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Brownlee questions relocation costs

Brownlee questions relocation costs

National’s State Services spokesman, Gerry Brownlee, says senior public officials appointed from overseas should be required to reimburse the taxpayer for their high relocation costs if they do not serve their full contracts.

Papers obtained by National under the Official Information Act show the taxpayer spent close to $70,000 on travel, accommodation and relocation costs for outgoing CYF CEO Paula Tyler and her partner, Peter Kruselnicki.

The Canadian couple are leaving New Zealand in December, just halfway through Ms Tyler’s contract with the Department of Child Youth and Family. They are not required to repay any of the almost $70,000 costs, despite the early departure.

Mr Brownlee says the spending, which included multiple return airfares for Mr Kruselnicki between Edmonton and Wellington, and payment for household furnishings, was excessive and should, in part, be paid back.

“I am especially intrigued as to why the taxpayer contributed anything towards Ms Tyler’s partner’s expenses when Ms Tyler was still only a prospective candidate and had not yet been appointed.

“I want to know how much was spent on ‘household furnishings’ and what that included. It’s absolute madness that the taxpayer is paying for household items for public servants.

“I would also be interested to know if one of these taxpayer funded trips back to Canada enabled Mr Kruselnicki to attend an interview for the job in Alberta which led to him and Ms Tyler leaving New Zealand.

“National understands that some top CEOs may have to be appointed from overseas, and that the taxpayer may contribute to relocation costs, but this case is excessive and it is ridiculous that costs are not required to be paid back where a contract is broken,” says Mr Brownlee.


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