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Rip-Off Culture Helen Clark's Fault

Rip-Off Culture Helen Clark's Fault

Sunday 7 Dec 2003
Rodney Hide
Press Releases -- Economy

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today slammed Prime Minister Helen Clark for the "rip-off" culture that has developed under her leadership.

"Tuku Morgan's $70,000 garden shed scandal is just a prominent example of what is happening every day.

"If you wear a bone carving, wander down Wellington's Lambton Quay, and say `Kia ora', Helen Clark's bureaucrats will queue up to throw money at you. There is huge waste, cronyism, shocking management, and wasted opportunity.

"The fault lies directly with Prime Minister Helen Clark.

"Tuku `$89-undies' Morgan has picked up $3.2 million for his company making TV programmes that look like never getting to air on the richly-funded, ill-managed Maori Television Service.

"Tuku billed Helen Clark's government $70,000 to use his mother-in-law's garden shed as a `TV studio' for ten days. It's bad enough that Tuku billed the Government. What's truly shocking is that the Government paid it. And to add insult to injury, Te Mangai Paho Chairman Wira Gardiner has declared himself `satisfied with [Tuku's company] Astraeus NZ Ltd's performance in respect of its funding'.

"$70,000 for a garden shed? And the Government is satisfied? Get real. You could buy ten sheds for what our government paid to hire one from Tuku for just ten days.

"The response to the `shed-gate' rip-off is typical. Tuku's brother-in-law Tau Henare declares questioning the high spending to be `Maori bashing'. That's what Helen Clark's Ministers and spin-doctors call it too.

"Well, I have never `bashed' a Maori in my life. But on behalf of taxpayers I have demanded to know where all this money is going. I won't be deflected by claims of `Maori bashing' or racism. New Zealanders expect their hard-earned dollars to be spent wisely and well. And it ain't happening under Helen Clark's `throw money at Maori' policy," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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