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What is Trade & Enterprise up to?

What is Trade & Enterprise up to?

National Party Chief Whip Simon Power says New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has some explaining to do, after spending more than $50,000 for 25 of its staff to attend a conference in Mexico.

Answers to written parliamentary questions reveal that of the 28 staff New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has in its North American division, 25 attended a conference in Mexico from August 15 to 18, 2004.

That left just three staff members to maintain the entire North American division for the four-day period.

“New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is the government’s national economic development agency,” says Mr Power.

“It is supposed to grow New Zealand's economy by boosting the capability of businesses and facilitating their participation in overseas markets.

“It is difficult to see how sending almost all their staff members to cavort around Mexico for four days, at a cost of $56,697, could have helped develop the capabilities of New Zealand businesses.

“What could 27 staff members learn at such a conference that two or three couldn’t have? Surely the two of three attending could have briefed the remaining staff on their return?

“This follows just a few weeks after the agency – Jim Anderton’s so-called job machine – was revealed to be advising some New Zealand companies to close down their New Zealand operations and set up offshore.

“Under Helen Clark’s oversight all Government agencies seem to think they have the right to junket at the taxpayer’s expense. The Film Commission’s $250,000 spend on a trip to the Cannes Film Festival, in which only one New Zealand film is competing, is yet another example of this,” says Mr Power.


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