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'Please explain' sought on conference funding

Katherine Rich MP National Party Economic Development Spokeswoman

22 November 2005

'Please explain' sought on conference funding

National Party Economic Development spokeswoman Katherine Rich is seeking a 'please explain' from the Government about the "taxpayer money wasted on the Converge '05 conference which makes the hip-hop tour look like chump change.

"The Minister and NZTE need to explain what was achieved from sinking $250,000 into the Converge '05 conference held last October.

"Though billed as a conference where creative New Zealanders could learn how to realise international business opportunities, I am shocked by the fact it attracted only 10-15 participants that paid the full fee of $1200.

"I can't fathom why money was spent on sending the convenor to the UK to recruit international participants when clearly the market for attendees was very much within New Zealand's boundaries. It comes as no surprise that not one overseas recruit was secured.

"I have asked the Minister to explain what decision-making process lead to NZTE sinking serious money into this conference.

"I'm determined to know how Labour thinks ordinary taxpaying Kiwis got value for money out of this spending," says Mrs Rich.

ENDS


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