The Chief Ombudsman’s description of the Prime Minister’s attitude to releasing public information as "cavalier" and "a disregard for the law" reinforces growing concerns that democratic principles are being consistently undermined, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says.
Labour has today written to Dame Beverley Wakem requesting John Key be interviewed as part of her wide-ranging review of Official Information Act practices across the public sector.
Government departments have splurged $600,000-plus over the last three years on flowers to brighten up offices and bouquets to thank and farewell staff and visitors, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.
Figures obtained by Labour show $603,349 has been spent on floral arrangements, bouquets, cut flowers and florists’ services since 2012/13.
Staff of a 69-strong quango have racked up sky-high bills jet-setting overseas to attend international events, while income from the sector it services has dropped 37 per cent over the same period, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.
Figures obtained by Labour show taxpayers forked out close to a million dollars over the last three years on overseas travel ($412,186), accommodation ($260.634) and events and functions ($248,528) for NZ Petroleum and Minerals staff.
The Overseas Investment Office must take a hard line over the possible controlling stake in Silver Fern Farms by a Chinese company, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.
“While this isn’t a direct farm sale, Silver Ferns Farms is a major player in our biggest industry. If control of the company goes offshore it may impact on New Zealand’s farming industry ability to act in our wider export interests.
The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash
“The Minister of Land information, Louise Upston, confirmed during question time today that since 2008 the Overseas Investment Office has become ‘an overworked rubber stamping bureaucracy’ that simply did what it was told by the government without any regard to what is good for New Zealand.
It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa Wall says.
“The New Zealand Initiative's latest report, Giving Charities a Helping Hand, claims our laws favour the big players over the small organisations. This is proof that our current charity system in New Zealand has been corporatized.
Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.
A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a million on a programme aimed at changing the culture within the department using colours