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National will complain to Auditor-Gen about book

Nick Smith
National Party Environment Spokesperson

8 June 2006

National will complain to Auditor-General about book

State Services Commissioner Mark Prebble has criticised last month’s Ministry for the Environment publication ‘Gentle Footprints – Boots ‘N All’ in response to a complaint from National.

“It was sycophantic rubbish for this $125,000 glossy publication to have been described as retiring chief executive Barry Carbon’s ‘parting gift to New Zealand’ when the taxpayer was footing the bill,” says National’s Environment spokesman Nick Smith.

“The State Services Commissioner agrees with me, but has only given the ministry a slap over the wrist.

“I lodged a complaint last month and Dr Prebble has now replied: ‘The content and style of the foreword is distracting from a text that is otherwise not written as a testimony to the chief executive. It would have been sufficient and preferable if the foreword simply acknowledged Mr Carbon’s leadership and contribution toward the publication. I have conveyed this to the Ministry.’

“National is pleased the State Services Commissioner has rebuked the ministry for this over-the-top response to the retirement of its chief executive,” says Dr Smith.

“However, Dr Prebble has said he does not agree with National’s other assertions that this book serves little public purpose.

“We will not be letting the matter drop, and will now pursue the issue of the cost of the book with a complaint to the Auditor-General.

“National maintains that the book highlights a culture of waste and spin in the public service under the Labour Government.

“There are hundreds of ways this $125,000 of public money could have been spent to enhance the environment, other than on this sort of public relations spin doctoring,” says Dr Smith.


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