New Zealand Labour Party

Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing

Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says.

"Spending to 'staff the Ministers office' on flights, taxis, meals and incidentals and on apartment accommodation soared from a little over $5000 to more than $60,000 in the space of a year.

"That is a huge increase and it was up to the Minister to explain it. However his first reaction was to blame former Minister Hekia Parata.

"Once again Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has tried to dodge responsibility for something that is his responsibility, and you can bet he won’t be getting a Christmas card from Ms Parata.

“He, meanwhile, will ‘transition out’ the staff member responsible for the spending, rather than taking a broader look at the Ministry’s expenditure.

"At the heart of this is that Pacific people want action on housing, jobs, health and education from the National. What they're getting is a whole lot more spending, but no better outcomes.

"Our Pacific people deserve better and taxpayers deserve better accountability,” Kris Faafoi said.