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Minister must explain budget blowout

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare. 

“For the 2014/2015 financial year, TPK estimated a spend of $1.5 million on contractors.  By the end of the financial year however, they had spent $4 million. This includes a mammoth $512,742 spent in just the month of May alone.  

“This spike in spending on contractors comes at a time when large numbers of staff are resigning from the Ministry. Figures released to Labour show that in January 2015, four employees resigned, following by another five in February. 

“The Minister has a responsibility to ensure that the organisation is well run, and taxpayers’ money is being spent wisely. 

“Paying huge contractor salaries while being unable to keep permanent staff is a sign of an organisation in chaos. 

“The Minister must explain this sudden spike in spending, and reassure taxpayers their money is not being wasted,” says Peeni Henare.