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'Forgetful' chair on notice

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

21 July 2006

‘Forgetful’ chair on notice

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says the “forgetful chairman of Housing New Zealand” has some work to do to restore public faith in the leadership of the corporation.

He is commenting in the wake of a scathing report from the social services select committee on issues relating to the hush money allegations levelled at HNZ.

The committee report expresses concern that Pat Snedden ‘was aware of the confidentiality agreement and its implications a full two weeks before he informed the Minister’.

Mr Heatley says “it also appears that no significant action was taken by the corporation until the issue became public.”

The committee says it now has an expectation that there’ll be more accountability from the top brass at Housing New Zealand.

Mr Heatley is pleased that there has been formal recognition of the breakdown in communication between the chairman and his Minister.

“I do hope Chris Carter’s confidence in this forgetful chairman isn’t misplaced. It has certainly been hard to accept that even as these serious allegations were swirling around, the chairman’s memory remained so conveniently vague.

“This is an $11 billion taxpayer-owned asset. The public have an expectation of better than this from paid senior appointees,” says Mr Heatley.


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