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Commission told 'focus on families - not on selves

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

13 March 2008

Commission told 'focus on families - not on selves'

National's Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins, says Labour should spend more time supporting New Zealand families and less time defending the Families Commission.

Yesterday it was revealed that the Families Commission was planning to spend over $500,000 telling people they should value parents, a message even the Families Commission described as 'self-evident'.

"This is a ridiculous waste of money and a prime example of why National is promising a stop to the growing number of bureaucrats who produce an ever-increasing mountain of reports, documents, and strategies that are of questionable use."

Other documents obtained under the OIA reveal that the Families Commission recently appointed a public relations company to review the commission's reputation and communications as part of a new approach to public relations.

"In other words, they hired a PR company to review their own PR. How is this a good use of taxpayers' money?"

Another report claimed the Families Commission 'is competing in a cluttered space where there is a risk of not being seen'' and that it was competing with other government entities.

"Why is the Families Commission spending so much time on public relations and brand building and how does it actually help the average family? Maybe all will be revealed at the commission's major pre-election conference in June - or will this be another talkfest for 350 people at taxpayers' expense?

"Labour needs to explain how reports on 'valuing parents', PR reviews, and costly conferences are doing anything practical for New Zealand families."

ENDS

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