NZ First Labels FujiXerox Suspension Window Dressing
After pressuring the Government or almost a year and yesterday in Parliament, New Zealand First says fraud-mired FujiXerox NZ’s ‘voluntary withdraw’ from All-of-Government contracts is a sham.
“New Zealand First again put acid on the Government yesterday so this move by FujiXerox is a distraction,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt. Hon. Winston Peters.
“Some may fall for it but they shouldn’t. No tenders are planned for the next six-weeks and we challenge Mr Bridges to go to MBIE and stop the installation of FujiXerox machines. For schools, councils and departments, it is ‘business as unusual’ by FujiXerox and this government.
“Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges, National’s ‘Laurel and Hardy,’ have spent the best part of a year denying there were any issues with FujiXerox. They continued their hollow denials even after this $500m fraud was revealed. “Nothing to see” was their lame response.
“Everyone can see this is a scandal but National, the SFO and the Audit Office did not want a bar of it. It took real pressure to force them into doing their jobs but we’re not exactly holding our breath for the outcome.
“So how does a company which has ripped off $500m, jacked up school contracts with print volumes, and failed to pay tax demonstrate commercial integrity? It speaks volumes that Messrs Joyce and Bridges think it does.
“This dark underbelly shows how corruption goes undetected in New Zealand. And is why NZ First has further referred a complaint about FujiXerox NZ’s auditors, EY, to Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand,” says Mr Peters.
Parliament Hansard 25 July 2017 (Question 12) on FujiXerox NZ
FLETCHER TABUTEAU (NZ First) to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Minister of Finance and the Minister for Economic Development; if so, how?
Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH (Prime Minister): Yes, because they have developed policies and initiatives that are supporting one of the stronger-growing economies in the developed world, which have been particularly successful in the regions. I know that for New Zealand First that is frustrating because it did a tour of the regions and could not find nearly as many complaints as it would have liked. I sympathise with its political difficulty. Fletcher Tabuteau: What confidence can taxpayers have in his Government when Mr Joyce rejected New Zealand First's warning, which I gave last December, over Fuji Xerox—[Interruption] listen up, listen up—saying that he had "no issues with the claim that the member has raised", despite it subsequently blowing up into $500 million worth of fraud?
Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: New Zealand First often warns us of things, and less often than that do they actually happen.
Hon Simon Bridges: Even a broken clock's right twice a day, Fletcher.
Fletcher Tabuteau: What confidence can anyone have in Mr Bridges, given the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has refused to suspend all-of-Government contracts with Fuji Xerox until the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) completes its work, despite the SFO completely missing the fact that we all know now to be $500 million worth of fraud?
Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: If the member is interested in those particular matters, then he should put a question down directly to the Minister. I would not expect either the Minister for Economic Development or the Minister of Finance to be conducting fraud investigations. It is important that those investigations are carried out by the appropriate authorities.
Fletcher Tabuteau: Does this mean, Prime Minister, that the National Party is happy to continue dealing with Fuji Xerox New Zealand, a company of questionable commercial integrity, and its current managing director, who designed this disastrous Ponzi scheme in the first place, which forced the Japanese parent company's chairman and directors to resign?
Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is no prime ministerial responsibility for the National Party. That question is out of order.