanders continue paying taxes when they go on holiday - why can't Mr Maharey continue protecting the spending of their money when he's 'on holiday'?

"Further, taxpayers should accept the Minister's assurances with a grain of salt. TEC has already audited the Centre and given it the okay. If evidence of falsified student attendance sheets and false claiming of attendance fees comes to light, Mr Maharey must refer this to the Auditor-General or the police," Miss Coddington said.

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