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Families Commissioner defied Labour on handshake

Judith Collins MP National Party Families Spokeswoman

18 May 2005

Families Commissioner defied Labour on handshake

National Party Families Spokeswoman Judith Collins says it appears Families Commissioner Rajen Prasad openly defied instructions from the Government and went ahead to hand out a golden handshake regardless.

"Steve Maharey has been put in a terrible position. He has faced open defiance from the Families Commissioner. Mr Prasad should be sacked, and Mr Maharey should resign for being unable to control this big spending bureaucracy."

Ms Collins is referring to a written answer to a Parliamentary question which shows Mr Prasad was warned against giving Claire Austin a golden handshake on April 7. She left with a substantial severance package on April 18.

"Labour confirmed earlier this month that they knew of the crisis at the top of the Families Commission for more than a month and failed to act. Mr Maharey went as far as to say 'you can't fault Raj'.

"Mr Maharey has taken a cavalier, careless approach to his stewardship of an organisation that is spending millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars.

"Labour has no ability to set sensible spending priorities, and it refuses to take responsibility for its mistakes.

"If Mr Maharey doesn't want to take responsibility for his portfolio he should move over and let someone else do the job," says Ms Collins.


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