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English challenges Buck over profits

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

1 December 2004

English challenges Buck over profits

Vicki Buck could clear the air over Christchurch Polytechnic's COOL-IT scandal by declaring she will not share in the profits made from it by the company she partly owns, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

Ms Buck told Radio New Zealand today: 'I have actually disclosed totally publicly that I actually made no money.'

"Ms Buck could clear the air over her private interest by disclosing Brylton's profits and dividend policy, and declaring she will not share in those profits," Mr English says.

Ms Buck is a shareholder and director of Brylton Software, the company which produced COOL-IT, a computer-learning course marketed by her while she was working for the CPIT. Brylton has admitted publicly it was paid $5.5 million.

She also said on radio: "There may at some stage be a dividend from Brylton, as you would expect from any company, further on in its development stage ... as you would expect if you had a shareholding in anything. There hasn't been a dividend actually from Brylton and I ... received a director's fees which I would have received."

Mr English says it is likely Ms Buck would get a dividend given her role in the company described by the Auditor-General. The report says: 'Together her shareholding and directorship show that she has a keen awareness of and involvement in the company.'

"According to the Auditor-General, she was primarily responsible for introducing the company to CPIT, and for marketing the COOL IT course which secured $13.8 million of public money.

"CPIT chief executive John Scott should never have put an employee in the position where they have to defend their integrity. He is accountable for this mess and he should be sacked," Mr English says.

ENDS

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