New Zealand Labour Party

Bridges must come clean about fraud within transport

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money have gone missing and  the Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges must come clean after the Labour party revealed that a senior manager is being investigated for serious fraud, says Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Sue Moroney. 

“Rumours of the serious fraud within the Ministry have been swirling around the transport sector for weeks. The Minister was surely briefed on the matter before it was referred to the Serious Fraud office. Why didn’t he come clean with the public?

 “This latest scandal follows hard on the heels of the driver licence fraud uncovered earlier this year which involved allegations that drivers  licences were being sold and people were getting around the requirement to sit the practical test. 

“Just last week a damning report showed systemic failure in detecting or preventing fraud in the licensing system – today the Ministry faces further allegations of serious fraud at the highest management levels. 

“The Minister himself was under scrutiny last year for using taxpayer funding to try to win the Northland by-election for National with a botched Ministerial announcement on double-laning local bridges. 

“Since then, standards have deteriorated in his portfolio. 

“It took the media to uncover the driver licensing fraud and Labour to expose the serious fraud investigation at the Ministry. Why has the Minister been silent? 

“The latest SFO enquiry raises more questions about how contracts are monitored within Transport. It also raises the need for better background checks when recruiting senior civil servants,” says Sue Moroney