INDEPENDENT NEWS

Court of Christine Rankin cavorts at our expense

Published: Tue 20 Jul 1999 05:44 PM
Winz Chief Executive Christine Rankin starred in a Michael-Jackson type performance at a senior manager's conference, dressed in an extravagant costume and descending from the ceiling on a flying rig said Alliance spokesperson on Social Welfare, Grant Gillon.
He's calling it yet more evidence of waste of tax-payers money.
At one of two conferences of WINZ senior managers, Christine Rankin herself was lowered onto the conference floor wearing a sliver suit and performing a 'Power in the Profession' dance while a background screen showed pictures of Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Christine Rankin. This performance followed the screening of a video that showed a figure in a silver suit being lowered from a helicopter onto a deck of a sinking ship in order to save it.
Two years ago, the eccentric musician Michael Jackson performed in New Zealand at a concert where he danced in front of a video showing world leaders of the 20th century, including Ghandi, Martin Luther King an!
d others.
'Coming hot on the heels of the golden handshake scandals, this is really rubbing salt in the wound,' said Grant Gillon.
'It appears there is something very rotten in the State of WINZ. Senior staff in our public service, funded by tax-payers money, seem to think it is appropriate to behave like the Court of Louis XVI.
'The public service has systematically been invaded by a private sector mentality which has done nothing to improve the service to the New Zealand public, and everything to inflate wages and pay-outs to chief staff, and give them a license to indulge in expensive 'fantasies.' '
In September/October 1998, WINZ spent approximately $100,000 on a mock wedding marrying the New Zealand Employment Service with Income Support.
'It's a marriage which is costing the New Zealand public $60 million. That's more expensive that a Royal wedding. $60 million is going on re-furbishing buildings, changing the logo, redundancies and expensive 'fantasies'.
'Wh!
ile senior mangers cavort and play dress up, front line WIN!
Z staff suffer. They have had to pay for their new uniforms, and when senior mangers decided to change the colours, they had to pay again. Not only that, training of case mangers and computer integration has not been completed.
'While the Court of Christine Rankin and her palace staff cavort and spend lavishly, the New Zealand public pays, and so do front line WINZ staff,' said Grant Gillon.

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