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Heads must roll at dysfunctional Commission

Heads must roll at dysfunctional Commission

“Steve Maharey must call for Rajen Prasad’s head, after the secret golden handshake given to former Families Commission chief executive Claire Austin,” says National Party Families spokeswoman Judith Collins.

“I had hoped Steve Maharey might realise that Mr Prasad is in an untenable position by now, but the longer he drags his heels the more he looks like a hypocrite.

“Mr Maharey appears to have known about this since mid-February and reports today suggest Mr Prasad was even given advice on the process.

“And answers to written questions show this was clearly a personal dispute between Mr Prasad and Claire Austin. The taxpayer should not be forced to pay out many thousands of dollars simply because Mr Prasad can’t work with one public servant.

“To claim a confidentiality clause prevents Mr Maharey from revealing the size of the golden handshake is a nonsense, especially when Labour says the payout will be made public in the annual report - coincidentally that’ll be after the election.

“If Mr Maharey is true to his word, which is looking more dubious by the day, Mr Prasad must be sacked. And if he fails to act Helen Clark should do the job for him.

“The Families Commission is spending vast amounts of taxpayer money on advertising campaigns, travel and accommodation. It has failed so far to make any real difference to the daily lives of stressed, overtaxed New Zealand families.

“Mr Prasad knew the rules on golden handshakes and he broke them. A simple telling off won’t do,” says Ms Collins.


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