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AG inquiry welcomed select cmttee inquiry sought

Phil Heatley
National Party Housing Spokesman

10 April 2006

AG inquiry welcomed, select committee inquiry sought

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says he is pleased that the Government has accepted his concerns and directed the Auditor-General to conduct the inquiry into allegations of creative accounting at Housing New Zealand.

“The suggestion that the inquiry be carried out by Ernst and Young, Housing New Zealand’s existing external auditors, was preposterous and would surely have created a perceived conflict of interest for that company.

“I trust that the Auditor-General will ensure a swift, thorough and transparent investigation, and I look forward to seeing the terms of reference.”

Mr Heatley has today written to the chair of Parliament’s social services select committee asking that it conduct a thorough investigation into the goings-on at Housing NZ.

“Recent allegations cast serious doubt over the accuracy of Housing NZ’s annual financial review which was presented to Parliament just last week,” says Mr Heatley.

"As a member of that committee during the review of Housing NZ, I am concerned the report may now be compromised.

“With millions of taxpayer dollars at stake, it’s essential that the reviews into these allegations bring everything to light and plot a clear path forward.”

Ends

Attached: letter to select committee chair asking for investigation into accounting practices at Housing New Zealand – 1 page

Georgina Beyer
Chairperson
Social Services Select Committee
WELLINGTON

10th April 2006


Dear Georgina

I write to ask that the Social Services Committee conduct an inquiry into recent allegations concerning Housing New Zealand.

As you will be aware allegations have recently been published in the newspapers concerning the financial management practices of Housing New Zealand. You will recall that I substituted onto the Social Services Committee during the annual financial review of Housing New Zealand as National's Housing spokesman. As I understand it, the finalised report was tabled in the House last Thursday.

My concern is about accuracy of the Housing New Zealand annual financial review that the Committee signed off on. Given the recent allegations, the information presented to us in the compilation of that report may well have been compromised.

I would appreciate you putting my request on the agenda for the next meeting.

Thank you for your consideration.

Kind regards

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing spokesman

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