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Govt relents to Green Party pressure on banking contract

Govt relents to Green Party pressure on banking contract

National has finally relented to years of Green Party pressure by agreeing to put the Government’s banking contract to competitive tender, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment said the previously untendered deal was no longer meeting the Government's needs.

The “all of government” tender covers most of the Government’s banking including public service departments, state service agencies, about 2500 schools and the wider public sector. The contract involves around 100 million transactions and is the most valuable banking contract in New Zealand.

“I'm very pleased that after years of Green Party pressure the Government’s master banking contract will finally be fairly tendered, marking the end of treating between the Government and Westpac," Dr Norman said.

"Australian-owned Westpac bank has held the contract uncontested for over 20 years. Australian banks are extracting billions of dollars in profits from New Zealand every year.

“A contract like this, worth many millions of dollars, should not be let on the basis of some cosy relationship.

“Ideally, our Government's banking should be done by a New Zealand bank. This now becomes a possibility.

“Tendering out the contract should result in better value for money for the New Zealand public. It should have been done years ago,” Dr Norman said.

When in Government, the Green Party will follow procurement policies and targets that favour New Zealand-made, environmentally-sustainable goods and services.

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