Friday, February 11, 2005

Investment NZ and transparency

I'm appalled that Industry New Zealand is threatening to recommend closing down if they are forced by Parliament to name the international investors they have been wining and dining over the last few years. Who's in charge here? Parliament, or the bureaucrats they appoint?

More importantly, this is a matter of open government and accountability. Parliament and the people have an absolute right to know what public money is being spent on. And the names of those who have visited under the visiting investor scheme are absolutely vital to judging its success. Without them, we have absolutely no idea whether the money is well-spent or not.

The Select Committee should firmly remind Investment NZ who they work for, and that there must be transparency where public money is concerned. And if Investment NZ executives are unwiling to comply, then it is time they started looking for new jobs.