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Nick Smith wastes taxpayers’ money

Nick Smith wastes taxpayers’ money

Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson says National MP Nick Smith has wasted more than $20,000 of taxpayers’ money in legal costs and staff time for Child, Youth and Family, trying to pursue legal action against the department’s chief executive.

“Whenever Dr Smith gets into trouble, he makes things up. In April, when he failed to front up to the hearing he himself had initiated, he issued a press release blaming the court for giving him the wrong time.

“Now at a re-hearing – which he again initiated – he has been forced to admit to the judge under questioning that the mistake was not the court’s. Instead, he is blaming a staff member.

“The judge also pointed out inconsistencies in affidavits presented by Dr Smith and his secretary, and said he had no jurisdiction to overturn the original decision to dismiss the case. Nick Smith should have been well aware of this when he applied for the re-hearing.

“Dr Smith has wasted more than $20,000 of taxpayers’ money in Child, Youth and Family’s legal costs and staff time – not to mention his own costs and the costs to the court - in a political stunt designed solely to embarrass the department and, through it, the government.

“This behaviour is hardly fitting for National’s new deputy leader. However, it’s not the first time that Dr Smith has played fast and loose with the truth. In 2000, he took media to Meridan Energy’s Wellington office and performed a citizen’s arrest on three rugs in the corporate foyer. The purpose of this bizarre exercise was to prove that one of these rugs had cost taxpayers $60,000. In fact, invoices proved him wrong, and the total cost of the three rugs was $23,000.”

“It’s a pity that Dr Smith has not been as concerned about taxpayers’ money when it comes to his politically-motivated attempts to sue Child, Youth and Family’s chief executive, which he knew were always going to fail. Next time, he should think twice before he makes up stories to suit his own political agenda.”

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