Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Big department pay-out needs explaining

Big department pay-out needs explaining

Social development Minister Paula Bennett is side-stepping questions over a $97,000 taxpayer-funded ‘termination benefits’ paid out by her department, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Responding to questions today Ms Bennett refused to say whether Janet Grossman, Work and Income’s former chief executive who left in June after only months in the job, was effectively asked to leave.

“Ms Grossman was head-hunted for the position and her role included overseeing the self-service kiosks at the centre of a major security breach.

“Ms Bennett’s remarkable act of dodge the question today was in direct contrast to her performance in June, when she seemed happy to answer questions about Ms Grossman, who left Work and Income just two days after handing in her ‘resignation’ and just 11 months after taking up the post.

“When asked about the cause of Grossman's departure then, Ms Bennett said ‘her husband has had job opportunities in the UK and she wishes to return back there. That is the reason for it’.

“However the Ministry of Social Development has since released its annual report, which reveals $97,000 in termination benefits were paid last year.

‘A termination benefit is defined as a payment made when an entity ‘decides to terminate an employee's employment before the normal retirement date’, and an employee decides to ‘accept voluntary redundancy in exchange for those benefits.’

“Ms Bennett needs to be up front about what has been going on at Work and Income this year.

“To bat away a straight question in the house today and again deny any responsibility – Ms Bennett said it was a matter for the State Services Commission - is just not good enough.

“If Ms Grossman left on her own terms and received no payment, then the Minister should be straight and tell us that,” said Jacinda Ardern.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news