27 May 2010

Questions asked in NZ over allocation of govt funds to a private Pacific company

8:56 am on 27 May 2010

More questions are being asked about the decision by the Pacific Affairs Minister, Georgina Te HeuHeu, to allocate over 3 million US dollars in last week's budget to a private Auckland company.

The deputy mayor of Porirua says the decision showed favoritism towards Auckland, the city with the biggest concentration of Pacific people in New Zealand.

Litea Ah Hoi says the Pacific Affairs Ministry was set up to benefit all Pacific Island people, not just those in Auckland.

And she says more questions need to be asked of the Minister.

"Who was consulted and how did they come to the conclusion or the outcome that this funding - and the total amount - would go to this particular organsiation? You know, were there other groups that were eligible to tender for this particular contract and if there were, who were they?"

Litea Ah Hoi.

Mrs Te Heuheu said on Tuesday there was no tender process involved because the company, Pacific Economic Development Agency, mounted a persuasive case.

PEDA is a Pacific company, headed by JR Pereira, formerly of the Pacific Affairs Ministry.

Mr Pereira issued a statement saying the company agrees the normal standards of monitoring and evaluation will be part of the purchase agreement.

He says the final agreement now under negotiation will ensure that delivery will comply with the normal funding.