INDEPENDENT NEWS

Burton and Toime Can’t Duck Responsibility

Published: Mon 16 Dec 2002 04:38 PM
Hon Murray McCully MP and Rodney Hide MP
Burton and Toime Can’t Duck Responsibility for Transend
National MP Murray McCully and Act’s Rodney Hide are making a joint call for the resignations of NZ Post CEO Elmar Toime along with SOE Minister Mark Burton following the release of the Auditor-General’s report into Transend.
The pair describe the report as “a damning indictment of NZ Post” and “a total vindication” of their pursuit of the company for over a year.
“The Auditor-General’s Report vindicates our shared concerns over the operation and management of NZ Post’s subsidiary Transend,” the MP’s say.
“Both the Minister and the CEO kept assuring us and the public of New Zealand that all was well with Transend and NZ Post - the Auditor-General has now identified that it wasn’t.
“NZ Post CEO Elmar Toime sat on the two-man board with Transend Director Drew Stein and had overall responsibility for Transend’s operation as NZ Post CEO,” say Mr McCully and Mr Hide.
“He has to accept responsibility for the failures at Transend.
“He has not only presided over these failures, he has led NZ Post as the company engaged in a sham audit of the Transend allegations and as it has attempted to mislead a select committee of the Parliament, earning itself a referral to the Privileges Committee.
“We cannot see how he can remain in office following today’s report,” the MP’s say.
“SOE Minister Mark Burton has been consistently warned in Parliament and in the media that all was not well at Transend, yet he did nothing.
“Mark Burton instead went onto the political attack accusing us of “political vandalism of the worst sort” (Hon Mark Burton Press Release, 26 March 2002) for simply questioning the expenditure and management at Transend as part of a financial review of NZ Post.
“Mark Burton now declares Transend’s policies “ill-defined,” their spending “extravagant,” the behaviour of some staff as “utterly unacceptable” and Transend’s management at the time “a failure”.
“It would be nice to receive an apology from Mark Burton but his resignation would be better,” say Mr Hide and Mr McCully.

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