Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


WINZ chief executive not up to the job, say Greens

The Auditor-General's report into the $165,000 WINZ plane charter shows WINZ chief executive Christine Rankin was not doing her job properly, Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said today.

The report says the expenses incurred in holding the course at the Wairakei Resort Hotel were excessive and that a series of miscommunications and mistakes led to a plane being chartered to get staff to the conference. It says there was an inappropriate "secretive flavour" in the chartering of aircraft.

"The investigation highlights that the venue suggested by Ms Rankin was the fundamental mistake in this sorry saga," Mr Donald said.

The report also concludes that despite Ms Rankin being involved in arrangements for the course on at least two occasions this "did not result in the overall error being averted".

If Ms Rankin had been doing her job properly she would have instantly recognised that the cost of the Wairakei conference was way over the top, given that two previous WINZ conferences had cost $80,000 and $83,000, around half the price of the plane charter alone, Mr Donald said.

"Christine Rankin should spend more time at her desk fixing the weaknesses in the department's systems identified by the audit office as contributing to the problem."

Mr Donald said he was disappointed that due to irreconciliable versions of events the report did not reach a strong conclusion.

"However the bottom line is that Ms Rankin chose the dates and the venue for the conference. She was twice made aware before the conference that a plane was being chartered. She should have known the expenditure was excessive. Yet she chose to proceed. That all shows she is not up to her job," Mr Donald said.

Rod Donald: 025 507 183, 03 366 3292 (h)

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron

Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga

The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...


Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>

Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>

Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>

Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>




InfoPages News Channels