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WINZ Blunder Costs Those Who Can Least Afford It

Tuesday 20th Jul 1999
Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Justice

ACT Social Welfare Spokesperson Muriel Newman says the debacle over Winz spending is costing the department it's credibility at a time when it can least afford it.

"The Minister and Winz Chief Executive Christine Rankin must demonstrate today that New Zealanders can have confidence in this Department.

The Department's excessive spending of $165,000 on a charter aeroplane to transport 140 staff to a training programme, is totally unacceptable. This budget blow out compromises the Department's ability to find real jobs for New Zealanders who need them.

"In order for Work and Income New Zealand to gain back the confidence of taxpayers, employers and prospective employees it must also prove that it's current 'big spending' initiative, a million dollar plus, seven month long television media campaign, is achieving results.

"New Zealanders on benefits who need real jobs, the country's employers and taxpayers are rightly feeling let down by Winz's spending sprees. They deserve to know that the biggest Government Department in the country is not wasting money.

The ACT MP says in order for the government department to re-establish it's credibility it must state publicly how many jobs the advertising campaign has already created.

Further, she says "Winz must also now justify all it's allocated spending for future staff training and conferences."

"Winz has a key role in helping New Zealanders who are out of work to find jobs. All expenditure should be focused on that end. We want results, not trips and ads," said Muriel Newman.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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