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No inquiry but more questions for HNZ

Phil Heatley MP National Party Housing Spokesman

21 June 2006

No inquiry but more questions for HNZ

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley is disappointed there won't be a formal select committee inquiry into Housing New Zealand, but is comfortable that more questions are being asked of the corporation.

"I accept today's Social Services Select Committee decision not to launch a wide-ranging probe at this stage, but I'm pleased they are seeking answers to a number of other allegations, including those made in an anonymous letter to my office."

Mr Heatley read out parts of the letter at the select committee. It includes claims that other staff have been bullied and asked to sign confidentiality agreements.

"The recent Auditor-General's report was, by his own definition, very narrow. It's important we restore public confidence in the management of this significant taxpayer asset and I look forward to seeing some answers."

At the committee meeting Mr Heatley also questioned HNZ board chairman Pat Snedden about why he failed to tell the Minister he had been warned in advance of the whistleblower's gagging clause.

"It certainly is staggering that despite the saturation media coverage, a formal inquiry, and Helen Clark describing it as 'clearly inappropriate', the Board chair still took weeks to tell the Minster that he had in fact received the allegations before they first broke in the media," Mr Heatley says.

ENDS


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