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Labour questions WINZ CEO's payout

Friday 9 Nov 2012 9:40 a.m.

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Labour wants to know why former Work and Income chief executive Janet Grossman was given a payout when she apparently quit her job for "personal reasons".

Social development spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern has been asking questions in parliament and yesterday finally managed to get confirmation that Ms Grossman received a termination benefit when she left in June after just 11 months in the job.

Ms Grossman was recruited from Britain and left her office two days after handing in her resignation.

At the time, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said Ms Grossman's husband had job opportunities in Britain and she had decided to return with him.

Ms Ardern isn't accepting that explanation.

She says the ministry's annual report shows $97,000 was paid out in termination benefits, shared among five people, without identifying them or giving details of individual payments.

Ms Ardern says the auditor-general's definition of a termination benefit is money paid out when a public servant is made redundant or sacked.

It cost the State Services Commission $50,000 to bring Ms Grossman to New Zealand and Ms Ardern says it was a very expensive recruitment.

"There are very big questions left to answer," she said today.

"The minister should be much more transparent than she has been over what really happened."

NZN

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