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Focus On Lotteries Commission Over Salary Scandal

Green MP Rod Donald wants to shift the focus of the Lotteries salary scandal away from the State Services Commission and onto the six person Lottery Commission which first negotiated the salary.

"While the State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham certainly should have blown the whistle earlier, the real focus should be on those who are holding the ball," said Rod Donald.

"The fact is that the salary was determined by the Lottery Commission, which refused to disclose the salaries last year despite a Cabinet directive, and this year chose to ignore Wintringham's advice that the chief executive's salary was 'outside the boundaries of acceptable expenditure'.

"The head of the Lottery Commission is former National Party President Geoff Thompson. Presumably he was appointed because of his business acumen and political nous," said Mr Donald.

"With the Prime Minister now criticising the salary as excessive, she is effectively saying that Mr Thompson is not competent to hold this responsibility.

"This brings into question the appropriateness of political appointees," he said. "One has to wonder how many National Party appointees are also out of their depth in other Crown Entities?"

ENDS

CORRECTION - In previous statements Rod Donald has referred to the Chief Executive of Waitemata Health having a $350,000 salary package. This amount was actually the final payment made to a retiring chief executive with 20 years in the health sector. The current CEO receives just over $200,000 and is responsible for 2,312 full-time equivalent staff.

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