DIA should be accountable for Three Waters contracts

The Herald reports:

Two government water reform chief executives have taken redundancy payouts of $355,000 apiece, while a third has “transitioned” to another water reform job within the Department of Internal Affairs, now under review.

Jon Lamonte and Colin Crampton both left their posts on December 15 with redundancy packages worth six months’ of their $710,000 “establishment chief executive” base salaries. They were each on the job for just 10 months.

Bizarrely, a third chief executive, Vaughan Payne, took up a new post, focused on the last iteration of the Labour-era reforms, on December 20, six days after the new Cabinet formally decided to legislate to repeal and replace that plan.

A department spokesman said Payne’s new job, regional establishment director, was agreed to in September, before the October 14 election, under the water reform law of the time.

Signing such a contract a few days before the election was wrong. The responsible thing would have been to delay any significant contractural obligations.

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