20 Feb 2019

Shane Jones labels QV's performance 'grossly unsatisfactory'

10:53 am on 20 February 2019

Shane Jones is planning to have words with the Quotable Value (QV) board about its shocking expenditure and financial forecast.

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones answering media questions

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones answering media questions Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

He is a shareholding minister in the property valuation company and is taking advice from Treasury after a annual review and auditor-general's report.

The audit found expenditure outside what was deemed "reasonable" under the QV guidelines - notably the purchase of alcohol - as well as hotel accommodation, flights and food that did not have the right documentation.

It also found a number of apparent breaches including paying directors' fees in excess of the approved level by $4098.

Mr Jones said the QV annual review was "grossly unsatisfactory".

"The advice that I'm seeking is what improvements, what communication should be entered into ASAP with the board."

QV is also facing another decline in revenue. It's down $2.37 million on the previous financial year, following a pattern of decline or limited growth since 2011.

"It's a bit of a puzzle where there's been a frenetic level of property activity and the earnings haven't been as flash as perhaps we as shareholder ministers would like," Mr Jones said.

"But I've got every confidence that once we make the necessary improvements it will function as it should. And it is absolutely wrong and inexcusable for that pattern of behaviour to have gone on for so long."

National MP Hamish Walker said the responses he was given by the board members during the annual review were unacceptable.

"It wasn't until further questioning that they admitted there were some breaches that did occur over the past 12 months, and then they went on to suggest that they had a disagreement with the auditor.

"Well the auditor is an independent body that undertakes audits of all sorts of public organisations, and if the auditor disagrees with your organisation that is very serious."

Mr Walker said Mr Jones should have acted quicker to curb the problems at QV before they made it to public hearing.

"The fact that one of his own government MPs at the select committee raised the fact that the annual report was basically useless ... well the minister needs to front this and front it pretty quick."