TPK overspends on contractors by half a million

By Heta Gardiner

The CEO of Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) Michelle Hippolite has admitted that the organisation has overspent on contractors.  In an interview with Te Kāea, Ms Hippolite says the organisation now needs to tighten up its spending.

Something is grating at the Tāmaki-Makaurau MP.  Peeni Henare says, "I think it's a waste of money right now. "

Labour's Peeni Henare is referring to money spent by TPK on contractors in the last financial year.

According to information obtained by Te Kāea, in the last financial year, the estimated cost for contractors at TPK was around $1.5mil.

But the actual spend was more than $2mil.  An excess of more than $500,000.

In December alone, the figure was almost $500,000.

Hippolite says, "For contractors, what we did that was slightly different which lead to the increase in the actual cost, was that some of the rolls were back filled by contractors.  And that did, in the end increase, what was the actual spend, as opposed to the estimated spend.

Though it went from 1.5 to 2. That's a 25% increase. that seems pretty extreme no? Compared to other agencies it's very small."

"Don't give the money to a hawk that flies in, takes it and flies out again," says Henare.

Despite her stance, Hippolite admits they need to do better. 

"Could we have been closer, absolutely.  Could we have anticipated that inable, probably not, could we do a better job midstream?  We have to do a better job midstream," she says.

The Minister in charge is for the moment leaving this issue to TPK to address.

Te Ururoa Flavell says, "This is a matter for the Chief Executive of TPK.  She is the one with intimate knowledge of the finances."

TPK's spending is being audited and will be publically available in October.