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Mallard forced to explain MfE bungles - again

Jacqui Dean MP
National Party Associate Environment Spokeswoman

18 May 2008

Mallard forced to explain MfE bungles - again

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard has been forced to admit his beleaguered Ministry has bungled again by cancelling public workshops to enable a staff member to take a jaunt to Australia, says National's Associate Environment spokeswoman, Jacqui Dean.

A series of public workshops for the National Standard on Ecological Flows and Water Levels, which were to be held from 30 April until 9 May, were postponed at the last minute because of a 'clash of timing'.

"It defies belief that these important workshops were cancelled less than a week before they were due to start because a staff member involved in the workshops decided to take up the offer of a trip to Australia to talk about water management issues and indigenous values with Australian authorities.

"Thousands of dollars have been wasted by cancelling these workshops, and the plans of all the people attending the workshops have been thrown into disarray.

"It is simply unacceptable to bump a public consultation process because one Ministry staff member decided Australian water issues were more important.

"Trevor Mallard says the acting chief executive has now admitted this 'should have been avoided'. This is not good enough. His Ministry is on a continuous lurch from bungle to bungle.

"MfE is promising to 'review and modify all processes to ensure this does not happen again'.

"Labour's record of managing this Ministry would suggest that is unlikely".

ENDS


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