Transparency needed around Pacific Island funding

Published: Mon 24 May 2010 05:27 PM
Su’a William Sio
MP for Mangere
24 May 2010Media Statement
More transparency needed around Pacific Island funding
The Pacific Island Affairs Minister must start answering questions around the nearly $5 million of funding given to a little known company to provide social services to Pacific Islanders, Labour’s Mangere MP Su’a William Sio said today.
“Georgina te Heu Heu has dodged questions around the money given to the Pacific Economic Development Agnecy (PEDA) since it was spotted in the fine print of last weeks Budget announcements,” Sua William Sio said.
“The $4.8 million dollars given to PEDA is a significant amount of money given the size of the Pacific Island Affairs vote.
“Georgina te Heu Heu needs to explain whether there was a tender process for this funding and if there was, why no-one involved in Pacific Social Services seemed to know about it.
“If the Government saw fit to give PEDA $4.8 million then the Minister should front up and tell Pacific people why the funding has been approved, how it was approved and what it will achieve.
“Little is known how PEDA will put the money into action. There are reports that it will only operate out of Auckland, if so, I would have major concerns about the fairness of that for Pacific Islanders living in other areas.
“Georgina te Heu Heu’s failure to answer questioning around this issue is disrespectful to the many organisations that could have benefited from that appropriation.
“PEDA may do a good job with funding it has been allocated but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know who was involved in securing it.
“Much of what is being said about this Budget allocation is based on whispers and rumours. It’s time the Minister went public about the process and the people involved,” Su’a William Sio said.

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