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WINZ controversy won't go away

Labour
2000 web siteControversy surrounding the culture of Work and Income New Zealand will not go away unless the Government is prepared to recognise the inappropriate management style within the organisation, Labour employment and social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey said today.

Steve Maharey said despite a string of complaints against WINZ which continued during Parliament's question time today, the Government seems intent on fostering the culture which is developing within WINZ.

"The Government sees nothing wrong with the culture of extravagance within WINZ yet the rest of the country is largely appalled by it," Steve Maharey said.

"As a result, WINZ controversy will continue to haunt the Government.

"And unless Ministers like Roger Sowry click on to what the rest of the country is thinking - that a social service government agency should not be run like a corporate giant - they are going to continue to be dogged by controversy.

"Today in Parliament, further evidence of that extravagance was exposed through a letter outlining that WINZ got rid of near new chairs because they had brown trim and not black.

"Other allegations include the chartering of aircraft for management to go to a training seminars at a ritzy resort and the employment of a brand manager whose job it was to travel the country checking that WINZ offices all fitted in with the organisation's new image.

"Yet Roger Sowry and his colleagues have refused to accept any responsibility for this kind of activity and have failed to condemn it. Their attitude will be their downfall," Steve Maharey said.

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