On Wednesday evening, the night before examining Murray McCully over the MFAT estimates at select committee, I received the answers to my raft of questions. There is one Annex of which people should avail themselves. It is the spreadsheet of consultants and contractors and is accessible here. Have a look and see for yourself. Page 39 for starters, but there is plenty of interesting reading there.
One name stood out for me – Charles Finny, formerly of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, now of Saunders Unsworth. Paid $54,135 for work done between 1 November and 24 December 2010. Nice pay rate for 2 months’ work! I’m sure he wouldn’t have had any sick days – oh, that’s right, he’s a bloke. No uterus, no sick days.
Charles Finny’s contract was not put out for tender. Why not? At a rate of $27,000 a month, you’d think that might be tendered. McCully wasn’t aware of the details, he said, but knew Finny had the requisite skills. There are lots more questions to ask here – like, at what threshold does a requirement to tender kick in, etc., etc. McCully had given another gift to one of his mates.
Add that to: $75k contract to former Nat MP, Mark Blumsky for development work in Niue (requisite skills – the man used to be a shoe salesman?); current Nat MP Allan Peachey being made Special Envoy with the permission of the PM no less, to go round the Pacific and talk about education (is that what he was elected by the good people of Tamaki to do?); current Nat MP John Hayes, appointed to chair a committee which disburses money to aid NGOs (a committee he might have to interrogate as Chair of the Foreign Affairs select committee?).
These men might all be good blokes, but how would anyone know? They haven’t been subjected to any form of competition. I thought the Nats liked competition. Nope? They just like extra perks and income. This is taxpayers’ money, not McCully’s personal slush fund.