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Anderton Runs Million-Dollar Slush Fund

Anderton Runs Million-Dollar Slush Fund

Thursday 15 Apr 2004 Rodney Hide Press Releases -- Economy

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today attacked Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton for running a million-dollar slush fund for wealthy business people.

"Mr Anderton has blown a million dollars bringing a hundred wealthy foreigners to New Zealand, but won't tell us who they were, why they were here, or what we got for the money," Mr Hide said.

"After four months of Parliamentary questioning, Mr Anderton has responded that he can't even tell what each trip cost because it would require `considerable staff time and resources to identify all invoices from across several historical financial systems and cost centres related to VIP visits'. Here's a man who wants to tell business how to do business but can't even tell what each trip cost.

"Mr Anderton has also told Parliament that he can't tell us who benefited from the handouts or what they did here because `the scheme relies on companies providing information in the strictest confidence'.

"He is just saying trust me; I wouldn't waste your money. This from the guy who three years ago declared his Sovereign Yacht deal at Hobsonville Air Base to be the `triumph of his job machine' with a promise of `three hundred and fifty new jobs within two years, and up to six hundred million dollars of new export earnings over five years'. That deal saw valuable land sold for a song and the business promise came to next to naught.

"Mr Anderton has a shocking track record and now he wants to dodge any accountability for how he spends a million dollars. Given his many failures, I can understand why he wants to keep his spending secret," Mr Hide said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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