1 Jul 2015

Cost to run $140,000 screen at MBIE revealed

1:38 pm on 1 July 2015

Not only did the display screen at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) cost $140,000 to buy but it will cost thousands to actually run in the coming years, Labour MP David Clark says.

Display monitor in the reception of the The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spent $140,000 on the display monitor in its reception. Photo: RNZ

Last month, Radio New Zealand revealed the the cost of the screen at the ministry's front reception, prompting accusations of wasteful spending.

Labour MP Dr David Clark (left) and Labour MP Jacinda Ardern (right) in question time.

Labour MP David Clark Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

It also earned the ministry a rebuke from the Economic Development Minister, Steven Joyce, who said it was not a good use of taxpayers' money.

Mr Clark said taxpayers would still have to fork out nearly $3000 dollars a year for ongoing monitoring of the device and the software.

"Taxpayers aren't off the hook yet. We've had the $140,000 screen in the foyer and now we've learnt that nearly $9000 has been committed over the first three years alone just to keep it going.

"Nine thousand dollars would easily buy you two top-of-the-range brand new 55-inch LED TV screens."

He said, while that in itself was not a massive amount of money, it was significant when considered alongside the other spending in the ministry's new building.

Mr Clark said Mr Joyce should take ultimate responsibility, as he would have had the final sign-off on the restructure costs.

"Steven Joyce needs to stop hiding behind his chief executive. He is the one responsible to Parliament for the spending, he needs to front up and tell us what other unpleasant surprises the taxpayer has ahead."

Mr Joyce said last month that he expected the ministry to keep a closer eye on its spending.

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