Green Party asks Auditor General to investigate Saudi sheep pay-off

The Green Party has asked the Office of the Auditor General to investigate the pay-offs given to a disgruntled Saudi businessman by the Government.

The Green Party has asked the Office of the Auditor General to investigate the pay-offs given to a disgruntled Saudi businessman by the Government.

A Cabinet paper released earlier in the week shows that the Government spent nearly $11 million dollars to compensate a Saudi investor after the Saudi government made it clear a free trade deal will depend on the investor being placated.

“We have concerns over the procurement process and how taxpayer dollars were spent,” said Green Party trade spokesperson James Shaw.

“To date, the Government hasn’t fronted with a legal or business justification for trying to pay off Mr Al-Khalaf using taxpayers’ money.

“Murray McCully admitted that the Government did not seek legal advice but instead just tried to buy off Mr Al-Khalaf. This is a highly inappropriate way to settle a dispute.

“We don’t believe the Government should start throwing cash around just because a lawyer writes a strongly worded letter.

“Everyone knows lawyers throw around threats of big law suits to gain leverage for their clients. The fact the Government appears to have believed the hype and jumped at these threats is both remarkable and possibly in breach of proper process.

“This incident raises serious questions about the use of the public purse to buy political outcomes. If genuine issues were raised by the Saudis then proper legal and disputes processes should have been followed. A commercial deal is a dodgy resolution to a legal issue.

“Given the lack of transparency and the Government shutting down requests for information, the Green Party feels that the Auditor General is best placed to look into this matter and get to the truth.

“The public deserve to know how their money is being spent and there needs to be accountability if it has been used inappropriately,” said Mr Shaw.

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action