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Tourism Board Fiasco A Costly Joke Says Dunne

1 July 1999


The latest twist in the Tourism Board saga which sees the former directors paying their exit payments back to the government only to have a sizeable chunk paid returned to them will fool nobody, says United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

"This whole fiasco has not only cost taxpayers a lot of money, but has contributed to a further erosion of credibility for the government and the public sector.

"Despite all the tough talking about recovering the "unlawful" payouts less than half the money will be returned to the suffering taxpayer, while at the same time the government is ingratiating itself by deeming the payments to be compensation for the circumstances in which the directors resigned.

"If this was an isolated case then perhaps it would be more understandable. Unfortunately it is not, following on the heels of payouts to Roger Estall, former chairman of the Fire Services Commission and undisclosed sums to the former Fire Service and NZQA chief executives," says Mr Dunne.

He says this ongoing fiasco, highlights the need for well thought out policies, to make the government sector work more effectively and reduce the likelihood of such situations recurring.

"United New Zealand's policies will include commitments to grouping government departments by function and reducing the numbers and roles of government agencies and state owned enterprises. We will implement these structural changes and significantly improve accountability measures to restore public faith in the government sector.

"I hope the government rises to the challenge with their soon to be announced package to address these problems in the state sector. Sadly if their recent record is any indication, it will simply be another poor band aid measure," says Mr Dunne.


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