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Minister ignored youth development grant warnings

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Associate Welfare Spokeswoman

5 April 2006


Minister ignored warnings over youth development grants

The Minister of Youth Affairs ignored warnings from Gisborne District Council about the risks of granting $118,000 of public money for a proposal they describe as ‘vague, lacking in definition with a sloppy budget’, says National Party Associate Welfare spokeswoman Anne Tolley.

She is commenting on the Ministry of Youth Development’s Partnership grant, announced in mid-March, for Kokiri Taiohi (Young people moving forward together), an initiative targeting and encouraging Maori youth to take up formal learning opportunities.

“The Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, must assure the public that the $118,000 will not compromise the performance and objectives of Youth Transition Services, which was recently established in Gisborne,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Both Gisborne District Council and the regional commissioner for the Ministry of Social Development have expressed concerns that it will.

“Despite the Minister’s assurances that all is well because this contract has been signed off, she admitted in Parliament today that there are ongoing discussions about some of the issues I raised.

“Taxpayers need assurance that there is sound financial accountability, that there is no paying twice to a community organisation for the same services, and that there is no duplication with Youth Transition Services.

“Gisborne ratepayers need the assurance that they will not have to pay the bills for managing this project without those safeguards,” says Mrs Tolley.

ENDS

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