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Wananga: Auditor-General inquiry a waste of time

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

18 March 2005

Wananga: Auditor-General inquiry a waste of time

National’s Education spokesman, Bill English, says an inquiry by the Auditor-General into te Wananga o Aotearoa will find nothing that other public agencies haven’t found already, but that Labour has chosen to ignore.

The Auditor-General today released terms of reference for his inquiry into conflicts of interest at the wänanga.

Mr English says that for the past two years, the wananga has been under almost constant investigation by public agencies, including the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the State Services Commission.

“Education officials last year reported the findings of these inquiries to the education select committee, and included in their report was a diagram showing most of the conflicts covered by the Auditor-General’s terms of reference.

“Every stone at the wänanga has already been turned over, but Labour has done nothing about what was found.

“Labour has known about the family relationships and conflicts of interest at the wänanga all along but has chosen to look the other way and continue to pump tens of millions of dollars into it.

“The Auditor-General’s inquiry is pointless because it doesn’t look at the key issue, which is how Labour came to put hundreds of millions into low-level, low-value courses at the expense of higher priorities like trades and apprenticeships,” says Mr English.

ENDS

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