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NZQA Reports Delayed

Investigations into the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) have been delayed because of difficulties contacting former NZQA chair, Sir Neil Waters, the Minister for Tertiary Education Max Bradford said today.

The State Services Commission (SSC) has been looking at the employment contract of former NZQA chief executive, Dr Douglas Blackmur, while the Audit Office has been investigating the authorisation of and accountability for travel and other expenditure within NZQA.

"Consultation with Sir Neil is required as a matter of fair process because he is a relevant and significant person in the inquiries," Mr Bradford said.

"Because Sir Neil has been overseas, investigating agencies have not been able to consult with him.

"This has meant that the Audit Office and the SSC will not be in a position to report to me at the end of this month as earlier indicated. I am advised both agencies now expect to complete their reports by the middle to the end of next month".

Sir Neil was overseas from late June till early this week. He was fulfilling commitments that had been arranged some months previously to attend a UNESCO conference in Budapest, and to holiday in Europe with his wife.

Mr Bradford also said that he expected to receive the Crown Law opinion he had requested on the termination of Dr Blackmur's contract and the payment he consequently received, within the next few days.

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