3 Dec 2019

Charities Minister did not read damning report on Hepatitis Foundation

From Checkpoint, 5:50 pm on 3 December 2019

The Community and Voluntary Sector Minister hasn't read a damning report into the Hepatitis Foundation's extravagant spending and wasn't aware of her department's refusal to answer questions.

RNZ revealed last week the foundation spent more than $128,000 on travel over two years for its board chairperson and paid for lavish dinners at top restaurants.

On Tuesday the charity's founder and the original complainant, Sandy Milne, referred the matter to the Attorney-General. Following RNZ's stories, the charity called in a firm of accountants to review the regulator's findings, which it says contains inaccuracies the foundation has long contested.

The foundation receives millions of dollars in funding from the Ministry of Health.

RNZ political reporter Jo Moir spoke to Minister Poto Williams and started by asking her whether it was acceptable for taxpayers to have to fund the audit.