Parliament

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

 

Labour calls for Rankin to be suspended


Labour
2000 web site

The Labour spokesperson on employment Steve Maharey says the chief executive of Work and Income should be suspended until an Audit Office investigation is completed.

"I have been raising concerns about Christine Rankin's suitability to head New Zealand's largest government department since it was set up in October last year.

"There is a sorry trail of inappropriate spending decisions over the past ten months. The $165,000 spent flying 140 staff to a training course at the Wairakei Resort Hotel is the latest of these and may prove the most damning.

"Christine Rankin initially condemned this spending and then admitted she signed off the majority of the expenditure. She insists she was misled.

"My office continues to receive correspondence from senior WINZ staff members. This paints a somewhat different version of events than that offered by the chief executive.

"The whole affair has got very murky and the Government must act immediately. Christine Rankin must be stood down during the audit process.

"Today in Parliament, Peter McCardle the Minister responsible for WINZ continued to defend the performance of the department and its chief executive.

"That's not surprising, as his office has been involved in damage control since Labour began putting the heat on. On the 6th July I lodged a written parliamentary question, asking if WINZ had chartered a plane and what was the cost. Last Wednesday the Minister replied that the information was not available. That clearly was a delaying tactic. Two days later, the scandal was revealed in the media.

"Christine Rankin has been a disaster. But the new department of Work and Income was set up at Peter McCardle's insistence, and he must share responsibility for its failings.

"Millions of dollars have been spent inappropriately. When it's not shelling out for chartered jets and booze-ups, WINZ has gone for glitz over substance, vainly trying to defend its failure to get New Zealanders into real jobs. Currently $1.3 million is being spent on print and television advertisements boosting the corporate profile of WINZ.

"Under National over the past nine years, we've seen some appalling cases of senior public sector managers treating public money as if they work for some private company.

"Mr McCardle and Roger Sowry have written to the State Services Commissioner. That's not good enough. Christine Rankin must be suspended immediately."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election