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$245,000 DOC loo typifies culture of extravagance

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman
13 January 2008

$245,000 DOC loo typifies Labour culture of extravagance

Revelations that the Department of Conservation spent $245,000 on a new architecturally designed toilet in the Nelson Lakes National Park illustrates a culture of extravagance within the Government, says National’s Conservation spokesman and Nelson MP Nick Smith.

“This toilet is costing more to build than an average family spends to build an entire house. We have tax-paying families struggling to afford a roof over their heads while Labour wastes hundreds of thousands on a luxurious dunny.”

In answers to Ministerial questions, Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick has confirmed the new toilet block cost $245,000, of which $20,000 was for architectural fees. Dr Smith lodged these questions after being approached by residents who were angry at the extravagance and waste represented by the new toilet block.

“It shows how out of touch DOC has become from the taxpayers who fund them when they engage an architect to build a toilet.

“I am lodging a formal complaint with the Auditor-General. I am not alleging any dishonesty by the department, architect or builder, rather a gross over-specification that resulted in poor use of taxpayer money.”

ENDS

Attached - Parliamentary Questions – 18607 & 18608 – 1 page.

--

Parliamentary Questions – 18607 & 18608

PQ: 18607 (2007) Published – Conservation – Normal Reply
Question: What was the total cost of the new toilet block in Kerr Bay at Lake Rotoiti and Nelson?
Portfolio: Conservation
Minister: Hon. Steve Chadwick
Date Lodged: 12/11/2007
Answer Text: I am advised that the expected completion cost of the new Brunner toilet block and changing room is $245,000

Attachment: None
Date received: 20/11/2007


PQ: 18608 (2007) Published – Conservation – Normal Reply
Question: Who was the architect for the new toilet block in Kerr Bay, Lake Rotoiti and what was the total fees paid to architects?
Portfolio: Conservation
Minister: Hon. Steve Chadwick
Date Lodged: 12/11/2007
Answer Text: Matz Architecture designed and supervised the project. Their fees are expected to be $20,000.

Attachment: None
Date received: 20/11/2007

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