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Housing Min. satisfied with decision on inquiry

10 April 2006 Media Statement

Housing Minister satisfied with decision on inquiry

Housing Minister Chris Carter said today he was satisfied with the steps the Board of Housing New Zealand Corporation has put in place to investigate allegations about accounting irregularities.

"It is crucial that the confidence of the public and Parliament is maintained in Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) and its financial reporting," said Mr Carter.

"With this in mind there needs to be a full investigation of the allegations made against the Corporation, and how a letter prohibiting a former contractor from speaking to his Minister or MP ever came to be sent. After meeting with Board chairman Pat Snedden, I am satisfied that the Board has established a proper framework for such an investigation.

"I note that to ensure total transparency the Board has decided to approach the Office of the Auditor-General to conduct this inquiry, under terms of reference jointly signed off by the Board and Office of the Auditor-General.

"Pat Snedden will ensure that all parties with a material interest in the outcome of this inquiry – myself as Minister, Treasury, the Department of Building and Housing (HNZC’s monitoring agency) and the State Services Commission -- will be consulted on the Terms of Reference.

“This inquiry will remain a Housing New Zealand Corporation Board sponsored inquiry. The report from the inquiry will go to the Board for review before it is publicly released,” said Mr Carter.

“Housing New Zealand Corporation expects that the inquiry will take no longer than a month.

"The faster the matters arising from these allegations are sorted out the better, and there is now a clear and transparent pathway towards achieving that."

ENDS

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