OIO incompetence hurts government; gives Labour another stick to hit it with

Dopey civil servants are the bane of any minister.

The OIO has proved to be dopey in the extreme.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has admitted it made blunders in a Taranaki farm purchase to brothers convicted for leaching tanning chemicals into an Argentine river.

The OIO says it failed to tell the Land Information Minister it knew of the pollution incident when it recommended approving the sale of 1320ha Onetai Station, to Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, via their company Ceol & Muir.  

The Grozovskys were convicted in 2012 because a tannery they owned leaked chemicals into a river. The conviction didn’t stop them passing the OIO’s good character test and their company, Ceol & Muir, was given approval to buy the farm in 2013.

“Relevant information was not passed on to government ministers. I have advised Land Information Minister Louise Upston of this situation and apologised,” chief executive Peter Mersi said today.

“I have also given her an assurance there will be no repeat of this situation in future.”

The OIO has a robust process “but on this occasion, it does not appear to have been followed. This was a regrettable lapse”, Mr Mersi says.

They will get a stern ticking off, and that’s about it. Civil servants never get sacked.


– NewHub


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  • ridsel

    The risk could be reduced by having far fewer civil services… a government can’t get blamed for providing services badly if it doesn’t provide them at all.

    • biscuit barrel

      Reducing the numbers of public servants has come back to bite them. More with less they say. hello

  • biscuit barrel

    So Cunliffe was onto something after all.

    I see the Aussies just knocked back the big sale of vast pastoral holdings to our old friends Shanghai Pengxin. I suppose the government there didnt want to shear the sheep for them, unlike here where to get the deal through, the taxpayers via landcorp were going to milk the cows