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New Waikato Fire Service Inquiry Welcomed

New Waikato Fire Service Inquiry Welcomed - Whistleblower Protected

New Zealand First has welcomed the Government’s new review of the Hamilton Fire Station finances and its pledge to protect the rights of a Waikato woman who “blew the whistle” on a senior Fire Service manager.

The Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, yesterday tabled an internal audit report which was highly critical of financial management by Chief Fire Officer Grant Olsen.

He also claimed that the Fire Service management tried to sack and gag a Fire Service worker, Anita Garrett, for truthfully answering questions from an auditor.

Mr Peters said today that he is pleased that the Internal Affairs Minister, Mark Burton, has ordered a review of the Hamilton Station’s financial management and that he has given an assurance that Anita Garrett’s rights are being protected.

“All this woman did was try to protect public funds while the Chief Fire Officer has still failed to account for some of the missing money.

“We await the result of the new inquiry with interest,” said Mr Peters.


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