Joyce’s corporate welfare department, Callaghan Innovation, blew $2000 on ‘Sluts with Nuts’

Steve Joyce’s corporate welfare department, Callaghan Innovation, has been busted blowing $300,000 on frivolous entertainment expenditure including $2000 on ‘Sluts with Nuts’.

The government-funded Callaghan Innovation is under fire for spending more than $300,000 on entertainment in the 2015/2016 financial year.

More than $2000 was spent on an evening with drag queens at Auckland’s Caluzzi cabaret bar, known as “sluts with nuts”.

Jordan Williams of the Taxpayers’ Union said this was unacceptable.

“You don’t pay your taxes for a government agency to go out and spend it on drag queens.”

Spot on Jordan. If you want to splash cash on Sluts with Nuts you do it with your own money. You might find your missus is far less accomodating than government ministers like Steve Joyce.

The Union said it’s working through tens of thousands of transactions that make up this $300,000, and that this is “just one of the first ones we’ve found that’s totally inappropriate”.

It obtained the figures under the Official Information Act.

Mr Williams said he’s got nothing against drag queens, but it’s “just one of many blatant abuses of taxpayer money by the Crown Agency”.

“Callaghan Innovation clearly have a culture of entitlement and going out on the government credit card,” he said. “They need to be reined in.”

The Minister responsible, Dr Megan Woods, said it’s not good enough.

“I made it really clear this was below my level of expectation as responsible minister,” she told Newshub.

“I received assurances from Callaghan that there had been a change in policy setting and this kind of expenditure couldn’t happen currently”.

I doubt it, Callaghan is now headed up by Vic Crone, the failed Boag candidate in Auckland’s mayoral race.

In a statement Callaghan told Newshub:

“The total spending is… not unreasonable for a client-facing organisation of our size.  However, there were a few cases of spending… which were not appropriate.

“Since then we have tightened relevant policies to ensure work-related spending by staff is modest and appropriate for the public sector.”

“For $300,000 you could take the whole of Invercargill out for a barbecue,” Mr Williams said.

Callaghan Innovation initially insisted on Wednesday that the $300,000 included travel and accommodation, but later apologised to Newshub, admitting it only related to staff and customer entertainment, meals and drinks.

Sounds like another episode of Yes Minister. Look at the civil servant mumbo-jumbo…”client-facing”.

Robbo probably wouldn’t complain about ‘Sluts with Nuts’ but I’m sure every right thinking taxpayer is not amused.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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