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Get Your Priorities Right, Mr Mccully

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Spending $1.33 million on upgrading former National MP Mark Blumsky’s residence on Niue when scores of Foreign Affairs staff are about to be sacked shows just how misplaced the Government’s priorities are, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson …Phil Goff
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

labour.org.nz

29 February 2012

Spending $1.33 million on upgrading former National MP Mark Blumsky’s residence on Niue when scores of Foreign Affairs staff are about to be sacked shows just how misplaced the Government’s priorities are, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff says
“National plans to spend more than $1.3 million on giving Niue High Commissioner and former National backbencher, Mark Blumsky, the flashest house on the island. Niue has a population of 1100.

“This sort of spending is inordinately extravagant when National is slashing core foreign policy jobs at the Ministry,” Phil Goff said.

“Like the luxury $903,000 swimming pool it is spending at New Zealand’s Tokyo Embassy, this is a ‘nice to have’. It shouldn’t be a priority for Foreign Affairs spending.

“Sixty-three foreign policy staff and nearly one in four other Ministry employees are being dismissed to meet a $40 million annual savings goal.

“If times are tough it is the luxury expenditure which should go first – the swimming pool, the tarting up of the Niue residence, and Mr McCully’s extravagant use of an air force plane to fly to Vanuatu for the day at a cost of $75,000 when a commercial flight would have cost $4000,” Phil Goff said.

“The people who are losing their jobs have worked hard and competently for their country and we, as New Zealanders, will be the losers when they are no longer there to promote this country’s trade, security and consular assistance.

“Murray McCully has been missing in action, refusing to front up to justify his decisions and instead blaming the Ministry, which is only acting on his instructions.

“The damage being done to Foreign Affairs is his responsibility, but when the heat goes on, he can’t be found,” Phil Goff said.

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ENDS

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